Dying Zebras

If it isn't to late, and you're desperately looking for some advice, hopefully someone can help you out.

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Dying Zebras

Post by reticulata »

I have a major problem and that is with my adult zebras. A couple of days ago I noticed some of the adults were hanging around out in the open acting lethargic. I have three tanks of zebras and one tank was the one with the problem. I lost two a couple of days ago, one last night and two are in a hospital tank. They act almost like they are having small convulsions. They are very quiet and then they flair up their fins, shake a little and go back to being quiet again, repeating this action every 10 seconds or so. Absolutely no outward sign of damage, fungus, etc. The problem may have spread to the other two tanks so I have rearranged all the "furniture" in one of the tanks and put them all together except for the hospital tank. As a last resort I tried Bausman's Tropical Fish Tonic which in the past has worked miracles with other sick fish. Also tried Melafix and Pimafix. The tank that I first noticed the problem in is my breeders. Any thoughts. Have over 40 other tanks of various fish and no problems with them. Thinking a food problem? Feeding them shaved frozen blood worms at night and flakes in the mornings. No live black worms or tubifex. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Post by Barbie »

I would check your pH first. Is there any ammonia or nitrite? Have you done extra water changes in case it's something in the water? What temperature are you keeping them at? I know this is all basic stuff, but I've learned over time that sometimes these questions can trigger a connection to a possible source of the problem. I've lost zebras to crashing pH and I know your water there is very soft out of the tap. It's definitely worth checking.

For now, stop feeding them at all. They can go months without food. If the food is causing the problem, removing it will do them good.

It honestly sounds to me like they've got some sort of parasite going on. If you run one up on the glass, can you see anything on their stomachs? Melafix and Pimafix are all but worthless in crisis situations, IME. I would treat them with medications that will treat oodinium and chilodonella, if they were mine. I prefer flubendazole, but quick cure even works. I've had good luck treating parasites on zebras at 90 degrees, but if they are lethargic already the odds are good that the parasite is suffocating them and higher temperatures will just speed up that process. Metro isn't nearly as effective below 86 degrees.

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