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Old 06-14-2011, 11:47 PM   #1
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I've made ALL the mistakes!

Okay, so I'm not NEW to the aquarium hobby, but I am returning after 35 or so years. I was last into it when I was a teenager..YOU do the math!

It seems that all of the rules have changed since I was last involved in this hobby. The only thing that hasn't changed is the feeling of joy and peace I get when I sit in front of a fish tank full of swimming fishies, all darting around and interacting with each other, and the feeling of sadness when things start falling apart....

as they have...

which is why I am here!

I made up the tank, left it for a couple of days, and then I stocked it with community fish. Mollies, Guppies, Platies, a glass cat, and the like. I lost a fish here and there, but I attributed that to the SHOCK of being moved from the pet store to my home. SOME of the fish were okay, so I was hoping that that meant my tank was okay.

I bought some test strips and they say the chemicals in my tank were perfect. I took the water in to be tested at the fish store (PetSmart) and they said my water was fine.

I still lost a fish here and there, and I would take the poor little body back into the fish store and they would give me a replacement fish.

Then I noticed my big male silver mollie was looking poorly, and it looked like he has ICH...and I remembered that from the olden days. Then, he didnt have ICH, the next time I looked at him. Then when I looked at him a few hours later he DID have ICH, again AND he had a big red sore on his side, down near his tail. He is the biggest, toughest fish in the tank, so I really don't think he was being bullied.

So I gathered him up in a big gallon sized baggie and took him to the PetSmart to be diagnosed. She said he had ICH AND Hemorrhagic septicemia! And she said he could survive the ICH for a little while, but I had to treat the other disease immediately..the whole tank. So she gave me T.C. Tetracycline and said to go through that course first, and THEN (because I have ghost shrimp) she gave me organic ICH ATTACK medicine, to treat the ICH after the other disease was cured.

So dutifully I parted with all of my hard earned dollars, and went home and dosed up my tank with this T.C. T.

What she failed to warn me was that is was going to turn my tank yellow, like a urine sample, and then orange, like a Halloween joke, and then RED, like [moderator edit]itself! Oh it was so disappointing. My beautiful tank looked so UGLY!

But Crusty (the newly named Silver Mollie) has survived! his sore has healed. Now I am treating with the ICH attack twice a day at twice the dose (because ALL of my fish had ICH by the time I was done treating with TCT, and that is what was recommended.

Two days ago I did a water change. Probably about 75%. I just couldn't look at that RED water any more. It didn't take all of the red out, but it helped. I set up charcoal filters after the water change, just in time to take them out again when I read on the ICH bottle that I had to remove all the charcoal filters....

Now the ICH medicine makes my water look brown, like Iced Tea.

I range back and forth from being discouraged because I'm having so many problems, and encouraged by the fact that the fish that HAVE survived seem to be continuing to survive. The ICH seems to be going away, gradually. My snails, my ghost shrimp and (oddly) my baby guppies are all surviving.

Anyhow, I will probably do another water change next weekend (because that is when I have time), but I will continue the ICH treatment until I have seen no spots for at least 5 days.
I really like guppies, and I have read on this website that the ones that I get from the chain pet stores are probably a bad strain. So, if I EVER get my tank in order, I might be asking for some help in locating some GOOD guppies. I especially like cobra guppies. Actually I am interested in ALL guppies.

Anyhow, there is where I am at. Treading water, wondering if I'm going to sink or swim.
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Old 06-15-2011, 12:08 AM   #2
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Welcome to AA! Well, you sure do seem to be in a mess here huh? First up, I'd highly recommend purchasing the API master kit, as the strips are notoriously inaccurate. Do 2 back to back 50% water changes to get the meds out of the water, and buy yourself some aquarium salt, melafix, and primafix. Crank up your heater (slowly!) to 86 degrees fahrenheit, and dose with one tablespoon of salt per 5 gallons of water. Treat until 3 days after things go away. The melafix and primafix are essential to have on hand, and will treat your fish for almost any illness. As for petsmart... Don't listen to them... They just want your $. Now for my questions:

1. How long has the tank been set up?
2. Do you know about cycling?
3. How big is the tank?
4. What is your tanks stocking?
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:10 AM   #3
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I made the mistake too of listening to the people at PetSmart. I've learned one thing: DON'T listen to them.

I don't know how long you've had the tank set up now, but letting it "run" for a few days and throwing fish in is probably your biggest problem. The tank should cycle first before it's safe for fish. Since you already have fish, please read this article, it'll tell you how to care for them to get them through the cycle process (be ready for LOTS of water changes and to maybe even lose some more fish): I just learned about cycling but I already have fish. What now?!

If you can return all of the fish and do a fishless cycle, it'll be much easier for you and healthier for the fish: The (almost) Complete Guide and FAQ to Fishless Cycling

In either case, you need to get your own liquid test kit (not strips) b/c you'll need to test the water every day. (and remember don't listen to PetSmart when they say you're water is "perfect." Chances are it isn't).
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:31 AM   #4
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25 gallon tall half octagon with a mirror back
4 guppies
3 silver mollies
2 Mickey Mouse platies
2 Marbled swordtail mollies
1 glass cat
1 red tailed shark
haunted by several ghost shrimp
2 Mystery snails
a couple unidentified baby fish (so cute!)
one bunch of live plants that will probably die because I don't have the right light (anacharis)
Undergravel filter
Fluval U2 filter
Fluval M100 Heater
Airstone

this is all in my profile info....

I will try to buy one of those test kits this weekend.
Will the salt kill my snails and/or shrimp?
do those other meds discolor my tank?
do they get rid of ICH? I've got a pretty bad case.

Thank you for your help. I'm planning to continue the ICH meds until Saturday, at least, since it seems to be helping. It's not hurting the fish or the snails, either. I can't tell you about the ghost shrimp because I can't see them in the murk. I will gladly start cleaning out the meds on Saturday, if I can get the other things you listed in the meantime.

Thanks...
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:32 AM   #5
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and my tank has been set up about a month, now, I think?
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:33 AM   #6
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And I will read the article about cycling after fish are in. Thanks! And I won't listen to Petsmart any more, I promise!



sigh...getting it right now, I hope.
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Territoons
25 gallon tall half octagon with a mirror back
4 guppies
3 silver mollies
2 Mickey Mouse platies
2 Marbled swordtail mollies
1 glass cat
1 red tailed shark
haunted by several ghost shrimp
2 Mystery snails
a couple unidentified baby fish (so cute!)
one bunch of live plants that will probably die because I don't have the right light (anacharis)
Undergravel filter
Fluval U2 filter
Fluval M100 Heater
Airstone

this is all in my profile info....

I will try to buy one of those test kits this weekend.
Will the salt kill my snails and/or shrimp?
do those other meds discolor my tank?
do they get rid of ICH? I've got a pretty bad case.

Thank you for your help. I'm planning to continue the ICH meds until Saturday, at least, since it seems to be helping. It's not hurting the fish or the snails, either. I can't tell you about the ghost shrimp because I can't see them in the murk. I will gladly start cleaning out the meds on Saturday, if I can get the other things you listed in the meantime.

Thanks...
Alright then, sounds like we've got a stocking problem lol, but we can fix that later. The salt won't kill the ghost shrimp, (it might even encourage breeding) and the mystery snails should be alright as well. Melafix and primafix are both natural meds extracted from tea leaves, and none will discolor your tank because well... They're clear meds! Lol. Also, by running the charcoal in your filter, you'll get the meds out of the water, so I highly recommend you do so before starting treatment. Also, anarcharis is an extremely hardy low light plant. It'll be fine.
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:43 AM   #8
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Ya can't leave me hanging! What's wrong with my stock? They all like each other and they all come together for group therapy every time I drop fish food in the tank!
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:44 AM   #9
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Also, is there an online store you would recommend that I can buy these things of which you speak?
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Territoons
25 gallon tall half octagon with a mirror back
4 guppies
3 silver mollies
2 Mickey Mouse platies
2 Marbled swordtail mollies
1 glass cat
1 red tailed shark
haunted by several ghost shrimp
2 Mystery snails
a couple unidentified baby fish (so cute!)
one bunch of live plants that will probably die because I don't have the right light (anacharis)
Undergravel filter
Fluval U2 filter
Fluval M100 Heater
Airstone

this is all in my profile info....

I will try to buy one of those test kits this weekend.
Will the salt kill my snails and/or shrimp?
do those other meds discolor my tank?
do they get rid of ICH? I've got a pretty bad case.

Thank you for your help. I'm planning to continue the ICH meds until Saturday, at least, since it seems to be helping. It's not hurting the fish or the snails, either. I can't tell you about the ghost shrimp because I can't see them in the murk. I will gladly start cleaning out the meds on Saturday, if I can get the other things you listed in the meantime.

Thanks...
Sorry... Need this post for reference lol. First up, the guppies are fine, it's either the guppies or the mollies that are the baby fish. They breed like rabbits!!! The 5 mollies will need a bigger tank... Probably a 55 gallon would be good for all of them. The platys are fine. The glass cats need schools of 5 and also need a bigger tank, and the red tailed shark needs a 55 gallon tank as well... So I guess you're looking at an upgrade! Lol
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