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.