I’m not sure a camera better than my iPhone would help in snapping better pictures of this little fellow. He’s just so darn small, and as his 10 gallon is situated underneath the workbench that supports most of my tanks, it’s just difficult to get decent photographs of anything.
I brought this pair of wild caught b. uberis into my fish room on July 16 this month, and so it’s been about two weeks that they’ve both been in my care. The female had some fairly intensive tearing on her anal and caudal fins, which happens during transit sometimes, but that mended quickly. It’s this little male who has ultimately given me more cause for concern, and I’m not sure he’s out of the woods yet. Over the weekend, I noticed that he had developed quite incapacitating fin clamp, and so scooped him out of the tank and placed him in a little quarantine container.
I have a fairly hack set-up for short-term fish hospitalization: I hang a specimen container in my licorice gourami 20 gallon, as it is much warmer than my other tanks, add an air stone, and cover the top with plastic wrap. This is honestly easier for me to manage than setting up a dedicated hospital tank as the likelihood is I’ll be doing almost daily water changes while treating the fish anyway. So, into the hack hospital box I plopped the b. uberis male.
I have about 5 individual Lee’s-brand specimen containers, size small, that have come in clutch for me on more than one occasion. The main selling point, as I mentioned, is being able to position them within an existing aquarium, thus saving me the hassle of finding a way to heat a hospital tank for a sick fish. Grab them here.
To the best of my recollection, this is what I treated him with:
- ~81F water temperature
- air stone running on low, just enough to keep the water aerated–very important when using some medications
- 10% water from the 10 gallon, 90% clean distilled water
- 1/4 teaspoon aquarium salt, added once daily for two days
- a few drops of Fritz Aquatics Mardel Maracyn Oxy, once on the first day
- a scaled down double-dose of Seachem StressGuard
- 2 Indian almond leaves that I cut up into smaller pieces before adding to the container, mostly to give him the feeling of security
- 4 drops of Brightwell Aquatics Blackwater conditioner; I opted for doing this because of a fish keeping article I read, uh, somewhere, that suggested humic and fulvic substances can aid in helping fish recover in place of other harsh medications and antibiotics, and I’ve had some success with this in the past. But this could also just be like knocking on wood, just a placebo effect. In any case, I don’t believe the effects were harmful.
And there he stayed for about two days. By the evening of day two, his fins were unclamped and he was very interested in food again, so I re-acclimated him back to his 10 gallon home and popped him back in with the female.
It’s been 4 or 5 days since I reintroduced him to the 10 gallon, and for the most part he’s been fine! The above photos were taken this afternoon while feeding him some grindal worms, and the iridescence on his scales and his bright blue eyes have me totally charmed. And yet, just this evening, I noticed some odd behaviour from him again, just a quick glimpse of him twitching his fins strangely, but he’s been hiding himself too well for me to follow up and investigate more thoroughly. I’m reasonably certain that whatever the issue is, it isn’t environmental, as the female uberis doesn’t seem affected, and neither do the chilli rasboras who share the space with them.
I’ll follow up with another post once he either continues improving, or once I have to intervene again. Fingers crossed for the more positive outcome.