Hello to everyone and thank you in advance for any and all advice/comments!!
I will do my best to organize this information as best as I can.
My personal experience with a freshwater aquarium was 15 years old at best until about three months ago when my brother and sister in law's 3 month old daughter was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease that needed months of treatment before a bone marrow transplant could be preformed. My husband and I were enlisted to care for their home, 2 other children, 2 dogs, 1 cat, 1 ball python and the 240 gallon tank just finishing cycling and about ready for fish. I feel like I need to clarify here that my brother has no aquarium experience at all and only bought this one from a friend who had to sell it and needed the cash...so he got the entire setup for only $500. He and the rest of the family are excited and eager to learn all there is to know however...so he went for it. He had an experienced friend help him get it set up and cycled...although after reading all that I have since, he made a few choices that he may not have if he had taken the time in advance.
This is his setup when I enter the picture:
240g plexiglass tank...8'x2'x2'
Fluval FX5 400 Gallon Freshwater and Marine Aquarium Canister Filter
2-36" 4 bulb lights with 2 daytime and 2 nighttime (blue) lights in each
Crushed coral substrate (not the best idea IMO
...buffers way too much for his fish...local ph already high)
3 Dalmation Mollies, 2 males and 1 shy female.
The tank had been running for about a month and the fish had been in there for about 2 weeks...but they had never done a water change, never added anything to keep the algae under control, never even washed the coral before adding the 200lbs of it (and all the dust) to the tank. All it had was a few small decorations...2 with air...no plants of any kind.
This is where my husband and I came into the picture.
When we arrived, we were told nothing about the tank except to feed the fish which seemed obvious...lol. As I said earlier, we hadn't kept fish for more than 15 years...and even then it was only a 30g tall with an under gravel filter.
Ok...this is already way too long...so I'll fast forward a bit and tell you what we have now. I need to clarify that we have not selected most of these fish...my brother and his family have...I'm just the one doing all the reading trying to keep up! My poor husband has been doing all of the labor...3 hour partial water changes once a week++!!
The tank now has 10 air lines in various applications and I have forbidden the use of the blue night time lights! The growth of the blue/green algae when those lights are used is awful!
The fish include:
7 Red Minor tetras
3 black skirt tetras (started with 5)
4 white tetras
5 Buenos Aries tetra
3 female dalmation mollies (not original ones)
2 red wag pladies
5 Mickey Mouse pladies
2 Sunburst wag pladies (started with 5)
4 painted pladies (started with 7)
5 turquoise Rainbowfish
2 dwarf neon rainbowfish
1 threadfin rainbowfish (other 4 didn't make it)
2 upside down catfish (started with 3)
3 pleco (have lost 5 over time and replaced)
3 cories (have lost @5 of these over time too and replaced)
1 dwarf gourami (this is the 4th)
These are what we have lost in addition to above:
3 glass catfish
3 white/silver mollies
1 powder blue gourami
2 large spotted Cory
15+ neons (gave up on them)
3 original mollies
That's 53 fish!!! We also have a snail issue...but I'm waiting to clear up the disease before adding any loaches. The fish that we replaced died within the return policy and were replaced. We took a water sample with us for each return and the water was "fine". I have since bought an API test kit and here are the water parameters as of yesterday: 0-0-5 with a pH of 8. We just did a 50% wc
last night. I also dosed the tank with metro but I'll get to that in a second.
Here is the current list of issues:
Male dwarf gourami: White stringy poop, slightly bloated, grey stuff on scales near head, bumpy sore near mouth. He is eating for now and swimming around.
Pleco: red sore at base of tail in between forks.
Asst cories: some fin fraying just starting.
Dalmation mollies: all 3 have fat bellies and rusty spots on bodies. Stringy poop.
Asst pladies: big bellies, stringy poop, a few wags getting more black on head.
That is what is obvious today...lol...conditions change daily. My main concern is the mortality rate...I won't add another fish until I'm sure they are all healthy! We have set up a hospital tank to separate the sick fish in the future...but I don't feel right not treating the whole tank since I'm sure everything has been exposed to whatever is going on. Any new fish will be quarantined in the hospital as recommended...but I'm at this point dealing with what I've got!
I've just started dosing with metro after trying the Jungle parasite food for two weeks with moderate to poor results. I have also just finished treating for ich and hope it is finally gone! In addition, I have been adding pimafix and Melafix in hopes that the fin shredding and what looks like fungus and sores will heal.
I have never posted on any forum ever...but I really could use some advice. I have read and read and read...something like over 250hours over the last few months...and even went out and got myself a little 20g because I have rediscovered how much I love it...and I don't want to get frustrated.
I tried to be as complete as I could...sorry if I am long winded and especially if I have forgotten anything!
Thanks again for all the great information I have already received from this forum!