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Old October 20th 07, 01:25 PM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.misc
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Default is it white-spot, velvet or both?

Is it White-spot, Velvet, or both?

I have three fresh water tropical tanks
One 45 litre shallow tank for growing on corydoras and Ancistrus fry
One 70 litre tank which will be home to my Ancistrus so they can breed
in peace, but currently houses an assortment of tetras.
One 170 litre heavily planted tank with a large piece of mopani wood
and 2" deep, fine gravel, which is my 'show tank' , and contains;

2 ancistrus (7 years old)
3 albino corydoras(1 year old - 1.5" long)
3 clown loaches (5 years old - 3" long)
2 upside down catfish (5 years old - 2" long)
1 whiptail catfish(7 years old) - 4 " long)
2 siamese flying foxes (2 years old - 3" long)
8 congo tetras (6 months old - 2" long)
6 bleeding heart tetras (1 year old - 1.5" long)

Nitrites 0
Nitrates 0
Ph 7.2
Gh 160
Kh 140
Temp 24 (75)

(the tap water is virtually the same as my aquarium)

I have not lost a fish in four years (and hardly had any illnesses at
all), the catfish are spawning regularly and I successfully raise the
fry and sell them. All the other fish were in peak condition and
regularly display courtship behaviour.

I feed flake food and catfish pellets once a day, with frozen
bloodworm and brineshrimp once or twice a week, and the odd garden pea
or courgette for the catfish.

I don't use CO2, the light is on a timer for 10 hours a day, and I use
a liquid plant food once a week

Waterchanges are once a week and I change roughly 12%, gently cleaning
the filter.
For several months I have not gravel vac'd much of the substrate as
all the bottom-feeding fish and numerous malasian trumpet snails keep
it pretty clean and the plants are fairly thick.
I use cold treated water to re-fill the aquarium which helps to
trigger spawning.

For several weeks I have noticed one fish or another flash against a
plant or rock - just once, every now and then. So I have been watching
closely for white-spot, but seen nothing else to signify its presence.

About four weeks ago one of my albino corydoras suddenly became ill.
She developed blood under the skin on her back and became very
I removed her to one of the tubs I use for newly hatched fry, and went
to the cupboard for my interpet anti-internal bacteria treatment. The
bottle was empty - it had all leaked out. Wondering what to do I
decided to briefly bath her in Methylene blue and then add some human
amoxicillin to the water in her tub (this was the first time I had
tried doing this - and you cannot buy fishmox in the UK)
The next day she was the same, I went out and bought some interpet
anti-internal bacteria treatment, changed her water and added the
medication. Over the next couple of days she got worse, lost all
ability to balance or swim and her skin and fins began to rot badly -
eventually I put her out of her misery using a 25% dose of top quality
Gin which I have read about on the web (again something I have never
had to do before, she died pretty peacefully 30 minutes later)

Still thinking this was a bacterial infection I treated the show tank
just to be safe.

Two weeks went by with no further illness, then I started noticing an
increase in the number of visible trumpet snails in the tank and I
realised I had not seen the clown loaches for a couple of days, then
I saw white salt-grain sized spots on the bleeding-heart tetras - just
a few, mostly on the tails.
Thinking I knew what was going on I did a 30% waterchange (warming the
added water) and dosed the tank with interpet anti white-spot, which I
got from my cupboard.
I increased the temperature to about 80 degrees, and turned off the
The medicine must have been four years old and after a couple of days
it became clear it had had little or no effect. I went out and bought
a new bottle and on day four of the treatment I added a full dose of
the new stuff. By now all the bleeding heart tetras were badly covered
in salt-grain white spots and were hanging near the surface, not
eating and clamping their fins, their gills and mouths were moving
very fast, and some were developing secondary bacterial infections, I
added 250 milligrams of amoxicillin to the tank to try and combat the
The clown loaches were now out of their hiding place but looking very
ill although they had only one or two white spots each, they actually
looked more like they had got velvet, but it was very subtle.
The next morning two of the tetras were dead.Next day two more died,
and the last two died the following day.

By now I was wondering if it could all be velvet and maybe it just
looked like white-spot on the bleeding heart tetras? Could that have
been why neither dose of white spot medication seemed to help?
I did a 50% water change and added a carbon filter for 24 hours, the
next day I did a 30% water change, removed the carbon and treated the
tank for velvet (again using interpet product)
The clown loaches were listless, not eating, not moving around much
and by now looking pretty velvety, they were breathing fast, and lying
around on the gravel.
They also had a couple of the white-spots each here and there.
Two days later and two of them were dead.
As I write this the last one is lying on the gravel upside down
looking as though it will die. It is four days since I added the
velvet meds, I have just done a 50% waterchange and thoroughly vac'd
the gravel (I read on the web that by removing as many spores from the
gravel as possible you help to halt the progress of the parasite -
makes sense once you think of it)
I have re-filled the tank using warm water and added a half-strength
dose of velvet medication

Up til now none of the other fish have been affected at all, however
one (not both) of my upside down catfish is now covered all over in
small (salt-grain size) yellow blobs - not spheres like with the white-
spot, more like tiny pustules. Could this be another way for velvet to
manifest itself?

Can anyone please tell me the following......

What do you think was wrong with the original corydoras?
The bleeding heart tetras?
The clown loaches?
And now the upside down catfish?

Could this have all been velvet?
Do you think I had velvet and white spot all at once?
Why does none of the medication I have used seem to have worked?

What can I do to stop this now?

Thanks for any help

Chris Nuttall