Fish deformities and ick

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by EweSheep, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    Can you tell me why guppies (mostly females) ended up having an "L" shaped body? they can eat and swim just fine. We had one female guppy like that and I had to put her down. I think she has a couple daughters crookiness of spine (I dont know if it was HER offsprings, just an assumtion).

    And hubby purchased a glo fish which got some crookness in the spine...funny looking thing but it swims and eats fine. Not sure if they can reproduce.

    Is it a genetic fluke going on or vitamin deficency? Should I put all crookness fishes down or not buy them from stores?

    I got some stubborn cases of ick, which hubby dumped the pet store water in our acquarium.....I told him not a good idea! We treat it three times in five days, killed off the ghost catfishes and a few others but ick is still there on the tetras. Now I dont want to start killing everyone off but good for those tiny snails (such profilic breeders!) to be dead LOL. We had a good set up for a good while, no diseases and now blam, we got hit! Time for me to bop hubby's head about not quarantine the fishes before dumping it in the 50 gal tank! He knows it but still thinks they are fine. With the stress going on, the fishes would get white or yellow spots on their bodies within 24 hours....does ick come on that fast?

    Anyone successful in breeding ghost catfishes?????? They are cute and awesome but sad that we lost all seven of them during the ick treatment. The pet store employee said that the ghost catfishes are very sensitive to any kind of treatments and too strong of it in stubborn cases, would terminate them.
  2. ozarkmomma

    ozarkmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 6, 2009
    the ozarks
    Are you doing water changes when you do the ick treatments? You need to be changing out 1/4 - 1/3 of the water when you add new medicine. Did you pull the filter cartridges out? If not, they ick medicine is just getting absorbed by the charcoal. Another thing that works really well to treat and to prevent ick is aquarium salt. You can add a cup or so to your 50 gallon tank and your fish will be much healthier and happier.

    As far as the crooked spines, I think it is a genetic issue due to over breeding but that's just my thought.
  3. usschicago1

    usschicago1 Suburban Cochins

    Aug 11, 2009
    Taunton, MA
    I breed guppies and i had the same spine problem, for me at least, it means there not getting enough sunlight, when (in combination) bought a real fishtank light and moved it so it gets some natural sunlight it completely stopped. Make sure there not in direct sunlight though.

    To prevent ick i always have a small trace of aquarium salt and do DAILY water changes.

    ETA I double Checked and other than TB Bent spin is causes bye lack of Vitamins/minerals from the sun [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  4. babyblue

    babyblue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 23, 2009
    bent spine can be genetic, malnutrition or diseases.
  5. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    Quote:Done that but didn't add the salt! Thank you! So I added five rounded TB of acq. salt for now. Will add more later this evening so I don't shock them too much.

    We put the charcoal filters back in after half tank water change and Stress coat drops in there.
  6. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    Healthy fish and in healthy tanks do not get ick. Even if it's introduced they can fight it off. If ick is a serious problem requiring multiple treatments that lead to dead fish then there is something wrong. Bent spine and stubborn ick issues can point to poor water quality. Snails are also a sign of too much wasted food in the tank. Snails will only multiply as much as their available food source. Best way to answer the question of water quality and cleanliness of the tank is a nitrate test. I think every aquarium owner should have a nitrate test. It is the easiest way to check water quality and only costs a few $. Just make sure to get the liquid tests and not the strips. Until then water changes, water changes, and more water changes. Change 1/4 of the water daily until the illnesses subside. Majority of ick cases can be solved simply by increasing water changes and feeding a quality diet that keeps the fish healthy.

    Salt is controversial especially as a preventative and can kill many types of fish. It can wipe out as many species of fish as chemicals.
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Google "fish tuberculosis", it seems to be not-uncommon (quite prevalent, in some places) among pet store guppies, especially feeder type guppies. If it isn't that it's almost certainly genetic. You'd be best off IMHO starting off with new good stock; but if you want to keep breeding on what you've got, and feel it is not fish TB, then cull down to ONLY the good ones, and add some fresh blood (after quarantining!!) from stock that does NOT seem to produce these deformities.

    If by ghost catfish you mean what I know as glass catfish, Kryptopteris spp, they are pretty delicate (I am not surprised they died in your ich and ich-treatment episode) and they are considered very very hard to breed. (In fact, because of their delicate constitutions and the fact that they are not bred in captivity except in rare accidental cases, nearly all are still wild-caught, with only a fraction surviving to the petstore, for which reason I would really discourage people from buying them...)

    Persistant ich problems are IME usually a matter of making mistakes in the treatment protocol somewhere along the line, or (as Akane says) coexisting stress to the fish in the form of water quality or temperature problems. So you might want to look closely into those things.

    Good luck,

  8. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    We have not had any problems with our fishes for some time until this recent adding of new fishes. Then the next day, the new cardinal tetras came down with ick and one had "mold" on its top fin. So those two died and hubby had to buy more and dumped them into the acquarium, store water and all into it. UGH! This time he didn't and now the fishes are holding on their own for the last 24 hours and counting. Add a little more salt, so far so good. I was hoping the salt would kill the little buggers snails but some survived and some didnt. I got a mind to get rid of ALL of the those snails and get those big snails or those eel sucker fishes for bottom foraging. Now with the tests, we had the pet store do our water tests and they said the Ph is off a bit and suggested that I add salt (did that) and the nitrates are within the range.

    So far no more dead ones and no more ick so far. Been wanting to add more fishes but not sure if the silver dollar fishes will go along with the guppies and tetras. We are going to hold off a bit before buying any more new fishes again. Thought we had it good and the water tests has been very good and thought this we can add more fishes.

    I would love to get more glass catfishes but paying five dollars per fish (we had seven of them) and they did well in our tank until we started the ick treatment and they went downhill so fast. So we are going to wait on that one but they are a neat pod of fishes to look at. They love hiding during the day and come out at night.

    Hubby has maintained the water change once a week, usually a fourth or half out with weekly bottom cleanings. We have only a dual water pump with tube going on bottom trays and the pump spigots are fine, the water is right up there with them, not in way its pouring hard. We filled it almost all the way until the black bottom trim of the tank. We get those Tetra website reminders about water changes and it worked pretty well at this point until new fishes with ick popped up. We informed the manager that the cardinal tetras got ick and they immediately took them off the front, put them out back and had it going on the treatments for a few days. They didnt give us any problems about our losses and replaced them. They told us to come in on Weds and Friday or Saturday mornings to get the freshest fishes from the supplier out in Florida.

    The pet store is PetSmart....we do not have enough fish breeders in our area. Down to three matured female guppies (they keep having babies since we do not have any males) and lots of little frys (fries?). Once I got rid of the crooked back female, I didnt see anymore of her possible offsprings. Since we do not have a male guppy for almost two months, how are they getting pregnant? Or is there a little guy in there somewhere or do they store sperm in their sacs to produce more offsprings? What I am not seeing anymore are the hot neon pink mostaic male guppies anymore like I used to have in the 80's. Jeez, I would have to look far and wide.

    If we have to start all over again, to put some COLOR in the tank, I was thinking about having just a bachelor pad of just male guppies. Do they get along or do they fight regardless there is no females in there?
  9. Old Fossil

    Old Fossil Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 16, 2010
    south Mississippi
    Have you tested your tank's pH level? In my experience, a low pH level can contribute to fish's susceptibility to ick and other diseases. Also, be careful about ammonia buildup, which can happen if you don't do regular, partial water changes (you seem to have that well in hand, though).

    I haven't had guppies in many years, and have never kept glass catfish. Currenty I have goldfish -- ryukins and orandas. They are rather sensitive to ammonia, and they produce lots of it, I think, lots more than the angelfish and neons that I used to keep.

    Best of luck.
  10. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    Ph is rarely an issue. Most fish can adjust to a very wide range of ph. Honestly I never worry about it. The only time it is an issue is when you have a low ph and kh (calcium carbonate) which makes an unstable tank. There has to be enough of a buffer which is generally calcium carbonate to keep the ph stable. Otherwise with the slightest introduction of acids including that from fish waste breaking down your ph will have sudden dangerous drops. However without testing the kh and preferably also gh there is no way to tell if the water is actually lacking enough buffer or if it's just a bit on the low end but stable.

    Many fish stores use those cheap test strips. They are junk. All they are good for is telling you that something like ammonia, nitrites, or nitrates exist. They are generally several numbers off in ph and may be up to 100ppm off in nitrates. Only trust a good liquid test kit.

    Saying nitrates are good means nothing. Some fish stores will say 200ppm of nitrates are good and some will even say low amounts of ammonia and nitrites are good. The general fish forum consensus is below 40ppm nitrates and preferably below 20. Any amount of ammonia or nitrites means the tank is going through a cycle and can be the cause of illnesses. This usually results from improper cleaning (over cleaning more than under cleaning), stocking too heavily, or adding too many new fish at once. One test is not enough to judge problems of ammonia and nitrites because you have no clue if they are on the rise or dropping so you don't know how serious the situation is.

    Any good aquarist is going to recommend you buy your own liquid test kit instead of relying on the fish store to do the water testing. It doesn't give you an accurate enough picture of what's going on and it may be entirely useless if they are using test strips.

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