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Carolinedoodle

Usher's usual problems

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Test Results for the Following:

* Ammonia Level 0

* Nitrite Level 0

* Nitrate level 5

* Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 7.6

* Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 7.6

Other Required Info:

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

* Water temperature? Room temp - 22 degrees ish I imagine?

* Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 180 litres, running since February 2012. Before that he was in the same brand/size of tank, but I did a complete fresh start due to the problems.

* What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? Fluval 305, Fluval U4 and Juwel Bioflow 8.

* How often do you change the water and how much? 60% once a week, 90% once a month.

* How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? 60% a week ago today. Change due tonight.

* How many fish in the tank and their size? One, Usher a yellow common. He's around 7 inches long and 6 years old.

* What kind of water additives or conditioners? Prime

* What do you feed your fish and how often? He is fed Hikari pellets twice a day (about 12 a time) and peas/broccoli/spinach/courgette/garlic/worms/daphnia/algae

* Any new fish added to the tank? No, he has been alone for 5 years

* Any medications added to the tank? Salt to 0.3% and WormerPlus (UK version of prazi)

* List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment. As regular members know, Usher lives with my parents who live two hours away. Once a week I get the train there after work to change his water. Since 2009 I've had endless problems (red marks, clamping, bottom sitting, flashing, refusal to eat, nose down, rushing to the top and sticking his nose out then darting to the bottom again). On and off salt and WormerPlus for three years, with months of being fine and then suddenly it'd come back. Last October I took him to a fish specialist vet and he received two courses of Baytril injections and baths which lasted 10 days and then a further 10 days a month later. It didn't help. The vet also said his gills were very pale. Around Christmas I had a breakdown over it all and spent about £400 on a new tank and equipment, which was cycled (without him in) by February. Since changing tanks, the usual problems stopped but I had new problems, namely bloating/constipation and refusal to eat. Peas didn't help (he gets these regularly anyway) and I thought maybe Usher is actually a girl and egg bound. Found very grey, thick poo, which is unusual. It did not conform to descriptions of egg poo on here. This seems to have stopped for two weeks now, but this week he has apparently reverted to the old symptoms - bottom sitting, clamping, not eating. Not sure yet about flashing as obviously I've not seen him since I left him last Thurs when he seemed fine. I'll find out tonight but my bet is yes, flashing will be going on too.

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

* Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? Yes as mentioned above, this week he has apparently reverted to the old symptoms - bottom sitting, clamping, not eating. Not sure yet about flashing as obviously I've not seen him since I left him last Thurs when he seemed fine. I'll find out tonight but my bet is flashing too.

My diagnosis is internal organ damage after two years of some kind of infection which has never been beaten. It could also be something from prolonged exposure to salt - although obviously he has had months without it in between doses, but even so after years it must take its toll.

Is there anything out there that matches these symptoms which would not have been fixed with Baytril and everything else he's had?

I had hoped so much that the new tank would have worked and would be an end to the constant stress I've had over him since 2009... and maybe I could even have got a neighbour of my parents to do the odd waterchange to save me the 4 hour round trip now and again because it is driving me to exhaustion, but it appears that all this time, stress and money has done no good :(

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Hi Caroline,

I'm sorry Usher is not feeling well again. Let's try the Wormer Plus + 0.3% salt again, since that seemed to at least have alleviated the symptoms in the past. Obviously, we don't want just to alleviate symptoms, to try to fix the issues once and for all. I have some different strategies to propose.

1. Wormer Plus, as you know, isn't praziquantel. It's pretty good and gentle, but perhaps it just doesn't work quite as well. I would try actual Prazi, now that it's available from Kusuri. It's called Fluke-Solve, and recently many of our UK members have switched to that.

2. Before treatment this time, I would like for you to do a 3% salt dip (yes, 3%, seawater concentration of salt). The rationale is that sometimes the flukes are under the slime and hence protected. The salt dip actually will strip off the slime coat, exposing the layer underneath for treatment. Of course, any pathogen that's stuck on the slime coat will be stripped away as well. The 0.3% salt after that will stimulate slime coat production. For salt dips, the maximum to have him in there is 5 minutes. If before the five minutes are up he's already tipping to the side and cannot get up, then you remove him, and place him in a holding tank with 2x Prime for 1-2 hours before putting him back to the main tank.

3. double the dose of Prazi/Wormer Plus.

Good luck!

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I've just got in and the situation is the worst ever. His fins have gone white, according to my mum this has taken about 4 hours. He's not moved all day. His slimecoat looks to be falling off and he's covered in blood underneath on his tummy.

I'm doing a 90% change and salting now.

I think salt baths now would kill him. He has had them before in 2010 to no avail. If he survives and improves overnight I'll try tomorrow. I hate to say it but don't think he has long whatever I do. Am ordering FlukeSolve as we speak.

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If he's still with us in the morning I'll do the salt dip - if I fill a bucket (which is about 4 litres I think?) with water, I take it I'd need a hell of a lot of salt... anyone want to do the calculation for me?!

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1 US gallon = 3.8 litres (just under the fill line on a bucket).

For 3% you need 30 teaspoons per gallon, so if I use 30 teaspoons in a slightly not full bucket for 5 mins that should be ok shouldn't it?

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A bucket that is 4 litres, I should add! So it works out at 10 tablespoons for just under 4 litres. This seems about right to me...

Edited by Carolinedoodle

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10 tablespoons is great.

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Thanks. I wish we had a decent shop nearby! I'm going to get the train first thing for the salt. Just hope he's still with us by then.

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I am so sorry. Good luck for you and Usher, I hope it all works out!

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Hey Caroline, i am sorry to hear that Usher is still not getting better. I do hope that the salt dips do the trick and i wish him a speedy recovery.

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Thanks both. I can't sleep for worrying.

Alistair, hope all's going well with the new baby!

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He's still alive today, hurrah! No better though. I'm off to get the salt now.

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Good luck Caroline. Baby Emma is doing great :)

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Good :)

Just tried the salt dip at 3%... he tipped sideways after 1 min so took him out... argh. What now?

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He's in his tank at 0.3% salt now. I don't want to put wormer plus in as flukesolve will arrive in the morning and I can instruct my dad on how to add that over the phone.

He gets up when I go over but still bottom sitting and clamped mostly, still white around the edges.

I'm doing him egg white cooked in garlic water for lunch. Hopefully he'll try to eat.

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I've left the salt solution in the bucket - is it worth keeping it and trying him in it again tomorrow? Would another minute after 24 hours help at all? I really thought he'd stick out the full 5 mins :( if he was in better health he wouldn't be such a wimp about it.

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Just tried him with the egg... nothing. He didn't even look at it or get off the bottom when I went up to him. Not looking good. :(

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I'm sorry you are still having problems ): He is very lucky to have someone as dedicated as you running 4 hour round trips to care for him! Has a course of medicated food with a broad spectrum antibiotic and antibacterial ever been tried/suggested just to cover all your bases? I agree with the salt + prazi (or wormerplus) as has been suggested as it seems to have helped previously but just in case something internal is contributing this may be worth looking into :)

Lots of good thoughts to you and Usher!

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We can't get medicated food here... I have tried to get it before but it never turned up (seized at customs I assume!) Just ordered some form of powder that goes in it from Greece on ebay, which I could hopefully add to gel food, so fingers crossed this will work. He did have Baytril injections and baths but they made him worse. Thanks for the good wishes :)

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We have the same problems in Aus trying to get medicated foods ): It's a pain!

How is he going today?

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I don't know as unfortunately I'm back home now. Waiting for my parents to ring with an update.

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They've just rung. They made him more gel food last night and he's ignored it. Still not looking good. However, the Fluke Solve has arrived, so this is our last resort! They're putting it in now apparently. I'm wondering whether it's worth trying him in another salt dip? He reacted really badly to it yesterday and has barely been off the bottom since, but if it's a cruel to be kind thing I could try it again when I'm next there - I'm thinking of going tomorrow if he's no better, horrific as the journey is, it's better than sitting at home fretting.

Edit: Just read that an American brand called 'Prazi Pro' doesn't work well at 0.3% salt - does that go for FlukeSolve too? Should I tell them to do a water change and start again? I'm not even sure how they could do a water change without me as they can't lift buckets, might have to involve a neighbour. Argh

Edited by Carolinedoodle

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No, the Fluke-Solve should be fine at 0.3% salt. It's just the Prazipro, which for some reason doesn't work well at salt higher than 0.2%. I've been trying to get Hikari to explain why that is, without much success. Other than that, there is nothing about praziquantel itself that precludes salt at 0.3%.

I would wait until you are personally there to decide if another salt dip is warranted.

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Thanks for the info on salt.

Today he is perking up! He has eaten and not bottom sitting or clamping as much, according to parents. I can't believe it!

I am going to go back on Monday, to do the 50% change and next dose of FlukeSolve. If he seems well enough for another salt dip, would this be beneficial? I'm doing the '3 days, 50% change, next dose' prazi course with FlukeSolve - and will keep salt at .3% throughout.

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That is good news :)

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