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Re: Sick Fish
Surface respiration might also be due to the higher
temperature: dissolved oxygen is inversely proportional to
the water's temperature.
If it's a protozoan/parasite (velvet, ich, flukes, etc.),
in my experience it must be treated: usually for a least a
week to ten days to be sure to catch the organism at the
most vulnerable stage of its breeding cycle.
If it's bacterial--which can be exacerbated by high
temperatures and decomposing food neglected by a non-eating
fish--in my experience, treating with antibiotics is to be
avoided. Messy, difficult, and usually not effective; with
the added risk of nudging the surviving bacterial
population up a notch on the evolutionary scale.
Lower temperatures slow down the bacteria's metabolism;
water changes dilute their nutrients, their effluvia, and
their numbers; possibly reducing their virulence just
enough to allow the fish's own immune system to gain the
upper hand and overcome the infection naturally.
Anyway, these are my general rules of thumb. Again, in a
general aquarium context; not killie-specific.
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