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Tumor? Bgk Problem
May 27, 2008
10:43 pm
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Richy
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Hi, right, I've already posted this on a couple of forums.
Between the 2 I think my 6" BGK (Black Ghost Knifefish) may have a tumor but i'm still uncertain.

The story so far...
At first I thought it may just be constipated as the swelling appeared quickly over about 3-4 days so i posted on a forum. Not much positive feedback from there so I went to a very large active global forum. I noticed it was still passing waste so was confused. I got quite a few people saying they think it "may" be a tumor so I moved it to a mature hospital tank by itself incase it burst and infected the rest of the tankmates. The lump didnt get any worse over a 2 week period but internally, I don't know.

The latest thing I've done is a 10 min dip with epsom salts incase it is a partial blockage. I asked on the big forum how often to redo a epsom salt dip but have had no reply so now I'm asking you lot here. When I treat it with E/Salts the lump went a bit bigger after a few hours then went back to origional lump size again which is making me wonder if it could be a slight blockage now grr ffs lol /sad.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":(" border="0" alt="sad.gif" />

I'm NOT expecting someone to jump up and say "oh it's this or that" I treat it and is all happy again so don't worry if you can't help but I know you will if possible /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />
Here's a couple of pics, not super quality but you'll get the idea of what I mean.

[Image Can Not Be Found]
[Image Can Not Be Found]
[Image Can Not Be Found]

I'm really sorry for the long post but thought I'd post as much history about it as possible incase you asked Q's I already know or have tried.
I put the health of my livestock first above anything but the main reason I'm so concerned is that I have a near 12" BGK and he's my precious baby and I'd hate the same thing happen to him if I don't know how to approach the issue /sad.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":(" border="0" alt="sad.gif" />
There are NO other problems with the small one, all feeding and swimming habits etc are fine, just the lump.
Any help would be greatly appreciated /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />
EDIT* how often should I redo a Epsom salt dip? (if you think it may be a blockage)

Regards
Richy

May 27, 2008
11:29 pm
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keith565
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hmm, it looks like an infection of some sort, but as to what is difficult to say. it's a long way from the digestive tract from what i can see, so i think possibly a cyst.
now, for treatment, i would first go with melafix, see if that helps after a few days, if not, just wait and see i'm afraid.
you could risk bursting it and this would give meds a chance to get a hold of things, but could also make things worse.
a broad spectrum antibiotic may help, but this would need a vet to prescribe these.
i'm sorry i'm not much help, but these things are so difficult to diagnose.

May 28, 2008
12:51 am
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Matt
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Keith I know it's not the intestine but isn't the stomach usually around there somewhere? I'd agree that if the Epsom made it swell up further but didn't reduce the problem it sounds like something more "solid" than a blockage of the digestive system like a cyst or something. Just to clear it as an issue what do you feed the fish Richy?

Cake or death?
May 28, 2008
12:54 am
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Richy
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Keith, any reply is of help whether it be correct or unsure about. This has been my problem, it's not just a normal case of, i dunno, fin rot or whitespot etc and it doesn't help that the majority of households don't know what a knife fish is /wacko.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":wacko:" border="0" alt="wacko.gif" />
Even people who've had them for years haven't seen this, or just havent posted.
There's little knowledge out there about BGK, especially about sexing and breeding so to diagnose a strange lump is hard aswell.

I have thought about bursting the lump and treating with not just melafix but pimafix aswell but I'm very hesitant.

Have a good look at pic 2, look at the lump then trace down, could it be a tumor? From just below the lump(jellybean) as i call it there is a sort of straight line lump downwards. Elongated internal tumor but swollen on the outside? The outside lump is also right beside the anal passageway which has made more awkward to find the problem. I'm sure someone on here may have other indications to the problem /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />
I'll give it a couple of days then try melafix and pimafix as they can be used inconjuction with eachother /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />
Thanks /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

May 28, 2008
11:42 am
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Richy
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QUOTE(Matt @ May 28 2008, 01:34 AM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
Keith I know it's not the intestine but isn't the stomach usually around there somewhere? I'd agree that if the Epsom made it swell up further but didn't reduce the problem it sounds like something more "solid" than a blockage of the digestive system like a cyst or something. Just to clear it as an issue what do you feed the fish Richy?

Sorry Matt, just realised you posted while I was typing /wacko.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":wacko:" border="0" alt="wacko.gif" />
They get fed, prawns(every 2-3 weeks), frozen bloodworm(5 times week), mealworms, defrosted peas, algae pellets and sometimes frozen brineshrimp. I put flake in every day for the gold panchax's and the small bgk does eat it but the large one doesn't bother.
The main tank is 4ft and has large external filter, water changes weekly although 2-3 weeks would be ok. PH 6.8, ammo 0, nitrIte 0, nitrAte 5
PH in the hospital tank is 7.2 but it's fine.
I've been keeping bgk's for well over 3 years now and pretty knowlegable about them but not this problem /sad.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":(" border="0" alt="sad.gif" />

May 28, 2008
12:07 pm
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Malti
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well personally I've never encountered this in fish, but I've encountered this in farm animals. Now I'm going to tell you what we used to do so maybe you can come up with something for the BGK.

First we assessed the tumor - if its lumpy and didn't change shape it was probably fat so its was no problem, if on the other hand it was liquid it was probably filled with pus. We used to keep it clean as can be and sometimes we would cover it up aswell if liquid started to come out of it cause of infection. After some time it would mature and burst, and we would clean it up and keep it clean till it healed.

well I don't know if you can handle the BGK, but if you can, you can try to assess (and be very gentle, you don't want to burst it) the type of lump and then see how it goes. sorry I couldn't help much.

May 28, 2008
1:31 pm
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Matt
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Hmmmm, most types of tumour in fish are viral in origin so if this is what you have you'd expect others in the tank to be affected though. I also wouldn't try to burst the lump as if it is a tumour it's most likely benign and will disappear by itself, or at least is unlikely to do the fish any harm.

I think that another possibility could be fluid retention (ascites). This is usually caused by the malfunction/infection of one or more organs such as the kidneys or liver and the fluid builds up as a result of dead tissues (necrosis) and/or pus. This stuff can build up in the abdominal cavity and cause the area around the stomach to look bloated. If this is the cause there's not a lot that can be done unfortunately. You say the fish is swimming ok so that would appear to discount kidney problems though....it's a tricky one this Richy!

Cake or death?
May 28, 2008
2:34 pm
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Malti
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QUOTE(Matt @ May 28 2008, 03:14 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hmmmm, most types of tumour in fish are viral in origin so if this is what you have you'd expect others in the tank to be affected though. I also wouldn't try to burst the lump as if it is a tumour it's most likely benign and will disappear by itself, or at least is unlikely to do the fish any harm.

I think that another possibility could be fluid retention (ascites). This is usually caused by the malfunction/infection of one or more organs such as the kidneys or liver and the fluid builds up as a result of dead tissues (necrosis) and/or pus. This stuff can build up in the abdominal cavity and cause the area around the stomach to look bloated. If this is the cause there's not a lot that can be done unfortunately. You say the fish is swimming ok so that would appear to discount kidney problems though....it's a tricky one this Richy!

that is why i suggested to know if the lump is solid or liquid...so you can rule out stuff according to what it is.

May 28, 2008
3:41 pm
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Matt
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Yep wasn't disputing that point Karlos, I think it's a good idea if the fish can be handled.

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May 28, 2008
3:49 pm
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Malti
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QUOTE(Matt @ May 28 2008, 05:24 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yep wasn't disputing that point Karlos, I think it's a good idea if the fish can be handled.

/blush.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":blush:" border="0" alt="blush.gif" />

May 28, 2008
8:06 pm
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Richy
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Thanks for the time an effort put into your replies, much appreciated /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

Right, so now I have to figure out how to handle it in the least stressful way and gently push it's lump to see if it depresses of stays solid and moves?
I think the easiest way will be in a tub of tank water and a cottonbud to press the lump.
I#ll try and do it in the next 30 mins ish /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

Cheers

May 28, 2008
8:26 pm
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Richy
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It depressed as if you pushed your finger into a balloon, didnt feel like hard lump. This may explain a little why it went bigger and back down after the epsom salt dip??

May 28, 2008
8:33 pm
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Malti
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QUOTE(Richy @ May 28 2008, 10:09 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
It depressed as if you pushed your finger into a balloon, didnt feel like hard lump. This may explain a little why it went bigger and back down after the epsom salt dip??

so its not a tumuor, or a cyst...there's some trapped liquid underneath

mmm, could it be stress? sometimes freshwater fish increase the intake of water which may damage the scales...something similar?

May 28, 2008
8:58 pm
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Richy
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QUOTE(Malti @ May 28 2008, 09:16 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
so its not a tumuor, or a cyst...there's some trapped liquid underneath
mmm, could it be stress? sometimes freshwater fish increase the intake of water which may damage the scales...something similar?

No stress at all, it's happy as a pig in muck. These are scaless fish so, ermm, no scale damage.
I think I came across a diagram of the BGK's workings a few year ago so i'll try and find it again if it helps /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

May 28, 2008
9:47 pm
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Malti
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QUOTE(Richy @ May 28 2008, 10:41 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
No stress at all, it's happy as a pig in muck. These are scaless fish so, ermm, no scale damage.
I think I came across a diagram of the BGK's workings a few year ago so i'll try and find it again if it helps /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

I know its scaleless...thing was the extra water intake causes a swelling from inside....

May 28, 2008
10:27 pm
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Matt
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So it sounds like ascites. This would point towards it being related to the dysfunction of one or more internal organs Richy.

Edit: another thought just occured to me. I don't know at what age these become sexually mature, but could it be an egg-bound female?

Cake or death?
May 29, 2008
12:26 am
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dunc
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QUOTE(Matt @ May 28 2008, 11:10 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
Edit: another thought just occured to me. I don't know at what age these become sexually mature, but could it be an egg-bound female?


I thought it was near impossible to keep BGKs together because of their electrical fields?

May 29, 2008
2:49 am
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Richy
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Egg bound, I have no idea mate. There's so little positive id on things about the bgk's, sexing/breeding/maturity etc so I can't say. I only know of 1 document online showing eggs, then small fry stages which was in brisbane but no info about the setups, size/age of photo's of parents etc.
BGK's can live together depending on tank size, the electric pulses they send out are for communicating with each other aswell as for hunting and locating food. Mixing with other different species of "electric" fish is normally advised against as they have different sound outputs. This is why people advise not to keep a BGK with an elephant nose, 2 different sound waves which can cause conflict/confusion.
As to the biology/anatomy statements, could you shed more light on the subject of how "if possible" could I rectify the problems if it is this?
I'm not a biologist so replies in plain english please lol

Out of the 3 forum's I've posted this on, THIS FORUM has definatley been the most positive /thumbs_up.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":thumbsup:" border="0" alt="thumbs_up.gif" />
In all honesty, if it does pull round it's free to a good home as i'd be frightened to put it back in the main tank with my pride and joy, Bumripple (11.5+ BGK)
The BGK will stay isolated as long as it takes to either cure /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" /> or run it's course /sad.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":(" border="0" alt="sad.gif" />
I should really go to bed as I can hear the birds chirping outside now /rolleyes.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":rolleyes:" border="0" alt="rolleyes.gif" /> /laugh.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid="Laugh" border="0" alt="laugh.gif" /> /sad.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":(" border="0" alt="sad.gif" />

Thanks once again /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

May 29, 2008
8:32 am
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keith565
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hmm, i still think it could be a fluid filled cyst as it feels like pushing a finger into a balloon. two ideas, run with melafix/pimafix, won't do any harm trying them.
or, using a very small syringe and needle, try drawing the fluid off. wrap the fish in a wet towel and cover the face, usually they settle and can be held like this for several minutes so long as the gills are kept wet.
draw off what you can and see if it fills up again after 24 hours.
also, if you can get hold of some maracyn or metronidazole (flagyl), this may well help.
i wish we could help more.
do u have a vet who specializes in exotic animals, they may help diagnose and it's not too expensive.

May 29, 2008
10:00 am
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Malti
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QUOTE(keith565 @ May 29 2008, 10:15 AM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
hmm, i still think it could be a fluid filled cyst as it feels like pushing a finger into a balloon. two ideas, run with melafix/pimafix, won't do any harm trying them.
or, using a very small syringe and needle, try drawing the fluid off. wrap the fish in a wet towel and cover the face, usually they settle and can be held like this for several minutes so long as the gills are kept wet.
draw off what you can and see if it fills up again after 24 hours.
also, if you can get hold of some maracyn or metronidazole (flagyl), this may well help.
i wish we could help more.
do u have a vet who specializes in exotic animals, they may help diagnose and it's not too expensive.

use a 2ml syringe if you're gonna do that, as an insulin one which is smaller may not be good enough to get the fluids

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