Help Identifying Disease

Mike Workman

Subscriber
Mar 29, 2015
22
12
3
64
Saratoga, California
www.weenersleap.com
Hello -

I am new to this forum, normally on plant subjects versus fish....

I keep freshwater tropical planted aquariums (6)

I have been keeping fish for 52 years, plants for 17.

I am having trouble with a relatively new tank, a 300 gallon planted tank.

Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 10 ppm, pH 7.0-7.1, pH controlled CO2 injection 24 hr/day. KH 7, GH 8. Temperature is 75.2 F almost perfectly constant (+/- 0.2F).

Filtration: 3X Eheim 2028's with Sicce Booster pumps, 1X 3 Stage Sump running about 1000 gallons/hour. Sump filled by Overflows skimming surface with a BEAN 3 Configuration. Substrate EcoComplete. Clean, never used in another tank - same as with all other components. Lighting, 4X Kessil 360X WiFi controlled.

Water cycled for 6 months before adding livestock (know this isn't necessary but it happened for reasons unintended, COVID, CA Fires, Etc). And I know bacteria population would have benefitted from some, even minimal livestock. In any case not having Ammonia or Nitrite issues so bacteria population and plants are handling the fish load just fine. Plants growing well.

Livestock: 20 Rummynose Tetra, 20 Red Eye Tetra, 6 Glowline Tetra, 5 Hatchets - spotted (Wild), ~ 15 Cory of various types, Leopard (Wild), 8 Panda Garra, 8 Plecos (mostly TR small), 3 Kuhli Loaches (Wild). Red Cherry and Amano Shrimp. Nerite Snails, pond snails. Upon addition of first school of Cory Cats - the spawned and left eggs in 10 places around he aquarium. I thought that perhaps the first Cory that died (a Venezuelan Cory from a school of 7) was a result of the rather heated spawning activity, but now believe that is incorrect.

Feed - Flake (high quality), NLS AlgeMax Wafers, Frozen Hikari Brine, Frozen Hikari Frozen Tubiflex.

I am losing fish between 1 and 2 a day.

At first had no idea. Thought it was repercussions of fish shipments, and it may have been unrelated to the current disease issue.

Then I lost a pleco - which I hadn't experienced. Had small blotches - discolorations on its face but wasn't sure that it wasn't caused post mortem. And hard to capture in photo.

Then I lost a Cory catfish. It had a reddened face and what appeared to be a small hole in it's cheek going into it's mouth. Barbells 100% intact and healthy looking.

Now I getting worried so started watching behaviors very closely. Observed another Cory flashing against substrate.

Later I lost a Leopard Cory, reddened patch on the top of its head above the eyes. Picture attached.

Next I lost a Rummynose, reddened area near it's anal fin, but not on the fin. Picture attached.

I lost a Hatchett - this one has the red spot - looking like septicemia in one eye! Picture attached.

Lost another Hatchet - this one had a reddish blotch on the body above the anus (Picture attached before he died). These aren't open sores - they are red-tinged areas that seem to appear beneath the scales - the skin layer. Except for the reddened eye of the Hatchett - obviously not skin - but the eye wasn't an open lesion..

I have attached pictures of the sick fish. Hopefully between this picture and the description and parameters above I won't get the input on bad husbandry, dirty water, overcrowding, unkempt, uncleanly, etc. I have never had a problem like this - I take good care of my aquariums, I am a scientist, and an engineer with a PhD. Not meaning to be grumpy, but losing fish like this breaks my heart and I really need help, hopefully not a lecture on how important clean water with good chemistry and no pollutants are. I understand and respect that.

Tank:

Post Mortem pictures of fish:

Hatchet - Red Eye Side.jpeg
Hatchet - normal side.jpeg
Rummynose Closeup.jpeg
Rummynose.jpeg
Leopard Cory.jpeg
Hatchet - Red Eye Side.jpeg



Any help or insight would be greatly appreciated for myself, and for my fish :).

I know the pictures aren't optimal but adding too much light washed out the reddened areas that I wanted you to be able to see.

Here is what I tried so far:

1. API General Cure. One course (4 days, two doses, one dose every two days, per NET water volume (including Sump) according to directions from API.
2. Pima and Melafix per instructions.

After initial treatment of API General Cure - deaths dropped off to zero for a couple days following end of treatment regimen. But I wasn't confident so out of abundance of caution I decided Pima/Melafix would be a mild treatment for what might be a mild condition (at this point).

Couple days later deaths started up again. This time with what appear to be more visible symptoms (at least to me).

So at the advice of an LFS owner with some experience - I have resumed treatment with API General Cure for 2 weeks, 7 doses every other day. I just completed my 2nd does (of the 7 planned).

Insights, questions are eagerly accepted. Hopefully I have provided a decent background of the tank, the water, the creatures in the tank.

Thank you very much.
Mike
Saratoga, CA

300 Gallon Tank Jan30-2021.jpeg
 

kozlany

New Member
Jul 3, 2018
5
0
1
NE
Really just a shot in the dark on my part but since there are so many with hemorrhage spots...
Hemorrhagic Septicemia
 

Mike Workman

Subscriber
Mar 29, 2015
22
12
3
64
Saratoga, California
www.weenersleap.com
Really just a shot in the dark on my part but since there are so many with hemorrhage spots...
Hemorrhagic Septicemia

Thanks kozlany. It may be. So far I've tried API General Cure, (Pima and Meta), and the tank still has fish dying. Lately the symptoms and perhaps the disease has changed. So it could be that if it was HS that it is done and we've moved on to another one. The current symptoms are white eyes - occasionally 2 at the same time, or 1. I am looking at switching to Furan-2 from API now that I have completed several GC regimens. My concern is compatibility of plants and inverts with this drug. Searching the Web you can find everything from "Won't harm your plants or shrimp" to "Will harm. Lost every plant. CRS dead"...and a few in between "Plants did fine except Val melted, Shrimp OK".

Unfortunately, most of the "reviews" or forum comments come with little information (like I tried to share above). Tank health, general condition, water quality, etc. So you don't know if someone had a dirty tank, disease, high pH, and expected the drug to work wonders. CO2 injection? Less than 10% even comment on it, or the pH of the tank.

I have reached out to API to ask this question - Is Furan-2 safe for Plants and Inverts? Hopefully they answer. In the end I am responsible for what happens next (minus what the disease does), not API...but obviously they like anyone else worries that no good deed goes unpunished.

I appreciate you having a stab at it. Not many replies to this thread. It is a tough one I will say that.
 

kozlany

New Member
Jul 3, 2018
5
0
1
NE
It's a bummer in such a big, pretty tank. Gets expensive to figure out.

Last year I got a slow moving strain of columnaris in my tank. Took me a bit to figure it out. The symptoms varied and it didn't look like text book pics most of the time. I used a mix of furan-2 and kanamycin. Furan2 is tough on plants. I lost a few things that I didn't have a lot of. The other plants recovered fairly fast after a few water changes. Either med alone didn't touch it. They had to be used together. Snails were the only inverts I have. Didn't seem to bother them.

My tank is a 75g. The cost of a full treatment nearly killed me and I had to do it twice.
 

Mike Workman

Subscriber
Mar 29, 2015
22
12
3
64
Saratoga, California
www.weenersleap.com
It's a bummer in such a big, pretty tank. Gets expensive to figure out.

Last year I got a slow moving strain of columnaris in my tank. Took me a bit to figure it out. The symptoms varied and it didn't look like text book pics most of the time. I used a mix of furan-2 and kanamycin. Furan2 is tough on plants. I lost a few things that I didn't have a lot of. The other plants recovered fairly fast after a few water changes. Either med alone didn't touch it. They had to be used together. Snails were the only inverts I have. Didn't seem to bother them.

My tank is a 75g. The cost of a full treatment nearly killed me and I had to do it twice.

This is extremely helpful - thank you. I haven't got Kanamycin - I will have to get some.
 

Mike Workman

Subscriber
Mar 29, 2015
22
12
3
64
Saratoga, California
www.weenersleap.com

Yes I see. I wonder why so may say "It's fine" or similar commentary? Sometimes I think that whatever answer you can imagine you'll find corroborating statements on the Web. It is hard knowing what to trust... it's all fine until you're about to pour 60 grams of yellow powder into your sump - that's when the fear strikes as changing the water in a 300 gallon tank that is half RO water isn't practical(for me). I change 4.6% per day, and dose every third day to keep the volume of RO in check. I built a computer based system that uses RO water for changes until I hit my KH target (my water is HARD), then computer uses a volume controlled mixture of filtered tap water (KH=12) and RO to hold the KH roughly constant over time (target KH = 6). Of course the system only tops off the sump with RO since minerals don't evaporate.

In all of this I noted that the RB Dosing equations, as well as Zorfox's calculator for Nutrient accumulation are extremely wrong. I had to write my own code to get it all correct and set up the dosing pump properly. Everything is more complicated than it seems it should be. LOL (I probably make it that way...)
 

kozlany

New Member
Jul 3, 2018
5
0
1
NE
I don't have it in me to be that organized. I just eyeball everything for the most part. My water is very, very soft so I just kind of assume I have RO and act accordingly. It's my own well so no chlorine or water softeners added. Nothing exotic for fish, just some guppies and corys.

I do know that I changed a bit better than 2/3 of the water in between doses of the two meds. My crypts melted pretty bad, vals disappeared to never return, others shed lots of leaves but did snap back. The fish that were showing symptoms passed but no more caught it. More often than not the only thing I would note on the fish is that they looked like an old fish in a matter of days. Not sure how to explain it beyond knowing what an old adult guppy looks compared to one in it's prime. Sometimes I'd get the odd band on the middle but not always. Sometimes they just wasted away. Sometimes there were a few blood spots. It drove me nuts trying to figure it out.
 

Mike Workman

Subscriber
Mar 29, 2015
22
12
3
64
Saratoga, California
www.weenersleap.com
Well thanks for sharing all this. I am hoping my tank doesn't go into a meltdown. I do have vals but as we all know val is replaceable - pretty cheap. So far (dosed it last night) the Inverts and plants ok...too early to tell. Friend at LFS says all we be well except for the Val. We'll see.