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Old 12-18-2012, 12:04 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Please help, don't know what else to do

Hi all. I had gotten my fishy this past summer and he's a very special fish in so many ways and means a lot to me. I would really appreciate it if you could do your very best to help me out with my situation. I do a lot of research on these forums when I think he might be sick, and I posted once before for help. I took the advice and it didn't improve his condition, it only seems to be getting worse.

He's in a 1.5 gal filtered tank with lots of colorful plants and tank decor, a spongebob toy is also in there, as well as a betta hammock. I change his filter once every month, and I do a full water change every two weeks. I also do a partial water change everyday after I take out any uneaten food. I feed him once each morning, normally with a small pinch of flakes and one or two pellets. I used to have live plants but when they began to die I threw them out. I've also taken out the spongebob toy (since it was driving him crazy when he attacked it over and over again) and the hammock. All the water levels are good because the vet's office checked them for me and told me so.

My fish is a beautiful crowntail but I started noticing in the summer that his fin tips were bending. I tried betta fix, and I also tried polyguard later on. He later seemed to develop this white little growth at the base of his tail, it sticks up from the surface of the tail. Also a long piece of one of his fins fell off and it seemed a bit red or bloody from where it had fallen off. At this point I took him to a vet specialist for fish. The vet office ran a sample of my water and they told me all the water conditions were great. The vet did some scrapings on him and used histology to determine if there was a parasite of some kind and found that he had a parasite he had never seen before called Ambiphrya. For treatment, he gave me formalin and told me to add 0.5 ml into 1 L of water, and to keep him in this water for one hour and then to put him back in non-formalin water. He said to repeat this for three days. I followed his treatment. I also cleaned his tank and all its items really well, including the live plant with bleach and made sure all the bleach had been rinsed away and cleaned off. He lost some stress coat I think from the formalin, but overall he seemed to recover well from the treatment and the part of his fin that had fallen off had grown in a little bit.

Later, I noticed there were some (I'm not really certain how to describe it) dark blue thin pieces of shedding on the bottom of the tank but I wasn't sure if they were from him or from the filter. He still had that little white growth at the base of his tail but it seemed to have broken in half a bit. There's some black coloration on one side of his tail and a little around the white growth on the other side of his tail. I tried aq salt for a week keeping the dosage pretty small, didn't see much of an improvement and decided to take him to the vet again, and this time I requested he not do any scrapings and instead do his microscopy with the sheddings I collected from the bottom of his tank. So the vet found there this time a bunch of different types of parasites- including the previous ambiphrya but also now including worms and etc. This was very confusing to me and the vet considering that I keep his tank very clean. The vet gave me two meds to kill all the parasites- metonidazole and panacur. I already completed the metrodinazole treament but haven't started panacur yet. He also told me to purchase an airstone because maybe he said low water oxygenation can allow these parasites to exist- havent been able to find one yet.

So all his fins look fine except for his tail. The white growth is even bigger and seems to now be affecting the other side of the tail where the black coloration is. A hole formed near the end of his tail and broke. His tail tips keep getting shorter and shorter and more curled. I'm REALLY frustrated and he means so much to me, and I'm so conflicted because I feel like I don't know what else to do besides what the vet has told me to do and prescribed me. But I can't stand to watch his tail degrade. So please help me help him.
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:18 AM   #2 
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Join Date: Jun 2010
You can't cycle a 1.5 gallon tank. Sorry. The filter will only be stressing him and it won't cycle. For something this small you need 100% weekly and another couple partial changes in between. With a water change like that your ammonia levels will be high and the water isn't clean. Even in a larger cycled tanks weekly water changes are needed. Holes in fins are also ammonia burns.

I don't know about the parasite problem, but the tail problem in a bacterial infection and possibly ammonia burns. Salt and clean water should treat both.

First thing to do is take out that filter. Second thing to do is increase water changes as outlined above. Third thing to do is either treat with aquarium salt along with frequent water changes as outlined in this sticky (look at ick). Take out all the ornaments and leave his bottom bare of gravel (throw out the gravel) you can air out the ornaments and leave them out for like a month and the parasites will *likely* all die because no host, although some are remarkably resilient and if you want to be sure toss the ornaments too.
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