Aliens in my fish tank

June 9, 2006 at 11:15 p06 (Hobby)

Last week the plague hit my fish tank. Before i start yakking about what had happened, allow me to introduce my watery friends…

cardinal tetras, a happy family of 50

red nose rummy tetra, about 13 of them

black tetras, 9 of them

and a couple of congo, bottom-feeding catfish and my pet Harlen, the up-side down catfish.

In Singapore, we like to do upgrade: handphone, homes, even religion as Rev Kong Hee of City Harvest would have told u… My fish tank was a plain vanilla type with a few stones and a sand base. Last weekend i decided to do an upgrade for my fish tank. I added some plants, prawns, air stones and more sand to increase the substrate base. I constructed a garden with the plants and stones for my fish when incident struck.

My cardinals started to go kaput on Monday. I changed the water, added in some Chinese tea, substitute frozen worms with dry pellet (sinking type), isolated the sick fish and say a l'il prayer before the dying finally stop on Thursday. About 40 cardinals and 2 rummies perished…just like that. The cardinals and rummies were given by my friend KK and he only visited the Sunday before. Very paiseh leh… as he commented that i had done well with his fish and I had to text him on Thursday to break the bad news to him…

I managed to identify the disease through searching the internet . My finding shocked me! My fish had died of a terrible disease very much like what happened in the movie Alien when the parasite alien popped up from the gut of its victim. The fish died from parasites that burrowed through its intestine and attached itself to the fish muscle tissue. The sick fish body would turn whitish and became crooked before finally dropping dead.

The following is the abstract from the internet…
The disease cycle begins when parasitic spores enter the fish after it consumes infected material, such as the bodies of dead fish, or live food such as tubifex, which may serve as intermediate hosts.Once in the intestinal tract, the newly hatched embryos burrow through the intestinal wall and produce cysts within the muscle tissue. Muscles bearing the cysts begin to die, and the necrotic tissue becomes pale, eventually turning white in color.

I am glad i manage to bring the situation under control. But the crisis is not over yet as i have not identified the cause of the infection. I am sharing this with anyone who keep pets and probably have sad experiences on the demise of their pets in the past…. and hopefully bring a closure to this sad episode.

You can pay your pak kum to my fish who had gone to the big tank in the sky by feeding my electronic pet at the bottom of this blog.



  1. Mother Superior said,

    Didn’t realise you’re such and aquarian pieces. Will call you one day when I start a real proper tank. Now, I cna only live with a guinea pig type of fish tank bought from the market.

    Are cardinal tetras the type that glows in silver when lights are out? Hmm… I like those very much.

  2. me said,

    lei mm hoe kam siong sum lah. chit ngoi sun peen lah.

    42 fishes in one go? genocide ah? better check if any of those spores have infected you….can just imagine those parasite popping through your guts. yuck! *running away with a grin*

  3. Robin said,

    yes, it must be terrible.

    U need to clean and clear off any remaining spore or else anything u add in will all have the same problem.

    U should buy from reliable sources and sometimes when such mess dying happen.. I will bring back and ask for a refund.

  4. Mickell said,

    Sorry to hear about what happened to your fish. It sure does sound like an “Alien” attack ;p

    Do u attend City Harvest Church? How else would u know what Pastor preached? 🙂

  5. Cocka Doodle said,

    Have them salted and dried out in the sun.
    Fry with onions and dried chillies. Serve with beer while watching the world cup matches.

  6. saint-seiya said,

    Have a thorough clean-up of the tank. Remove all sand and stones and dry them under the sun to kill off any remaining germs.

    Meanwhile, add some chemicals to the water to treat any remaining germs in the remaining fish.

    Never feed them with live feed as it is the main source of contamination.

    That will cost you SGD 100 for consultation.

  7. Ricket said,

    I was just blogging about my renovated tank too. I thought I have many tetras, but you have more… sorry “had” more.

    I never encounter such parasites before, but I would separate the fishes, dry the tank for a week or so, wash it clean then fill it with water again.

  8. Zara's Mama said,

    you make the fish death sounds soooo gory! *BLECH*

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