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Thread: suddenly sick angel
09-26-2012, 12:54 AM #1
suddenly sick angel
I need advice and help.
Set up my 90 gal FW 8-26. Completed fishless cycle 9-16. Stocked as per my signature line same day.
2 days ago I noticed signs of ich. Have no idea why. Perimeters are perfect 0/0/10 ph 7.2. temp now at 82 and treating with Coppersafe. Lots of air moving with bubbler and spray bar.
My angel - a little bigger than silver dollar size - has been fine from day one. He's been active, social - with me and the other fish and eating well. Shows no visible signs of ich (actually, only 2 fish do)
Now sudden today I notice he's hanging at the top of the tank tipped at a bit of a side angle, mouth toward the top. he refused to eat twice today. He's very lethargic. The tank is in my home office where I spend my entire day and part of the evening so I can watch it carefully. I have noticed NO bullying so that can't be the cause.
Anyone have any ideas? He's so gorgeous. I really hate the thought of losing him.
Last edited by fishmommie; 09-26-2012 at 12:57 AM.
09-26-2012, 02:22 AM #2
Some fish don't do well with ick medications that contain cooper. Actually some don't do well with any medications at all and some don't do too well with high heat either. Treating ick comes with it's challenges, at times.
But did you add an airstone? Adding all medications requires adding oxygen. You removed charcoal, right?
09-26-2012, 02:30 AM #3
I have had some serious problems when using chelated copper products such as copper safe. Certain additives in the water damage the ability of the chemical that binds the copper and the total dose is let into the water.
It can be tricky to remove as well, in some cases simple dilution type water changes can cause trouble because the sterilants can mix with the chelation chemicals. I have used a Cuprisorb bag or a copper absorbing bag to remove the copper.
This fish is definitely stressed from the copper, do not add any other chemical to the aquarium and be careful to not further damage it.
It may be best to remove the fish to another tank like a QT tank so it can recover from the copper exposure.
09-26-2012, 05:01 AM #4
Hi Lady Hobbs.
This is so upsetting. As you know, I did everything I could to set up this tank so the water perims and environment were perfect ... all fish came from same store. all fish had been in store for 6 weeks of QT.
When I first discovered the Ich on Sunday (my EBJD and Sev were glancing and fin clamping and the sev actually had a few spots) I read the forum post on treating ich and treated with sea salt (one treatment only) and gradually upped the temp to 84. Within 8 hours both fish were markedly better ... but then I became alarmed for the pleco so at the advice of the LFS owner (independent and many years of experience) on Monday he had me make a 60% W/C to clear out most of the salt, lower the temp from 84 to 82. I drove to the store and got some coppersafe and carefully dose to 1.5.
That was yesterday.
The airstone has been going full blast and today I lowered the water level enough for the spray bar to add extra bubbles. Did not remove the carbon from the canister (again at advice of the LFS owner) only because it has been in the cannister for a month and figure it is most likely not a factor. Could that be wrong?
Have a QT (5 gal) but am afraid it might stress the angel even more to put him through the trauma of netting and isolating him.
He seems a bit better tonight. He's no longer at the top but is moving around a bit more at all areas of the tank, spending more time closer to the bottom - just hanging around, not as tipped sideways or upward. I'm hopeful that's a good sign.
So many conflicting reports on copper - all I had read indicated it would not harm FW angels. Now I know those sources were wrong.
What is your best advice - short of the QT which really scares me because of the additional stress?
Should I add fresh carbon to the canister to remove the coppersafe, go back to a light salt treatment (so as not to harm the pleco) and up the temp?
Simply up the temp?
Stay this course and not add any more coppersafe if the level drops and hope for the best?
One other note: tonight I also notice that my water is a tad cloudy. not sure what that's about. Bothered me enough that I tested: Ammonia had been 0 but now shows just a tiny hint of green, so it looks like a trace of ammonia - which puzzles me. trites - 0. trates hardly 5 - which also puzzles me. ph 7.2
Thank you both for any and all further advice.
09-26-2012, 05:37 AM #5
photo of sick angel
here's a photo of him tonight if it will help figure out what's going on.
09-26-2012, 05:55 AM #6
09-26-2012, 06:01 AM #7
0Originally Posted by Lady Hobbs
I hope you're right. I hope he's just having an off night??
09-26-2012, 07:07 AM #8
09-26-2012, 01:33 PM #9
0Originally Posted by Lady Hobbs
Do you think a P W/C would help? To get rid of some of the copper? maybe 30% or so? then up the temp by a degree to 83 to continue to work on the ich in the tank?
Or should I just ride it out and hope for the best?
as for QT - it's not that I don't see the merits of moving him to one, I do. I'm just so afraid that the stress of netting and catching him and the isolation could be the end of him + I have multiple issues that could really make a QT a complication and end up being a disaster
Last edited by fishmommie; 09-26-2012 at 01:41 PM.
09-26-2012, 02:21 PM #10
This is my take on where we are, how we arrived there and what to now:
Initially salt was added and the temperature raised to treat the ich. This step alone was not a bad move, it may have eventually beaten the ich. This step and any change or use of any medication including salt as a medication causes a bit of stress as the fish acclimates to the conditions.
The next thing I feel caused some of the problems, the 60% water change. Unless an aging or mixing vat is used I have found that almost any water conditioner needs a certain amount of contact time to chemically contact and react with the chloramines and chlorines in the water. If the water is added directly to the aquarium we use the aquarium as the contact vat for the exposure of these two chemicals to duke it out. In the mean time there are all of the fish setting in the mix of chemicals to remove the chlorine and chlorine or chloromine. This time delay of exposure reaction exposes the tissue of the fish to the chlorine despite having removers in the water. We will call this the reaction dwell time, it could take 2 minutes or 5 or 15 for the chemical process to fully react and render the chlorine out completely. However the ability of the chlorine to burn is upon contact. It burns the soft tissues including the gills and the fine filiments of the fins. This is why the fish is holding at the surface to get a better oxygen exchange due to damaged gill tissue, the fins are clamped due to minor tissue damage on the fins. Appetite is down due to the stress of the situation of being burned a bit.
As a separate issue the copper is causing the same type of stresses and although it may not burn the tissue it does in many cases affect tissue hydration which can cause similar stress issues. Copper has many odd reactions to certain situations which make keeping it at a controlled dosage level difficult or which cause an amplified affect on the life.
So that is where we are in my opinion. Moving forward I would observe and react patiently to the progress of the situation, it can take several days to heal from a situation such as this. Water changes of 25% would be advised if done as this weakens through dilution the ability of the chlorine to be present enough to burn the fish any further.
I support doing 50% water changes weekly, but I have had problems when I do them all at once similar to the ones you are having. I do multiple 30% changes especially if I have medications in the water. Even doing a 30% and waiting 2 or 3 hours is very helpful to dilute the chlorine to an acceptable level.
Hope this is helpful.