FAQs on the Minnows called Barbs, Danios and
Rasboras Disease 3
Barbs, Danios &
Barbed Response; Wrongly maligned for being fin-nippers, barbs
are in fact some of the best fish for the home aquarium by
Related FAQs: B,D,R Disease 1,
B,D,R Disease 2,
B,D,R Disease 4,
Danios, Rasboras 1, Barbs,
Danios, Rasboras 2, B,D,R
Identification, B,D,R Behavior,
Tinfoil Barb 5/10/18
A few months ago, I took in a 7 - 8 inch Tinfoil Barb that my aquarium store
took in as a rescue (they've helped me a lot and I wanted to return the favor).
They told me that this fish had been in a 90 gallon tank that had been
abandoned and the water got so bad that his dorsal and one pectoral fin
rotted off (pretty lousy picture attached, but you should be able to see the
damaged dorsal fin - the left pectoral fin is in the same condition); the rest
of his tankmates died.
He had been at their store for almost 6 months when I saw him and was
overwhelming their store tanks. They couldn't keep him in their big orphan tank
because the majority of the orphans they get are aggressive, large cichlids who
may take advantage of the Barb's disabilities. They were afraid he'd never find
a suitable home so I agreed to take him and give him a bigger tank while we keep
working to find him a home with a large tank (mine is only 75 gallon). But so
far, no takers. Everyone, including the
Boise Aquarium, has expressed concern about his injuries, which seem permanent,
and his ability to thrive with other big Barbs or other large, potentially
<Understood, and the Boise Aquarium may well have a point.>
But I've had him a few months and he is a beautiful, happy, healthy fish -
except - I think he's lonely. Not pining away, missing someone kind of lonely,
but just needing other fish around.
So, for the past few weeks, I've been trying to find him a tankmate or two to
swim with that won't overwhelm my tank as (the tank has two canister filters on
it, one rated for a 75 gallon and one for a 65 gallon and a small powerhead).
I've tried an Oscar, a Blood Parrot, and most recently, two Acara - but the Barb
has been bullied relentlessly by every fish I've tried and I just noticed this
morning that his one remaining pectoral fin has a tear (I'll be taking the Acara
back to the aquarium store this morning). I don't want to get another big Barb
as I'm already concerned about the tank size even with the filtration (but water
parameters have stayed steady with no ammonia or nitrite and weekly water
changes have kept the nitrate below 30 since he's been here). Can you suggest a
fish that would give him someone to swim with that won't beat him up and is the
least likely to overwhelm the tank?
<I would tend to look at species that stay closer to the bottom. Enough activity
to keep him entertained, but lacking the swimming ability to either compete or
the jaws to cause damage. I'd be thinking about, for example, things like
Dianema spp. and Brochis spp. for starters, both of which are completely
peaceful. Any of the Whiptails would be a great choice, being so gentle they
even ignore livebearer fry. Some of the larger Whips, such as Sturisoma, are
spectacular fish in their own right, and enjoy the same brisk, cool water your
Tinfoil Barb relishes. I might even think about true surface dwellers such as
the larger Hatchetfish which aren't a threat to anything because their jaws
point upwards. Finally, you
might consider placid dwarf cichlids, such as Apistogramma, which may be
territorial but will be so overwhelmed by the size of the Tinfoil their threat
level will be low.>
He doesn't have much left in the way of fins and I don't think he can afford any
<Hope the above helps, Neale.>
Re: Tinfoil Barb
It does help! Thank you!
<Most welcome. Neale.>
Should I prophylactically treat rasboras in QT?
I am nearing the end of treating my two large tanks for Camallanus worms with
Levamisole. Once the 40 gallon is finished, I will be treating with Metroplex as
per Neale's suggestion because my Krib, while completely recovering from the
Camallanus worms, appears to have Hexamita due to her non-stop defecation
(literally going on 3 weeks, you'd think she'd be a skeleton by now, lol).
<Indeed! But most of the off-white stringy stuff that comes out of a fish with
Hexamita is mucous, which costs very little to the fish. So
provided the fish is eating normally, treating a fish for Hexamita using
Metronidazole should work well.>
I have 6 harlequin rasboras in QT, just observing and such, but since I do have
the Levamisole, and since Camallanus worms are so insidious, should I treat the
QT tank or should I just leave it at observation?
<While you could get away with observation for now, Levamisole is tolerated well
by fish, and deworming new fish has become standard operating procedure among
some hobbyists, including those keeping Discus and Clown
Loaches. So yes, if you have some Levamisole handy, definitely worth using.>
The little guys are so fast that it is hard to make a full observation.
Perhaps slow mo video would help me, but I wanted to get your thoughts. I know
some like to just observe during QT and others like to treat prophylactically.
Thanks so much
<Most welcome! Neale.>
Re: Should I prophylactically treat rasboras in QT?
As always, you and the crew are absolutely fabulous! Thanks for your prompt
reply and I shall get to work!!
<Glad to help, and thanks for the kind words. Cheers, Neale.>
Injured Danio 3/17/18
One of my long fin zebra Danios was discovered stuck head down in a
section of my tank's driftwood yesterday.
I found him a couple of weeks ago in the same predicament. Fortunately,
I only had to tilt the wood to one side for him to swim free. He is
pretty scraped up on one side with his scales roughed up and a red spot
under his pectoral fins that now juts out at his side at a 90° angle.
Since his injury he is being bullied by the other Danios in his school,
although he continues to swim with them. Last night I noticed the
redness was more pronounced and he wasn't coming up to eat so I decided
to move him to a 5 gallon hospital tank with a cycled sponge filter.
<Fish generally don't "get stuck" though I have seen Corydoras catfish
stuck inside hollow ornaments because of their spines, and if they can't
escape quickly enough to take a gulp of air, such catfish can drown. No,
normally when we see fish "stuck" somewhere, they've actually drifted
there, unable to swim strongly enough to control where they're going.
Think of them more like a bit of flotsam, drifted up onto a beach
somewhere. Sometimes the problem can be over-strong water currents
rather than anything wrong with the fish in question. Bettas for example
find it hard to swim because of their very long fins, so need tanks with
gentle water currents. Artificial varieties of fish with veil-tails and
other longer than normal fins may suffer from the same problem because
their fins increase drag (imagine trying to swim in baggy, waterlogged
clothes) while their swimming muscles are no stronger than those of
I hated to remove him from his school, but I wanted to treat with
Kanaplex and give him some time away from the other bullies. I now think
that he has probably been stressed and bullied all along.
<Quite likely. Danios are aggressive towards each other. I've kept them
in groups of six, and find they fight all the time! I would definitely
keep a big group, eight or more, and crucially, I would not mix regular
and long-fin varieties, the latter being too "encumbered" to compete
well, so (more) likely to end up at the bottom of the hierarchy.>
Question. Should I keep him in the hospital tank for the three days of
treatment or is this just additional stress?
<A singleton Danio will be fine for a few days, even a couple of weeks
if you need to medicate / re-medicate. Prioritise the medication
instructions in terms of doses, etc. But when you return him/her to the
main tank, certainly turn the lights off for a few hours to prevent
bullying the "newcomer", or better yet, remove all of them temporarily,
move some of the rocks or plants about, and then return all the Danios
to what will seem, to them, a new habitat. This re-sets their hierarchy,
and in many cases fixes bullying, especially if you can add a couple
extra specimens of the same species at the same time.>
I could just treat the whole tank but I would have to find and remove my
Nerites first; also I wasn't certain how my Corydoras would react to the
<Antibiotics such as Kanamycin (what is in Kanaplex) should have no
negative impacts on non-bacteria, so should be fine with snails and
catfish. If you wanted to take your Nerites out though, you could
probably keep them a few days in a large food container (such as a
plastic ice cream container) holding a couple of litres of water. Kept
somewhere warm, the snails should be fine for a few days, provided you
did periodic water changes.>
Also, SeaChem stated somewhere in a forum that there may be some plant
<Can't think why.>
I'm more concerned about my fish. The plants are just there to make them
<Indeed. And again, just take a few cuttings, put them to one side, and
return to the main tank if the existing plants look unhappy.>
Re: Injured Danio 3/18/18
Planning on getting more Danios as I have just the 6.
My little guy is improving on the Kanaplex. He is one of two small
My females are massive.
<I would guess the other male is dominant, and pushing this other male
He is now swimming normally and exploring tank, red spot is fading after
just one dose and poor pectoral fin is now functioning somewhat more
normally. Still not eating and spitting out food but at least showing
interest this morning.
<A good sign.>
Thanks for the advice on rearranging the tank and reintroducing them all
at once back into tank. Great idea. My girls even bully my large
Celestial Pearl Danio with growing black spot on head
You are the only people on the planet I imagine can speak to this issue and I
very much appreciate your time and input. I have searched this forum and have
found other references to different fish turning black but nothing seemed to
match up to my fish.
<Indeed not! This is really very strange indeed.>
My question concerns one adult CPD with a black spot on the head that has been
slowly spreading over about the past year (started out small-looked like a
<So a very slowly developing problem, it would seem.>
2 yr old 20 gallon long. Eheim 2213 and Aquaclear 20 with biomedia and Pothos.
Weekly 25% water changes. Marineland LED strip light 12 hrs. Temp 76.3, Phos 2,
PH 7.5, KH 5, GH 9, NH3 0, NO2 0, NO3 5
Sand substrate with java fern and java moss on 1 lava rock, Manzanita with java
moss and java fern, and about 12 Cryptocoryne. Previous setups have had Fluval
Varied diet: Frozen: Bloodworms, Daphnia, Daphnia with Spirulina, Krill
(chopped); NLS wafers, Omega One Shrimp Pellets and Omega One Mini Pellets and
Repashy when I can find it.
<All sounds fine. Might quibble a bit over temperature, suggesting keeping them
a little cooler, around 22-24 C/72-75 F being optimal. But really everything
else sounds spot-on here.>
I`ve had these CPD`s for about 2.5 years. They are in a tank with Harlequin
Rasboras and Metae cories.
<Should be fine!>
The cories and Danios are spawning regularly and all appear healthy. I`m just
curious if you have any thoughts as to what could cause this as I've not been
able to find out from Google or my local forum. Look forward to hearing from you
at your convenience.
<Black patches on aquarium fish tend to be caused by four different
things. The first is ammonia burns, but I think we can
discount those here. Check to see if there's any sign of white tissue (i.e.,
dead skin) or red/pink colouration (i.e., bacterial infection and congested
blood vessels). Either of these can imply damage to the scales and skin. But in
the absence of either, it's more likely the black colour is pigmentation
rather than damage. The second cause of black colouration is
some type of parasitic infection, sometimes called 'Black Spot Disease'
and more commonly seen in ponds. For various reasons it's rare in aquaria and
tends to die off after a while without causing any major issues, all else being
equal. Again, I'd dismiss this possibility because your fish has a black patch,
not lots of
small spots. The third reason is genetics, the issue really
being one about the quality, or otherwise, of the parent fish. In this situation
you usually have, say, a golden-coloured morph or artificial form (like, for
example, a Midas Cichlid or a Goldfish) with some darker coloured fish in its
parentage. For whatever reason juveniles were golden, but some of those darker
genes express themselves as the fish ages, and dark patches appear.
Now, while it's possible the issue here is genetic, this species hasn't been
line-bred yet, we're not really talking about a genetic 'throw-back' but rather
a simple 'sport of nature' of those sort Darwin famously described. In other
words, there's variety within populations, and mutations will sometimes present
themselves as different colours, fin-lengths and so on. In the wild natural
selection would work on them, favouring those that might be useful, or against
such mutations that made the fish less successful. It's just possible we're
talking about that here, and if the fish is otherwise healthy and happy, you've
simply been lucky enough to watch "evolution in action", so to speak, with this
fish having a
mutation in colouration that sets it apart from all the other Celestial Pearl
Danios / Galaxy Rasboras on the planet! Finally, there's a developmental
issue or some type of physical damage that has caused the fish to turn
black. One example is nerve damage (perhaps from a physical injury) that 'jams'
the nerves that allow fish to change their colours at will, rather like a stuck
pixel on an LCD screen. The result is that the colour pigment cells are stuck in
black (or whatever colour) mode, and you see a fixed patch of abnormal colour.
Developmental issues can also be caused by vitamin deficiencies and certain
infections such as Fish TB, but your aquarium otherwise sounds excellent, so I'm
somewhat skeptical of this. So my gut feeling, without evidence to the contrary,
is that this is a healthy fish with a genetic abnormality, and provided he's
happy doing his thing, I'd not be concerned. Whether or not you want to breed
from him is another question, though that would, perhaps, allow you to determine
if it is genetic or merely developmental. Cheers, Neale.>
Sorry for multiple sends 1/9/18
My email showed my reply to be stuck in draft.
<No worries. B>
Re: Celestial Pearl Danio with growing black spot on head (RMF, any
<<Physical/nervous damage would be my guess. B>>
I so appreciate you getting back to me and providing such detailed information.
I don't see any white tissue or red/pink/colouration but I admit having
difficulty examining such a quick and tiny fish. The only way I can think to
look at this guy up close is to try and get good photos and zoom in on my
<Understood. But do try using a net to trap the fish, and hold it very gently
against the glass. Doing this allows you to examine the fish, and if you can,
take a photo.>
There is a chance I have offspring from this fish, as there are 30 growing out
in a 10 gallon-perhaps I can post a ground-breaking follow up in the future (?).
<Quite so! This is exactly how new varieties are produced. There's a 'sport' of
some sort that appears in a batch of fish; people breed from that fish; and if
the feature is genetic, it will turn up in some of its offspring. Crossbreed
those until you get a line of fish that 'breed true' -- i.e., all have that
The fish were sourced from a popular shop here in Toronto (I'm told they are
tank bred in Asia and shipped), so I posted this matter on the local forum to
see if anyone else had a similar issue. Haven't heard anything as of yet.
With your permission, may I post your response to my post on GTAAQUARIA.com?
Others would certainly benefit from your knowledge. Here is a link to my thread
<Be my guest.>
Thank you again for your time and for everything you do to help aquatic souls!
<And thanks for the kind words. But I might be wrong in this instance! Keep
reading, and keep an open mind.>
Re: Celestial Pearl Danio with growing black spot on head update
Hello Neale et al.,
I took your wonderfully practical advice to use a net to trap the fish, and
hold it very gently against the glass.
We got great photos which somehow got erased off the memory card the same
I waited a couple of days to try again and unfortunately, the second attempt
at a photo shoot ended in disaster. The CPD (Toupee) was not in the mood and
managed to escape the net twice. Out of frustration, I wasn't as
gentle the third time and she got trapped between the glass and the frame of
the net. I thought I broke her-it was awful. She was swimming around but
very spirally and looked flat on one side of her body. Turned the lights
out and kept an eye on her throughout the day. Towards the evening I found
her sort of treading water behind a piece of wood and noticed that she was
holding herself at a list-the current was very strong there. I wondered if
the flow was too strong (Eheim 2213 and Aquaclear 20) so I unplugged the
canister to see what she would do. It was ugly-she was swimming in this
erratic spiral pattern that looked like the death spiral. I decided to put
her in a shrimp tank (matching temp and parameters) that only has a sponge
filter to see if she could heal in calm water. More ugly swimming. I thought
I might have to euthanize (clove oil method) or I could at least try a salt
dip in the event that the issue was Osmoregulatory shock (a guess based on
prior success with a Harlequin Rasbora). She got 10 minutes in 1l of tank
water with 1/4 tsp dissolved kosher salt (no iodine) and went back into the
shrimp tank. The next day she was moving around normally but was hiding and
not eating. After 3 days I moved her back with the gang in the "big" tank
and she's eating and being normal. I am not in the habit of harming my fish
so the whole situation was pretty devastating.
<Understood. We all make mistakes, but the hobby's about learning from them
too. Sounds as if this comes under "all's well that ends well" anyway!>
So all of this intense focus in front of the glass conjured up an incident
about a year ago when I found a CPD on the floor. As I had just walked
through the room a minute before, it wasn't out of the tank for long so I
put it back in, turned the lights out and the fish survived-4 foot drop and
all. Now I'm wondering if that fish was in fact Toupee and the black mark is
from that injury?
<Could well be; as suggested, nerve damage cause this sort of damage, though
it isn't common.>
Or could the little bump possibly indicate a tumor?
<Possibly, though as with humans, most of these growths are benign, and
unlikely to kill the fish.>
In any event, I probably wouldn't have remembered the fish out of water day
if you hadn't written the words "keep an open mind". This whole matter has
keeping a dedicated journal now instead of random notes scattered about.
Maybe she's a he? In any event, that's one tough little fish.
<Quite so. Fish are astonishingly robust when all is said and done. Their
habitat pushes them about with every current, while warm water holds far
more bacteria than dry air. The fact they live at all is remarkable,
especially when you compare the pristine quality of water in the wild with
the sorts of conditions they 'enjoy' in captivity. Of course we all have
horror stories about sickly Neons and Guppies, but the truth is that most
fish are actually pretty durable, provided the fishkeeper at least makes a
few efforts such as offering decent water quality, a varied diet, and keeps
them with the right sort of tankmates.>
Thank you again for your time and hope all are well.
<Most welcome, and thanks for the kind words. Neale.>
O' Danio; disease 8/18/17
I've been reading about with many different forums, and probably passed
a good hour of my time browsing through the zebra Danio illnesses you
have all replied to, but still seemed to be unable to find a bit of a
problem I've been having with my own Danio. (Or Danios I should say.)
SO. I'll start you off with a walk through the Danio plagues, maybe
they're all connected....
I've had this tank for a year, 75 gallons understocked, and I have gone
through a total number of 24 Danios. All but one didn't survive. The
poor quality of the lfs in my area probably have a big role to play,
that's why I got my lone survivor from pet smart. Anywho. All died while
I was gone, and they'd act fine before dying. I assumed they picked each
<Does happen, though rarely with large groups of Danios; by contrast,
get six, and yes, they can 'worry' each other to death, winding up with
a single dominant fish left over.>
I never had a problem with any of my other fish in the tank dying. But
it was my last batch of Danios that concerns me. It looked like they had
parasites to me.. but they died too soon for me to be able to do
anything about it. They'd get the beginning of an ulcer, and the next
morning I'd come back to a munched on carcass.
<Which is, of course, a good way for pathogens to get transferred...
When dealing with a situation where one fish dies, then another, then
another -- sometimes it's a good idea to remove the next ailing fish,
it, and then see if that stops the process (ideally, alongside some sort
of appropriate medication).>
My read rainbow got a fungal growth on its side and had labored
breathing with difficulty swimming, so i amped up the amount of air in
the tank and added tank salt until he healed. Took about a week. I'm not
a fan of medicating, I'd rather let the fish heal on its own, unless
it's severe.<Understandable, but in some cases, the fish can't heal, and
you need to act quickly to "nip the trouble in the bud".>
A few days after my rainbow recovered I noticed an ill Danio. I
personally thought it had dropsy. Swimming in tight circles, pine
coning, bloat; but when I fished it out and dropped it into the toilet
it exploded out the sides... it looked like intestines, but could have
<Or simply Dropsy; pressurised decomposition; tissues of deceased fish
giving way on impact, releasing that pressure...>
Gross. I did a 75% water change and kept a close eye on the other fish.
1 Danio left. (Mind you she survived every other plague among the Danios.)
Now she's always been a bit plumper, but after the death of the other
Danios, she just looks bloated. And she's been this way for months. I've
given her peas, did heavy water changes, laid off the feeding... Three
days of no food made her look a bit better... but not by much. She swims
perfectly, likes to play in the current, and eats like a pig. Seeing as
she only has three other fish to compete with for food. No rising
scales, no lumps, only one smooth bump.
<Indeed. Doesn't look like classic Dropsy, but could well be intestinal
parasites, but also something like a Mycobacterium infection.>
Here, have a gander:
I feed her a mixture of meaty foods; brine shrimp, krill, blood worms,
Sometimes they nibble on the remains of a chopped up dunia roach for my
frogs... They really won't touch flake food much anymore.
SO any thoughts??
<Identifying what exactly when wrong here is impossible to say. The
symptoms are too generic. So my gut reaction is that you were unlucky,
perhaps buying a bad batch of Danios infected with Fish TB or similar.
If the remaining species are fine, I'd leave the tank at least a month,
and see if anything else gets sick. If all is well, I'd probably try
something that wasn't a Danio -- or at least, wait until another batch
of Danios arrives at some other store, so that you don't have a repeat
performance. So far as medication goes, perhaps running a broad spectrum
might be useful, or an equivalent product like eSHa 2000.>
I really appreciate your help!
Columnaris Denisoni Barb/Redwag Platy
I noticed one of my denisoni barbs, and Redwag Platy had lesions, which I
assumed was Columnaris.
<Mmm; maybe.... what re cause here? Such infections don't occur w/o
I did a lot of research and the common theme, I found, in treatment for
Columnaris was reducing temperature, salt, KanaPlex, MetroPlex, and furan2.
I moved the barb and platy from my 75g to my 10g hospital tank, and began
medicating the water with furan2, salt, and feeding KanaPlex/MetroPlex.
The platys dent/lesion has lost the white line in the dent, and seems to be
doing fine. My barb, on the other hand, developed even more lesions, but is
very active and eating well.
For the second round of medications, I medicated the water with furan2,
salt, KanaPlex/MetroPlex (I did not dose food).
I repeated the first round of medication, making it 3 total rounds of
My barb has not developed any new lesions for about 5 days, and my platy
looks normal. My question is when do I know my barb and platy are healthy
enough to go back into my main tank?
<I'd wait a good few weeks beyond when these "lesions" are gone>
I've had them in my hospital tank for 3 weeks, and I feel the barb
(4.5inches) is getting a bit stressed in the 10gal, and without his school.
<Keep changing some (a few gallons) of water daily... From their
main/display system. Bob Fenner>
Columnaris Denisoni Barb/Redwag Platy
I noticed one of my denisoni barbs, and Redwag Platy had lesions, which I
assumed was Columnaris. I did a lot of research and the common theme, I found,
in treatment for Columnaris was reducing temperature, salt, KanaPlex, MetroPlex,
I moved the barb and platy from my 75g to my 10g hospital tank, and began
medicating the water with furan2, salt, and feeding KanaPlex/MetroPlex. The
platys dent/lesion has lost the white line in the dent, and seems to be doing
fine. My barb, on the other hand, developed even more lesions, but is very
active and eating well.
For the second round of medications, I medicated the water with furan2, salt,
KanaPlex/MetroPlex (I did not dose food).
I repeated the first round of medication, making it 3 total rounds of
My barb has not developed any new lesions for about 5 days, and my platy looks
normal. My question is when do I know my barb and platy are healthy enough to go
back into my main tank?
I've had them in my hospital tank for 3 weeks, and I feel the barb (4.5inches)
is getting a bit stressed in the 10gal, and without his school.
<Bob Fenner has covered the essentials here. But a couple extra comments if I
may... For a start, do understand this species subtropical. At tropical
temperatures it isn't entirely happy, and in particular low oxygen levels and
high nitrate levels will stress them. If the tankmates are Platies, which are
perfectly happy in cooler conditions, I'd be keeping this/these species around
22-24C/72-75F rather than anything warmer. Optimal conditions for Denison Barbs
is likely a few degrees cooler than this. Let me have you read the Fishbase page
on this species, here...
Certainly optimise water circulation and oxygenation, though I will state that
Platies are still-water fish, and will not thrive in the brisk currents Denison
Barbs need (though Swordtails, being stream-dwellers, would actually be pretty
decent companions). Secondly, I'm not sure adding salt is terribly helpful.
Barbs vary in their tolerance for salt, some actually inhabiting low-end
brackish habitats, but these barbs are definitely inland fish, and I can't see
any advantage to even trace
additions to salt unless you're dealing with something specific where salt is
the cure (like Whitespot). Instead, I'd be coupling a general purpose antibiotic
alongside an aggressive approach to optimising water conditions.
Denison Barbs have, overall, a poor to middling track record in captivity;
relatively few reach their proper size and live anything close to a full
lifespan. Read, review, and act accordingly. Cheers, Neale.>
re: Columnaris Denisoni Barb/Redwag Platy 10/1/16
Thank you for the quick answers!
I am going to remove the platys (3) and move them to my 20g long because there
is substantial water movement with an AquaClear 110, 520gph canister filter, and
an 325gph hydroponic air pump.
The issue might have been temperature (I do two 50% water changes a week on the
75g), as summer just ended here and my tank has been at a constant 80F for 3
Should I look into re-homing the barbs if I cannot consistently maintain a lower
temperature throughout the entire year?
<Nope. Summertime highs are fine. The issue is year-round high temperatures.
Basically, the ideal approach would be to allow the tank to warm up in summer,
but during the winter make sure it cools down a bit, so there's some
seasonality. This will be much closer to "the wild" and ensure your Denison
Barbs stay healthy. Lows of 15 C/59 F are probably not
necessary, but something like 20-22 C/68-72 F would be beneficial, and still
allow a wide variety of tankmates. Many barbs, Danios and minnows, many loaches,
numerous Loricariids, most Corydoras, and a few cichlids (like Acaras) and
livebearers (such as Swordtails and virtually all Goodeids) prefer precisely
these conditions. Bronze Corydoras and
Bristlenose Plecs are two examples of widely sold and inexpensive fish that
would thrive in a riverine tank adapted to Denison Barbs.>
Danio with open sore on side, curious if it's from eggs.
Hello WetWeb! Jamie here,
Your website has proven incredibly informative and you have helped us
understand issues on our tanks countless times in the past. Thanks for your
excellent and unsurpassed work. You've addressed a very similarly injured
Danio in the past, and I'm wondering if it's something I discovered called
<According to Google, "Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund"... which
doesn't sound like what you have in mind here...>
BUT per standard WWM procedure here is a history/tank condition summary. We
have a relatively new tank (I know that's a dreaded phrase) been up about 3
weeks with a fish in cycle. We have a dirted/soiled tank that is medium
planted and we're working towards heavily planted. It's a 60 gallon tank
(high build rather than long) with 2 surviving Serpae Tetras,
<Nasty, nippy fish. Choose tankmates for these extremely carefully.>
1 juvenile peacock eel,
<Difficult to feed; short-lived unless they get regular offerings of frozen
bloodworms and other small meaty items. Will also get damaged by gravel, so
be sure the substrate is soft enough they can dig easily. Scratched bodies
quickly become infected... then they die.>
8 new addition Amano shrimps to help with tank clean up, and 10 surviving
Zebra Danios. Water changes have been frequent and we test with API
freshwater kit. Ph matches our local water source at about 8.0. Ammonia had
one spike after we first changed to a dirted and medium planted tank about
2 weeks ago. We do water changes if the ammonia reads .25 or higher.
Nitrites and Nitrates are both 0.
<Nitrate at zero seems unlikely.>
We got the Serpae Tetras in a school purchased from a pet store chain we've
had previous bad experiences with (a few years ago when we last kept tanks)
due to fungal infections and so forth. We were giving them one last chance.
With the fish in cycle and the poorly kept fish to begin with developed
various symptoms and we lost 9 within a week of purchasing them, some
appeared to have a fungal infection so we treated with an anti fungal which
left us with the 2 survivors. Prior to adding the tetras we had 6 Danios in
the tank, and all but one that was purchased with a curved spine, were
doing fine. I apologize for the lengthy history.
Now for the reason I'm writing. We noticed the fish with the curved spine
got noticeably rounder in just the belly area (no pine-cone scales) and she
had what we assumed was a gravid spot. We have no experience with egg
layers, only live bearers like guppies. We assumed she would just lay her
eggs, but day by day she got a little larger and then a sore appeared on
her side under her fin.
<Physical damage, perhaps exacerbated by fin-nipping is likely here. Danios
are fairly boisterous towards one another, and physical damage is not
The next day it looked like it was healing, so we assumed she had just
bumped something. We watched her and she was behaving normally. The next
day she had a much larger sore on the other side under her fin. She died
that night. Thinking it was just the stress of the new tank and the curved
spine showing genetic difficulties already, we weren't too concerned.
<While a bent spine can be genetic, such traits are obvious from birth. If
the spine becomes bent after you buy the fish, the chance is more likely
something else... poor diet, exposure to toxins, that sort of thing.>
We later had another Danio develop a similar small sore on one side, which
then healed over. An additional sore showed up on the opposite side, and
healed over again. Now this same poor fish has a huge sore on one side. We
looked on wet web media and found that Neale advised someone named Audrey
who provided a picture with an extremely similar sore and said it appeared
to be an ulcer. Neale advised to find out how this fish got injured twice
and to treat as you would for Finrot. Which we'll do asap for our injured
<Good move. Provided only muscle and skin are damaged, fish often recover
from quite severe wounds. Anti-Finrot medications are what you need here.>
My curious nature and being anxious to help my fish as best as possible led
me to another website which has another picture with an almost identical
sore, again. Have you ever heard of Egg Associated Inflammation (EAIF)?
(Here is the link I found
clicking on Egg Associated Inflammation will show the similar picture I was
talking about.) Could this be what is going on with our poor fish?
<Possibly, but it's pretty rare. Fin-biting and/or physical damage are more
common. For example, a startled fish throwing itself at a sharp piece of
metal on the hood, or a jaggedy piece of rockwork. Looking at the
"Egg-Associated Inflammation" photo, it would seem that the swelling comes
from the inside, forcing the abdomen outwards, eventually tearing the skin
tissue, and that becomes the external wound. So is this what you're looking
at here? Swelling first, wound later? That's different to Finrot or
external ulcers, where there's a cut or wound of some sort, and then
bacterial infection sets in.>
I'm not great at understanding science lingo, but it sounds like the eggs
essentially force their way out of the side of the fish if the fish can't
spawn correctly? This sounds absolutely horrifying!
<And rare. The gist of the article is that the eggs aren't expelled (for
whatever reason) and as they decay inside the ovaries they create a
swelling mass of some kind. These can become infected but bacterial
infection isn't the cause. Anyway, after a while the mass is so big it
comes out through the skin. Danios spawn readily, even in community tanks,
so "egg binding" just isn't something that I've seen or heard of in them.
But clearly it happens, and perhaps more often than we thing. Some cases of
dropsy or tumours might well be this. In any event, untreatable directly,
though Epsom salt dosed at 1 tablespoon Epsom salt per 5 US gallons/20
litres aquarium water is pretty good as a laxative of sorts, and this can
help with egg binding in fish and other animals.>
We'll treat the fish for Finrot per Neale's previous suggestion and try to
set up spawning conditions. Just wondering if you could provide any insight
to the likelihood of this being what's going on or not. I know that the
tetras dying is far from a good sign in itself, and new tanks/fish in
cycles are hazardous conditions so I'm not ruling that out as a problem.
Thanks again for your work and your time!
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>
Illness in Glofish Danio 12/1/15
Hi crew,11 days ago I noticed that one of my five GloFish Danios had a red spot
between his fin and tail on one side. Two other GloFish Danios seemed to have
red gills, but I couldn't tell if they were redder than normal. I also have
cories, tetras and Kuhli loaches in this tank who all seemed to be unaffected.
The only thing I knew for sure was that my blue GloFish with the red spot was
definitely ill. One of his fins was also in a contorted position and he wasn't
<Well; these Glofish varieties of Brachydanio are not as hardy as their
The water parameters were the same as usual - 0 ammonia, 0 nitrates, 10
nitrites, 6.8 pH. I chose to treat with MelaFix
<I would not.... has no real use, action. Can/does contaminate the water;
interfere w/ nitrification>
since it was the only thing I had on hand. I saw improvement within 2 days so I
continued with the MelaFix. The red spot on my blue GloFish lightened daily
after treatment and his fin regained normal function. I followed the 7 day
treatment plan and continued as needed since the spot wasn't completely gone.
After 11 days I missed 2 days of treatment since I was away for the holiday. Now
I've noticed that my blue Danio is starting to develop the spot on his side
again. The water parameters are the same except the pH has shot up to 8.2!
<?! How is this possible?>
I'm guessing this was caused by the MelaFix??
<Have never heard of this effect. What is the pH of a drop of this API scam in a
test of water?>
I haven't made any other changes to the tank. Should I continue with MelaFix or
try a different product?
<I would not treat this symptom period; but instead do what I can/could to
improve water quality (water changes, gravel vacuuming, use of carbon...) and
Please help if you can offer any insight! Thanks so much! Danielle
<Mmm; I'd like to have you read re Danio disease:
My strong intuition senses there's "something missing" in our discussion here.
Re: Illness in Glofish Danio 12/5/15
Hi Bob, Thanks so much for the response. I wanted to wait a few days to give you
the most accurate update possible.
My plain tap water has always(and still) has a pH of 7.8.
<This is fine for Danios (in fact, most all aquarium organisms)>
My tank has also been reading 7.8 daily since we last spoke, which is no
surprise since I've been doing 10% water changes daily. I've discontinued the
MelaFix as well.
My blue GloFish Danio still has the red spot on his side but it hasn't gotten
any better or any worse. You said it was unheard of for the pH To shoot up the
way it did due to MelaFix, so I'm searching for another reason. It could be
partially due to the 25% water change that I did after the first 7 days of
treatment with the MelaFix. I also add a tsp of baking soda and a drop per
gallon of calcium chloride to my new water.
<Mmm; well; sodium bicarbonate could be the cause here.... it will/DOES raise pH
to about 7.8; and act as an effective buffer at that "point">
If I don't, my kH and gH would read zero.
<Mmm; do please read Neale's excellent piece here:
You can, should either make or buy a commercial prep. that will add Calcium,
Magnesium, and likely some carbonate to your water (ahead of use)>
I also started feeding my fish a frozen variety food that includes plankton,
brine shrimp, meal worms etc, but I've also been reading the same product to my
snail tank and the water in that tank hasn't exceeded a pH of 7. I may have
messed up the baking soda measurements in the community fish tank.
<Yes; this is a more/most likely scenario>
Although unlikely that's the only possibility that I can think of. Since
discontinuing the MelaFix I am at a standstill with my one symptomatic Danio.
<I really don't think this spot is pathogenic... NOT caused by a biological
disease agent. DO READ on WWM re general Barb/Danio/Rasbora disease; the FAQs
I trust your judgment but really don't want to lost him. He was one of my first
in that tank about 9 months ago. He's still happy and healthy as of now(minus
the red spot), so I still have plenty of hope. I don't know if its relevant, but
2 of my albino cories have taken on a rather pale tone while the others still
look shiny/iridescent. Thanks in advance! Danielle
<Read on! And write back if anything is unclear, incomplete in your mind re a
course of action. Bob Fenner>
Cherry Barb With Potential Swim Bladder Problem.
I believe one of my barbs (male) has the above complaint. I noticed
yesterday that he seemed to be having a 'private party', and was hanging
in the water (mid to upper mid level of tank) at an angle - head facing
around 35 + degrees.
<Mmm; what do you feed? Oh, I see this below>
So far, I have attempted to feed him with frozen peas (minus the
shells), and some dried bloodworm.
<Cut this last... implicated in problems>
I've also heard that Epsom salt (magnesium sulphate?) should be
<Yes; possibly a good idea; and not much potential downside.
Read Neale's work on WWM re>
I've also heard that live daphnia or bloodworm would be best?
<Depends on cause. IF you use flake food, DO stop this>
nitrate (around 50)
<Zoinks! THIS is trouble... NEEDS to be under 20 ppm. SEE WWM
RE and fix>
I have recently switched over to the Salifert testing kits, and it's
surprising how much more accurate they are.
The API test suggested I had nitrates of around 10 - 25 (maybe 20 at a
push), where as my new kit says otherwise. Maybe I need some more
Water changes are two 10 - 15% changes per week, and I have also
switched from Aquacare's water conditioner to SeaChem's 'prime' instead.
Please could you advise me further. :)
<Uhh, simply search, read on WWM Re>
<And you, Bob Fenner>