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darby_j
New Member
Username: darby_j

Post Number: 9
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Friday, March 03, 2006 - 01:50 pm:       

For details of what was going on before this post see "Red Worms". I treated my 75 gallon tank with 4.2g of levamisole yesterday. Before treatment I did chemistry checks and everything was fine.

The levamisole turned the water a slightly cloudy canary yellow, and even as of this morning I could see all of the fish clearly except for my yellow guppy babies.

Slight rehash of this morning's post - my 2 algae eaters had seemed distressed yesterday but ok this morning, all of my guppy adults except two were hanging at the top, the other two were lying on the bottom. Everyone else was swimming around like normal.

I was away from the tank for approx 3 hours and when I went back I immediately noticed heavy billowing clouds rolling around, like a bacterial bloom. At this point I could barely see the fish, and every single live one was either at the very top, or writhing around on the bottom.

Quickly I half-filled two 5-gal buckets with fresh water (treated of course, same pH and temp), put in half bad water, then scooped up all the fish into those buckets.

Then I ran to totally fill up two more with totally fresh water and transferred the fish into those. The fish are now in totally clean water - but I am horrified to think of the trauma they have been through the last few hours, including two dumps into buckets.

Due to time pressures, I only have just done two chemicals - the ammonia (still reading zero unbelievably), and nitrites - which are totally off the chart, absolutely deep purple (supposed to stay light blue). Now I am putting this in for help. Assuming other chemistry will be shot too but don't want to take time to check at this moment.

I have to get back to the tank, and fish are still dying in the buckets (some had been turning circles in tank as I got them out), but now that I am totally uncycled should I start from scratch, give 100% cleanup of tank, gravel, and filter, and put in Biozyme to start recycle, or still try to keep my filter media and just vacuum the gravel?

My past experiences with medicines haven't always been good, but I have never had a disaster as bad as this.
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darby_j
New Member
Username: darby_j

Post Number: 10
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Friday, March 03, 2006 - 01:58 pm:       

I don't think Biozyme is the right thing - what I have used before is a refrigerated liquid bacteria mix. Stressed brain right now - two more fish died while I was writing above post.
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Kim
Advanced Member
Username: kimrin

Post Number: 2224
Registered: 01-2004
Posted on Friday, March 03, 2006 - 08:21 pm:       

god what a nightmare Darby, :-( I feel so bad for you. If you lived near me I'd be there right now with emergency tanks and filter media for you.

I wish I had a clue why this turned out so bad. Obviously something killed off your bio-filter. It must have been the nitrite spike that has killed the fish.

How are the cories?

I think the product you're trying to think of is Bio Spira and yes, I would get some. I'd probably do a few complete fill and drain type of water changes deeply vacuuming the gravel each time and throw away the filter media since it's shot anyway. Then recycle with Bio Spira to help it along.

Lets hope that the one positive thing that may have come from this is that the worms in the tank were killed.
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sully
Ancient Plus
Username: sully

Post Number: 8259
Registered: 01-2003
Posted on Friday, March 03, 2006 - 10:13 pm:       

water change, water change, water change. obviously the fish are in a serious state of shock. fresh water cannot hurt any worse.

get good surface agitation to increase aeration. if the fish are gasping at surface after water change and aeration you can gently cup them in your hands and slowly move them backward through the water near the surface. you will be basically giving them mechanical assistance moving well oxygenated water over the gill membranes.
"I usually read the obituaries first. There is always the happy chance that one of them will make my day." -- Richard Ames
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darby_j
Junior Member
Username: darby_j

Post Number: 12
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Sunday, March 05, 2006 - 11:57 pm:       

This is the most draining fish experience I've ever had and I'm thankful for your support. What I found out Friday is so unbelievable that I told my husband there was no way I could possibly tell you because you would think I was lying or crazy, but then again it may happen to someone else so here it is.

Up above I said that the fish were still dying in the buckets of fresh water, and I thought it was totally due to the facts that they were already near death in the tank and then further traumatized by not being acclimated to the new water.

After everything was done and the survivors were put back in the tank, they were still acting crazy so I checked everything; pH, temp, all the chemicals were great except the ammonia tested 2ppm. Unbelievable since it was fresh water. Checked it again - same thing. My husband told me I should check the tap water, I told him there had never been any ammonia ever in our water (been here 15 years), but I did anyway to please him - yup, 2ppm ammonia.

We just bought a new house a mile away and he had me go over there and check it - ammonia. Thought my test kit had somehow gone bad so I checked out some bottled water - no ammonia.

Of all the horrible, unbelievable days to get ammonia in the tap water!!! Fortunately I had some Amquel from years ago, because all fish stores were closed by this point.

Now I'm going through the new tank syndrome, I put more Biospira in today and changed out some water. Still ammonia coming in from the tap. I am going to call the water company to find out what is going on.

At this point I find it amazing that I have any fish left, they are true survivors. My zebras did really well and I have 7 of them, 3 neons, 5 adult guppies (1 probably won't make it), about 10 baby guppies and my 2 adult corys, except they aren't doing very well either. The hardest thing was having my 2 baby corys die - they were my favorites in the tank. One algae eater died, the other my lfs took - the owner saw the bag and said that it was an albino Chinese algae eater (which I only found out from Cindy a few days ago), and he knew all about the species.

My tank had been overcrowded once I stuck in female guppies and then they reproduced in excess, but I sure wouldn't have wanted to take down my population like this.

This has been a painful weekend, and now I get to obsess over a cloudy tank again. One nice thing is that my husband has never been much into my fishtanks before, but this crisis has had him looking up info on the internet, offering to help, and listening to explanations of how all the chemicals and bacteria work together in a healthy tank. This may become his hobby too.

Plus, as Kim pointed out, there aren't any more worms.
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cindy
Ancient Plus
Username: cindy

Post Number: 9457
Registered: 05-2003
Posted on Monday, March 06, 2006 - 06:18 am:       

There is a good chance you don't really have free ammonia in your tap water, but that they are using chloramine - instead of or in addition to chlorine - to disinfect the water. You chlorinator breaks the bond between the chlorine and amine group and your water will test positive for ammonia. The chlorine part will evaporate on it's own, and the AmQuel should remove the part that you are reading as ammonia.

Soon enough, your biofilter will begin to take care of the problem for you. It probably was all along up until now, it seems more likely than they (coincidentally) just now began adding ammonia to your water.

The worst is probably now behind you, so

"The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve." --- Albert Schweitzer

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darby_j
Junior Member
Username: darby_j

Post Number: 14
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Thursday, March 09, 2006 - 08:31 am:       

Cindy, you were right, and I feel stupid that I didn't even think of it - but I was in panic mode and not thinking clearly of anything. It is chloramine making the ammonia readings high. But, in 15 years I've never had ammonia reading anything other than zero except in cycling times, and never in our tap water, so it was alarming.

I had someone from our water treatment plant come Monday and test the water. He called back and said that the tank water tested at 4 times above the amount of chlorine that they put in and our tap water was over 40 times the amount (no ammonia in either). Plus, he gave me a detailed list of all the other nasties that were in great amounts and told us to stop drinking our water until they could come and flush our line.

We are at the end of a water line and it is running downhill. Our new house is going to have to be tested too, and probably flushed. It is also an end house at the bottom of a cul-de-sac on a hill. It tested high with my kit too.

My remaining survivors (amazing creatures) are doing well, even mommy and daddy cory. Too bad both of the babies died, that still hurts a lot as they were my favorites. The tank cloudiness has cleared up and I haven't had any nitrite or nitrate spikes at all (yet?). I think it is due to the BioSpira. It seems to be a lot faster cycling than the other bacteria I used to use. This is 6 days in and the tank is almost crystal clear. I haven't done any water changes since Saturday either because the lines haven't been flushed yet. I'm calling again today to hurry them along.
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darby_j
Junior Member
Username: darby_j

Post Number: 15
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Thursday, March 09, 2006 - 09:56 am:       

I should never post when I first wake up, but that is my prime internet time, before the day's craziness starts. I realized that I left two wrong impressions in this morning's post.

My tap water probably would always show some ammonia - I've only tested fresh water after the conditioners have been put in and they have always read zero. Plus, except through cycling times, my tank water has never shown any ammonia readings.

Second, it sounds like I think I'm through the cycling time. It is early days yet, it is just that I'm thrilled that my fish are having a chance to recover. It has tested zero nitrites and nitrates every day since Friday, when the whole disaster happened, and that is with no water changes (not changing water is scary for me - but if the water is unsafe to drink, I'm not dumping more of it in my tank either). With making payments on two houses right now (until ours sells) I can't afford to go out and buy water for changes. The BioSpira almost made us go bellyup.

I think I've never joined any forum before because I was afraid of sounding stupid - some fears do get realized.
Badman's Tropical Fish - Archives * Fish Health * Levamisole disaster, need help       

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