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Old 04-10-2009, 01:50 PM   #1
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Help! -- Fish Are Dying!, Something from newly introduced fish? Temperature?

Here's the scenario:

Had the following stock in my 38 G aquarium:

10 platties
6 rummy nose tetras
3 pearl gouramis
2 bolivian rams
1 kribensis cichlid
1 rainbow shark

Everything was going well; they'd lived peacefully together for months. Tank had been cycled using media from another well established 2yo tank. On one occasion when I introduced I the Bolivians/Gouramis/Rummys there was an ick outbreak; I treated it with temperature (29-31C for a week) and it eradicated the parasites. All of the fish survived and were healthy for at least 2 months after until this happened:

I added 6 ghost shrimp, 5 ottos, and 3 more rummy nose tetras, ~2wks ago...

I was pretty foolish in doing so because the tank with the rummys had only those 3 left and there was a dead one floating at the back... I know this is far from ideal conditions to be buying fish, but I was fairly desperate and didn't have many other opportunities to get to the LFS, so I reluctantly bought them.

A few days later I noticed that one of my platties had what looked like finrot; it's tail had sort of opaque blotches on it and I wasn't sure how to treat it. It wasn't really shredded. It just sort of looked a bit cloudy (the caudal fin). The next day I noticed some ich on 2 of the rummys. I wasn't sure how to treat the former, but had good results with the temperature ich method. Thus, after 2 days of BIG like 40% water changes I raised the temp slowly to 29C (stops ich reproduction) and then a few days after to 31 (kills ich). Kept it for about a week like that and now bringing it back down to normal (25C). In this time frame though, MANY MANY fish have died. And not from ich (had no symptoms of it). Many just started having what looked like bladder problems, i.e. swimming kind of strangely and floating out of control, or just a lot of resting on the bottom and dying.

The ich went away, but I've lost a platy (found dead on the gravel), have 2 more of them sitting on the bottom or acting strange at the top of the tank, had THREE ottos die (not so surprised as they're not the hardiest fish out there), had FIVE rummys die, and finally and most crushing of all, my rainbow shark, once such an amazingly hardy fish and 2.5 years old (!!!!) has started floating upside down in his cave.

What is going on!!? Is it the temperature, or the ich, or this disease the platies got upon addition of new fish? What should I do?
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Old 04-10-2009, 01:55 PM   #2
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Other info:

I started using a differen't dechlorinator/conditioner for the water not too long before this all happened. In fact about a day or two before adding hte new fish. It's a different brand (Big Al's) to what I normally used and I'd had it in my drawer at room temperature for about 6 months before using this. Could this be defective/these be symptoms of chlorine exposure?

Also the fish aren't gasping at the surface so I don't thinkt he high temperature is causing them to have an O2 shortage.
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Old 04-10-2009, 04:16 PM   #3
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When treating ick with the heat method you need to treat for 2 weeks after you see the last spot.
Treat the whole tank so both the tank and fish are good when you are through.
Here are some articles for you.

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...ck-/Page1.html
Using Heat to Treat Ich in Freshwater Tropical Fish - Article at The Age of Aquariums - Tropical Fish

Increase aeration/agitation of the water to help with O2 levels when heat goes up.
Increase water temp to or above 87'F by raising the temp 2'F/1'C every 2-4 hours or so.
Evenly maintain heat in the tank by testing water temp in various places and levels in the tank.
I thinks this is a very important part of the heat method.
If one part of the tank is 87'F and another is 85'F the effect of the treatment may be in doubt.
Use a second heater in the tank if necessary to maintain an even temp throughout.

You may have other issues besides ick in the tank. Test your tank water to rule out a water issue just in case. When you raised the tank temp did you do anything to increase o2 in the water? Did you add any meds to the tank that may have give you a mini cycle?
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Old 04-11-2009, 02:46 PM   #4
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I've read that ich article -- it says 10 days is sufficient. The fish aren't gasping so I don't think there is an O2 shortage and either way there is good water disturbance from my HOB filter. The heat is even (I have 2 thermometers).

I think this isn't just ich. Another platy died today (found on bottom; had no white spots on it). The cloudy/opaque caudal fin on a platy was the first symptom before the ich outbreak in the rummy noses. I also just got a good look at my rainbowshark with a flashlight. It's very pale and most noticeably it's head has little pinhead sized perferations on it that are kind of a dull grey with a red bloody colour at their core; if I look into it's gill they are quite red (perhaps they are always like this without me noticing). One more of the platies has a similar head; it looks like it's shedding it's skin or something; it's also missing an upper lip or something.

Any ideas what these are symptoms of?
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:20 PM   #5
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Here are pics of my rainbow shark and platy. I think it might be columnaris bacteria, but I'm not certain. Notice also that the platy's upper lip seems as if it's almost missing or something. Is this diagnosis correct?
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:27 PM   #6
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before adding any new fish from here on out.. just buy a 30 dollar 5.5 gallon aquarium to use as a qt... that will help avoid this in the future.. as far as what your shark has.. i honest couldnt tell you
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:32 PM   #7
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The sad thing is I have a 10g tank i could've used and didn't
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:46 PM   #8
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patience is the key to the hobby... if you dont have it.. it sets up disaster.. ive seen it happen for years.. good luck though on your diagnostics... I hope you dont lose anymore =(
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:52 PM   #9
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Thanks. I am usually VERY patient. the thing is I've never had anything of this magnitude really happen before. The 10G tank isn't technically a quarantine tank, but rather an old tank I have running to house some livebearers my friend donated to me that I didn't really want in my main community tank. So in future I will certainly always use it to quarantine new fish. I guess I learned my lesson here, but the problem I have is I still don't know what is wrong with my main fish tank nor how to treat them! In all of my research I can't figure out what is up with my rainbow shark/platy's heads -- it doesn't quite match the descriptions I'm finding for diseases like columnaris.
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:59 PM   #10
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are they running into any ornaments.. or fighting with other fish any? my rainbow shark would run things off.. and in the process.. beat his skin appart in the process... possibly thats the cause?
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