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Old 04-10-2008, 02:21 AM   #1
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Slowly dying fish

My fish are dieing at a rate of about one every week.

I have:

- 60 gallon freshwater
- About 40 inches of fish that are a mix of gouramis, mollys, guppies, roseline sharks, siamese suckers, angelfish and a couple others.
- ph of 7.4
- nitrate 10
- nitrite 0
- ammonia 0 to .75 ppm (my tests read 0 but the fish store test showed about .75 ppm, which is weird because they use the same liquid test kit I have and I've triple checked my test)
- I have been changing the water whenever the nitrate gets up to 30 ppm.

The last 2 fish to die were the oldest residents of my 5 month old tank, both red-eyed tetras. They both lost scales in a big patch and had cotton-like growths. None of the previous victims had these growths or lost scales, they just looked emaciated one day and dead the next. The tetras lived for about a week with the growth.

I suspect I might be over-feeding them. I don't really know how much to give them, and if the fish store is correct, the ammonia is too high, right?

Another suspicion I have is that there's a virus or bacteria. I bought the tank used from a guy who let it sit for a long time with water and fish in it without doing anything to it. Even the filters were broken. You could barely see through the water. I thoroughly cleaned it and gave it new water obviously, but I reused the rock and gravel he had. Maybe something nasty spawned and is still there?

Thanks in advance for your help,

Jon
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Old 04-10-2008, 10:00 AM   #2
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I can't say for sure, but if you suspect you're overfeeding then you probably are. Uneaten food or excess mulm (fishpoop) can cause your ammonia to spike. No ammonia is wanted, it should be 0.00. Even .1 is too high, though not necessarily toxic, you don't want any.

Nitrates, in planted tanks are supposed to be kept around 10-20ppm (I think) so 30 might be a little high.

I doubt you're overstocked since you only have 40" in 60", well below the general 1 inch/gal rule. None of your fish seem to be waste factories either, like goldfish or discus can be, so your bioload seems acceptable.

THe white fuzzy stuff is a fungus I beleive, as far as your other fish, I really can't say: possibly ammonia. Definitely cut back on feeding in increase your PWCs, I HIGHLY doubt doing those two things can cause any harm and will only help.

You are dechlorinating your water and have your temp around 75-80 right?
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Old 04-10-2008, 10:40 AM   #3
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Did the emaciated fish have white stringy poo. you could have a parasite as well. For the fungus you might try a melafix and pimafix treatmeant. It always helps to do extra PWC and gravel vacs.
As far as how much to feed your fish you should only feed as much as they will eat in one to two minutes, some people feed once a day and some people fed two to three times a day it just depends on you fish. I feed twice a day but smaller amounts.
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Old 04-12-2008, 04:03 PM   #4
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maybe the sucker fish was eating the slime coat off the fish? Ive heard of some doing that but have never seen it.
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Old 04-12-2008, 04:39 PM   #5
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Overfeeding is most likely happening. You may have added to many fish to fast. That's not a big fish load but may be a bit much for such a new tank, especially a fish only tank.

I'd do PWC before the nitrates get that high.

Inches per gallon is deceiving, an angelfish isn't that long but has a larger body, not strreamline so it requires more volume of water than a tetra. Think of a 6 inch oscar vs 3 two inch zeba danio.
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Old 04-12-2008, 11:25 PM   #6
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I would make sure you do water changes every week. As a precaution, try feeding some Jungle's antiparsite food. You may have to crush it a bit for the smaller fish.
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