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Old 05-08-2012, 03:17 AM   #1
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dwarf gourami keep dying

Ive been through quite a few ordinary dwarf gourami. Times before i atributed their deaths to different things. Ive noticed they all died once they reached max size. They all developed round bellies like the one in the picks but since losing one to dropsy the other day I'm beginning to doubt that is normal. The one in the pic went belly up after a pwc. Did nothing different.

Before and after pwc nitrites were 0, nitrates were 5, ph was 6.8-7, hardnesses were below 200, although i dont know how but ammonia was still high. I added nothing different from previous water changes.

None of my other fish ever have problems and i have far more delicate fish than regular dwarf gourami. There is a gold ram, german blue rams, honey/sunset gourami, tiger platies, balloon mollies, a blue-green phantom pleco, a jaguar catfish, a cory cat, a clown pleco and an african butterfly, as well as a breeding box full of assorted fry. I still have one small dwarf gourami left.
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Old 05-08-2012, 03:47 AM   #2
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Sorry to hear about the loss of your DG. What size tank and filtration are you using for all those fish?
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Old 05-08-2012, 03:52 AM   #3
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Its a 30 gallon tall planted tank with a 79gal external canister filter and a crappy aqueon power filter i only used for running the water through ammochips and addirional carbon. And yes i know ro use syphoned tank water to rinse my filter sponge and ceramic media.

It sounds like a lot of fish but most wont grow beyond 2 in and many of them stick to groups and never quarrel over territory.
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Old 05-08-2012, 04:32 AM   #4
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Well it's good that you are running a filter rated for more than twice the capacity of your tank. I'm just curious as to why you're getting high ammonia though? What is the ammonia level (ppm) reading anyway? I personally don't like using ammochips or carbon. I'd only use the activated carbon if I need to remove some meds, metals, and/or foul smells from the water. I personally like good old mother nature and her nitrifying beneficial bacteria to deal with ammonia rather than have a product just absorb it to be removed.

Have you tried testing your tap? Instead of running the ammochips and carbon, I'd run some more bio media to increase the biofilter's capacity to start dealing with the extra ammonia. I personally run extra BioMax in my filters instead of the carbon.

Another thing I'm guessing that could be an issue (someone correct me if I'm wrong) is that those Plecos could have high bioloads and be contributing to your ammonia problem, taking into consideration the size of your tank along with the other fish. I recall hearing this about the common pleco and I'm not sure if the Clown Pleco and Blue Green-Phantom are similar in that regard. I'm just speculating. Anyway, I read that the Phantom can grow up to 9" too... Might need to be housed elsewhere.
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Old 05-08-2012, 04:44 AM   #5
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Everything i read i read about the phantom said 6". But the clown pleco is a recent addition at only 1.5". They can have high bioloads which is why i usually do a 25%pwc twice a week as needed. But since starting the tank the ammonia has never come down. My tap water only tests 2ppm on a bad day. Ive tried doing multiple pwc in a single day to try to bring down the ammonia and nothing changes. My water is clear and doesnt smell. I'm at a loss. I could add ceramic tubes through the power filter. The canister is as full as it can be.

I was trying to figure out if maybe i was reading into something wrong since nitrates are low and nitrites are zero. The highest level ive caught my nitrites at is .10ppm. Tomorrow I'm going to take a sample in to work and have it tested for comparison even though liquid test should be as accurate as i can get.
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Old 05-08-2012, 05:16 AM   #6
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Yeah that's weird... sounds like you're doing the right things in terms of your pwc's and all. I'm curious how the test pans out at work. How long has this tank been up and running w/ the current filter(s)? Perhaps the high ammonia can be attributed to a mini cycle if you've done anything incorrectly to upset the balance of the beneficial bacteria (BB)? Or your tank is too new and hasn't had a chance to build the BB necessary to handle all the bioloads of your stock. How about feeding? Overfeeding can lead to increases in ammonia as well. So if your tap is 2ppm ammonia on a bad day... what's your tank's ammonia reading when you stated in your original post that your ammonia is high. Just how bad is it? Don't be shy to say... LOL

It's no secret that ammonia is very bad for fish. I'm really surprised that your Rams have survived your dwarf gouramis. However, I would still suspect the ammonia as the main culprit of your DG's demise. But then again... I'm just speculating.
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Old 05-08-2012, 05:29 AM   #7
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I would have to get a high ammonia test to know cor sure so its over 8. The tank has been up about three months. I added the canister filter a little over a month ago. Right after adding it i actually had a strong bacteria bloom that i attribute the death of a previous ram i had for over a month. I have quite a few fish that were added very early on to the start of the tank. Ive been told not to be alarmed by ammonia levels if my nitrites are zero and nitrates are normal. But when its constantly so high i cant help being concerned. Ive been careful not to upset my bb and have actually only cleaned the canister once rinsing it in water syphined fromthe pwc. At no point before or after the establishment of the bb that cleared up the tank has the ammonia level gone down.

I added more ceramics to the power filter. Maybe that will help. Shouldnt take too long to cultivate some bb with a decent amount already established.

I wonder, could the plants ive had in the tank have any affect? Most of the ribbon plants are doing okay. I remove anything that looks like its deteriorating. The other bushy plant I'm not sure what its called. It doesnt have a root system and has been great for hiding in. Even though the main plants are doing well it does occasionally shed needles.
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:10 AM   #8
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Wow... 8 is very high! You'll have to do daily water changes to get it down until you can find a solution to keep it down naturally.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pixelcatt
Ive been told not to be alarmed by ammonia levels if my nitrites are zero and nitrates are normal. But when its constantly so high i cant help being concerned.
Ideally you want ammonia to be close to ZERO as possible, with the exception if you were doing a fishless cycle. It's a good sign to have trace amounts of nitrite (if not zero too) and nitrate because you know the BB are at work converting in the cycle. If nitrates are high, that's almost the only acceptable high reading because it's the least toxic of the bunch. You have every right to be concerned as you should... Don't know who gave you that piece of bad advice but ammonia is something to be alarmed about because it's very toxic to fish. That's the first thing we all learn when we read up on cycling.
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:33 AM   #9
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To me it sounds like you never cycled your tank...
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Old 05-08-2012, 03:39 PM   #10
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Id be inclined to agree if there were no nitrate or nitrite levels. Maybe its still in the process of cycling? Ive read it can take more than a month.
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Old 05-08-2012, 04:10 PM   #11
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I started my 10g totally new to it all at the end of February and it JUST finished cycling last night/this morning. Had a ton of problems and too many fish just like you, so I guess I dragged the cycle out by my own ignorance. I got smart and got rid of a couple fish, including my pleco. They def creat way too much waste. If I were you I'd re home them. I did Daily 50% water changes for half my cycle(once I learned my lesson) and kept the ammonia at .25. I also started using Seachem Prime to dechlorinate and detoxify ammonia etc. once I got on the right track, a week later my nitrites spiked at 5ppm and along came nitrates! As of today my ammonia and nitrites went to zero from .5 each yesterday morning, and my nitrates are 30ppm... A little high but I've added a bunch of new plants and I'm adding C02 today so I'm not to worried! I'm worried about your fish with the ammonia that high, I'd start doing daily pwc's if I were you.
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Old 05-08-2012, 04:14 PM   #12
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I've also read many people having problems with DG's dying for no apparent reason, people thinking there is something wrong with where they are coming from or being bred. Got mine at petsmart and he seems to be doing well, I've only had him for a few weeks now though so we'll see. def one of my favorite fish right now.
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Old 05-08-2012, 05:12 PM   #13
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I'll probably get a lot of flak for this one but IF IT were me in your situation... I'd either reduce the amount of fish you have in there OR add the extra ceramic media (i.e. BioMax) to your filter or even keep that second filter running with straight up more bio media. You NEED the extra BB to process that extra ammonia you're getting. Meanwhile, till the BB has a chance to catch up, keep monitoring those levels and keep doing daily pwc's if needed to keep the levels relatively low. And lastly (the piece of advice I'd probably get flak for), try adding a bottle of Tetra SafeStart... no lie, I've used it and it worked for me in getting my tank cycled in a flash! My ammonia was on the rise with no signs of nitrates... I added a bottle and a couple days later, cycled! Here's a good price: Amazon.com: Tetra 77961 SafeStart Treats, 30-Gallon, 100-ml, 3.38-Ounce: Pet Supplies
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Old 05-08-2012, 05:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billbug68 View Post
I've also read many people having problems with DG's dying for no apparent reason, people thinking there is something wrong with where they are coming from or being bred. Got mine at petsmart and he seems to be doing well, I've only had him for a few weeks now though so we'll see. def one of my favorite fish right now.
I've only had two DG's myself... both from Petsmart here in AZ. My first one survived about 7 months and died for no apparent reason (my water params were all fine). The 2nd (it's replacement), has lasted about 3 months now. Now that I think about it, the first one did start having a slight bulge from the abdomen before his demise.
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:38 PM   #15
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Mine came from petamart also. Ive opted not to rwplace them. I finally got thw cjance to talk ro someone i knpw couls answer some questions and she agrees at this point not to add a bb aid cause it will cause another bacteria bloom at this point. It did occur to me to ask if using ammolock to detox the ammonia might.cause problems with proper cycle or a build up of unprocessable ammonia. She pointed out the same product from prime that detoxifies nitrates and nitrites and removes chloramines and ammonia. My understanding is that it actually binds it so it can be removed. Ive already soubled the biomax and may opt to remove the old carbon in the canister and just top it off with biomax.

Now creating all this room for bb to grow, will i need to decrease it eventually. I dont want another dangerous bacteria bloom. I dont know that it was the bloom its self or not enough oxygen but it killed some fish when it happened. I do have a stronger air pump hooked up now as a result.
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:00 AM   #16
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Just read ALL the info on the packaging of prime and it doesnt really remove ammonia. It does convert it claiming its easier for the biofilter to do its job.
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:10 AM   #17
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Quote:
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Just read ALL the info on the packaging of prime and it doesnt really remove ammonia. It does convert it claiming its easier for the biofilter to do its job.
I don't believe any of the products remove ammonia, just changes it to its non toxic form, still allowing it to be processed by your tank. I switched to prime because it's an all in one product to use with my water changes. It was recommended to me on here by mumma so I gave it a try, and it worked out for me. I know it's gonna be a pain but you really need to do daily water changes of at least 50% to get your ammonia down and maybe get rid of some of your fish to make it easier on yourself, and the fish... It's a 30 gallon right? I also read that you have several other gouramis in the tank? From what I researched the can be very territorial... Having too many of them could be stressing them out... The dgs were probably dying of first from a combination of the ammonia, stress, and high sensitivity...
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:15 AM   #18
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Dwarfs do well as community fish. They never fought or picked on anyone. I only have one regular dwarf now and two honey gourami whick stay smaller than average dwarfs. They actually choose to socialize with eachother when they could choose opposite ends of the tank.
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:18 AM   #19
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Quote:
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Dwarfs do well as community fish. They never fought or picked on anyone. I only have one regular dwarf now and two honey gourami whick stay smaller than average dwarfs. They actually choose to socialize with eachother when they could choose opposite ends of the tank.
I agree they do well as community fish, but not as great together in numbers maybe? That's just what I have learned, I research the heck out of everything that goes near my tank now since making so many mistakes.
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Old 05-12-2012, 02:33 AM   #20
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Well ive had tjese three a couple of weeks now. The dg mostly keeps to himself. The older dgs picked on him only cause he was sooo much smaller than them bit they didnt go out of their way. The two honey-sunset get along surprisingly well. I dont even see them do the typical dominance dance. They do socialize and spend brief periods in eachothers company. Id expect them to distinguish territories in the tank and not be tolerant of eachother. They are both male as far as i can tell but maybe what i read about them was accurate. I read theyre one of the least aggressive of the gourami species. Tbe dg tolerates quite a bit from.them and they couldnt care less about any of the other fish. Theure such aggressive eaters though they irritate my african butterfly by snatching his food. They are phased when he whips them out of the way.
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