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Old 11-01-2010, 04:54 PM   #41 
Oldfishlady
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You may want to change his treatment to the Epsom salt 1tsp/gal if he is still having the bloating issue

Be careful doing both the bath/dip and salt treatment at the same time-

I use Epsom salt the same as I do with aquarium salt-pre-mix and keep them in it 24/7 for 7-10 days along with the 100% daily water changes

I also will go up to 3tsp/gal as needed too with increase of 1tsp daily and watch tolerance- if distress noted add some dechlorinated water to dilute

Good luck and keep us posted.....

I just read your last post-you do need to switch to the Epsom salt 1tsp/gal with the one that is sinking
And sadly when you see the S and C formation....not a good sign....but don't give up these guys are tough and surprise you......

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 11-01-2010 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 11-01-2010, 05:12 PM   #42 
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Thank you so much. I already changed his water twice today and I don't want to do it too much. So, tomorrow I will do a 2tsp/1gal bath, and then put him in plain dechlorinated tap water and not add aquarium salt to his bowl.

I thought that maybe he needs more heat (It's 82F in this room right now, and my kitchen thermometer says his water is 78F). Just in case I went ahead and grabbed my only desk lamp -- it's 25W and puts out a little heat so I have that right over the water and he seems to float over there and hang out for a while. Is the light doing more harm than good? I read that it might be best to keep him in a quiet dark room, I have him directly under this bright lamp now.

He is playing with a pellet, but doesn't really take it in, kind of sucks it to him, and then pushes it away and is almost following it around the bowl.

Should I try and give him a pea or shrimp brine? Or rather not feed him? His belly has gone down some, not what I would call swollen or bloated, but definitely chunky... but then he is a scrawny guy so...
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Old 11-01-2010, 05:36 PM   #43 
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Be careful raising the temp too high with an already compromised fish-78F is good.....if he want to eat I would feed him small amount several times a day

I would add Epsom salt 1tsp/gal to his water and leave him in it for 7-10 days but still making the 100% water changes daily-a leave in treatment not a bath/dip which is high level of salt (1/2cup salt/1gallon water) for 2-5 min or until they roll over...this is a last chance type treatment when all else fails and often is fatal-yours are not at that stage in my opinion

This is why I like to pre-mix my salts for the leave in treatment-so that the correct dosage is easier with the water changes
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Old 11-01-2010, 10:27 PM   #44 
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I've been scared to post this update in case I jinx it, but... things are looking promising in Stumpy's new Sterilite tank. He has perked up since I put the lamp up, and he is moving around much more. He still stops like he's in a daze and then shakes himself awake. And he is still making crazy shapes with his body, S and C shapes whenever he stops. He has eaten twice, only accepting shrimp brine, no bloodworms and no pellets, but I will take what I can get. Still round in the belly, but not bloated.

I moved Red to a Sterilte tub as well and have added a well cleaned coffee mug to both their tanks which they're exploring. I am sure they were getting bored with their little vase/bowls.

My husband leaves for work really early and I've asked him to check that Stumpy is alive, and wake me up if he has passed because I don't want to have to deal with that on my own later. He is SO spunky and has the cutest little personality... I had no idea fish could be so personable! Red isn't wild about me yet, but Stumpy is already like my little buddy and I will be shattered if he doesn't pull through this. Oh please, oh please, oh please!
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Old 11-02-2010, 06:13 AM   #45 
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goodluck i'm sure they will pull through since you are giving them excellent care :)
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Old 11-02-2010, 10:05 AM   #46 
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Day 6 Update on Red & Stumpy


Woohoo! We're all still here this morning and so far both Red and Stumpy are looking active and happy and on top of the world.

Both pooped some last night. Stumpy's was healthy and brown and two healthy pieces on opposite ends of the bowl which I think might mean he went twice?

Red's was healthy too, but a little strange. He has one piece but them 4 or so little I guess the only way to describe them would be pellets... like tube shaped though... Maybe he was just nervous. haha

Food wise Red still continues to refuse pellets, soaked in garlic juice, bloodworm melt or shrimp brine melt and he also isn't fooled when you roll one up in shrimp and brine and hand it to him. He IS getting less shy about coming to fetch his food from me. Today he ate two healthy mouthfuls of a mixture of bloodworm and brine (the only way I can get him to eat bloodworm).

Stumpy was his usual glutton self. Ate everything I offered. Two pellets soaked in garlic water and a mouthful and a half of the shrimp and blood worm mix. He is scary when he eats because that belly swells up instantly and he looks like he may pop. But I now know it goes down in an hour or so.

This morning I took OFLs advice and skipped a salt bath while I washed out their bowls. I left them in bowl water in their Walmart cups instead. Their bowls today are treated with Jungle Start Right, and 1tsp/gal of Epsom salts. Even though it goes down significantly a short while after meals, the bloat still concerns me so I want to make sure they're not stopped up at all.

Red's right gill is still a tiny bit open, but it is definitely showing improvement and is barely even noticeable on photos. Stumpy's right gill is still wide open and unchanged at all. I don't know that it will ever go back down, so it's a good thing he's got other breathing options right!

My question is... of the bloat and the gill problem, which is more concerning? Bloat = epsom salt, gill issues = aquarium salt and I guess I want to figure out which I should be dosing their tank with for the next 4 days (up to 10 days) or should I alternate?

Today's pictures:

Pic 1) Stumpy up close. Look at that belly!
Pic 2) Aerial view of Stumpy so you can see his bad gill.
Pic 3) Side view of Red.
Pic 4) Aerial (kind of one side though, his back end is not actually puffy on one side as it appears here) of Red so you can see his gill.
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Old 11-02-2010, 10:31 AM   #47 
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Thanks everyone for your well wishes and sweet comments. So great that you're rooting for these little guys. I truly don't think that they'd be here without the advice from this wonderful forum.
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Old 11-02-2010, 11:19 AM   #48 
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Good to hear they are showing some improvement for you and responding to your great care.....

At this point IMO/E-I would go with the Epsom salt 1tsp/gal leave in treatment along with the 100% daily water changes for the remaining days-The Epsom salt will help with swelling/edema and it also has a antibacterial/fungal effect
I don't use medication so I am not sure of the effect mixing the OTC product you have along with the salts-

Once the 10 days are completed I would do a 5 day of 100% daily water changes with just fresh/dechlorinated water to give their system a break and then in unfiltered heated container of 1-4 gallon in size-make twice weekly water changes....1-50% and 1-100%-if they are filtered container I would do twice weekl 50% to maintain water quality.
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Old 11-02-2010, 12:47 PM   #49 
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Sorry I didn't read your PM sooner. I tend to stop checking the forum after about 5PM EST. :(

I agree, you should stick with the epsom salt rather than aquarium salt, because aquarium salt can make swelling issues worse. Epsom salt is typically OK to use with medications except for antibiotics, because there are a few of those that are "sulfa" based, and being that Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate, that's where people tend to run into problems. I don't believe you'd have any problems mixing epsom salt with, say, pure methylene blue or a dewormer, but it's definitely prudent to check the packaging for warnings against the use of sulfates.

Good to hear you've gotten them into larger containers, I'm sure they're enjoying the space. It doesn't seem like the temp in your house is too bad, luckily, but you should consider getting a heater because the seasons are changing and it'll start getting cold before you know it. If you have a space heater that works on a good thermostat, you can put the two fish in a small room and heat the room instead.

Try not to go nuts with the brine shrimp, if they're getting noticeably bloated after feeding it might be better to feed them smaller amounts throughout the day rather than larger feedings all at once.

Hopefully things will continue to get better for your fish. :)
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Old 11-02-2010, 01:04 PM   #50 
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Thank you both! At this point I am not giving them any meds at all. Just dechlorinated water (Jungle Start Right) and Epsom Salt.

I found a great deal on an adjustable Theo heater on eBay and it will be with me in about a week. My husband says that if they both get to 10 days then we can go and get another tank and a second heater. Not long now!

Thank you OFL for the water change schedule moving forward. It is much easier to have a set schedule to work with rather than second guessing yourself all the time.

Adastra thank you for the warning on Brine shrimp. I guess I've been sticking with what I know they will eat, but I can see how it wouldn't be an ideal source of food. Will try just blood worms and pellets for a few days. If they're hungry I am sure they will eat whatever I put in front of them. If not, then I have nothing to worry about. :)

Thank you both again for all your help!
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