Jump to content

White discolored areas on rainbowfish hump


Recommended Posts


I'm at a loss on what to do with these two Dority rainbowfish.  One has 4-5 areas with maybe 8-9 white or discolored areas. The second fish maybe has one area with 3-4 spots.  It is only on this hump area of the fish in question.  There are no other spots/areas anywhere else on the fish, except for maybe on the lip.  It's hard to tell.  It is definitely not on the sides or fins.  

These fish were in my 125g display tank.  I had them for close to two years.  In March, I noticed the discolored area on one fish and I thought maybe it had just ran into something (several rainbows have injured themselves by running into stuff, but it usually healed by just doing frequent water changes).  None of the other fish seems have this issue, including 7 clown loaches, a hypostomus, several other rainbowfish, and panda garra.  The only other issue is that a Dority rainbowfish died of swim bladder in Feb from this tank (I had isolated him).  

July 25, I decided to post on another forum as I started to get concerned it might be something contagious and I was afraid it might spread to my other fish (including some 20 something year old clown loaches I have).  On Aug 3, I decided to move these two into a 10g hospital tank as I thought I might have noticed a new spot on one of these two.  

I remembered that Salt livestream video and watched it again Aug 6 and began salt treatment.  I started with the 1 tablespoon per 3 gallons.

August 14, I noticed one fish had a bunch of dropped scales (I think he might have rubbed against a heater during sparring/fighting.  When they were first in the QT tank together, they seemed to keep bothering each other.   That area has healed up over time but I can still see where that damage occurred.  

August 26, I tried feeding Hex shield food from NLS on the off chance that it was hex/HITH.  I also upped the salt to 1 tablespoon per gallon.

They been at 1tbsp per gallon since about August 26 until now (Oct 23).  The dropped scales seemed to have healed a bit but these marks are still on this fish.  

I remember one of the recent livestreams said not to throw random meds at the fish so I've kept the salt but decided to post here for advice when I found out about this forum.  I have the original med trio on hand (Ick-X, erthyo, and General cure), kanaplex, and furan 2 in my fish room if any of these might help.  

I changed the water 2-3 times a week in this tank as the poop starts to be noticeable on the bare bottom tank.  I replace the salt for the water removed.  I do either a 25% or 50% water change.  

PH 7.

Nitrates (I think the salt might be messing with the strips) but it was around 10ppm when I'd water change.  

Ammonia is 0

Temp: In the display, the tank was/is around 78-9.  These QT tanks were at 77-78 but since weather has gotten cooler, they are at 73-74 (I don't run a heater as the room is this warm).  

I appreciate any help.  I will try to edit and post pics from my phone as I have typed this on my computer.  I'm not sure if this forum allows edits.  If I can't edit, I guess I can just reply with the pics.  Thanks for any input.  


These two were taken today.


This was back from July when still is display 125gMVIMG_20200805_190006.jpg.c5e89c95985a76d0daefc3c8deacee94.jpg

Edited by Cardeater
Add pics
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it might be some kind of external parasite like ich if they are rubbing themselves on stuff. Maybe you can try raising the PH as rainbow fish like harder water. Just try to make them comfortable and they will start to heal up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/24/2020 at 2:28 AM, Yanni said:

I think it might be some kind of external parasite like ich if they are rubbing themselves on stuff. Maybe you can try raising the PH as rainbow fish like harder water. Just try to make them comfortable and they will start to heal up.

Thank you for the reply.

I don't think it's ich bc thee amrks are not round and numerous like ich cysts I've seen before. The marks on these fish haven't spread. I had an inch outbreak years ago and I remember it looked like someone used a salt shaker on the fish.

I want to clarify that they aren't rubbing on anything.  I think the one fish might have scraped scales from fighting or nipping by the other male in the QT tank.  For the first week or two, they seemed really stressed in the QT tank. Nowthey seem more calm and go grab food as soon as I drop it (for awhile they'd seem to get agitated when I opened the tank).

I'm not sure what my game plan should be now.  How many more weeks should I keep them in this 1tbsp.per gallon salt before I consider using meds?

Edit: As stated above, they've been at this current salt concentration for two months now 

Edited by Cardeater
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Any other ideas?  I took more pics today and marks on hump seem the same.   The scale damage on the side of this one that he got a day after I moved them in here in late July seems like 75% healed.

 They are still in 1 tablespoon per gallon of salt. 

Before I'd even consider moving them back, I'd wait for the dropped scales on the side to fully heal.  That looks likely to happen without any change to the white marks on the hump (and it will be 4 months since I moved them).  

I don't know if I should consider meds, and if so which ones? Thanks for any additional input.

News pics from today:




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Im kind of a noob at all this but it seems like there’s a good chance these are missing or wounded scales, as you suspected from the beginning. I know that scales can take a really long time to regrow. Or maybe it’s scar tissue? I’m not sure if fish can get scars. If the fish seem happy and healthy and the spots haven’t spread or multiplied or changed in several months, and they don’t look fuzzy and the fish aren’t itching themselves on things, it seems fairly likely that this is a cosmetic thing and not a disease.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/10/2020 at 11:00 AM, yannachka said:

these just look like scrapes from an injury. do you have driftwood or decor in the tank they could have scratched themselves on?


Thanks again everyone for the feedback.

Yes, there is driftwood and rocks in the main tank.  Several of my rainbowfish have scraped themselves before.  The injury usually manifested itself as a dropped or hanging scale.  One other time, a fish had a mark on its tail.  One male millennium rainbow even ran into something hard enough to leave an indentation on his hump.  In all these cases, the injury seemed to heal and no scars or anything remained.

I initially thought in March that the one of these two that has the most marks on his hump had scraped himself.  I was hoping the mark would just go away.  I only got worried when I so more marks.  

It is possible that he scraped himself several times.  

I looked these two again: they appear the same as in the last picture.  

When would you feel comfortable slowly reducing the salt concentration and eventually moving them back to the main tank?   I've been erring on keeping them in the QT tank because I'm afraid that if I'm wrong and they are sick, they'll infect the tank.

There aren't any more marks on either of these two males and you'd think that the 1 tablespoon of salt per gallon for two months would get rid it if it's a disease, or it would get worse.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...