SICK ALTUM WITH EYE PROBLEM

#1
Hello to all members
I will appreciate your help on this issue.
I have this Altum more than three years .recently for nearly a month has a cloudiness in both eyes that wont heals, of course I did large water changes and cleaning filters, and the gravel,also treated with Augmentin in water and feeding directly with injections and treated with api melafix.he is starting to loss weight because of the disease and he is barely can see .i wll appreciate your advice on the subject it is reversible at all ?

Thank you
alfred

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Re: SICK ALTUM WITH EYE PROBLEM

#2
I opened the photo separately to get a close up and it is clear to me that it is not a problem of the outer structures or basically, the cornea. When the cornea suffers a lesion it usually heals in short time if treated with water changes and/or salt and maybe antibiotics (to avoid infection). If it is a more severe lesion, the cloudiness of the cornea may persist, but many times the lens and inner structures might not be affected, therefore the fish retains enough sight to eat.
But looking at your photo I think we have a problem of the inner eye, maybe even parasites. If the fish cannot seek out food, it is blind, and I'm not the one who should tell you what you need to do. Use common sense and sensibility.
It would be nice if someone could give us a better or more hopeful opinion.
In the Fall and Winter 2012-2013 I had 16 young altum (out of a much larger group) injure their eyes right after a blackout. It was pitch black in the fish room and when the power came back several hours later, the fish went crazy, dodging into the sand and sides of the tank and scraping their eyes severely against the sand for almost 20 minutes. It was a horrible experience to just stand there and not be able to do anything to stop them.
Very few of them recovered completely. Most had severe enough lesions to slow their growth down and not be able to compete with the other healthier group. When I separated them and gave them a tank of their own, they managed to get around to the food and continued a slow growth rate... I eventually let them go to a friend and he still has most of them. They still have cloudy eyes but are able to see and eat. They are around half the size of the healthy fish from the same big group (which suffered minor or no injuries).
Most of the fish had only outer eye issues, badly scraped corneas, but two that eventually developed inner eye damage, didn't make it.
Good luck.
Ed
God listens. He may not always give you everything you want, when you want it; but he always gives you what you really need, when you need it most!
E.R.

Re: SICK ALTUM WITH EYE PROBLEM

#4
I really don't know what medicine or treatment to recommend other than keeping good water quality and food that the fish can see and eat. If, as I believe, this problem is internal, the treatment will likelier than not need to be orally via medicated food. The question at this point is.. can the eye or eyes regenerate or not and to what point can they be saved..if at all?
It's a tough one Alfred. We don't even know the actual cause of why this happened? If we'd know the actual pathology we could try and medicate based on that... but I'm in the dark here. I just see a fish whose eye is dying or being destroyed from the insides but no clue as to what is doing the harm.
Isolation will definitely help as long as he manages to find some food. If the point comes that you believe he can no longer eat and is losing weight and energy. You may need to put him down.
God listens. He may not always give you everything you want, when you want it; but he always gives you what you really need, when you need it most!
E.R.

Re: SICK ALTUM WITH EYE PROBLEM

#6
Fluoromtehalone...never used it. Again, my opinion is that nothing you will add to the water will make a real difference. Orally administered antibiotic, maybe, try oxytetracycline flakes or oxytetracycline laced food, as in a beefheart recipe.
God listens. He may not always give you everything you want, when you want it; but he always gives you what you really need, when you need it most!
E.R.

Re: SICK ALTUM WITH EYE PROBLEM

#7
Hi Alfred,

As Ed wrote, this is a tough one.

Eye problems are difficult because the blood circulation to the eye is poor. In humans most eye treatments are by means of drops into the eye and not systemic antibiotics for this reason. Now, I am not saying that you should put eye drops onto his eyes, but it does mean that any antibiotics will only reach the intern eye cavity with difficulty and this means the dosage will most probably be too low.

My experience has been that if you cannot treat eyes in fishes and solve the problem within about 10 days, then the condition becomes more or less permanent. I would treat the water as you propose, try it, but if it does not work, and the fish cannot see, then I would also recommend that you put him down. You have my sympathy about this, if one has a fish for a long time it is very difficult to do this, but it would be the humane thing to do if he is just slowly but surely loosing condition. Basically he is slowly but surely starving too death otherwise.

For putting him down, you could use clove oil or MS222 which is mild but effective and the fish does not suffer.

Kind regards,

Dirk
Somerset West, South Africa

Re: SICK ALTUM WITH EYE PROBLEM

#8
Thanks Dirk, it was just a bit hard for me to speak outright. So Alfred, being my fish, if you see that his feeding ability is diminished to the point he simply cannot eat... you should let the fish go. Just seconding Dr. D here.
Ed
God listens. He may not always give you everything you want, when you want it; but he always gives you what you really need, when you need it most!
E.R.

Re: SICK ALTUM WITH EYE PROBLEM

#9
Hi Ed and Dirk
Unfortunately the fish died in quarantine yesterday :oops: , and today when I got home I found another one dead in the main aquarium without any signs and warning, to be honest I've been quite a panic , I somehow can understad that the sick fish died but the one who died today was perfectly healthy, I am afraid that there is a virus or something in the aquarium .This is one of the moments of despair and fear and desire to quit the hobby .I put so much effort until they reached this far and now it's all is faiding away :(

Re: SICK ALTUM WITH EYE PROBLEM

#10
Hi Alfred,

Don't despair, we have all been down that route.

Where are you based so that we can give you some advice about water conditions in general?

Please also explain a little more about your setup, your tank size, your filtration and where you have purchased your fishes from and we can see if we can help.

Kind regards,

Dirk
Somerset West, South Africa

Re: SICK ALTUM WITH EYE PROBLEM

#11
Hi Dirk

I'm from Israel, the size of the tank is 700 liters populated altums (6 remain) some corys and L
Two external filters ehiem 2073 and rena xp3, three times a day feeding Tetra Bits weekly water changes of 30% . recently about 50%, the altums were bought four years ago from a local dealer

Re: SICK ALTUM WITH EYE PROBLEM

#12
Hi Alfred,

If you have kept those altums for 4 years you are doing quite well, no need to despair. Altums tend to be difficult to keep over long periods of time without occasional problems and it is very difficult to find what the reason is for these problems.

Your diet for those fishes needs to be expanded. Tetra bits has major deficiencies with regard to nutritive value. You need to include some frozen brine shrimps, some frozen white mosquito larvae and some frozen vegetable mixes with beefheart or shrimps. Vitamin C in the diet is important and although specified as part of tetra bits, this is not enough by far.

Are you checking pH? What is the conductivity of your water and the carbonate content? pH should be low for altums, conductivity should be low and carbonate hardness should be low. What are your tapwater parameters?

Kind regards,

Dirk
Somerset West, South Africa

Re: SICK ALTUM WITH EYE PROBLEM

#14
Hi Alfred,

No you should not use bloodworms they are often infected with a variety of harmful bacteria.

If you can find a source of black mosquito larvae, even if you cultvate them in a drum somewhere in your garden that will help a lot.

You can also try to find dried food with a higher nutritive value. Although I do not know their products all that well, you can try Sera products and then Omega One foods are also to be recommended, I do not know if they are available in Isreal. Perhaps you can contact Danziger Discus for a supply of prepared foods.

If your pH is around 7.4, then I must assume that your water contains a certain amount of carbonate hardness and is harder. This is not so good for altums, they prefer softer water, and will survive longer in soft water. So perhaps you can find a source of RO water to soften your water or you could purchase a RO unit to prepare your own water. RO will be very soft and the altums are happiest in this softer water as that is how it would be in nature.

Kind regards,

Dirk
Somerset West, South Africa

Re: SICK ALTUM WITH EYE PROBLEM

#15
I would suggest the addition of a UV sterilizer as part of your aquarium's treament. You should also check the ammonia and nitrite levels. I understand you are doing a good amount of water changes and you have good biofilters in place, but it won't hurt to know your ammonia and nitrite levels, because at a pH of 7.4, even low ammonia levels can have a debilitating effect on these fish that we can only appreciate long term.
We have to start by making sure (as Dirk said) that your water is well into the soft range, so it will be much easier to maintain an acid pH and ammonia is kept under control.

Can you post a photograph of your tank, to see your substrate, ornamentation. etc. Where any culprits could be hiding...

Ed
God listens. He may not always give you everything you want, when you want it; but he always gives you what you really need, when you need it most!
E.R.
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