Hope somebody can help me out here. First the basics:
Nitrate: 0 (or at least I can't see any reading for it)
PH: 7.5 ish
Temp: 77-79 (depending upon which thermometer you believe)
36 gallon bow front
1 6" air stone
using mix of CaribSea Flora Max Planted Aquarium Substrate and black sand - about 1-2"
Tank is new. Had water in it for about 3 weeks. I did a fishless cycle using DrTim's Aquatics One & Only Live Nitrifying Bacteria and DrTim's Ammonium chloride. Also used a dechlorinator. After about one week I would get a reading of 0 ammonia a few hours after adding the ammonium. Never saw much of a spike in nitrite and no nitrate readings. The tank is planted so that may explain the lack of nitrates.
After the first week of good readings I bought 3 neon tetras from a LFS
. Unfortunately I didn't notice when I bought them but they were heavily infected with ich. I didn't see that until I got them home. The store, despite its great Yelp reviews, does not accept returns. Fish behaved normally at first. But within 24 hours one died and 2 days later the other 2 died. Thinking back one did look like he had a bloated belly.
Ok so now I crank the heat to 97 to kill the ich. One week later I try adding more fish as I assumed first fish died of the ich. So I added 5 zebra danios, 4 cory cats and 2 nerite snails from PetCo (since the LFS
was not good). Added DrTim's Aquatics First Defense Stress Relief & Immune Support before adding the fish. Acclimated the fish via floating bag for 15 mins, then 1/2 cup tank water for 8 mins then another 1/2 cup for 5 mins. Then netted fish into tank - no store water got put into tank. Everybody seemed great the first night. The danios ate (Hikari micro pellets) and schooled, the snails were active and the corys were very active. The corys did NOT eat. They had no interest in the shrimp pellets I had for them. However the next day 2 out of 3 of the pellets were gone - so maybe they ate them during the night.
24 hours later the corys are not acting normal. They are now lethargic and not schooling. Two of the zebras now have enlarged bellies and are spending a lot of time near the surface of the tank. Fast forward one more day and two dead danos (the big bellied ones). Nobody is eating now. 3 danios are still alive but one is porcupined. Only one ate today: freeze dried blood worms. One snail is active, one is not. Trying algae waffers for the corys but so far they aren't eating either. Still lethargic and not schooling. The corys look like they are breathing pretty heavy. I did around a 25% water change.
Did some research and it looks like dropsy is killing the danos. Not sure with the corys. So the question is what could be causing this? I know stress is a big factor in dropsy - but other than moving to a new tank what could be causing this stress?
Thank you ahead of time for any insight or information anybody might have to help me out.