I have a Synodantis catfish who developed large circles all over its body - even some on his whiskers. Petsmart said it

Expert's Assistant chatimg
Customer: I have a Synodantis catfish who developed large white circles all over its body - even some white on his whiskers. Petsmart said it was Ich, but it got no better. I tried to call everyone I knew and no one could answer. It is now in a sick tank and being treated with tetrocycline. The patches have turned from white to a raw reddish brown. Please [email protected]
Answered by CYBERCALL in 3 mins 14 years ago
imglogo
CYBERCALL
Pet Specialist
logo

2,118 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Dog Veterinary, Cat Veterinary, Bird Veterinary, Reptile Veterinary, Exotic Animal Veterinary

Hi. Before we begin I'd like to get a profile of your set up.

How big, in gallons, is the fish tank?

How long has the tank been up and running with fish in it?

Are there any other fish in the tank with the catfish?

.
Customer
Reply to TROPICAL FISH AFICIONADO's Post: I have a 55 gallon tank. It has 5 gouramis and the catfish. It has been running for three years. It has an underground filter.
Thanks for the information.

Now that I know the tank is established (aged) let me ask you three more questions.

Have you tested the water recently for levels of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate and if so what were the EXACT results?

Is the underground filter the only filter in the tank?

Are the other fish exhibiting any kind of symptoms that would indicate they might possibly be ill?

.
Customer
My son checks the levels every other week. I can't remember the results, but I can tell you they were within the limits. The other fish are fine.
Customer
The is one filter in the tank with two different plastic pipes that shoot out water into the tank.
Customer
What am I replying to?
Thanks again for the information and your patience with my questions.

The symptoms would indicate either a virus such as Fish Pox or a parasite but what I'd like you to do is have the water tested for levels of ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and ph. Once you have those results please get back to me with the EXACT level readings.

The reason I'm asking you to test is in a case like this where the fish is diplaying such atypical symptoms we need to first rule out possible water quality issues.

Also the fact that an underground filter is the only filtration in the tank leads me to be more inclined to suspect water quality issues.

Please do not misunderstand, I'm not saying underground filters are bad it's that they generally cannot give sufficient filtration support to large tanks and can sometimes clog up causing water quality problems rapidly.

So please get back to me with the water test results as soon as you can. Thanks.

.
Customer
My son knows how to do all the tests and he won't be home until around 10:00. I will have him test then and write back. Will you be there?
Yes I should be online until about 11pm tonight.
Thank you for your cooperation. I shall look forward to hearing from you.
Customer
Thank you so much.
Customer
The tank that the fish came from tested at 2-4 for ammonia and 5.0 for nitrates. The sick tank tested at 1.0 for ammonia, freshwater nitrates are at 0. He said he couldn't clean the tank while it was being medicated. Are biological filters better?
Ok--that explains it, ammonia is the culprit as I had originally suspected. In an established tank ammonia should never be at a detectable level.
Ammonia is harmful and lethal to fish as are nitrites, keep in mind nitrItes not nitrAtes.

Ammonia is caused by fish waste and uneaten decaying food amongst other things and should be consumed in an established or aged tank such as yours.

All fish are negatively affected by ammonia but some are affected quicker to it than others and the Synodontis Catfish is one of them.

Simply stated, your fish is displaying symptoms of ammonia poisoning. Please see links below regarding ammonia poisoning.

What I recommend you do, in both tanks is change 30% of the water immediately. Once done add 1 teaspoon of aquarium salt or any non-iodized salt to the water, 1 teaspoon per every 5 gallons. The salt will help the fish to recuperate as it serves as a general tonic.

Every day test the water for levels of ammonia and nitrite. If either is detected then do a 25% water change. Continue to do this every day until both ammonia and nitrite test at -0-. Do not add any chemicals, ie ammonia detoxifiers etc etc, as they will only provide a temporary fix. Once ammonia and nitrite =-0- you should then begin to see a rise in nitrates, that's not a problem so long as their level does not exceed 20ppm on the test reading.

It would also be helpful to only feed the fish once a day as uneaten food and excess fish waste contribute to the formation of ammonia.

I also urge you to consider adding a hang on filter to your tank so as to help with the biological load. The make and model does not matter. The only thing that counts is that the filter is manufactured to filter a 55 gallon tank.
I personally prefer the Emperor 400 filter, see link below.

Please note that no medicine in the world will help a fish if ammonia and/or nitrite is present in the tank water.

Good luck and please let me know if you have any questions.

http://www.thetropicaltank.co.uk/cycling2.htm

http://www.algone.com/high_ammonia.php

http://freshaquarium.about.com/cs/disease/p/ammoniapoison.htm

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+3579+14448&pcatid=14448
Customer
Thank you so much. I sure hope this works. You have been a blessing.
You're quite welcome and thank you for your kind words and accept.
Read less
unlike
0 Likes
logoBack
logologo
CYBERCALL
logo
logo
2,118 satisfied customers
logo
Pet Specialist
imglogo
CYBERCALL
+ years of experience
logo

2118 satisfied customers

Ellen

Ellen

Licensed veterinarians

31,131 satisfied customers

Pearl avatar
Pearl Wilson, Veterinarian's Assistant
116 Veterinarians are online right now.
Related Veterinary Questions
Our bristlenose have ich. Catfish. They have dots like sand
6.9.2022
img
Dr. Caryn – Vet
Pet Specialist
734 Satisfied Customers
Redtail catfish. Is going out y count I using levamisole he
1.9.2022
img
Dr. Caryn – Vet
Pet Specialist
734 Satisfied Customers
I have an aquarium with a mix of fish including goldfish and
8.31.2021
img
Anna
Pet Expert/Biologist
4,830 Satisfied Customers
The cuckoo doesn't like he is interested in the tube. He has
5.11.2021
img
Anna
Pet Expert/Biologist
4,830 Satisfied Customers
My fish are flashing a lot. About 5 months ago I noticed
2.3.2021
img
Anna
Pet Expert/Biologist
4,830 Satisfied Customers
How it works
logoAsk for help, 24/7
Ask for help, 24/7
Members enjoy round-the-clock access to 12,000+ verified Experts, including doctors, lawyers, tech support, mechanics, vets, home repair pros, more.
logoExpert will respond in minutes
Expert will respond in minutes
After you reach out, we match you with an Expert who specializes in your situation. Talk, text, chat, whichever you prefer.
logoSave time & money
Save time & money
No scheduling hassles, missing time from work, or expensive consults.
A JustAnswer membership can save you significant time and money each month.
Sarahesq and 87 other Veterinarian specialists are ready to help you.
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.
Why you’ll love JustAnswer
JustAnswer is the best way to get expertise on-demand from doctors, lawyers, vets, mechanics and more. Since 2003, we’ve helped more than 9 million people in 196 countries and have an A+ rating with BBB and a 9.6/10 rating with TrustPilot.
Highly rated, verified Experts
We pride ourselves in our 8-step verification process including license and credential checks. Vetted by us and rated by customers, like you.
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal ...leave nothing to chance.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
JustAnswer, Professional Services  General, San Francisco, CA
Google reviews
TrustPilot Reviews