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Micpak

Help - Septicemia

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I got three young ranchu goldfish, around 2.5 inches, a little over two weeks ago. They were in transit for three days. They were pretty stressed for about a day, and then seemed to perk up. I believe their stress is what caused the start of infection, because I've been very diligent about water quality during their quarantine.

Test Results for the Following:

 Ammonia Level(Tank): 0.25

 Nitrite Level(Tank): 0

 Nitrate level(Tank): 0

 Ammonia Level(Tap): 0.25

 Nitrite Level(Tap): 0

 Nitrate level(Tap): 0

 Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines): 7

 Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines): 8.8 (water treated with API Proper pH before adding to tank)

Other Required Info:

 Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API drops

 Water temperature? 71

 Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 15 gals, 2 weeks, quarantine tank so it's not cycled

 What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? Large Hikari sponge filter

 How often do you change the water and how much? Daily 50-75%

 How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? Yesterday 50%

 How many fish in the tank and their size? 2, 2.5 inches

 What kind of water additives or conditioners? Prime, Stress Coat, API Proper pH

 What do you feed your fish and how often? Fed peas, frozen blood worms - now feeding NLS Hex-shield 

 Any new fish added to the tank? no

 Any medications added to the tank? Kanaplex

 List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank.Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment.

- Prazi, 3 days

- Kanaplex 7 days (changing water and redosing added water)

- Epsom salt baths during water changes

 Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus?

One of them developed redness in his "armpits", at the base of his pectoral fins. Overnight his pectoral and pelvic fins developed red streaks. At this point I started feeding pre-soaked NLS Hex-shield pellets and ordered Kanaplex on Amazon. I got the Kanaplex in two days and started treatment.
After the first two days, the redness was lessening, but symptoms have since come back. I started treatment last Saturday. By Wednesday night his red fins were back. Now he's got a red chin (under his wen), and a little red pin-prick looking spot on his forehead. He doesn't show any signs of stress in the salt baths and I think it helps with his bloating. He's had a pretty fat belly since I got him, so it's hard to tell how much he's bloating (or if he is at all), but he's never shown any raised scales. I also feed him in the bath because he's a messy eater so the tub doesn't have any extra food bits floating around.

Also, on Thursday a second fish had a red streak in his tail. This particular fish has always been skittish- he always sort of spazzed whenever there was movement outside of the tub. He stopped eating and basically gave up, just bottom sitting unless he was freaking out because I got too close to the tub. Under his wen on top of his head turned pinkish and this morning he was dead.

 Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.?

The current infected fish is still eating. He is a little lethargic but will get up and swim around to beg for food.

 

From what I've read about Kanaplex, I have the understanding that the medication becomes ineffective after 48 hours, which is why you add another dose. So I did a large (~80%) water change before starting treatment, added the medicine, waited for two days (added Prime at the end of the first day), did another water change and added another dose. Now I'm doing daily water changes since that approach didn't work. I add a dose for the water that I remove and replace. I don't know if I'm doing this wrong but I can't really find any instructions on how to do it with water changes.
There is one healthy fish left, still in the tub with his buddy. I don't have any more air pumps or filters to set up another tub for him. He hasn't shown any problems in the two weeks, so I am considering adding him to my main tank so he doesn't have to deal with the medicine. I have done a slime-coat scrape and I didn't see any flukes or moving stuff so I think he's clean. I'm worried that he may be carrying some internal thing that might attack him if I move him and he gets stressed. I have two stunted fish (~1 inch bodies) from a Petco and a LFS I got like 4 and 5 years ago in a 40 gal breeder. I know my two little guys don't have flukes, but I'm not sure if they're secretly harboring anything either.  

Any advice is greatly appreciated. I've never dealt with septicemia so I don't really know what I'm doing. The only pet stores I have near me are Petco and Petsmart.

Thank you!

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Hi there!  You’re off to a good start, daily water changes and redosing the full amount is my preferred way of administering meds, since water quality is so important with a recovering fish.

 

Can you post a picture of the ingredients in hex shield?  If I recall it has metronidazole, but the dose also matters and we may need to add more to the water column to get things under control.  Praziquantel is something we need to have on hand too.

Can you also post pictures of each animal affected under bright light so we can see exactly what we are dealing with?  Thanks!

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Hi,

I do have Prazipro, they've been through a 3 day treatment. I did a scrape of the healthy one (as to not add more stress to the sick ones) and I didn't see any flukes or movement in the slime coat. I stopped the Prazi when I added the Kanaplex.

I also have Metro+, which I can add to the water. I've just heard it isn't very effective in the water column. Hex-shield does have metronidazole (2-methyl-5-nitro) but it doesn't have any percentages or dosing information on it.

Fish
fish

Hex-shield

 

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Okay, that’s what I thought.  How are you dosing the hex shield?  By weight?

You really cannot and should not presoak any medicated food.  The medication dissolved quickly into the water column.  Better is to feed the fish one bite at a time and ensure it is eaten quickly.  Basic dosing and medicated feeding instructions are here, and these are applicable to the NLS food as well.  I personally haven’t had issues with water borne metro, but if you’d rather continue with the food do so by these instructions, and run both that and the kanaplex for 14 full days :)

https://angelsplus.com/pages/proper-feeding-of-medicated-fish-foods

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Oh okay, that would've been good to know. I've just been giving him how much he will eat, which is usually 4-5 pellets. If he doesn't immediately go after it, I remove it from his bathtub. I don't have a scale that would measure his weight so I can't really measure how much he should be getting. I might switch to dosing the water. 

The temperature of the water is ~70. Should I raise it? I've been conflicted since bacteria tend to prefer warmer temperatures as well, and I definitely don't want to be boosting their growth. 

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No, absolutely warm up the water - it boosts their activity, but that means it shortens their life cycle and lets the medication do its thing faster and more effectively.  Many antibiotics do things like weaken the cell membrane or affect the mitochondria of the cells, inhibiting their reproduction.  So ending their life sooner is better.  78F is my minimum, but if your goldfish tolerates it anywhere up to 84 without surface gasping is just fine.

If you can’t weigh it, push the food constantly,  three or four feeds per day.  Short dwell time in the water like they recommend, because we want as much of the med getting into the fish as possible.  
 

But if you’d prefer to use it in the water column, metro is 1 scoop per ten gallons, adding in new meds every day when you do your 100% water change, for 14 days. Appetite should improve and redness should start subsiding by about 5 days in, but it can sometimes take longer.  You definitely want to finish the full course of both meds, even if you don’t seem to see quick visible improvement.

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Okay, I'll get a heater in there and add metro. Thanks so much for your help!

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I checked on them this morning before going to my classes, which was probably a mistake. I won't be back home for another fiveish hours so I'm just casually worrying about him during my break. :(

I'm not sure if it's my anxiety/paranoia but I think a few of his scale have started to lift. He has always had a fat belly and he doesn't look any more fat than usual, but a few of his rear belly scales look a little off to me.

 Should I add epsom salt to the tank as well or just do baths during water changes? I don't want to mess up the other fish too much with all the medications, but also want to make sure little dude doesn't get fluid retention problems.

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You can add 1/2 teaspoon epsom salt per ten gallons if you’re worried, it won’t hurt anything :)

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Okay, I added the salt. He doesn’t look any different than he did this morning so I’m hoping it’s nothing. Fingers crossed. 

 

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Nope, he’s definitely starting to pinecone. :(

is there anything else I should do?

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No, if it is bacterial the kanaplex and metro will hit it, and help with possible parasites as well, since originally this looked like hexamita.
 

 The thing is, dropsy is caused by issues with the liver and kidneys, and can be a symptom of many things.  If this is viral the antibiotics will do nothing and there isn’t a treatment aside from keeping the fish comfortable and low stress and hoping its immune system can fight it off.  

But even with bacterial infections, not all treatment is effective fast enough if there is underlying organ damage. The only thing you can really do is continue the treatment, hope for the best, and be fastidious about not crossing equipment, food, etc with your main tank, so whatever this is isn’t introduced into that system as it multiplies in this fish.  He may still turn around, he may not, but you’re doing the best things you can at this point.

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Good news, redness has lessened significantly and he hasn’t officially had any raised scales. They still look a little weird to me, but haven’t lifted. Also, he’s clamping his fins much less.

Bad news, he’s doing this:E710BDB1-1B08-4632-9051-AEF7AB7873C3.thumb.jpeg.754670ca88841a1fa6835fcc6657b326.jpeg

and has that new pimply thing going on on his head. He is still eating but his buddy has started spitting out food. :( 

The other fish hasn’t shown any signs of visible illness. No redness, spots, swelling, curling, etc. Sometimes he swims around really fast but he doesn’t try to scrape or anything, I think he just gets scared/stressed. I’m hoping he’s just protesting the treatment. He picks up food and will munch on it for a while but spits it back out. 

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7E8DCA70-2E0A-4914-8993-C75AA1EA461C.thumb.jpeg.88716544369a4a585a5f97dfabe89d6a.jpeg

here he is mid-transfer after a wc. Fins are looking great! His hips have cleared up too. :D

The underside of his wen/ chin area is sort of blackish like a bad bruise. It’s in the same area that the redness was so I’m assuming (hoping) this is part of the healing process. 

Edited by Micpak

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Okay, keep the metro in the water but please feed the hex shield too.  A slightly higher dose may help knock this back.  

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Will do, thanks again!

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More good and bad news- redness in his armpits has basically disappeared, that's the last I see on him. And his bruise thing is going away too.

Bad news, he's on a food strike. He is interested and picks it up but spits it back out. I ran out of Stress Coat a couple days ago. I'm not sure if that has anything to do with it? 

Tomorrow is the last day for Kanaplex, so that should lessen the load and maybe they'll be ready to eat on Sunday.

Edit:

The white thing on his head is gone, he's still sitting weird though. 

Edited by Micpak

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Will he eat blood worms?  Is it just medicated food or pellets he is refusing?

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Also ran out of blood worms. He is spitting out the Hex-shield.

I'll go get some worms & Stress Coat and see what he thinks.

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Hmmm. Definitely try frozen bloodworms soaked in a little garlic juice.

Also, remind me, you said you did some prazi rounds recently, yes?  

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Welp, couldn’t find frozen bloodworms anywhere. The LFS I got them from a couple months ago has since closed and chain stores don’t carry them. I got freeze dried ones to try but I can’t get them to sink so the fish don’t even notice their existence. 

They got one round of prazi for three days and then this happened so I switched to antibiotics.

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Do more prazi rounds, it won’t interact with the metro and kanamycin.  But some of the behavior you’re describing sounds more fluke related, so this would be good to cover your bases.  You can either add in prazi with your metronidazole each day, or switch to API General Cure, which has both prazi and metro in it already.

If this doesn’t help I’m afraid there isn’t much more we can do with the existing symptoms.  Please feel free to show me any additional pictures or videos of his behavior, and if eating doesn’t improve in a few days we may need to syringe feed him a slurry to keep his energy up :(

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Drove an hour and a half to get frozen blood worms, the orange one isn’t interested and the white will grab some but spit them out. 

The orange one has been getting worse. Now he is bottom sitting with clamped fins and really doesn’t move much. I squirted some blood worms in his mouth with a pipet, and he hardly even wiggled. He spit the worms out too. I assume there’s a point where they can no longer spit out, but I was scared to put the pipet in too far.  

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Okay, well, the orange one is dead. I think I’m just really bad at taking care of shipped fish. 

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I’m sorry, shipping stress can make this tough, as can the fish acclimating to your new water.  Sometimes a pathogen takes hold and there isn’t much for it.  Definitely do a prazi round on any remaining fish, you want 3-ish total.  And I wish you the best with the remaining stock!

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