View Full Version : HELP!! Is it Ich???

02-06-2007, 12:38 AM
Hi all,

New problem....

Two weeks ago, I added four German Blue Rams to my 30 gallon tank. I've never had so many in my tank before- but I really would like to have a male/female pair and I wasn't able to sex them in the store (I saw no pink bellies, but a couple had very distinct blue in their black dots, and finnage was also questionable). Anyway, the man in the store swore up and down that they'd be fine together....even if they turned out to all be male.....I decided to try it, watch them carefully, and if two paired up, I'd know I had a match. I also set up a 5 gallon hospital tank to use "just in case."

Most of the time, they hide at the bottom of the tank. I've got lots of little caves and plants, so they all have a place to go. They hardly ever stray into open water and always hide as soon as they spot me.

I've never had this before- in the past, my rams have always been brazen and friendly- coming right over to me and following me around the tank. I had chalked this up to them all being male and not wanting to leave their "territories," for fear of being usurped. I'm currently planning out a new 200 gallon tank, so I was going to let it be for a month or so, and move a some of them into the new tank when it was ready.

But today, I noticed that a couple of them have begun to show slight fraying on their fins. It also looks like there are white spots on their dorsal fins and tails.

Today, I saw one quickly rub against the rocks and tick a few times. I've also noticed that he has a couple of very small indentations in his forhead. He also showed some redness at the base of one of his side fins.

I would have liked to take a picture to show you, but they wont stay still in the open long enough for me to get a photo.

I'm afraid it may be ich or hole-in-the-head- but I don't want to unnecessarily stress my fish out and medicate them if it's not.

I had a goldfish tank that became ich infected when I was in college- the white spots those fish had looked somewhat different than these- they were smaller- more distinctly raised and round- and more numerous.

I checked my water conditions with my API kit this morning....Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 10. I have the temp set at 80 (this is really one of the only things that has changed recently- I had a single heater in there, but for some reason, it wasn't heating the whole tank, and the temperature around the heater was 80 and on the other end of the tank it was 77...all the fish were crowding around that end of the tank like it was a space heater......so I added a new marineland stealth heater this week to the other side of the tank. The temp the temp on the newly heated side went up three degrees, thus matching the warmer end of the tank.

What should I do? I've got the hospital tank running in case I need to quarantine.

02-06-2007, 12:48 AM
okay.. where to start.

The fin issue is probably fin rot, and the white spots are probably ich, seeing as the fish are flashing. The red spots are hemorrhagic septiciemia, and the indentations hole-in-the-head.

Sounds like your water quality is poor, because the fin and HOTH issue is almost always caused by bad water conditions. Do a 30-45% water change and isolate the sick fish

02-06-2007, 12:50 AM
and septiciemia is BAD. I had to put down my albino aulonocara cause of it. It rips up the fishes blood system, and the fish will severly suffer if it is not treated soon

02-06-2007, 12:53 AM
Sounds like your water isn't right for them. You can try quarantining them and treating them, I think quick cure would be a start (or anything with malachite green). Raise the temps to 82F, usually helps.

02-06-2007, 12:55 AM
the 82f really helps like abbeys_mom said

02-06-2007, 12:57 AM
Here's the thing.....

I don't think it's poor water quality...

I checked my water conditions with my API kit this morning....Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 10.

The tank is well planted with amazon swords, and I also do very regular water changes. I use Prime to condition the water.

As to diet- I mix it up between spectrum small fish pellets, frozen blood worms, frozen cyclops mix, and tetramin pro flakes. I also add vita-chem once a week.

02-06-2007, 12:59 AM
It could be something along the lines of moving them from hard water to soft water. I know I can't keep rams or tetra, my water is too hard. Some sensitive fish, like rams, have a hard time adjusting and they get stressed.

02-06-2007, 01:02 AM
It could be something along the lines of moving them from hard water to soft water. I know I can't keep rams or tetra, my water is too hard. Some sensitive fish, like rams, have a hard time adjusting and they get stressed.

Yes. These diseases can also be caused by stress, but can HOTH be caused by stress?

02-06-2007, 03:09 AM
Yes. It can.

02-06-2007, 03:20 AM
wow, my new thing learnt for the day.:1:

02-06-2007, 03:25 AM
Water quality doesn't sound like the reason for the start of all of this.
Some suggestions......take a trip back to the store and see how the other gbr look that are still in the tank, it may be that the fish were infected prior to your purchase. Also, ask if they will test the ph of their water for you while there and compare it to the ph you have, if it is a big difference they may have stressed from the change in ph as mentioned. I believe the recommendation is to not change ph more than .2 per day, but it has been along time since I have attempted to alter ph so check around.
Continue with your good water maintenance.
I personally would suggest a round of melafix combined with pimafix and see if they appear to be feeling better in a couple of days. Since you have seen ich before and don't think it looks the same it may not be ich. Ich is quite easy to spot....your fish look like they have been salted.
I have never used prime, but have had good success using stresscoat whenever my fish have displayed even questionable behavior. It helps with the slime coat (as does prime) but also promotes tissue regeneration. It has dosages on the bottle for simple water treatment or for treating skin issues. When we moved our 90 gal and 75 gal fishtanks our fish were in holding buckets and tanks for over 2 hours with no filtration or aeration (2 8"oscars in a ten gal each....a 15" pleco in 10 gal tank etc). When we refilled the tanks finally we dosed both tanks heavily with stresscoat and did not see any stress on any of the fish. All pulled thru wonderfully.
Keep us posted on how things are going, maybe someone else will have more suggestions