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luohanatic
Flowerhorns sickness, diseases and prevention

I wish I had enjoyed my flowerhorns where they would never get sick and died. However, I found out that they do get sick and die and most of you had learned that as well. I’ve been caring tropical fish since I was 6 years old. And I always felt so bad when my fish died of sickness. Experienced has taught me how to prevent an outbreak, identified and diagnosed the diseases before making some drastic moves. We get so worried right away when suddenly our flowerhorns are not eating, clamped fins, not active and gasping for breath. Hey! Let me ask you these first. When was the last time you changed your water? What’s the temperature right now? Have you check your water parameters? (PH, Ammonia, Nitrate). Sometimes these problems are the culprits.

Caring for flowerhorns are not just feeding them 2 to 3 times daily. Maintaining water qualities are also essentials as feeding them daily. Heck, they also have feelings as human do. If we bath everyday, so should your flowerhorns need to have their water change on daily or on weekly basis.

One important thing that flowerhorn hobbyist should pay attention to,
Is the typical sign of disease outbreak. Everyday, when we feed our flowerhorns we always looked and observe them. Overtime our eyes are trained when we detect some strange behavior on our fish appearance and body language.

Listed below are some of diseases, treatment, symptoms and preventions.

*Bacterial Diseases* (gram negative)
DISEASE BACTERIAL - Highly contagious. Caused by Gram-negative bacteria. Most species belong to the Aeromonas genus. It may also caused by poor water quality, over feeding and introducing sick fish to the community.
SYMPTOMS- Body-rot, fin-rot, tail-rot, white patches on body, hemorrhagic discoloration of vent anal area of abdomen, pop eye and abnormally high respiratory rate.
TREATMENT- Improve the water quality by doing a large water change. Treat with positive and negative gram antibacterial agent such as, Furan 2 and Nitrofurazone.
PREVENTION- Always quarantine doubtful looking fish in water treated with an antibacterial agent. Do not over feed. Siphoned all uneaten food. Avoid cross-tank contamination. Wash hand with anti-bacterial soap before or after touching sick or dead fish. Bleach all tanks/accessories after fish died or healed.



*Fin and Tail Rot* (fungus)
DISEASE – Highly Contagious. Caused by various species of aquatic fungi, including Saprolegnia and Achlya
SYMPTOMS- Fish would stop eating and lethargic. Fins and/or tail seem to be getting shorter or falling apart and dissolving. Fins may be clumped, color may be pale.Gray, brown or white cotton-wool-like growths or tufts on the skin. Begins as a small patch but can develop and quickly kill the fish.
TREATMENT- Quarantine sick fish. Do large water change. Use fungus remedy. Treat the whole tank but isolate and treat heavily infected fish separately. Methylene blue, Acriflavine and fungus eliminator by Jungle Fungus can also be used.
PREVENTION - Water change, water change and more water change. Check water parameters. Bad water quality and fish with physical damage usually encourage the onset of the disease. Always quarantine doubtful looking fish. Avoid cross-tank contamination. Washing hand with anti-bacterial soap before or after touching sick or dead fish. Bleach all tanks/accessories after fish died or healed.

*Flukes*
DISEASE FLUKES – Highly contagious external parasites belonging to the classes Trematoda and Cestoda species in the family Dactylogyridae parasitise the gills and digestive tract.
SYMPTOMS- Fishes show signs of extreme skin/gill irritability, continually scratching and scraping on rocks etc., and "flicking" the pelvic and dorsal fins against the side of the body. Gill plates are clamped or close tight or not functioning when breathing.
TREATMENT- Do 75% water change and treat the tank with formalin (Quick Cure, Formalite III and Livebearer) Feed sparingly and wash all filtrations. These diseases are extremely contagious.
PREVENTION- Maintain a much higher standard of aquasystem hygiene. Water change, water change and more water change. Always quarantine doubtful looking fish. Avoid cross-tank contamination. Washing hand with anti-bacterial soap before or after touching sick or dead fish. Bleach all tanks/accessories after fish died or healed.

*Ichthyopthirius Multifilis* (ICH, white spot disease)
DISEASE- Highly contagious. Caused by ciliated protozoan. Ichthyophthirius multifilis in freshwater tanks It is a pesky little parasite. It is very contagious. Caused by frozen live food which were contaminated with ich...
SYMPTOMS- Small, pure white, clearly-defined spots. It’s liked sprinkled with salt all over his body and head, even eyes. May be less active, may have stopped eating, fins may be clumped. Lethargic and they may scratch against rocks and gravel and show increased gill movement Ichtyophthirius has a direct fish-to-fish cycle and thus can build up quickly in the limited space of an aquarium.
TREATMENT- Do a 75% partial water change and treat immediately with appropriate medicine (Aquarisol + 1 tablespoon salt per 10 gallon). Ick is temperature sensitive, raising the water temperature to 85+ degrees for a few hours every 2 or 3 days may be effective. Ick is a parasite and highly contagious and is spread very easily it is recommended to treat the whole tank instead of individual fish.
PREVENTION- Quarantine newly purchased fish from LFS for 3-4 weeks or even from a reputable fish breeder. Water change, water change and more water change. Avoid cross-tank contamination. Washing hand with antibacterial soap before or after touching sick or dead fish. Bleached all tanks/accessories after fish died or healed. Washing newly purchased plants/accessories under running hot water may also protect from contaminations.

*Hexamita* (HITH, hole in the head)
DISEASE - caused by Hexamita Protozoa parasites (Hexamatiasis). It is very common on wild caught species and even in tank-bred specimens. Usually affects cichlids such as discus, angelfish, oscars and gouramis. This are the diseases that I always feared most. Highly contaigious.
SYMPTOMS- Small, whitish/greyish/or creamish "worms" crawl out of head region of Discus family fishes. Hexamita or Hexamatiasis also exists as a low level infection of the intestines. Not eating, lose weight, very dark coloration, white-stingy feces, clamped fins, lethargic and head standing.
TREATMENT- Do 75% water change. Treat it metronidazole. One capusule of 250 mg per 10 gallon. Metronidazole is not absorbed through the gills, therefore in order to be effective the fish must be forced fed thru syringe. If the fish doesn’t improve, euthanasia is recommend to ends fish suffering.
PREVENTION- Water change, water change and more water change. Always quarantine doubtful looking fish. Maintain warm temperature. Do not feed with tubifex worms. Maintain oxygen level. Avoid cross-tank contamination. Washing hand with anti-bacterial soap before or after touching sick or dead fish. Bleach all tanks/accessories after fish died or healed.

*Mouth Fungus*
DISEASE - MOUTH FUNGUS “Highly contagious” Caused by Chondrococcus columnaris bacteria.
SYMPTOMS- Greyish-white cotton wool like growths around mouth area.
TREATMENT Do 75 to 90% water change. Use a proper antibacterial agent. (Tetracycline and Maracyn II) Increase aeration and filtration to maximum acceptable level.
PREVENTION- Water change, water change and more water change. Check and maintain water parameters (Ammonia and Nitrate level). Never overfeed, do not feed "spoiled" foods. Always quarantine doubtful looking fish. Avoid cross-tank contamination. Washing hand with anti-bacterial soap before or after touching sick or dead fish. Bleach all tanks/accessories after fish died or healed.

*Swim Bladder Disease*
DISEASE- Caused by various factors, over feeding, sudden changes in temperature and feeding with spoiled food.
SYMPTOMS- Fish experiences difficulty in maintaining its position in the water, have difficulty swimming, because their swim bladder (located alongside the spine between the belly and the tail) is either too short (causing them to not be able to swim horizontally) or it is swollen (causing them to float on one side).
TREATMENT- Since there are various causes, specific treatment is difficult to recommend. Isolation of the fish in a tank with shallow water and temperature 5 degrees higher than the stock tank or pond may bring about an improvement. Addition of salt, up to 1 g/Liter may be worthwhile. Addition of a proprietary antibacterial agent may also help.
PREVENTION- Avoid sudden temperature fluctuation. Improve water quality. Do not over feed. Do not turned-off lights at night after feeding, wait 1 to 2 hours after.

These are the common diseases that I dealt with as a fish hobbyist. There are more diseases and illnesses that are not listed here. You can find more by searching the internet for a complete guide on fish diseases and treatments. Use medications only when really needed. Medication should be regarded as the last resort. Identify and diagnose the sick fish before medicating and don’t over react when treating your sick fish. We always used the wrong medications when treating. As I said, medication is should be the last resort. There’s an old saying "An once of prevention is better than treatment".
Use Medications SPARINGLY.....
aaron
Hey bro , Thanks for your help recently, everything wked out great, so far ......I guess I get a little over excited when the health of my guys are concerned .
The infomation you provided here is a great refference and I am sure I will refer back to it often .
take care
flowerhorn4ever
great aticle this really helps man!!!! thumbsup.gif
luohanatic
My pleasure... wink.gif wink.gif wink.gif wink.gif
Jason
Lauro...great article ! This will help those that are new on this hobby.
luohanatic
Thanks!!<>< smile.gif
FHI 34
Very Nice! biggrin.gif
NotoriousFish
Hey Dr. Cure how do I cure a fish that is a scurrdy cat? The fish has stress marks all the time and always hides either on the top or in the corner. I also noticed that he had a damage fin for about a week without improvement. Does my fish have a diease? I have treated the fish with coppersafe/ich medicine/ and salt. Any suggestions! wallbash.gif"
Drumstix
Hey Doc... Have seen some LFS with water fleas in their tanks. If some should happen to get into someones tank, whats the best way to get rid of them? Peace... rockon.gif
luohanatic
QUOTE (NotoriousFish @ Oct 27 2003, 12:44 PM)
Hey Dr. Cure how do I cure a fish that is a scurrdy cat? The fish has stress marks all the time and always hides either on the top or in the corner. I also noticed that he had a damage fin for about a week without improvement. Does my fish have a diease? I have treated the fish with coppersafe/ich medicine/ and salt. Any suggestions! wallbash.gif"

Hey Notorious,
Thanks for the question. How big is your flowerhorn? What is the color of his poop? Is he by himself or with other toughy,meany, grouchy, aggressive neighbors? The damaged fin might have been from darting away when got scared. He probably scratched himself...Post a picture. The best thing to do is place him all by himself in a 20 gallons and introduce a smaller flowerhorn. If he's still exhibiting the same symptons then he is infected with intestinal (worms/hexamitiasis) or by external parasites gill worms/flukes. Raise the temperature to 90 for a week. For gill flukes, you can use either Copper safe or formalite II. Treat him for 3 days. For intestinal parisites, you can go to my disease chart and look for treatment. Flowerhorns are very hardy fish then can tolerate internal/external parasites...HTH...luohanatic <><
luohanatic
QUOTE (Drumstix @ Oct 27 2003, 01:43 PM)
Hey Doc... Have seen some LFS with water fleas in their tanks. If some should happen to get into someones tank, whats the best way to get rid of them? Peace... rockon.gif

hhhmmmmm???? thinking.gif thinking.gif thinking.gif thinking.gif
Good question. Water fleas are good source of food to all kinds of tropical fish especially to juveniles/frys. I don't see that as a parasites or bacteria.

Water fleas belong to the Crustacea, a large group of 'jointed limbed' animals, most of which live in water. Water fleas are placed in the order Cladocera and are probably called 'fleas' because they move through the water by a sort of hopping. Water fleas are very common in fresh water.

The common water flea, Daphnia pulex can be found in almost all sorts of eutrophic (rich in nutrients) waters. They reproduce in summer mostly parthenogenetic, that is, the eggs develop without undergoing fertilization.

Daphnia feeds on bacteria and very small algae. But not all water fleas are peaceful herbivores. Some species are voracious predators.

You can actually have culture to raise water fleas. They are good source of food for tropical fish....HTH....luohanatic <><
FHI 34
Whoa bro, very thorough information! Is there anything you don't know about medications?? biggrin.gif biggrin.gif biggrin.gif Great source for all the members here.
Drumstix
bounce.gif bounce.gif 4.gif Thanks Luohanatic!!! You are the man!!! I had no idea that it could be a good thing!!! So I should'nt panic if I ever see them in my tank!!!! Makes me feel better. Thought it might be a sanitation issue!!!! Thanks again bro!!!! Peace rockon.gif bounce.gif
madd
my fish has white pooh so every one told me to use metrotrandazole. I sarted treating my fish in a 10 gallon using 250mg as you and the medicine stated. It said to put one capsule a day every other day for 5 day and that 3 treatments are recomended. I also read what you said above to force feed thru a saringe is this the medication or food because he wont eat. I paid alot 4 this fish and really dont want to lose it.($1000).......... 33.gif
madd
my fish has white pooh so every one told me to use metrotrandazole. I sarted treating my fish in a 10 gallon using 250mg as you and the medicine stated. It said to put one capsule a day every other day for 5 day and that 3 treatments are recomended. I also read what you said above to force feed thru a saringe is this the medication or food because he wont eat. I paid alot 4 this fish and really dont want to lose it.($1000).......... 33.gif
madd
my fish has white pooh so every one told me to use metrotrandazole. I sarted treating my fish in a 10 gallon using 250mg as you and the medicine stated. It said to put one capsule a day every other day for 5 day and that 3 treatments are recomended. I also read what you said above to force feed thru a saringe is this the medication or food because he wont eat. I paid alot 4 this fish and really dont want to lose it.($1000).......... 33.gif
Jaiofspam
wow!!! laugh.gif luohanatic... rockon.gif
madd
luohanatic help!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
luohanatic
QUOTE (madd @ Feb 1 2004, 01:55 PM)
my fish has white pooh so every one told me to use metrotrandazole. I sarted treating my fish in a 10 gallon using 250mg as you and the medicine stated. It said to put one capsule a day every other day for 5 day and that 3 treatments are recomended. I also read what you said above  to force feed thru a saringe is this the medication or food because he wont eat. I paid alot 4 this fish and really dont want to lose it.($1000).......... 33.gif

Hi Madd,
Sorry for not replying to your question right away. What's the poop looks like? is it stringy long white feces? does your flowerhorn eat at all? How long have you treated him with Metro? If he is eating, you shouldn't worry at all. Make sure that temperature sits at 88 to 90 degrees. Parasitic Hexamitiasis can not live at these temperatures. As long as your flowerhorn is active and eating, you shouldn't worry at all. I have a few flowerhorns that's been pooping white then after jacking up the temperature to 88-90 degrees, they're poops were back to normal after a few days....Post some pictures to help you more with your questions. wink.gif
luohanatic..
madd
I just started treating About 5-6 days ago he use to eat but stopped thats when i got worried. And i saw saw a post about white pooh and realized what i was dealing with here. Yes it is stringy white. I was also told to add alot of salt. And after doing so i saw a black burn mark on his head is this a salt burn or a heater burn.?????????/
kimha
Madd - This happened to my FH a few weeks ago, and it lasted for about 7 to 10 days. My FH pooped out white string just like the way you described...about an inch long and he hardly ate. I think my case was due to food poisoning. I fed him minnow that was already dead and my water was not very clean due to overfeeding. While he was sick, I fed him only pellets (he ate very little) and raised the temp to 88. 10 days later, he was back to normal and eat like a pig. So you may need to wait a few more days but make sure the water is clean - Don't leave any uneaten food in there in hoping that he will eat later. I hope your fish will recover soon because that is quite an expensive fish you got there. unsure.gif
madd
thanx kimha hope we will do buisness soon
madd
should ido water changes even though im putting medication in the water. Wont that dilute the med
madd
HHHHHHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLPPPPPPPPPPP
Jaiofspam
its gonna be ok man... laugh.gif
your supposed to remedicate after doing full/partial water changes...
good luck laugh.gif
luohanatic
QUOTE (Jaiofspam @ Feb 3 2004, 01:29 PM)
its gonna be ok man... laugh.gif
your supposed to remedicate after doing full/partial water changes...
good luck laugh.gif

I agree, always do a partial water change before adding any medications.
Madd,
Hexamitiasis is very hard to treat. Keep medicating with metro up to 2 weeks. Do not feed your fish unless he's begging for it. If has not eaten for a week, that's ok..he's very, very discomfort and lethargic because of these worm-liked parasites...I have a flowerhorn that would not eat for 3 weeks but eventually got better. It was a slow recovery, one day at a time. You can also try feeding him with live goldfish. Just to get back his apetite on food again and stay away after he gets better. There's another way of treatment that should look for called, "heat treatment". It's stressful to the fish but it's effective. You increase the temperature by one degree a day until you reach up to 97 then gradually decrease it by one degree down to the normal temperature....Keep us posted again and good luck.....luohanatic <><
madd
thanx because I wasn't doing water changes, and I would hate to loose a fish like this. jaiofspam -louhanatic thanx so much I glad I found this site when I did!
Jaiofspam
no prob man... laugh.gif
goodluck thumbsup.gif
madd
I think that Im going lose my fish he still wont eat and he is slowing down alot so i tried to feed him a feeder and he wouldnt even eat that sad.gif sad.gif sad.gif sad.gif sad.gif
kimha
Madd, medication will make the fish tired. Especially the wrong kind. The water and medicine in his tank right now is not working for him. Do you have other fish tanks with good water quality and no medication? Replace the existing medicine water (all of it) with the good water from other tanks, the add 15% of new water with some salt. This may be better for him. Mine would not eat feeder when he was sick neither. But he would eat some blood worms. Hate to see U loose a nice fish like this.
madd
so should i stop medicating my fish.
Jaiofspam
cry.gif .....
man... doesnt sound to good?
internal parasites can be a biatch... dunno what to say man............
its been quite a while but dont give up... there always hope thats why he is still alive huh.gif

i agree with kimha... i feeders didnt work, i wouldnt use them anymore... it may make the problem worse??? tank light on? try turning it off... do the water change and leave the fish alone and try not to disturb it that much... give it the bloodworms and hopefully he will eat it... dont put to much just a little to test the waters... you dont want it fowling the tank at this time

goodluck dude sad.gif
madd
thanx jaiofspam and kimha any thoughts louhanatic?
kimha
Any update on this? Did he recover?
madd
no i have a week left to medicate an he is starting to try and eat some pellets
kimha
Madd - I don't remember seeing any of your FH collections yet. Any chance we will be seeing them???
madd
yes as iget my digital camera. and thanx to you all my flowerhorn has pretty much recovered all the way his color and kok has come back.
EG9turbo
Hey, I'm new here, but I have a question. About 4 days ago, I noticed my flowerhorn not eating as much as it usually does...it would try to eat then spit some of the food out. Now his stomach is getting bigger by the day and is lethargic. There is also some white "salt" specs on its side. His mouth looks like it isn't closing all the way like it should too. This fish is in a tank along with one other flowerhorn a 2.5 foot silver arowana, and a plecostomus. What should I do? Please help
luohanatic
QUOTE (EG9turbo @ Mar 16 2004, 12:11 AM)
Hey, I'm new here, but I have a question.   About 4 days ago, I noticed my flowerhorn not eating as much as it usually does...it would try to eat then spit some of the food out.   Now his stomach is getting bigger by the day and is lethargic.  There is also some white "salt" specs on its side.  His mouth looks like it isn't closing all the way like it should too.  This fish is in a tank along with one other flowerhorn a 2.5 foot silver arowana, and a plecostomus.  What should I do?  Please help

Hi Eg9Turbo,
Welcome here in our forum. I think your flowerhorn is in serious condition. As you described on your message, he is infected with Velvet, his liver coul be swollen and infected or already has a bacterial infection. I would suggest to house him in a 20 gal. tank. Raise the temp to 89 degrees and treat him with maracyn 2 or tetracycle. 250 mg per 10 gallons (read the label or follow the instructions). Better yet, please post some pictures to better diagnose your fish.
Please keep us posted. Good luck...luohanatic
EG9turbo
Here's a pic I just took. What causes Velvet and what should I do to prevent it from happening again? Thanks for your help
EG9turbo
Another one...
luohanatic
Hi,
I didn't see any white specks in there. So, it's not a velvet.

Have you been feeding him with live feeders? What color are his poops? (if poops are white, then he is infected with hexamitiasis. Treat with metronidazole.)

The 2nd picture is showing his swollen anus. Could be blockage and can't poop (Epson salt can solve this problem if he has blockage and is constipated). One of my flowerhorn got a swollen anus due to blockage of sponge filter that he ate. I used a tweezer to pull it out.

Also, bloated stomach could be a swim bladder disease and swollen liver.
Treat with maracyn or tetracyclene.....Need some more information about his condition...luohanatic
EG9turbo
The spots are in the red circled region. They are pretty small and are not visible with the camera. The only thing I feed him are pellets, but i feed my arowana cut up pieces of fish (maybe this infected them?). I also had another flowerhorn that died about 1.5 months ago that developed a pimple looking growth on the side of its mouth and its mouth could not close. Do you think this is the same disease? I haven't really seen him poop so I cannot tell you what color it is. Can I get this medicine at any fish store? Also, I have to work at 7am and get off at 4 so I won't be able to get anything until then. Will he be alright until then or should I get some medicine asap? Thanks for your help.
day
that some good advice thanks for that thumbsup.gif
EG9turbo
6:47am - His anal pore is getting a little bigger and stomach also. You don't think he's going to explode do you? Should I try the tweezer thing and see if that will work? Should I raise the water temp? I'll buy that medicine as soon as I get off work, but I really don't want him to die since he is my best flowerhorn. Please let me know. Thank You
Typikal930
cool article man! it helps out alot! rockon.gif
luohanatic
Hi,
He has blockage in his anal pore. You may want to use a tweezer to pull it out. I will advise to use epsom salt as well. his stomach is already bloated. Good luck and keep us posted again...Luohanatic
EG9turbo
I bought a 10 gallon tank and put a capsule of tetrecyclene with some aquarium salt at 84 degrees, but 3 hours later, he died. What can I put in my 180 gallon tank to make sure my other fish don't end up the same way? Please help. Thanks.
luohanatic
QUOTE (EG9turbo @ Mar 17 2004, 12:31 AM)
I bought a 10 gallon tank and put a capsule of tetrecyclene with some aquarium salt at 84 degrees, but 3 hours later, he died. What can I put in my 180 gallon tank to make sure my other fish don't end up the same way? Please help. Thanks.

Eg9turbo,
So sorry to hear that... sad.gif I guessed it was too late to medicate him. I would suggest to clean and disenfect your tank completely. It would be a big work for you but for the sake of your other fish, I would recommend doing it. It's like a major water change. When was the last time you did a major water change in your 180 gallons? I use Potassium Permaganate or Acriflavin to dissenfect my tank. I let it run for a few days then I add activated carbon to filterized the medications. Again sorry to hear what happened to him....Good luck...Luohanatic
EG9turbo
The last time I cleaned the tank was about 3 weeks ago. I did a 50% water change. Thanks for the advice man, what percentage do you suggest when I disinfect and clean my tank?
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