Discussion in 'Disease Forum' started by EnyaGirl, Mar 10, 2009.
one of my male mollys has a clear bubble growing out of his body. What in the world could this be?
Ok, from what I'm reading on Google, this is gas bubble disease. I DID do a larger than normal water change on Sunday because there was so much debris in the rocks and I wanted to vacuum out as much as possible. In addition, when I was pouring the water back in, rather than doing it in 3 large bucket fulls like I normally would, I did it in 6 half-filled buckets (I had a back injury). Could that be what caused this? What do I do to relieve him of this? I have quite a bit of aeration in the tank right now...one large air stone stick, one smaller stone, and an air pump that's pretty powerful. I read to turn the lights off in the tank, so I'm going to do that. Should I add stress coat?
I was under the impression "real" gas bubble disease was bacterial in origin. As opposed to an embolism, but I'm prepared to be wrong on that.
Either way, I truly doubt your water change or air stones would have done this. Under SATP water has a specific limit on how much gas can be disolved, surface movement allows for gas exchange and keeps everything in equilibrium.
I would keep a close eye on him, and leave it be for the time being. It very well may go away on its own. That said *perhaps* a small dose of aquarium salt just to help with any possible secondary infection. First though, what other fish are in the tank? And how big is the tank?
It's a 55-gal tank with:
1 Chinese algae eater
2 iridescent sharks
1 rainbow shark
1 albino rainbow shark
Note: I already have been told about the hazards of having multiple sharks and iridescent sharks (whenever I post what fish I have, I am lectured on this), but I just want to point out that I inherited this tank; I did not choose the fish in it, and the previous owner did not know anything about fish obviously or they wouldn't have combined the above fish---however having said all that, they all get along just fine....*really*
Regarding Gas Bubble Disease, from what I read, it is caused by over saturation of gasses in the tank, caused by changing too much water at once, or dropping it in a tank in a certain way (causing lots of bubbles)?? I always thought this was a *good* think to do for extra aeration, so I could very well have exacerbated the problem just by how I replaced the water.....of course all of this I am just guessing and assuming from the snippets I've read on the net today. I'd really love to hear from someone who has experienced this before.
Here this should help some.
Gas Bubble Disease
Gas bubble disease is not caused merely by air bubbles in the water, as the name might lead you to believe. It is caused by oversaturation of dissolved nitrogen gas in the water. Standard airstones and water changes don't harm fish by putting bubbles in the water. Pump, fountain or filter failure, increased temperature or excessive aeration, however, could result in this sometimes fatal occurance.
It is similar to when a scuba diver rises up from deep water too fast, and the change in pressure causes the "bends." The water (in this example, that which is within the bloodstream) is forced to contain more gas than it can normally hold, which causes supersaturation. When this difference between gas pressures occurs, the gas seperates too quickly out of the bloodstream, leaving gas bubbles behind.
Fish affected by gas bubble disease may have visible bubbles under their skin/scales, or in their eyes. Or they may simply act sick if the problem is internal where you can't see it.
Stirring up the water may help hasten the degassing of the water a bit, but it doesn't do much for your fish at all. Examine equipment: if you have a submersible pump, be sure it's not sucking in air: be sure it's covered sufficiently with water. Equipment that is pulling air in with the water will cause problems. Lights should be left off to minimize stress. If you see alot of bubbles that have already popped, consider adding a general antibiotic to guard against secondary infection.
Also on an off topic subject, all you gotta do is find a Local fish store and they will take those extra sharks off your hands and find them a good home. It's very unhealthy for your fish to live under the stress and they will start developing issues that will lead to death =( and no one wants that. anywho, hope my article helped.
we all know you just inherited the tank and the stocking is not your fault, but i don't think you have any knowledge or enough to say "they get along just fine" I HIGHLY doubt that's the case. Also, when you do get funky problems with the tank and issues rarely seen or not even seen before, a lot of it has to do with improper stocking and such, which is why making sure everything is done the right way is important, so that it lowers tank/fish problems, and the only problems you will get are more common, easy to solve.
No one can force you to change your tank stock, but when you start getting more and more tank issues we will either be unable to help you, be less inclined to help you, etc. etc.
Proper fish keeping has it's merits and bonuses, whereas improper fishkeeping will usually come along with troubles, sometimes you get lucky.
As for the current problem you have, seems alkiazer has provided you with some really good info, hope it helps
Just to make sure, is there any way you could post a picture?
The point I was trying to make before was that to get the conditions in a tank that would cause super-saturation of disolved gasses *should* be extremely unlikely in most aquariums. Normally it involves low temp's and high pressures.
Here's a link showing what I mean: Oxygen Solubility in Fresh and Sea Water
While it is Oxygen as opposed to nitrogen it does get the point across. There is also this: Air Solubility in Water
but there's more math there than I feel like working out right now .
Now I do have one other thought, did you use cold water straight out of the tap? if it hadn't had a chance to equalize, super-saturated water *could* be a possability.
Chris- Thank you for your post. The water was straight out of the tap, but it was 74 degrees and I put Prime in it before dumping it in the tank. I'm working on getting a pic.
Off topic again, I just wanted to post this so you would know before anything happens. This is what happens when u pair a red tail with something you shouldn't, I know yours is albino but they are the same as the black ones. this will most likely be the type of behavior you will start seeing once the sharks start maturing they will fight amongst each other like this, especially the Chinese algae eater, rainbow shark, and the Albino red tail.
Heres some videos I found on You-Tube
YouTube - red tailed shark and chianese algae eater fighting
YouTube - My red tail shark And My Rainbow Shark 2009
Try and take care of your stocking asap. I promise you will have a happier community.
Once again here is a good Comparison guide for you
Freshwater Fish Compatibility Chart: Avoid Incompatible Species
Ok I managed to get a couple pics. As clear as i could.
See the spot that looks white on his side behind his fin? That's the bubble...it is about the size of a pea. The closest thing I can think of to describe it is, you know those bubble eyed fish? It looks exactly like that, but growing out of his side.
After the water change, did you see a lot of bubbles coalescing in the tank? I would think that if the water really were supersaturated, that lots of bubbles would have formed in the water column and on the walls as the water outgassed. Is this the only fish affected? How soon after the water change did you see the bubble? Could it have been there before?
It just seems somewhat unlikely. I just wanted to explore whether it could possibly be a symptom of a bacterial infection.
There are always lots of bubbles when I re-fill the tank.... I didn't take notice that this time was any more than there usually is. This is the only fish affected. He definitely did not have it before. I did the water change on Sunday afternoon. This morning (Tuesday) is when I noticed the bubble. Last time I saw him before that was Monday evening when I left work and he was fine. Other than the bubble, he's acting normal...he's swimming normally (except he's hitting the bubble with his little fin), and eating (and pooping)
I just can't see it.
You didn't put cold water in your tank. You didn't add water that had been quickly heated immediately before; it was straight out of the tap. You didn't stick a hose in your tank and run it full blast. Airstones won't do it.
More than one of your fish should be affected, I would think. Plus, the most likely places to see bubbles are where gases are exchanged most efficiently, namely gills, fins, eyes. And you should see lots of small bubbles instead of one big one, then probably some redness.
Does your molly have any trouble swimming? If that is a pocket of air at that size, it should upset his equilibrium some, as the gas would be buoyant.
Could it possibly be a pocket of fluid instead? Even if it is gas, I think you're barking up the wrong tree and should quit beating yourself up over a water change that IMO couldn't have caused this.
That thing about large water changes -- baloney. I've done 75% water changes with no issues.
I think you might have a symptom of a bacterial illness.
I really agree with Judy here. All things considered I don't think the water change could have done this. It does look bacterial though, the only times I've seen GBD it's been completely clear not whitish like that.
I'd probably start with a *low* dose of aquarium salt and if there's no change or it appears worse in the next week or so, switch up to broad spectrum antibiotic (Furan based meds are my preferance because they treat both Gram - and Gram +).
The other thing you could try is increasing water changes for the short term instead of medicating. That is *normally* all one needs to do but sometimes the meds help... at which point you'd be doing water changes anyway .
Ok, when you say *low* dose of aquarium salt, how much exactly for a 55-gal tank? I've never used the stuff in my tank before so I don't know what's normal, low, etc.
None of my other fish appear affected at all, but are you suggesting I treat the entire tank with an antibiotic or just the Molly in a hosp tank? Any brand names or something I'd recognize on a shelf as far as a "Furan based" antibiotic or should the people at Petco know what I'm talking about there?
I'd def. like to go the natural route before introducing meds to otherwise healthy fish (everyone but the Molly).
Ok, back at work, and it looks like the bubble has popped. There is a piece of flesh from the bubble just hanging off the side of the fish now. Do you still recommend I wait to treat the tank with an antibiotic, or now since it's popped, should I treat in case there is infection?
be very careful of what you treat your fish with, your sharks are scale-less fish and will be VERY SENSITIVE to treatments, I don't even recommend using them
Absolutely, if you can treat in a hospital tank do that. Saves a lot of headache and makes treatment easier in the long run.
I'd have to double check but I'm pretty sure the furan complex is fine for scaleless fish. But if you use a hospital, it wouldn't matter anyway.
Since it popped I would skip the whole salt and/or water change and go direct to med's.
So far as a brand name if your local petco has some really knowledgable people, they may know what that means. If not, take a look on the lables to see what the active ingredients are. There could be any number of prefixes or suffexes around "furan". The last time I bought any I picked up "Jungle's Fungus Eliminator" from Walmart. It comes as a powder in a jar and I would not only mix it into the water but also into the food. Its also MUCH cheaper than the little capsules from API (called Furan-2) and easier to work with IMO. Most meds have a very low solubility in water so feeding it directly is more effective. Not to mention, the furan complex is light sensative as well.
For dosing instructions, what size tank will you be using as a hospital?
Well, I went to Petco last night. I showed the guy a pic of my molly and his immediate thought was that it looked like a fungus of some sort. He gave me Pimafix. I thought I had a hospital tank, but apparently the girl that left me with this tank, took that one with her when she left, so I have no hosp. tank setup available. The bubble that deflated is back and larger than before (see picture). I have a bad feeling this is dropsy. He's very bloated and I think I see some "pine cone" effects going on. He's still eating.
I'm sad to say, my Molly didn't make it Thanks all for your advice and help here.
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