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Re: Problems

In a message dated 23/10/01 12:40:19 GMT Daylight Time, 
pete.liptrot@bolton.gov.uk writes:

> What is happening is that every so often one fish will, over the course of
>  only 24 hours, stop feeding, go up to the top, start gasping and then die.
>  These are remarkably similar to the problems that Chris (Jewell) was asking
>  about, except that these fish are going to the surface rather than sitting
>  on the bottom.

I've had similar problems recently with A. atahualpa and A. meinkeni.  The 
first time I put it down to old age as alpha fish seem to be affected first.  
There is a common source of these fish. 

Initially the fish stop feeding, laboured breathing and generally looking 
miserable and either gasp at the surface or get tangled in aquatic plants 
then die.  I suspected nitrite poisoning, but checked water conditions as 
NH4, NO2 both zero, NO3 < 5 ppm, pH 5.8 - 6.0, DH < 0.5

The first fish, an alpha male atahualpa died 36 hours after the onset of 
first symptoms; post-mortem (binocular dissecting microscope X10) revealed no 
gill parasites, but the gills were somewhat engorged and slimy.

When the next fish (an alpha female atahualpa) showed symptoms she was 
transferred to a 'high oxygen' quarantine tank with a trickle tower returning 
the water and a temperature reduced to 76 F. She survived for 4 days, but 
succumbed to a localised bacterial infection - evidenced by raised scales 
below the rear of the dorsal and tissue damage.

The next fish went straight into the 'high oxygen' quarantine tank, and was 
treated with myxazin to lower the bacterial count, but 3 days later a sore 
opened at the base of her tail, the rear of the body had raised scales and 
she died.

Since then, I've noticed that whatever you treat for, something else will 
start, its almost as if this is an immune deficiency disease.  I have had 
other dwarf cichlids in the tanks with fish I've lost, but at present they 
don't seem to be affected - I'm trying to put a cordon sanitairre around this 
though - I am not selling or giving away any fish at the moment.

Alan W

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