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Author Topic: Internal parasites or just a skinny little fish?  (Read 4692 times)
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Gender: Male
Tanks: 30 Gallon Tall: 12 Blue Emperor Tetras, 6 black neons, Amano shrimp - Planted; 40G R - 8 Bloodfin Tetras, 7 Julii cory cats, 7 Black Emperor Tetras, 7 Neon Tetras, Amano Shrimp; 10 Gallon QT: Red Cherry Shrimp
Posts: 194

« on: February 12, 2009, 12:43:43 AM »

Hi everyone!

Okay, I have 6 black neon tetras in a 10 gallon quarantine tank. They've been in there for maybe 5 weeks now. The first two they were treated for ich and all seemed to come out okay. No ich has reappeared. They also at the same time were cycling the tank, which in tonight's tests came out 0/0/10. It's been cycled for about 2 weeks now (with 0/0/X readings).

None of the fish have changed much since I got them. They've all been eating well, particularly since the end of cycling, though during the elevated temperature phase of the ich treatment they weren't eating much.

One of these fish has been really skinny from the get go. For a long while I figured he had Neon Tetra Disease and wasn't long for the earth and would take his QT tank comrades with him, but so far, other than being skinny, sometimes having a hard time eating, and being less social than the others, he seems pretty normal. I guess, though, those three things might be pretty serious, because what else is there?

He participates in the school, but is often the last one to join when they team up. He often hangs out in a corner away from the others, while they are less particular about where they hang out. He doesn't eat too much, but has an interest in eating. Sometimes he'll eat something with great gusto and then just spit it back out and move on. I know fish do this all the time, but he seems to do it more than the others. He is is also pretty small, so I wonder if he's just really young, or a genetic mutant that has a really small mouth, or just a genetically really skinny fish - the runt as it were.

Anyway, there's a pic attached. His color is normally much better than this - normal like the others, but I snapped this while he was sleeping and the lights had been out for a while. His body shape *definitely* looks abnormal, the others have the regular kinda plump looking tetra form.

Anyway, I'm not sure how to proceed with the QT. Eventually (though probably not for 3 weeks), I'll be ready to move these guys out, but should I move out the skinny fish too, or leave him in? If I put more fish into QT will they be okay with him? Should I treat him? He doesn't seem miserable, so I'm not going to put him down or anything, but I also don't want him transmitting stuff to anyone else. QT is QT for a reason. Poor little fella doesn't want to be all alone though!

Any tips would be appreciated.


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Gender: Female
Tanks: 1 55 gallon freshwater tank, down to 2 opalines, 2 bn plecos, 1 betta, 1 bolivian ram, 3 sidthmunkis, 6 adolfoi cories; 1 20 gallon long amphibian tank (taricha granulosa)
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So close no matter how far

« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2009, 11:29:15 AM »

There are two schools of thought on this.  If he is still showing no obvious signs of disease in 2 - 3 weeks, other than what you have observed with him over the last 5, then I would assume that this is just how this particular individual is.  In the hands of an actual breeder, most fish with deformities would be culled.  When buying fish from shops you see alot of deformities.  Personally, I'd let him be.  Life might not be as easy for him and more of a struggle, but that should not be a death sentence in my opinion.  Also, I have found in such cases they typically don't live as long as their peers.  I have a kamaka girl with a bent spine, it is quite obvious but she is doing well.  I also had a red eyed tetra once that was an incredible eye sore he was deformed and his color was funny, and really wasn't accepted by the others, but he just schooled with the other tetras in the tank and did quite well.  I'm sure others will chime in though.

Just thought of one more thing.  That tetra looks pretty healthy to me actually.  It might be a different kind that was mixed in with the black neons.  Though you, or others would probably know that better than I.
Take care,
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Gender: Male
Tanks: 30 Gallon Tall: 12 Blue Emperor Tetras, 6 black neons, Amano shrimp - Planted; 40G R - 8 Bloodfin Tetras, 7 Julii cory cats, 7 Black Emperor Tetras, 7 Neon Tetras, Amano Shrimp; 10 Gallon QT: Red Cherry Shrimp
Posts: 194

« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2009, 02:40:15 PM »

Thanks for the tips Mary!

Yeah, if we seemed miserable, or was swimming upside down on constantly getting stuck somewhere, I would probably put him down, but mostly he just seems to be the "different" one, which is fine by me.

My main concern is whether or not he might be suffering from something curable rather than just being odd.

I'm pretty sure he's a black neon. The coloring is just like the others, his length is just like the others, fins look the same, it's just the abdomen area which is much smaller then the rest and doesn't look normal. Once, I freaked out when I noticed a long white trail following him and figured it was some aweful parasite, but I decided in the end it was just poop.

I also think that he suffers from that most awful afliction of them all - being male. Males I understand are slimmer in this species.

I'll see if I can take some photos with him and one of his tank mates for comparison...

Thanks again!

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« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2009, 12:53:02 AM »

i would euthanize that fish. 
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« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2009, 06:59:52 PM »

I agree with sully.  That thing looks horribly malnourished.
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