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Warmouth have holes in head?

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#21 Guest_Skipjack_*

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 07:08 PM

This makes good sense. The sheer numbers sold to new fish keepers. Then fed huge amounts of goldfish in a tank that is too small.

#22 Michael Wolfe

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 08:27 PM

Also would explain why my guy has no such pores or syndrome... I mean I am a lazy fish keeper, my guy used to live with all that java fern and such... and when I moved the big guy to the 58 gallon show tank he now lives with an amazon sword that is as big as a basketball and was spouting baby swords. Warmouth enjoy lurking behind, under, etc. his huge sword so he likely has sufficiently good water quality. Deep substrate and live plants save the day again!
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#23 Guest_Erica Lyons_*

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 08:44 PM

Eh, I'd still buy a nitrate test kit. They're cheap and useful.

90 tests for $10 on ebay:

Even if your fish didn't have worries about hole in the head, nitrate test kits are a great way to determine whether or not you have to do a water change this week. Did a water change last week and nitrate's 10 ppm? Eh, this week's not so critical, do one next week. Did a water change last week and nitrate's already 40 ppm? Wow, time to do another water change. Weekly nitrate changes are something every fishkeeper should do for a while, to get a feel for their tank's individual bioload. Myself, I plant the tank so heavily that it was every week 20 ppm nitrate even though I didn't do water changes for months. It's possible your tank is like that too. Plants are so awesome <3

#24 Guest_Erica Lyons_*

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 09:02 PM

Oh, and, if there's a fish that people think can't be kept with plants, I suggest they try our own native ceratophyllum. It's a great plant. You can either grow it floating or wrap it around a PVC pipe to make it look buried without actually burying it (discussed here: http://forum.nanfa.o...a-sunfish-tank/ ). I've got it floating in my haplochromis mbipia lutea cichlid tank, and we all know how people swear African cichlids will destroy plants. Not true. This is a current picture of my 75 gallon tank snapped five minutes ago:

Posted Image

So, our own native ceratophyllum solves the "What plant won't my fish rip to shreds?" question. Notice the native echinodorus tenellus in the background, too. I think cichlids are a lot more plant safe than people give them credit for. It's certainly easier to keep them alive with plants in the tank. I've had these two dozen cichlids for ... six months now? and haven't lost a single one, not to water quality issues, or fighting, jumping out, or any reason. (no one was more surprised than me) I've actually got three dozen of their eggs in a tumbler right now. I think plants versus no plants are the reason for that, and if it weren't for ceratophyllum, I doubt this would have gone as well. Based on how often I change the water, they probably would have gotten the African cichlid version of hole in the head, which is better known as death.

#25 Guest_gzeiger_*

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 10:03 PM

I have less plants than that, and bigger fish, and I have to keep adding nitrate...

#26 Guest_Erica Lyons_*

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 11:00 PM

I have less plants than that, and bigger fish, and I have to keep adding nitrate...

Yup, another vote for the usefulness of test kits. That ceratophyllum in my picture melts if nitrate hits 0 ppm and stays there for a week. *nods*

#27 Guest_Vandee_*

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 09:53 AM

Posted Image

This is the best photo I can get through the tank. you can see two right inbetween the eyes and there is one in the middle of them just up a bit but its angled down so cant see it well from this view. I looks somewhat similar to what that ocsar has but here is looks symmetrical and the oscor seems to have it in random locations. And I have a hard time believing that I am having a high nitrate problem, I do 40-50% water changes every week, 2 times I got busy on the weekends and let it go for 2 weeks.

Edited by Vandee, 21 May 2014 - 10:03 AM.

#28 Guest_centrarchid_*

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 10:16 AM

High organics can be involved. Particularly when lots of fines drifting in water column. I see such even with a 50% plus water change per day when feeding rates high in a high density tank.

#29 Guest_Vandee_*

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 11:03 AM

so what would be solution to prevent it getting worse and to prevent the others from developing the same scars? feed less and better filtration?

#30 Guest_Erica Lyons_*

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 11:23 AM

There's some different scenarios here that could result.
1. You simply change nothing and observe the fish, comparing photos of it over time.
a) If it is hole in the head, it'll start to look more like that oscar I linked a photo to on the previous page. If you start seeing differences in one photo to the next (larger and more numerous holes from one month to the next), start treating for hole in the head. In that case, it's pretty easy to treat it. The fish shouldn't die. I showed a photo of a really awful oscar one month later, very much recovered.
b) If it's not hole in the head and you don't change your habits, then no big deal. Photos of the fish two months from now will look the same as photos of the fish now. Same number of holes, same size. No new holes, no bigger holes.
2. You start doing something like buying activated carbon to bind potential poison molecules or start more frequent water changes
a) If it's not hole in the head. In this instance the fish wouldn't have gotten worse anyway and now you're doing more work, forever, with the threat being that if you stop your fish will get sick (when it won't, in this situation). The photos will reveal no change in hole size or number from one month to the next. Six months from now the holes are still there and the same size.
b) If it is hole in the head, treatment would result in the fish not getting any worse and these holes in its face will close up. Comparing photos of the fish taken now and taken a month and two months from now will show you if there's a difference.

It's really up to you what you do.
I know what I personally would do. If I was already making 40% water changes every week, I'd buy a test kit and test my nitrate, expecting to see 10 to 30 ppm nitrate. Then upon seeing a low nitrate concentration, I wouldn't change anything. I'd compare photos of this warmouth to other warmouths and compare photos of this same warmouth to itself over time. I'd see if its holes in its head are bigger than other fish's or become bigger over time.

Here's a photo of a warmouth:
Posted Image

Is this stock photo of a sick warmouth? Is this a healthy warmouth? That is the question, and is why even if you do nothing, it's not a bad idea to compare photos of your own fish to itself now, one month from now, etc. If you do nothing else, you should make sure the holes in your fish's head stay the same number and the same size over time.

#31 Guest_Vandee_*

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 11:44 AM

Just tested the water and I got 0ppm on all three tests. I will be keeping an eye on it making sure that more don't pop up.Thank you everyone for all your help!

#32 Guest_Erica Lyons_*

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 12:33 PM

Just tested the water and I got 0ppm on all three tests.

*chuckles* Oh, planted tanks :) I sort of expected that, when you said you do such large water changes so frequently and have plants.

Diana Walstad uses the ability of plants to remove nitrogenous and heavy metal poisons from the water as her rationale for only doing water changes twice a year. You can read about it in "Ecology of the Planted Aquarium", the book she wrote. Her argument is that water changes can shock and kill fish, and shouldn't be performed without also acknowledging that they involve their own risk. If this is hole in the head and if it is being caused by poisons coming in from the tap water (I've only ever heard of hole in the head caused by nitrate poisoning myself, but I'm no expert in the disease), then her argument for less water changes could have merit here. Theoretically if there were something coming in from the tapwater causing problems, less water changes and the use of activated carbon to remove molecules and live plants to remove metals could make your tank much less polluted than the tap water coming from the faucet.

#33 Guest_UncleWillie_*

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 12:38 PM

I can't add anything as far as cause/treatment, but it after looking at the picture Erica posted, I had to comment. If you look closely, you can see the two "pits" just and between the eyes in the photo Erica posted. You have something similar on your fish. I skimmed through my old warmouth photos, and the majority of them did not have these "pits", BUT I found one with the same two pits between the eyes. Although, they are not nearly as prominent.

No pits:
Posted Image

Barely noticeable pits (different fish):
Posted Image

Edited by UncleWillie, 21 May 2014 - 12:39 PM.

#34 Guest_gerald_*

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 02:19 PM

The pits on the head in Vandee's photo do not look normal to me; they do look enlarged. Hole-in-the-head is not a disease; it's a symptom or syndrome with many possible causes. Yes, old/poor water quality seems to "cause" it (frequently associated with high nitrate, although it's not at all clear that the nitrate is really the cause) but so can improper diet, bacterial and protozoan infections, and possibly other things (stray electric currents, anyone?). It might or might not be "pretty easy to treat" depending on whether the cause is something correctable (diet, water quality) and/or treatable (bacteria, protozoa). Some infections are not easily treatable.

Centrarchid -- Considering the organic-rich habitats where warmouth live, I really doubt "high organics" would cause it, unless of course you mean toxic organics from pesticides, drugs, or fish waste accumulation.

I cropped and sharpened Vandee's photo, below:

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#35 Guest_Erica Lyons_*

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 02:30 PM

That's very interesting. What could be causing it in this circumstance?

Nitrate poisoning: ruled out, nitrate is 0 ppm
Other type of poisoning ?
Diet ?
Electrical current ?
Hexamita ?
Non-hexamita infection ?

#36 littlen

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 11:59 AM

FWIW,.....studies on the cause of HLLE (Head and Lateral Line Erosion) in marine species has been linked with activated carbon in the system. In some cases removing the carbon reversed the deterioration of the pores/holes. This is an ongoing study and I don't think anything conclusive or definitive has come of it yet. I've had a few older sunnies develop some facial erosion within the last couple years of life. No carbon on the system, but nitrates were probably high.
Nick L.

#37 Guest_Vandee_*

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 12:24 PM

Hmm that is really interesting I was trying out Activated carbon in my filter.... its out now other than the little bit that is in the filter pads themselves.

#38 Guest_Erica Lyons_*

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 12:29 PM

What do you feed this warmouth? It could be malnourished.
If the nitrate isn't weakening the fish's immune response to hexamita, it could be a vitamin insufficiency preventing normal immune function.

#39 Guest_centrarchid_*

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 12:36 PM

I see it with very low nitrates and no carbon. Some species such as warmouth and greens seem more susceptible than bluegill, longear and redear.

#40 Guest_Vandee_*

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 12:37 PM

I hand feed him pellets (Hikari Cichlid gold) and he gets frozen blood worms or frozen brine shrimp depending on the day. I keep all my fish pretty fat unless what I am feeding him is missing a vitamin or something there is no way he is malnourished. The little guy is fat all the time.

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