Author Topic: HELP..Fin rot, ick are they the same thing??  (Read 1984 times)

Offline CichlidSteve

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HELP..Fin rot, ick are they the same thing??
« on: September 17, 2012, 08:12:44 PM »
Hi all, I noticed that around 5 of my fish have 'shredded' fins, not just the tail fin but the fronts ones on a couple of them as well.

Also I have noticed a slight greyish mark on a couple of the fishes body's too, what is this and how do I treat, I suspect it's the dreaded Ick? Also is fin rot the same thing?

Much help would be appreciated - also could you break down the process of treatment please - a step by step guide if possible as I really want to do this right. Please bare in mind that I haven't got a treatment/quarantine tank. Not that this would help in this situation as there is more than one fish affected.


Thanks in advance

Steve

Offline Nathan Miller

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Re: HELP..Fin rot, ick are they the same thing??
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2012, 08:16:40 PM »
Well to treat I would use Aquarium salt and turn you tank temp up to 80f. All directions on aquarium salt box. I will do a little research on relation of ick and fin rot. Do you have pics?

Offline Nathan Miller

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Re: HELP..Fin rot, ick are they the same thing??
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2012, 08:21:51 PM »
ICH

Symptoms:

 •Small white spots resembling sand
 
•Fish scratch against rocks and gravel

•In advanced stages fish become lethargic

•Redness or bloody streaks in advanced stages

 Infected fish are covered to various degrees with small white spots. Severe infestations are easy to spot, but small occurrences often go unnoticed. However, ich won't remain unnoticed for long. Like a bad penny, it will be back with a vengeance.
The adult parasite burrows into the skin of its victim, feeding on blood and dead epithelial cells. The irritation caused by the burrowing parasite causes the skin of the fish to swell and produce white cysts seen as a small spots.

 The fish feels as if it's been bitten by a mosquito. It's not unusual to see infected fish scratching against rocks and gravel in an effort to get relief.

After several days of feasting, the engorged parasite develops into a trophozoite, burrows out of the fish and sinks bottom of the tank. Secreting a soft jellylike substance, it forms a protective membrane inside of which it divides into hundreds of baby parasites, known as tomites. The hungry tomites soon leave their home in search of a fresh fish to dine upon.

It is during the free-swimming stage, which lasts a mere three days, that the parasite is vulnerable to medication. Once it has burrowed into a new host fish it is safely protected from chemicals in the water.

Treatment:

 •Raise water temperature

•Medicate for 10-14 days
 
•Reduce medication when treating scaleless fish

•Discontinue carbon filtration during treatment

•Perform water changes between treatments
 
The entire cycle takes about two weeks from start to finish. Higher temps will shorten the cycle, while low temps lengthen it. Therefore, raising the water temp shortens the time it takes for the parasite to reach the stage in which it is susceptible to medication.
Treatments must be given for a long enough period to assure that all parasites are gone. Watch carefully for other infections, as secondary infections often occur where the skin has been damaged by the parasite.

 Although nothing kills the parasite once it has checked into it's fish "hotel", several chemicals kill ich once it has left the fish. Malachite green, methylene blue, quinine hydrochloride, and mepracrine hydrochloride are all effective, and are available under several brand names.

Dose based on the package instructions, however cut dosages in half when treating scaleless catfish and tetras. Regardless of the medication used, treatment should be given continuously for 10-14 days to ensure all parasites are killed. Between treatments a partial water change is recommended. Keep water temperatures higher than usual to speed up the life cycle of the parasite. Discontinue carbon filtration during treatment, as it will remove the chemicals.

Prevention:

 •Quarantine new fish for two weeks

•Treat plants before adding to tank

•Maintain high water quality

•Provide fish with a nutritionally balanced diet
 
The best way to avoid ich is to quarantine all new fish in a separate tank for two weeks before moving them to the regular tank. When quarantine is not possible, a prophylactic treatment may be used. Either methylene blue or malachite green given when new fish are introduced and again four days later will help reduce incidence of infection. New plants should also be treated, as they can carry ich cysts.

 Maintaining high water quality, avoiding temperature fluctuations,and providing a robust diet is the best preventative for ich and other diseases.

Offline Nathan Miller

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Re: HELP..Fin rot, ick are they the same thing??
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2012, 08:23:13 PM »
FIN ROT

Symptoms:

 •Fin edges turn white
 
•Fins fray
 
•Bases of fins inflamed
 
•Entire fin may rot away
 
In the early stages of Fin Rot the edges of the fins will discolor, appearing milky colored on the edges. Often this change is so subtle that it goes unnoticed until fraying of the fins or tail begins. As the infection spreads, small pieces of the fins die and begin to fall off, leaving a ragged edge. Over time the fins become shorter and shorter as dead flesh continues to slough off the affected fins. The affected area may become red and inflamed; with bloody patches appearing as more tissue is eaten away. It is common for secondary fungal infections to develop along the raw edges of the fins. It is not unusual for Columnaris (cotton-wool) to also be present at the same time as Fin Rot, as occur from environmental factors.
Treatment:

 •Correct root cause
 
•Water change
 
•Treat with antibiotics
 
•Addition of aquarium salt
 
Fin rot is caused by one of several gram negative bacteria. Several antibiotics are effective; however the root cause must be addressed as well to ensure the disease doesn’t return.

The disease occurs when the fish become stressed by something in the environment. The most common causes of Fin Rot are poor water quality and improperly low water temperature. Overcrowding the tank, feeding outdated food or overfeeding, and moving or handling the fish can also cause stress leading to Fin Rot.

Treatment should include a water change, and careful examination of the aquarium conditions. If there is food debris, vacuum the gravel and take care to avoid overfeeding in the future. Start putting dates on your fish food, as it loses the vitamin content fairly quickly after it is opened. Feeding fish fresh, high quality food, in smaller quantities is far better than frequent large feedings of stale foods.

Check the pH and water temperature of the water, and make sure it is appropriate for your fish. Incorrect pH is very stressful for fish, and can lead to disease. Low water temperatures, particularly in fish with long flowing fins, can often trigger Fin Rot.

Once the root cause is corrected, antibiotics will usually cure the disease itself. Treatment with a drug that is effective against gram negative organisms is recommended. The drugs Chloramphenicol, Oxytetracycline, and Tetracycline, are good choices. Always treat according to manufacturer’s instructions, as the preparations can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. It is particularly important to continue treatment for the length of time recommended, as ending treatment too soon can result in a re-occurrence of the infection.

 The use of aquarium salt will benefit livebearing fish, but should be avoided in fish such as scaleless catfish, as they are quite sensitive to salt.
Prevention:

 •Maintain good water quality
 
•Perform regular tank maintenance
 
•Keep proper water parameters
 
•Feed fresh food in small amounts
 
•Feed fresh food in small amounts
 
The best prevention against Fin Rot is good aquarium maintenance. Change the water regularly, vacuum the gravel, and monitor the water chemistry by having a regular testing schedule, and documenting the results. This will allow you to quickly notice water chemistry changes that occur over time, giving you a chance to correct problems before they become serious. Do not overcrowd the tank, and watch for signs of fighting between fish.

When feeding, keep the volume low. Overfeeding is the most common mistake made by all fish owners, and contributes to poor water quality. Be sure to use fresh foods. If the can has been open for half a year, it has lost most of its nutritional value. Purchase food in small enough containers that it can be used in one to two months.

Take care when choosing tank mates for fish that have long flowing fins, as fin nipping leaves fish more susceptible to Fin Rot. It is also important to keep water temperatures warm enough for fish with long fins, as low water temperatures will promote Fin Rot in long finned species of fish.

Offline Shifty

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Re: HELP..Fin rot, ick are they the same thing??
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2012, 08:52:23 PM »
Respectfully request to add to the above posts?

Offline Nathan Miller

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Re: HELP..Fin rot, ick are they the same thing??
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2012, 08:58:13 PM »
Yeah by all means, I have not had a lot of experience in diseases. I guess I am lucky.

Offline Shifty

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Re: HELP..Fin rot, ick are they the same thing??
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2012, 09:10:16 PM »
It sounds like it is more than likely fin rot.  Ich, you will usually see tiny white specs on the fish.

Be careful with the meds, many of them can wreak havoc with the biological filter. So it is best to put the affected fish in a bare tank, fill it with water from another tank and add a seeded filter, minus the carbon.  If you use the M. Green, or M. Blue, those stain everything in the tank, blue or green, and will also play havoc with thr bio filter.

A good practice is to always use aquarium salt in your tanks, and suppliment their diet with a garlic additive such as, garlic gaurd by seachem.  2-3 times a week.

Thanks guys.

Offline Blenk11

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Re: HELP..Fin rot, ick are they the same thing??
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2012, 09:21:59 PM »
that was a good read nathan... nice post although a bit gory in places  +1

Offline CichlidSteve

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HELP..Fin rot, ick are they the same thing??
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2012, 06:15:50 PM »
Really appreciate the response guys, Nath, that was pretty in depth!! Ha

I've made another post about the type of salt I've purchased and how to use it to maximise its effectiveness, and to also ask about the other members results to treat using salts!

Once again thanks

Steve