PDA

View Full Version : Hith



bar0819
10-12-2007, 06:01 PM
I have a 4 year old oscar. He lived in a college dorm most of his life and has had HITH. Son graduated Mom got Oscar. He is now showing signs of HITH. I was given Tetracycline for his tank. After two treatments he is not doing well. What are we doing wrong??
thanks

squirt_12
10-12-2007, 06:06 PM
Welcome to the forum!!!!:19:

It could take a while for the treatment to start working.

bar0819
10-12-2007, 06:15 PM
Thanks for fast reply. Is this the correct medication? He stopped eating and he looks a lot worse then before.

Dave66
10-12-2007, 06:24 PM
What have you been feeding your Oscar? Improper diet is the main cause of HITH.

Dave

bar0819
10-12-2007, 06:31 PM
We are feeding floating pellets he is in a 55 gallon tank.

~Erik3.8.07~
10-12-2007, 07:25 PM
was that all you fed him? fish need a variety of foods in there diet to get better nutrients

bar0819
10-12-2007, 09:05 PM
His diet has been all pellets. I have had him since May of this year.

squirt_12
10-12-2007, 09:08 PM
try giving him blood worms...frozen or freeze dried...frozen brine shrimp..etc....there are SOOO mant things that you can feed your oscar....earthworms are excellent for your fish as they do not carry diseases.
So just try around. Like my fish have had like everything.

cocoa_pleco
10-12-2007, 09:09 PM
to take care of the HITH, add a medicine for it and keep the water clean.

i think the problem was the pellets, fish need a variety of diet. my oscar gets plenty of things, hikari pellets, live crickets, algae wafers, supersoft pellets, everything

Dave66
10-12-2007, 09:19 PM
We are feeding floating pellets he is in a 55 gallon tank.

Improper diet is most likely the cause of hole in the head in your Oscar. Current research (by me and some Cichlidofile friends) indicates 30 percent of an Oscar's diet should be vegetative in origin. You could survive for some time on just potato chips, perhaps for years, though you'd suffer severe nutritional diseases. That is exactly what is happening to your Oscar. I quote Adam Dacna:

Diet is the most commonly accepted and supported cause of HITH. It is believed that the disease is more akin to scurvy, or rickets; both vitamin deficiency diseases in humans (scurvy is caused by not having enough vitamin C in your diet over extended periods; early sailors would get it because fresh fruit and vegetables could not be stored for long voyages). Just as the human body degenerates if proper diet is neglected for too long so do aquarium fish. If an unbalanced, or an out right improper diet is fed over a long period of time the fish can suffer greatly. Don't mistake a fat fish with a healthy fish, just as you wouldn't mistake a fat person for a healthy person. Simply eating food is not good enough; it has to be the right food. A link has been found between the development of HITH and a lack of calcium, phosphorous, and vitamins C & D. Many of the common fish foods sold in the hobby today are enriched with vitamins to make them more balanced, though supplemental vitamins can be added to them as well. Know the diet of your fish and be consistent, and varied. As a side note for carnivorous and semi-carnivorous fish such as Oscars, red devils, and Jaguars, feeder fish should never be chosen as a primary food source because they have virtually no nutritional value. In addition feeders contain the enzyme thaimase which breaks down thiamine. Thiamine is an important vitamin and if you use feeders as a large portion of your fish’s diet it WILL develop a thiamine deficiency. Fish fed exclusively or largely diets of feeder fish are extremely likely to develop HITH. They are also in high risk of contracting other diseases, such as ich, numerous other parasites, or fungal infections. It is important to resist the urge to watch your fish chase their food; it is for their own good.
A fish, no matter what species, should be fed as varied a diet as possible. There are several top shelf Cichlid foods (New Life Spectrum, Danichi) that are a better choice for a staple food. Some reptile foods, like crickets and meal worms, could be fed three or four times a week. Foods designed for Herbivores should be provided regularly.
I am concerned that you Oscar is too far gone, as you've said he refuses to eat. If he recovers, wonderful. Throw away those sticks, and buy him four or five different foods as I've suggested. You couldn't thrive on the same thing day after day, nor will your Oscar, as you've seen. Research his natural diet, and duplicate it as closely as possible. He may yet be saved. I do hope so.

Dave

cocoa_pleco
10-12-2007, 09:27 PM
and i forgot, a good brand for HITH meds is METRO+. its about 10$ a bottle but single concentrated for HITH

squirt_12
10-12-2007, 09:46 PM
VERY GOOD info. Dave. That said alot. Thanks for that.

deckard_wa
10-13-2007, 12:46 AM
Improper diet is most likely the cause of hole in the head in your Oscar. Current research (by me and some Cichlidofile friends) indicates 30 percent of an Oscar's diet should be vegetative in origin. You could survive for some time on just potato chips, perhaps for years, though you'd suffer severe nutritional diseases. That is exactly what is happening to your Oscar. I quote Adam Dacna:

A fish, no matter what species, should be fed as varied a diet as possible. There are several top shelf Cichlid foods (New Life Spectrum, Danichi) that are a better choice for a staple food. Some reptile foods, like crickets and meal worms, could be fed three or four times a week. Foods designed for Herbivores should be provided regularly.
I am concerned that you Oscar is too far gone, as you've said he refuses to eat. If he recovers, wonderful. Throw away those sticks, and buy him four or five different foods as I've suggested. You couldn't thrive on the same thing day after day, nor will your Oscar, as you've seen. Research his natural diet, and duplicate it as closely as possible. He may yet be saved. I do hope so.

Dave

That's an excellent post, but could I just add that when talking about variety, actually use different brands. For example don't buy Hikkari Gold, and then have Hikkari Excel for your variety / veggies, it's not different enough IMO. For pellets, I buy a heap of different brands / types at once and mix them all up in a bowl, and then put them back in the bags, so that when they're fed they automatically get a variety of things. Twice a week I give them frozen food I made myself, and when the convicts have fry they get some of them occasionaly too. It's not too hard if you get a little creative.

I also believe water quality is vital in curing HITH. Unless he is too far gone, I wouldn't use meds, just a good, varied diet and clean water can usually clear things up. Good luck and HTH

Fishguy2727
10-13-2007, 01:49 AM
I made a post a while back specifically on HITH and HLLE, I beleive it is in the Diseases section. This information is not bad, but I do have to disagree with some of it.

For one you need to be aware of the difference between HITH and HLLE. HITH includes the presence of Hexamita spp. (a parasite). The parasite is the problem but may be allowed for by a variety of reasons, including poor/insufficient diet. HITH is evidenced by narrow pits, mainly on the head, especially above the eyes, that are deep and may include a white discharge. HLLE is a more degenerative condition where the Hexamita spp. are not present. HLLE is evidenced by wide shallow erosions with no white discharge. In more severe cases of HLLE they will be deeper (may look like a very tiny melon baller was used to take chunks out of the head). This form in its worse can look like there is more hole than unaffected skin on the head and is mroe likely to affect the lateral line in addition to the head. This form will not respond to Metro+ and other metronidazole medications because there is no parasite to kill. HLLE is more likely due to dietary issues, as well as water quality.

No one asked about water quality. 4 years in a college room, come on guys, ask about water quality. So, water change schedule (amount and frequency)? Filtration? in a 55 by himself? What brand of pellets?

Are you using carbon? If yes, stop. It can remove trace elements and micronutrients which can lead to problems like this.

I also have to disagree with ideal diet. The nutritional needs of the fish are set, they simply need to be fulfilled. They don't care if you have to buy one food or twenty, they simply need to be fulfilled. My personal experience with NLS is that it truly is complete, and for all fish. This may not make since, but it really is. The best results with it are achieved when it is the only food fed. It is the only thing I use and the only thing we feed all of our cichlids at work. Since I have started this the only case of HITH was in a couple stressed discus when I first got them, it quickly went away with Metro+, and now that they have been on nothing but NLS for well over a year now, they have not gotten it again. It used to be true that variety was needed because no single food fulfilled all the needs of the fish. But I really think that has changed with NLS. If you took the varied diets suggested and blended them together into one pellet, does that mean you no longer have variety? The examples of humans on one food are not really representative of a truly nutritonally complete food. We all know potato chips are not nutritionally complete, but if they made a cereal or something that truly gave us every bit of nutrition we needed, we woudl get bored (which is a separate issue), but we would be receiving complete nutrition. So nothing but potato chips, bad for us (just like nothing but goldfish for oscars, bad for them). Now, the exception to the nothing but NLS rule that I go by is oscars. For oscars I would include Hikari Bio-Gold+ because it contains a beneficial bacteria that actually out-competes the Hexamita spp., preventing them from getting a hold on the fish. Since NLS is also the ideal food for herbivorous fish as well as carnivorous fish, thay aspect is covered as well.

Out of curiosity, is there evidence of wild oscars feeding on vegetation?

deckard_wa
10-13-2007, 03:45 AM
I made a post a while back specifically on HITH and HLLE, I beleive it is in the Diseases section. This information is not bad, but I do have to disagree with some of it.

For one you need to be aware of the difference between HITH and HLLE. HITH includes the presence of Hexamita spp. (a parasite). The parasite is the problem but may be allowed for by a variety of reasons, including poor/insufficient diet. HITH is evidenced by narrow pits, mainly on the head, especially above the eyes, that are deep and may include a white discharge. HLLE is a more degenerative condition where the Hexamita spp. are not present. HLLE is evidenced by wide shallow erosions with no white discharge. In more severe cases of HLLE they will be deeper (may look like a very tiny melon baller was used to take chunks out of the head). This form in its worse can look like there is more hole than unaffected skin on the head and is mroe likely to affect the lateral line in addition to the head. This form will not respond to Metro+ and other metronidazole medications because there is no parasite to kill. HLLE is more likely due to dietary issues, as well as water quality.

No one asked about water quality. 4 years in a college room, come on guys, ask about water quality. So, water change schedule (amount and frequency)? Filtration? in a 55 by himself? What brand of pellets?

Are you using carbon? If yes, stop. It can remove trace elements and micronutrients which can lead to problems like this.

I also have to disagree with ideal diet. The nutritional needs of the fish are set, they simply need to be fulfilled. They don't care if you have to buy one food or twenty, they simply need to be fulfilled. My personal experience with NLS is that it truly is complete, and for all fish. This may not make since, but it really is. The best results with it are achieved when it is the only food fed. It is the only thing I use and the only thing we feed all of our cichlids at work. Since I have started this the only case of HITH was in a couple stressed discus when I first got them, it quickly went away with Metro+, and now that they have been on nothing but NLS for well over a year now, they have not gotten it again. It used to be true that variety was needed because no single food fulfilled all the needs of the fish. But I really think that has changed with NLS. If you took the varied diets suggested and blended them together into one pellet, does that mean you no longer have variety? The examples of humans on one food are not really representative of a truly nutritonally complete food. We all know potato chips are not nutritionally complete, but if they made a cereal or something that truly gave us every bit of nutrition we needed, we woudl get bored (which is a separate issue), but we would be receiving complete nutrition. So nothing but potato chips, bad for us (just like nothing but goldfish for oscars, bad for them). Now, the exception to the nothing but NLS rule that I go by is oscars. For oscars I would include Hikari Bio-Gold+ because it contains a beneficial bacteria that actually out-competes the Hexamita spp., preventing them from getting a hold on the fish. Since NLS is also the ideal food for herbivorous fish as well as carnivorous fish, thay aspect is covered as well.

Out of curiosity, is there evidence of wild oscars feeding on vegetation?

OK, I'll admit my previous post could have been more in depth, so here goes ...............A lot of the above is old thinking, and some of it has been disproved more than once. It is now known that Hexamita is not the cause after all, but merely being opportunisitc in the presence of this condition. Tests were done by noted fish keeper Don Dickson in the 1980s that showed the level of the parasite present in the wounds was in no way enough to have caused the problem. You can find an article Don wrote here:

http://www.fishyou.com/freshwater/hith.html

Other people have come to the same conclusion but the above article on it's own should serve.

I did say in my last post on this thread that water quality is vital in curing HITH alongside a good diet. And yes, there is ample evidence of wild Oscars feeding on vegetation. They get this from the fish etc that they eat. Whatever they eat in the wild has been eating something else etc etc, and Os get the benefits of this by eating them. A lot of what Os eat in the wild is naturally herbivorous, and by eating them Os get their veggies by an indirect route, and in a formula they can easily digest. This is a big reason why when you use live food, be it crickets or self raised feeders, you should gut load them with veggies first.

I personally don't believe that NLS (while a fine food in it's own right) can be a truly complete food. It's been shown time and time again that while food can have all these nutrients in them, they are not always in a form that is usable to the fish. An example of this is how vitamins spoil when they hit the water and so any pellets not eaten immediately will have progressively less usable vitamins in them. Vitamins inside veggies inside feeder barbs however stay good and are in a usable form. You are aware that processed food is less good for you that fresh food? You may well be right about NLS, it's just my personal opinion that my method is better, which is admittedly due in large part to gut feeling. But hey, this can only be a good thing because if we all thought the same there'd be no need for a site like this would there?

Carbon has been linked to HITH/HLLE due I think to it's supposed removal of vital micro-nutrients from the water, but at the moment this is a real minority view, and is largely discredited until some real evidence is produced. For the record, I do not like carbon, don't use it and never will.

So I believe, as I said before............. excellent water quality (low, low,low nitrates) and a good healthy varied diet is IMVHO the way to go about fighting HITH.

HTH

Fishguy2727
10-13-2007, 01:07 PM
How did they determine what is sufficient levels of Hexamita spp. to cause HITH?

I think the biggest problem with HITH/HLLE is that everyone lumps them together and is looking for a SINGLE cause.

My discus got HITH. They had narrow, deep pits with white discharge. One had so much discharge that you couldn't see the hole. I used Metro+ (contains metronidazole) and it went away. The condition went away when I used something that kills Hexamita spp. That says to me loud and clear that Hexemita spp. is one of the causes of HITH.

Many times with these two diseases/conditions the evidence that 'disproves' one believed cause simply wasn't the cause in that case. And since many people want a single answer as the cause, they don't accept that factor as even contributing to the disease. If it was a single cause than we would have figured it out by now and there would not be so many believed causes with proof to back them up and so much debate on this disease.

There have been cases where the condition was developed while carboon was present. When the carbon was removed it went away. When the carbon was returned, so did the condition. This proves that in some cases it can be the sole cause. To me this also says that in many more cases it can be one of the contributing factors.

I have to agree that it is a very good idea to be very skeptical of everything you hear in this hobby, and foods would probably have to be at the top of this list. It has been shown that foods can have the nutrients in them without them being available to the fish (either in a form not available to the fish or in a form that degenerates by the time the fish eats it), however that is one of the keys of this food, the nutrition makes it to the fish. It has also been known that you need variety because of this. But this is with other foods. If you read through the testimonials on their site you will find some very impressive results with this food. Processed foods for us are worse than fresh foods, but that is because of what all we put in them. We don't necessarily do that with fish foods. I was highly skeptical of this food when I first tried it. I used it in my mixes and it made no difference. SO I knew it wasn't as great as all the hype over it. Later I saw an ad in TFH showing a tank of a variety of saltwater fish that had been fed nothing but NLS for seven years. So I looked into it again. There was an article about how moorish idols were fat and happy on a solely NLS diet for three years. Anyone into saltwater fish knows what an accomplishment that is. Over and over I found that you get the best results when it is the sole food being fed. So I tried that, that is when I got the results that people in the testimonials section of NLS's website were talking about. That is when I switched all my fish over to nothing but NLS and am thankful I did. Other diets work, they work very well. This has to be true for so many to still use them and know they are the best. I personally think if people really want to do the best for their fish they will give NLS a shot as the sole food and see for themselves how good they think it is. What it really comes down to is the results. What we thank is ideal may not be true. We can debate the pros and cons of this versus that forever, what can't be denied are results. From my experience the results of an exclusively NLS diet are at least as good if not better than any other diet. It is better than any other diet I have ever tried.

Any predator gets the gut contents of its prey. So I think requiring herbivorous foods was a little overemphasized in this thread since they are not occasionally grazing on aquatic plants, they are just getting the usual amounts that all predators get.

deckard_wa
10-14-2007, 10:13 AM
Mate there's heaps and heaps of rebuttals to the idea of Hexamita being the cause of HITH, I can't be bothered looking for them right now, but they are out there. There's probably plenty to agree with you too, isn't science wonderful?

I never said that carbon isn't a contributor, just that it's a minority opinion at the moment amongst aquarists. I hate carbon, never used it and never will, but I bet dollars to doughnuts that anyone who gets it who has carbon would have got it anyway, though no one could ever prove either way. You could take the line that the fact that people who don't use carbon at all can still get HITH in their tanks discounts carbon as a factor.

I have no doubt we could spend a few fun weeks here attempting to prove each other wrong, but I don't do p1$$ing contests any more lol

As for food, you've found NLS to be perfect for you. That's fantastic, good for you, I'm really happy for you and your fish (I mean that). However, one of the major things my life has taught me is to never rely on anything 100%, which is part of the reason that myself and NLS will never meet. Another reason is the price..in this part of the world it's hell expensive. About half of the food my cichlids and catfish get, I make for them. I enjoy doing it, I know exactly what they are being fed, and for less than half the price that a NLS only diet would cost. Honestly, I don't believe for one second that your results are better than mine. They may well be comparable, maybe even equal, but no way do I believe better, and for half the price and a lot more fun too :thumb:

I think it's great that we can see and do things differently and still have good results. it's part of what makes fish-keeping such an awesome hobby :thumb: :thumb:

Fishguy2727
10-14-2007, 01:56 PM
There is not one cause of HITH/HLLE, that is what I am saying. Since there are many causes, you can disprove on and another, but that just means they weren't factors in THOSE instances. There are many causes of heart attacks. I think we can all agree that eating a bad diet is one major factor. Yet some people who eat great their whole life still get them, so does that mean that a bad diet isn't a factor? Of course not. It means that a bad diet is a factor but in THOSE cases it wasn't. I know many don't believe carbon is an issue with it, but as I said I think so many people are looking for one cause that it makes them blind to the myriad of factors that CAN contribute to it.

If carbon can't ever contribute to it than what is the cause in that last example of it I gave? (carbon in HLLE develops, carbon out it goes away, carbon back in HLLE comes back).

And if Hexemita is never a cause of HITH than why do some cases respond to medications that will kill it? That is the only thing I changed when my discus got it (I used Metro+) and it immediately went away. I STRONGLY agree that it is not the cause or even a contributing factor in many and probably most cases, but I also strongly agree that in some cases it is.

If you do feel like it I would be glad to read through any links and resources you may want to post, I would highly appreciate it. I did a lot of research when my jaguar cichlid got HLLE and these are the results I came up with.

deckard_wa
10-17-2007, 12:51 PM
Damn work............kept off the 'net for 3 whole days lol.

Anyway, "Metro+" and every other "HITH Medicine" I've heard of is metronidazole. Metronidazole kills flagellate protozoa. Heximata is a flagellate protozoa often found as a secondary infection in HITH. A secondary infection. Heximata does not cause HITH. It can prevent HITH from healing. That's all. So if you use the product and your HITH clears up it's because the Heximata, is no longer preventing the HITH from healing, not because that's what caused the problem in the first place. It's your PWCs and feeding that are doing the actual healing. There's a clear distinction there if you can follow what i am saying.

On this PC I do not have the links etc. to my research, and the link I posted earlier was the only one I could remember off the top of my head so that's why that one was used. It'd take me weeks to find everything I had, and really at the end of the day, it wouldn't make what I am saying any more or less true than it is now would it?

I do not disagree with you about carbon, it's awful stuff and IMO may well be responsible for a whole gamut of fishkeeping problems. There's just a lot of controversy in the hobby about that at the minute and it's very much a minority view and i don't like to see something stated as fact that has not yet been proved; so i think that part of my argument is as much a semantic one as anything else.

However I believe 100% that the above statement is true and accurate, and i believe that there is not just one, but two possible ways to get HITH. One is poor diet, one is poor water quality. and the best and only sure fire way to fight it is a good varied healthy diet, and pristine water conditions. :thumb:

Fishguy2727
10-17-2007, 02:41 PM
I think there are more things going on than just diet and water quality, although those are probably the big two and many others may be able to be squeezed into one of those two categories (such as counting trace elements in the water as a dietary issue).

And I still believe that Hexamita spp. can cause it. If that wasn't true than it wouldn't have gone away when the Metro+ was the only thing different. They developed HITH under certain conditions and the only one changed was Metro+. If Hexamita didn't cause it than the HITH would have returned when the Metro+ treatment was ended.

Actually I would be glad to hear it from actual articles and research and it would give much more credit to the 'HITH is not caused by Hexamita spp.' theory. No offense but I can't take one person's opinion (and yes, I recognise that many hold the same views as you) as fact, I need proof. Again, no offense but to me you are just someone else online, just like I am to you. And if I took the word of every person who 'knew' what the actual cause is than my view would have to change every day depending on who the last person was that I talked to about it.

I will look into it again and see what I can find. If you can recount anything else or stumble across anything please post it.

I want to emphasize that I do not disagree with you or the article except that I do think there is more to it. I do not think it is as simple as diet and water quality, even though they are great contributors/causes of HITH/HLLE. I simply believe there is enough evidence that there are other issues, including Hexamita spp. I also believe the scenario described in that Hexamita spp. can come along with HITH but noy be the cause.

Science is taking all the current valid information and coming up with the simplest explanation that explains all of it. At this time I have not heard a theory on HITH that does this.

Just googled 'Hexamita spp.' and this exact page was #1.

deckard_wa
10-17-2007, 11:30 PM
And I still believe that Hexamita spp. can cause it. If that wasn't true than it wouldn't have gone away when the Metro+ was the only thing different. They developed HITH under certain conditions and the only one changed was Metro+. If Hexamita didn't cause it than the HITH would have returned when the Metro+ treatment was ended.

I really don't understand this point of view. Why would it not have gone away? From memory it seems everybody I have come across that has advocated Metro or something similar and espoused it's virtues, has used it in conjunction with increased water changes, which is what has done the actual healing. HITH would not necessarily have returned as the increased water changes and resulting better water quality has allowed the fish to heal itself.

This reminds me of a diet pill that was out a few years ago, that guaranteed to help you lose weight. It had to be taken however in conjunction with a calorie controlled diet and regular exercise. Funnily enough, the pill worked, and many people who found success with it did not equate eating less and exercising more with their results, no it was all this magic little pill. For me it's the same deal here.

As for taking my opinion blindly on this, I could not agree more, to do so would be insane. And though I do not believe that you and I will come to agreement on this, we are probably not the only people reading this thread, so it's good that people get different points of view to mull over. Internet research can be a little tricky, however if you read 100 articles, and 90 say the same thing, and 80 of those are by people whose opinions you have respected in the past, then you could probably be comfortable with what those 90 say. However there are still those 10 other articles, and what if those 10 were the first 10 you found? would you still carry on looking? Probably a question for another day.

deckard_wa
10-18-2007, 12:14 AM
Check out this link:

http://www.flippersandfins.net/HITHarticle2.htm

I literally just stumbled across this, and I have never been to this site before. I'd be interested to say what you make of it.

Nick89
10-18-2007, 12:53 AM
So, basically to prevent HITH do weekly water changes, have good filtration, and feed them pellets and other stuff in their diet. Is this right? Right now I have Hikari Cichlid Gold. Not the bio gold or whatever. What else could I get?

deckard_wa
10-18-2007, 01:00 AM
So, basically to prevent HITH do weekly water changes, have good filtration, and feed them pellets and other stuff in their diet. Is this right? Right now I have Hikari Cichlid Gold. Not the bio gold or whatever. What else could I get?

That is basically what I believe yes. I personally don't use bio gold+ as my guys don't seem to like it and it doesn't seem worth the extra money. Cichlid Gold is fine IMHO, it's the staple I use.

Big filtration, big water changes and good food = happy and healthy fishie :19:

Nick89
10-18-2007, 01:04 AM
Cool, for my filtration im using 2 penguin 350 bio-wheels and im going to take the charcoal out of the filters and go with i believe filter floss. Im going to do 35-50% (it will go up from 35 when he gets bigger) water change, and Give him some hikari cichlid gold and some alge wafers and some crickets.

Fishguy2727
10-18-2007, 03:19 AM
I would use the Bio-Gold+ along with New Life Spectrum. The Bio-Gold+ has viable bacteria in it that will out compete Hexamita spp. in the intestinal tract (whether or not they have anything to do with HITH).

My whole point is that I didn't increase water changes or change the diet or anything. I kept everything as it was, the only thing that changed was using Metro+. It developed, I used Metro+, it went away, it has yet to return. To me that shows that Hexamita spp. or some other metronidazole susceptible species of protozoa can be a culprit. There is evidence that shows that it is not, but as said this is evidence that it is not always the cause, not that it is never the cause.

People want to hear 'HITH is caused by x', not 'HITH can be caused by x,y,z,a,b, or c' so when it is shown to not always be the case it is erroneously equated to it never being the case. It may not be as common as I think, but I think there is enough evidence to show that it is the cause sometimes.

In the end we simply need more data. Until then Keep the water changes up (nitrates to a minimum), keep them in as big of a tank as you can, get the best filtration you can afford, and give them the best diet you can. As with any animal a clean environment and the best diet are the keys to success.

I think that if HITH develops, try Metro+ to see if it will help. If not, keep going with other treatments.

Fishguy2727
10-18-2007, 03:15 PM
Spironucleus vortens has been shown to be responsible for HITH in discus and other cichlids. The symptoms match HITH (the pits, discharge, etc.). Treatment for it includes metronidazole.

deckard_wa
10-19-2007, 10:54 AM
Spironucleus vortens has been shown to be responsible for HITH in discus and other cichlids. The symptoms match HITH (the pits, discharge, etc.). Treatment for it includes metronidazole.

(This post was initially too long so I have split it into 2, hope it still makes sense)

Yes you're quite right, it can cause HITH - like symptoms, not actual HITH but close. So can mycobacterium which tends to be treated by Neoplex and / or Baytril injections. So, while we are on the subject of syndromes that are similar to HITH i thought I'd post this article about Aeromonas bacteria that cause symptoms very similar[I] to HITH but seem to be next to impossible to cure for the average person, and please note once again that this occurs in fishes with weakened immune systems only, due to poor water quality and/or poor diet:

[B]Aeromonas bacteria are gram-negat*ive, facultativ*e anaerobic motile rods. Gram-negat*ive just means you cannot stain it with crystal violet dye. Faculative anaerobic means that it can survive in conditions without oxygen but does not require an oxygen-fre*e environmen*t. Motile indicates that it can swim around. It is rod shaped. Essentiall*y, it looks like a hot-dog with a string tail. A number of species have been described. Aeromonas is ubiquitous in water and soil and is not normally considered a disease-ca*using organisms – it is able to infect wounds and could cause a systemic infection in immuno-com*primised individual*s, but healthy animals are unlikely to be made ill by Aeromonas, in spite of it being present more or less everywhere*.

One species, Aeromonas salmonicid*a is of economic importance because of its tendency to attack salmonids, creating a disease called Furunculos*is, which is characteri*zed by blisters or boils on the skin of the fish. This illness is seldom seen in the wild, but is a common and potentiall*y disastrous problem in salmon and trout farms, where the crowded fish are less able to maintain healthy immune systems.

In the ornamental and pet fish trade, Aeromonas is not well-known* , but some veterinari*ans who specialize in treating fish believe that Aeromonas is responsibl*e for a large percentage of cases of bacterial ‘dropsy.’ (“Dropsy*” cannot be considered a disease in itself, it what kidney and liver-fail*ure often look like in small fish.)

When my oscar, started to develop holes in his gill-cover at only a few months of age, I believed it was HITH, but could not understand why a disease caused by poor water-qual*ity would effect a fish living in excellent water conditions*. I treated him with Metronidaz*ole, supposing there might be some truth to the theory that Heximata causes HITH (This isn’t likely – HITH is caused by poor water quality and diet, but the flagellate protozoan Heximata may cause a secondary infection in HITH wounds.) Metronidaz*ole was not effective, and I began to suspect a bacterial infection. I then treated him with an antibiotic* , Doxycyclin*e. This also failed. Feeling that time might be short, I took a culture-sw*ab from my fish’s wounds and sent it into the veterinary diagnostic*s lab for a culture and susceptibi*lity test. This means that the guys in the white coats took the swab from his wounds and grew whatever they could get off it in a dish, and then sat around dribbling tiny amounts of different antibiotic*s on it so they could tell me what killed it at the lowest concentrat*ion.

The bacteria infecting him was Aeromonas veronii biovar sobria (which is not the same as Aeromonas sobria) and the drug that destroys it best is Enrofloxac*in (sold by the Bayer corporatio*n under the trade-name Baytril.) I treated my fish with injectable Baytril and after a lengthy and difficult time, was able to effect a cure. He is now fully healed.

So, does my fish have these symptoms:

Skin ulcers:
These appear as deformed discoloure*d scales. Typically they are ashy grey in colour. In the case of my fish, it looked as if someone had put a cigar out on my fish’s side, giving it a hard twist. If one looked very closely, with a magnifying glass, one could see that the middle of each ulcer was covered with a great many tiny pinprick holes.

In advanced cases, these skin ulcers go through to the flesh and may be red, resembling ‘Fish TB.’

HITH-like holes:
HITH normally effects the area around the nostrils and above the eyes first. In the case of my Oscar, the holes appeared on the gill covers. This makes sense, because Aeromonas finds the gills to be the easiest part of a fish to colonize, followed by the skin, then the cells lining the guts. I believe that in his case, Aeromonas traveled from the infected skin and colonized the gills, then moved to colonize the sensory pits on the gill-cover*s. At its worst, holes began to develop around his nostrils, but it never reached the rest of his head.

The holes may heal over with a thin layer of skin, and then reopen.

They may appear to fill in with a super-thin layer of orange-yel*low tissue. This looks like healing, but is not – Aeromonas is actually a pale orange colour, if the colony is large enough it looks like the fish has begun to heal and that the new tissue is the orange-red colour typical of red areas on the common oscar colour-var*ieties.

deckard_wa
10-19-2007, 10:55 AM
continued...........

Weird Jelly-Like Blobs:
These get on the fins, and seem to be how the skin lesions appear when the fin tissue is first infected. It looks remarkably like a grey-brown leech, semi-trans*parent but speckled with opaque spots. Later it will disappear, leaving a hole in the fin where it was.

Lethargy and loss of appetite:
These are symptoms of almost any major illness.

Bubbles coming out of the gills:
The digestive action of Aeromonas (and many other bacteria) produces carbon dioxide. When he was at his worst, tiny bubbles appeared from his gills and the holes on his gill-cover*s, constantly*. This isn’t common to all, or even most, cases of what we believe to be this syndrome, but it’s a good indicator that a hole is not HITH, unless you have a bubbler in the tank and the fish is getting bubbles caught in his holes by sticking his face in the stream of bubbles.

Dropsy:
That’s when the fish becomes bloated. The scales may stand out like those of a pine cone. It’s a symptom of kidney failure. If this happens, probably the disease has destroyed your fish’s internal organs and he is near death. Even if the infection is cured at this point, the fish will not recover.

Treatment:*
Aeromonas is resistant to penicillin*-family antibiotic*s and to erythromyc*in. It is partially resistant to tetracycli*ne-family antibiotic*s. This means that the fish medicines commonly available in pet stores in the United States will not work, unless you get a tetracycli*ne-family one and use a higher dose for a longer period than the manufactur*er recommends* , a course of action that might be dangerous to your fish.

Aeromonas is susceptibl*e to aminoglyos*ide-family antibiotic*s. This family includes neomycin. There are three commercial*ly available fish medication*s containing neomycin:

Gel-Tek Neomycin: This is a medicated gel-based food. Normally, feeding an antibiotic to a fish is a better way to deliver it than a tank treatment, but unlike other antibiotic*s, neomycin is not absorbed well through the digestive tract. This medication might clear the fish’s guts of Aeromonas infection, but infection on the skin and gills may remain. If the fish is still eating, this formula may be worth using, but only in conjunctio*n with another treatment.*

Hikari Bio-Bandag*e: This is an ointment. You have to take the fish out of the water, partially dry off its skin-lesio*ns, and put the Bio-Bandag*e liquid on. This is a pain, and it cannot be used on the gill tissue. Since any fish infected with Aeromonas on the skin is likely to have it on the gills, Hikari Bio-Bandag*e is unlikely to completely cure the condition. It may be worth using in conjunctio*n with another treatment.*

Seachem Neoplex: This is a neomycin-b*ased tank treatment. Because the medicine will be free-float*ing in the water, it should come into contact with the entire fish, skin, gills, guts and all. Seachem Neoplex is the treatment of choice for people who are not willing or able to enlist the services of a veterinari*an. Most fish stores do not stock it, but it is available from Big Al’s Online.

Aeromonas is extremely susceptibl*e to fluroquino*lone-famil*y antibiotic*s. Enrofloxac*in (Baytril) is one of these. These drugs are not available in the US without a prescripti*on. You will have to go to the veterinari*an. It may help to print out this article and show it to your vet, you may be able to get a prescripti*on without bringing the fish in.

Baytril is an injectable* , and you will either have to bring the fish in for the vets to inject, or inject it yourself. This is not as difficult as it sounds, but isn’t exactly jolly fun either. Inject into a muscle mass. Try to get between the scales. Keep in mind that it may be very difficult to pierce the scales, but the muscle underneath is quite soft. This can be startling, because you will be pushing hard and suddenly the resistance will be gone.

The dosage is by weight, so you will have to remove the fish from the water and weigh it first. Use 5 milligrams of Baytril per kilogram of fish. It will be a tiny injection, because Baytril injectable is typically 22.5 mg per mL, and Oscars do not normally reach a full kilo in weight. I injected my fish daily, but an aquatance injected every other day, on the advice of his veterinari*an. I believe this veterinari*an is more up-to-date than the resources I used, so I advise the every other day regimen. Baytril’s side effects include a loss of appetite, and mine suffered severely from that, while the fish receiving the every-othe*r-day treatment did not.

Baytril is available in a tablet form designed to be palatable to dogs, but I am not sure of the dosage for oral administra*tion of this drug to a fish. Your veterinari*an may know, and it would be possible to grind up the tablets and mix them into fish food.

Another possibilit*y, as yet untested, (at least so far as I know) is to use the aminoglyco*side antibiotic Gentamycin as a tank treatment. It is available through your veterinari*an and may be added to the tank water at a rate of 4-5 milligrams per litre of water.

Normally, a veterinari*an will recommend that one treat with an antibiotic 'past the cure,' meaning that the patient appears fully healthy before you stop giving the drug. This prevents relapses and prevents the developmen*t of strains of antibiotic*-resistant bacteria. Unfortunat*ely, several people, including myself, have found that wounds caused by Aeromonas are extremely slow to heal. I treated my fish with injections daily for twenty-fou*r days and saw no result except that the wounds stopped getting bigger. He was suffering from anorexia and had not eaten for over a month, and I believe this prevented his healing. A week after I stopped giving the Baytril injections he began to eat again, and visible healing started. It proceeded very slowly. I treated with Seachem Neoplex at this time and continued to use it for four weeks (one week longer than the manufactue*r recommends* ) and the wounds were still not fully healed when I stopped treating with Neoplex. I believed that they would prove permanent scars, but over the months following they have healed up nicely. When the question of when to stop treating arises, you'll just have to make the call, based on your fish's progress, or ask your vet. Antibiotic*s can damage your fish's liver and kidneys, but this is hardly worse than death from bacterial infection, and stopping antibiotic*s too early might create a new strain of bacteria that are resistant to the antibiotic*. It's a tough choice.

Zoonotic Potential:*

It is not very likely, but you could be infected with Aeromonas yourself. I advise you to wear gloves when handling any fish suspected of having this infection, and to wash your hands afterwards regardless of gloves, and treat any small wounds on your hands with a neomycin-b*ased antibiotic ointment (Neosporin or any triple-ant*ibiotic ointment, commonly available from the grocery store.) If you are immuno-com*promised, get somebody else to take care of the fish and the tank – avoid all contact with the tank water.
[/B]

The above article was basically taken from an email I received a while ago and was sent to me by a veterinary assistant to warn me about a condition similar at first glance to HITH that they are seeing more and more often. The fish was sick when he got it, supposedly with HITH.


Once again, make of this what you will. We were talking about HITH and this is similar. I'm not going to post on this thread anymore, as i said, I'm too old for p1$$ing contests.

My last word on this is that you may, fishguy, not be in as much of a disagreement with me as you think. Whatever it is that actually causes HITH (and it's not Heximata) is actually immaterial. If the fish is healthy, in good water and well fed, his immune system can fight off the bug, whatever it is. So it obviously follows that if a fish is unable to fight off the bug, then his immune system has been compromised. So therefore he wouldn't have become sick if he was healthy. So therefore he was unhealthy because of poor water and / or poor diet. So it follows that it was (whether directly or indirectly, you choose) the poor water quality or poor diet that caused the HITH.

Thankyou, and goodnight :thumb:

Fishguy2727
10-19-2007, 01:50 PM
As said the only thing I disagree with you about is that Hexamita spp. can never be the cause of HITH. They are not always the cause, they MAY come as a secondary infection, but I still think there is too much evidence that Hexamita spp. can cause it to assume that they never do.

Yes there are MANY cases where it wasn't, but my point is that in some cases, Hexamita spp. and/or Spironucleus vortens do cause HITH.

I do not consider it a p***ing contest it we are sharing information that may benefit eachother or other people on the forum.