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Concerned about my new Apistogrammas

Mazan

Active Member
Messages
201
Pretty much the same situation as yesterday. The two small ones are active and actually look fine. One male emerged after a few minutes and was feeding on brine shrimps but still does not look so good - swimming rather jerkily and with closed fins (but no flashing). I have not seen the other male.
 

Eddy. E.

Member
Messages
25
1. As anewbie stated - 80% water change all at once or gradually? TDS is much higher with the salt in.

80% all at once.

2. Should the new water be at the same temperature and should I keep the temperature high for a while (a few days?) or lower it immediately after the treatment.

The moment you changing the water, try to keep the water temperature at the same level. When that is done, just increase it a little over a longer period of time. If the temperature jumps more than 3-4 degrees, from one minute to the next, the fish's immune system stops working or is weakened. Fish can only compensate for this slowly.

3. How long should I leave the carbon in the filter after the treatment?

The activated carbon can be removed, one day after the water change. This period is sufficient to remove the last remnants of medication.

A note on the use of salt.

Sodium carbonate, sodium perborate and NaCL, is what we use here in a salt treatment. Both of these ingredients produce extra oxygen, which is important when using medications. This applies in particular to colouring medicines, as well as formalins, or aldehydes. Of course, other salts can be used, but they should not be household salts, i.e. they should not contain silica. All medicines deplete the oxygen content. Bacteria are the main users of oxygen in the aquarium. So you may well have an oxygen problem if you use medication. If you can't use it, you should always have an additional aerator ready. The fish already have enough problems dealing with a parasite. When fish are exposed to stress, of any nature, they release cortisol. This is an immunosuppressive hormone. Initially it acts as a stimulant so that the fish can react more quickly, for example when it is being chased. If the cortisol level persists over a longer period of time, e.g. during an illness, the immune system is set to 0. It is de facto no longer present and opens the door for parasites that otherwise would not be a problem at all.

When I talk about a salt treatment, I deliberately use these agents and I do not add them slowly to the water, but dissolved all at once. The effect is supposed to be an osmotic shock. Depending on the condition of the fish, you have more or less time to react. Most of the time, you have much less time.
If fish have stuck/closed fins or fungal infections, a simple, quick salt treatment is often enough. And this already shows after 24 hours!

As I said, my dosage is one teaspoon per 20-25 litres. Single dose. Maximum duration of treatment 3-4 days. Hydrolysis should not change the pH value by more than 1 degree, as this is logarithmic for fish. 5-6 pH = tenfold difference, 5-7pH = hundredfold difference etc.
 
Last edited:

Mazan

Active Member
Messages
201
80% all at once.



The moment you changing the water, try to keep the water temperature at the same level. When that is done, just increase it a little over a longer period of time. If the temperature jumps more than 3-4 degrees, from one minute to the next, the fish's immune system stops working or is weakened. Fish can only compensate for this slowly.



The activated carbon can be removed, one day after the water change. This period is sufficient to remove the last remnants of medication.

A note on the use of salt.

Sodium carbonate, sodium perborate and NaCL, is what we use here in a salt treatment. Both of these ingredients produce extra oxygen, which is important when using medications. This applies in particular to colouring medicines, as well as formalins, or aldehydes. Of course, other salts can be used, but they should not be household salts, i.e. they should not contain silica. All medicines deplete the oxygen content. Bacteria are the main users of oxygen in the aquarium. So you may well have an oxygen problem if you use medication. If you can't use it, you should always have an additional aerator ready. The fish already have enough problems dealing with a parasite. When fish are exposed to stress, of any nature, they release cortisol. This is an immunosuppressive hormone. Initially it acts as a stimulant so that the fish can react more quickly, for example when it is being chased. If the cortisol level persists over a longer period of time, e.g. during an illness, the immune system is set to 0. It is de facto no longer present and opens the door for parasites that otherwise would not be a problem at all.

When I talk about a salt treatment, I deliberately use these agents and I do not add them slowly to the water, but dissolved all at once. The effect is supposed to be an osmotic shock. Depending on the condition of the fish, you have more or less time to react. Most of the time, you have much less time.
If fish have stuck/closed fins or fungal infections, a simple, quick salt treatment is often enough. And this already shows after 24 hours!

As I said, my dosage is one teaspoon per 20-25 litres. Single dose. Maximum duration of treatment 3-4 days. Hydrolysis should not change the pH value by more than 1 degree, as this is logarithmic for fish. 5-6 pH = tenfold difference, 5-7pH = hundredfold difference etc.
Thanks so much for this, I did add the salt gradually so that was a mistake, but everything else I have done according to your instructions, including the extra air pump and keeping the tank dark. Tomorrow I will do the water change, add the carbon and see how things go. So far there does seem to be a definite improvement with two of the fish and a tentative improvement with one of the males. He was swimming and feeding more normally this afternoon, though still with closed fins. The other male I can’t find, dead or alive ( I am assuming that I am seeing the same one each time as I can’t tell the difference between them). Anyway, tomorrow during the water change I will search him out.
 

Mazan

Active Member
Messages
201
Update - no bad reaction after 80% water change. I hope I am not speaking too soon, but the three fishes are looking much better and eating brine shrimp greedily. No more erratic swimming, no flicking themselves against leaves etc. The male has his fins slightly more open and seems to have a better colour now. I found the other male as I feared, dark and resting on the substrate against a log and he stayed there throughout the water change and is still there, so I am pretty sure he won't make it. But if I can save three of them I will be pleased. Eddy, I am so glad you joined this forum just in time to help me! I would not have had a clue what to do and probably would have lost all of them. Many thanks!
 

anewbie

Active Member
Messages
672
Eddy can you explain in more detail why the sudden change in tds is not unhealthy for the fishes? In the past I had attributed such changes as being a problem (this has to do not so much with apistogramma but treating diseases with ick and so i have in general decided a more gradual change of adding and removing salt; but you seem to imply that it is actually good at curing the disease to expose the fishes to osmosic shock.
 

Mazan

Active Member
Messages
201
TDS was about 247 this morning before the water change, and 56 now. Temperature is still at 29. I took this photo of the male that is most sick now. He was in that position all morning but just recently disappeared again...the others still look OK.
IMG_8337.jpeg
 

Eddy. E.

Member
Messages
25
TDS was about 247 this morning before the water change, and 56 now. Temperature is still at 29. I took this photo of the male that is most sick now. He was in that position all morning but just recently disappeared again...the others still look OK.

Looking at the photo, it seems to me that the Apistogramma has a sunken belly. I therefore strongly tend to think that he is suffering from flagellates. The problem with fish that no longer want to eat is how to get a medicine into them. In this case, I would advise treatment with levamisole, as this medication is absorbed via the gills and you can thus achieve a chance of effect.

So I maintain that the fish is not suffering from external parasites, but from endoparasites.

Eddy can you explain in more detail why the sudden change in tds is not unhealthy for the fishes?
Might be a bigger explanation *g*

If a fish is infected with Ichthyo, i.e. you can see the white spots, the infection is already in full swing. This parasite is a permanent guest on our fish and poses no problem at all for a healthy fish if its immune system is functioning.
As a rule, fish do not die from Ichthyo, but from secondary infections triggered by Ichthyo's way of life. This goes through three phases - theront, trophont and tomont. How do I reach a parasite that is protected by the mucosa without destroying this protective layer? Basically not at all. It is not possible without killing the fish in the process.
Whether I use hardcore medication or not only matters to the parasite as long as it moves freely in the water as a tomont. So all I am doing is preventing further spread and infection. The parasite on the fish has to be dealt with, by the fish itself.

Very often you get the advice that you should increase the temperature to about 30°C (85°F/86°F). Due to the fact that there are now three different strains of Ichthyo, one of which shows a very high temperature tolerance, you should keep a close eye on the respiration of the fish! At high temperatures, the life cycle runs faster. Most of the time! It is not only the skin that becomes infected, but also the gills of the fish.
It is therefore complete nonsense to use ultra-strong medication when the fish is infected with Ichthyo (treating the symptoms is not treating the cause).

I use a medication called Protazol from SERA for ichthyosis. Its mode of action is completely different from conventional medicines because it works on a lipoidal basis and fights the parasite at the fish skin before it pierces the mucous membrane. Protazol works within 24 hours and "almost" always one treatment is enough, and it does not colour the water. Snails, crabs and shrimps should be removed before treatment and only reintroduced after a massive water change. It also reliably combats Ichthyobodo, Apiosoma, Trichodina and Chilodonella.
fischarznei-protazol-100-ml-2673176-1.png


Generally, when the parasite pierces the mucous membrane, it leaves a hole which then offers bacteria or fungi direct access to the fish's epidermis. These holes must be closed, and quickly! And that is exactly what we do with salt, not slowly, but quickly. The fish must suffer an osmotic shock so that it can quickly build up new mucous membrane and thus close the holes again. So the longer you take with salt treatment, the more problematic the consequences can be. How much salt are we talking about here? I always say one teaspoon per 20-25 litres. Done! With salt, it's not a question of, a lot helps a lot.
I remove medicines with activated charcoal, also discolourations are removed with it 3-4 days is enough. Preparations containing copper are neutralised with a water conditioner, although I am a firm opponent of copper-containing medicines, because the therapeutic effect of copper is very limited!

Most diseases are prevented from developing in the first place if you keep an eye on water hygiene. And that means generous, regular water changes. And I'm talking about 50% every week, that's what I've been doing for decades and I haven't experienced any diseases for many years.
Of course, when it comes to water changes, people also claim that this or that interval is sufficient. Every three or two weeks, or only a third every four weeks, or only 10%.

Imagine we are sitting together in a pool, we are not allowed out. We eat in it, we drink in it, we go to the toilet in it. I don't need much imagination to see what this broth looks like after three weeks. I don't sit in there alone with my buddy. There are 30 other colleagues doing exactly the same thing. And then I ask my pool owner: "Hey, how about some fresh water?" And he replies, "Fresh water? You only got it three weeks ago. 20%."
In the wild, fish only experience fresh water. In a river, fresh water comes from above and sewage is immediately carried downstream. In a lake, it has fresh water through rain and seepage, or an inlet and outlet takes care of the exchange. At home, I have to take over and that means regular, generous water changes!
 
Last edited:

Mazan

Active Member
Messages
201
Looking at the photo, it seems to me that the Apistogramma has a sunken belly. I therefore strongly tend to think that he is suffering from flagellates. The problem with fish that no longer want to eat is how to get a medicine into them. In this case, I would advise treatment with levamisole, as this medication is absorbed via the gills and you can thus achieve a chance of effect.
The other three are eating (just Artemia) and not looking like this, so would a potential treatment be done to the whole tank or best to separate that fish to a smaller tank? Though honestly I think that would just cause more stress and would probably finish him off quickly? That is if he is still alive. I haven't looked yet this morning . That particular fish I had not seen for several days, it was hiding and I presume has not been eating.

And I wonder why they all became sick after two weeks of looking fine? I have always done water changes each week and been careful of the conditions. But maybe the stress of being captured in the wild then moving twice to different locations would be a factor?
 

anewbie

Active Member
Messages
672
Might be a bigger explanation *g*

If a fish is infected with Ichthyo, i.e. you can see the white spots, the infection is already in full swing. This parasite is a permanent guest on our fish and poses no problem at all for a healthy fish if its immune system is functioning.
As a rule, fish do not die from Ichthyo, but from secondary infections triggered by Ichthyo's way of life. This goes through three phases - theront, trophont and tomont. How do I reach a parasite that is protected by the mucosa without destroying this protective layer? Basically not at all. It is not possible without killing the fish in the process.
Whether I use hardcore medication or not only matters to the parasite as long as it moves freely in the water as a tomont. So all I am doing is preventing further spread and infection. The parasite on the fish has to be dealt with, by the fish itself.

Very often you get the advice that you should increase the temperature to about 30°C (85°F/86°F). Due to the fact that there are now three different strains of Ichthyo, one of which shows a very high temperature tolerance, you should keep a close eye on the respiration of the fish! At high temperatures, the life cycle runs faster. Most of the time! It is not only the skin that becomes infected, but also the gills of the fish.
It is therefore complete nonsense to use ultra-strong medication when the fish is infected with Ichthyo (treating the symptoms is not treating the cause).

I use a medication called Protazol from SERA for ichthyosis. Its mode of action is completely different from conventional medicines because it works on a lipoidal basis and fights the parasite at the fish skin before it pierces the mucous membrane. Protazol works within 24 hours and "almost" always one treatment is enough, and it does not colour the water. Snails, crabs and shrimps should be removed before treatment and only reintroduced after a massive water change. It also reliably combats Ichthyobodo, Apiosoma, Trichodina and Chilodonella.
fischarznei-protazol-100-ml-2673176-1.png


Generally, when the parasite pierces the mucous membrane, it leaves a hole which then offers bacteria or fungi direct access to the fish's epidermis. These holes must be closed, and quickly! And that is exactly what we do with salt, not slowly, but quickly. The fish must suffer an osmotic shock so that it can quickly build up new mucous membrane and thus close the holes again. So the longer you take with salt treatment, the more problematic the consequences can be. How much salt are we talking about here? I always say one teaspoon per 20-25 litres. Done! With salt, it's not a question of, a lot helps a lot.
I remove medicines with activated charcoal, also discolourations are removed with it 3-4 days is enough. Preparations containing copper are neutralised with a water conditioner, although I am a firm opponent of copper-containing medicines, because the therapeutic effect of copper is very limited!

Most diseases are prevented from developing in the first place if you keep an eye on water hygiene. And that means generous, regular water changes. And I'm talking about 50% every week, that's what I've been doing for decades and I haven't experienced any diseases for many years.
Of course, when it comes to water changes, people also claim that this or that interval is sufficient. Every three or two weeks, or only a third every four weeks, or only 10%.

Imagine we are sitting together in a pool, we are not allowed out. We eat in it, we drink in it, we go to the toilet in it. I don't need much imagination to see what this broth looks like after three weeks. I don't sit in there alone with my buddy. There are 30 other colleagues doing exactly the same thing. And then I ask my pool owner: "Hey, how about some fresh water?" And he replies, "Fresh water? You only got it three weeks ago. 20%."
In the wild, fish only experience fresh water. In a river, fresh water comes from above and sewage is immediately carried downstream. In a lake, it has fresh water through rain and seepage, or an inlet and outlet takes care of the exchange. At home, I have to take over and that means regular, generous water changes!
Eddy - this talk about the treatment of ick; but i'm asking specifically about the shock caused by large change in tds when salt is added or removed regardless of reason. Is there not a shock given to the fish and can this shock not harm or kill the fish? Anyway - for my specific tank i do 70% water change twice a week and the base water is of decent quality though not as soft as i would like but none of the fishes i have demand super soft water.
 

Eddy. E.

Member
Messages
25
And I wonder why they all became sick after two weeks of looking fine? I have always done water changes each week and been careful of the conditions. But maybe the stress of being captured in the wild then moving twice to different locations would be a factor?

No. Wild-caught animals always have parasites and these have an incubation period of up to six months, depending on the species.
The fish in question doesn't look good and I don't think it can be saved. It is certainly worth a try, but I don't think there is much more that can be done.
Eddy - this talk about the treatment of ick; but i'm asking specifically about the shock caused by large change in tds when salt is added or removed regardless of reason. Is there not a shock given to the fish and can this shock not harm or kill the fish?

No, it doesn't. The possible problem you mentioned is negligible because the fish kidneys take over and compensate for it in a short time. I have already mentioned in another thread or above that it depends largely on the pH value. When we reach jumps of 2 degrees or more due to the salt treatment, it might become critical. However, this only happens in the rarest of cases and no one keeps fish in such low pH values that we are talking about intolerances that are becoming significantly dangerous, due to the salt treatment.

I have done this many dozens of times with different species. From Apistogramma to Symphysodon. From blackwater fish to clearwater fish. None of them has died from the salt treatment. The chance of helping the fish quickly and safely is much higher than killing it with salt.
 

Mazan

Active Member
Messages
201
Wild-caught animals always have parasites and these have an incubation period of up to six months, depending on the species.
Yes, but supposedly these fish were quarantined and treated for parasites before being sold. I don't think I can save the one Apistogramma as I went to one shop and could find anything with levamisole, and did not have time to go to the other shop. And anyway I can't even find him, I know it sounds stupid but I have moved several things around, and looked into the tank from al angles and he does not appear. I will try again later..

Meanwhile the other three are looking good, fins are up and they are even chasing each other again! All this information you have provided will be very useful for future reference as well, your help is greatly appreciated.
 

Eddy. E.

Member
Messages
25
Meanwhile the other three are looking good, fins are up and they are even chasing each other again! All this information you have provided will be very useful for future reference as well, your help is greatly appreciated.

Great. That's why we're all here, to help each other with problems. And if a few fish survive thanks to my help, I'm happy.
 

Mazan

Active Member
Messages
201
Well amazingly the other male is still alive! A few days ago I found him lying slightly on one side under a leaf looking dead, but on trying to get him out with a net, the other male chased him and he dashed off to the back of the tank, where he disappeared again. I have been trying unsuccessfully to find him since, and today did a water change and moved the sponge pre- filter and moved some of the wood and stones but no sign of him. I thought he must have died and been eaten by the others and/or snails, or decomposed. Then I was feeding them with brine shrimps and saw him sheltering under a log near the front of the tank, he was dark and very thin still, but upright he was also eating brine shrimp that came near him and even chasing the small one slightly when it came near him. I don't think he dares to come out of hiding because of the other male. Now I guess I will have to try to get him out and set up a small tank, to see if he stands a chance of recovery...
 

Mazan

Active Member
Messages
201
Well I have done it, for better or worse, set up the small tank, caught him (had to take nearly everything out to find him again). Of course since the move he is totally stressed, dark and not moving. I probably should have done this before, but honestly I thought he was on his last legs (or fins), I really thought he didn't stand a chance. I still doubt he'll make it but will see what happens.
 

Eddy. E.

Member
Messages
25
If the dominant male chased him, it was permanent stress. The consequences can then also be such that the weakened fish becomes susceptible to diseases.
 

Mazan

Active Member
Messages
201
If the dominant male chased him, it was permanent stress. The consequences can then also be such that the weakened fish becomes susceptible to diseases.
Yes, I know. The thing is that before they all became ill, one male was dominant but only really defending a relatively small area, the other male still seemed to be fine and I had tried to arrange the tank so that they could get out of each others way and not see each other. But I had actually been just about to move one of the males to another tank to avoid such problems when they all became ill so I couldn't. And during this time no one was chasing anyone until the three of them started to recover. By that time the other male was in hiding and when I saw him he looked really bad, I thought he already stood no chance, I evidently gave up on him too soon. Lately, yes I am sure he was chased by the dominant male and that is why he was hiding all the time. I should have tried harder to get him out earlier. Yesterday he was still alive, alone in the small tank, but very thin, At times he was just resting on the substrate, but he did swim around the tank a bit and did eat some brine shrimps.

This morning I haven't checked yet, the lights are still off, but I will report back a little later. So if he is still alive do I just try to feed him up or should I still try to get levamisole or anything else? And is the temperature OK at 26C or should I increase it slightly?

This was how he looked yesterday:
IMG_8434.jpeg
 

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mikishuhoo wrote on Apistoguy52's profile.
Hi,

Do you still have Apistogramma diplotaenia pairs available to sell? Please advise. Thanks.

Kenny
I'm clueless. If I say something you can safely ignore it.
Apistomaster wrote on anewbie's profile.
I see that The Wet Spot Tropical Fish currently has the fire red A. agassizi you are looking for. Here is the link:
I've always had good experiences buying from them on line.
Hallo,
I am Hanzle from Holland and keep apistoos for 40 years. Had my own aquarium shop from 1984 till 1988. Always s great fan from apistoos and hyphessobrycon which is s great combination in a Community Aquarium. Perhaps.....in the near future I start breeding apistoos again. Have a 400 liters Community aquarium for hyphessobrycon wadai and apistogramma biteaniata.
I want to get a 55 gallon slightly planted tank with many caves and I am thinking of getting 2 electric blue acaras, 3 blue rams, a apistogramma, 3 angelfish, and some corrydoras. Will that work if I keep the temperature at about and 80 or less?
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