July 26, 2001 - 12:53 pm
lboy, I amde sure to use a medication that didn't contain malachite
green because I do have 2 catfish and a frog and I knew that the
medication had to be safe to not harm them, so I don't think
that's it. There may have been something else in there though
that did hurt him...I don't know.
I'm using "Wardley's Master Test Kit" and I'm
not sure if that brand is using Nessler type regents. Is there an
ammonia test you would recommend that will work with the Amquel?
The other tests seemed to be working fine, so I just need a replacement
Is there anything special I can do for my catfish right now? Is
there a way to make sure he gets some food? Maybe add vitamins to
the tank? Sorry...I love this catfish and I really want to help
him get better. Thanks for all your help!
July 26, 2001 - 07:12 pm
(After writing this up now I looked up and see that your catfish
is a Rafael Catfish. I don't know anything about them or if
any of this can apply to him-- but in case it could here goes...)
I can empathize; I have a catfish (Corydora) that is showing
signs of stress. I treated him for fin rot, and when I first put
him back to his regular tank he was swimming all over and looking
fine, but soon it was back to his old habits of hiding. A couple
days later I noticed that my dwarf gourami (the one that I thought
was behaving himself) was chasing the corys out of their sandbox
at night. I suspect that had something to do with his hiding and
maybe his fin rot too. Do you have any fish that could be harrasing
him on the sly? I removed the offending gourami to what I now call
Cell Block G, and I'm just going to watch and see if the catfish
improves. One thing I did for my cory's is to put a container
of sand in the tank, and I feed them there. It's easier on their
fins, and I feel good that they have a place to go if they need
a soft place, which they seem to like.
July 27, 2001 - 12:29 am
tina sorry at work..little time here..I use aquarium pharmacuticals
ammonia test(salicyate)works well for me...I am not sure
what you have it should indicate method on test kit box...and hey
shan..I like your ideas...now tina girl..what exactly are you seeing
here with your fish you are worried about?..plain cycling can be
stressful enough by itself..
July 27, 2001 - 12:09 pm
the reason I'm worried is because my fish seems sick. He is
not as active as he used to be and I haven't seen him eat. Plus
he's breathing real hard.
Kick has been helping me and it's really hard to tell for sure
what's causing his problems. She says it may be the Amquel,
but she's not sure. Has anyone ever had adverse reactions to
this product with their fish?
We both are stumped. Kick also thought it may be circulation issues
but I think my circulation is pretty good. We also both thought
it may just be the new water conditions. None of the other fish
are displaying anything bad (luckily!) which makes it even
Kick also brought up that maybe another fish is harassing the Raphael
Catfish, but the only fish that acknowledges him is my other catfish,
the Pictus. Now the only reason he's been around the Raphael
is becuase I keep dropping shrimp pellets in front of the Raphael
in hope that he'll eat them. In turn, the Pictus comes swimming
over and eats most of the pellets. No one wants to mess with the
Raphael, because he is covered in tiny, sharp spikes and armor.
Any other ideas?
July 27, 2001 - 10:23 pm
I'm gonna' jump in here. What are your water parameters
now? I'm not sure where you are in the cycling process, but
it sounds like you should be in the nitrite phase and possibly having
a nitrite spike making your cat sick. Not all fish react the same
to a particular level of nitrite. Are all the rest of your fish
behaving perfectly normal or are they lethergic, gasping or darting
about? Anyway, knowing what your ammonia and nitrite levels are
right now may give you the answer.
The rapid breathing means either that he's being toxed from
something (like nitrite) or has an infection. With septicemia
(infection throughout the body), one may not see anything
externally but may only see the distress that the sick fish is in
by its' fast breathing. Infections can happen when fish get
stressed during the cycling process.
I would check your water parameters pronto. Also, consider moving
the cat to a hospital tank to treat him there with an antibiotic
and to remove him from your otherwise healthy fish in the main tank.
Kanacyn is probably the best antibiotic to use but has to be used
with some caution with "sensitive" fish. Maracyn-Two would
be another option.
AmQuel will not make your fish sick unless overdosed to such an
extreme, that well, you'd never get close to putting that much
July 28, 2001 - 08:21 am
Tina the infection Barb mentions makes sense. Ich can leave the
fishes system weakened and they are then more prone to secondary
bacterial infections as a result. If your water parameters are okay
and he still acts sick I would treat.Test first you don't want
to treat him if you don't have to! I had to treat my fish for
bacterial infections after a double ich outbreak a few years ago.
I won't advise you on the meds I always use Kanamycin, but I
don't have very many catfish(Kick has had lots of catfish).
Hopefully he will recover I did loose a couple of small neons or
cardinals when this happened.
July 28, 2001 - 09:20 am
Barb, that is basically what I told Tina in an email. I am not sure
you understand what happened with Tina. She set the tank up, got
it running and then the LPS "loaded" her up with fish from
the very beginning. She didn't have a lot of knowledge concerning
the hobby and has run into a few snags. However, we have been lucky
enough to save the fish thus far. I am relatively sure it is the
water perimeters that are causing the problem with the cat, but
told her to post here to maybe get some other ideas. I usually use
Maracyn II for most of my illnesses, but everyone on here (and
I know you do, too) use the Kanamycin when possible. Thanks
for sharing that it can have negative effects on sensitive fish.
July 28, 2001 - 12:54 pm
I tested the water. Nitrites, and Nitrates are minimal. But the
pH and Ammonia are very high. The PH in Denver is normally really
high, and I did a partial water change again to bring the ammonia
down. The cat seems a little better today. Unfortunetly, we lost
one of our marble mollies this morning very unexpectedly. I know
they prefer salty water and we have no salt in the water due to
the 2 catfish, tetra and frog.
All I can really do right now is wait, Like I said the cat looks
a little better so we just need to watch....
July 28, 2001 - 03:13 pm
Are you now using an ammonia tester that is compatible with AmQuel,
such as that, which Jeff suggested? If not, your high ammonia reading
is meaningless, that is, it is a false positive result and that's
not necessarily what is causing the probs in your tank at the moment.
July 28, 2001 - 05:59 pm
I haven't gotten the new Ammonia Kit yet, but we've done
4 water changes and it's been a week since we used the Amquel.
I hope to get another kit soon, but I don't drive so sometimes
it's a little hard to get places. I figure there has to be some
toxisiticy (srry for the spelling) in the water because
the catfish is still gasping a bit and so was the molly that died
(according to my fiance). So, I'm just trying to keep
the water as clean as I can.
July 29, 2001 - 08:51 pm
You're a bit stuck then... don't know if the problems are
from ammonia or from an infection (like septicemia). As
Kick points out, all your fish have been on stress overload and
this can make them more susceptible to infection and that may have
effected both the molly and cat. I am always concerned when a second
fish also gets sick because if a water quality prob doesn't
explain the illness or death, then something contagious may.
You could always re-dose with AmQuel (you would not be overdosing
your fish if you did this) at the rate of 10 drops per gallon
to convert the toxic ammonia to a non-toxic form and see if the
cat settles down. Using AmQuel to control your ammonia rather than
frequent water changes will allow cycling to continue at a more
normal pace anyway, as the non-toxic compound formed is still used
in the cycling process.
What size tank do you have, who lives there now and what is their
Hang in there! It sounds like Kick has guided you through the worst
of it and with her help, she'll get you through the rest of
July 30, 2001 - 10:45 am
I got the Aquarium Pharmeceuticals Ammonia test and my reading is
still high, it's at 3 right now. I'm going to do a water
change when I get home. I also added Ammo-Carb to the filter last
night (about an hour before I did the test). Hopefully that
Bad news...a red plattie (one from my first batch of fish)
died last night. He seemed fine when I got home, he ate a lot and
was swimming fine. About an hour later, my Blue Gourami was chasing
him around. He went and hid in one of the cave tunnels they have,
and hid there for about 10 minutes. Then he came out and was swimming
all off-kilter. I ran over to the tank, knowing he was dying, and
he took a final braeth and died. It was so sudden. I'm not sure
what happened. I know he did have a bit of damage to his tail, and
he's had that for 3 weeks, but it was starting to look a little
worse, so maybe it was tail rot, but still, it was so sudden and
Barb, to answer your question we now have 1 Dalmation Mollie, 1
red Platy, 1 Raphael Catfish, 1 Pictus Catfish, 1 African Dwarf
Frog, 1 Blue Gourami, 2 Fancy Tailed Guppies and 1 Black Skirted
Tetra. So that's 9 fish in our 37 gallon tank that is just over
3 weeks old. So it isn't fully cycled yet. If fact, we haven't
even gotten into the nitrite spike yet.
The Raphael Catfish is looking a little better. He is still breathing
hard, but I did see him swim again a bit yesterday.
July 31, 2001 - 12:44 am
Your fish don't need to suffer from high ammonia. It is now
the time to redose your tank with AmQuel, which changes the toxic
ammonia to a non-toxic form, allowing cyling to continue on. Ammo-carb
blocks up the ammonia and halts the cycling process. Please dose
your tank with AmQuel now at the rate of 10 drops per gallon or
one capful per 10 gallons. Lowering the toxic ammonia now will give
your fish a breather.
July 31, 2001 - 10:25 am
When I used the Amquel before it didn't do anything, so I'm
trying another method. Plus, my catfishes symptoms started when
I put the Amquel in, so I'm worried it may have been the cause.
I don't mind if it takes my tank a while longer to cycle as
long as I can get rid of the toxic ammonia that is making it so
hard for my fish to breathe. And I've been told many positive
things about Ammo-CArb so I'm willing to give it a try. Don't
worry, there is still plenty of ammonia in there for my tank to
cycle. When I was using the Amquel my ammonia levels were at 6.
When I did a couple of water changes after I stopped using the Amquel,
the ammonia dropped to 3 - 3.5. Now after another water change and
the Ammo-Carb, the ammonia level is at 1.5 - 2. So things are getting
better. Unfortuently, my Raphael cat is still breathing real hard.
I've read about 4 books now and the only thing that sounds close
to his exact symptoms is "Gill Flukes". But I can't
really see an inflamation or mucus/growth aroung the gills. It's
really hard to tell though, since his body type and coloring is
so weird. He kind of pokes out all over due to his armor and spikes.
Plus he has white spots as his pattern/coloring so I can't tell
if it's just just his normal coloring or white inflamation near
his gills. It seems pretty symetrical, so I'm thinking it's
just his coloring. But what if it's not? I don't want to
treat him for something he may not have and stress him out and maybe
make him sicker, but I also hate sitting around and not being able
to do anything. Plus I still haven't seen him eat.
Argh!!! Any other ideas?
August 03, 2001 - 10:18 am
My Raphael catfish "Tank" was out swimming last night!!!
For about a half hour he swam around only resting a couple times!!
I'm hoping he is on the road to recovery. This morning he was
in the corner by the heater again, but I hope he's ok. He is
still breathing hard. I am going to do another partial water change
today and hope to get the ammonia down some more and also get the
Nitrite down a little (my tank is finaly cycling!!!) How
long does the high Nitrite phase usually last?
Thanks again everyone!!
August 04, 2001 - 01:11 am
tina girl..gads sorry I have been in the middle of a killer home
move and fish and plants etc.. everywhere..so I am sorry..but help
has been fine..now the amquel won't hurt your fish..you have
your new kit so great you need to redose to keep those levels in
check but remember with fish and cycling it's harder to keep
things under control too..so everything is taking it's toll..if
you are really worried about the little guy..take him out and put
him in a temp hospital tank and treat him there with kanacyn or
Maracyn 2...as suggested earlier..cheer up..ok.
August 04, 2001 - 02:17 pm
Again, if anyone read my message in the General Message area, my
poor little guy died. Thanks for all your advice. I will miss this
catfish, "Tank", so much. When my fishtank fully cycles,
I do want another one. They really are the neatest fish, and I wish
I had known what I know now. I never would have subjected any fish
to such water conditions. I wish I had found this site before I
started my tank. I wouldn't have lost 3 fish if I had known
about the cycling process.