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Old 09-15-2018, 07:37 PM   #1
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Fish are dying every 2-3 days

Hi,

I've been reading this site for a few months now but never as a user. I've decided to join.

I'm hoping you can help me with a current issue with the my fish tank.

Around 4 weeks ago, we lost our first fish, a Molly. This fish has been unwell for a couple of days, being very lethargic and sitting at the bottom of the tank. I did some research and i segrigated the Molly (i don't have room for a hospital tank) and treated the tank for Swim Bladder. A few hours later, the fish died.

A couple of days later (and prehapse this is where i went wrong). I went to purchase some new fish to stock the tank up and introduce some new fish.

I purchased over the course of two days.

1. 2x Dwaf Gourami (8cmish)
2. 2x Dwaf Gourami (4cmish)
3. 3x Platty
4. 1x Guppy
5. 4x Cardinal Tetra

----------------
Already in the tank

1. 5x Guppy
2. 2x Platty
3. 6x Cherry Barb
4. 4x Cardinal Tetra
5. 3x Ghost Shrimp
-----------------

Why did i get so many fish? Because we'd had a very very good run with the tank over 6 months from setting it up. No issues with water quality at all and we had a good water change/cleaning routine. The filter on the tank is also very good.

----------

A couple of days after adding the new fish to the tank, we had an outbreak of whitespot. The first i've seen of it. Alomost immediatly after noticing we went down to the local pet store and got some White Spot & Paracite treatment. I also purchased some Frozen Garlic Shrimp for them to eat.

Over a week or so, the white spot cleared, and not a single fish was lost.

Then one morning, the largest of the Gourami died. Looking back, it has VERY similar symptons to the initial Molly we lost, but as this was a new fishbread in the tank, i thought it was just normal behaviour. I treated for swim bladder again.

A couple of days later, the other Gourami died.

Since then, every couple of days, we've been losing a fish. We put it down to a bad batch of fish from the store, as ALL of the fish we'd been loosing were from the newest batch. Until a couple of days ago when one of the original Guppied died. This evening, another one of the original guppies has died.

I'm not sure where to go from here. We've tried a lot of things but outside of doing a full flush and re-start of the system. I don't know what do do.

Below is a few things to note before i answer the mandatory questions.

-------
I've changed the water a few times since this has happened. Normally around 50%. When i complete a water change, i wash and clean one of the media from my filter then treat this media with 'Filter Active'. I also add Tap Water treatment, 'Easy Balance' & 2x Aqua Balls.

A few (2?) weeks prior to the intial molly dying, we changed the gravel over to have slighlty larger (and a different colour) of stone. I left it 2 weeks until the first water change after we did this to let the bacteria build up.

One of my guppies, around half way though the incident has a small tear in his tale. I'm templted (and due) to treat for finrot and fungal tomorrow.

[EDIT]One of the Cherry Barbs grew an ulser on its face around half way through the issue. This was treated with stress coat and is now gone.[/EDIT]

My shrimp have shreaded, hidden away and since come back out, all while his was going on.

We saw one fish attack the first Gourami before it died. The fish that did the attaching has since died.

We have a few Alge (Brown and Green) spots around the tank. I've just been cleaning this off with a scrape for now as i don't want to add treatment in for that. (Tank is not in direct sunlight).

I have not treated the tank with copper/salts. Copper will kill of my shrimp as i've been told.

Unless anyone suggests anything otherwise, my plan tomorrow is to treat the tank for fin rot and fungal with a 25% water change.

---------

1~What type of fish is afflicted? In addition, please describe what is wrong with the fish to the best of your ability (i.e. cotton like growth, bloated, etc.).
1. 2x Dwaf Gourami (8cmish)
2. 1x Dwaf Gourami (4cmish)
3. 2x Platty
4. 2x Guppy

Being very lethargic and sitting at the bottom of the tank. See story for more details.

2~What are your tank parameters (ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, temp, pH)? Please give exact values.

TANK
These are tanken with test strips.
Amonia - <0.02 ppm
NO3 (mg/l) - 15
NO2 - 0
GH - 8od
KH - 20od (max read)
PH - 8.0
CL2 (mg/l) - 0

Note - KH has always been high. We have very hard water where we are. As the previous fish have been fine we've not wanted to do anything different (such as adding RO water)
Note - PH is high this week. Not sure what the cause is, i'm also not sure how to lower it.
Note - This tank is always filled with fresh tap water. These details are below.

Tap Water
NO3 (mg/l) - Trace
NO2 - Trace
GH - 8od
KH - 20od (max read)
PH - 7.4
CL2 (mg/l) - 0


3~ How large is the tank? How long has the tank been set up?
60L the tank has been set up for around 8 months now.

4~What type of filtration are you using? Please give the name and number (i.e. Fluval 304) and amount of gph if known.
I'm not sure here.
The filter is all built into the hood. A long pipe drops into the back quart of the tank about half way down. Water pumps into the hood and goes though.
Media > Ceramic > Media > Back into tank.
I have a large airstone in the middle. Its a Hugo Kamishi tank.

5~How many fish are in the tank? What kinds of fish are they and what are their current sizes?
Please see list above. Specific sizes are listed.

6~When is the last time you did a water change and vacuum the gravel? How often do you do this? How much water do you remove at a time?
We are now approacing the 2nd week but i plan to change tomorrow. T

his is not normally as i normally change 50%ish every week/week and a half along with a grave clean via suction. I found out today, i should really be doing 25% weekly?

7~How long have you had the fish? If the fish is new, how did you acclimate it/them?
The intial set of fish, i've had for around 4-8 months now.
The newest set of fish are 4 weeks max in the tank.
I've never got the hang of acclimating them. I normally sit the tank in for 5 minutes and then add them to the water. I've never been able to get the hang of mixing the water to the fish with the tank.
I also never normally treat the water when adding new fish. Lessons learned.

8~Have you added anything new to the tank--decor, new dechlorinator, new substrate, etc.?
Aside from the treatment, No.
As stated in the story, we did a gravel change a few weeks prior but everything went well.

9~What kind of food have you been feeding your fish, have you changed their diet recently?
Normally flakes (A little more ground up than they come)
They've had a few rounds of Frozen Garlic Shrimp since the issues started as the buy at the pet store said it's good if White Spot treatment and stress.
I de-frost the frozen food in water before adding into the tank.

-----------
P.S sorry for the huge message. I wanted to give as much info as possible. Were at our whits end here.
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Old 09-16-2018, 05:05 AM   #2
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Perhaps when changing gravel out you lost the balance of the beneficial bacteria and had a big "mini" cycle without knowing. Then gettin new fish further over taxed the BB in the system and had a bigger spike likely due to feeding and the additional fish. Stress of the parameters likely being out of line, and probably too many fish in the tank, will cause borderline well fish to become ill. Gourami will usually fight with eachother especially noticeable territory problems when males. AND fish get additionally irritated when the Nitrites or Nitrate are too high.

There should be -0- Nitrites.

Do a couple pwc 30-50% and check parameters again. If still any nitrIte do another.

Observe fish and see how it goes and if any look better. If not it is also possible there are illnesses from the new fish not being in a QT exacerbated from the mini cycle/spikes in water issues.
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Old 09-16-2018, 10:22 AM   #3
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If you've been following the forums, you should have noticed that buying dwarf Gouramis seems to be an invitation to illness and death. IMO, best not to stock them.
If you changed out your substrate in an up and running established tank, it might not only have disrupted your BB bed as noted above, but can also unleash populations of lethal
Bacteria or Parasites into the water column.
As for the use of meds. Certainly use meds for Ick. The treatment of Fin Rot really only requires very clean water and good nutrition. Medication never improves water quality, and usually adversely affects the BB, plants and inverts.
It sounds like you are on top of all things aquatic reference your tank. Things will likely level out soon.
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Old 09-16-2018, 06:22 PM   #4
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Thanks Autumnsky & V227.

Following both of your advice and i will leave the tank alone from a treatment aspect to allow for the BB to build up again.

Today i have completed a 35% water change with a light gravel clean. I do have a couple of things to note from that water change that are a little stanger than normal.

----
When siphoning the water out into a bucket. The water created more bubbles than normal. It wasn't a lot but certainly more than i would expect from a fish tank. A quick google saya this might be because of Alge?

As normal i went to clean one of the media in my filter system. It was almost clean which raised an instant red flag to me. This specifc media is the one that normally catches the chunks of 'dirt'. I checked the other one, same thing, it looked faily clean.
This lead me to check the water pump that draws into my filter system (i've never done this since i got the tank). It was gross with slime and dirt. Potentially mold.
Is this likely to be one of the main issues with the tank?
I've since cleaned it down fully the best i can, and will clean this with every water change from now on.
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Old 09-16-2018, 07:07 PM   #5
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It sounds like you have a subpar filtration system. If possible to install, might think about getting a Fluval Aqua Clear 30 to add to the existing filtration.
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Old 09-16-2018, 07:14 PM   #6
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Not sure if you know, but, when cleaning the filter or media, you do know you are to clean it in old tank water dont you? And as for thawing the food, you use some of the tanks water to do so, not the tap water.
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Old 09-16-2018, 07:46 PM   #7
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The excess bubbles are from protein build up from waste, fish and food. So pwc and another pwc probably would be in order.

Yes, not pumping strongly means that there was MUCH less contact with BB and therefore MUCH LESS processing and so more bad stuff.

Good that you checked. Mucky gunk does need to be cleaned maybe one to 2 times per month, you will notice by how dirty it is when checking each week and learn that either the every 2 weeks or once per month will suffice (or weekly if it gets that bad which I doubt needed weekly), and a better filter might be in order as mentioned.
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Old 09-16-2018, 07:55 PM   #8
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Oh, additionally, intended to mention that with nice treated fresh water, (a properly pumping filter) This may clear up on its own.

The leaving it alone is just initially to make sure if the fresh clean water plan is helping.

If fish continue to look ill, have sores which continue to worsen or develop more and they die, then meds would likely be needed.

Not long ago I had fish with a couple spots on them didn't look good and upon adding what was missing from their water (in my case calcium for buffer), the next day the fish were in good looking condition like nothing had happened / the stress was reduced and the fish was able to recover. In your case it would be getting the water parameters in order which would help reduce the fishes stress.

Just wanted to clarify not to ignore any disease type indications once the water parameters are good again.
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Old 09-16-2018, 07:58 PM   #9
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Thanks all once again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Autumnsky View Post
The excess bubbles are from protein build up from waste, fish and food. So pwc and another pwc probably would be in order.
Pretty much what i was thinking. I'll do one in 3 days, and then in three days again before returning to my normal clean cycle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Autumnsky View Post
Yes, not pumping strongly means that there was MUCH less contact with BB and therefore MUCH LESS processing and so more bad stuff.

Good that you checked. Mucky gunk does need to be cleaned maybe one to 2 times per month, you will notice by how dirty it is when checking each week and learn that either the every 2 weeks or once per month will suffice (or weekly if it gets that bad which I doubt needed weekly), and a better filter might be in order as mentioned.
Quote:
Originally Posted by V227 View Post
It sounds like you have a subpar filtration system. If possible to install, might think about getting a Fluval Aqua Clear 30 to add to the existing filtration.
I've thought about the filtration before but i'm conviced the current one should be good enough to handle the tank. The only additional next step i would tank would be to play around with a UV filter.

I think, down to my own negligence, the filter just wasn't properly maintained. I might see how things go for a couple of months before re-thinking. If you have any reason why this might be wrong, please feel free to let me know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mishyc View Post
Not sure if you know, but, when cleaning the filter or media, you do know you are to clean it in old tank water don’t you? And as for thawing the food, you use some of the tanks water to do so, not the tap water.
I normally clean the media with normal tap water (Hot and Cold) as i always do this when i'm doing a water change, meaning that tapwater will be treated. I then add 'Filter Active' into the media before placing it back into the tank.

With the frozen food, this is also a very good point that i hadn't considered. I will ensure i do this from now on. (it's only really ever been 30-50ml of tap water for a defrost)
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Old 09-16-2018, 08:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autumnsky View Post
Oh, additionally, intended to mention that with nice treated fresh water, (a properly pumping filter) This may clear up on its own.

The leaving it alone is just initially to make sure if the fresh clean water plan is helping.

If fish continue to look ill, have sores which continue to worsen or develop more and they die, then meds would likely be needed.

Not long ago I had fish with a couple spots on them didn't look good and upon adding what was missing from their water (in my case calcium for buffer), the next day the fish were in good looking condition like nothing had happened / the stress was reduced and the fish was able to recover. In your case it would be getting the water parameters in order which would help reduce the fishes stress.

Just wanted to clarify not to ignore any disease type indications once the water parameters are good again.
Couldn't agree more with this. After the first couple of weeks of treating the tank, i tried the, 'do nothing' method but the fish continued to get i'll which is why i tried another cycle of meds.

I will use your advice and keep a close eye on nitrates and try to get my PH lower as i'd like it down a few points as 8.0 is a little high for my liking.

I have some more test strips so i will be checking the water every other day. I also have an in water monitor for Amonia so i can track spikes. I will get a full test kit at some point soon.
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