I think my fish may have velvet but i'm not completely sure. He's been acting super strange lately...just sitting at the top of the tank and not really doing a whole lot of anything else. At first I thought he had ick because he has some white spots on the top of his head, but then when I shined a light on him...it looked more like he might have velvet instead. Anyway, I read what the forums have for the treatment of ick and velvet and I thought about going the AQ salt round. However, my tank is a 5.5 gallon filtered, cycled tank. My real question is, what would be the process to treat this with that kind of setup? I don't really have the time to do a 100 percent water change every day on this tank. Also, even if I did, wouldn't it kill the cycle by doing that? Would it be easier to take him out and treat him in something smaller, but if I do that, wouldn't that kill my cycle as well without a fish in the tank? I just want to go about this the best way and kill everything before he gets worse, so any help would be appreciated.
At this point where you are unsure of his condition, may I suggest to perform daily water change at 50%, and then add 1 tsp/gal AQ salt for 3 times a day, 12 hours apart...as per the guidance of the sticky thread for treating ick and velvet. Do not continue this treatment for more than 14 days.
Here are a couple of pics. His fins look really bad to me, very clamped. His fins have suffered alot since I got him, but I think thats mostly do to my hard water, but i've been trying to correct that by slowly mixing some filtered water in with the tap to see if that helps things.
Velvet will look like dust on a fish, whereas ich is more like salt. People often misdiagnose velvet because it can look quite similar to the natural iridescence of some fish.
In my experience aquarium salt won't kill velvet. You need a medication with something like copper in it.
However, what other behaviours is your fish exhibiting? Fish with velvet not only show clamped fins, but generally have faster respiration or irritated looking gills, they are often extremely lethargic and most will not eat. They also will tend to scratch themselves on things in the tank because the parasite causes irritation and they try to dislodge it.
Velvet isn't something that goes away overnight unfortunately. It has quite a complex life-cycle and you need to kill it at the right stage to completely eradicate it.
Have you tested your water parameters recently to make sure nothing is amiss there? I had a previously cycled tank crash recently and it was only when I tested that I understood why my fish had been so skittish.
Otherwise if you think he has velvet and you have other fish, don't share any equipment between the tanks or put your hands in his tank and then into the tanks of any of your other fish. It is highly contagious and I spread it through my entire fish room once and am still dealing with the effects months later.
Well, I wasn't able to test my water parms tonight because I got off of work too late and didn't have enough time, I did, however, change the 50 percent of his water and added some aq salt to it. He's still just floating at the top with clamped fins and not really doing much else besides that. He's not breathing heavy or anything like that...it's just not normal for him to sit at the top all the time. He's usually swimming around and at night he goes into his little treasure chest cave to rest. He hasn't even done that in a few days. I actually dosed him with kanaplex recently because his fins were getting ragged and it looked like fin melt but that didn't seem to do anything for him either. Everything else in his tank seems good. I use Prime to condition the water and sometimes put stress guard in there or vitachem. He still eats well so eating isn't an issue at all. I keep his tank around 79 or 80 degrees. Sometimes it gets just a slight bit higher or lower depending on time of day or how warm/cold it is in the house. Also, he's the only fish I have...so there is no worry about contamination.
I don't know if either of those ornaments could be scraping his fins or not. He's has the treasure chest for a very long time, but honestly he's had fin issues since I got him and he didn't have the chest then so I have no idea.
I bought some API general cure from the pet store today and I was going to try that on his next water change. I know it won't clear anything if it's velvet, which I don't know now or not. I'm a horrible diagnoser because I freak out and I just want to do what I can to get him better. So frustrating.
The ornaments are fine. Yeah try API General Cure combined with epsom salt, probably it's not velvet, does his body have rusty gold when shone with light? Give him some time, make sure everything is right, and low stress environment.