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Old 01-19-2017, 12:33 PM   #1
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Grapewood killing/harming fish?

Hello all. Sorry for long post but this is a ridiculously odd/curious case. I have had the most frustrating and confusing symptoms and problems in my tank for a few months now. I have a 1 year old, heavily planted, Dirted Tank. Water parameters are good and stable, p.h. 7.3, ammonia zero, nitrite zero, nitrate less than 5 PPM ....in the same range they have been in since cycling. Tank inhabitants are....or should I say were. 6 harlequin rasboras, 3 peacock gudgeons, 1 male Betta, 11 pygmy corys..everyone gets along great. The Betta minds his business and the gudgeons don't seem to even notice him. A few months ago I noticed a lot of my fish were flicking their gills/fin area on hard surfaces...almost every species. Thought I had an ICH outbreak but there were and have never been any visible signs of ICH or any other fungus or bacterial infection. I began finding a dead cory cat every week or so although they all act fine besides the flicking. no visible physical signs of distress, no redness, no discoloration, no nothing. Water parameters still tested fine. My betta began having rapid fin loss, however no discoloration like fin rot....in fact the ends of his fins were clear like growing/repairing fins should look like but they grow a few centimeters then disappear again over and over. he acts just fine like nothing is wrong. My rasboras started flicking like crazy....over a one week span I lost 3 of them due to jumping out of the tank in the middle of the night as if water conditions were horrible (have since put lid on)...but again. water tested fine, did frequent water changes...all that. All remaining fish have ZERO signs of distress but continue to flick. I stumbled on another members post that I cant find again who had almost every symptom I have had....and they claimed his culprit was grapevine Driftwood! Son of a b*&@h I have grapewood Driftwood in my tank too!! He claimed grapewood can develop some sort of fungus that is harmful to fish.....has anyone else ever heard of this? Could this one little stupid piece of wood in my tank been the culprit to months of stress?!?! I have scoured the web for info on grapewood and found a few mentions of a newly recognized fungus that can harm fish but I can find NO information about it or what it is even.
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Old 01-19-2017, 12:53 PM   #2
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Unless the wood was contaminated I doubt its the issue. What size is your tank? Filter? Post parameters ? Do you use a liquid test kit ?
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Old 01-19-2017, 01:09 PM   #3
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20 gallon long, two hob aquatech 20-40 established filters loaded with biomedia and purigen. one airstone. ph 7.3, ammonia zero, nitrite zero, nitrate less than 5 ppm. Gh runs between 8-10. Using api liquid tests. i use seachem prime and excel. Substrate is one inch miracle grow soil with 1.5-2.5 inch sand cap. I forget the exact type of soil it was but i did extensive research and it was the most widely used and accepted for dirted tanks. I also use diy osmocote plus root tabs sparingly. Heavy plant load...all plants are healthy. I find it hard to believe its the wood as well....its sandblasted natural grapewood from bloomsandbranches.com ....Just the fact another person had EXACTLY the same problems and found his problem to be grapewood makes me suspicious, he claimed a biologist friend of his confirmed it. After doing tons of research on grapewood some say its safe and some say it's not safe...no overall consensus. And I found a few references of an uncommon fungus it can produce but no details. It seems like a parasite is to blame here but there are no other symptoms besides fish occasionally flicking and then just winding up dead I cant diagnose one. Im going mad
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Old 01-19-2017, 01:13 PM   #4
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Would it hurt to remove the wood and see if the issues stop?
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Old 01-19-2017, 01:32 PM   #5
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Good answer. Do some back to back wc. But still wont be conclusive. Could be tds issue. That a decent bioload
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Old 01-19-2017, 02:11 PM   #6
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I removed the wood a couple days ago. I woke up this morning to find another cory lying upside down on the tank floor. Went to scoop him up and he swam away very erratically. He physically looks healthy still, no discoloration or anything. I realize I am definitely at the limit of my bioload however I have never had any ammonia, nitrite or nitrate spikes so I'm fairly sure my filters are handling the load well. I have never thought of TDS issues, unfortunately I dont have a TDS meter to test. I also just purchased a Kh test kit as I don't have one yet
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Old 01-19-2017, 02:16 PM   #7
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I guess my thing is it could be alot of things. Age, stress, chemistry, disease, ......I get the wood corolation. Again its possible if wood was contaminated. Ive known people use muscadine and scuppernong without issues.
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