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Re: Unhappy Notho
(Actually it's a bathroom run, but the kids are finally off of the computer.
Prodigy DSL next month and we can get the phone back.)
Marty Greenwell (the Shedd Vet) and I were considering the close correlation
between over feeding bs or bbs and an outbreak of velvet. Some aquarists
blame the shrimp for being the vector to bring the velvet to the killie
tank. Others suggest that the velvet may already be there (much like a cold
virus, either there or blown in from time to time.)
Marty was of the later school and I would tag along.
Although there is also a salt water velvet, the one afflicting killies is
some what controlled by adding salt (which seems to make osmoregulation less
stressing for the killies and may help them develop better skin slim to
combat it). Brine shrimp of course are salt water creatures, Charlie Grimes
was told that Salt Lake approaches a specific gravity of 1.05 in places. (I
hope I got that right, oceans would be 1.023-1.027 for the Red Sea. unless I
slipped a digit.)
It may be that velvet, one of those protists with both chlorophyll and the
ability to swim around the tank until it finds a host with epidermis (skin
or often gills) to its liking. Should this be the case, then killies usually
maintain an immunity to it.
By the way, people using Lake water are more likely to have it in their
tanks than those of us with well water (the one time I would rather have
well water.) When we rented in Harvey we used to draw from the hot tap and
let it sit.
From time to time shops will quarantine Bettas or anabandids in the spring.
I would speculate that the long light days lead to a bloom in the Lake.
Either is getting into the water supply as protists or as cysts.
It seems like fish not too vulnerable to ick are vulnerable to velvet, There
are some hardwater killies which do catch ich. Most killies, gouramis and
Bettas, rainbows and some late bristlenoses (Ancistris) are more likely to
be plagued by velvet.
In tanks where I had a fry machine going - youngsters frequently appearing,
alarms would go off in the past with the sudden stoppage of fry. I usually
had over fed baby bs. The fry would get it first - an unless there was a
clamped tail, would die before the symptoms were observed. If I left things
as they were, the disease would become evident on the adults lower down in
the pecking order first.
Marty and I also speculated as to why the medicinal dye acriflavine seems of
some usefulness. It may be that the green in the water interferes with the
photosynthesis of the velvet, weakening it and allowing the fish's immune
systems an edge.
I had an Ep. kassiapluensis tank which showed signs of velvet three
different times over a couple of years. The last outbreak I not only added a
little salt, a water change, a little acriflavine and fed more carefully,
but I masking taped newspaper all over it for a month to shade it. The
problem didn't come back.
I feed very little bs now-a-days but still had a couple of outbreaks in
small tanks after feeding a treat from a local shop. I also wonder if sloppy
use of freeze dried krill could encourage an outbreak.
I like the krill for some surface killies such as lineatus. Oddly, I have
some darters in a shallow tank which really go for it and they usually don't
go for dry foods. The flavor-scent most really say something to fish which
do feed upon crustaceans in the wild. Those darter, in the genus Percina, do
in this case have a partially developed swim bladder.
As for blackworms... they are a great conditioner for breeders. I also like
using them for sick fish who really need some nourishment in their gut - the
wiggling of the worms, as you know, provokes enthusiastic feeding responses.
Joe Gargas, when he had his Discus hatchery in South Holland, and I explored
the subject. A lot of discus people avoid them. Joe sent blackworms to a
(pathology?) lab at Auburn University which found no external paracites on
them. At the time he felt that they were safe for discus, I wondered about
reports that they could carry several internal beasties (often worms by the
way) and Joe discounted the concern. I noticed later he wasn't using them.
For cichlids which might live 5 - 10 years maybe they aren't worth the
gamble. I feel that for a killie which will live 2-4 years, the risk is
worth the trade off in terms of eggs laid, fry in the tank tolerated.
I do think I killed a female rainbow - Mel. praecox - recently. I fed them a
gob of worms after they had been without food for a couple of days. She
swelled up and died - of an intestinal blockage? Maybe moderation and a
variety of flake and live foods would have been wiser.
I hope that the above is useful grist for the mill.
There is a Greenwater meeting Friday at Don Frestel's. Betta guy (IBC
President actually) Johan Francisco will be speaking on wild Bettas. You
might ask him about velvet and Bettas.
It is also our 27th anniversary. We might not be there if I remember to make
reservations... If I'm lucky, maybe there will only be tickets for Saturday.
All the best!
----- Original Message -----
From: Larry Botkin <botkin at jorsm_com>
To: <KillieTalk at aka_org>
Sent: Tuesday, August 01, 2000 12:20 PM
Subject: Re: Unhappy Notho
> Hi Scott;
> as you know I'm also having some problems in the Fish Room with
> elevated attrition rates, both with adults and fry.. I have been doing
> some moderate water changes as per your suggestions.. In addition I have
> been using black worms and adult B. Shrimp as food since the break
> out... Things seem to be improving a little but not much. The question I
> have is regarding your statement about frozen B. S. Could you humor me and
> tell me the thinking behind this... I ask because I do use a lot of
> Also what about the downside of feeding black worms ? Looking for
> and cons on this one...
> Larry Botkin AKA 07801
> At 03:28 PM 7/31/00 -0400, you wrote:
> >Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2000 13:18:23 -0500
> >From: "Scott Davis" <unclescott at prodigy_net>
> >Subject: Re: Unhappy Notho
> >Shine a flashlight on him. Are his fins clamped? Are there little tiny
> >or what looks like a fine dusting over part or all of his body. If there
> >something like this, he has velvet and you will want to do a partial
> >change, add a little acriflavine (acriflavine, bamiflavine, acriflavine
> >plus, velvet guard, etc.) to the tank at the level instructed by the
> >medicine's package, shade the tank and possibly add some salt at one
> >Don't feed brine shrimp, especially frozen bs, until the festivities are
> >past. (It doesn't sound like you were anyway.)
> >It is easy to start an outbreak of velvet in another tank. Wash hands
> >thoroughly and do something non-fishy before returning to the killies.
> >or bleach any equipment taken from the tank.
> >I routinely drop siphon tubes in a covered 32 gallon garbage can with e
> >water and three gallons of generic bleach. Likewise waste water from
> >tanks goes into a bucket only used for the ceramic, circular file.
> >If there is not a silvery, golden or whitish sheen on the sides, head or
> >rarely - the gills, the good news is that you probably aren't dealing
> >velvet (oodinium).
> >When all else fails, or even firstly, do a partial (20-40%) water change,
> >maybe daily. Sometimes that in itself allows the fish's immune system to
> >recover the animal's health.
> >All the best!
> >- ---------------
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