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Water Changes and Feeding During Quarantine Med Trio?


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I am wondering if anyone has any experience performing water changes and feeding fish during the week long quarantine med trio. Here is why I ask:

Two weeks ago, I had a shipment of wild caught rosy loaches arrive. Besides two that sadly didn't make it during shipping, the rest all looked healthy and very active. Total of 21 fish. They were very thin, which I was expecting, but at least I had no problems getting them to eat.

I have had them in a 20 gal. long quarantine for two weeks (and have every intention of keeping them in there for several more!). I've been using a sponge filter that was in my display tank and fully cycled, although I did daily water changes for the first two weeks to make sure the filter could keep up with the new bio load. I also had included a bit of poly bio filter to help keep an eye on water quality.

I was feeding twice a day, as I saw elsewhere online (seriouslyfish.com I think) that this might help the new fish gain weight. It seemed to work! With the exception of a few smaller ones who are still thin but otherwise act okay, the rest have fattened up very well, maybe even too much. I admittedly struggle to find a balance between making sure the younger ones are getting enough to eat, but not overfeeding 😞

Anyways, all seemed fine until today, when I went to do a water change and discovered one of the larger males dead. I did not see any visible sign of illness, although it almost looked like there were some spots of blood internally. Hard to tell whether that was internal bleeding or just because these fish are so tiny and practically see-through. There were two lesions on the side of the dead fish, but I don't know if that could have been from the other fish picking at him after he died. They eat anything unfortunately. I am pretty sure I would have noticed open sores on a fish if he had them earlier, but again, not positive.

After removing the dead fish, I did a 50% water change, refilled and dosed with the med trio. I was eventually planning on using the med trio, given that these are wild caught fish, but was trying to hold off until all fish had gained decent weight. I know parasites could of course prevent that, but I never saw any signs of white stringy poo.

My only concern now - apart from the fact that I don't know what killed the fish - is not feeding or cleaning the quarantine tank for a whole week. Does anyone have any thoughts or recommendations? Thank you so much in advance, and if I did not provide some critical piece of info, please let me know.

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Ok so first off, congrats on the awesome fish!

sorry to hear they came in struggling, it happens so much in the trade these days.

I shared with an individual probably a week ago my personal thoughts on this which are as follows:

You are taking a proactive approach to insuring your fish are healthy and happy so I always like to start off by saying I don’t feel like there is a wrong answer in this scenario personally because you are actively taking a role in your fishes health and doing all you can to “try” on there behalf. 

if I were in your shoes and I have been, I would try to tackle one thing at a time, if the issues are they are skinny and possibly holding parasites or other illnesses I would medicate them fully first then concern myself with there weights after. 

it’s harder then it sounds because no one wants to see there fish look unhappy or like they are hungry and starving to death. I have personally with different loaches medicated and fed, medicated and water changed, as well as medicated and not fed and medicated and not water changed. What I do now is 2 things. Medication especially if they are Ill is a stressful experience to start with so my first goal is to minimize that stress. Less hours of light, more hides etc. add the appropriate amount of medication then I move on to step two which is monitor. I no longer change water when I run medication unless a necessary situation arises. I monitor the fish closely and if I feel like they need fed I feed live baby brine. It is my understanding live foods move through there systems easier as well as give them something to do and that full feeling. 7 days in I change water and assess my next steps. i also used medicated foods before but I wouldn’t say it’s the best idea with meds in the tank, I’m no expert or scientist but I shared hoping that you may take away something from this experience, I hope it helps and your situation improves. 

my thoughts are medicate your new fish then fatten them up, or feed live foods while medicating and monitor them and the tank conditions essentially 


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Thank you so much for your kind reply. Ugh, I feel like this is a guessing game, and I'm still very new to fish keeping (the quarantine tank itself is actually only my 2nd tank, but of course I have two new tanks waiting to be set up). So I am not making very educated guesses here.

In retrospect, yes, I think a better way to go might have been to let the new fish settle in for a few days, then do med trio (or at least parasite meds) to hopefully prevent any sudden unexpected deaths. I just kept thinking it might be better to wait, but clearly not. You're right, it's super hard not to feed fish when they looked starved! I have a group of trifasciata rainbows that will literally jump out of water and splash you in the face when they feel they are under fed!

I'm still bothered that I don't know what killed that nice male, but it could have been anything really. I don't know enough to do an autopsy, and lack equipment. So hopefully the med trio will get anything that I'm not seeing. If not, I have a couple other meds I could try (levimasole might be worth a try later anyways).

Again, thank you for your feedback! It is at least encouraging for me to know that I'm not going around making obvious mistakes, that I can simply "try" to do my best. And as unfortunate as this experience of losing fish is, at least I know what I might do better next time, based on this experience.

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