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Old 01-26-2008, 08:42 PM   #1
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New member with a desperate story (please help!)

Hi

I am a new member (from Melbourne Australia) and I have come here upset and desperate for help. I wish I could say something else, but I have had nothing but hurtful and terrible experiences with my tank and all the experts I've spoken to just shrug their shoulders and don;t know why I have these issues. I dearly would like a happy freshwater tank but the way I'm going, I should be reported to the authorities!! I'm now looking to the internet for guidance and help.

I have a 15G tank and had it for around 2 years. When I set it up I purchased new gravel, a new filter (Fluval 2Plus), proper fluro lighting as recommended by the aquarium, and a new heater. I spent the money and got the good stuff (or so I was told). Then I cycled the tank. Those fish lasted 8-10 weeks from what I can remember.

Since then, nothing survives in my tank for more than 3-4 weeks. It actually has been getting worse... Fish used to last 4 weeks. Now they don't last 48 hours.

I have tried different types of fish from tetras to platys to chicilids to the honey gourami (no, not all these at once). It wouldn't matter what I put in there, they never last long. I ask for "hardy fish" but it does not make a difference. They all die and it does not take long. I make sure that I get placid fish. They never look sick.. they never look like the have nipped fins, so I don't beleive that there is much agression. I am very careful to stick to basic community breeds or a tank full of the same breed.

Around 5 months ago, I put 5 Rasbora trilineata in the tank, along with some neons and glowlights. The neons and glowlights died over that week and were gone in 7 days, but the 4 others lasted almost 2 months. However some of them got a condition that no one could explain and I can find no reference to on the internet. Their spines collapsed. So it looked like they had downward "bend" in their bodies. Only one of them didn't get this condition. He (amazingly) is still alive today. I've called him Bill.

Plants are no better. I am told anabuis (or a name like that) is "impossible to kill" - well, guess what?! it lasts a max 4 weeks in my tank. At the end of 4 weeks, it is dead. So are swords. I use the best fertiliser... I use no fertiliser. It makes no difference. I've stopped buying plants now. I've replaced the fluro bulb three times in 2 years.

I test the water regularily (twice to three times a week). I test for PH levels, Nitrite, Nitrate, Ammonia, etc. I don't test for hardness as we have very soft water in Australia. On every occasion the test results are stable and good. I've also paid to have my water tested at 3 seperate aquariums at various times. They all agree that there "should be nothing wrong" based on the test results.

Bill has been by himself for a while. Evey 8-9 weeks or so, I try to get him some friends and hope things go better than last time. It breaks my heart to see him in there all alone. Last time, and this would have been 10 weeks ago, I bought 5 glowlights. They were all dead within 7 days.

I introduced them quite quickly into the tank (i.e. in less than an hour) so I thought that maybe I introduced them too quickly. So yesterday I bought 4 more. That would have been 2pm-ish. I took special care to ensure that they were introduced carefully.

They were all dead by 11pm. Bill is still there. He looks very happy.

Every aquarium expert seems to think I am doing everything right. My husband suspects the filter. I'd agree, but from what I have read that filter is pretty good. How can that filter be responsible for tank after tank after tank of dead fish?!?!?!?!

This situation has been going on for almost two years. If Bill was agressive, then why did I have these problems before Bill?

I was extremely upset last night (still am!) and spent the night in tears thinking it would just be best if I gave up and sold everything. I certainly can't keep ging like this.... It just makes me so upset.

Could it be the tank itself? That's the only thing that wasn't replaced between now and when I started trying to keep fish. Surely glass is just glass. But what else is left?

I am so sorry for my long-winded explanation, but it is a long long story....

Any help much appreciated.

marchmaxima
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Old 01-26-2008, 09:08 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marchmaxima View Post
Hi


I test the water regularily (twice to three times a week). I test for PH levels, Nitrite, Nitrate, Ammonia, etc. I don't test for hardness as we have very soft water in Australia. On every occasion the test results are stable and good. I've also paid to have my water tested at 3 seperate aquariums at various times. They all agree that there "should be nothing wrong" based on the test results.
do you de-chlorinate that water? what are your test result #'s?
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Old 01-26-2008, 09:26 PM   #3
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Welcome to AA! If anyone can help it is the members here. Glad you found us.

Agreed exact parameters would be helpful. Are you still using the fluval? How often do you do water changes and how much each time?
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Old 01-26-2008, 09:26 PM   #4
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I'm sorry to hear of all your troubles. The neons that had the bent spines may have had fish TB: http://www.aquarticles.com/articles/...er_FishTB.html

A google search on fish tuberculosis will yield more results. If this is what your fish had, then I would tear this tank down, bleach it, get new gravel, and start over. Get new filter media. Bleach the filter and other equipment you used on the tank too or get new (like a gravel vac). Does Bill show any signs of this disease?
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Old 01-26-2008, 10:28 PM   #5
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Q: do you de-chlorinate that water? what are your test result #'s?

A: Yes. And put in a little water softener.

Test Results as follows:

PH 6.8
Ammonia 0.0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 10


Q: Are you still using the fluval? How often do you do water changes and how much each time?

A: once a fortnight. I change one third at a time.

Q: Does Bill show any signs of this disease?
A: No. He was the only one that never did. He's quite happy and healthy.

"If this is what your fish had, then I would tear this tank down, bleach it, get new gravel, and start over."

Might have... I tore down the tank once cleaned everything and started again. However I don't think I bleached the gravel.. And this was before the potential TB thing.
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Old 01-26-2008, 10:30 PM   #6
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Oh and yes, I'm still using the Fluval.
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Old 01-26-2008, 10:38 PM   #7
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"Fish TB are usually wasting, lesions on the body, skeletal deformities (a few of mine developed curved spines), and loss of scales and coloration."

I guess after reading this I can't rule it out. The 4 fish I got with Bill (same type) got the skeletal deformities, but had no other symptoms. As I said, nothing lasts long and everything dies.

But the issue of the fish ust dying was occurring long before I got Bill and his mates.
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Old 01-26-2008, 10:48 PM   #8
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I don't know what softner you are using but IME you don't need to add anything to the water beside dechlorinator. It is possible that the softner you are using is causing some parameter swings, causing illness in your fish. For example, if you try and alter your ph to be "perfect" ph, the swings can cause fish to become sick and die even. What brand of softner are you using?

I would up your water changes to once per week as opposed to once every two weeks.

I assume not all the fish were purchased from the same store?
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Old 01-26-2008, 10:52 PM   #9
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The brand of softener is "Showmaster Water Conditioner" - I was told by a guy who owned the aquarium near me that I needed it. He said that not using it might have caused the issues, so I started using just a bit when changing water.
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Old 01-26-2008, 10:54 PM   #10
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"For example, if you try and alter your ph to be "perfect" ph, the swings can cause fish to become sick and die even"

Yeah I know that... The PH stays pretty stable. It's pretty rare I need to add anyting to bring it down, and on the odd times I do need to add PH down, I do it in stages as I know dramatic PH changes can be harmful
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