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FAQs on Freshwater Traumas

Related Articles: Freshwater DiseasesToxic Situations, FW Disease Troubleshooting, Ich/White Spot Disease, Choose Your Weapon: Freshwater Fish Disease Treatment Options by Neale Monks,

FAQs on Freshwater Disease: Freshwater Disease 1, Freshwater Disease 2, Freshwater Disease 3, FW Disease 4, FW Disease 5, FW Disease 6,
FAQs on Freshwater Disease by Category:
Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional,
Social, Genetic, Pathogenic (plus see Infectious and Parasitic categories below), Treatments 

& Aquarium MaintenanceFreshwater MedicationsFreshwater Infectious Disease, Freshwater Fish ParasitesIch/White Spot DiseaseNutritional Disease, African Cichlid Disease 1, Cichlid Disease


Fish shock, FW... hlth. 08/18/2008 I recently added 3 new fish to my tropical tank, two are the exact same specie and the third is another variety of the same species. When I attempted to do my weekly gravel cleaning and water change I was removing decorations from the tank. The new fish swam quickly from the other side of the tank towards the decoration I was removing and slammed into it. Then he floated around the tank for about 20 min.s barely breathing before he fully recovered. I was wondering what I could do to reduce his stress, I wasn't moving fast while removing decorations. Should I get another fish of the same species, I know the pet store has one. I also noticed my female guppy changes colour when my tank light is out, she becomes pale but when the light comes back on she regains her colour. I've tested ammonia and nitrites and there are none. Is this normal for guppies to do, my other female doesn't seem to do this though. <No, it's not normal. You should certainly be doing everything you can to reduce stress on your fish while performing maintenance. There's no reason to remove all the ornaments and plants from a tank when cleaning it, assuming you're maintaining the tank in a sensible way. If you do 25-50% water changes per week (the correct amount/frequency) all you need to do is stir the gravel a bit with your fingers and suck up any detritus with the siphon as the water is taken out. The filter will handle everything else, assuming it's adequate to the tank (I recommend choosing filters that offer four times the volume of the tank in turnover per hour). Tanks only become dirty if they are too small for the fish concerned, massively overstocked, or completely under-maintained in terms of filtration and water changes. Take care that any water added to the tank is identical in chemistry and temperature to any water removed. Guppies do not like dramatic changes in pH, and the use of marine salt mix (rather than "tonic salt") at a low dose of around 3-6 grammes per litre will help here by adding buffering capacity to the water. Generally livebearers appreciate the addition of marine salt mix, but other types of tropical fish do not, so review any tankmates carefully before doing this. Do remember that Guppies need a tank at least 90 litres/20 gallons in size, with a proper filter. Males are aggressive towards one another and pester females, and in smaller tanks this aggression causes serious problems. So consider the size of the tank, as well as the availability of hiding places, particularly floating plants, before adding any more fish. You should always have twice as many females (at least) than males if you want to

African spotted leaf fish; "lock-jaw"     11/12/13
Hi I have had my fish for about three weeks now and it seems like he overextended his top lip and can not retract it back. He wasn't eating when it happened so I'm not sure how it happened. I also have another African spotted leaf fish that I have had him for 4 months and he is doing excellent. If you can help me with how I can fix his mouth or what I can do that would be great.
<Mmm, such "stuck open mouths" on these fish and others are most often due to physical traumas (overextensions, or getting "something" stuck in them)... perhaps more allowed by nutritional deficiency over time. You can try, make that could try rearticulating the jaw mechanism with a dull wood toothpick, or a Q-tip with the cotton removed; but there is a risk of further injury. A few folks that have written to us over the years have had success doing this op. w/ their goldfish... You might find relief in reading their accounts, searched on WWM. Bob Fenner>
Re: African spotted leaf fish     11/12/13
Thank you so much this is very helpful. I tried looking on the website for it but I didn't know what kind of keywords to put in. I will check again.
Thank you again
<Ah good; and I've asked Neale to respond independently. BobF>

Tetra injury or ...? Dear Crew, As you may recall, I've written in a few times with long-winded questions about the 55-gallon freshwater community tank we have, and its progression from fake plants to all real plants and DIY CO2. We've added a 20 gallon tank to receive all of our livebearing fishes from the big tank, using water and a Bio-wheel from the big tank. Everything is going well on that front, and we're in the process of gradually lowering the pH in the big tank down into the 6.5 range for the remaining denizens. We bought a pair of Golden Rams (Microgeophagus ramirezi) earlier this week, which make the last two fish in the community tank. Ammonia and nitrites are always zero, and the plants and water change regimen keep the nitrates well below 10ppm - if they go much lower, I'm going to have to start supplementing nitrates for the plants (which seems really backwards...) I got home last night to find my wife and daughter looking closely at one of our Black Neon Tetras in a small glass bowl. He had a strange-looking patch at the front of his underside, and was obviously heavily distressed. My wife said he didn't even try to get away when she netted him. With the distortion of the glass, we couldn't tell what the heck the patch was. He continued to decline, and I euthanized him (I always knew I'd find a use for the zillion-year-old vodka, though in reviewing the FAQs today I see I misremembered and should have gone with the freezer method - dang!) After finding my reading glasses (darn these short arms!) I discovered that he had a big swatch of skin gone from the belly area, starting just behind the gill covers. In a 22mm fish, the patch was an easy 3x5mm - no wonder he was hurting! I took a series of pictures of what I perceived to be a physical injury, in case it'll help with the analysis. The flesh underneath the wound was smooth and what I considered to be a "healthy-looking" pink, with two tiny scratch-type marks, each about 2mm long. The skin around the wound was a bit tattered in areas, with no non-fish-skin-looking growths or attachments. There wasn't any real apparent swelling, or any out-of-the-ordinary marks elsewhere on his body. We spent the next hour or so scrutinizing the remaining fish, and none of us saw anything wrong with any other fish. My daughter dissected the victim, and his internal organs didn't exhibit any obvious problems (wow, the swim bladder was tiny, not to mention the heart!) Based on the description, and without benefit of pictures, would you guess he'd been attacked by someone? (Seems pretty obvious, but as opposed to some strange skin-patch-disappearing disease, that is. (Maybe he tripped and fell...) < Your fish may have been nipped but more likely it was a bacterial infection.> The Rams have only been in the tank a couple of days, and as of lunchtime today still haven't established an obvious territory. Other occupants are Tetras (Black Neons, Lemons, Glowlights, and Cardinals), a couple of male Dwarf Gouramis, a few Corydoras, a trio of Otos, and a trio of small Siamese Algae Eaters, so nobody has a solid reputation for being belligerent. Other than one of the Lemon Tetras (who chases two others for an hour or so every morning), everyone has been pretty serene. We all spend quite a bit of time staring at the tanks' occupants, and I'm certain the fish was fine yesterday morning (and probably at lunchtime, too). Also, with that kind of injury, was there much chance of his surviving?  Guess I'm looking for reassurance that I did the right thing in euthanizing him...  As always, thanks for the help you give me and all the rest of us. Tomorrow is payday, and my wife said I can contribute to the site's Amazon Honor System link this weekend.  Glen < These gram negative bacteria are pretty bad. If there was no fungus on the wound and the infection never got to the internal organs then with treatment it may have survived. In the future I would recommend getting a quarantine tank to treat any new fish before they have a chance to infect your established tank.-Chuck>

piranha i have 6 piranha and some of them have a little knot on their chin. what is it and is it normal <Very likely these are just sores from rubbing their faces on... bags, tank fronts, running into things when they get spooked... Par for the course for these toothy Characoids in captivity... Nothing to be worried about. Bob Fenner>

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