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Discus With Hole In The Head Disease Hole in the Head

Discussion in 'Fish Diseases & Cures' started by MOD_Dawn, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    PROBLEM:
    So my favorite Discus suddenly came down with hole in the head disease (My Huge Brilliant Turquoise). It rapidly went from one tiny hole that I noticed about 3 days ago,
    to now 2 tiny holes and 1 that's almost 1/2 the diameter of a pencil eraser.

    SYMPTOMS:
    The Brillant Turquoise is acting normally, eating as usual, and not showing a single sign (besides the holes in the head) that there's a darn thing wrong with him?

    ANYONE ELSE AFFECTED:
    Everyone else in the tank is fine and showing no signs of illness thank goodness.


    ANY CHANGES?
    As for any type of changes that would cause this, I can't seem to think of anything besides
    1) the recent addition (less than a month) of Seachem Phosguard (my city water is super high in the Phosphates) and
    2) placing everyone into two seperate holding rubbermaids for less than 12 hours for the tank background to be installed.
    *Note, when they were placed in the holding rubbermaids the discus were kept seperate from the other inhabitants and each rubbermaid had it's own heater and airstone and the water used was tank water with the addition of a bucket of "fresh" water that was treated with Prime.

    Other than the above tank parameters have been stable, water temperature hasn't fluctuated, food has been the same (Frozen Bloodworms, New Life Spectrum Freshwater Optimum Flakes, Hikari Algae Wafers that they steal off the bottom feeders, and I just recently finished off a pack of Jack Wattley's Frozen Discus food which I won't be continuing as they more lazily eat this food and it tends to make the water column briefly cloudy due to it's consistency, water maintenance has been the same as has filter maintenance, media is the same (Seachem Phosguard, Rena 20ppi Sponges, Rena 30ppi sponges, Eheim Substrat Pro, Filter Floss/Rena microfiltration pads, Seachem Purigen, Rena "Stars", Boyd Chemi-Pure).


    More about hole in the head disease
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2014
  2. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    MY COURSE OF ACTION:
    Day 1 When I first noticed it I did 25% water change
    Day 2 another 25% water change and a double dosage of Seachem Prime
    Day 3 (today) I noticed it progressing rather than looking better and in the morning I added 1/2 of a 2 gram pack of Safe-Guard 4 Canine Dewormer figuring it definately couldn't hurt.
    Later in the evening I went to the LFS to get Seachem Paraguard (treats Bacterial Infections, Fungal Infections, External Parasites, Internal Parasites), but they were out so I ended up coming home with Metro+ (treats External & Internal Parasites) and Boyd Freshwater Vita-Chem.

    I ended up choosing to dose the water column feeling this was the easier way, but before doing so I performed a 50% water change to be on the extra safe side and double dosed the water with Seachem Prime. I then dosed both medications for 100gallons being my lfs said it would be okay taking into account the volume of the two xp4 canister filters (this ended up being 1 whole 3.4oz bottle of Metro+, and 100drops of the Boyd Freshwater Vita-Chem) and followed up the dosing with a fishy snack of Hikari Bio-Pure Bloodworms as I'd been out of their H2OLife Bloodworms for not quite a week. I sat vigilantly, making sure each and every discus behaved normally and actively fed..which they all did and will continue over the next 2 days of removing about 50% of their water, followed by double dosing with Seachem Prime, and adding 1 bottle of the Metro+ in hopes that the Brilliant Turquoise will improve.

    More about the products I used here:
    [*]Metro+= When dosing the water column you use 1 capful per each 10 gallons of water. 24hours later you perform a 25% water change and redose. This is repeated over the next 3 days. If there is no improvement at that time you're recommendations are to discontinue the product.
    http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.com/P ... atid=13940

    [*]Boyd Freshwater Vita-Chem= When dosing the water column you use 1 drop per each gallon of water once a week
    http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.com/p ... catid=4998
     
  3. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    QUESTIONS:

    Can anyone provide any information regarding ideas or thoughts of how this fish ended up with this disease?

    The others are showing no signs, is this disease contagious?

    Is there anything else I can do to help "close" the holes and heal the fish besides what I'm already doing?

    :-x Why does it always have to be something with your "favorite" fish [icon_e_sad.gif]
     
  4. WhiteGloveAquatics

    WhiteGloveAquatics New Member

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    No it is not contagious.

    HITH comes from water quality issues as well as mineral deficiencies.

    Those "Discus mixes" of frozen foods are better left in the sellers freezer then yours, I used DM's beefheart mix and my female bolivian ram came down with HITH, I stopped use and did the 50% twice a week on the tank and it cleared up very quickly and has not made a return.

    Metro is good for HITH but a simple food change and cleaner water goes a long way.
     
  5. HBIC

    HBIC Need help??? That's what we're here for :)

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    +1 AGREE
     
  6. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    But I keep up with the water maintenance? Mineral deficency (sp) I can understand, but water quality in regards to cleanliness I can't imagine being the issue.

    Sidenote, noticed a tiny 4th hole on the opposite side of the head today. It may have been there all along but I definately didn't notice it yesterday.

    For now I'll be feeding the Hikari Bio-Pure frozen bloodworms, newlife spectrum freshwater flakes dampened with the Boyd Vita-Chem, and of course they'll sneak the bottom feeders algae wafers.

    No more mixed food for sure anymore! I plan on doing another 50% water change tonight and then redosing the Metro+ in addition to double Seachem Prime to be on the safe side.

    I really hope this heals (or at the very least stops spreading).

    Thanks for the input guys, at least I feel somewhat comforted knowing it's not contagious which was a HUGE worry.
     
  7. WhiteGloveAquatics

    WhiteGloveAquatics New Member

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    Yeah its water quality, QT him with around 90% pwc's daily itll clear up in no time, depressions can be left behind think scar tissue. My female bolivian has the scars but its been long gone for over a year now. I did check all the discus out with a fine tooth comb so to speak and made sure they dont have it, every 3 days I change out 100g anyways but had to make sure.

    Id take a holistic approach to the tanks,dawn. I am not a fan of chemicals of any sort being its a closed environment I try and find alternate methods of getting my water in check. I hit near perfect a few weeks back and havnt moved from there.

    Out of curiosity....what is your Ph?
     
  8. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    Ph is 6.0 steady. I have no where to quarantine him and anytime I've had him in holding this one completely stresses out so that's the reason I'm forced to do in tank treatment.

    Day 4 did another 50% water change and added another bottle of metro+. No changes to report.
    Day 5 did another 50% water change and added another bottle of metro+. No changes to report.
    Day 6 about to do another 50% water change and dose with the last (3rd) bottle of Metro+. No changes to report, but this may be a good thing since I'm not noticing it advancing either. Tonight will be the last dosage with Metro+ UNLESS I notice improvement of the "holes".
     
  9. WhiteGloveAquatics

    WhiteGloveAquatics New Member

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    Im not sure the holes really go away, think of a SUPER huge blackhead, the pore gets enlarged and just stays enlarged. My Ram that had this the holes never went away but never advanced or spread.
     
  10. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    Thanks for letting me know that, I read online some may "heal" and go away...That's what I was looking for.
    Well at least the holes in his head don't seem to be advancing upon morning check so wondering if I go buy more of the Metro+ and max out the treatment (7 days according to bottle) or simply do without it.

    Yesterday was the end of the 3 day "trial" course, and tonight will be the last water change to remove the product.
     
  11. WhiteGloveAquatics

    WhiteGloveAquatics New Member

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    If there is no new growth and the white things that come out of HITH are gone Id think you are fine. My ram DOES still have scar holes but they arent like a mega huge blackhead hole anymore.
     
  12. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    I never noticed any white things coming out of the hole, just the hole itself that looked about 1/16mm deep to possibly 2/16mm. The one towards the center is the larger of the 4,which now appears to be 3. Looks like the 4th closed.