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Old 03-25-2008, 07:26 PM   #1
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Advice on when to euthanize?

Details below, but I don't think there is much hope. I think it's time to euthanize the remaining fish. He's barely moving and often upside down. (In addition to the red sores detailed below.) Treating for a bacterial infection, but I don't think it will take effect fast enough.

Any advice on making the decision?

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.).
Electric yellow african cichlid
Red sores, sitting at bottom of tank (sometimes upside down)
other cichlid found dead today (showed minimal flaking yesterday)
2~What are your tank parameters (ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, temp, pH)? Please give exact values.
Ammonia - 0
Nitrites - 0
Nitrate - 5.0
pH 6.0 (added proper pH 8.2)
temp - 78
3~ How large is the tank? How long has the tank been set up?
37 gallons; 2+ years
4~What type of filtration are you using? Please give the name and number (i.e. Fluval 304) and amount of gph if known.
Eclipse tank, standard filtration
5~How many fish are in the tank? What kinds of fish are they and what are their current sizes?
2 african cichlids, about 4 inches each
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?
Last done yesterday. 25% water change every 6 - 8 weeks (very few fish in tank)
7~How long have you had the fish? If the fish is new, how did you acclimate it/them?
3 years
8~Have you added anything new to the tank--decor, new dechlorinator, new substrate, etc.?
Treating with Melafix for two days, looks much worse today
9~What kind of food have you been feeding your fish, have you changed their diet recently?
BioBlend tropical fish food (no change)
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:59 PM   #2
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It is hard to advise on whether to euthanize when you aren't able to be there to see the fish. It is a decision that is personal to each owner. It doesn't sound good from your description.

I have a question about your ph. Are you adjusting it? Swings in ph can cause illness in fish.
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:06 PM   #3
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Thanks for the advice. I'm watching him, and almost make the decision to do it, but then he goes swimming around the tank. (Not quite normal, but fighting hard.)

I know this is my fault. I hadn't kept a close watch on the parmeters because it was so lowly stocked. (8 inches of fish in 37 gallons). I am trying now to raise the pH, along with treating the bacterial infection. (Which may or may not be a good idea.)
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:10 PM   #4
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Do not adjust the ph. Steady ph is better, adjusting the ph will cause the fish to be stressed.
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Old 03-26-2008, 02:24 AM   #5
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When did you use the proper ph 8.2? Before or after the one fish died and the others showed signs of illness or stress?

Raising the ph too quickly can seriously stress, burn and/or kill fish.

PROPER pH 8.2 warns to never use without first adding an African Cichlid salt mix to ensure the correct ph. I would also use a buffer with the salts.

We had that happen to us when using PROPER pH 8.2. We skyrocketed the ph and lost a fish before we knew what had happened. Before it died it showed the same signs you described.

Have you checked the ph since you added the proper ph? I would also suggest a 50% water change and contiue medicating.
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Old 03-26-2008, 11:39 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the info. Unfortunately it was too little too late. He didn't make it through the night.

I did add a half dose of the proper pH after I noticed the signs of sickness and realized the pH was so low. I wasn't sure at the time if it would help or not, so went with a low dose to do so slowly.

Guess that will teach me to keep a closer eye on the paremeters. The only stress I can think of would be the pH. Everything else looked fine.

I think I'm going to start over again. I have one baby that I managed to rescue from my pair that is in another small tank. I'm sure he will enjoy the larger tank and adding tankmates. (He's around six months and still way too small to survive with Dad around.)

I had wanted to change the decor anyway. Can I still use the same biowheel filter, or should I replace that as well? Any advice on cleaning the diseased tank? Should I finish the treatment first on an empty tank?
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