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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Background: Crusoe has been sick for a month. His condition has worsened over time and now I am afraid he may be near death. I identified his problem as parasites after conservative treatment of aquarium salt and extra clean water did nothing to help him, in addition to his symptoms.
Symptoms: Highly lethargic, heavy breathing, erratic swimming, swimming along glass, clamped fins, darkening around head, discolored gills

Tank Size: 10-gallon, filled up to 5-gallons
Temperature: 80 degrees (F)
Water Conditions: Removed from cycled tank, new water changed 50% daily when not undergoing medication. Currently undergoing Jungle Lifeguard All-in-One 5-day treatment.
Last Water Change: Approximately 4 days ago

Treatment
: Over the past month, I have tried treating Crusoe through multiple methods. First I removed him from his 5-gallon fish tank, assuming contamination, and kept him in a hospital tank with extra clean water and aquarium salt. After performing two 50% water changes and testing water conditions, I returned him to his 5-gallon. At this point he was uncharacteristically lethargic and had clamped fins but he did not show any other unorthodox behavior. Over the next few days, his condition worsened and I removed him once more and tried Jungle Fungus/Bacteria Cure. He has been prone to illness since I bought him, despite his cycled tank and maintained water. This medication did nothing and I suspected parasites, which were confirmed as symptoms worsened.

After placing him back into his 5-gallon to make treatment easier, I completed a full treatment of API General Cure. I waited three days and his condition did not improve. I moved him into an untouched 10-gallon tank that had been sterilized to remove possibility that there was interference from tank objects. He did not improve and his swimming behavior became more erratic, so I tried a second treatment of API General Cure. Again, no change. I followed the treatment exactly and cleaned the water daily after a period of two days after the final dose.

With worsening behavior, I began Jungle Lifeguard All-in-One treatment, a non-antibiotic. It has been 3 days and he is worse than ever. I need help, please. Any suggestions?

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkKUlEZ52JY&feature=youtu.be

Note: If you watch to the end, you will see him get up for air and try to swim before giving up. He does slowly crawl around the bottom of his tank throughout the day and will eat food if it falls in front of him.
 

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May I ask how you confirmed that he has parasites? Did you see them? Do you know specifically what type of parasites they are?

The metronidazole/praziquantel combination in API General Cure treats most common parasites, as well as anaerobic bacterial infections. You did two treatment cycles, but it wasn't effective. There are some parasites that require different meds, however. So the more you can tell us about these parasites, the better people will be able to recommend medications.

What is "Jungle Fungus/Bacteria Cure?" Do you mean Jungle Fungus Clear? There are several products with similar names, so can you tell us the specific one that you used (or list the ingredients in it)? If you mean Jungle Fungus Clear, it contains two furan medications which are effective against external gram-negative bacterial infections, such as fin rot or Columnaris, etc. However, it's not effective against internal bacterial infections.

The Jungle Lifeguard All-in-One that you're currently using has an active ingredient called 1-chloro-2,2,5,5-tetramethyl-4-imidazolidinone. This is an oxidizing agent which kills pathogens in the water, but I don't know specifically which ones.

Is he bloated at all?
How's his appetite?
Is he able to swim to the surface to get air?

I would start by:
  1. Lowering the water level so he doesn't have to swim far to reach the surface.
  2. Put plastic food wrap over the top of the tank. This will increase the humidity of the air, making it easier for him to breathe. It also has a calming effect. Be sure to leave several inches of air for him to breathe!
  3. Keep the tank in a darkened or dimly lit room. Darkness has a calming effect on them. Or you can drape a towel around the back and sides of the tank to darken it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for getting back to me. I determined it was parasites after eliminating all other possibilities, discussing the symptoms with other users, and noticing small white things around his gill area. However, I am unable to see anything in detail.

I did use Jungle Fungus Clear. The box stated that it fights bacterial and fungal infections. Crusoe is not bloated and he does attempt to eat. However, he does not swim to the surface to do so. I've had to sink his food for him to go after it. He swims lopsided sometimes and it appears as though he cannot balance himself.

He does go to the surface for air. He does so erratically, as you can see by the end of the video, and it seems like he struggles to swim around. When I treated him with API General Cure the medication appeared to have an adverse effect on him, making him twitch, labor his breathing, and swim erratically (this was before the erratic swimming was regular). I am nervous about further medication.
 

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I understand your reluctance to use more medications. If you can identify (or at least narrow down) the potential list of parasites, that might allow you to select an effective medication....

As a start, have you looked into anchor worms (Lernaea spp.), gill flukes (Dactylogyrus spp.), body flukes (Gyrodactylus spp.]) or lice (Argulus spp.)?

Here are some articles that may help:
Flukes: trematodes and gill flukes
Tropical Fish Parasites, How to Identify
Argulus (Fish Louse) Infections in Fish
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have looked into the parasites and because I cannot see any I do not feel comfortable diagnosing for certain. Any general suggestions/cures?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Crusoe's condition has remained the same over the past day. Not sure of what to do next.
 

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just asking...when you did the conservative treatment did you raise the water temperature to above 86 degrees?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I do not raise the temperature that high. I usually raise it to 80 or 84.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
UPDATE: I am beginning to suspect that, perhaps, parasites are not the problem. Although the symptoms are similar to that of parasites, I do not see any parasites and two doses of treatment have failed.

What else can cause these symptoms? Particularly, is there a single conditions that causes a difficulty in swimming, breathing, discolored gills, AND the recession of a tail? I've noticed that not only is his tail clamped but its underside has disintegrated to a stub. He does not have fin melt as there is no black or brown lining and nothing has been growing back despite the clean water conditions. In fact, that are of his tail looks sort of foggy-white but that might be because of his natural coloring.

I really, really, need help or ideas at this point. I am beginning to worry that he is on his way to death.
 
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