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Fin rot that won't go away

Badmans Tropical Fish Message Center: archive: Fin rot that won't go away


Thursday, September 06, 2001 - 02:03 pm
Hello! I have posted on here quite a lot lately but to update everyone:

37 Gallon freshwater tank, 3 months old
Ammonia: 0, Nitrites: 0, Nitrates: 20, pH: 7.32
25% water change every 3 weeks, water is treated with StressCoat.
Temperature: 77 degrees
1 Blue Gourami 3"
3 Guppies: one male, two female 1"
1 Dalmation Molly 2 1/2"
1 Black Skirted Tetra 1 1/2"
2 Raphael Catfish: 2 1/2"
1 Pictus Cat 3"
2 African Dwarf Frogs 1"
1 Clown Pleco 1 1/2"
2 Otto Cats 2/3" (tiny)

Now, I have had problems with Fin Rot on my Black Skirted Tetra. I hear this is common, but the thing is, I can't get it healed. I treated the whole tank at first with Tetracyclene and I think it may have killed my first Clown Pleco. So I discontined the treatment (I only did it for 4 of the 5 days recommended).
Nothing cleared up so I took the Tetra out and put her in a 2 gallon isolation tank and treated with the Tetracyclene again. For all 5 days. I have put her back in the community tank because she seemed so stressed and lonely. The Fin rot hasn't gotten worse, but it is not better either. What should be my next step? No other fish show signs of any fin rot. I hate taking her out of the tank because she is so fast it can take up to a half hour to catch her, and by that time she is so stressed!!! But I hate treating the whole tank because I don't know how the catfishes or frogs will react. What do you recommend?


P.S. Jeff I still haven't found any medicated fishfood. I will have to check the website you recommended.



Thursday, September 06, 2001 - 02:15 pm
I wanted to add a description of the Tetra's Fin Rot to make sure I've got the right diagnosis:

Fins are ragged, especially the back tail fin. There is a bit of moldy looking white fuzz on some ragged parts. On the bottom fin there are a few holes, but no white fuzz. Some of this white fuzz went away in the treatment tank, but not all of it. Sometimes her fins droop.
The Tetra is eating great and moving around happily as normal, I really want to get her some friends since I know Tetras school, but I want to make sure all her fins clear up and heal.
Also, I noticed after I put her in the tank, my Blue Gourami chased her a bit. He does this anytime a new or sick fish is in the tank. He must have forgotten about her since she was gone for 5 days and thought she was a new fish. He didn't do this before she left the tank, and has stopped doing it for now as well. Hopefully, he feels he asserted himself enough.
Also, I wanted to add that I had no charcoal in the isolation tank but I did have a air bubbler and underground filter. I did water changes to the tank everyday, replacing about 2 cups of water. There was a yucky brown film/foam building up on the surface (which the medication instructions said would happen) and I wanted to make sure she was getting enough surface breakage for air.



Thursday, September 06, 2001 - 05:03 pm
I have my pack of kanacyn here it treats both fungal infections and rotting fins and tail. I treat my angel tank periodically since my white angel seems to get torn fins quite often. I always use it as a fin rot med. Suggest you try going to water changes every two weeks. Sometimes if you let the water maintenance go a little too long the fish will be more prone to bacterial infections. I have never had trouble with this med in treating the whole tank. I do not see any warnings for catfish and have used it on them in the past. Can't say on the frogs I have never kept them.



Friday, September 07, 2001 - 12:32 am
I don't know the size of your pictus cat, but I've known them to be a stealthy problem in the past. Many people don't realize that pictus cats (and raphael cats, but they aren't usually much of a problem) are nocturnal feeders, and it wouldn't suprise me if late some night, the pictus was roaming around, and thought the black tetra's fins were dinner.
Also, don't necessarily rule out your gourami. If he's picked on fish before, there's no reason he wouldn't again, even with long time tankmates. If the tetra stumbles over into the gourami's territory, a little fin nippage may occur.
Any fish with long fins is subject to get picked on, because those long fins look more like a tasty treat to some fish.
Also, its better to be safe than sorry, but you might want to double check that you actually have "fin rot" and not just beat up fins. There's no sense in treating the aquarium with anti-biotics if your fish is just getting picked on a little. On occasion, fish that have been picked on will produce a little more of a slime coat in that area under "attack", which may explain the "moldy" kind of look (but its hard to say for sure without having seen the fish, as I may have a different picture of moldy in my head than what you actually mean).
Generally, if you do have a type of fin rot caused by bacteria, it will easily spread to other fish, and should be noticeable.
One other option is to change treatments. If the tetracycline isn't doing anything, try another medication and see if that has better results. After all, if the tetracycline doesn't appear to be doing anything, it should hurt anything by changing meds.
Finally, if the fish did get beat up a little, it may take a little while for the fins to grow back, so the fish's fins may appear a little tattered for a while.
I hope these suggestions help.
If you have a reputable LFS or LPS around that you trust, you might try calling, and asking if they could take a look at a sick fish if you bring it in. Sometimes it helps to have a second opinion, even if you've been keeping fish your entire life.
I don't want to make any sort of diagnosis, but I hope I've been helpful, and good luck.



Friday, September 07, 2001 - 10:32 am
I know my Pictus (3 inches long) is nocturnal but he almost always, 90% of the time, stays at the bottom of the tank. The Tetra is almost always, 90% of the time, at the top of the tank. I know the Gourami may still be being a jerk to the Tetra, thats why I was wondering, if I do get a few more Tetras so they can school, will there be safety in numbers? Do you think the Gourami may be intimidated by them and back off then? I have been told to get another Gourami (female) to calm him down, but I don't want to get another fish just for the sole purpose for him to pick on her and ignore the others...
The "Mold" I was describing seems like the very begining stages of molding food. Very small, white and SLIGHTLY fuzzy, not really cottony or whispy. Just enough fuzz to have a little texture. I'm hesitant to take her out of the tank again because it stresses her out so much (especially a half hour drive to the pet store).
I haven't really noticed if the other fish have it. I know they all look fine except my new female guppy who looks like shes getting some wear and tear from the Male. I found my other female guppy dead yesterday and I had no idea anything was wrong with her. The male doesn't seem to be overly aggressive, he just hangs around the female. He doesn't chase her when I watch. Hmmmm fish are so puzzling!!!



Friday, September 07, 2001 - 08:09 pm
tina girl..your little guy has gotten a secondary bacterial infection due to the fin nipping and tail rot problem...You should have keep him isolated and treat with both Maracyn and Maracyn- 2 for a 10 day run...or if you go visit your vet you can try one or the other of 2 new meds out ther Tequin 400mg tabs and Levaquin 500mg tabs work real well..if you get either one I will tell you how to dose them...anyway get added aireation in your tank keep the temp at 75-76'F.. 25% waterchanges between daily treatments... and heck if you can get some of that medicated food get it...



Saturday, September 08, 2001 - 12:29 am
Don't be fooled by your pictus. When night time comes, they'll search anywhere there might be food. I've known many, many people that had pictus cats and neons (or other small tetras), and wondered where the neons, or other small tetras were the next morning(and they wondered why their pictus cat was so fat (and that rhymes like I'm singing some scat, look at that)).
Anyway, just so you know. I would suspect he'd probably leave the tetra alone, as its not big enough to eat, but like I said, big fins = lunch to many fish.

Like Jeff said, its sounds like a secondary bacterial infection.
If you really want medicated food, but can't find any, look for an anti-biotic in powder form. Generally neomycin works well (I also really like ampcillin(sp?)). I've heard of some people that have ground maracyn into a very fine powder, and used that, but I can't say I recommend it. Anyway, mix this in with some of your food (frozen food generally works best, as is "absorbs" more of the medication, flakes and pellets should still work too). After you do that, then you have medicated food. I generally like the small capsules, as they're large enough for a few feedings, but not so large that a lot of it goes to waste.
If you have any questions about this, ask the board, I'm sure one of the frequent posters will be able to help.


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