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Ich or velvet? Neon Green Rasbora school not doing well


Nat
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My rasboras aren’t looking too good - can I get help diagnosing if this is ich or velvet? And if velvet, how to treat? 

First noticed they looked bad Nov. 24, and did a water test. Parameters were as follows: ph 7, 0/0/20, temp 75. The spots look much smaller, more dust than salt-like than what I've seen as Ich on my neon tetras (different tank) in the past, but as the fish are smaller I decided to try it anyway. 

That same day I started dosing IchX once per 24 hours with a 30% WC. I raised them temp to 80 as well, and blacked out the tank for 72 hours in case it was velvet and that could help. There doesn’t seem to have been a huge improvement in that time period (This evening I will be doing dose #6).  No deaths have yet occured, but the rasboras seem to be slowing down and looking more worn out, though they are still chasing each other and the tetras. Only my rasboras seem to be affected. 

Can anyone help? 

Tank inhabitants: 18 neon green rasboras, 8 adult ember tetras, 3 baby ember tetras (born in the tank a few weeks ago), 6 sterbai corydoras, 3 gold laser corydoras.

Recent tank history: I added a school of 10 rasboras and 3 gold laser cories (that I road tripped to the coop to get!) to the tank about 3 weeks ago. They had been in qt in a densely planted 20 gallon for 3-4 weeks with qt meds and no signs of illness. The tank's temp had previously been set to 80, and I reduced it to 75 when adding the rasboras and laser cories.  Since adding them, they have been sparring non-stop and have kept the ember tetras hiding in the plants around the edges of the tank. I went to remove the obviously unhappy tetras and noticed the rasboras are in rough shape and I hadn’t noticed before. For now, the tetras are staying in, but I will remove them and try to reduce the angst in the tank amongst the rasboras if possible, especially if this stress was part of what led to the disease. If this level of chasing is normal, that would be good info to have too. 

In the past, when I got my first school of 8 rasboras, they started as a much larger number and I lost a lot then too. Are these fish just super crazy delicate and get sick every time another school is added? I love their color, but the sickness is stressful! 

More Tank info: 40 gallons, sponge filter, heater, live plants, petrified wood rock, play sand and eco complete, driftwood and fake decor hobbit hole. Set up mid summer - the ember tetras have been in it for most of that time, and have been spawning and the babies doing fine throughout all of this. *Tank looks slightly cloudy in pic, this is just the bright light. 

Thanks for reading to the end, and for any help! 

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Edited by Nat
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So it does not look like such. It seems to look like fungal. One of my goldfish caught this so I wouls start with a small salt does.(make sure you realize what how much to put in) and if in a couple of hours or days if your fish does not look any better ypu can get sone 10 dollar meds. I recomend the classic API meds like general cure.

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21 minutes ago, lefty o said:

doesnt appear to be ich. ich is more white spots.

All the rasboras are covered in white spots, they are just very very tiny. Almost like dust. That's what has me wondering if it could be velvet, since that's a way I've heard of it being described. The picture isn't very clear - these guys are just so fast this was the best I could do. 

 

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Think it’s a fungus?  I have a guppy with that and she is rubbing her back on decor - must be itchy.  I am in Canada where meds are limited, I tried melafix and it did nothing, pimafix seems to be helping.

My female guppies both are being courted by my male betta (wrong species dude!) so I put him in a breeding net to give them a break as that may be stressing them.

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1 hour ago, CanadaAmanda said:

Think it’s a fungus?  I have a guppy with that and she is rubbing her back on decor - must be itchy.  I am in Canada where meds are limited, I tried melafix and it did nothing, pimafix seems to be helping.

My female guppies both are being courted by my male betta (wrong species dude!) so I put him in a breeding net to give them a break as that may be stressing them.

Mine aren't acting ichy, but being ichy can for sure be a symptom of an external parasite. For yours, I would try some aquarium salt - the coop has a great article about how much to dose and it should be readily available even in Canada. I personally haven't had much success with Melafix doing much of anything. Yeah, the betta may be being aggressive too, that'll definitely stress them out and cause sickness. Might need to get a tank divider or separate tanks for long term or mister betta can definitely stress them to the point of getting weak/sick/eventually dying.  

I'm starting to think that the whitishness on mine isn't a fungus, but a secondary infection after the ich, which seems less plentiful on the fish showing that. If it's not ich on my fish, it seems to be an external parasite, and responding to the meds I'm using. I'd be dumping in aquarium salt too, if I didn't have a lot of cories in the tank who I don't want to chance being sensitive to it. Unfortunately, my quarantine tank is already occupied by some neon tetras (someone local gave them to me free and they definitely have fungus, sigh) who will hopefully finish recovering soon. 

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1 hour ago, lefty o said:

ich typically looks like salt granules stuck to the fish.

Yeah, I've had ich on my tetras before unforunately. They all survived with no issues. That's what's a bit weird about this - it's clinging to the same places and same ways on the fish, but overall looks like much smaller specks rather than granules. Looking at them closer this evening, I think they are doing better. The ones with less spots seem to have a little bit of whitness to them, which may be a secondary infection. Going to look into aquarium salt and see if I can safely add any without stressing out the corydoras in the tank. If not, I'll have to wait until the ich/whatever parasite this is seems to be gone, and then try some antibiotics on any residual infections left. At least that's the game plan. 

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Updating this thread - since posting this I have lost 6 of the rasboras. 

After losing the first two, I visited my lfs and they diagnosed it as velvet and advised I treat with copper in a qt tank. 

That evening I transferred them, having already lost another. I dosed the 10 gallon cycled qt tank with 1.5 ppm copper, turned off lights and blacked out the tank with several towels, and set temp to 80-82 F. Also dosed some aquarium salt as tank is bare bottom. At this time, almost all fish were obviously weak, swimming far slower than usual, with several now exhibiting sunken bellies. I fed live baby brine to try to boost their strength.

Following day (today) I lost two more, who had already been obviously sick (sunken belies). Fed another feeding of the live baby brine for breakfast and the refrigerated leftover brine feeding for a late dinner. Checking at dinner, the remaining fish still have signs of the disease (specks on tails and skin) but also seem to have much more energy than the previous night. 

I’m setting up my brine shrimp hatchery again tonight and hoping at least some of my school (I’m down to 12 from 18) will pull through.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Updating this thread again, in case someone trying to treat velvet finds it.

I've saved the remaining 11 of the 18 rasboras using the following treatment: Dosing Coppersafe to the dose recommended on the bottle (1tsp per 4 gallons), adding aquarium salt at the dose of 1 tablespoon per gallon, raising temp temperature to 80 F, and blacking out the tank with two layers of towells. I also fed the aquarium coop fry food (they have tiny mouths) as well as live baby brine once a day. I tried twice a day, but they were not very receptive to an evening feeding since I hadn't previously been feeding twice a day.

When I initially added the rasboras to the quarantine tank, I dosed the copper to 1.5ppm by measuring using the API test kit, rather than the instructions on the Coppersafe bottle. After researching the bottle contents, I found online that the recommended dosing would bring the tank to 1.5-2.0 ppm, while what I had dosed the tank with to get what I thought was 1.5 ppm according to the API test would have been about a third of that strength. This would explain why I was still losing fish at that dosage. (Moving them to the quarantine tank was after slightly over a week of daily treaments of IchX and having the planted tank at 80F, with continued detioration and eventually death of two fish, as noted in my original post)

It's been several days since I last saw any of the parasite visible on the rasboras in quarantine, but will continue to keep them in the salt and copper solution with the tank blacked out for 15 days since the last day of visible parasites. I feed them once daily, and they are now active and voracious eaters. If anything goes wrong for this plan or the parasite reappears after this treatment, then I'll update this thread.

Oddly enough, the community tank the rasboras were in when they developed the disease, no other fish developed the disease or symptoms, so I am still unsure of my diagnosis of velvet. (Sterbai and Gold laser corydoras, and ember tetras, some as young as a few weeks). In any case, it seems to have been some sort of external parasite, so I am continuing to keep equipment from this tank and the quarantine tank separated from my other tanks, and will do so for several weeks. 

It was sad to lose more rasboras again, but at least I learned something from this experience - hopefully this can help someone else in the future as well. 

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