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HELP!!! Fish dying rapidly of unexplained illness---Suspected TB

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Daisygirl, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. Daisygirl

    Daisygirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 10, 2009
    New Zealand
    I have 6 guppies and 10 tetras in a 30 cm wide, 30 cm long and 40 cm deep tank. Four of my fish have died from what looks like starvation, and another one is going downhill---his bones are really prominent and he is lying on the bottom of the tank. I went down to check them just now, and three of the other guppies have long, translucent strings of something coming out, and I know its not poo.

    I think I'm going to take out the pebbles on the bottom of the tank, and thoughroughly wash the ornaments and filter. I will look for a dewormer, or similar at a pet store, but cant do this for at least a few days.

    The first fish died 8 months ago, the secound 6 months ago, the third 3 months ago and the forth about a month ago. I have had them since May 2008. I will try to get photos posted. Please tell me what else I can do, I dont want to loose any other fish.
    Help!!!!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2009
  2. Year of the Rooster

    Year of the Rooster Sebright Savvy

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    West Central Ohio
    Sounds like nematodes or anchor worms. I had a problem with them and my gouramis and guppies. I used copper in the water for about a month to be sure that they were gone. Do not clean out all of the gravel!!! If you do that then the nitrogen cycle will have to start all over again and that will just cause more stress to the fish! Add the copper to the water. After several weeks or so start doing weekly water changes until you think most of the copper is out of the water. It will kill any plants or invertebrates in the aquarium. Be sure to feed the fish well too since they are so skinny. Multiple small meals rather than a couple large ones everyday are better.
     
  3. ladycrotalus

    ladycrotalus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 14, 2009
    Massena, NY
    That is a lot of fish for only a 10 gallon tank.

    How often do you clean the tank and how do you clean the tank?

    Do you use aquarium salt? If not you should add 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons. It will help kill the parasites.
     
  4. Daisygirl

    Daisygirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 10, 2009
    New Zealand
    Thanks for replying Year of the Rooster. I took out all the gravel, but will put it back in now.

    When I was cleaning out the tank, I found the afflicted fish. He is dead. Yesturday I noticed that he lost all his coloring, and today, with him out of the water, I can see that he is just a skeleton with the worms gone. He also has an abcess on his back, but this is unique only to him.

    The other guppies seem to be about normal sized, but a bit bloated in the stomach. The same goes for the tetras.

    Now that schools finished I can feed them several times a day, so that works out nicely

    Where can I get copper? And should I expect more deaths?
     
  5. PandoraTaylor

    PandoraTaylor RT Poultry n Things

    Jun 29, 2009
    Alaska
    I would do a partial water change 25% no more than that. Add the copper.
    feed many small meals a day.

    be prepared to remove any fish that is dead. check on them regularly.
    is your tank Heated?
     
  6. Year of the Rooster

    Year of the Rooster Sebright Savvy

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    West Central Ohio
    Your local fish store should have some copper. It is a blue colored liquid, from what I remember.
     
  7. Daisygirl

    Daisygirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 10, 2009
    New Zealand
    I have been removing the dead fish whenever I can.

    The tank isn't heated, but sits on top of the refridgerator so gets lukewarm. This time of year we dont need a heater anyways, because its so warm.

    I changed 25% of the water and added the stress replacement coat/dangerous chemical remover solution to the tap water. I check on them every mealtime, but have been checking on them every hour or so recently.

    I dont use aquarium salt because the stuff I did use didnt dissolve for up to three hours, and would leave marks on the fish where it brushed their tails. I can have another look for an alternative when I get the copper tho.
     
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:That may well be a large part of your problem -- unless you have really good filtration, that is pushing it on fish population for that size tank.

    three of the other guppies have long, translucent strings of something coming out, and I know its not poo.

    Coming out from where? From the vent (poo hole)? If so, it is probably not worms, it is probably the result of serious intestinal derangement and/or internal fungal infection.

    Quite honestly, from what you describe they sound like they are in pretty poor health, could be a variety of things (worms, bacterial infection, fungal infection, fish TB, other things), and frankly I think by far the best thing for you *and* the fish would be to sadly euthanize the remaining ones and clean the tank real well and start over, preferably with fewer fish and making sure you are buying them from a source where they are *healthy*.

    If you really want to try to save them or keep them going a while longer, I would suggest starting by getting a water chemistry test kit that does at least nitrites, and nitrates, and tell us what its results are. Also if you can get those photos posted it would help.

    Good luck,

    Pat​
     
  9. Daisygirl

    Daisygirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    566
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    Nov 10, 2009
    New Zealand
    Quote:That may well be a large part of your problem -- unless you have really good filtration, that is pushing it on fish population for that size tank.

    three of the other guppies have long, translucent strings of something coming out, and I know its not poo.

    Coming out from where? From the vent (poo hole)? If so, it is probably not worms, it is probably the result of serious intestinal derangement and/or internal fungal infection.

    Quite honestly, from what you describe they sound like they are in pretty poor health, could be a variety of things (worms, bacterial infection, fungal infection, fish TB, other things), and frankly I think by far the best thing for you *and* the fish would be to sadly euthanize the remaining ones and clean the tank real well and start over, preferably with fewer fish and making sure you are buying them from a source where they are *healthy*.

    If you really want to try to save them or keep them going a while longer, I would suggest starting by getting a water chemistry test kit that does at least nitrites, and nitrates, and tell us what its results are. Also if you can get those photos posted it would help.

    Good luck,

    Pat​

    Ok, I have photos.
    I got them from my neighbour who has similar problems with her fish - - - except she keeps them in a vase. Mine were the fry that hers produced.
    The abcess on the fish's back is from about day one - - - he did something to send his spine the wrong way on his first day in the tank.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I am seriously considering euthanizing them, but I do need a second opinion. Can anyone tell me if it is worth keeping them alive?
    None of the tetras have died, but I have had them for only six months. The guppies were dying before the tetras arrived, so its nothing they brought in.

    Can anyone tell me how many/what type of fish would be best for me, if I do go through with euthanizing them?

    I will get photos of the rest in a bit.
     
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    As a first guess not an official veterinary diagnosis, I would say that looks like fish TB, which is not-uncommon in pet-store and feeder guppies in North America (dunno bout elsewhere). The twisty spines and lumpy bodies and wasting away are key signs.

    Fish TB will not give you human tuberculosis and is "mostly harmless" but there are a few reports of people contracting serious local mycoplasma infections from barehanded work in infected tanks, just so you know. Fish TB is basically incurable (in a dying slowly kind of way) and pretty much going to spread through everything in a tank once it's there, IME. There are other disorders that can look similar, but they are not easily treatable either.

    Sorry, but frankly I would euthanize the lot, including the tetras. And start again from a definitely-healthy source of fishes.

    Best of luck,

    Pat
     

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