Triggerfish Breathing Heavy

JeffC27

New member
I have a Niger triggerfish who has been breathing heavy. All other fish are fine except for my blue jaw trigger who wont eat.
Both of them have no appetite and the Niger has very labored breathing. The water parameters are good, tested every day for the past week including at my lfs. All other fish in tank are ok. I do not see any scratching or visible signs of parasites' such as marine ich or flukes during a freshwater dip. Could it be internal? and if so would simply putting metroplex in the water help or should I add it to food and hope they eat it.
 

JeffC27

New member
The heavy breathing for the niger trigger is new and he just stopped eating yesterday. The blue throat hasn't eaten for about a week but is breathing normal. For some more background info I suspected something was wrong about a week ago when the blue throat stopped eating and the other fish seemed a little out of it. I ran hypo salinity for about 2 days at 1.011 and have been slowly adding the salt back over the past 3 days. The hypo treatment seemed to fix everything except the bluethroats appetite and the niger developed these symptom's the first day of adding salt back.

Tests read
0ppm ammonia
0ppm nitrite
4ppm nitrate
7.8 ph
1.022 salinity
temperature 75F

Also I don't believe gas exchange is a problem. The tank is a 150 non drilled with 2 HOB and a canister as well as a protein skimmer and wave pump. Definitely a lot of surface movement and air. I also haven't done many changes to the tank. I was running carbon in the 2 hob but removed them about 2 weeks ago. I also replaced a filter sponge in one of them at the same time. I did a water change 1 week ago. I have noticed no changes in water quality and the tests back it up.
 

HumbleFish

Dr. Fish
Premium Member
Hypo works on Ich and Flukes, but you really need to treat for at least a week for the latter. Or 30 days for Ich.
 

JeffC27

New member
Update. I started treatment with prazipro as I suspected gill flukes. I also started using metroplex in the food for any internal problems. That was on sunday night. Now as I am writing this I have noticed the nigers breathing returning to normal. Due to a spike in ammonia I suspect from the prazi treatment I have done an 80% water change and have nearly removed all of the prazi. however altough the trigger is breathing better there is a new symptom which is that he is now swimming upside down. I failed to mention that before I started prazi treatment he would have these episodes where he would have little control over his body that would last a few seconds. Could this be a comletely different thing than flukes or external parasites. Should I switch to using antibiotics, also could it be that this occurred due to the hype treatment last week.
 

JeffC27

New member
I am really stumped on this one and I am very worried of losing him. I have raised him since he was less than an inch and I want to do something to save him but right now I am completely stumped. Also I do not suspect constipation to be causing the swim bladder problem as I see no bloating
 

mellotang

Premium Member
If you have had this fish in captivity for a while with no New introductions I find it strange that flukes would just present themselves

We’re you running hypo prior due to previous infection, then raised salinity back?

Have you had problems in the tank in the past?

Ammonia spike will Affect the fish gills, maybe ammonia spike and depressed pH were an issue prior to all the medications added

all the symptoms you described from the get go to me sounded ammonia related

Do you ever see the fish sitting in high flow trying to get water to run into their gills?
Do the fish flash?

Did anything come off when you did fresh water bath?

Do you see anything on the fish?

It sounds like your at the point of doing to much, throwing the kitchen sink at them, stressing the fish without knowing the cause.

Your fish responded well After a large water change which further leads me to suspect water quality

How long have these trigger fish been in your system, have you added any new fish recently?
 

JeffC27

New member
I have had some problems with the tank in the past. I want through a mini cylce about 6 months ago after adding about 10 lbs of dry rock. I also had a very bad ich outbreak about 9 months ago that ended up killing 3 fish, the trigger being on of 2 survivors.

I do use the same siphon for all of my tanks. I got a couple of juvinile triggers in a seperate tank right now that I do know have flukes and are being treated however this started happening before I got them.

I have tested the water daily for the past week with no changes in ammonia or nitrites. All read 0 and nitrates are at 5 currently. I use the api master test kit.

I have never seen either trigger near the top of the tank or in any high flow area. They sit at the bottom of the tank in 2 separate spots, one against a rock, and one in a cave. The niger was the only one breathing heavy in the entire tank. The porcupine puffer I have sometimes does but it is most always after a meal because she eats too much ( trying to fix that ).

The niger would sometimes bolt around in little quick spurts of energy. Never any scratching/ rubbing. Other than that it would sit in its spot and become active during feeds or occasionally through out the day doing little laps around the tank.

During the freshwater bath I could not see anything visually come off either trigger. I have since put the blue throat back in the display tank as he is showing no symptoms is breathing normal and started eating again when moved to qt.

The last addition to there tank was about 5 months ago when a tang was added. It just recently died about a week ago due to unknown causes. I tested my water, had it tested at my lfs, and examined the fishes body. I could find no marks or points of infection and the tang was very healthy, eating good and very active. The day before It died I noticed it at the top of the tank near the overflow and swimming around slowly near the top. I took note of it and ran the tests but wanted to wait until the next day for new symptoms. When I checked in the morning the tang was dead. Immeditalty following this is when I noticed the trigger starting to breath heavily. I too first suspected ammonia especially after a death. I saw a little jump ( 0.1ppm ) but it only lasted a day and went back down to 0.

Now in the qt tank I believe an ammonia spike is in the works. It is creeping subtly I believe due to the prazi causing a bloom of sorts. I think I want to move him back to display tank where the parameters are better. I now realize that his swim bladder could be inflammed due to the ammonia rising in qt. If I move him back to display I will discontinue all treatments for him and to protect the other fish. I am still worried for his appetite as well as this is day 3 of no food. He has always eaten very well. This is why I moved him to qt because the heavy breathing was one thing and I didnt want to stress a move especially because he was still eating but when he stopped eating I thought of the worst. I dont know what to do at this point
 

JeffC27

New member
Also I tried hypo as recommended a week back and having slowly been raising salintiy since. It is now at 1.023 in display and 1.025 in qt
 

JeffC27

New member
Sorry the hypo was 1 week long. But I decided to start raising it again as I suspected it may have been putting a lot of stress on the fish and may have also killed the tang.
 

JeffC27

New member
I tested the water again last night in the qt
ammonia 0.1ppm
nitrite 0ppm
nitrates 5ppm
ph 7.8
temperature 75F
salinity 1.025

I was going to test again this morning but unfortunately the trigger fish didnt make it through the night. Its a pretty big loss for me since Ive raised him since a baby and have had him for well over a a year. I almost think I did too much.

Now one of my baby huma triggers is scratching. He went through a 1 week copper qt at lfs. I do not see any signs of ich. No white spots except for a couple tiny spots on his top fin that looks like a little tear of sorts. He has recieved 1 freshwater dip to check for flukes. I did not see any come off of him. He is eating well, sometimes hangs out near top of tank however the tank is quite tall so I just installed a circulation pump towards the bottom for additional flow. He is also in a tank with a baby bluespot puffer and a baby snowflake eel
The water has 0 ammonia
0 nitrite
10 nitrate
7.8 ph
temp 75F
salinity 1.025

Any recomendations on what I should do. I feel as if after the loss of my trigger I shouldnt medicate again atleast not yet.
medications I have on hand are PraziPro, Copper Power, Metroplex, Maracyn Oxy, Parasite remedy, and MelaFix ( which I never use )
 

HumbleFish

Dr. Fish
Premium Member
Any recomendations on what I should do. I feel as if after the loss of my trigger I shouldnt medicate again atleast not yet.
medications I have on hand are PraziPro, Copper Power, Metroplex, Maracyn Oxy, Parasite remedy, and MelaFix ( which I never use )
A week in hypo will eliminate most flukes, but a fish needs 30 days worth of therapeutic copper to treat Ich & Velvet. Unless you can transfer the fish to a separate holding tank (at least 10 feet away) after 2 weeks.
 
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