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Old 09-04-2007, 10:56 PM   #1
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Very sick tetra

I have had my tank set up for a year and a half now. Currently in the tank are

3 gold barbs (1 1/2 inch each)
5 black longfin tetras (one is not doing well) About 2 1/2 inch
1 adult platy (1 1/4 inch)
2 half-grown platys (1/2 inch)
3 platy fry about a quarter inch, just out of the fry tank (1/4 inch)
1 near-adult molly (2 inch)
2 molly fry just out of the fry tank (1/2 inch)
1 otto

in a 29 gallon tank.

My Whisper 30 Filter died two days ago. The fish were without a filter for a day and a night, and I put in a new AquaClear 50 this morning. Unfortunately, I need a new master test kit and will get it tomorrow night, because I'm afraid the new filter will cause an ammonia spike.

I replaced about a third of the water on Saturday, then after the filter failed I vacuumed the gravel and did a 15% (or so) water change today. I am really upset that I don't have a test kit- I know how much I need one- but for now, I can only go by the behavior of the fish.

All of them seem to be holding up well- there has been no gasping at the surface or anything. They ate well this afternoon. But now one of my black longfin tetras is having trouble swimming. He is twitching, trying to swim, and floating on his side. I don't expect him to last the night. I don't have an extra tank handy to isolate him.

My thoughts are- I've had this fish for a year and a half, their lifespan is two years, maybe he is just too old to handle the rise in ammonia. I have been trying really hard to stay on top of the water changes but with the failed filter it must have put stress on the fish.

Tomorrow night I will post my water stats and see how they are. I will do another pwc if need be.

Should I do another pwc, or is that impossible to tell w/o a test kit?
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Old 09-04-2007, 11:21 PM   #2
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Doing an additional water change will not harm the fish. Make sure to dechlorinate your water. It may be old age, or a swim bladder issue. I have a very old molly who has just developed swimming issues. Hers is age for sure. She still eats but has a hard time swimming to the top.

Any bloating to the fish? Have you seen the fish poop? If not try feeding some frozen peas to ease or rule out constipation.
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Old 09-05-2007, 03:59 AM   #3
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He seems to be doing a little better, or maybe that's just wishful thinking. :-(

No bloating noted. Will try the pea thing tomorrow. I hope he pulls through.
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Old 09-05-2007, 12:43 PM   #4
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Did you move any/all of the filter media from the old filter to the new one? Not sure what the Whisper filters have for media...
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Old 09-05-2007, 01:01 PM   #5
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No, the media is incompatible. I just replaced the filter. My old filter was a Whisper 30. The new one is an AquClear 50. I'm told that is a much better filter, but no bacteria was saved from the old one. I guess i need to watch my stats very carefully...you don't think I'll cycle again, do you? Wait- should I put my old filter media just in the tank alone?

Good news- my black longfin tetra seems completely normal today. A miracle! I will have to keep an eye on him. I guess the water change helped.
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Old 09-05-2007, 10:32 PM   #6
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Keep an eye on the parameters, you could suffer a mini cycle. If the old filter media has dried out the bacteria will be gone so no use putting it in the tank.

Congrats on the tetra seeming better. Hope he keeps it up.
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