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Old 03-08-2016, 12:28 PM   #1
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Very sick Placo, very sick tank

My 12 in. Placo is covered in fungus and has stopped eating. Even the eyes are hazed. (All bottom feeders stopped eating)
Let me start from the beginning. Last month my 125 gal. tank was coated in Black Beard fungus. All plants were dead and even my rocks and plastic flow tubes of my Tidepool filter system were covered in the stuff. We drained the tank, (well water with hardness level too high to measure), baked the rocks, took all substrate out, removed the flow tubes and wiped down the tank. It was refilled with spring water and plants were added. I got the temp stabilized at 77, acclimated my fish to their new, clean home and all seemed good for several days. My pH is now 6.2, nitrates 40, (over 200+ before), hardness 75, alkalinity between 0-40 and chlorine 0. I kept the temp probe in at all times and checked the tank several times a day. I added a Betta, 3 Clown Loaches, (making a total of 5), 4 Glass Cats, (tot. of 6), 4 Gouramis, 7 Neons, and 6 Cardinals. Then Neons and Cardinals started to disappear. I checked the filter and found 2. I was down to 4 Neons left. No other bodies were found. Last week I checked the water temp and it read 68. I raised it back up to 77 and next day I saw my Polk-a-dot Cats (scaleless) and all my Loachs had Ick. I got some Ick Guard and gave a 1/2 twice to a 10 Gal. tank after 25% water change. Only 1 Polka dot survived. Then I saw a Glass cat, Gourami, Red Tail Botia, and Placo had it as well. I put a 1/2 dose in the 125 gal tank and 24 hrs later I saw no improvement, plus the Placo was covered in fungus and did not touch the algae tabs I put in the night before. Also the shrimp pellets I put in were all fungus balls floating around the tank. My Betta was also dead and transformed into a fungus ball. I can't really see the 6 in. Botia or the ~8 in. Polka-dot cat clearly. They're in the rocks. All I know is that they're still alive. Two days ago I got Mardel and added a tsp. to the water after 24 hours of Ick Guard, BUT I didn't do a 25% water change first, so I did the water change and left it as is over night. I don't want to add a fungicide to the mix. Do I just add another tsp. of Mardel?
What a nightmare. Three of those fish are ancient. To say I'm frustrated doesn't begin to to cover it. I've had aquariums all my life (including salt) and NEVER had such a mess. Any input is appreciated. (Sorry for the length of this)
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Old 03-08-2016, 12:39 PM   #2
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Did you treat the fish as a preventive measure before adding them to the "clean" tank?


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Old 03-08-2016, 01:07 PM   #3
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Yes, I treated the scaleless fish twice in the 10 gal tank, then added them back into the 125 gal. when I saw the lg. tank was infected as well.
When I cleaned the tank of Black Beard fungus I had all fish in the 10 gal. tank. All remained healthy and when put back in the 125 gal remained so for several weeks.
The fungus I have now is just normal white fungus.
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Old 03-08-2016, 01:08 PM   #4
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The only fish that survived in that 10 gal. tank was the cat fish.
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Old 03-08-2016, 04:21 PM   #5
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I neglected to say that I started out with well water that had hardness off the scale. It killed my plants and most of my fish. That is the reason I switched to spring water after I got rid of the Black Beard Fungus.
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Old 03-08-2016, 08:22 PM   #6
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I don't see any replay other than chykityta.
Am I missing something here???? I really need some input.........
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Old 03-08-2016, 08:36 PM   #7
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OK guys, I added a tsp. of Mardel. Thanks for the input.
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Old 03-08-2016, 10:57 PM   #8
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Hello and sorry that no one hasn't replied. I understand your frustrations. Now let's get down to business. I need more info:
1. Need your water change schedule
2. What kind of test kit do you use?
3. Current water parameters?
3. What is your current stock?
4. What kind of filtration?


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Old 03-08-2016, 11:07 PM   #9
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The black beard algae (BBA) is typically a sign of insufficient water changes (as confirmed with the +200 ppm nitrates). Long term control can be managed through keeping dissolved wastes down. Spot treating with hydrogen peroxide, Seachem Excel, or Glutaraldehyde (Metricide 14) is effective for killing it off. It will turn various colors (purple, red, pink, gray, and white) as it dies off.
How many/which fish were set aside in the 10g tank? How many/which fish were purchased and introduced later? What kind of quarantine routine do you use?
I can't give advice on the meds but I understand care must be taken with scaleless fish. One effective means for dealing with ich is slowly raising the temperature to 86F for keeping it there while the ich goes through its life cycle and dies off. This is often combined with gravel vacuuming to remove the spores embedded in the substrate.


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Old 03-08-2016, 11:24 PM   #10
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+1 Fresho2, just waiting for more info from cjsans so we can more easily diagnose the situation. I totally agree with the bba being a wc issue. I currently am beating a bba problem. I have pretty much perfect parameters for about 2 years now and still sorta have a bba problem. I have now deemed that I should have never used gravel (especially now that the it's 4 years old),I should have packed my tank with plants from the get go, used lower lighting, and use ferts wisely. Live and learn.

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Old 03-09-2016, 02:52 PM   #11
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1. Need your water change schedule
2. What kind of test kit do you use?
3. Current water parameters?
3. What is your current stock?
4. What kind of filtration?
Most of these questions I already answered except for # 1 and 2.
#1. I don't do water changes. I add spring water - or well water in the past - every 3-4 days, ~5 gal. each time. I know, I know. As I said , I had fish of some kind all my life, and I'm 66. I know better.This filter system is a real pain. OK, no excuses.
Substrate is black sand with some gravel which was on top but now mixed in.
#4. (actually #5) As I said, my filtration is Marineland double Tidepool bio-wheel filtration system. (A real pain in the..... well you know.
#2. Test kit I just use Tetra Easy Strips. I used to have the test tube type kits, but this is so much easier. My present levels I already described.
#3, actually #4. is described above minus my Placo which died last night.
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Old 03-09-2016, 03:26 PM   #12
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Hate to tell you but water changes are a must every week. The amount of water needing changed greatly depends on your water parameters. I would buy an API liquid test kit it's more accurate and get more tests for your buck. Also I don't know what gallon/hr on your filter is but depending on your bioload you need 5-10 x the water turn over. Finally one last thing if you get behind on your wc's it's more work in the end. Trust me I know from experience.

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Old 03-09-2016, 03:48 PM   #13
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I agree with Stacey W.

If your tank evaporates 5 gallons, it is more likely the clean water that evaporates, and not the dirty one. Please do weekly water changes. And unless you changed 100% of the water over the last week, I would do daily water changes until the Nitrates go down to less than 20.


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