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Old 10-02-2011, 04:01 PM   #1
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Newbie looking for help -- sick tiger barb, new tank

Hello everyone, I am new to this site and I have a few questions that hopefully can be answered here..

First off, I have a 29 gallon freshwater tank that is about 8 weeks old that I think may be cycled, but not totally sure. I do 20-30% water changes every 1-3 days and have been since I got my tank. My current water conditions are as follows:

Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
PH approx 8.0-8.2 (hard to distinguish the right color on the chart)
Nitrate between 0 and .5
Water temp 78-80 degrees

Fish in the tank during cycling:
2 tiger barbs
1 gold barb
1 zebra danio
1 clown loach
1 albino cory

A couple weeks ago I had my nitirite spike up pretty good, the color of it was purple and the reading was at 2.0 or so. I then did a 50% water change every day to lower it, which I did, but I lost the cory and clown loach 2 days after and Im assuming it was from nitrite poisoning? Its been about a week now and my water levels all seem to be really good. No ammonia or nitrite has been present for the time being. My water parameters have been steady at what I posted above so Im thinking my tank is close to being cycled, but I dont know if it will start over since the number of fish has dropped in the tank?

My current problem I have is involving one of my tiger barbs. For the last few days he has not been eating and is sitting at a 45 degree angle, just sitting behind one of my plants, not doing much. Before he was always swimming around and he seemed to be the dominant fish in the tank, chasing the others around, especially the other tiger barb. He is the bigger of the two. Now, he does nothing and I have no idea what it could be. I would like to add a few more albino corys to the tank since I really like them but am wondering what steps I shoudl take now before adding more fish. My water seems to be good but the tigers behavior is making me worry it could be something else in the water. The gold barb, danio, and other tiger barb are acting energetic and eating fine, like nothing is bothering them. Any idea what I should do about my fish acting strange? There are no visible signs of fins being ripped, white spots, or anything like that. He seems like he has lost a little bit of color, but maybe thats from stress or something?

Sorry for the long post, I am new to all of this and want to see if I can get some answers and try to help this fish if he is indeed sick. I want to add the other fish soon but want to make sure I am taking all the right precautions before I do so.

Thanks in advance for the help!
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Old 10-08-2011, 02:07 AM   #2
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After 8 weeks, I would say your tank is cycled. Losing fish is not going to make it start over, or mess up your readings. The only thing that would, is adding a bunch of fish at once.
As for the sick fish, he is swimming funny? Does it look like he is trying to stay straight but can't? If so, you can try feeding boiled, shelled peas (I used frozen), which are a laxative for fish. (It is fine if the other ones eat them too).
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Old 10-08-2011, 11:19 AM   #3
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I'd say your cycled now too. Just test the water daily for a week or two to be sure. You can cut down water changes to 1-2x per week as long as nitrite and ammonia stay at 0.

Cycling is hard on fish. It could be that this one has nitrite poisoning and/or a weakened system from cycling in general.

Since there are no visible symptoms I'd wait and watch. If he was weakened from cycling hopefully he'll recover now that the parameters are more stable. How often/much do you feed? You could try fasting the fish for a day or two and then do as Dkpate suggests and feed a thawed, de-shelled frozen pea.

Also you may want to fill out the schools some; I think tiger barbs need a bigger school, so do the danios and corys and possibly loaches (if your tank size can accommodate them). Schooling fish can be stressed when there aren't enough of them in the tank.
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Old 10-09-2011, 04:35 PM   #4
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Thanks for the help guys, however, I think my Tiger may have fin rot but not sure. The edges of his fin seem a little frayed and he has lost a little weight. I feel so sorry for this fish but I dont know what to do, as I fear it may be too late. I have put him in a quarantine and I will see how he does with some salt treatment I guess.

My next question is this..I have only a Danio, Gold Barb, and one small Tiger left in the tank. Since you all have alot more experience with this, I want to know what kind of fish and how much should I add? I want to get a few albino corys at least and maybe some others. What would be a good number of fish to add right now? My water parameters are all looking good, except for maybe PH which is around 8-8.2 still. If I add 3 corys and maybe a couple more tigers and/or danios would that be safe?
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Old 10-09-2011, 04:42 PM   #5
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I would add 3 more cories, then wait a week & add a couple danios, then wait a week and add a couple tigers. I would not suggest getting another clown loach, they get pretty big and will eventually outgrow a 29 gallon.
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Old 10-10-2011, 09:32 AM   #6
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Ditto to nofishing but do not add any more until all the fish seem healthy for at least a week.
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Old 10-10-2011, 01:52 PM   #7
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+1 to NoFishing. Your PH is fine where it is as long as it remains stable. Fish can adapt to most PH's, it's fluctuations they don't like, so trying to mess with it can just cause more problems.

Fin rot is usually a sign of bad water quality (probably the toxins due to cycling). Clean water can help repair them, salt can work too I think. You QT the fish with the fin rot -- I'd do regular water changes (since there's salt in there it might be tough b/c you'll be constantly adding/removing salt), at least every couple of days. If the water gets dirty from not being changed and toxins spike again the fish isn't going to heal.

I'm not sure if the fin rot can cause weight loss though? Is he being bullied by another fish? He may also be stressed from being the only Tiger in the tank, possibly.
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