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Old 06-09-2015, 11:33 PM   #1
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Possibly sick Black Skirt Tetra (Plus Neon Tetra Question)

Hi everyone! This is my first thread on this site, and unfortunately, I may have a sick fish.
1~What type of fish is afflicted?
The sick fish is a medium sized Blackskirt Tetra. It is pale (though the others are not) and seems to have "balance" issues. It seems to be controlling it's movement less and more of just floating around. It's very subtle though.
2~What are your tank parameters?
Unfortunately I don't have those at the moment. I know that the temperature is 82 degrees. I'll be bringing in water for testing soon (I don't have a kit at the moment). If it helps, fish of the same species and size, as well as smaller fish, are doing okay in the same tank. I have black gravel substrate (not painted), two bamboo live plants, 1 silk plant, 2 plastic plants, and three NatGeo aquarium decorations from PetSmart.
3~ How large is the tank? How long has the tank been set up?
The tank is 20 gallons, and has been up for a couple months now.
4~What type of filtration are you using?
A TopFin "Power Filter 20".
5~How many fish are in the tank? What kinds of fish are they and what are their current sizes?
I currently have one Dwarf Gourami (2 in), 4 neon tetras (under 1 in), 1 cory catfish (inch and 1/2 maybe), and 4 Blackskirt Tetras (1 and 1/2 to 2 in)
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?
As soon as I noticed the ill looking tetra, I did a small water change. The level was low already due to some evaporation. Before the most recent one, it had probably been about 2 weeks since a change. I do not have a gravel vacuum yet, but I've been very careful not to overfeed, the cory cat keeps things clean, and the tank is still fairly new. I only do 20% water changes at the max, closer to 10% this time around. I normally do a cleaning/water change about every 2 weeks.
7~How long have you had the fish? If the fish is new, how did you acclimate it/them?
I've had 2 of the Blackskirts and the cory cat for about 6 months now, in a 10 gallon. When I upgraded, I added to the Blackskirt school. It is one of the new ones that is sickly now. I got them probably about a month and a half ago. It has been healthy up until now. I acclimated using the float method, and slowly adding the aquarium water to the bag water, then netting into the aquarium.
8~Have you added anything new to the tank?
Nope.
9~What kind of food have you been feeding your fish, have you changed their diet recently?
I've been feeding them TetraMin tropical flakes. I did recently get a new container of the food, but the only difference is larger flakes. Same company, same food.

And a quick question about the Neon Tetras in the tank....
Earlier this week, I got 4 new Neons (I had only one in the tank before). Last time I got them, it was with the Gourami, and I feel like I was most likely too eager, and the ammonia levels were too powerful for the little guys. Only one survived. I got him some friends, and they've all done well except for one. I noticed the day after introducing them, the smallest Neon had a white spot on the back of his head. It didn't look like a fungus of any sort, just like coloration. I didn't notice it when I bought the fish (although it could have possibly been there). It just looked like different colored flesh, no external illness. Two days after I noticed the spot, the fish died. Could it have been illness? Was it just getting picked on most? Would illness have jumped species, and could it be what's wrong with my blackskirt (although that fish doesn't have any white spots). What illness could it have been, and is it contagious? The other Neons are showing no signs of illness, and no white spot on their heads.

Thanks so much for helping me out!
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Old 06-11-2015, 11:32 AM   #2
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I hope bumping is okay in this forum, I just wanted to update and say he is still a little pale and slightly impaired acting. He's not getting picked on, but still acts a bit under the weather.
Update on the neon tetras, nobody else has gotten sick.
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Old 06-11-2015, 11:59 AM   #3
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Looks like you've done well with your first tank. A few things firat. Cory cats prefer schools of 6+. I'm Suprax your Cory isn't stressed. The neon have a pretty good school, but it is recommended to do
5+, all in all try and even out the schools without overstocking. Now about that fish. Could you get picks? Does he eat at feeding times? And is your tank cycled since you set it up?

On a side note, I would recommend getting an extra filter, as the more filtration you have! The less waste is in the tank.

Also, for water changes. A lot of people here on AA use the schedule of 40-50% water changes a week. I do 50 and my tank have never been cleaner.

Btw, Welcome to AA

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Old 06-11-2015, 12:54 PM   #4
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I got my cory cat when I was less experienced, I wanted a cleaner fish, and unfortunately the people at the pet store didn't care about schooling numbers.
However, my cory cat has been alone his entire life, and doesn't seem stressed. I'll see about getting him some friends, but I just want to explain why he doesn't have a school now, and how he's faring.
I'll see about getting pictures of the pale one in comparison to the others.
He does eat, although he doesn't get "in the action" as much as he used to. My tank was cycled with the bamboo and all other plants, but without any fish. I also have added fish fairly slowly and allowed the bacteria levels to adjust to the new nitrate levels.
I'll start changing the water more frequently. I have more time on my hands now, since my school just let out for the summer, so that shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 06-11-2015, 12:57 PM   #5
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Awesome. Make sure to check your stocking levels with aquarium advisor Web app

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Old 06-11-2015, 01:11 PM   #6
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Thanks for suggesting that site, I had never used it, but it works great!
I'll be getting a couple more neon tetras and some more corydoras soon, to even it out. I'll keep checking to make sure I'm not overstocked though.
I'll keep and eye on the sickly guy, and make sure nothing is spreading. Hopefully it's no big deal.
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Old 06-11-2015, 02:01 PM   #7
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If you feel he needs it, start up that 10 gallon and quarantine him, and try feeding him peas. Any other symptons, bloating, fin rot, white spotz?

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Old 06-11-2015, 03:05 PM   #8
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No other symptoms. He's less pale today but still a little lethargic.
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Old 06-11-2015, 04:01 PM   #9
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He might have had a little constipation and it finally passed. What type of food do you feed?

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Old 06-14-2015, 08:52 PM   #10
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Sorry for the late reply. I feel like he is back to normal now. He was very active this morning, about the same color as the others, and I think his balance is regulated.
I feed them TetraMin brand Tropical flakes. I plan on getting some of the frozen foods from Petsmart to add variety to their diet soon.
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