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Old 08-27-2005, 04:53 PM   #1
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Fish dying... again and again

Hi,

This is not my first time writing about my fish dying. I still can't figure out the problem though. My tank has been set up since March.

My water parameters are: ammonia 0, nitrite 0 and nitrate less then 5 (close to 0), pH 8, GH 8 drops. I'm using AP tests, except nitrate which is from Nutrafin. I'm starting to think my testing kit is bad. I'm trying to find a lfs that will test my water to see if they get a different result.

The pH is more basic then what is normally recommended for fish. There is a lfs in my area and they fill their tanks with the city water, just like me. They have no problems with it. So I figure if the water is good for them, it's good for me too.

I've added small groups of guppies (2 or 3 at a time) only to see them die over night or after a day or two.

I've added corys and they've also died. I've had only 4 corys in my tank for the last month or so. They were doing great, getting bigger (except one which stayed a bit thin eventhough it seemed to eat more then the other ones), but were always very shy and always staying under the piece of wood (except the thin one which was swimming all over). There is one cory that is missing his barbels, but I can't remember if it was like that when I bought it. A few days ago, two of them died (the thin one and another one). Their bodies show no sign of fungus or anything abnormal, except their fins are gone (I suppose the other fish ate them?).

I really don't know why they died. I thought things were doing great and I was about to add a few more fish soon. But now, with those two deaths, I don't know what to think. I've told my story to the lfs and they have no idea either. They suggested putting one guppy to see what would happen. Which I did today. The other option is to tear appart my fish tank and start from scratch....

Any suggestion?
Thanks
Vero

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Old 08-27-2005, 05:15 PM   #2
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Are you adding a declorinator when you do water changes?
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Old 08-27-2005, 05:20 PM   #3
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I would also check for the kh of the tank as well. What did the fish look like prior to passing on? Any signs of stress, discomfort, disease, gasping?
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Old 08-27-2005, 06:44 PM   #4
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i have to ask the stupid questions but....what is the constant temperature?

are their fluctuations between day and night in the tank?

*only to help you*
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Old 08-27-2005, 07:15 PM   #5
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Hi,

There are no stupid questions. Thanks all for your help.

I use AquaPlus when I do pwc. I've been doing more then 25% every week or so and I do a deep vaccuming of the gravel.

I'll get a test for KH. What is KH for, what does it do?

I had a feeling the thin fish was on his last days because he wasn't swimming as much as usual and he looked a bit thinner. But the other one was normal.

The temperature is around 80F. I don't know about fluctuations between day and night as I don't have a digital thermometer. I know that it went to 84F during hot days this summer and I had to turn off the heater to let the temperature get back around 78F. It restarted the heater a week ago to have the temperature around 80F. So, yes, there was some temperature fluctuations during the summer. It didn't seem to affect the fish. In fact, I don't know why a heater would let fluctuations like this happen. Isn't there a thermostat in the heater that tells it when it need to turn on/off? It's a op fin 100W heater. Maybe it's not working properly?

Any comment on the fish missing his barbels?

Thanks
Vero
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Old 08-27-2005, 09:03 PM   #6
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I'll get a test for KH. What is KH for, what does it do?
KH is shorthand for Carbonate Hardness. It measures the level of you water's buffering capacity (aka "soft" or "hard" water).

As far as the missing barbels are concerned, that could have been caused by injury and possibly prior to you bringing it home.
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Old 08-27-2005, 09:52 PM   #7
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poor water quality also contributes to barbel erosion, at least in corys. but if the test kits are valid, things sound ok. could've just been a sick fish when purchased.
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Old 08-28-2005, 12:03 PM   #8
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Just shooting in the dark, but here's a possible cause. Below is a link to a review of dechlorinators. It says that the Aquaplus claims to remove both chlorine and chloramines, but that you actually have to use a higher than recommended dose for it to be effective on the chloramines.


http://www.thetropicaltank.co.uk/rev-cond.htm

Quoting from the chart: * Note: Products where the second "Y" is in brackets are those which state that they remove chloramine, but in most cases contain only sodium thiosulfate (the same as standard dechlorinators for chlorine only). Usually, a higher dose is recommended for chloramines - this is to make sure the chlorine part is split from the chloramine and neutralised - however, this releases the ammonia part, so the chloramine is not fully dealt with. An example of the manufacturers' awareness of this, is shown by the fact that API recommend Ammo-Lock in conjunction with Stress Coat, if you need to deal with ammonia.

In cases where the ingredients are not stated for standard dechlorinators, it is highly likely that the dechlorinator is sodium thiosulfate.
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Old 08-28-2005, 09:21 PM   #9
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That's interesting about the AquaPlus. But I think I'm OK, as I always put more then I need, almost double (I heard there was no problem putting more).

I was wondering if some sort of mouth rot would have caused the barbles to disappear. If that's the case, I'll have to treat him. I heard salt is good to treat a lot of stuff, but I also know that salt kills corys... So, what should I do?

Maybe it's my gravel? It is quite coarse as the rocks are kidney bean size (rounded, no sharp edge). Are the barbels going to grow back?

I'm glad to say the guppy is still alive after a full day!
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Old 08-29-2005, 09:55 AM   #10
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Pea size gravel from Home Depot
I hadn't seen this before now. Since HD is not into Aquarium related products, what kind of rocks are these...what are they referred to at the store?
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Old 08-29-2005, 12:37 PM   #11
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Good question... I think the bag simply said gravel. It's nice rounded pebbles and it's pale, withish, yellowish and some pebbles are black. My guess is that it is mostly some sort of quartz. I have tested it and it doesn't change the pH or the GH of the water. When I get a test for KH I'll see if it has any effect. I also tested with the vinegar trick and it didn't react.

It looks good, very natural. Though I hear that a darker color would have been better for fish.
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Old 08-29-2005, 09:59 PM   #12
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Hi,

I think my two corys are about to die... I mentionned that they are very shy. They are always under the piece of wood. I fed them yesterday evening and this evening and they didn't eat. I don't stay close to the tank when I feed them because I scare them, but I'm able to keep an eye on them from where I am. They're not eating...

Vero
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Old 08-29-2005, 10:21 PM   #13
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What are you feeding them? Will they eat sinking food? What about bloodworms?
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Old 08-29-2005, 10:36 PM   #14
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I'm feeding them Nutrafin staple food tablets and Nutrafin sinking shrimp pellets. Both sinking foods. They used to love them...
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Old 08-30-2005, 04:13 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by vero



I know that it went to 84F during hot days this summer and I had to turn off the heater to let the temperature get back around 78F.

I doubt this had anything to do with your fishy deaths but for future reference when your tank temp goes up in the summer due to heat you shouldn't turn the heater off. That just makes the temp flux between night and day worse in my experience.
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Old 08-30-2005, 04:16 PM   #16
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I never heard of long fin corys. Sorry they aren't doing well. It's unusual for corys to be shy in my experience.
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Old 08-30-2005, 04:20 PM   #17
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The gravel in my aquarium is pea gravel from Home Depot (brown). I have had it for a long time (15 years?) and have had no problems with it. I washed it really well before putting it in the first time. I liked it b/c it was a lot cheaper than what the lfs had and I was a poor elem school teacher at the time.
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Old 08-30-2005, 04:25 PM   #18
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Note taken about the heater.

I think they are also called bronze corys (and Emerald Green Cory Cat on the liveaquaria web site). The other corys I got, which are dead now, were really not that shy. They swam all over, up and down and were very active. That is one reason why I think there is something wrong with the two corys I have left...
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Old 08-30-2005, 05:04 PM   #19
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Where are you buying your fish from? Have you tried buying from somewhere else?

Also I've heard of emerald green corys but not long fin emerald greens. Do yours look exactly like the ones listed as emerald green corys on live aquaria?

http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/p...cfm?pcatid=944

Or are they similar but bred to have longer fins?
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Old 08-30-2005, 05:20 PM   #20
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The lfs I bought them from (always the same place) calls them long fin corys. I just tried to find what they are exactly on the internet and the Emarald Green Cory is what's most similar. The fins are not super long (they are much like on that picture in liveaquaria), just a bit fancier then other corys like the peppered cory.

Maybe, maybe that lfs is not so good for fish. They have a great selection and they usually look pretty healthy. I went one morning (a suggestion from an AA person) and they had a few dead fish in quite a few aquariums. They recently decided to dedicate a few aquariums to treat sick fish... That seem to be a reasonable thing to do, but does it also mean they are having major problems and are trying to cut on the cost of lost fish??? Then maybe they are not a reliable source. Then again, I had four corys from them which survived for about a month and then suddenly two of them died, so I don't think those fish were sick when I bought them.

I bought my guppy (now 3 days old and not dead yet, a record) from a different lfs. Their selection is not great and the fish tank look a bit untidy (which is why I had avoided them in the first place; they just changed managment and are getting things restarted). But then, if their fish survive I guess it is a better place! Unfortunatly (I really do like the corys I have), this store carries no corys at all.
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