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Martin, I Could Use Your Advice...

Posted By: Cybermeez <Cybermeez@aol.com>
Date: Sunday, 23 September 2001, at 8:43 p.m.

I moved the whole gang (2 Zebra Plecos, 3 medium Clown Loaches, 2 Cory Trilineatus, 5 White clouds) from their 20H tank into the new 30L gallon tank a few days ago. The baby Loaches I got about 2 weeks ago had shown no signs of ich for about a week and everyone in the quarantine tank (the 2 kiddies and a pair of Otos) was eating well and seemed healthy.

I decided to move everyone at once for the sake of simplicity and to make sure there was no fighting over turf. Even though I ordered 1 boy and 1 girl, now that the Zebra Plecos are getting bigger I suspect I have 2 males. Each one has claimed very separate and distinct spots in the tank, and the one who didn't have a cave to call his own in the smaller tank (had to share his log with 3 Loaches) has badly frayed fins.

I was worried about what would happen to the bio filter when I moved the whole shebang from one tank to another, but it seems to be the least of my problems. It's holding up very well and I've seen no spike in anything: Ammonia=0 Nitrite=0 Nitrate=5 or less ph=7.0-7.2. I am however finding it hard to maintain the correct temp in the tank with a single 100-watt heater so I probably need to add one to the opposite end of the tank.

However, I haven't gotten off scott free. After the first day one of the baby clowns began to get pale spots on his black markings. They have since spread across his back and it looks kind of like he's covered with a gray film in that area. He's eating but not as chipper has he should be. Some of the other fish are exhibiting similar symptoms and all the affected fish scratch furiously. The scratching seems more vigorous than what I've seen with ich. They also are getting ragged fins, the edges of which go very pale (almost white on the bigger clowns) before they split.

I don't think I'm dealing with ich because no one has any spots but clearly something is going on. So here's what I did: A large partial water change with vacuuming, dosed the 30L gallon tank with CopperSafe, began pushing the temp up to 83 (but can't get it stabilized) and began feeding everyone Tetra antibacterial flake. Am I doing the right things for them?

What do you think is going on? Skin slime disease caused by skin flukes perhaps, or maybe something else? I've never seen it before so I can only guess based on what the books describe. And why would the tank get it now? All the new fish has spent 10 days in a quarantine tank full of CopperSafe. Maybe the existing fish were carriers but not stressed enough to show signs and they gave it to the new baby fish?

I've heard bad things about copper treatments on fish, particularly Loaches. But CopperSafe is the only thing that has really worked for me in the past and not killed anybody as I was trying to help them get better.

Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated.



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