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Sorry to hear about your trouble; I know how disturbing it is to have
fish dropping without knowing what is causing the problem. Whatever is
happening in your tank sounds suspiciously like the "mystery plague" that
hit my tank last June. I originally thought that something toxic was in the
water, and initially suspected the rubbermaid garbage can I had started
using to store water in, but many responses from others on this list
eliminated this as the problem. I had added nothing to the tank to introduce
a new pathogen.
At its worse, a fish would be actively feeding at the surface, looking
just fine, then do a couple of quick spirals and be dead before it hit the
bottom of the tank. Talk about frustrating!
After about ten days, I'd lost about 10% of the tanks population before
the problem disappeared as quickly as it came. Not knowing what I was
dealing with, I didn't want to start blindly treating the tank for fear of
componding my problems. Ich broke out after about five days, so I treated
the tank with Aquarisol and raised the temperature to 85 degrees. Once I had
eliminated my water as the source of the problem, I continued with frequent
This probably isn't really of much help, other than to let you know you
have my sympathy, and if it was anything like what hit my tank, it too will
pass. My tank has been in fine shape since, with no problems with the
remaining fish or new ones that I have added (after quarantine, as always).
Best of luck,
on 12/15/00 3:48 AM,"Robert Sirota" <rob.sirota at aya_yale.edu> com wrote:
> Subject: disease
> I have a real problem lately and maybe someone can help.
> My 72 gal tank has been going along fine. It is fully planted,and contains
> a large number of rainbow fish, some apistos, kribs, cory, congos--a really
> nice community tank. Water quality has been steady-pH 7.4, nitrates 20 ppm,
> ammonia "zero" (poor test kit however), nitrites 0, KH 3-4. Ammolock is
> used for
> chlorine/chloramine-I've been changing 10% water per week. About three
> weeks ago I added a few corys and smalls rams to the tank.
> The rams died in a few days--I've never had any luck with them, and I don't
> think the water conditions were good for them--it was an experiment.
> A few days later one of my Congos developed cloudy exophthalmic (popeye)
> eyes and died in a few hrs. I didn't know what to make of it--the eyes were
> quite swollen and I never saw anything like it. Since then I've been
> experiencing a good deal of fish loss. The other Congo died, and looked
> perfectly normal several hrs. before death although seemed to have a small
> scale eruption half way back on one of its sides one day before death. The
> kribs died, and had looked normal at the time of death. I noticed a
> peculiar area on the side of on of my Praecox rainbows (slightly off color
> below the dorsal fin half way back with slight swelling), and a short time
> later it died. The same thing is happening to a turquoise rainbow,
> although the fish has not yet succumbed. Today I found one of my Apisto with
> cloudy exophthalmic eyes. What has been remarkable to me is that the
> disease is affecting formerly healthy thriving fish. The fish are not
> exhibiting any respiratory symptoms, and the entire disease process from
> health to death is only two to four days.
> I'm not sure what is going on, and I don't have the depth of knowledge
> needed to figure this out. I suspect this is bacterial, but I don't know
> what kind of bacteria is behind it, and I therefore don't know what
> antibiotic if any to treat with. It would be particularly important if this
> were Mycobacterial (i.e. tuberculosis) because this can be infectious to man
> (i.e. to me!!), although the rapid time course is, I think, not consistent
> with this.
> Any help would be appreciated.
> Robert Sirota
> Huntingdon Valley, Pa.