Black Moor is sick! Help!

by Kari
(Alberta, Canada)

My black moor has a white substance all over him. I cant seem to be able to properly diagnose what it is and how to treat it.
He started out getting a film across his eyes and then a white/greyish film on his head and a bit on fins. I treated the tank with lifeguard all in one, and he seemed to get better..but not totally.
His eyes cleared up and the white/grey stuff i thought was going away. I also treated tank with API stress coat. Now whatever this is, hes got it again. Nothing on his eyes, but he is now just staying on bottom of tank not really moving.
Plz view pics and see if anyone can identify and recommend how to treat this. I checked water and ammonia level is zero, nitrite level is zero, nitrate level is 5 and high range ph test is 7.4.
He is in 160 gal aquarium with 2 other moors and two comet goldfish. They are fine. I've done 50% water changes.
Plz help!

Grant's Reply

Hi Kari

Goldfish will produce excess slime when they are trying to resist a pathogen, or if their skin has been damaged by something such as chlorine or chloramine.

Goldfish will also get what is known as winter bloom, which is what this initially looked like. However, if the fish is sitting on the bottom and becoming inactive, he has an illness.

If water quality is low, the immune system of fish is weakened, and opportunistic pathogens such as bacteria or fungi attack the fish.

If you have been maintaining excellent water quality parameters as given above, then it is less likely to be a bacterial or fungal problem.

That only leaves the possibility of parasites, either flukes or one of the protozoan types such as Costia.

Lifeguard should have been successful, but these multi-purpose treatments seem to be very mild, being non-specific.

There are three treatment options.

1. Isolate the fish in a hospital tank and put it into a salt bath of non-iodized cooking salt or aquarium salt at 0.3% solution (1 tablespoon per gallon, 3-4 grams per litre). Add 1/3rd immediately, 1/3rd in 8 hours, and the last 3rd 8 hours later.
It shouldn’t, but if the fish starts to keel over on its side, halve the dose. Goldfish can take a lot of salt generally, but this fish could be weak.
This treatment will remedy 90% of Goldfish illnesses. If there is no improvement, it will be flukes which will require a praziquantel medication such as API General Cure.

Leave the fish in the salt bath until there is obvious improvement.

2. Treat all the fish in the 160 gallon aquarium using a praziquantel based medication such as API General Cure or API Fluke and Tapeworm tablets.
These medications don't destroy the filter operation.

If the fish has parasites of some description, all the fish will have them, which is why your Moor seems to improve, then regress again.

3. Use a combination of both treatments.
I would isolate the sick Moor, treat with salt and API General Cure or tablets, and treat the 160 gallon tank with just API to stop the Moor being re-infected when introduced back into the aquarium.

Note, Stress Coat treats water, not fish. The Aloe Vera will help fish with a damaged slime coating, but it won't kill pathogens.

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