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Gill Problem

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    After fighting off a bout of White Spot, my tank has once again been hit by illness. All the Blue Platies have bright red gills, the sole remaining female Honey Gourami has lost a lot of its colour, and also seems to have an inflamed gills/head section. My 3 Dwarf Rainbow fish were showing non of these symptoms, but nevertheless I found one dead earlier.

    The PH is 6.9, everything else is as it should be chemical wise. I think the fish are under a certain amount of stress – I’m told they like a planted aquarium, and I’m down to one plant, after the last one was pulled up in clumps by the filter, and I wont be able to get replacements until Wednesday.

    The only thing that makes me think it isn’t gill flukes is that I can’t see any worms emerging from the gills – they are only red.

    Oh, and the Blue Platties have a kind of green layer on their skin. It’s been there since I’ve had them, and I’ve never thought much of it…



    -Definitely not a bump-

    There was a tank overflow last night (I think caused by a passing lorry) so now the fish are even more stressed.
    I found the Blue Platties all huddled (and panting?) under the one remaining plant this morning – not normal behaviour – but they’re swimming around now. The Gourami continues to look incredibly sickly, yet holds onto life.
    At least there haven’t been any more fatalities.
    No visible decrease in appetite last night, but now I’m really leaning to gill flukes. Any other ideas?



    At this point it may be helpful to get a detailed picture of your circumstances, try to complete the following questionnaire. I appreciate that you may have already provided some of this information but, having it all in one place will make it easier for folks.

    Full set of water parameters, please give actual figures – stating “fine” or “normal” is not usually helpful.

    Parameters for:

    GH/KH (if you have the relevant test kit):


    How long has the tank been set up?
    Size of tank (dimensions and volume)?
    What filtration do you have on the tank (including media)?
    Your maintenance regime?
    Has anything new been added to the tank recently? (fish, plants, live food, decor etc)?
    Full stock list:
    Description of symptoms:
    How long have the affected fish been suffering?

    If you have a picture, that may provide further assistance



    Good post & list Bully. It may be helpful to sticky this at the top of this section?



    Weirdly, the redness on the Platies gills seems to have reduced slightly. It’s still there, but not quite as visible. Strange.
    I have another problem to add to my growing list – water appearing around the base of the aquarium. It happened last night (i.e there was water there when I woke up in the morning), it was there mid-morning when my Mum came into my room; its materialising there as I type this. The strange thing is there’s no visible leaks, and its certainly not caused by over-filling (the water level has dropped too low for that). This has happened in the past, but never on this scale, and after being dried up it didn’t reappear. On top of everything else, it makes me feel like burying my head in my hands.
    Something to consider – I think I heard splashes of water last night, but I was half asleep and so can’t be sure.
    The only thing I can think of is that the base of the aquarium is covered by a black piece of plastic that fits snugly around the aquarium. There could be a minute leak under there that I wouldn’t be able to see.

    Working on that questionnaire now.

    Ph: 6.9/7.0
    Nitrite: 0
    Nitrate: 25
    Ammonia: Not covered by test kit.
    GH: 16d
    KH: Colour on test kit doesn’t match any options.
    Chlorine: 0
    Temperature: 25 C.

    Test Kit Used: Tetra 6in1 test strips. Hardly the most reliable of things, apparently.

    The tank has been running for not far short of a year.
    The tank is 54 l, 30cm wide, 30 cm high, 60 wide.
    Filtration: Vita Tech Filter with just the sponge it came with, but cut in half.
    Maintenance regime: 30% (ish) water change per week. The filter media is washed in aquarium water during this time.
    Fish Stock: – One Honey Gourami, female (her companions died several months ago for reasons unknown)
    – Two Neon Dwarf Rainbowfish
    – Three Blue Platties
    – Four Forktail Rainbowfish

    The Four Forktails and (originally three) Dwarf Rainbowfish are the most recent additions. Not long after being introduced they, and all the other fish contracted whitespot, but I treated that.

    The tank has a bed of gravel that was thoroughly washed before being placed in, and was there long before any fish. At the back is a ‘Cryptocoryne – beckettii “petchii”‘ and in the two right hand corners some individual strands of a plant whos name I’ve forgotten. There are some rocks used in previous aquariums dotted sparsely around, and in the middle a plastic piece of ‘wood’, of the kind specifically designed for use in aquariums.

    Length of suffering? Honest answer is, I don’t know. The redness has been there over a week, but I foolishly didn’t think anything of it in the early stages. The strange colour on them has been there far longer – practically since I bought them.

    Photograph is the next thing.



    Liquid drop test kits are considered more accurate than test strips, although, a test strip is better than having no means of testing



    QUOTE (Bully @ Jan 19 2010, 08:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
    Liquid drop test kits are considered more accurate than test strips, although, a test strip is better than having no means of testing /smile.gif” style=”vertical-align:middle” emoid=”:)” border=”0″ alt=”smile.gif” />
    I always use dechlorinator when performing water changes (King British – Safe Guard) so I don’t think that could be it.
    The fish situation hasn’t changed since my last post, but I’ve remembered to say that all the Forktail Rainbowfish have really red gills, but according to Google Images, they’re all like that.
    The water has stopped materialising at the base – at least temperarily – but there’s a tiny amount remaining near the right hand side, that doesn’t seem to want to go away.
    I’ll increase surface movement from the filter as you suggested, but it was already creating sizeable ripples anyway.

    I’ll try for the photo tomorrow and keep you all updated.



    The tank finally gave up on Thursday evening, leaking water left, right and centre. The fish spent the night in a heated bucket, after the gravel and all the rubbish stored in it settled in the new tank. Transfered the next morning.

    The Gourami went an even paler shade of white, and I wasn’t suprised to come home today to find her dead.

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