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Sick Blue Ram, white spots on head


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#1 Akythara

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 05:51 AM

Hey all

On Tuesday mum took two of my new fish from quarantine and put them into my main tank, today one of my blue is looking very unwell, horribly thin, no colour and more recently his gotten some white lumps on his head.

Not sure if its related to the new fish (I was out for the evening when mum put them in) I bought 2 L066 plecos and a large longfin BN, mum decided to put the new fish in my main tank (A planted 4ft) after one of the L066 died in quarantine...

Hoping it isn't something nasty which will wipe out the tank please help, my other two german blues are looking unwell too.

His colour is a dark dull blue and he has very little colour, is just hanging out on the bottom of the tank looking uncomfortable. Moved him to a new tank


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#2 Maryanne

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 12:29 PM

Those don't look like ich to me - they're too big and localized.

Any updates on him or more info you can give?

#3 WigglePuppy

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 01:10 PM

I just had a male krib die of seemingly the exact same thing. I'd had him for 6 months, happy, healthy, then suddenly he got white areas on his forehead, he started acting sick, then within a matter of days his eyes bulged out and on the last day he went from alive, swimming and miserable to dead within a couple hours. I didn't even have time to euth him.

He'd been in that tank for 6 months, this all happened about 3 weeks ago and no one else got sick. Never did figure it out, I just chalked it up to an injury that turned into some kind of infection in his skull.....

#4 Synirr

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 02:08 PM

That appears to be infection in the sensory pits of his head, and is something I would treat with antibiotics. What is the pH and KH like on their setup?

#5 PeachesMarie

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 11:40 PM

If it isn't an infection of the sensory pits, it could instead be hexamita. We recently lost our female ram to it and our male currently has it. The lesions look very similar, although our ram has less localized spots than yours, which is why I'm inclined to agree with Synirr first. Should you decide it is hexamita, you could try Metronidazole. We are using metro to treat it and the metro seems to be helping.

Edited by PeachesMarie, 16 February 2012 - 11:41 PM.


#6 Akythara

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 12:36 AM

He started acting drunk not long after tanking this photo, short sharp movements, a little aggressive and not able to swim far. The openings on his head which seemed to be lumps of white (maybe flesh?) seemed to be closing up. I should mention it was very hot yesterday so the stress might have made a hidden problem much much worse.

He died sometime while I was asleep, the other two are still colourless but seem fine otherwise. There are a lot of other fish in the tank,all of which seem fine as well but I'm keeping a close eye on them.


If it was infection in the sensory pits of his head would it be contagious?

#7 Synirr

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 10:28 AM

If it isn't an infection of the sensory pits, it could instead be hexamita. We recently lost our female ram to it and our male currently has it. The lesions look very similar, although our ram has less localized spots than yours, which is why I'm inclined to agree with Synirr first. Should you decide it is hexamita, you could try Metronidazole. We are using metro to treat it and the metro seems to be helping.

Just as an interesting aside, I asked an aquatic specialist vet I know about HITH, and he said it is almost never caused by hexamita, but instead is usually a combination of fungal and bacterial infection. Metronidazole treats anaerobic bacteria as well as protozoans, so it may have an impact, but treating with a broad spectrum antibiotic would probably be more effective.
Rams as a species seem really prone to this sort of thing, for whatever reason :dunno:. At least in this area, I think a lot of it has to do with being kept improperly. The tap water is very hard here, and rams come from very soft acidic environments in the wild... they do not do well in hard water. Additionally, the electric blues are a newer variety and likely extensively linebred, so they may be a little weaker from the get-go.

If it was infection in the sensory pits of his head would it be contagious?

Sorry for your loss :(
It should not be directly contagious, but if the other rams are acting a bit off, then it's possible something isn't quite right about their environment, which could make them more succeptible to a variety of illnesses. Do you know what your GH, KH, and pH are?




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