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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
the female tuxedo and female sunset are doing fine, but the magnificent male swordtail who seemed quite healthy has died. even in death he was a beautiful creature.

and i know i am anthropomorphizing, but i have to say the female sunset acted like she was really concerned about him.

mousey in toronto suggested gill flukes might be the cause of him swimming into the stream where the filter water pours into the tank. i'm wondering now if it was flexibacter after coming across this article.

now i'm starting to think that when the female tuxedo had what i thought was fin rot, it was actually flexibacter?

well, i've learned some hard lessons. even though the tuxedo who was originally sick is doing okay now, she may have brought an infection into the tank with her that took the male sunset.

lesson 1: gotta quarantine new fish.

i've also learned that had i just gone straight to an antibiotic like kanaplex, it probably would have taken care of fin rot, flexibacter and several other possible ailments.

lesson 2: fish diseases are fast and lethal but don't have to be with the proper treatments. get the proper treatments right away.

in retrospect, i realize i was "hoping" the melafix would work and i was naive about how dangerous fish diseases can be. in the back of my mind i knew i could put antibiotics in the water and i could probably stop any illness dead in its tracks but i didn't go that route because of...some irrational hope that a holistic alternative approach would be..."better"?

on the other hand, i also was half-assed about some things. salt for instance. if you have read my previous posts, i very timidly added 1 tspn of salt for the 10 gallon tank. even though swords are supposed to like salt, i've also read enough to know for every person who swears by it, there's another adamantly against it. i thought i would start slow, and what i observed is that my fish did not seem to like the salt. it seemed to freak them out a little.

but then when the male sword really started acting odd, I decided to put 1 tblspn in. supposedly 2 tblspns per 10 gallons is okay, but again, i wasn't sure my fish liked the salt so i put 1 tblspn of nutrafin aquarium salt last night. i dissolved it all first of course in a jar of tank water, and very slowly trickled it in over 20 - 30 minutes. you could see it sinking and mixing with the fresh water in the tank. i was optimistic at first because the tuxedo came to see what was up and swam through it and stuff and seemed fine. but i don't know. in hindsight, i don't think the salt was a good thing.

second, water temp. previous to the illness, the water temp was around 74 - 76. i raised it to 80 - 82, decided the fish didn't like it, and lowered it again a couple days later. (nothing sudden, but i realize now these shifts in temperature probably stimulated the activity of pathogens).

what i'm wondering though is, if it was fin rot, the higher temp. would promote healing, but if it was flexibacter, the higher temp. would promote the bacterial growth, so very important to know exactly what you're dealing with. i don't know how one can really know the difference between similar looking but radically different infections short of taking your swordtail to a vet, and of course stressing the fish out even more by putting it in a little container and taking it for a car ride.

anyway, i hope my experience here is instructive and informative to other beginners out there.

btw, i just want to mention that through all this i do believe the water in the tank has been impecabbly clean...

final lesson: don't buy your fish from a store where all the tanks are connected and share filtration etc. etc.

and don't be impatient! quarantine new fish! i like the little tuxedo but everybody was fine until she arrived...

· Registered
543 Posts
noo that sucks i started my fish melafix for fin rot right after you and one seems to be doing better the other one hasnt gotten worse but hasnt gotten better seems dead for the last 5 days but still is holding on and the fin rot seems to have stop but it hasnt seemed to get any better,

but i still think its just fin rot for me cause i qauritined the first one when i noticed lazyness and fin clamping, and then the next one a day later when started showing same signs as first gourami i took it out of tank but i didnt start treating them with melafix till after reading your thread wich got me to buy melafix.

best of luck with the other two, and i hope i just have fin rot and not that, but i think its fin rot do too fin nipping by the other fish, atleast i hope.
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