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Old 10-17-2005, 01:58 PM   #1
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Please Help Me Figure This Out

have a 15 gallon tank that unfortunately, has a death about every 2-3 months. My parameters are always good (nitrite 0, amononia 0, ph 7.4). I do water changes every week or week and a half with a gravel vac. Here's the history. Remember, these deaths are 2-3 months apart.

1. Red eye tetra seems to have an injury by the gill. I try different medications but nothing works so it developes into a fungus infection. I put him in a hospital tank but he dies.

2. A Molly becomes weak, I separate him to medicate but he dies. No signs of anything specific.

3. Panda cory died. Most likely from a long power outage.

4. Panda cory died. I noticed he wasn't eating much and moving about. No visible signs of what happened.

5. A betta starts acting very depressed. I separate him and he dies. No signs of anything specific.

6. Dwarf Platy looks as he is blind so I separate him to medicate and he dies. I notice white fuzz around his mouth.

This tank has always been heavily stocked so I am very careful to do my water changes on a regular basis. Here are the fish I have currently:

1 Pleco (bn)
3 red-eye tetra
1 serpae tetra
1 Molly
1 Betta
1 Panda Cory

Also, some of the fish that have died have been replaced with what I have currently have.

Please, how can I stop these deaths? Most of my fish I've had for 3 to 12 months.
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Old 10-17-2005, 03:17 PM   #2
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The only parameter you didn't mention was NO3. Would need that info in order to know what's happening in the tank.
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Old 10-17-2005, 04:02 PM   #3
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I will have to purchase a nitrate kit as I don't have one.
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Old 10-17-2005, 06:34 PM   #4
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I wonder if it is simplya space issue. One fish gets annoyed at another, nips and infection ensues.
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Old 10-17-2005, 10:59 PM   #5
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I really see very little aggression with this group of fish. Yes, I've had problems with bullying in the past but I did some rearranging awhile back between my two tanks and everyone seems to get along. The pleco may get alittle pushy during feeding time but that's about it.

I went to an LFS today to see if they had some ideas on what was going on. He asked me the usual questions and then said that another customer of his had the same type of problem as I did. He suggested that after my next water change, wait a day and then put 15 drops of Quick Cure in the water. He said to give another dose on a as need basis if I start seeing any of my fish looking stressed.

In the directions, it says 1 drop per gallon or 1 drop per 2 gallons if you have tetras. I guess I will try about 6 drops since I am guessing I have about 12 or 13 gallons on water in the tank.

I asked him about the nitrate test and he said that he can't imagine that being a problem because I keep up with my water changes. Based on that and the cost of the test kit, I decided to purchase the kit. If the Quick Cure doesn't do anything, I will probably take a sample in to my main LFS and let them test everything possible.
What do you think?
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Old 10-17-2005, 11:06 PM   #6
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It almost sounds like a bacterial infection or a fungus that doesn't getting treated out of the tank entirely between illnesses.
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Old 10-17-2005, 11:09 PM   #7
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Zagz, that is what I am thinking but it seems so strange that its weeks in between that this happens. And it doesn't seem to hit the newest fish that I have introduced into the tank as I replace fish.
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Old 10-17-2005, 11:25 PM   #8
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I'm no expert but maybe the fish that are in the tank exsisting have caught the bacteria/fungus and it accelerates when they get stressed (ex. new fish). Maybe someone else can offer input as to whether a bacterial or fungal infection can remain primarily dormant until it is triggered by something. I have no familiarity with Quick Cure at all, I've only used melafix and pimafix.
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Old 10-18-2005, 06:26 AM   #9
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Your tetras, pleco, and cory might not appreciate the addition of quick cure. All it contains essentially is malachite green (a natural poison) and formalin. The malachite green attacks and kills all parasites in a tank, and that usually means harm for inverts. Formalin is used to treat secondary bacterial infections that might result from a parasitic infection. It usually isn't the best way to go, because it can sometimes stress fish even more.

With the nitrates, if you have such a large bioload in your tank, there could be a nitrate problem, regardless of how many water changes you do. It won't lead to death, but high nitrates is more a stress issue, which might lead to other health problems.

A few things to think about. I can't think of any other explanation besides the one Zagz gave, in that you have some sort of hidden infections going on.

I think it wouldn't hurt either for you to try periodic feedings of medicated foods. A lot of people do it as a preventative only. Its not good as a staple diet, but once a month to keep your fish nice and healthy on the inside might not be such a bad idea.

A few things to think about. HTH. And sorry to hear about the blind platy.
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Old 10-18-2005, 08:35 AM   #10
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Where can you get medicated food and what kind is best?
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Old 10-18-2005, 10:14 AM   #11
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Medicated food can be found in most all LFS. Its a common product. Pepso food is a good anti-parasitic food. I believe Jungle also makes an antibacterial food.
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Old 10-21-2005, 01:52 PM   #12
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Well, I have a more serious problem going on now. My dalmation molly was slightly leaning on his side and looked ragged. He's the first one to greet me in the morning but he didn't do that this morning. My betta was looking a little stressed also. There was left over food in the tank from last night, which never happens.

I did a water change and tested the water and everything looked good. The Molly seemed to improve. I called my usual LFS and he recommended Furanase. Since he successfully helped me with Columnaris in my 10 gallon last Spring, I decided to take his advice on this one.

It's so difficult to find the right thing to do as you have so little time and you get so many different opinions. Let's hope I made the right choice and this takes care of whatever is making my fish sick.

I'll keep you all posted.
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Old 10-21-2005, 03:28 PM   #13
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The Molly is just about gone. I just hope he dies before my daughter gets home from school so she doesn't see him suffering. I have a feeling that the next three days are going to be very stressful for both the humans and fish.

This is so heartbreaking :|
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Old 10-21-2005, 05:01 PM   #14
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As much as I admire you for trying everything to save the fish, I'm afraid that you may actually end up doing more harm in the end. By adding these 'wonder chemicals', you could potentially be killing off your good bacteria, thus resulting in another cycle. I know how heartbreaking it is to see your fish dying off, but you need to get to the bottom of the problem.... which may in fact be nitrates. Personally, I would have bought that test over the other stuff. Get the full nitrogen cycle in check (ammonia, nitrite, AND nitrate) and go from there.

You mention fungal-like symptoms. Do you notice this on any of your current fish? Are there any other physical problems out of the norm? Red gills, torn fins, clamped fins, labored breathing, etc? If you can link up common symtoms (aside from the 'looks sick'), then we may be able to give you a more defined diagnosis. It's never a good thing to just start adding chemicals to your tank and hope that one works.
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Old 10-21-2005, 10:43 PM   #15
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How goes the search for medicated food?

Sorry to hear about your fish
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Old 10-21-2005, 11:56 PM   #16
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The platy that died ended up having fuzz around his mouth. The Dalmation Molly looked ragged. It was really hard to tell if he had fuzz on him because of his coloring. When I took him out of the tank, I was so upset that I forgot to take a closer look at him.

Yes, I understand that this medicine may harm some of my fish but I am hoping it kills what has been slowly killing my fish. I had to make a quick decision on the treatment because of the Molly and the fact I knew something was very wrong when I saw leftover food. I need to treat the tank two more times so it's going to be a very long weekend.
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Old 10-22-2005, 01:35 PM   #17
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The fuzz around the mouth sounds lik columnarus. Sorry to hear about your losses, good luck!
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Old 10-22-2005, 01:46 PM   #18
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Zagz, that is what I am thinking also. A while back, I lost a betta with no signs of fuzz. At another website this one person said from the description of his symtoms that it sounded like it was columnarus. I thought she was nuts but now I am thinking that it was a possibility. I had it in my other tank but it was a classic version and there was no doubt that is was columnarus.

I am confident that this is the medicine to give them but I am also aware that I will probably lose a fish or two in the process. I tried several medicines with my other tank and furon was the only thing that finally worked. I have to give a second dose in a few minutes and I am going to be a wreak for the next 6-10 hours waiting to see who will make it and who will not.
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Old 10-23-2005, 12:32 PM   #19
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I had a bout with columnarus, I nearly lost my mind, I sympathize with you and hope all goes well.
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Old 10-23-2005, 12:40 PM   #20
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There are several books that could help you diagnose your fish. I recommend either "The Manual of Fish Health" by Andrews, Exell and Carrington or the "Handbook of Fish Diseases" by Untergasser. The second gets very technical but has almost 50 pages of charts that walk you through various symptoms to get to the cause.
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