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  1. #1
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    My fish is SICK!

    My fish is clearly sick. He is breathing heavily and doesn't move. It's a Ruby Red Dragonet. He has been eating pods and Nutramar Ova. This came out of nowhere.

    My basic parameters are: ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates 10-20, ph 8. I did about a 20% water change and slightly lowered the salinity in hopes that will take some stress off. But I don't think it's lowered enough to make a difference.

    I THINK I saw some white string stuff on his underside (when I pushed him), but he actually reacted quite quickly so I didn't get a good look. It was surprising that he moved like that, because just a little while earlier he wouldn't move at all. I am thinking its parasites, but I have no idea! I can't even figure out what a general treatment would be for parasites. Everything suggested on forums appears to be so specific.


    Please help if you can. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    How long have you had him?

  3. #3
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    Sounds like you are running your salinity very high? If you do nothing it does not look good for your fish. Rarely do they just snap out of a downward spiral. If you think it is parasites you can try a fresh water bath. I have not done one in like 10 years at least or had the need to. But it is worth a try. Make sure the water is the same temp as the water in your tank.

  4. #4
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    I've had him only a couple of weeks. I didn't do any prophylactic treatment. The LFS says the run copper through their tanks and he had been there a few weeks.

    I keep my salinity at 1.024. I thought lowering it some may take some stress off. I am going to try to treat for common worms. If he is even alive when I get home.

    Thanks.

  5. #5
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    I don't even buy dragonets because they are very hard to get to eat in QT, so it's almost impossible to QT them unless you can get them to eat live brine. Your best bet would be to catch and isolate him in a QT tank and hope that he will eat. You mentioned he is eating Nutramar. If so, that is a huge plus.

    There are a few treatments you can do. It's possible he has velvet or ick if he's breathing heavy. In that case, I would try chloroquine phosphate. I have some if needed.

    If he has intestinal worms, you would treat with Prazipro. Hopefully, if he came in with a parasite, he doesn't infect your tank. You should always QT everything.

    I will have to check but I think CP and Prazipro can be used together. The key to survival is to get them into treatment asap.
    Last edited by webster1234; 10-05-2017 at 04:38 PM.

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  7. #6
    Super Moderator Tnconcept's Avatar
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    Why would a local fish store sell a fish that expert level of care to a new hobbyist? That is one of the hard fish to care for cause of their diet. Try to monitor and see if you can get him to eat and do some treatment. I would suggest doing some more research next time before you buy. Just my 2 cents. Good luck and Cheers!

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  8. #7
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    Thank you all for your input. I kind of knew about dragonets, but I had never heard of a Red Ruby and I didn't make the "dragonet"connection until after he was mine. He was an impulse buy. Which, I know is bad. I called the LFS the next day to complain/inquire.

    All said, I don't think my RRD was starving. He ate frozen mysis and Nutramar Ova from the start. And had a nice selection of pods. He regularly ate with gusto. I even immediately made a pod cultivation tank as soon as I got him (and purchased pods for him until it was set up). I could be wrong, but... I just don't see how not eating was the issue... And even if I had QTd him, I wouldn't have treated him prophylactically. I didn't want to put him through that for a "what if?" Lesson possibly learned, I suppose.

    If I ordered Prazipro online, it would not have gotten here til tomorrow or Monday. The nearest LFS (a different one from purchase location) didn't have any and of course none of the chains carry it. The LFS suggested a freshwater dip. I got home from work ready to dip and he was gone. I'd gotten to like him so much, and I'm beat up about this. Especially since I am not certain why it happened, and I didn't treat it. I should have done a freshwater dip last night, I think. If I did, I have a feeling he would have made it.

    No more fish for me. Not for a long time, at the least. I was not focused on fish anyway; my RRD just kind of happened. So, I will have a coral only tank.


    Thank you all again for your advice, comments, and responses.

  9. #8
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    Ya any time Heavy. I had a Manderen goby for 8 (2008-16) years (I think he is considered a dragonette too??) and fed him Copods and seemed to be doing ok. I had to travel an hour and a half into a different mysterious (lol) country to get them every 6 months. At the end I did taper off to every year then it was every year and a half sort of. With an undergravel and 2 inches of crushed coral in a 125 I along with others figured the copod population must be sustainable to support 1 Manderen. With fresh water dips you can not wait too long the fish should still be relatively healthy or the bath itself will kill them. Everyone was impressed with my tank especualy after seeing Mr. Manderen Goby and his beauty. Ya I miss him a bit but would not go through that again because now it is even harder to cross over into that foreign land. lol As a solo male traveler it now is hard enough to go over for just a few hours at a time never mind the air plane trips I used to take over .there. Take care and sorry for your loss.

  10. #9
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    Sorry for your loss. With the fish coming out today, I treat EVERYTHING prophylactically. I consider my QT process and if it looks like a fish I am considering is unlikely to survive it, I just don't get that kind of fish. I don't have wrasses or dragonets for that reason. The risk to my DT is just too high.

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  12. #10
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    Thanks guys. I appreciate the help and insight. I will do things differently next time.


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