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Help with disease identification - Rocket Killie and Endler


Crabby
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Hey guys, I noticed a couple of days ago that one of my female rocket killies has some sort of disease or injury on her side, and I have no experience with fish diseases at all, so can I get some help with working out what it is and what to do about it? One of my female endlers also has a little white line on the end of her tail, and I just noticed this as well. Please help me with identifying the problems and fixing them.

Photos are here:

https://postimg.cc/gallery/odz029e0/

Cheers,

Crabclaw

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Not the best photo of the fish.

Have you checked your water parameters?

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I had 2 measure w/ strips, gonna try and get a liquid kit soon. ph is fine (7.2 or so) ammonia nitrate and nitrite aren't coming up, kh and gh are a bit high though (kh is 80 ppm and gh 140 ppm give or take). Will try to get more photos, hard though cuz both are very active (and i haven't seen the rocket killie in a couple of days).

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21 minutes ago, Crabclaw said:

ph is fine (7.2 or so) ammonia nitrate and nitrite aren't coming up, kh and gh are a bit high though (kh is 80 ppm and gh 140 ppm give or take)

Those parameters are getting too high for a killi. Killis definitely prefer soft water and slightly acidic, pH under 7.0.

Irrespective of what disease it might have, it would be a good idea to start reducing pH, GH and KH slowly now. Where abouts in VIC are you? Melbourne's tap water is generally very good for softwater fish.

If we can't ID the disease, start with an all purpose cure, like malachite green. 

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eek! I've been trying to reduce the hardness for a few weeks since i noticed it was high. I'm in melb, and my tap water is relatively soft, but it doesn't seem to make a difference to the hardness when i do water changes. I've been doing up to 40% weekly (on average maybe 30%) but have barely seen improvement... I'm using water that's already at about 23 degrees from tap, would it make a difference if I used just cold? (I've only measured cold tap, not heated as i didn't think it would be different). Otherwise if I could get RO from somewhere would that help?

Thanks!

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18 minutes ago, Crabclaw said:

I'm in melb, and my tap water is relatively soft, but it doesn't seem to make a difference to the hardness when i do water changes.

That means you have something else in the tank that is leeching carbonates - like a rock, or gravel or shell grit.

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ahh shoot. gravel was washed about 20 times thru, and rocks were boiled. gravel was sold as aquarium safe gravel, but the rocks were from phillip island, along the beach... how could i just test 1 or 2 to see if that's why? (they're all the same type, but i have a few big ones that r heavy and a bunch of small ones that i can test with)

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3 hours ago, Crabclaw said:

gravel was sold as aquarium safe gravel, but the rocks were from phillip island, along the beach

Hah! LOL, how did I know.

If I was going to put a bet on one or the other, it would be the rocks from Phillip Island ... from the beach.

How to test? do the vinegar test.

Take out a bit of gravel, and a small stone. drop some vinegar on them to see if you get a reaction.

Alternate test is to put them in a cup of water. Test the water GH and KH before adding, then test again after a few hours to see if KH and GH have increased.

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Tried this out tonight, started the glass experiment, and realised that my tap water is actually really soft. Kh is 0, gh is 30ppm, and ph is 6... why didn't I notice the difference earlier! Forgot the gravel, oops, I'll try that tomorrow morning. I put my whole supply of indian almond leaves (3) into the tank just to try to lower it a tinsy bit for the time being so I don't lose any more killies or shrimp (can't tell if I am actually losing shrimp as haven't seen bodies but my berried female has dissapeared completely sooooo). I've heard that vinegar isn't strong enough (youtube), but does it work for you? And in the case that it's the rocks (pls don't be gravel I don't want to redo my whole tank) are there any alternative rocks that don't increase gh/kh? JayC mentioned slate in steensj2004's forum on a similar rock issue, any other ones that work?

Thanks so much!

Edited by sdlTBfanUK
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The only rock I use now is Lava rock but you either like the look of it or not, it is different!

If your water is so soft (lucky you) you can just slowly and easily reduce all the parameters by doing small water changes with no (or very little) remineraliser, I would do a 10% water change with just the tap water (dechlorinated) for a few days and then see where you are? This would be the easiest way to do it but the new water should be added gradually by dripper or some other method? You don't want any sudden changes anyway!

If the berried shrimp is ready to have the babies they usually hide (naturally) so I wouldn't worry too much if you haven't seen any dead bodies!

I THINK it needs to be a certain type of vinegar (white if my memory is any good) but I tested my rocks the other suggested way, test the water before putting the rock into it,then put the rock in it, and then retest the water a week later, it is more likely to be the rock (as JayC stated) than the gravel but I guess you can do the same test with the gravel in a glass to be sure!

Simon

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By lava rock you mean scoria right?

57 minutes ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

If your water is so soft (lucky you) you can just slowly and easily reduce all the parameters by doing small water changes with no (or very little) remineraliser, I would do a 10% water change with just the tap water (dechlorinated) for a few days and then see where you are? This would be the easiest way to do it but the new water should be added gradually by dripper or some other method? You don't want any sudden changes anyway!

Definitely will do that.

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I don't know what its official name is but here is a link (I know the supplier isn't of any interest to you) to what I got.

https://www.pro-shrimp.co.uk/rocks/1381-tropica-lava-rock-5703249715104.html?search_query=lava&results=21

Its looks are very unique so you either like the look or not? Most of mine is covered with moss anyway? Or like this one but I would glue the plant to it rather than see an elastic band and it is soooo easy to glue plants to driftwood or rocks, it is just super glue though has to be non-toxic type;

https://www.pro-shrimp.co.uk/aquarium-plants/2646-bucephalandra-wavy-green-on-lava-rock-tropica-5703249939012.html?search_query=lava&results=21

Simon

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I did the tests tonight, and URGH!

Results were useless... I left gravel and the rocks in water for 3 days, and showed the tiniest change (if at all...). I also tried the vinegar test with white vinegar, but also had no reaction.

In the meantime I have lost the rocket killie that was originally sick, and another 1 or 2 ?. HELPPPPPPPPPPPPP!

Should I try with hyrdochloric (or muriatic or even citric) acid just to be sure? And would it have to be pure?

Upside-down strip comparison (srry)

IMG-5453.jpg

My interpretations: (note- the gravel was in much less water, water barely went over the gravel, but was in for less time (12 hours))

IMG-5452.jpg

The rocks and gravel

IMG-5450.jpg

And my problematic tank in all its bad blurry phone photo glory:

IMG-5451.jpg

Edited by Crabclaw
Added photos + fixed typo
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Have you tested the tank parameters as that is the most important one?

The tank looks good. Have you removed all the rock? If you have and the parameters (Ph) are going down with the water changes then you have probably sorted that part of the problem. If not I would try removing all the rock at this stage (you can always put it back later?) I left my rock a week in the test water before testing so you may be being too impatient, test again in another 4 days as it won't instantly rise it will take time to slowly increase the Parameters (Ph) I expect?

Some occupants were probably weak/sick by the stage you started 'messing' with the parameters etc, and changing the parameters may have just been too much or too late for some, if they were already weak/sick?

Simon

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Will remove rocks today and do 20% water changes today and tomorrow, might get a couple of 10% changes done over the week as well. 

Also gonna try the test again for a week this time.

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I've avoided posting in this thread because I'm not sure what is available overseas and even the best photos are hard to diagnose by if not simple pathogens such as ich. If these were my fish, I would set up a QT and use Erythromycin and if you have it there API general cure. Obviously be mindful not to use carbon, etc in your filter. I am not a fan of tea tree oils, high temps or in most cases salt. 

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Thx blue ridge for the advice, currently my problem is with the tds and hardness of the tank. The endler guppy no longer has a problem with her tail, and sadly the rocket killie has passed away. All of the other fish look fine, and I think the reason my killies have had it tough is due to the hardness being way too much for them. As there doesn’t seem to be a disease with them, my main focus is to get the hardness down before I lose my last 2 ?

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Although losing the last killie must have been upsetting, it does now give you a clean working space for getting the parameters sorted and then you can look forward to getting some replacement killie - I love killie, even more than Betta but it is a bit too involved for me so I have avoided it so far!

If your guppies are anything like mine (endlers), fin and tail marks will happen a lot and clear up almost as quickly, they are far too curious/nosey and go into every gap, under moss pads, squeeze behind the filters etc and so mine I have put down to them having just gone somewhere that they have got a small tear or caught on something - behind a filter or too close to a mesh pad etc?

Simon

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  • 1 month later...

Update:

Have determined that the KH issue is with the gravel, so will change it next weekend. I don’t know what to switch it out for though... I would consider a shrimp substrate, except they usually are intended to buffer the water, and my tap water is perfect for everything I have in the tank already, so I need a neutral substrate. Would prefer full black or brown substrate, but of course the first priority is it’s neutrality and safety. (Just remembered I have plants with roots in the tank, so maybe a planted tank substrate...?)

Any ideas on substrate or a good way to replace the substrate would be great!

Cheers!

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1 hour ago, Crabclaw said:

Any ideas on substrate or a good way to replace the substrate would be great!

What sort of gravel do you have now?

 

What about 'Pisces Black diamond gravel'? I hear they are good. 

Also 'AquaLava by Oliver Knott' should be inert since it's scoria rocks.

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It was a ‘black diamond quartz gravel’ from someone on gumtree, that turned grey... eww. I have about 4cm of it in the bottom of my 110 L. Forgot to mention, I’m fine to switch to sand or soil if u think that would be better. (Maybe from my bn’s point of view).

I’ll check those two out. Thanks jayc!

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When I used TAP water for my Betta the JBL soil I used (may not be available where you are though) exhausted its PH buffering in about 3 months, if that is any help - didn't take long!

Incidentally, has anyone ever tried exhausting a soil substrate buffering by adding PH plus, before adding any occupants, I am assuming that will speed up the process. I may get some and give it a go as an experiment? next time I do an order?????

Simon

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That’s a cool idea! I would be interested in testing that out as well at some point. Let us know if you try it!

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On 10/21/2019 at 10:57 AM, jayc said:

What about 'Pisces Black diamond gravel'? I hear they are good

I just did some research on that and I’m a little worried I could have the same problem as I have now... read someone say on another forum that is raises the ph and hardness most of the time.

Any sands that you would recommend? (Preferably from personal use). I was thinking that if scoria is inert, would a black volcanic sand also be inert?

Also is there any specific way I should go about changing the substrate guys?

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2 hours ago, Crabclaw said:

read someone say on another forum that is raises the ph and hardness most of the time.

I was hoping it wasn't the pisces brand. Oh well, cross that off my recommended list.

Are you willing to try AquaLava by Oliver Knott? I know it's not cheap.

 

2 hours ago, Crabclaw said:

would a black volcanic sand also be inert?

Maybe. Got a link or something to where you would buy this?

Without going into a whole Geology session, it depends on what the composition of the volcanic sand was. 

We get a lot of our Scoria from NZ, that is generally inert. 

 

 

If you want to go with sand, generally, your choice is Bunnings play sand. However, since sand can be sourced from any quarry anywhere in Australia, there is no guarantee it is inert. You can only buy it and then test for changes to the water parameter.

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