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Cichlid_Man
12-29-2006, 12:26 AM
I hope this post helps others....not only me...

Hi all…
Where do I start?
I have been on and off the forum during the holiday for more than one reason…
One reason is that I had to prepare for numerous guests for holiday cheer, and the other reason is…well…very sick cichlids.

I don’t know how, but they have developed septicemia. That is a hemorrhaging which appears as red streaks and red patches around the fins and body without sores. It is a serious disease that can turn to dropsy.

I had tried pimafix first. It seemed to help, then the redness re-appeared.
I know that pimafix isn’t the right medicine, but I had to start somewhere until I could get to town.
The best medicine there is for septicemia is maracyn, but to treat 75 gallons, it would have cost me nearly $100.00. $100.00 is most certainly worth it to save fish, but I just didn’t have the money right now.
I bought Furan-2. They say it works wonders.
I don’t know yet, but I will re-post with results soon.

What I cannot understand is how they got septicemia?
From what I know, it is caused from poor water quality? I change water about 50-75% weekly…my tank and filter are immaculate.

Perhaps it is the well water??

How can I tell? Test kits don’t test for anything but PH KH GH Nitrites Nitrates Ammonia, and they are all normal?

I hope a lot of people will read this.
You never know when your fish will develop some weird sickness.

Be prepared. Always have a small “fish medicine cabinet” on hand…
Especially if you live rural and far from any LFS’s

This is the best forum on the Internet in my opinion, so it is important that we all stick together and help each other…

Any suggestions on how I can check my well water for possible impurities would be greatly appreciated.

Nautilus291
12-29-2006, 01:24 AM
I dont know if this is out there but instead of looking for test kits made for aquariums why dont you try looking for a test kit made to test drinking water or something like that. Maybe it would have a different kinds of tests. Also depending where you live if you have any water treatment facilities around you, you could ask them about whats in your water.

Look up your area and see what is in the ground that may help you find what is in your water. Like for myself I live ontop limestone beds.

Cichlid_Man
12-29-2006, 01:33 AM
I live where there is tons of limestone too.
I wonder why my water is so low in PH?
Limestome tends to raise it??
Anyway..good idea. I will call the County tomorrow and see what they say about my well water quality and how I can test for impurities...

Nautilus291
12-29-2006, 01:36 AM
My water is around 7.5 ph out of the tap.

jeffs99dime
12-29-2006, 03:11 AM
if you call the county they should be able to tell you what your areas' water tests at for all different parameters. sorry to hear about your fish. i hope they get better.

Lady Hobbs
12-29-2006, 03:57 AM
I had well water in FL and it had to go thru a filtering system before it could be used.

PetSmart has his medication online. http://www.petsmart.com/global/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=84552444177 6779&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302030064&ASSORTMENT%3C%3East_id=2534374302023693&bmUID=1154516871401&itemNo=4&N=2030064

This could very well be something you had no control over. Fish just get stuff for no apparent reason at times. I would pick up some medicated fish food, as well.

Nautilus291
12-29-2006, 04:59 AM
You know hobbs sometimes i think you work for petsmart.:ezpi_wink1:

jeffs99dime
12-29-2006, 05:00 AM
lololol. that's funny

Lady Hobbs
12-29-2006, 07:13 AM
Nahhhh......they just always seem to have the pics I'm looking for to post.

Cichlid_Man
12-29-2006, 11:40 AM
Thanks for the link Hobbs!

Thanks for all the posts.
The fish should do fine as I caught it in time...

I really have to find out the source of this septicemia. It is only supposed to happen in unkept tanks, and mine is very well kept.

Fishguy2727
12-31-2006, 03:02 PM
There are two things needed for a disease to breakout or occur. One is that the disease itself has to already be present. Temperature changes do not magically make ick appear in the water, but that is a USUAL cause for ick. The ick has to be there for it to occur, then the temperature change stresses the fish and they get ick. The second thing is that there has to be a stressor for the fish. That could be anything from aggressive individuals, an incomplete diet, water parameters, etc. So even though septicemia usually occurs in tanks with poor water quality, any stressor occurring plus the pathogen for septicemia being the only or 'favored' pathogen present could lead to septicemia. It may have been there all along in one or many of the fish, but because everything was going well for them they were not stressed so their immune system was in tip-top shape. Then something started to stress them and at that point it broke out into the observable form of the disease that you now see. The only other thing is that usually with well water there is a septic system. Septic systems output/overflow into the ground. Depending on the groundwater, local geology, and recent rainfall, your well could be contaminated. I had one customer who had this happen. It could be caused by the groundwater,rainfall, etc., but an overflowing septic system could contribute to it. A LOT of water being used in the house and dumped into the septic tank will overflow and take some harmful stuff with it, whcih then flows into the water your well pulls from. And it may not be YOUR septic system, it could your neighbor's. Their septic system could be bad and you are suffering from it.

Cichlid_Man
01-03-2007, 11:17 AM
Thanks Rep...

The fish are better now.
I don't think there is another disease that replicates septicemia symptoms, but if my fish did have it and are getting cured, I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones.

Your theory about septic seeping into the well is a good point, but doesn't pertain to my situation.
My well is in front of the house, and my septic is in the back of the house and it is about 20 feet below the well.
I am on top of a mountain.
Also, I have no neighbors within 12 miles of me.
The only other thing I need to do is go down and test the river water. I live right off the James River in Virginia and that is my water supply.
I could have it tested by the County.
I know it passed inspection as far as being free from E-Coli and fit for human consumption, but who knows what else is in there????
Thanks for your input...

P.S.
I mentioned in my other post that I don't think it is my well water.
I have 2 tanks. The 30 gallon with tropical fish has no septicemia or anything else.
Yes, one of the cichlids could be a carrier, but I firmly believe that the large water changes did this.
In the 30 gallon, the water I change doesn't need any buffers or anything.
The fish do not feel the water change and therefore do not stress over it.
In the cichlid tank, when I was removing 75% of the water, the new water brought the PH down to nearly 7.0 from 8.2 until I could add back the buffers.
It isn't feasible to pre-treat that much water or else that is what I would have done.
I'll just go back to 25%...If I am not happy with water clarity, I can do 25% 2 or 3 times a week.

Fishguy2727
01-03-2007, 12:38 PM
Depending on rainwfall it is actually possible that the flow of groundwater can be reversed, causing contamination. I just put the buffer in when I start adding water. I put it where the water comes in so it is treated and buffered before it gets to the rest of the tank. I think you were doing the old-fashioned bucket method in which case you should invest in a Python Clean and Fill System, or the cheaper Lee's equivalent which will allow you to put the buffer in at the beginning so the pH won't shift at all during water changes. It may work to add some to the tank once you have removed the water, then start putting in buckets to fill it up. I have not tried that so it may or may not work. I was not using buffers on my discus for a while so they would go from 7.8 before, to 6.5 right after, and then back up to 7.8 within a couple days, so if they aren't sensitive enough to get sick from it, African rift lakes cichlids shouldn't be, those guys are even tougher.

Cichlid_Man
01-03-2007, 01:42 PM
I am sure the septic isn't backing up.
It would be impossible for it to travel this high up.
If I had a picture you could see what I mean. I suspect the river more or else both tanks and possibly my family would be sick.

I have a python.
I wouldn't use anything else.

We'll see how things go with smaller and more frequent changes.
I hate to go through this septicemia again.

I had to add this also.
I live on 145 acres of farm land.
There isn't anything here to pollute my well.
The septic cannot run uphill. Water always finds it's lowest point.
Even if the septic would overflow, I have drain fields that go out 2 acres behind the house.
Drain feilds. You know what they are?
The water cannot go anyplace but down and out to the river.

Fishguy2727
01-04-2007, 12:42 AM
I am on well so I know what a drain field is. I responded in the other thread as to how a septic can contaminate a well. How deep does the well go?

Juannie
01-08-2007, 05:45 AM
A good tip is to definitely check your tap water. I had a problem a few months ago where I did water changes, not long after I lost a few small tropicals and my goldfish kept getting sicker. My white one looked like it had septicemia as it had red streaks and blotches. I went to a pet store and they'd had the same problem. We are in drought and had recently had very heavy rain - this seemed to affect the water as I tested it and it was incredibly high, the pet store lady says this can happen.

Luckily I've lost no more fish and my goldies are back to their healthy selves.
GOOD LUCK

Cichlid_Man
01-08-2007, 10:10 AM
Hi all and thank for the posts.
I am late getting back here. Very bust during holidays.
Juannie, my tap water was tested by the county and all is fine.
Also, the fish are better now, cured!
Rep,
As far as my septic contaminating my well....it cannot happen.
I don't want to get into this to deeply, but if you saw the land that my house was on you would see what I mean.
The well is in front of my house....my house faces west and is on a mountain.
The septic is in the back of the house, and IF there is any over-flow, there are 4 inch PVC pipes(6 of them) that lead out East, down a hill(steeper than a ski slope), and the water, IF any, will be pumped out that direction, down a hill, and out into huge drain field that sits on my 145 acres.

I am not even sure now if the fish had septicemia because none died. It could very well have been the Auratus or Ahli injuring the yellow lab.
Thanks for everybody's input!

Fishguy2727
01-08-2007, 02:12 PM
Not trying to start anything but just curious how deep your well is, that could play a part in the extremely rare possibility of anything. I have only known of one time when this has happened, so it isn't likely and there isn't much you could reasonably do if that was the issue.

Cichlid_Man
01-08-2007, 08:49 PM
You're not starting anything my friend. I appreciate the help. :-)

They had to go down 350 feet I believe.
The way the PVC is set up, the water will go down much lower than that, and like a football feilds length away in the opposite direction.
I paid a small fortune for that.
Anything is possible, I guess, but the water sample came back fine from the county.

Here's a question for you.

Even though the sample came back fine, what could be in my water to make it look like there is salt in it when it dries?

You know what I mean? If I spill pure tap water on my counter top and not dry it completely, when it dries up, the residue looks as if it is salt water. White!

Maybe there is something in there they are not looking for that is hurting my fish?

jeffs99dime
01-08-2007, 10:30 PM
You're not starting anything my friend. I appreciate the help. :-)

They had to go down 350 feet I believe.
The way the PVC is set up, the water will go down much lower than that, and like a football feilds length away in the opposite direction.
I paid a small fortune for that.
Anything is possible, I guess, but the water sample came back fine from the county.

Here's a question for you.

Even though the sample came back fine, what could be in my water to make it look like there is salt in it when it dries?

You know what I mean? If I spill pure tap water on my counter top and not dry it completely, when it dries up, the residue looks as if it is salt water. White!

Maybe there is something in there they are not looking for that is hurting my fish?

sounds like calcium scale to me. i could be wrong though. i have very hard water where i live and it is very common to get calcium buildup

Cichlid_Man
01-08-2007, 11:21 PM
Thanks Jeff...
Is calcium a toxin to fish at high levels?
If so, what should I do about it.
This is an area I know nothing about...

Fishguy2727
01-08-2007, 11:34 PM
It won't hurt the African cichlids, and it should not bother your other fish. In the Virginia mountains, calcium is probably the cuplrit due to the limestone. I think it is close enough that under extreme conditions it may be something to remember if anything like this happens again. If it does happen again, get a water sample as soon as you see problems so they are testing it as close to when it happens. It could go wrong and by the time you grab a sample, it is okay again. The customer that it happened to said the water smelled bad, but it could happen without it being that bad. The reason I think this may have happened is because it sounds like all else was fine and there should not have been septicemia, and this could account for the source for bacteria as well as why they may have been stressed enough to catch it. Basically if anything like this happens again get a water sample asap and get it tested.

jeffs99dime
01-09-2007, 12:26 AM
It won't hurt the African cichlids, and it should not bother your other fish. In the Virginia mountains, calcium is probably the cuplrit due to the limestone. I think it is close enough that under extreme conditions it may be something to remember if anything like this happens again. If it does happen again, get a water sample as soon as you see problems so they are testing it as close to when it happens. It could go wrong and by the time you grab a sample, it is okay again. The customer that it happened to said the water smelled bad, but it could happen without it being that bad. The reason I think this may have happened is because it sounds like all else was fine and there should not have been septicemia, and this could account for the source for bacteria as well as why they may have been stressed enough to catch it. Basically if anything like this happens again get a water sample asap and get it tested.


lol. there you go cichlidman^^^^^

Cichlid_Man
01-09-2007, 11:40 AM
Cool beans Rep!
Thanks!

My property does have a lot of limestone right on it, plus "a zillion" pine trees which are very high in acid.

That, along with the heavy rains we had, probably introduced something into the tank when I did my water change.
Septicemia?? Not sure anymore because it is gone and they say it is a tough thing to cure.
Thanks again...

Fishguy2727
01-09-2007, 02:51 PM
It could have been something that gives off the same symptoms as septicemia, but is a completely different pathogen. Something that doesn't usually affect fish but under odd circumstances gets introduced and is easier to take care of than septicemia.