FAQs on Characoids/Tetras & Relatives
FAQs on Characoid Disease:
Characoid Disease 1,
Characoid Disease 2,
Characoid Disease 3,
FAQs on Characoid Disease by Category:
Characoids/Tetras & Relatives,
Characoids/Tetras & Relatives,
Characoids are subject to the regular spread of
parasites, and particularly susceptible to Microsporideans
Dark patches in X Ray Tetra 10/6/16
Hope you all are doing fine. Thank you for the excellent site. My tank is in
its 6th year and it owes a lot to your site and things I learnt (and still
learning) from it.
<Ahh; deeply satisfying to realize we have helped>
Question: The attached images are of one of my 8 X Ray Tetras
(*Pristella maxillaris*). They have been in this 29 gallon for a
little over 2 years.
It is schooling, active, eating but I am worried about the dark patches.
Are they signs of NTD?
<Mmm; perhaps something else... but not good. This looks to me (signs wise)
like some sort of Sporozoan.... as far as I'm aware, still not treat-able...
You can/could sacrifice the animal, cut it up (sectioning, embedding and
staining as in histological study would be even better) and look under a
medium power 'scope.... but.... I would NOW remove and destroy (see Neale's
coverage re euthanasia on WWM) this specimen. There IS a chance of whatever
the problem here spreading to your other fishes>
Still no classical pale discoloration or deformation but one of my
Black Neons showed similar patches in the past and on your suggestion (and
my decision) I euthanized it.
Tank mates are other tetras, Cory cats, pair of Bristle Nose Plecos, a
Whiptail L010, a Pearl Gourami. No fish added in months, nor diseases or
deaths. Tank is heavily planted. Filtered by three 500 lph HOB filters
packed with sponge, bioballs, ceramic rings and Seachem Denitrate. No
Ammonia and Nitrite. NO3 40, 35% weekly water change, pH 6.9, TDS about 200
ppm, temp avg 27C. Fed Ocean Nutrition, Hikari and Tetra flakes and pellets,
occasionally freeze dried Blood, Tubifex worms and parboiled kitchen veggie
Request you for some guidance on the possible course/s of action.
Isolating is bit difficult as my other tank has a leak and I would need to
keep in plastic tub.
Thanks again. You people are too good.
<Am going to share w/ Neale here for his separate input. Bob Fenner>
*quis custodiet ipsos custodes?*
Re: Dark patches in X Ray Tetra /Back to Bob
Thank you for the clarifying reply. I shall await Neale's input as well.
Two more questions if you don't mind:
Is this fish a threat to others even when alive?
<Mmm; much less so. It's thought that micro-Sporidean/sporozoans pass through
the consumption of flesh of an infested specimen... >
I mean can the infection spread to others or is it usually passed on when other
fishes consume the remains of an infected fish?
<Ahh; the latter>
If it can be helped I would like to delay the euthanizing till the fish is more
affected, as it is a depressing thought and it is so difficult to catch one in a
heavily planted tank. I shall employ the 2 net method.
<You're spot on here>
Secondly how did the protozoa, assuming it is so, get into the system?
<Through another fish likely>
No other fish is seemingly affected, I have not introduced any fishes, esp.
Characids in months (only a pair of Apistogramma agassizii few months back)
and do not feed live foods. Can plants or snails carry them?
<I don't think so; but the imported fishes... do act as long/er term carriers
Or can it lay latent as I had to 'put out' a Black Neon with suspected NTD more
than a year ago?
<I do think you're correct here>
I am just trying to understand the issue better.
<A pleasure to communicate w/ a sharp, curious mind>
Have a great day.
<And you, BobF>
Dark patches in X Ray Tetra /Neale
Hope you all are doing fine. Thank you for the excellent site. My tank
is in its 6th year and it owes a lot to your site and things I learnt
(and still learning) from it.
<Thanks for the kind words.>
Question: The attached images are of one of my 8 X Ray Tetras
(*Pristella maxillaris*). They have been in this 29 gallon for a little
over 2 years.
It is schooling, active, eating but I am worried about the dark patches.
Are they signs of NTD?
<Possibly; but there's some discussion that many examples of Neon Tetra
Disease are actually "False" Neon Tetra Disease, a catch-all name for
bacterial infections of various kinds. Sometimes sick Neon Tetras
recover when treated with antibiotics, which supports the idea that
some, though not all, examples of Neon Tetra Disease are bacterial
rather than caused by the protozoan parasite Pleistophora. I've written
about NTD for FishChannel, and rather than going through it all again
there, let me direct you to this article:
Most aquarium healthcare books cover it too, and yes, the prognosis is
Still no classical pale discoloration or deformation but one of my Black
Neons showed similar patches in the past and on your suggestion (and my
decision) I euthanized it.
<Agreed; doesn't look like classic NTD, but certainly a sick fish of
some sort. Worth treating with a general purpose antibiotic or
antibacterial, for example Kanaplex, to see if that helps. Costia is
another disease worth considering. It is fairly common, and typical
symptoms include stress colouration (often oddly dark or pale compared
to normal) and patches of white or grey (excess mucous) on the body.
Also known as Ichthyobodo and Slime Disease.
Difficult to treat, but I've had fairly reliable success over the years
using eSHa 2000. Other products targeting Costia, such as Sera Costapur,
are out there too.>
Tank mates are other tetras, Cory cats, pair of Bristle Nose Plecos, a
Whiptail L010, a Pearl Gourami. No fish added in months, nor diseases or
deaths. Tank is heavily planted. Filtered by three 500 lph HOB filters
packed with sponge, bioballs, ceramic rings and Seachem Denitrate. No
Ammonia and Nitrite. NO3 40, 35% weekly water change, pH 6.9, TDS about
200 ppm, temp avg 27C. Fed Ocean Nutrition, Hikari and Tetra flakes and
pellets, occasionally freeze dried Blood, Tubifex worms and parboiled
kitchen veggie cuts.
<All sounds fine.>
Request you for some guidance on the possible course/s of action.
Isolating is bit difficult as my other tank has a leak and I would need
to keep in plastic tub.
Thanks again. You people are too good.
<Most welcome, Neale.>
Re: Dark patches in X Ray Tetra /Back to
Thank you so much for the detailed response.
<Most welcome, Devakalpa.>
After inputs from experts like Bob and you I have a much clearer idea of the
road ahead. I plan to observe for a couple of more days and keep offering
optimized conditions as the fish is otherwise very normal in sense of activity,
shoaling and feeding. Then with indications of worsening if any, shall isolate,
treat with Kanaplex and hope for the best.
<Sounds good; personally, I might actually treat the whole tank. If it is Neon
Tetra Disease, you may as well prevent cross-infection. I've not used Kanaplex
myself (it isn't sold in the UK) but Seachem state it won't affect the filter
bacteria, and being an antibiotic, it shouldn't irritate or harm sensitive fish.
Isolating characins for treatment is always a bit risky because they don't like
being alone, but if you do have a small, mature tank, then X-Ray Tetras are
pretty tough little fish, and for a few days a singleton should be fine. So
treating the tank or just the one fish should be okay!>
By the way though the links didn't work in Google Chrome, I could navigate to
the said pages at the FishChannel site and read them.
<I wonder if the e-mail "snapped" the links in two, so they were on two separate
lines. Indeed, the links were merely typed in as URLs, not active links.>
Lucid, informative and helpful articles as always.
<Ah, glad to know you enjoyed them.>
Neon tetra disease? 8/10/15
Thanks for everything the other day!
I guess a follow up on our previous conversation would be good.
I now have the African cichlids living in the fridge case i told you earlier,
arranged some rocks and sand and two small powerheads making water turbulence,
Ph is 7.7 and water quality tests are good so far.
I didn't get the Acara; clerk at the lfs (the one i told you has severe issues)
knows me and knows what i have in my tanks and when i told him what i wanted the
Acara for told me that it would be too risky, as it would probably bully the
glass catfish and stress everyone while looking for a territory. Just then when
evaluating i noticed they had ... boesemanni rainbows! They had just arrived
yesterday so i got 5 of them; A safer option i guess.
They are now being quarantined in a 10 gal, they are very small and have not
developed their brightest colors (that or they are heavily stressed, cant tell).
I also noticed a sale on neon, cardinal and black neon tetras. There were
actually just 5 neons, 3 cardinals and 2 black neons, and i actually have seen
these guys sit in their tanks for about 3 weeks without anyone taking them. I
got all of them.
Since my temperature range is in the meeting points of the upper for neons and
lower for cardinals i guessed that maybe i could keep them together, am i right?
<Yes; with a "middling" range of temperature... the mid to upper seventies F.>
now, i searched for black neons but haven't found much.
these guys are all in my second quarantine (i have a few empty small tanks i got
very cheaply just in case haha).
This quarantine, however, has a few hardy plants i can remove whenever i need to
medicate (ferns, Anubias and hornwort). It is an 8 gallon with ph 7.1, ammonia,
nitrite and nitrate are 0,0,5, wasn't running with a filter but i took an extra
sponge from the catfish tank and an air pump thing into an air diffuser.
Its been a day and all the fish seemed fine, however, noticed today that the
cardinals aren't eating, and whats more one of the neons is hiding in an upper
corner, hidden by hornwort and just blankly staring at the glass without eating
or moving much. The rest of the neons, black neons and cardinals are hanging
together and feeding well (except for the cardinals, which don't show interest
First thing that comes to mind is neon tetra diseases for the neon, but these
guys have been at the lfs for about 3 weeks, shouldn't he have died already if
he does have NTD?
<Likely the "odd behavior" is simply from being moved to a new setting>
shouldn't the other fish be infected and displaying symptoms as well? Im a bit
puzzled here, all the fish seem well fed and display normal coloration. Also
thought about stress but im very paranoid about diseases.
I sincerely hope you can help me, thank you very much in advance for your time!
<I'd "do nothing" at this point. Bob Fenner>
marks on Black Neon tetra 8/10/15
Dear WWM Masters,
Thanks a ton for the incredible service you provide to let us take better care
of our charges. Much appreciated.
<Glad we can share>
The attached picture is of one of my shoal of 8 Black Neons. Any idea what the
markings might mean? Others do not have anything similar. They are 4 months in
the tank, no change in appetite or behaviour.
<Yikes.... Remove and isolate (or... destroy) the affected fish.... This appears
to be an incidence of "Neon Tetra Disease" (Pleistophora, a Microsporidean)...
yes, does infests other fishes.... Not curable (at this point)>
This 'warm water' tank is 30X15X12(H), about a year old, filtered by a 500l/hr
HOB packed with ceramic and bioballs and a similar flow internal power similarly
packed. NH3, NO2, NO3 0,0,<10; pH 7.3, kH 3, TDS 150, tankmates 6 Sterbai Cory,
4 each of Rummynose and Cardinal tetras, 1 male Pearl Gourami and a Red Lizard
Plec. Crypts, Anubias, Java Fern, floating
pennywort and duckweed, Indian Almond leaves, submerged roots, river stones,
caves, sand substrate. Temp is now above 30C from an Indian summer.
It has a laminar flow fan blowing across the surface, no artificial lights.
20% weekly water change, feeding from Hikari Micro pellets, sinking wafers,
Ocean Nutrition Brine Shrimp plus and Spirulina flakes and Tetra bits.
Freeze dried bloodworms occasionally. I dose K2SO4 as per EI and Seachem
Flourish Comprehensive and Iron.
Should I be concerned?
<Yes; and sorry to be the bearer of such bad news. DO search re the terms
above... this could be another Microsporidean, Protozoan, even some worms.... As
usual/always I (and I'd go far to say many other WWM Crew)
state simply what we would do given similar/same circumstances. NOT worth
waiting... isolate or euthanize this black Neon>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: marks on Black Neon tetra
Thanks for the inputs. I shall act accordingly.
<Ah, good. Please keep us informed; send along your observations. BobF>
Re: marks on Black Neon tetra
Apologies for the delay in updating. I went the clove oil route the day I heard
from you, it seemed to be the safest (but tough) option.
Since then no signs of contamination yet; the remaining Black Neons, Cardinals
and Rummy Noses are doing fine.
<Glad to read>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Payara help - parasites
Hi Crew, How are you?
<Fine; but you've surpassed (way) our limit for file size>
My name is Daniel and I'm facing a strange problem with my characins fishes.
It seems like a parasite problem but I'm not sure of which kind.
The symptoms are: 1- Little white spots in fins and eyes. 2- Eyes
sometimes clouded but not the entire eye! Just a portion of the cornea.
3-Some thin "things" like a baby's hair attached to the fish.
My fishes are eating well. They aren't rubbing against nothing. All symptoms
seems to be cyclic and the cycle seems to be fast (days to weeks).
I took that pics from the eye of my H. tatauaia yesterday, today that eye is
almost completely normal...but the other one turned cloudy today.
<Mmmm... something going on here. IF only one fish, perhaps just a physical
*Note that besides the "large eye spot" there is some small too.
*Note the "thin hair thing" in the back of the A. falcirostris.
<Have magnified... is this a crustacean parasite? Is it some sort of
My water parameters: no ammonia, nitrates..
<I take it you mean nitrites (with an 'i'). What are your nitrates?>
I really don't know, temp 28-29 Celsius, Ph 6.0, WC every
week, they eat frozen fish (entire fish not just fillet).
What is this? How can I treat?
<Can't tell from the data provided... I wouldn't "treat" at all; but
advance the maintenance (water and media change outs)... and stay observant>
Thank you and sorry for my bad English.
<No worries; I understand you and that/this is all that is important. Bob
Looks like an embedded fin spine to me.
|Re: Payara help - parasites
Hi Bob, thank you for your reply!
I don´t have any trace of nitrites right now.
<Good... and the NitrAte? [NO3]?>
The problem is happening in at least 5 of my fishes. It seems to be
very cyclic. In 48 hours patches appear in the eyes of the fishes.
<Most likely environmental then; not pathogenic>
First they appear as cloud eyes and after sometime they turn white
"concentrated". After a day you can see very "thin things" (thinner than a
hair) leaving the eyes or fins of the fishes and the eyes became clear for 2
or 3 days and when you think that everything is ok, it happens again. It is
The Payara picture represents the concentrated phase (white).
I will resend you a picture with less pixels.
<The usual massive, consecutive days water changes; use of activated carbon,
PolyFilter or equivalent. BobF>
Re: Payara help - parasites
I'll check my nitrates tomorrow, my test is "out of date". Normally I do 50%
WC every 7 days. I 'll follow your advice and do it more frequently.
<I encourage you to add a few tablespoons of baking soda (Sodium
bicarbonate) each change as well... to aid nitrification, add a bit of
alkaline reserve. See Neale's article on same on WWM>
By the way, I'm running this system (140 gallon tank) with PolyFilter,
carbon and 40 liters of Siporax
<Ah yes; the Siporax might well remove most all NO3>
My fauna: 1. Hydrolycus tatauaia, 3 Acestrorhynchus falcirostris, 3
Boulengerella maculata, 1 Crenicichla tapajos II and 1 Potamotrygon hystrix
Thank you again Bob!
Sick Tetras? 8/27/13
Starting out with details and parameters: I have a 30 gallon tank
that I set up almost three months ago. A month and a half a go, I
got 3 Neon Tetras and a Ghost Shrimp. Two of the Tetras died very
shortly, so I waited two weeks, checking parameters, and then got two
more Tetras. They have been fine until about four days ago.
<I see. Well, the quality of most farmed Neons is not good, and "Neon
Tetra Disease" (or diseases plural, there's some debate on this) can be
particularly difficult to deal with. Once sick from this disease, Neons
are highly contagious but difficult (usually impossible) to treat. That
said, not all Neons die from Neon Tetra Disease, so be open minded, and
do all the usual things you do when fish get sick, in case there's
another reason they're ailing.>
My Nitrates and Nitrites are at 0, but my ammonia is at .25ppm. My tap
water reads for over 1ppm straight out of the tap, so I have been using
Prime and I get false readings for my ammonia concentrates.
<Possibly, but be open minded and review filter capacity, feeding,
I did a 25% water change two days ago, and before that, the ammonia read
I am having trouble identifying a disease that my Tetras seem to have.
It started out with one Tetra hiding instead of schooling with the
<Is what Neons do when stressed, though is often associated with "Neon
Tetra Disease". Such fish should be promptly removed, and to be honest,
euthanised (I recommend the Clove Oil method as cheap, easy and humane).
You see, Neon Tetra Disease is extremely contagious, and medicating
isn't possible. If you suspect there may be another explanation, you
could isolate the Neon in a hospital tank and treat for Whitespot,
Finrot or whatever, but unless you're 100% sure that your fish doesn't
have Neon Tetra Disease, I'd always medicate in a hospital tank, not in
the display tank.>
When he came out of hiding to eat, I noticed a white spot on his lip.
I got some Jungle "Ick Guard" and have been using it per the directions,
as well as adding aquarium salt to my tank. Over the next day or
so, the sick fish got worse and the two others began to come down with
the same symptoms. I have been using the Ick Guard for 4 days now,
and the fish are
not getting better.
Today, I noticed that my Ghost Shrimp had white spots on him, as well
(he disappeared for 3 days and I almost thought he was dead). I
Googled to see if invertebrates can get fish parasites, and the general
consensus was that they cannot.
<Correct, but many fish medications are lethal to shrimps, particularly
anti-Whitespot and similar medications that contain either copper or
formalin. Always remove shrimps when medicating, or else remove the sick
fish to a hospital tank.>
(Btw, he molted about a week ago, and one site said spots could be a
sign of molting - would he do it again so quickly?)
<May well do.>
Between the shrimp getting spots and my fish getting worse instead of
better, could the disease not actually be Ich?
<The photos are too blurry to be sure, but the fish look to me like they
might have either Finrot or Whitespot/Ick, it's just not clear to me.
Whitespot looks like the fish fins and body have had salt grains stuck
to them. It's very distinctive. Finrot erodes the fins usually from
their edges inwards, and the fins often go cloudy, sometimes pinkish, as
the fin membranes die. Again, quite easy to identify. It's possible for
a fish to have both, by the way, and they're both common problems in
when un-quarantined fish have been recently added and/or existing fish
exposed to poor water quality.>
Is there another disease that they might have, or is it just a
coincidence that the shrimp also has white spots?
<The latter; shrimps can't get Whitespot. For sure they might suffer in
some way from poor water quality, but Finrot as such isn't going to
Shrimps usually just die when stressed.>
I have included pictures, but they aren't terribly great because
everyone in the aquarium moves so fast.
<Quite so. Try using a net to gently hold a fish against the glass. Use
a tripod (or a friend with steady hands) to hold the camera.>
In the pictures, I have tried to point out spots where you might be able
to see the white spots. Thanks in advance for any help, you guys are an
amazing source of knowledge, and I have learned so much from your site.
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
Lump on cardinal tetra.
Hello WWM crew,
I need your expert advice with one of my cardinal tetras. It has what
looks like a lump on the area under its gills. I attached two pictures I
hope you can see them.
<No photos attached.>
It started as a white patch a few days ago and now it looks almost
transparent with what it looks like a white worm inside. I have not
tried any medication yet.
<Could be several things. Is the "white worm" moving? How has it
developed in the past 24 hours?>
He is eating ok and schooling with the others. I have 5 other cardinals
and 1 Amano shrimp in the tank which are all looking good. The tank is a
12 gal planted with water parameters of: ph 7.5, kH 6, gH 7, ammonia 0,
nitrite 0, nitrate 5, temp 82. I use RO water buffering with baking soda
to 6 kH and adding some SeaChem flourish for the plants once a week when
I do the 30% water change. I also have a diy co2 system.
I've had the tank set up for about 3 months. I did the fishless cycle
successfully thanks to some great advice from the awesome Bob Fenner.
And added the fishes and shrimp about 2 months ago. No problems so far
except for this issue now. If you know what it is and how to treat it if
there is any treatment for it. Any comments and advice will be
<Without the photos it's dangerous to guess at treatment. It matters a
lot if the "white worm" is a parasite or just something that looks like
a worm but is not. That is to say, is there a parasite involved? What I
will say is that this tetra should be quarantined ASAP to minimize the
chance of spreading it to other inhabitants.>
Thank you Fremi.
<I'm afraid not much help at the moment, but do try to attach the photos
again. The will be very helpful. - Rick>
Re: Lump on cardinal tetra. 4/25/13
I attached two pictures, I hope they come through.
<Yes, and the photos show the lump as clearly as can be expected.>
There has been no change in the past 24 hrs it is still the same. The
worm is not moving it just looks like a s shape white worm almost like a
hair inside a water blister.
<It's very strange indeed. I haven't encountered a problem like
Nothing similar appears in my manual of fish health either, which leaves
us still guessing. My guess is that it is either parasitic or
bacterial similar to a lesion, but of the two I am inclined to think
parasitic. I would definitely quarantine this fish, which helps prevent
spreading to other tankmates. It's also easier to medicate in a small
tank. I've had success against parasites with API General Cure and
also with Prazi-Pro,
but they don't treat exactly the same things. If it were me, I'd
be inclined to give General Cure a try, but let's see if anyone else
recognizes this. Taking blind shots with meds is stressful for the fish.
Bob and/or Neale, have either of you seen this before? - Rick><<I have;
many times... Sporozoan/Microsporidean likely; not treatable... and yes,
catching to conspecifics. Might be of use to have a read here:
Re: Lump on cardinal tetra. 4/26/13
<<<<I have; many times... Sporozoan/Microsporidean likely; not treatable...
and yes, catching to conspecifics. Might be of use to have a read here:
<Bob, thanks for the input and link. Fremi, there we are. Please read the
link Bob provided (as I shall), and do quarantine that fish before you have
more of this problem You can still take a stab at treatment but as
indicated, success is doubtful. - Rick>
Mystery ember tetra illness 8/25/12
<Eight megs of poor pix... why don't people follow directions?>
Dear Wet Web Media Crew,
I'm a long time fish keeper, and run a small maintenance service business.
So I've seen my share of illness and have my own tools for dissection etc on
hand and can usually pin down most common illnesses and pests.
Yet, I've an issue with my ember tetras in my home display tank that has me
baffled. I have 9 embers, 3 panda Cory, 2 albino Cory and 4 three-line
Cory in a 60L (15G) planted tank. It's been running years with zero
issues and great plant growth.
However, i seem to loose <lose> an ember every few months. I've lost 3
so far. As they are somewhat transparent, I've notices the occasional
tetra with black masses in various points around the internal
organs. They sometimes occur behind the gill, sometimes above the swim
bladder, sometimes near the kidney etc, and once there seem to spread slowly
in the body. The affected fish is quite fine, active, eats
well, good colour for 2-3 months, and finally looses colour, begins
breathing rapidly, and at last keels over in about a week or so. It
seems like some sort of internal parasite which causes little trouble until
the load becomes too much, and then the fish succumbs. Most of the
other fish are disease free, and it seems usually one is affected at a time.
I've tried catching infected animals to remove them (and hopefully the
disease) from the tank, but in a heavily planted set up it's near
I've not tried anything for treatment save excellent diet and water quality
as i dislike treating with meds unless I'm certain what I'm dealing with,
and often I've found good care often helps most fish resolve problems
themselves. Tank parameters are: nitrates at 10-20ppm, 0ppm ammonia &
nitrate, pH 7.2, GH 4 degrees, KH 3 degrees. Weekly 30% water changes.
Tank is dosed daily with Flourish Excel, and every 2nd day with liquid ferts
I've attached a few pics of the latest case. They don't seem to be
nodules, flukes etc, so not sure if a very tiny helminth, bacterial or
Any help is greatly appreciated.
<Sounds/reads like one of the many "mysterious" Microsporozoan,
Microsporidean infections; quite common w/ imported Characins from the wild.
Do see Ed Noga (the second ed. if you can... avail. as an e-book am given to
Acumen Aquatics - Premium Fin Safe decor, aquarium installation,
aquascaping, assistance & service.
Re: Mystery ember tetra illness 8/25/12
Thank you for the very speedy reply - been researching around as just
found that book last night! I've got the worst case caught and now
in quarantine. When it passes (it's looking past the point of no
return) i will check it under the microscope and refer to the book.
I have The Manual of Fish Health by Chris Andrews et al and a
few others, but not too much
info on Microsporozoans etc.
<I wish I had more, better news to report. As far as I'm aware there
is/are no cure/s for...>
Thanks for the good book reference.
<And you, BobF>
Re: Mystery ember tetra illness 8/26/12
That's sad news, but again appreciate your expertise. I did find
one site pertaining to microsporidia which suggested possibly
Metronidazole - though not specifically for fish.
Here's the link if you are interested, it's from Stanford.
<I thank you for this; these infestations can be... persistent, and
heartbreaking... in slowly killing off all specimens. Providing "Ideal
Circumstances" environmentally, nutritionally... seems to help, slow
down the rate of incidence, attrition>
I will continue to keep water quality and diet excellent, and i can only
hope the shoal shakes it with their own immunity in time. I will
try adding garlic to boost immunity, and have also given a treatment of
a combo formalin, malachite green & Acriflavine to maybe assist in
interfering with any water-borne spores (i consider this combo a good
broad-spectrum against various gram positive, negative, Protozoans and
fungi, which Microsporideans are in the same family). A long shot but i
feel it can't hurt too much at this stage. I will see how this
goes after a week, and if no improvement i will discontinue and try
Metronidazole in a week or two after the former meds have cleared.
I am always wary of over-medicating and stressing my fish.
<You are wise here>
<Certainly welcome. BobF>
Re: Mystery ember tetra illness 8/27/12
My pleasure Bob - i hope it is of some use. I was a biologist in
my former iteration, and i enjoy research and problem solving to this
Speaking of which, i euthanised my ill tetra last night and performed an
immediate autopsy. I found a large infestation of very tiny black
particles approx 0.5 mm (barely visible) which seemed slightly oval
under my 5x lit magnifying glass. They were not within nodules (like
presentations of nodular disease images shown in the Chris Andrews
book), but rather simply clustered together. They were present in
the stomach, around the liver, in the kidney, and up behind the brain to
the extent that pop-eye was a final symptom. I'm picking up a microscope
next week to investigate further and have saved samples of some of the
heavily infected sections in water in the freezer (hopefully the main
structures will not be ruined when i thaw).
<Better to use a preservative...>
I'm am wondering what else they could be, as they seem to infect like
Microsporideans, but these black specs are far to large (given i can see
them just with the naked eye). Maybe some internal protozoal
infection, or a very small internal fluke? I guess it may also be
possible that these are simply actual fish cells which have turned black
by engorgement of smaller parasites.
If you wish I'll keep you posted and send some images once i collect my
<I thank you for this>
As you say, it is heart-breaking as that last thing i wish to do is tear
down this beautiful planted tank. Several of the tetras seem
unaffected, but that's not to say they are not latent carriers.
Will monitor and let you know. Also just found that Metronidazole
is not available in Australia unless you seek out a vet, so it may take
a little time to find a specialist i can obtain some from.
<Yes; the case there is common around the world>
Have you much experience or success with mixing Metronidazole and food?
<A great deal. For freshwater this is by far the better application
I feel given it's an internal problem, that may be the way to go. Of
will yield to greater experience.
Thank you again
<Glad to share. BobF>
Disappearing tumor? 4/24/12
Hello, I apologize in advance for the lack of photographic evidence.
Four months ago I bought 6 X-ray tetras to start my 20 gallon tank. The
tank was fishless-cycled with ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 10, temp.
77F. Three weeks ago one of the tetras developed an inclusion in its
back---a pale sphere, about 1.5 mm in diameter, above the spine and
below the dorsal fin but attached to neither. There was no external sore
or swelling (if the fish weren't transparent, I wouldn't have been able
to see the thing.) The fish behaved and ate normally and showed good
coloration. Now, three weeks later, the "tumor" has shrunk and looks
like a grain of sand suspended in its back. The fish still seems healthy
and none of the others show any sign of this thing. Is this a parasite?
Have you seen or heard of this before?
Thank you for any insight you can give! -Julie
<Does read like a Microsporidean, Microsporozoan (colony) by colour,
size, shape... as far as I know there are no specific "treatments" for
such. Just good care, appropriate foods, water quality... Bob Fenner>
parasitic worm infecting cardinal tetras?
(RMF, other ideas?)<<Sporozoans, Microsporideans?>>
Hoping you can help me - I've scoured the site and can't find
anything that accurately describes the situation we currently have.
Last night I noticed that one of my cardinal tetras had a fluid filed
sac protruding from just underneath the gills on one side,
<Do occasionally happen, for no obvious reason I'm aware of,
though the usual culprits such as physical damage, stress, and
parasites of various sorts can be considered.>
the fish doesn't seem to be in any discomfort and we observed it
feeding ok, however on closer inspection of the other cardinals
we've noticed that three of them appear to be affected by some form
of worm - the fish are each showing one large 'blister' of
around 3mm on their sides which appear to have a thin white worm
inside, no more than 1mm in diameter. We tried unsuccessfully to remove
the affected individuals from the tank last night, when examining the
fish this morning one of the blisters appears to have ruptured as it
now resembles a wound rather than a blister, and I noticed one of the
worms attached to another tetra, but without the surrounding
<Indeed. My guess would be that the blister rather than the
"worm" will be the healthcare issue, because most worm-like
infections can't actually complete their life cycle under aquarium
conditions. They need intermediate hosts like birds or snails for that
The tank is a 500l (134 US gallons, or 110 UK gallons) tropical
freshwater system, heavily planted and is maintained at 25-26 Celsius
(77-78.8 F). Ammonia, nitrite and nitrate are all undetectable, and we
do 15% water changes weekly (including gravel siphoning). The current
shoal of mixed tetras (15 cardinal,
5 lemon, 5 Pristellas, 3 Congo)
10 juvenile angelfish (1.5 inch body length)
6 Corydoras catfish
6 Bristlenose catfish
So far the only fish that seem affected are the cardinals but I suspect
if it is a parasite without a specific host then it will spread to the
other fish in the tank.
Currently, the plan is to increase the number of water changes to
reduce parasite load in the tank
<Water changes are a good idea for other reasons, but won't
really dilute the concentration of parasites in any meaningful
however am not sure whether we should also treat the tank with an
anti-parasitic medication as well, and if so what would be best?
We've not been able to get a photo of the affected fish but hoping
you might be able to offer some advice without one
<Would recommend nothing more than acting as per physical damage for
now: observe the fish, and if they show signs of their wounds not
healing, medicate with something like the excellent eSHa 2000
Finrot/Fungus medication. Without a positive ID on the parasite,
medicating further would likely be pointless and could well stress the
fish still further. Cheers, Neale.>
Re Rosy Tetra Following - Please Help (RMF, any better
guesses?)<<Mmm, no>> 11/28/09
Please see photo of my rosy tetra, attached. As a follow up to my
last email (below), I'd been having concerns about my Rosy
Tetras. Since then I've been watching and have seen no
bullying, the three have been hanging out together and eating
well, though still their colouring was lighter than usual.
<Usually a bad sign with these fish. Like a lot of South
American tetras, Rosy Tetras have colours that can change with
mood and health.>
Last night all 3 seemed okay, all ate and were swimming fine.
This morning one was dead, with a thick white band on its body. I
looked at my other two and am upset to find that a second looks
like he is in bad shape. He has a white band as well (see photo).
It is also protruding but that is hard to tell in the photo. He
is swimming but didn't eat today.
I am also starting to see what looks like the start of a white
patch on my third though not as advanced. He is eating and
swimming fine. My other fish are showing no signs of this
<May be specific to the Rosy Tetras, e.g., a virus or
protozoan parasite. A parallel could be made with Pleistophora
hyphessobryconis, what we call Neon Tetra Disease although it can
affect related small characins as well.>
I have a 4 gallon quarantine...should I move both fish to it
using cycled water and filter medium, and if so, is there
anything you can suggest I do to help them (temperature,
<If this is something analogous to Pleistophora
hyphessobryconis, there's no real cure beyond removing (and
euthanising) sick fish to prevent cross-infection. Typically
Pleistophora hyphessobryconis works its way through all the Neons
(or whatever) in the system, and then dies out without harming
unrelated fish (catfish, livebearers, etc.).>
Any idea what this is? And should I move both of the tetras
(concerned about bullying in such close quarters by the healthier
<I'd destroy any sick fish that aren't feeding;
they're unlikely to get better.
I do weekly water changes, Nitrite and Ammonia are 0 and Nitrates
are between 8 and 10. As below, it is a 20 gallon tank.
Thanks so much! Chris
P.S. One thing I noticed is that my tank temperature has gone
from the usual 78 to 75, though I would have thought this might
help since they like cooler water. I am trying to regulate the
temperature now, as this fluctuation has never happened
<Can't see relatively small temperature changes like this
Sorry can't offer anything more helpful. Cheers,
Follow up - It's wide-spread now - Please Help
Well, things have gone from bad to worse. Since writing the email
below on Saturday, I've lost all 3 of my Rosy
Tetras but it doesn't stop there.
<Oh dear. This really does sound like some type of highly
contagious pathogen akin to Pleistophora
When I came home yesterday one of my red phantom tetras seemed to
have pop eye in his right eye, just starting. I watched every
fish closely last night and everyone ate and was full of energy,
When I came home tonight I went to check on the red phantom with
pop eye and found another red phantom had died (had no pop eye,
no visible symptoms). He had appeared 100% normal last night. I
was then shocked to
also find a dead swordtail - again, 100% normal and pushing his
way around to get food last night as usual - very active and
nothing unusual on his body.
Now two of the four remaining tetras appears to have pop eye. The
other two seem okay. I have two remaining black skirt tetras that
<Oddly, Pleistophora hyphessobryconis doesn't affect all
tetras, even while it *can* infect distantly related fish such as
Angels and Goldfish. So you can get some very odd situations were
Cardinal tetras don't get Pleistophora hyphessobryconis, but
Neons do. It may well be that your Black Widows are resistant,
unlike the Rosy tetras. I'm not 100% sure that you're
dealing with Pleistophora hyphessobryconis -- though the loss of
colours, swelling, and then death are consistent -- but there may
be some other, highly contagious Sporozoan at work here.>
Six Cory catfish appear fine, one (Elegans) is appearing sluggish
My Farlowella and 5 little Oto cats seem okay.
<I would be surprised if your catfish succumb to the same
thing, but as stated above, distantly related species have been
infected with Pleistophora hyphessobryconis even though it's
normally considered a disease of Neons. That said, I've found
Corydoras elegans to be one of the more delicate species in its
I did my weekly water change last night because I was concerned
about the pop eye, tested water levels an hour later and they are
Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrates around 8. That is constant for my
Water temperature did not change, and I used chlorine remover in
the water as always.
It hit me that a while ago I introduced 2 elegans Corys to my
tank. One was lethargic from the get-go, the other was very
active but died two days later. I had assumed at the time they
died from the stress of travel. I think what I've learned is
a very painful lesson in not quarantining, unless there is
something else in my water that I should test for. I also
introduced a plant about two weeks ago but not sure if that can
<Right... this may well be the issue. My experience of
Corydoras elegans was not dissimilar, having "rescued"
two lonely looking specimens sitting in a tank at my local garden
centre. A few days after buying them, they were both dead. I do
wonder if this species is a host for some type of microbe that,
under certain circumstances, can cause problems. I will add
though that even though they shared a tank with some Peppered
Corydoras, those Corydoras remained perfectly healthy; indeed, I
still have them and every year they present me with another batch
of baby catfish. So whatever it is that Corydoras elegans may or
may not carry, it doesn't necessarily affect other catfish.
As you say, quarantining is always important.>
Please help...I know that I will likely loose more fish by
tomorrow if not sooner. Should I medicate the tank, and if so
with what? I am very concerned that medication will hurt or kill
my catfish (Corys and Farlowella).
<So far as I know, Sporozoans are very difficult to cure. Your
best bet is to remove any infected fish on sight, and humanely
destroy them. Done ruthlessly, this can sometimes stop the cycle
Thanks as always for any help you can provide - I am at a
<These sorts of infections are rare but always frustrating. I
can't begin to tell you how many Neons I've lost (or seen
others lose) because of Pleistophora hyphessobryconis. For all my
(supposed) skills at fishkeeping, Neons are the one species
I've never been able to maintain. In other words, usually
what happens is you let the infection burn itself out, removing
any infected fish and adopting a wait-and-see approach towards
Typically, the fish that survive are resistant, so no medicating
is required. It's debatable whether the pathogen can remain
dormant in a tank with no suitable hosts, and if it can, for how
long. But I'd tend to err on the side of caution and not add
any more specimens of any species that succumbed in the
Re: Follow up - It's wide-spread now - Please Help
Sorry, a bit more info if this will help.
I checked PH just now and it is right where it has always been
(in the "ideal" range).
<Which is? For most community fish, around 7 to 7.5 is the
ideal. Below pH 7.5, biological filtration works less
effectively, and below pH 6.0 it doesn't work at all. So I
tend to recommend people keep the pH just above
7, even in situations where acid-loving species are being kept
*unless* acidic pH levels are critical to their health (as with
Ram cichlids for example).>
I don't know what else to test - everything is fine. I think
my Elegans is okay, as he is active now. I might have caught him
during a rest.
My two red phantoms definitely have pop eye but are active. I
have noticed the one who had pop eye last night seems to have it
a bit worse today.
<Would isolate these in another tank, and realistically,
I've just examined every single fish and there is not a
single symptom I can see. No loss of colour, fins are not clamped
or torn, no white spots, no fungus. Nothing is visible other than
the two with pop eye. All are active and eating.
<For Pleistophora, and perhaps other Sporozoans, the main
transmission mode is when healthy fish peck at weak/dead fish, so
it's important to isolate sick fish from the healthy
That is also how it was last night which is why I'm shocked
that my sword and tetra, who appeared in perfect condition and
were active and feeding were dead today.
I should also mention that none of my fish was dead for very
long, in fact most of them that had died in a breeding trap.
<Would not use a trap. When isolating these fish, you
absolutely should isolate them: another tank, and with nothing
moving between this tank and the display tank. Euthanasia is
often more practical.>
If one looked bad in the evening I would place him in the trap so
the others couldn't consume the body in the event he died
overnight. I had hoped this precaution would prevent any further
<It won't; circulation of water through the trap into the
tank will allow pathogens to spread.>
Finally, my tank is well established and I have had no real
problems with water quality or fish loss in the 2+ years it has
I hope this additional can help you help me! Thanks again for
Re: Follow up - It's wide-spread now - Please Help
Thanks very much for the prompt response.
<Not a problem.>
As expected, when I checked the tank first thing this morning I
could barely tell apart the 4 remaining red phantoms from the 2
black skirted because all have lost all colour. They are
essentially transparent now. I have moved them to another
I've noticed that the tail of my remaining sword has a tiny
little bit of raggedness on the tip (barely visible) which
wasn't visible last night so I'm watching him
<Do so; while I'd be surprised if he caught the same
pathogen as the tetras, it's not impossible. The symptom you
describe sounds more like physical damage, or possibly Finrot,
though this latter isn't common in well run tanks.>
Otherwise he was happily devouring a catfish pellet this morning
and was active.
Thankfully all Corys, the Farlowella and the Oto cats seem great,
in fact they seem to be enjoying the new-found space.
<Also good news.>
The only positive in this is that the fish seem to be succumbing
very quickly - it doesn't appear to be a slow decline so
hopefully they aren't suffering too much.
<This is actually a typical characteristic of Sporozoan
infections: by the time symptoms are visible, the fish is days
away from death.>
One question - should I be doing 10% water changes more
frequently than once/week to try to remove the pathogens, or keep
to the weekly schedule?
<You aren't going to "dilute" the pathogens, so
for the sake of simplicity, I'd stick with the usual 25%
water changes per week.>
Thanks again, Neale!
<Sorry I can't offer anything more helpful. Cheers,
Re: Follow up - It's wide-spread now - Please Help
Thanks again, Neale.
Even though the news isn't great, your support is very
helpful. I'll focus now on hoping the remaining fish
<Good luck with it! Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Follow up - It's wide-spread now - Please Help
I am probably taking a shot in the dark here but I'll ask
anyway, regarding my ongoing saga of fish dying (see below and
recent emails with Neale).
My six remaining tetras are still translucent with no colour
whatsoever but they are eating and otherwise seem okay. They are
in a separate tank. I don't hold out much hope but I see no
signs of distress at the moment.
But I just witnessed something in my 20 gallon tank (which was
the source of the significant fish loss recently - see past email
thread). I have 5 Oto cats in that tank that have been there for
roughly 4 weeks...not too long after I introduced them did I
discovered the rosy tetras starting to decline.
I have never seen them bother with the other fish...however just
now I put an algae wafer on the bottom and the Corys scurried
over to eat. I saw two of the Otos also go to the wafer. Then one
of the Otos tried to suction on to one of the Corys and was
successful for a moment! He then tried to do the same with my
sword who swam away. This is the first time I've ever seen
one of the Otos interact with the other fish. The other fish
seemed scared and went to hide.
<Unfortunately, this is very common behaviour. I have seen it
myself, and I've mentioned it repeatedly here at WWM. The
problem is that Otocinclus view the mucous on the flanks of fish
as potential food. Whether they do this only when starving, or do
it regardless, is not clear to me. But slow moving fish are
targets, and this is one reason I keep telling people to shy away
from Otocinclus, despite the sales pitch that they're
"ideal small algae eaters". They are nothing of the
Wondering if this behaviour was just competition over the algae
tablet...or is it possibly that my fish have been dying because
<It can cause physical damage, and that should be obvious. I
my case, the poor Awaous flavus goby had its flanks torn up, and
a bacterial infection set in similar to Finrot.>
I know that there can be confusion between certain algae eaters,
some being more aggressive than others, but I didn't expect
that from Otos and hope they weren't the cause of my fish
<I wouldn't expect Otocinclus to parasitise
Again, a shot in the dark, I know, but thought I would ask.
Neon Tetra with Ich and Pop/Cloudy eyes 8/30/08
I have a neon tetra with 1-2 spots of Ich and pop and cloudy eyes.
<Treat promptly for Whitespot and Finrot/Fungus. Here in England
I'd be using eSHa 2000 and eSHa EXIT, medications for these
complaints that are safe to use together. In your country the range of
options may be different.>
I can also see white extended patches on his body.
<Well, if this is Neon Tetra Disease (Pleistophora) there isn't
much you can do, but a combination Finrot/Fungus medication like eSHa
2000 would be if something less else.>
The fish is pretty strong, eats normally, swims normally and does not
rub against rocks or plants. I isolated the fish in a hospital tank,
but I'm wondering how I should treat it. I bought Melafix and a
remedy for Ich,
<Melafix... largely useless.>
but I'm not sure which one I should use first. I'm also
planning to buy food with antibiotics so that I can treat the
intestines too. What do you suggest?
<Not a big fan of randomly treating for internal parasites unless
there's evidence the fish is genuinely sick from them, and
that's very difficult to judge. Antibiotics obviously have ZERO
effect on the internal parasites that aren't bacteria, such as
Pleistophora (a protozoan) and Camallanus (a helminth) so again, you
need to know what you're dealing with rather than randomly pulling
stuff from the shelves and hoping for the best. Cheers,
Ick/Whitespot 7/22/08 Hi Guys, I added five new baby
neon tetra's to my tank recently - it seems the neon's have all
developed Ick/Whitespot. I already had 6 Neon's 2 guppies and a
Sailfin Molly - these all appear to be fine. <So far at least...
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/mollies.htm Do review the
needs of Mollies, and also be warned Neons may nip the fins of fancy
male Guppies.> I have read your articles regarding ICK and just
wanted to confirm your recommendation for best way to treat.
<Promptly!> I was just going to buy meds and treat the tank with
meds and regular water changes. However from reading through your site
would you recommend increasing temperature and treating with Salt
instead? <Makes no odds either way. I tend to use commercial
medications such as eSHa EXIT (a brand I find works well even with
sensitive species like puffers) because it's easier. But if you
want to use salt/temperature, go ahead.> I have added salt before
but never with the neon's only with mollies/guppies can my
neon's tolerate salt? also my temp is at 80f already is it safe to
increase the temp further? <Neons should tolerate the very low salt
concentration required, particularly if you build up the salinity
across a few days. As for raising the temperature, I wouldn't.
Temperature is about speeding up the life cycle of the parasite; in
itself it isn't a "treatment" as such. The idea is that
the salt only kills the free living parasite, so the sooner that phase
begins, the better.> Thanks in advance Scott <Cheers,
blister/worm? -05/07/08 Hello WWM Crew! First, I have to
thank you for the invaluable resource that you provide to all
aquarists. Your website is brilliant: a veritable mine of
information! That being said, I (of course) have a problem.
<Thanks for the kind words.> One of my cardinal tetras has me
stumped. At first, I thought he/she had mechanical damage from
running into something in their habitat. Later, a sizable white
spot developed inside of a large, clear blister. Additionally, on
this individual only, a large swatch of black has developed beneath
the eyes bilaterally, stretching from the mouth towards his/her
gills. The black "stripe" lies beneath the iridescent
blue scales that cover the cardinals body. For the time being (and
since the "blister" started to develop some time ago) the
cardinal is acting entirely normal, schooling with the 29 others,
eating extremely well, full cardinal colour, no scratching or
abnormal behaviour. A second cardinal has begun to show the
lighter/clear patch of discolouration that preceded the
"blister." <Ah, given the "syndrome" is
spreading, I'm obviously thinking about Pleistophora as a
possible cause. Whilst Cardinals do not seem quite as susceptible
as Neons, they can still catch the so-called "Neon Tetra
Disease". There's no known cure, beyond breaking the cycle
of infection, which seems to be sick/dead fish releasing infective
stages that get into healthy fish. Isolating symptomatic fish is
the preferred first step.> Tank specs: ammonia, nitrite, 0.
Nitrate, less than 5, more than 0. Soft water, pH 6.8, mixed
treated tap and RO. Fluorite substrate, heavily planted. Tankmates:
30 cardinals (two symptomatic), four M. altispinosus
(asymptomatic), one SAE (asymptomatic). The tank has been fully
cycled for about 6 months (fishlessly, so much easier! Why
doesn't everyone do it this way?). The tank is kept at 82
degrees F. Partial water changes are done at least weekly (often
times more often there is still sediment on all of the plants from
the Fluorite!) and the gravel is vacuumed each time (around the
plants). <All sounds ideal for tetras.> I found a reference
on WWM to worms growing in blisters on a Raphael Cat. Is this one
and the same? <Blisters can of course be caused by a variety of
things. People get blisters from things as diverse as badly fitting
shoes and Bubonic plague. So one should be very careful about
assigning causes to just one symptom of this type. What's more
specific to Pleistophora is changes in colouration, loss of
appetite, shyness, and then eventually death. Infected fish,
particularly species other than Neons, can last for many weeks even
months before death.> I found the reference here:
However, the same individual got two different answers from two
different experts (you guys really are): "This is likely some
sort of "worm" parasite (more likely a digenean
trematode/fluke but maybe a nematode) The Paragon might help...
there are other vermicides... Levamisole, Fenbendazole,
Piperazine... that might be tried" and "The blisters are
really bacterial infections eating away the flesh of the fish.
Treat with Nitrofuranace after you do a 30% water change and
serviced the filter." <Blisters can indeed be caused by
both these things. Unless you're a microbiologist, it is really
impossible to know what the problem is. So the best you can do is
run through the likely causes one at a time, trying different
treatments.> There was also a reference to Dieter
Untergasser's "Handbook of Fish Diseases":
"There is one treatment method suggested in there that sounds
like it should work (method C6)." I am afraid that I do not
have this book, as I have never had any trouble with disease in any
of my tanks (well, I rehomed African Cichlids for someone else that
had been horribly abused, but that required nothing more than
better husbandry and a larger tank). I checked local libraries with
no success. I will purchase it now, but I'm afraid it will be a
couple weeks to arrive. May I enquire as to this "method
C6"? <No idea I'm afraid. In any case, with very small
fish, the fish often doesn't last long enough for the treatment
to work. It's simply a size issue. So while I'd certainly
consider isolating and treating infected fish as best as I could,
in this case if it *does* seem to be "catchy", I'd
perhaps painlessly destroy both fish to stop the problem
spreading.> If this is what is mal-affecting my cardinal(s), how
should I treat? Should I treat everyone in situ or should I remove
the affected individuals to the hospital tank? Do I need to tear
down the tank to stop everyone getting infected if this is a
parasite? Would they best be treated orally or as a bath? If I have
to treat in situ, is there a medication that is plant safe, or do I
have to remove the plants? I have attached a photograph of the
cardinal (and learned that cardinals are camera shy, and move
fast!) that shows the blister, white spot, and black under his/her
eyes. I just noticed that the photo makes the cardinal look like it
has Popeye, but I can assure you that it is only a trick of the
light. <Isolate the infected fish for sure; perhaps maintain
them for 2-3 weeks simply by providing good food and water and see
what happens. Treat with an antibiotic or antibacterial if you
want. It is possible the blister is nothing worse than a secondary
infection caused by (for example) fighting. In this case, you
should see some signs of improvement. But if the fish continue to
deteriorate, get back in touch. At worst, you've isolated the
potential source of infection and your other tetras should be fine.
I have long since given up keeping Neons because of the plethora of
mystery diseases they seem to come supplied with. Cardinals, though
more expensive, are tougher and better value in my experience. But
even so, you might be unlucky.> Sorry for the novel of an email,
but I wanted to provide you with all of the information I could.
Thank you for all of your help, and the excellent resource you have
compiled for all of us (it is becoming harder and harder to resist
that reef tank). <So they tell me.> To you and yours, a
wonderful day and weekend. Thanks, <Cheers,
|Re: FW Cardinal with blister/worm?
05/08/08 Hello Neale,
Thank you for your advice on my cardinal issue. I have isolated
him/her in a separate tank, and am working on catching the second.
I hadn't even thought of NTD! Urg! The possibility didn't
even cross my mind, since the fish is just as active as the rest of
the school, and still the first to food. <Which all sounds
positive, so fingers crossed the blisters heal by themselves.>
There is also no white necrotic tissue present- only a clear
blister (still with regular, bright colouration beneath, despite
how the picture appears), with an Ich like spot inside.
<Odd.> But...alarm bells ringing! When I took the cardinal
out of the tank, I noticed that it does have a "lumpy"
appearance. I hadn't noticed, because it is so subtle that you
can't see it except when looking at the cardinal from above.
<Well, keep an eye on things. Do provide the isolated fish with
shade and good clean water so it isn't too unhappy.> As far
as an anti-parasitic, do you have a recommendation that may work?
<Wish there was. So far as I know, nothing works reliably, or
even half the time.> I figure that if it is NTD, an
anti-parasitic won't do any more harm. I would rather not
sacrifice the fish if I do not have to, but in the event that they
do begin to suffer, I will certainly break out the microscope.
<I certainly hope the boffins at the "fish medication"
labs come up with something for Pleistophora; it's a real
plague and so depressing to watch. But breaking the cycle of
infection/re-infection is essential, which is what you've
done.> Thanks again, Tianna <Good luck, and keep us posted.
Re: Cardinal with
blister/worm? 5/10/08 Hello again Neale, I hope you are
enjoying your weekend! <Indeed I am! A lovely summery sort of
day here in England.> I think the mystery of the
white-sphere-filled-blisters on the cardinals has been solved. I
went to perform a water change on the hospital tank, and ARGH! What
appeared to be nematodes, of all different lengths, free swimming
in the tank. The white spot (which, I guess, is a mass of
subcutaneous parasites) in one of the cardinals had shrunk
considerably. <Never seen this, or even heard of it. Sounds
quite nasty. In any case, I'd immediately use some sort of
antibacterial/antibiotic to prevent secondary infections caused by
the burst cyst. An anti-helminth drug such as Prazi Pro should deal
with the nematodes. But that said, most worms have complex life
cycles that can't be completed under aquarium conditions (for
example, they need to go through a bird or snail before they can
back into a fish). So provided there were no secondary infections
and the Cardinal otherwise recovers, I'd actually be cautiously
optimistic.> This brings up another question that I will beg
your help with. <Indeed?> Since removing the two symptomatic
cardinals from the display tank, the "mystery illness"
had gone wild. Nearly half of the cardinals are now showing
symptoms. Clearly, there are nematodes in the tank that I can
neither see, nor remove. Would it be more beneficial to just treat
the entire display tank, and stop torturing the poor fish in a
"naked", uncycled hospital tank (especially if there are
parasites living in the display that will simply reinfect the fish
again)? <In an uncycled tank, you can use Zeolite to remove the
ammonia directly, and that's cost effective and reliable with
very small fish like Cardinals.> As my hospital tank is only 10
gal, I cannot realistically move all 30 cardinals plus the other
inhabitants to tear down the display to disinfect. I could be
wrong, but I think this would do more harm than good.
<Agreed.> Before the "big break" in this mystery, I
had purchased some of Seachem's Cupramine as a shot in the
dark. Would this be effective against the subcutaneous nematodes,
or would I be better served by exchanging it for something like
Praziquantel (if I can find it)? <Cupramine is certainly worth a
shot before trying anything else.> I always quarantine new
livestock, so seeing this now, after several months in the tank and
having been quarantined for a month prior to moving to this display
is mind numbing. I guess nothing is fool-proof! <Quite. As I
say, this disease is something I've never encountered. Possibly
Bob Fenner can offer more advice.><<Sorry to say, RMF is
out traveling and without sufficient internet access. -S.M.>>
Thank you so very much for all of your help (both on this mystery,
and the rest of this website!) <We appreciate your kind
words.> Have a great weekend, Tianna <Enjoy your weekend,
too. Cheers, Neale.>
|Tetra illness question Oct 22, 2007 Crew,
<David> As I was feeding my son's fish yesterday, I
noticed one of his day Glo tetras was missing from the action. I
found it in the back of the tank and it looked awful. It was
bloated, opaque, had white spots on its sides, its face was
yellowish, and its tail fin was looking ragged. Any idea what is
wrong. <Mmm, yes... Likely the protozoan called
"Ich"... though could be some other... e.g.
Chilodonella...> Tank specifics 10 gallon tank 4 day Glo tetras
2 swordtails 1 male guppy The tank has fully cycled and has been
running for 5 months. The guppy and one tetra were recently added
(2 weeks ago), <Likely the vector/s here> but had gone
through a full 28 day quarantine with no signs of disease. <Oh!
Good for you> Tank also has a 15watt compact fluorescent bulb
and 3 plants as well as some algae eating shrimp who like spectrum
fish food and freeze-dried Tubifex worms a lot more than algae.
Water parameters Ammonia = 0 Nitrite = 0 Nitrate = ??? (can't
find my kit....Grrrr) <Maybe a factor, but not a definitive
one. That is, the infesting agent had to be borne from
somewhere> Temp = 80C General Hardness = 13 pH => 7.6 (top of
scale) Any ideas as to what might be happening? Thanks for you
help! David <I would treat as if this were Ich... unfortunately
the temperature cannot be manipulated upward... as the livebearers
don't tolerate this well. Please read:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm and the linked
files above. Bob Fenner>
Tetras with Ich 09/17/07 Dear crew, <<Hello,
Evan. Tom with you.>> I have a 10 gallon tank with 4 Glowlight
tetras and 3 neon tetras (I had 5 Neons originally but 2 died soon
after arriving home from the LFS). That raises a question; one of the
dead Neons was completely colorless when I found it. Could the cause of
death been NTD? <<Could be, Evan, but not very likely. Your other
Neon Tetras would have almost certainly contracted NTD by now and I
cant guarantee that the Glowlights wouldn't have been affected, as
well.>> If so: how long before any of my other fish exhibit
symptoms? Its been over 2 weeks and I haven't noticed the fish acting
sick. <<They have shown signs by now, Evan.>> Sorry for
the digression, back to my original question. <<No
problem.>> My tank has 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrites and less than 20 ppm
Nitrates, temp 84F, pH 7.8. <<The pH levels are high for the
Neons in particular, Evan. Not necessarily a problem but might account
for some stress in these fish.>> 10 days ago I noticed the start
of Ich on a couple of the Glowlights and I started a treatment of
Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Super Ick Cure (Benzaldehyde Green and
Povidone/Colloid mixture). I have been treating at half dose but
following Doug Thamms recommendations found here:
http://fins.actwin.com/articles/disease/ick2.php. I have the
temperature at 84F and have performed 2 full administrations (5 mL
initial dose followed by 5mL more 48 hours later, followed by WC after
another 48 hours, and repeat) and I am in the middle of the 3rd
administration (10th day). I have done 50% WC in between each. The
treatment appeared to be working as the Glowlights had lost all of
their white spots. <<Glad to hear this. Nice description of your
regimen, by the way.>> Yesterday evening I noticed one of my
Neons with Ich spots on its tailfin and body. Is it normal for the Ich
to re-emerge during treatment? <<Not necessarily normal but
certainly possible. Difficult to determine the resistance the parasites
may have to the medication particularly at partial dosages.>>
Should I increase the dosage strength to 100% doses? <<I wouldn't
do this unless the problem looks like its getting the better of you and
the fish. As I alluded to earlier, your Neons prefer water that's
soft/acidic. Their preferred pH levels top out at about 7.0 which means
your water is much higher in pH than they really like. This alone can
contribute to diminished resistance to infestations such as Ich. Since
medications also lead to stress, the least effective dosage that you
can treat at will be far better in the long run.>> Should I just
continue my treatment until no spots are left? <<Yes.>>
Should I change medication to something like Quick Cure with Malachite
Green/Formaldehyde? <<Not unless the API medication just doesn't
do the job for you. The Malachite Green is highly effective but isn't
without problems of its own. Highly toxic and has been described as a
potential carcinogen. Not a treatment protocol to take lightly.>>
Besides the Ich, the fish seem healthy, they are active and eat well.
<<Very good signs, Evan.>> Thank you for your help. -Evan
<<Happy to be of assistance to you. Good luck to you.
Treating Discus with Ich - 8/14/07 Hi Crew, <Hi Greg,
Pufferpunk here> I apologise for the long email up front.
<It's ok, we need to know what's going on & how
you've been treating.> I am having a bit of a problem
getting rid of White Spot (Ich) from my well planted low-tech
6x2x2 Discus & community aquarium. The tank has been up and
running for seven months and was fully cycled after three months.
From day 1 the temp was set at 30C (approx 86F) and I didn't
have any problems at all with disease etc, but Ich must have been
in the tank somewhere as when I recently lowered the temp down to
28C (approx 82F) to help the plants grow I suddenly had an
outbreak of Ich that I am having problems getting rid of it.
<That's your problem right there. Discus' immune
systems are compromised at lower temps. Never mind the fact that Ich dies off mush faster at higher temps (86-88 F).> So far
I've had four 'attacks' against the Ich as follows:
1st Attack - I used 'Rapid Ich Remedy' which contained
Formalin and Malachite Green, followed instructions as per the
bottle (5mL per 20L = approx 150mL per dose) on days 1, 4 and 7
which cleared the Ich for about a week, then it came back. 2nd
Attack - I again used 'Rapid Ich Remedy' following
instructions as per the bottle (5mL per 20L = approx 150mL per
dose) in terms of dose rate but I dosed on days 1, 4, 7, 10 and
13 which again cleared the Ich for about a week, then it came
back. 3rd Attack - I used Waterlife's 'Protozin' (the
double strength version) which I assume also contains Formalin
and Malachite green as it looks & smells the same as the
'Rapid Ich Remedy' medication, followed instructions on
the bottle (2.5mL per 75L = approx 25mL per dose) on days 1, 2, 3
and 6. This again cleared the Ich for about a week, then it came
back yet again. 4th Attack (currently I'm on day 4 of this
'attack' & I'm getting desperate)... I'm
again using Waterlife's 'Protozin' in combination
with an Anti-Parasite medication for fish ponds (made by
Interpet) which contains Formalin. I'm dosing as follows
(don't freak out): A 13 day attack plan, where I'm dosing
the Pond Anti-Parasite medication (25mL per 1,100L = approx 15mL
per dose) on days 1,2,3,4,5,6 and 7 at 7:00AM and I'm also
dosing Protozin (2.5mL per 75L = approx 25mLs per dose) on days
1,2,3,4,5,7,9,11 and 13 at 7:00PM i.e. each medication for the
first 7 days is 12 hours apart. Note: I'm not performing any
water changes during treatment but I usually change 20% of the
water twice per week. Bad idea! Discus need 90% weekly water
changes. During Ich outbreaks, 80% every other day is necessary
to remove the free-swimming parasite from the water column. It
shouldn't be necessary to treat Ich with any meds at all.
High temps & 2tbsp salt/10gallong should be sufficient, along
with large bi-daily water changes. Using all those different meds
are just making the Ich stronger & the discus weaker.> I
figure the 4th attack will either kill the Ich, and/or kill (and
probably permanently preserve) the fish with all that
formaldehyde, or perhaps the Ich and the Fish will survive and
I'll likely give up and accept that I am stuck with Ich for
the rest of this tanks life. I guess I could get rid of all the
plants and fish except the Discus and then raise the temp up to
31 or 32 degrees C (approx 89F), as I figure the Ich will not
cause too many problems at this temp for Discus. However I really
don't want to go back to running my tank above 30 degrees C
(approx 86F) as the plants (mostly Amazon swords, Ambulia and
Water Sprite) don't like the higher temps at all, as
everything looks and grows much better at 28C. I really like
having a planted Discus aquarium and since all the fish get along
so well its a shame to have to give into this single celled
monster! <I have a fully planted discus tank. I don't use
any of the plants you have listed. All my plants are also
low-light species. Right now, I have many species of Crypts,
Anubias, Java fern & Crinum. See:
Many plants require CO2 supplementation (which I don't use).
In addition, I add Yamato Green weekly (www.yamatogreen.com)
& poke Jobe's Spikes under their roots, every 6
months.> Now you may be wondering how everything has held up
through these multiple attacks against the Ich? Well during all
the treatments so far I have not noticed any effect whatsoever on
my biological filtration (no measurable NH3 or NO2) but then
again the plants may well be taking care of NH3, NO2 and NO3 as
they are still growing just fine through all of this.
<Anti-parasitic meds do not harm biological
filtration.><<Mmm, I would NOT make this statement. Many
compounds sold as such definitely WILL affect, stall
nitrification... directly and/or indirectly. RMF>> Even all
the fish (including the supposedly fragile Cardinal & Rummy
Nose Tetras) don't even seem to notice that they are being
medicated at all, which makes me wonder if the medications are
being negated by the plants or perhaps by something else? Like I
said my 4th attack is quite brutal and I'm likely to suffer
losses but I'm prepared to do almost anything to get rid of
this stubborn Ich once and for all. Maybe I need to increase the
dose rate? Maybe I need to try NaCl and raise the temp? <Now
you're thinking in the right direction!> I have an 80L
quarantine tank that I use for all new fish but it is not big
enough to move all the fish in there for separate treatment. The
QT is usually set at 30C and all fish that go through it get
nuked by Multi-Cure (basically Methylene Blue, Malachite Green
and Formalin) and then I watch them for a minimum of two weeks
(total of a 3 week stay in QT) before fish are transferred into
the main 6x2x2 display tank. I've never lost any fish apart
from the odd Cardinal or Rummy nose using this method but I find
them rather delicate at the best of times when purchased from the
LFS - they always look starved! In case you need to know the tank
is setup as follows: 6x2x2 glass aquarium with approx 600L of
water 1x Eheim 2228 canister filter 1x Aqua One 2450 canister
filter (UV-C is off during treatment) 1x air stone running 24/7
Temp at 28C (approx 82-83F) pH = 7.4 Hard tap water (treated with
a double dose of Prime during each WC) 10 healthy young Discus
(see attached photos) 5 Black Neon Tetras 12 Cardinal Tetras 15
Rummy Nose Tetras 5 SAEs 3 BNs 2 Sterbai Cory Catfish 4 Kuhlii
Loaches Well planted (actually the plants are growing really well
even throughout the treatment - see attached photos taken 3 days
ago for reference) <Sounds/looks like a lovely tank!
Lighting?> Any suggestions on what I'm doing wrong or what
I can do to win this battle would be appreciated... thanks Crew!
<Try my suggestions above. The plants may not be strong enough
at this point to handle the treatment but I think the fish are
worth the risk. ~PP> Regards, Greg Simpson Perth, Western
Re: Treating Discus with Ich (or Neons in this
case)... actually Cardinals... Poor Advice... 8/15/07
Thanks for your quick reply Pufferpunk! <Sure!> It's
actually not the Discus that seem to be effected by the Ich,
it's the Cardinals! <That's what I get for
assuming...> After a few weeks it's like they are slowly
being sprinkled with salt and they 'flick' against the
stems of plants (classic Ich symptoms in my opinion). I guess the
poor Cardinals are feeling poorly from the anti-parasite
medications and thus cannot resist the Ich as much as the
stronger fish. <Yes, I believe so many meds will actually
weaken the fish's immune system.> What about Copper based
treatments? I hear copper can be quite effective too. <Copper
is very effective but extremely dangerous, especially on weakened
fish or used incorrectly. You could try a saltwater dip on them
but they are so tiny!><<RMF would NOT SW dip small S.
American Characins>> I guess after round 4 of my
'attacks' I'll try the higher temp & salt
combination as round 5. <I think this is your best bet.
Don't forget to do huge water changes every other day, trying
to clean the substrate (as best you can with the plants), to
remove the free-swimming parasites.> If that fails Copper
based meds might be round 6. I hope this does not turn out to be
a 12 round fight! I've kept tropical fish for 24 years and
have never had such an issue with disease as I have this time
around. I've had Ich before in smaller/less planted tanks and
usually after a basic Ich treatment it's resolved for good. I
must have a bad/resistant strain of it!!!! <Add Melafix to
heal the wounds from the parasite boring into the fish. Good
luck, let me know how it goes. I'm sure there is tons of info
on Ich treatment at WWM. You can also read this: http://www.thepufferforum.com/forum/library/hospital/fwich/
~PP><<This citation has NOTHING to do w/ FW Ich
treatment... RMF>> Regards, Greg
|Black neon tetra black spot?
3/4/07 Hi there... first of all, love this forum! So
informative. I'll give you a bit of background
first. I have got a 20gal freshwater
tank. Before Xmas had Neons, black Neons, guppies and
zebra Danios...a few of each, we were gone for about 11days and I
used one of those 12day feeder pucks... <Yikes... not nutritious
at all... mostly a chalky mass. I would rather have risked leaving
pre-measured foods out and a helpful neighbour... or purchased an
automated (electric) fish feeder...> Not sure why it didn't
work very well, could've been temperature of the house (we
always turn it down when we're away) or lack of
light? (although in a well lit home lots of windows but
made sure no direct sunlight so some blinds closed to be sure) When
we came back I found the food puck was furry and guppies and Neons
were all dead and decaying and stuck by the filter intake...quite a
mess to come home to. Is there any other way, or any
suggestions why that process didn't work? <Yes... please see
WWM re "Vacations"...> Anyway, since then I have tried
to have an Oto for cleaning, and lost both, the last one had a
string of clear poop and shortly thereafter died, and when I wrote
to you found out that was probably a parasite. I just
recently got a Pleco, was holding off as they grow so big <Some
species not so much...> and I have a few zebra Danios and black
neon tetras left, was thinking of getting a couple of guppies and I
was concerned w/Pleco taking after the fish. <This is rare...
most don't chase, consume fish flesh unless they are
dead...> Everything seems ok, he is doing an incredible job with
the tank and since reading a few blogs have noticed that he too has
a few 'lighter colored patches', that could be either an
issue or just damage from being caught and transferred about (he
came here that way) but acts good and eats well. <Good, and they
are tough, and heal well> One of my black neon tetras has black
spots, like pepper (although some are more like a dash - than a
dot) on the upper side on the white part and just 2 spots on the
white on lower part. Hopefully you can see it in the pic. <I do
see them> I have found many places that say if it's black
spot its easy to treat, however, if it's a tetra family using
something like 'quick cure' with malachite green and
formalin can be deadly and not good for the Pleco. <Correct. I
would not use this, these compounds here> If this is a parasite
that lives in the rocks (a fluke I think they called it) then
wouldn't the Pleco probably be infected as well and just
difficult to see with his coloring? <Mmm, if this were a
trematode, it is highly likely it would be more species-specific,
not "catching" across family lines...> I wasn't
sure and kind of scared of treating the whole tank with quick cure
as its quite noxious from what I've found... <Yes. Toxic> so I have a small 1/2gal fishbowl, moved the black neon into that
and put an airstone in it and put about 1/3tsp aquarium salt in.
<Mmm, I would not do this either... Characins of this sort
don't "like" salts... and need a more stable
environment...> What now? Is that
right? Is that enough to help him? How long
will it take? I've also heard that the spots may not
go away even though the parasite is...so how would I know when
it's gone? He's not flashing or anything, seems
to eat well. Also heard that salt dangerous for Pleco
and the quick cure for both could be a problem too.....would love
any and all feedback! Thank you so much!!! Tamara <I
would return this Black Neon to the twenty and not treat it
actually at all. The spotted-ness is likely protozoan in nature...
a Microsporidean... and neither really treatable nor that
deleterious... I would leave this fish as is and not worry. Bob
|Re: black neon tetra black spot? 3/5/07
so...it's not black spot then? <?... many possibilities...
granulomas, embedded Metacercariae...> Is that because some of
them are dashes - instead of spots? <Is impossible to state for
sure (w/o sacrificing the fish, examining microscopically), but
this is a rather commonly occurring event...> What if we're
wrong and it goes untreated? <Likely the same... nothing or
death...> should it not be treated if its Microsporidean? Would
it help if I increased water changes? <Mmm, in the
case/possibility that this is a trematode... I would treat the
system with Praziquantel... Is relatively non-toxic and specific to
worm diseases. Bob Fenner>
Neon Tetra help needed - 03/28/06 Hi.
<Hello> I have 5 neon tetras, 3 Zebra Danios and now 3
Fancy Guppies (1 female and 2 male) with about 7 fry hiding (mom
died)<Sorry to hear that>. When I bought my Tetras
they were all fine until the next morning. 1 had lost its
color from midway on back and was swimming funny (like it was
drunk). It has now regained its coloring and swims
better. However, it goes in fits of twirling about (fast
circular movement; head down) and other times I can't tell which
one it is in the school. What is wrong with it (maybe got
injured on the way home)? I grew up (25 years) with Tetras
(as well as the other types) and have never seen anything like
this. Do I need to remove it from the tank or is it ok to
leave it in there? Thank you, Karen in Georgia. <First,
remove the Neon to another tank. What you describe, to a large degree,
mimics "Neon Tetra Disease"; loss of coloration, erratic
swimming behavior. I've not come across any information that
describes the return of color to a fish once it's been infected,
though, which makes me wonder, to be honest with you. There is a
"false" version of the disease which is bacterial rather that
Sporozoan in its cause but it would be virtually impossible, outside of
a laboratory, for you (or I) to discern the difference. Since NTD is
spread to other fish so quickly and with such fatal results, you should
treat this as a "worst case" to protect your other pets.
Unfortunately, there is no known treatment for NTD although some claims
of success have been offered; none conclusively, I'm afraid.
Maintain your water parameters in the main tank to protect against any
spreading of whatever this may be. Best of luck to you, Karen. Tom>
What are these things! FW Neons, Ich...
3/27/06 Dear WWM Crew, I have recently had all my neon tetras die.
The first one to go (thing 1) had dropsy and was really sad because he
had been a part of my aquarium for over a year. I went to the local
aquarium to get two replacements to keep my second neon company. Within
2 days both of the new guys died. I tested my water and everything was
fine. <Can't tell from here> The following day I bought
another neon tetra and named in speckles (It had white dots sprinkled
over its body and fins). <Perhaps if you named them after
prophets...> This one soon died too, followed by my second neon
tetra (thing 2). I noticed my other fish began having white dots as
well. <Oops... likely not related... but Ich> (I have a flame
tetra, two Gouramis, a Serpae tetra) Doing my research, I assumed Ich
and began treating the tank with CopperSafe, as recommended by the
aquarium store. <... I would NOT treat small characins/Tetras with
Copper products... but half doses of Malachite Green, elevated
temperature... posted on WWM> Paying closer attention to the tank, I
can see many tiny white bugs moving on the glass and floating in the
water that were not there before. <These also are very likely
unrelated...> Can these white bugs be what is on my fish? Are they
parasites hurting my fish? Thank you for your time, Jackie <The
initial losses were probably due to simple differences in your
store/sources water quality, acclimation and your system... the Ich was
likely imported on some of the new fish... the bugs are likely living
on the nutrients, food... You need to "step up" your
maintenance, treat the Ich with something less toxic (likely clean the
tank a bit first, or better, treat the fish elsewhere...), and not
worry re the apparent "bugs". Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Rummy Nose Tetra with worm? 12/20/2005 I could sure use
some help! I have a rummy nose tetra that has a worm in his
front right fin and I have treated him with Fluke Tabs and Aquari Sol
(my tank had Ick) and the worm is still in the fin (must be
<Might be> I have taken the fish out and put him in a hospital
tank and under a microscope to make sure the worm is in the
fin and sure enough it is! I have taken him to a fish store
and chatted with a woman that has worked a lot of science when it comes
to sick fish but even she was unsure what to do She told me she would
look further for more information but could find
nothing. The fish is breathing heavy and flapping his
fins. I am very good with a scalpel and was thinking on
cutting part of the fin off to remove the worm (clove oil to
anesthetize??) <Mmm, possibly, but hard to do on such a small
specimen...> and then treat with an antibiotic. Under the
scope I also found a very very light dusting of black dots that can
only be seen under a scope. I am thinking on doing the
removal of the fin as a last resort. I would appreciate any
information you could give me as time is running out. Sincerely, I.
Garrett <I would use an anthelminthic here. Please use this term in
the Google search tool on WWM... Bob Fenner>
Characid Parasitology help sought Dear Sir, I feel most
enthused in your marvelous efforts in elucidating parasites of Fish to
the students all over the world. I have in my attachment an appeal onto
where my research work lies. School of postgraduate Studies
Faculty of Biological Sciences Department of Zoology University
of Nigeria, Nsukka. 14- 05- 04. Dear Sir, I praise your academic
prowess, especially, in the area of fisheries parasitology. May your
efforts and strength never waver in your imbued march towards bettering
nature. I am a postgraduate research student in the above department
and University, working on the parasites of Characidae in the Anambra
River Basin, Nigeria. The following are the objectives of this
research work: Ã There is scanty relevant parasitological
information on fisheries development and management in Nigeria. An
informed reason to fill the gap. Ã Fish are the most readily
available animal protein both in the hinterland areas and cosmopolitan
areas of Nigeria. Our over 120 Million population is the largest
consumer of fish in Africa. So, there is burning desire to ensure
availability of fish in our meals thereby ridding them of these
parasites. Sir, I am in great need of your assistance, which is
inevitable to the accomplishment of this Research work. Such assistance
is needed in the following areas: The latest
scientific methods, materials on the parasitic investigations on
Characidae. Ã¼ The parasites of the Characidae.
The aforementioned are fulcrums that will pilot the research to a
logical success. I would be grateful if my request is
delivered. Thank you. Your sincerely, ECHI, PAUL
CHINEDU email@example.com Thank you. <Paul, will post your
request for others response. We don't "do" research per
se (but relate others experiences), but am hopeful your message will be
found. Have you contacted the Smithsonian asking for reference help? I
would. Bob Fenner>
Neon tetras that change colour... Hi. I have found
your information about neon tetra very useful, but I am confused about
"neon tetra disease". I first got a fish tank two
years ago and have kept neon tetras in this time. It
didn't take me long to notice that when they changed colour that
this is bad, but the fish did not always die but change back and remain
healthy. <Mmm, Neons do change color sometimes due to
"mood", time of day, interactions with each other... not
always indicative of disease> (I have had one particular neon tetra
for 2 years now). Is this colour changing due to "neon
tetra disease" or is it just stress or bad water? <This
Sporozoan infection is almost always fatal, and quite distinctive (loss
of blue coloring distally): http://freshaquarium.about.com/cs/disease/p/neondisease.htm
I don't think your fish have this ailment> I really like my neon
tetras and hope that there is something I can do about this phenomenon.
Thanks Dani. <Read on. Bob Fenner>
Cardinal problem Date: Sun, 13 Mar 2005 Hey there, I was
wondering if you'd be able to help me with something. I have had FW
tanks for a long time but have not had any real luck with setting up a
school of either Neons or cardinals. My current "failure" is
a discus planted tank. It is a 46 gallon bowfront tank with 6 discus
and 3 clown loaches. <Too crowded... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/discusfish.htm
> The water conditions are NO3 is 20ppm,
NO2 is 0, hardness is 120, alkalinity is close
to 0 and pH of 6.4ish. Temp is 85F. The discus are doing fine and I do
daily water changes of 5-10 gallons using RO water mixed with 1/2
gallon of regular non-RO water (for the plants). <Good
practice!> Discus show no signs of stress and live normally. I
brought home 11 cardinals about a week ago which I bought at a LFS.
They all seemed fairly ok even though a lot of them had skinny stomachs
(due to lack of food I'd guess). <Yes, common> I first placed
them in a quarantine tank, losing about 4 in a few days. After 5 days,
and the rest of the cardinals looking ok, I moved them to my discus
tank hoping for some survival. few days later, I am looking at 3 fish
left (which do eat) but are covered in Ich. <Yikes... should keep
quarantined... for a few weeks> none of the other fish show any kind
of Ich or other diseases. The temp is high (for discus) and I was
thinking ICH wouldn't live, but these cardinals are covered.
<Likely will die there> I am at a loss here. Please help if you
can see what I am doing wrong. Thanks, DK (P.S. I'd even go to
Neons if that meant they would live better, but I read somewhere that
cardinals take the high temp better.) <This is correct... I would
try again, with a new batch of Cardinals.... but quarantine them
longer... slowly raise the water temperature (am sure the store did not
have them in the 80's F) to the Discus water conditions, fatten
them up first. Bob Fenner>