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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16202
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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Have glo fish tetra. Seems ill. Isolated.Started Lifeguard.

Customer Question

Have glo fish tetra. Seems ill. Isolated.Started Lifeguard. What do I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today. What signs are you seeing? Any bloating, sores, red inflammation on the fins/tail, damage to the tail, appetite loss, etc? How long has your wee one had signs? What are your water pH, ammonia, nitrites, and nitrate readings? When were they last taken?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
swimming sideways a little, disc. scales. play other behav norm eats a little lies flat on plant appears to gasp for air
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you,How long has he had these signs?What do you mean by disc. scales? Are they raised? Or being sloughed? Any redness, slime, or swelling around these area?Is he collapsed on the plant at the moment?Is he gasping at the top of the water or appearing to breathe faster where he lies?Did you check your water parameters?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
2 days , none of those. neon yellow now with silver scales. no swimming a little sideways appears to have dark areas under eyes. not at top breathes heavier on plant. water good tested yest and had it tested at local acquarium last week.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
everyrhing within normal
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you,Now you haven't noted what parameters were actually tested in the tank at any point, and that is quite important to know. The reason is because not all test strips or shop tests are created equal. And it is very common to see these tests miss out important parameters that in fact are impacting are fish.This is especially an issue when we have a fish in a collapsed state with an increased breathing rate and no other obvious clinical findings. This is because both signs are very common features of nitrate poisoning in fish. Just to note, nitrate toxicity of the fish is such an issue for them because it affects oxygen carrying capacity of the red blood cells. This means fish can swim for short periods (often oddly) but then have to lay back down until they can get enough oxygen to again feed their cells. And since the nitrate bound red blood cells take up so little, these fish breathe quickly and gasp in an effort to try and get more oxygen in. So, in this case and no matter what you have or have not tested, I would advise making sure he is slowly weaned out of the old water and into new if you have not already. This has to be done slowly (so a 50% water change over a 24 hour period) since we can cause shock with quick changes. Otherwise, there are additional water treatments that you can use to bind any toxins in the water. And that could be used in addition to your Lifeguard supportive care for him. And I would note that if we can get him settled and eating properly again, his discoloration will likely settle as well (since it is a lesser issue if there are none of those changes affecting those scales as well). Based on everything you have reported, this would be our top suspicion for these kinds of signs in a fish. So, I would advise a slow weaning water change +/- toxin binders for the water. While you do so, consider increasing the oxygen levels in the tank (add some air stones) to make breathing easier for him. As well, you want to encourage him to eat and closely monitor him for any other signs to ensure that we don't have any opportunistic infections as well preying on his very precarious state. I hope this information is helpful.If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!All the best, ***** you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today.Thank you! : )
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
if it is nitrates...which were in the normal range according to my strip test...why aren't the other fish affected. Why this one?
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi again,Actually, it is very common to see one fish affected first. There always seems to be a "sensitive soul" in the tank that is more likely to respond then others in the early stages of any issue of this nature. It may be related to his age, ongoing other issues he may have, or even if he is just not as immune robust as the others. But rarely do we see all fish affected at the start (unless we have a major pH crash). And if you only know the nitrates based off a strip test (which aren't great), then I would tread with care on that and perhaps just take some water changing steps at this point to offset this as a differential for what is a very suspicious presentation in a fish. Take care,Dr. B.

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