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Fin rot on Lemon Tetra

EA James

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Morning all

I have 12 Lemon Tetra and 12 orange Lemon Tetra. I've noticed on a couple of the Lemons, their dorsal fins seem to be degrading. And the small fins at the side under their eyes (don't know the name of that fin!!?) seem to have also been affected pretty badly too. It's only the Lemons not the oranges.

I've never had a problem like this, had a fish death or anything so i'm quite surprised its happened. Tank maintenance is religiously done weekly

What can i do about this? I don't want it to spread to any other fish

Cheers, James
 

alto

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24 Dec 2014
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Any chance of photos?
- if possible net fish and place in a small clear container (if you’re able to net fish with minimal stress)
- examine fish activity, respiration, food response, behaviour


Fin deterioration is often linked to bacterial infections (which may be internal despite the external fin symptom)

As a first step, begin daily water changes to provide optimum water quality - 25% minimum, 50% if possible

Increased aeration can also be helpful - increase surface agitation

Decrease tank temperature (depending on present temperature)

What other livestock are in the tank?

Water parameters?

If you don’t have any fish medications on hand, look into what’s available
 

EA James

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Hi @alto , sorry about the delayed reply

Probably near on impossible to be able to net him out but behaviour wise normal, feeding as normal and swimming about with the rest of them just the same as always

Surface agitation is good and even better now as i added a powerhead yesterday. Tank temp is 24 degrees c, should i lower that??

Livestock-

12 Lemon Tetra
12 Orange Lemon Tetra
10 SAE
8 Kuhli Loach
8 Amano shrimp
1 Bamboo shrimp
1 Green lace shrimp

Parameters i'm not sure on, but they are always consistently good, I have an NT labs test kit but its out of date and the reagent b for GH is empty. Will the test still be ok? Could just test for NH3 NO2 and NO3?

I don't have any meds as i've never had a problem, seems stupid thinking like that now i do have one!

Pics below I've just taken but the quality isn't that great and its hard trying to focus on something that doesn't stop moving!!

1591206679376.png
1591206713624.png
1591206762428.png

1591206809021.png
1591206846848.png
1591206874118.png
 

alto

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24 Dec 2014
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Check nitrogen’s - out of date kits may/may not work that well depending on storage, use etc but give it a try
Test samples
- tap
- tank
- 1:1 mix of tap and tank (if this number comes out as expected, kit may be fine)
If possible, do each sample in duplicate (then repeat if numbers are erratic - this would be a more useful precision check if kit was in date and if kit includes a reference standard )

If nitrates are higher than expected (given tap and fertilizer regime), this indicates you need to up maintenance technique and frequency

Your fish certainly look robust (perhaps a little less food ;))
Sparring fin damage is mostly seen on tail and dorsal etc, less likely on pectoral fins (those cheek/eye fins) - unless you see them engaging in face attacks ... on your list I’d suspect the SAE (if it was just the tetras, I’d expect some orange also showing signs and you’d likely observe interactions) though they are usually fine when kept in larger groups

What size/age are your SAE?

Tank temp I’d suggest 23-24 so just keep it in that range (SF reports 20-28 range for H pulchripinnis )

I’ve not kept lemon tetras in years, but I’m wondering the dark body patches (rather than more usual dark pattern these fish can exhibit) - are these consistent? how old are these fish?
 

sparkyweasel

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I’m wondering the dark body patches
So am I. Are they missing scales?
Have you noticed the SAEs chasing the tetras? Could you take a look after lights-out to see if that is happening without you previously noticing?
 

PARAGUAY

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Maybe put up a picture of the SAEs for identification. They can be mistaken for the Flying Fox definetly can be aggresive would explain it or if SAE the large group ?
 

EA James

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Trying to upload a video, trying being the key word there!!

Thanks for your replies I'll hopefully have something soon!!!
 

EA James

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It worked!! That took ages!

Your fish certainly look robust (perhaps a little less food ;))
I only feed them once a day, sometimes i miss a day too. Looking at the video would you still say the same?

The test kit is only a few months out of date and its been stored in my cabinet so dark and cool which i'm guessing will work in my favour. I'll test tonight, haven't had a chance yet.

What size/age are your SAE?
I got them about 8 months ago, they were all small and the same size. Not sure of the age though. One has stayed small and is very timid (see video) but feeds ok, some of them are growing well. Seems strange to me.

Lemons, again not sure of age but bought them about a year ago now

Have you noticed the SAEs chasing the tetras?
No, never! They all get along well, most of the time they all shoal together as if one family! I don't ever really see anything aggressive at all. When the lights are off most of the SAE just rest on the bottom or some branches. They seem really chilled to be fair

They can be mistaken for the Flying Fox

I'm 99% sure they're true SAE but thats only on what i've read. I'm still very much a beginner
 

alto

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Having watched the video, I’d reconsider feeding regime - what foods/how much etc as fish do appear well fed (overweight fish will begin to deposit fat in odd ways which don’t contribute to health) , don’t drastically alter their food, just reduce gradually or if you’re feeding mostly dry/flake foods, bring in some whole frozen foods (brine shrimp, blood worm (higher calorie so feed once weekly)) or look at culturing live foods

I’d also reduce flow in the tank, fish are obviously swimming against a current - of course this is just a small time capture, but those lemon/orange tetras are not swimming in a manner I expect
Maybe turn off the powerhead for a few days and see if fish behaviour alters, or do you only run the powerhead during photoperiod?

Did you buy the lemon and orange tetras as a group?

If this were my tank, I’d be isolating those lemon tetras - a couple look quite bad despite still swimming about etc - limiting spread to other fish is a main concern
My guess, is something internal which is always more difficult to treat

Any food safe bin that holds ~40 litres would do as a hospital tank, some sort of water movement (even an Eheim Mini Up filter - transfer some media from existing filter), heater (depending on room temp)

If you’re unable to setup an isolation tank, I’d net and euthanize the worst affected fish (there are a couple in the video that I suspect are unlikely to recover)

Even after lemon tetra removal, I recommend large daily water changes (physical removal of whatever those lemon tetras are shedding), after a week or so, move to alternate day water changes, then twice weekly for a few weeks - ie, change as much water as you can manage
Just looked back at your rescape thread - EA1200 and fish density is low so that will have helped limit infection between fish
Clean filter, rinsing media (especially sponges) - if you leave the lemon tetras in the tank, this is less relevant
 

EA James

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Oh! i didn't think it would be that serious 😟

what foods/how much etc
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1591295901874.png


I feed a mixture of these, one one day another the next so they don't always have the same. You reckon they'd be alright getting fed once a week??? They always seem hungry!

do you only run the powerhead during photoperiod?
Yeah its on a timer so its only on from 16:00 till 23:00. I got the powerhead as i'm installing my co2 set up soon so wanted good flow around the tank. The FX4 puts out good flow but from what I've read on here as my tanks quite deep at 60cm it might need an extra push, I'm not so sure on the way its working to be honest but thats another matter! Its only been in the tank a few days though

Did you buy the lemon and orange tetras as a group?
No from separate MA's about 2 weeks apart, 12 lemons from one and 12 oranges from another

If this were my tank, I’d be isolating those lemon tetras
If i was to isolate them, what would i do then? A medication of some sort?

Even after lemon tetra removal, I recommend large daily water changes
change as much water as you can manage
Ok WC are easily done, i have just started EI dosing though. What should i do about that? Leave it for now? I'm guessing the daily WC will be enough for the plants? I'll leave the co2 until its cleared up too??

Thanks for your help mate, i appreciate it
 

alto

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You reckon they'd be alright getting fed once a week???
No no no (and your fish would be aghasted :eek:)
:sorry: that was just meant for the bloodworms (if you want to introduce frozen foods),
for example, each week
dry foods 2-3 days
frozen brine shrimp 2-3 days
frozen bloodworm 1 day
1 day fast
 

alto

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If i was to isolate them, what would i do then? A medication of some sort?
The small tank makes observation much easier and treatments much more economic, you can also more easily remove individuals that are failing
If fish are eating, a medicated food is much more effective treatment, if fish actually consume little, then you can try bath treatments

I’d begin with this Sera product if available (the medicated food tabs, plus water treatment version)
The food tabs especially would be helpful as you can feed a course to fish remaining in the 1200


As @sparkyweasel suggested, the body discolouration seems to be lifted/missing scales etc

If available (and not outrageously expensive), I’d send some fish for necropsy (the worst lemon tetra and one that has minor symptoms - if service is actually available, discuss specimens and possible outcomes first)

I’d be very surprised if this disease state is water quality related, but the water tests should rule out that factor
 

alto

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If you’re limited to eSHa products, I’d try contacting technical support and ask for assistance based upon the video
(I’m curious what they would suggest)
You might hassle (er... I mean contact) PFK as well as they seem to track UK available medications (and may be able to put you in contact with an aquarium company (with vet) which is able to dispense antibiotics etc ... though that’s perhaps overly optimistic)

If you can source Seachem products (unlikely), I’d bring in
KanaPlex, NeoPlex, SulfaPlex
- as you might surmise, I’m pretty focused on this being internal bacterial and most likely to respond to antibiotic treatment; in reality once fish are obviously ill, they will have a host of increased pathogen levels but if you can alleviate the most damaging, fish will often begin recovering from the rest with good supportive care (most important being lots of clean water)

I’m also wondering if the lemon tetras are experiencing some fluid buildup and that’s why they appear over fed
- adding Epsom salts to the treatment tank while sorting out possible medications may alleviate this somewhat, also a base level of salt (sodium chloride)

If you’re able to set up an actual aquarium, I’d suggest a 60P (or similar dimensions) as this is a good size for quarantining new fish, and treating sick fish, HOB filter as easy to add media (from main tank) and easy to rinse sponges etc daily, add carbon etc,
Depending on the build of your EA1200 cabinet, you may be able to set up the Q/H tank inside - just be sure to use a good anti-vibration pad beneath glass tank (re fish stress), also you’ll need to sort out dim lighting etc
 

alto

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Ok WC are easily done, i have just started EI dosing though. What should i do about that? Leave it for now? I'm guessing the daily WC will be enough for the plants? I'll leave the co2 until its cleared up too??
If you’ve the CO2 ready to go, I’d likely add it for the plant benefit

As long as you maintain good surface agitation, oxygen levels should be fine (you’ll waste some CO2 obviously but I’d begin with low-moderate CO2 and gradually increase level, fish have some adaptive mechanisms)

You can still add EI (I assume you’re using dry salts etc so it should be economic enough not to be concerned over costs) after each water change - I’d balance the level of EI to your plant density and growth rates (slow vs fast growers etc)
 

EA James

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@alto sorry couldn't get back to you sooner, I've had a manic day today. Just when i didn't need one!!

Thank you so much for the help and advice i really appreciate it. You've explained it all well too which is important for a beginner like me!

I've managed to find a small tank of around 30 litres with everything i need to set up a qt tank, I've emailed eSHa but yet to hear back and I've found the Sera products to use too. I can get all of these pretty rapidly but I'm really unsure I'll be able to catch and net out the poorly fish. You've seen my scape, it's going to be near on impossible i think. I had to remove 4 threadfin acara form the tank before and had to pretty much remove everything out of the tank, i really don't want to have to do that again as everything is just starting to settle. I don't know what to do for the best?!!

Can i just use the Sera medication in the 1200 or will it affect the other fish? That would save so much time and hassle and keep my plants and scape good.
 

alto

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You just need to be sneaky when netting fish - and have a large net or 2 (pick up a 25-30 cm fine mesh, pond nets may be too deep to manage easily)
The trick is to never “chase” with the nets, just slow movements and once fish have gone into flight/fright mode, just leave net in tank and walk away

You can also “load” net with some frozen brine shrimp (I always feed frozen foods, obviously flake will break down too much, pellets may go through netting) and just rest it near the surface, most tetras will be quick to investigate - you only want to place a (very) small amount of food in the net each time, as you want fish to remain hungry
Slowly, carefully lift net - try to avoid startling fish too much - transfer fish to holding bin

You can often scoop several fish just by having the net in place, then feed a small amount of floating food - as fish haven’t been fed for 1-2 days, they will readily come to surface, and again you can scoop some silly tetras (NO chasing)
This can usually be repeated a couple times, and you should have 2/3 to most tetras, the remaining will be much more timid re few in number, so try again another day (or in a couple hours depending on fish)
You can also return the healthy fish to the tank, but I usually wait until I’m convinced the last couple won’t come out on their own

Also a bottle trap (the quickest version, loads more 10min videos ;) ) - I prefer this method for dwarf cichlids, Corydoras etc

- just select a bottle that has a wide enough mouth for your fish of interest (I use a rectangular shaped orange juice bottle, an occasional fish will sort out how to get back but that takes time)
- I skip the bottom holes as I don’t want water dripping as I walk across the room
- rather than string I just cut a few notches and use some large elastic bands to secure the top (this makes bottle very quick to set/remove fish)

A quick-fit version
- no video but the discussion covers some useful tips

I don’t feed fish for 24h, then set up my bottle trap with a mix of their favourite food (a bit of frozen brine shrimp due to its irresistible aroma, blood worms as small fish take time to swallow these)
Once bottle has 10-12 fish, I remove bottle and pour fish into my holding bin
Reset bottle and capture more (I once left the bottle overnight and it was too crowded in the morning - fish were obviously stressed (and some shrimp had crawled in as well))

Of course as tetra numbers decline, the last ones will be more timid, so wait several hours or overnight before trying again

While you can treat all fish in the 1200
- plants may react poorly to the medications (especially as you may need to treat for an extended time or repeat treatments)
- shrimp, snails may die (often not on day 1, but over treatment time)
- dead fish may be lost in the plant growth and other fish will cannibalize (a very bad idea in this situation)

ETA when netting fish, dropping the water level may be helpful
Place your nets and wait for tetras to swim into the area, and so on
Depending upon your fish, this can work very well OR fish may decide to hide in plants if filter etc it off (in response to a large change in normal conditions)
 
Last edited:

alto

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There is another option of course
You can do nothing aside from the increased water changes
Feed ONLY the medicated food (warning: medicated foods are often less palatable, especially antibacterial foods, I’ve not used the Sera version so perhaps they’ve managed to overcome this)

- in this case, be vigilant to remove any dying/dead fish (if you miss some, you miss some - I’d then repeat the medicated food course in a month or so)
- be aware that if shrimp, snails consume the medicated food, they may die
 

Ray

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There is another option of course
You can do nothing aside from the increased water changes
Feed ONLY the medicated food (warning: medicated foods are often less palatable, especially antibacterial foods, I’ve not used the Sera version so perhaps they’ve managed to overcome this)

Would you dose salt with that approach? I’m one of those “always tries salt before reaching for other meds” people.

Great posts BTW, especially on catching fish - took me years to figure all that out on my own!
 
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