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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

Will try to make the long story as short as possible.

I have a planted tank with endlers, shrimps, snails and bloodfin tetras. Got a pair of guppies and noticed the female swimmig weird (going up and down all the time) on the second day, on the 3d one she got the fins clamp in the morning and was dead when I got home at the evening. As the male started behaving the same way I returned it to the store. Did a 15% water change. 2 days later I got one of the endlers with clamped fins. Water parameters were fine, I added some aquarium salt and did a 20-25% water change. Another 2 days later I got a female with a bit of a cottony-like thing on her tail, not really like fungus, more like a bacterial stuff. Got her and 2 more that were having clamped fins out in a hospital tank and did another water change. Started feeding them with anti-bacterial food and put Primafix (was recommended to me in case it is fungus). During next few days I lost all of these :( The main tank was OK, no more sick fish and I was hopeful that it's gone. 3 days ago I did some gardening, cleaning and water change and at the evening I got a female with a bit of a cottony-like thing on her eye, got her out and had another one looking exactly the same next morning. Both of them died the next day in the hospital tank.
Sorry for the loooong story, but wanted to give as many details as possible, so you can help me. The shrimps and bloodfin tetras look fine and I still have some survivals from the endlers. What can I do to make sure the tank is clean now? Didn't want to use more medications because of plants and shrimps and was hoping it was an acident. But these last two killed my hopes :(
Any comments would be highly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
 

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Sorry to hear this. My only comment on this would be that Pima/Melafix are good products but not likely strong enough as a cure to already infected fish. From what I hear they are a good preventative additive and perhaps may be the only option for people that have livestock that are extremely sensitive to "real" medications. I think whatever medicinal compounds they contain are too mild to treat fish once symptoms are present. Good luck with your tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thank you. I read same kind of comments too, but this was what LPS people recommended, I guess because I told them I have shrimps and plants and wanted to play safe. On the other hand the medicted food I got says it is not safe for saltwater invertbreeders, so not sure that was good for my shrimps.

My biggest concern now is will tank get "clear" by itself and how soon?
If I don't have a sick fish in say 2 weeks, am I good to go and get some new ones?
Do I need to treat the whole tank to make sure it is safe now?
I guess if all endlers end up dying I will never know if the tank is still infected. But if the remaining few are fine, then what?
I never had that kind of situation before and I am not sure what to do.
 

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To actually answer your question: How can I be sure........the one way is to break the tank completely down, and start over, which we do a lot on this forum!

The other is UV; I'm becoming a big, big believer that it's great for a lot of things: water clarity, prevention, and while the initial investment is quite large, it's the one item that does it's tour through a number of my tanks on an ongoing basis.

I currently use a small AA Aquarium UV (60.) and can increase the flow by not putting the sponge filter back in.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the answer. Yeah, I was thinking of break the tank and start over, but still, I have to clean everything and then, what about the rest of the fish? How to get them clean if they carry something?

UV sounds good, it is safe for everybody else including the shrimps? I read about that before, but don't remember any details. And I know these guys are expensive :(
Maybe I can borrow yours ;) if that is a one-two time treatments.

I'll do some reading this evening. Thanks!
 

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UV is fine for all species involved since it just sterilizes the water as it passes through the unit (i.e. everything microbial that goes through it dies). It does not leave any residuals behind.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
That sounds exactly what I need! I feel like I want to "boil" the whole tank to make it clean.

I guess that's gonna kill the good bacteria too, right? There is no way UV "knows" which are the good guys.

Now I have to ask kindly if somebody can borrow theirs :) How many treatments are needed?
 

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I think that UV is good for algae and perhaps ich but I don't think that it would help you if your tank has a virulent infection like a virus or even a fast-spreading bacterial infection like columnaris. (Others may say differently, though.) UV doesn't kill the nitrifying bacteria in a tank, which is why I don't think that it would kill the necrotizing bacteria (so to speak).

Sometimes, the best thing to do is to take the tank apart and start again, bleaching it and starting with fresh media. It's a lot of work, but sometimes necessary. However, since you have surviving fish and shrimp, that's not very practical. You can't boil your fish!

However, I also think that if you can effectively stop the progression of a disease with salt or good antibiotics and your remaining fish recover, then the tank environment will recover. This would mean that you could save your plants, too.

In your case, it sounds as though you don't have very many inhabitants left in your tank. Even if an antibiotic wiped out your 'good' bacteria, your fish will probably be able to survive happily with water changes until the cycle reestablished itself. And these days, many antibiotics don't harm the filter. So, if I were you I wouldn't worry about harming the cycle and instead just worry about the fish and shrimp. Given how dire the infection is, I think that extreme measures are warranted (that is, it's worth risking potent medications).

Since your fish definitely have an infection and it looks like a fungus, I'd suggest a multi-purpose treatment that would target both true fungus and columnaris, which is a bacteria that resembles a fungus and spreads quickly. I think Jungle makes a product called Lifeguard that treats a range of illnesses at once. I tried it once with my microrasboras and it didn't seem to affect my plants or filter. A snail survived. I don't know about shrimp, though. Maybe erythromycin would work. But I"m not a fish disease expert.

I'm really sorry that you're facing this nightmarish situation. Probably, there are other people here who have better suggestions than I have. I think that whatever you do, your tank will come through in time. Various approaches will work. You probably feel very blue and overwhelmed right now, but one day soon you will have a happy group of fish again.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Morainy, thanks a lot for taking so much of your time to answer and give so much information. And I appreciate the support a lot! As you guess I very down and blue as you know how much I loved these endlers and how much efforts and love I put into starting that tank. And to lose it all like this is not easy :( And I have never experienced that kind of infection that is killing my fish one after the other like that. Very depressing indeed!

As you said because of the survivals I don't really want to break the tank and start over. I will do it if there is no other way to fight this. But again, with the fish, shrimp and plants I can easily just have the bacteria start spreading again.

Can somebody recommend a treatment that will kill bacteria and won't harm shrimp and plants? I did a lot of reading, but everything contradicts, so I would like to get advice from people that tried something and it worked.
Thanks a lot!
 

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i found this while looking on how to treat my new tank:

Now that we understand the life cycle of freshwater ich, many of our treatment recommendations make more sense. Because the life cycle is temperature-dependent and the ich can only be killed in the tomite stage, we will want to raise the tank temperature to 78-80°F over 48 hours to speed the cycle of tomite formation and release. Theoretically, if the cycle takes four days to complete at this temperature, then the treatment should be complete in 4 days. On the other hand, if the temperature is much colder, for example at 60°F, the treatment would need to last for several weeks or longer.

Since we understand that we cannot kill ich while it is on the fish, we know that moving a fish to a quarantine tank to treat will not solve the problem in the main tank. The time to use a quarantine tank is before a new fish is introduced into a display tank. If a fish in a tank has ich, you must assume that the entire tank is now contaminated with ich and must be treated.

Another way to get ich out of a tank is to remove all of the fish. Since we know that the tomites can only survive for 48 hours without attaching to a fish, if we remove all of the fish and then raise the temperature to 80°, the existing ich in the tank should be dead after 2 days. To be safe, wait 4 days before returning the fish to the tank. But remember, you will need to treat the tank that the fish are moved to, otherwise, fish entering that tank could become infected.

Remember, we are treating the tank, not the fish, so all effective treatments are designed to kill the trophite form of the disease while it is in the tank. The mature ich organisms that cause the problems on the fish do not die from treatment, but fall off in a couple of days during their normal life cycle and then their offspring die from the treatment in the water.

Some of the best treatments historically have been formalin or malachite green, or a combination of the two. Copper, methylene blue, and baths of potassium permanganate, quinine hydrochloride, and sodium chloride have also been used but do not appear to offer an advantage over the more readily available formalin and malachite green products.

When using formalin, make sure to use recently purchased formalin. Formalin that is stored for long periods of time can convert to paraformaldehyde, which can be toxic to fish. An indicator that this has occurred is the formation of a white precipitate in the bottle. Malachite green may also stain some decorations and silicone to a green color and may be toxic to piranhas, neons, sunfish, and some scaleless fish, if given at the recommended dose. For these fish or other sensitive species, they should be treated at half strength and monitored carefully for signs of distress.

While we rarely recommend treating an entire tank for a disease, ich is an exception. Make sure to follow individual label directions, and remove the carbon from your filter and shut off any UV sterilizers or protein skimmers during treatment because they will inactivate or remove any medications that are added.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks a lot, neven! I think I read something like that before.
I am not sure it is ich though. Only one of all fish I lost had 3 white dots on one of the fins. Most had different kind of cottony-like things - 2 on the tail and 2 - above their eye (just one eye). The rest was rapid - clamped fins for a day or two and then dead :(
No idea what is that :( Can ich lead to such "cotton" in a stressed/weak fish?
 

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either way, if your tank is guppy's and endlers, i recommend the highest temp your tetra's can handle.

Personally what i've done was set the tank to 28 C (guppies only), and i started to dose metricide every 12 hours instead of 24h. my reasoning for this is formaldehyde, is an active ingredient in one form of ich treatment so im hoping the glutaraldehyde will get me the same results. Formalin says 5 mL every other day per 10 gallons of water and the concentration of it is 3% formaldehyde, metricide is 2.6%.

Not sure if it'll work but i got no cash to spare for some aquarium meds :p
 

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Discussion Starter #15
What bothers me is that bacteria infection that i suspect and Morainy also mentioned is supposed to be treated with low temperature as it can't handle that, but spread fast in high. They also give sudden raise of temp as one of the reasons for that bacteria and when I think about that it all happened exactly during the temp spike in mid-Aug.
Metricide is something I read will help eigther way. What I can't find is if that is safe for shrimps?
 

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very high dosages of metricide are harmful to shrimp, my bba thread covers the threshold. I've dosed 4 times recommend levels with shrimp in my 29G tank, so i know the limits, but thats for my tank and shrimp only. But im not sure if this works, its something im trying out :)

as for medications safety for fish, this one explains it:

http://www.fishchannel.com/media/freshwater-aquariums/aquarium-care/transferring-fish.aspx.pdf

most medications are the same thing under different brands. Some blend a few types together.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I read the desctiption of Lifeguard and they don't recommend it for Invertebrates. Is that only a precaution to be safe?
Other then this sounds like a magical medication.
 

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I just looked in my aquarium pharmacy and found a new box of Jungle Lifeguard. It says that it attacks a broad range of fish diseases, including fungus, ick, fin rot, etc. It also says that it is not suitable for scaleless fish or invertebrates.

I don't know whether you want to give it a try or how it would affect your shrimp. At this point, the best thing might be to just keep doing the water changes and a bit of salt and hope that some fish pull through. But if you'd like to try the Jungle Lifeguard I will give you my box.

I have used this product but not with shrimp. I don't know if there are better products. So, I'm not promoting it but if you'd like to try it, you are welcome to. Having sick fish is very stressful!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thank you so much, you are so kind! I am not sure what to do :( I feel very lost and really stressed now. I see symptoms everywhere, even another tank this morning :( I guess I am getting paranoid at this time :(
I was hoping to get more advices from people that also have shrimps. But I guess that kind of outbreak are not that common.
One thing I know is once it's over, I will never EVER put a LFS fish in my tank before quarantine! And I guess getting fish from a store won't happen anytime soon :(
 
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