Aquaponic Gardening

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Been There, Done That, Fish too far gone for the freezer.

Got home from a week away to find several floating fish bodies.  It wasn't a total HSM (heart stopping moment) as there are still plenty of fish swimming.

However, it always sucks to loose fish, especially when the cause is not certain.  Anyway, I'll be researching to try and figure out what has killed them.  The dead ones look like the gills on one side are badly infected or injured in some way.  Last year I think I lost one or two to whatever this is but since it didn't seem to spread, I didn't worry too much about it.  This time I pulled seven out of the tank and there is still at least one swimming around that looks to have the condition.

Did water tests and only a trace of ammonia and trace of nitrite which isn't surprising since I just pulled several very dead and rotting fish from the tank.  Yuck.

So now I get to watch and wait and hope the disease or whatever is going on isn't going to kill more fish though I will probably try to remove the one sick looking one tomorrow.

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hey

sorry to hear... hope you find out whats causing it......

jT
You might try a simple saltwater dip (put the fish in saltwater for 30 secs or so, it'll kill parasites but not the fish. You may also want to try putting some copper in the water (a small bag of pennies will work). The copper is poison enough to kill the disease but not the fish
I've found that with catfish, minimal handling seems to be the better choice. The stress of handling to do a salt dip probably causes more damage than the salt dip would relieve. Also, Channel Catfish can only handle up to 5 ppt of salt which is probably not enough to kill most problems.

I might try the dip on the sick looking fish if I can catch it easily because I don't expect that fish to make it anyway but I would not go though the extra handling to catch all the fish to dip them and return them to the tank as it would cause too much stress and injury.

Tilapia are far more forgiving of handling than catfish are and tilapia also do well in higher salt levels.
Sorry Aleece :/
While you know your fish better than I, you are not looking for the fish to be in a survivable concentration - just the opposite. The general procedure of a saltwater dip is to put the fish in a bath at a higher concentration than what the fish can survive (essentially seawater), but too do so for a short period of time. The fish can survive the 30-sec dip where a few minutes may kill it. However any parasites will likely be killed in even that short time. It is always a gamble, but sometimes there isn't other options. This procedure is reversed for saltwater fish - they get dipped in freshwater.

If treating in an isolation tank, here is a simple diagnose form to help you select the correct medicine -- http://cms.marsfishcare.com/files/fishproblem.pdf

I'm curious - has anyone tried Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Stress Coat in their systems? It is a product that encourages and strengthens the natural coating fish have on their bodies. I always used to use it in my large systems and it should be excellent in our application (especially in overcrowded systems). I'm just not sure if it would cause any issues with the plants, it shouldn't but does anyone know of any practical testing? I do know it causes no harm to bacteria beds.
The general recommendations from most of the long time APers I know is, don't use any aquarium medications in an AP system. This is because most are not meant for food fish and some of them are known cancer causing agents that you would not want to be eating.

However, some things might not be so bad, you would probably want to get the MSDS sheets as a first step to see how safe it is. Ya know stress coat might be little more than salt and some other soothing agents for the fish but I don't actually know. I do know that 1-3 ppt of salt is often used as a general tonic for types of fish that don't mind salt (catfish and blue gill should probably get no more than 1-2 ppt as a general tonic.)

I might do the salt dip for the really bad looking fish but only if I can catch that one easily without stressing the rest of the tank's residents.

Ron Thompson said:

I'm curious - has anyone tried Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Stress Coat in their systems? It is a product that encourages and strengthens the natural coating fish have on their bodies. I always used to use it in my large systems and it should be excellent in our application (especially in overcrowded systems). I'm just not sure if it would cause any issues with the plants, it shouldn't but does anyone know of any practical testing? I do know it causes no harm to bacteria beds.
So I managed to catch two of the living but apparently infected fish from the big tank and did a salt dip then put them in an isolated bin. However, I'll either need to be doing constant water changes of figure out some sort of filtration to hook up for it before those fish die from ammonia. Perhaps I'll just pop one of the towers over and hook up a little pump since the towers can be sterilized between crops if need be.

I've added a little salt to about 1ppt into the overall system and will see how the fish recover as I keep an eye on things.

Some of the other fish show signs of injury, Mostly on their fins. This I think is probably due to my having mixed sizes in the tank and some of the smaller fish being attacked by the big boys. A couple of the big boys have what look like minor whisker injuries which I have seen before when big fish were fighting.

I suppose this week well will need to attempt to harvest the rest of the biggest catfish from the tank. This might be a challenge since I have not yet built my fish fence I was thinking about to corral the big fish while letting the little guys escape.

Will have to let the cook video the current method of catching the big guys. It involves me leaning over the tank with the net down on the bottom and watching till a big fish swims up to the net. Kinda Zen fish catching.
Here are the two still living but sick fish that I was able to easily catch. They got a salt dip and into a bin, they are now getting filtration from a 1/2 barrel full of aloe and peppers with gravel. Was easy to isolate from the rest of the system and hook up a tiny harbor freight garden pump so they are now isolated.



Just looked at the MSDS of Stress Coat -- mostly Aloe and water with some unspecified proprietary stuff (nothing listed, so can't be too bad or too much)

Here is the info - http://cms.marsfishcare.com/files/msds/stress_coat_ng_122309.pdf
In that case I'm more likely to scrape the gel from an aloe leaf into a container of system water and mix well before adding to the system. Seems a waste to buy something that is 10% bottled aloe since aloe looses effectiveness shortly after being removed from the plant. And 80% water. And the fact that they don't tell you what the other 10% of the stuff is seems kinda suspicious to me.

Ron Thompson said:
Just looked at the MSDS of Stress Coat -- mostly Aloe and water with some unspecified proprietary stuff (nothing listed, so can't be too bad or too much)

Here is the info - http://cms.marsfishcare.com/files/msds/stress_coat_ng_122309.pdf
It has been almost two decades since I was in the aquarium business. Back then I never really gave it thought. Now I'd likely use fresh Aloe as well.





TCLynx said:
In that case I'm more likely to scrape the gel from an aloe leaf into a container of system water and mix well before adding to the system. Seems a waste to buy something that is 10% bottled aloe since aloe looses effectiveness shortly after being removed from the plant. And 80% water. And the fact that they don't tell you what the other 10% of the stuff is seems kinda suspicious to me.

Ron Thompson said:
Just looked at the MSDS of Stress Coat -- mostly Aloe and water with some unspecified proprietary stuff (nothing listed, so can't be too bad or too much)

Here is the info - http://cms.marsfishcare.com/files/msds/stress_coat_ng_122309.pdf
Lets see one could put some system water in a bucket and then add the appropriate amount of salt to bring the system up to the desired ppt of salt appropriate for the fish in question and then scrape the aloe gel of one medium aloe leaf into the bucket and mix to dissolve the salt then add to the system. I wonder how effective that recipe would be?

Then I expect that one would need to rub more aloe gel into their hands since the salt is drying to the skin but one should always be careful since I have one poor friend who turned out to be allergic to aloe after getting a nasty sun burn and slathering aloe all over his back. Was not pleasant for him.

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