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Old 04-10-2020, 07:41 PM   #1
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Post Dwarf Gouramis not acting normally, lethargic.

Hello, so some background.
I am relatively new to fish keeping my tank has only been set up since February. I let it run for a couple weeks with no fish. I then added 2 dwarf Gouramis and an Emerald Corey. Unfortunately the cory died a few weeks ago. He had gotten stuck in the intake on my filter. I have since put a sponge cover on the intake. I had a pretty bad algae growth I suspect due to having very reflective white paint in my room that was reflecting light indirectly on my tank. About 2 weeks ago I started using API Algaefix to try and curb the algae, needless to say it didnít seem to be working despite following the directions on the bottle. So on Sunday I did a large water change about 75-80% and ran the dťcor and fake plants under hot water. I also used my algae sponge to wipe down the glass. I did my normal gravel vac as well. I use an Aqueon quiet flow 30 HOB for my filter. I noticed the cartridge was absolutely clogged with algae and was not allowing water through like it shouldíve. I also run an air stone on the other side of the tank from the filter. I put everything back almost exactly as it was before I deep cleaned it. When I filled the tank up I discovered that the water was too warm it was 88 F. While I was doing the cleaning I had placed the 2 gouramis into a new Pyrex (an 8 cup ) I had got to fill the tank originally, they were in water from the tank prior to cleaning. They stayed in the Pyrex container until the water cooled down enough to put them back. I realize the enormous amount of stress I created for them in doing that. I checked the water parameters ph was 7.2, 0ppm ammonia, 0 ppm nitrite, and an in between reading of 0-5 ppm nitrate. So I was thinking ok good I havenít completely collapsed the nitrogen cycle. I rechecked the parameters on Wednesday and today(4/10/2020) they are still the same. Now to the issue (maybe?) at hand. I noticed that my fish have since settled at the bottom of the tank and are not swimming around very much. They stopped eating for the most part. As the flakes reached the bottom they would eat 1 or 2 but nothing else. I left the light off for the rest of Sunday. Then on Monday resumed my normal (sort of) schedule. I woke up and turned the light on and fed them, they didnít eat again. On Tuesday I finally got my timer and set my light on a schedule for 12-9 daily. Since I normally work 8-5. They were lethargic and not eating mostly for the whole day while the light was on. However I did notice that they would forage around a little when I turned the light off. Not much but enough to make me wonder. So today (4/10/2020), after a lot of research I figured they are probably still stressed or could they maybe be starting to develop ick? I added a dose of aquarium salt as per the instructions on the container, 1tablespoon per 5 gallons. Since I have a 37 gallon tank I added 7 table spoons. Which seems like so much considering itís a freshwater tank. I figured if they are starting to develop ick then the salt could help in the meantime while I continue to monitor to tell stress from ick. Back tracking a little to the light, I left the light off almost all day. I turned it on around 4:30-5 to see if there were any visual symptoms of any ailments. They seemed to respond ok to the light they at least came up enough to eat a bit. Swam around a little and seem to be coming up a little more here and there. I also unplugged my air pump today as well. So now I donít know what to do. Next Scheduled water change is this Sunday. I let the tank go for the first month then did my first water change. Then 2 weeks later replaced the filter cartridge. Then 2 weeks later was the next water change (which ended up being the one from Sunday) I was going to try and do an every 2 weeks was either a water change or filter cartridge. Due to algae though I have decided to bump that to weekly water changes of about 30% is what Iím currently planning on. With filter cartridges being once a month.
Additional Info, My tap water ph is 8.2 I am awaiting my kh and gh test kit for water hardness. I use API ph Down to keep my ph around 7. Every water change I add API stress coat+ declorinator, as well as their quick start bacteria additive. Last dose of Algaefix was on 4/8/2020. I am thinking of stopping the use of it and have installed a blackout curtain to close during the day to limit sunlight exposure. I also have ick cure on hand. My filter has a flow rate of 200gph I feed my fish Omega One super color flakes daily except on Sunday evenings and Wednesday evenings then I feed them Omega One freeze dried blood worms. Also upon observation my gouramis do seem to occasionally quarrel but they both eat fine without aggression. I seems that they have split the tank in half and each sat on their side until feeding time then go back to their respective areas. Both sides have hiding spots.
So I guess what I am looking for are any thoughts and or opinions on the current happenings of my aquarium.
If you have made it though my essay regarding my aquarium then thank you for your time.
If this thread belongs elsewhere please let me know.
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Old 04-10-2020, 09:35 PM   #2
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Gouramis are not a fish I have a great deal of experience with so I'll just speak to the tank in general not the fish in particular other than to say if the fish look like someone sprinkled salt on them they have ick, if not they don't, there is no *in between*.
How big is your tank? I looked for a volume number but didn't see one.
It sounds like you never fully cycled your tank. I believe there are files on cycling somewhere on here & *Autumnsky* has some links at the bottom of her messages and I'm sure she'll be along to comment shortly. I can't fully help with this as I am on a well with multiple tanks so I can almost always *instant cycle* my *new* tanks.
When you scrubbed your decor etc with hot water you most likely killed any beneficial bacteria they had on/in them so this would further agravate any problems caused by an *uncycled* tank and also probably contributed to the algae issue. Unless you have live plants 6 hours of light is enough.
Is there a reason why you are trying for a PH of 7 besides you most likely read somewhere that is what you should have? Chasing a particular pH number can be a recipe for disaster, and less chemical additives in your tank are always a good thing. Most fish can adjust to YOUR water parameters as long as they are not *sigificantly* different from the water in their store tank, so I would let the pH in your tank slowly raise itself to *tap normal*
Once you tank is cycled properly you should aim for a 50% water change a week and cartridges should be rinsed in the old removed aquarium water then put back in the filter and only *replaced* when they fall apart.
With it being a holiday weekend I should think the regular posters(I usually just lurk )will respond by Monday if not before.
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Old 04-11-2020, 12:10 PM   #3
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thanks for reading my esay, here is more info

Thanks for taking the time to read all of that. My tank is a 37 gallon. I was trying for a ph of 7 because the book I have been referencing (DK Encyclopedia of Aquarium & Pond fish) recommends a ph of 6.0-7.0 for the dwarf gourami. It also recommends a temp of 72-82 f and 50mg/l softness. I was worried that my normal ph would be too high for the dwarf gouramis. My Gh and Kh test kit is arriving today. I donít have live plants yet however I had ordered some Jungle Vallisneria along with root tabs and liquid fertilizer from Aquarium co-op. I wanted to try my hand at live plants for aesthetics, filtration, and to help out compete the algae.as for filtration I have ordered filter floss and fine filter sponge to replaced the carbon filter cartridge that I currently have because I am planning on trying live plants. As of today my Gouramis are back at the top of the tank and are mostly active again as of typing this.
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Old 04-11-2020, 02:29 PM   #4
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more information

I checked my phosphate and found to have 0 ppm according to the test kit. As for my GH and KH I found KH took 5 drops and my GH took 6 drops. if I am understanding my test kit correctly then I am in the 3-6 degree hardness which is good for most tropical fish.
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Old 04-11-2020, 02:50 PM   #5
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Sounds like stress was causing some of the problem. As I said before most fish will adjust to *your* water parameters since unless your fish store is miles away they probably have the same or close to the same parameters and *they* are not doing adjustments on their water unless the fish are *especially* sensitive to water conditions. The most important things to watch are Nitrates and Ammonia and consistency. 50% weekly should keep your fish happy and the parameters fairly steady
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