You are here

Sick Parrot Fish - Fungus? Ph? Something else? Check out my video

Ok so I am new to posting on YouTube so I really hope this worked (I can't check it from this PC because I am having problems updated my Flash - I will check it at work later on tonight...) Anyway as I have been mentioning my fish "Andrew" (names after my husband because it's his favorite) has very frayed fins with whitish and black looking areas on the ends. He is pale and it looks like some of his skin is almost peeling off.

What I did so far - (1) I used Ph down (pet store's advice) to lower Ph from 8.2 down to 7.6 then 7.2. I don't want to do too much here because people are telling me that you could shock the fish. (2) Did a 25% water change and added aquarium salt. (3) raised the temp to 82 F from 79-80 range.

I guess the Andrew fish looks a little better but he still looks sick. The others seem okay I THINK. The two large fish stay inside the ship (they seem to look ok) and I believe they may lay eggs because this was their behavior last time. I am hoping I am right about this. Last time they didn't come out to eat or anything and they are repeating this behavior as they do not allow the other fish anywhere near the ship. Finally, "Sunny" the little yellow fish looks ok but a little stressed as well - fins look ok I think. Sunny and Andrew are eating well everyday - I feed my fish a small amount of food twice per day.

Please let me know if you can tell what's happening here by this video (which I took with my Camera). Any advice is appreciated! Thank you all again - AandA

AandAchic posting



u dont need to use the chemical 4 ph. bps can handle higher ph, 8.2 is not bad so dont worry about that. and with his fins the way they r the chems can do more damage. so can to much salt. if ur not treating for ich, or other parisites then only use half of what they say on the package, they say that to much salt can cause fraying of there fins. anyway, what im more worried about isnt the ph, but the ammonia. have u checked that? to much ammonia can actually start chemically burning them and cause frayed fins,and what u called looking like there skin is peeling off. i would say for now check ur ammonia, and just keep doing water changes. let us know.

Hi - luckily my amonia is between 0 - 0.25 (I had the petstore double check as well). I will change the water again this weekend. I did follow the instructions on the salt package so what should I do now? Just not add anymore this week following the water change? I am done with the PH chemical because as you say I do not think it helped. I probably shouldn't have listened to the pet store people.

The Amonia is def OKAY (0-0.25) - I had the local petstore double check it because I was afraid my test kit was wrong. I almost feel like at this point I should just do regular water changes and leave them alone because it seem like chemicals may hurt more if this isn't a bacterial thing. The other fish actually look ok/better. Maybe time will help?

I want to start off by saying that I have never treated a bacterial infection. So, please let someone else give their opinion rather than go with me exclusively on this one. But, to me, it looks like fin rot. Fin rot will rot the fins away and usuallly has white on the edges of the fins. It's caused from a bacterial infection. The bacteria is always present in the tank. Once the fish has a compromised immune system the bacteria will attack. If it is Fin rot, it is contagious and can spread to the other fish. If left untreated and goes alll of the way down to the base of the fin, the fish has very little chance of growing that fin back and prognossis for the fish is not good.

Now here's the but; I have never heard of fin rot causing the skin to peel. Fin rot is almost always caused by a secondary infection from injury or poor water quality. Skin peeling is normally chemical burn. Are you sure your ammonia wasn't high before you started doing your more frequent water changes? Ammonia burn will usuallly not show until a few days after the burn has taken place.

I'm thinking there has been some chemical burn that caused the fish immunity to be compromised and the skin to peel which in turn caused a secondary infection which is the fin rot.

I'm also worried about your ph. You got it all of the way down to 7.2. Each time you do a water change, you are changing the ph. I'm guessing the ph of your tap water is around 8.2 from your other post. This is also going to cause problems for your fish. Ph shock is serious stuff.

i agree, no more ph chems. ur ph is fine anyway at 8.2. keep doing water changes, and check into the fin rot thing. google it and see if thats what it looks like. if it is u can get back to us, im sure that someone knows how to treat it. but no more harsh chems unless u absolutely have to. and if i were u i would hold off on the salt 4 now until u find out what it is. the salt can cause fins to fray on its own if u use to much, since he already has that problem i would hold off. let us know how it goes.

Is it possible someone is nipping fins? My angels tail fins looked like that kinda when I got it.

Yes it is - they def fight with each other. Believe it or not, the fins actually look slightly BETTER than last week when they were almost "spiney-looking" - they actually came back a little bit.

"What I did so far - (1) I used Ph down (pet store's advice) to lower Ph from 8.2 down to 7.6 then 7.2. I don't want to do too much here because people are telling me that you could shock the fish."

Did you do this over a long period of time? You have to lower PH very slowly or it can damage your fish. I don't have the info now and it is late, but I know it can't be changed those amounts in a short time.

I just looked at your video. I think you have at least fin rot. I am not sure what is on the body. I am wondering about stresscoat damage. I really can't see that part well in the video. Do your others have this too? I thought I saw it on the fish that stuck their head out towards the front of the video. Can you describe it better.
You have not used any antibiotic at this time? This is important.

Try to get the antibiotic asap. (some of this you are already doing so DO NOT do things you have already done, such as add more salt)
Fin rot is one of the most common, and most preventable, diseases in aquarium fish. It is caused by several types of bacteria, and often occurs concurrently with other diseases. It can usually be cured, but if left untreated, it can kill the diseased fish and infect all the others in the tank.
Fin edges turn white
Fins fray
Bases of fins can be enflamed
Entire fin may rot away
The fins begin to fray and get ragged, becoming shorter over time. Usually the edges look white, and may even develop a fuzzy growth due to secondary Cotton Wool infection. A the disease advances the area may become red an inflamed, with bloody patches appearing as more of the fin is eaten away.
Treatment :
Correct root cause
Water change
Treat with antibiotics
Addition of aquarium salt
Fin rot is caused by one of several gram negative bacteria. Several anitiboitics are effective, however the root cause must be addressed as well.
Fin rot occurs when the fish is stressed for some reason. The most common cause is poor water quality. Overcrowding the tank, feeding outdated food or overfeeding, and moving or handling the fish can also cause stress leading to fin rot.
Treatment should include a water change, and careful examination of the aquarium conditions. If there is food debris, vaccumm the gravel and take care to avoid overfeeding. Start dating your fish food, as it loses the vitamin content fairly quickly after it is opened. Feeding fish fresh, high quality food, in smaller quantities is far better than frequent large feedings of stale foods.
Low water temperatures, particularly in fish with long flowing fins, can trigger fin rot.
If the root cause is corrected, antibiotics will usually cure the disease itself. Use a drug that is effective against gram negative organisms. Maracyn two, OR Tri-sulfa, are good choices. Treat according to manufacturers instructions.
If you use the maracyn Two it is easier to work with if you need another antibiotic. I am hoping since it is broad spectrum, it will cover everything. Use it as long as it say and how it says.
The use of aquarium salt will benefit fish, but should be avoided in fish, such as scaleless catfish, that are sensitive to salt.
Maintain good water quality
Keep proper water parameters
Feed fresh food in small amounts
The best prevention is good aquarium maintenance. Change the water regularly, vaccum the gravel, and monitor the water chemistry. Do not overcrowd the tank, and watch for signs of fighting between fish.
When feeding, keep the volume low! Overfeeding is the most common mistake made by all fish owners, and contributes to poor water quality. Be sure to use fresh foods. If the can has been open for half a year, it has lost most of its nutritional value. Purchase food in small enough containers that it can be used in one to two months.

I didn't see Peanut's comment until now, so I guess two of us agree. :) Sorry haven't been able to get to a computer.

Okay so this is my update - I think fin rot as well (perhaps something bacterial issues on the body as well, not sure) - so far I am using API Melafix which is an antibacterial fish remedy (all natural) designed to treat fin and tail rot, open wounds, ulcers, etc. I have to treat the fish for 7 days (this is day 3). I'm not sure if the fish is getting better or not - he certainly doesn't look worse so that is good. I think it MAY look a little better.... I will update as the situation progresses - thanks again everyone!

fingers crossed!

I think Melafix is really good when you are not dealing with something very serious. It is basically tea tree oil. It is natural, but not an antibiotic. I am afraid it is not enough for the fin rot your fish have. Please consider a real antibiotic. I have heard of others using melafix and Maracyn or Maracyn two with their fish when they had bacterial problems and possible fungal. You have finn rot that I am almost sure melafix can not handle. Yours is not minor finn rot.
The antibiotics are that is made to cure finn are listed above. I know that finn rot kills fish, and I am worried about you. Please take it seriously.
Even if it says on the bottle or the pet shop says it will work. Most times it does not work on fin rot as bad as yours.

I really thought Melafix was an atibiotic because that's what I asked for at the local pet store. This is very disappointing. I will not be able to get back to buy Maracyn until Friday because of my work schedule but I will do so. The Andrew fish is looking a little better but not 100%. His fins are improving but not totally healed. The secondary infection cleared up (wool) which is good and it is also gone from the other fish. I am not sure if this had anything to do with the Melafix (or if it was truly wool). Sores on his body also looked healed which is good. I see some fin regrowth but I am sure the result would be better with the proper meds.

I am sorry, unfortunately many pet shops either don't know or don't care about saving fish. We are used to hearing that.
If you can't get to a shop before Friday, the best you can do is try to keep it from getting worse. Raised temp, aquarium salt (if you have already added aquarium salt, it will still be there, unless you have taken water out. For every 5 gallons out add 1 Tbsp) (get info below), and use the Melafix until you can get the Maracyn two, OR Tri-sulfa. I would try to get Maracyn TWO as It can be used with melafix. (if you can't and have to get tri-sulfa, you may need to drain some of the melafix out first. I don't know if you can use them together.) Maracyn Two is also one of the best broad spectrum antibiotics. You might call around to find it, before Friday.
I think the body part was not really much of a problem, as long as it was treated, so Melafix might help it. I was thinking the Maracyn Two would take care of both problems.
if you can't get aquarium salt (walmart's has it) you can also use canning salt.
Good luck
You will need to raise the temp to just above 80 degrees. (Watch closely as aquarium heaters are not the best at being exact when changing temps.
Salt serves as a general tonic and stress reducer for freshwater fish. During disease and stress, healthy gill function of fish is disturbed. This can lead to the loss of electrolytes through the gills (sometimes called osmotic shock), reducing the intake of oxygen and release of carbon dioxide. Freshwater Aquarium Salt replenishes natural electrolytes and promotes healthy gill function. Temporarily blocks the toxic effects of nitrite to freshwater fish until water quality improves. It will not change pH. but should not be used as a substitute for marine aquarium salt. 1 Tbsp for every 5 gallons of water

I just found your site a couple of minutes ago... I have had the Blood Red Parrot fish for about seven years and I am in a situation that I need help with! I only have one right now, my female died awhile ago from a tumor but my male had buddied up with my silver dollar that I had gotten way back when I got the parrots too, they were about the size of a fifty cent piece when I got them and now I can open my hand and spread my fingers all the way out and that is how big my guys were... well my tank started getting cloudy and a guy that owns an aquatics store told me to get rid of the under ground filter and that bacteria bed that has been there for atleast ten years, I also have two above filters so I put all my fish in a big bucket for the day while I totally cleaned out the tank and emptied it completely, its a fifty-five gallon tank so it took awhile so then I put five 20 lb bags of dark blue rocks in and all the rest and then the fish, well my guy that helps me and told me to get rid of the underground filter/bac. bed didn't tell me not to put new filters in the top filters so as I am adding the liquid live bacteria he explained that the old filters should have been left in, well my fish started getting this white cotton I read about in the previous posts got on my silver dollar and his eyes buldged out then the white stuff got on his eyes and he died. I CAN'T lose my parrot and now he has the white stuff on his eyes and his fins have looked all chewed up and now the tips are all turning black!!! My vet. called in 15 amoxicilln 500 mg and the man at the fish store told me to put five in for three days in a row, I did then I did a 50% water change now a week later and my parrot still has white stuff on his eyes and as I said the black on the tips of his fins. I just fed them and he is eating today like crazy, I have another script filled for the amox. but I don't wan't him to od on the stuff... Please forgive the length of this but I don't want to lose my parrot like my silver dollar... The parrots are so personable, I am happy this am though, he is swimming all over and eating again! So if anyone knows if ths amoxicillon will help, I don't want him to go blind and my silver dollar did go blind... Before he died. So thank you for any help you can provide... thanks!---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Have spent a while reading all the comments and find no advice on treating my parrots issues. She has red, inflamed, strings or something that looks like shredded flesh protruding from the gills. Her belly is swollen and she has a very hard time going to bottom, I think air bladder issues too. This is a 20 gal tank and two parrots live there by themselves. I had put a few fresh water snails in this tank from our creek. Now have struggled to get rid of them. My female parrot has had the red stuff 3-4 months and developed the air bladder problems since my last attempt with snails using algae kill. Does anyone have any suggestions.