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Old 09-03-2003, 01:54 AM   #1
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Problems: dead guppy, fish not eating much, ick? need help!

My story
Okay, well ony of my plants died today since I didn't have adequate lighting. I can live with that. I hadn't seen two of my guppies all day so I decided to do a little bit of searching. I lift one rock and find that one guppy somehow managed to lodge itself under one of my rocks. I got itout from under there, but it didn't look like it was in such good shape. I picked up the other rock to find my third guppy DEAD. It looked like it had been dead for a while. All of it's colors were gone and its fancy tail was gone too. How do you think my guppy died?
Side note: I guess guppies like hiding spots. Should I make some safer ones so they don't get trapped?

I think ich has made an amazing comeback in my tank. My little pleco has this thin white film on it. Is that ich? I don't know what ich looks like on a scaleless fish. If it is ich, are pleco's too sensitive for ich? What do you recommend?

Also, my fish have been barely eating the flakes when I put them in the top of the tank. However, when I make the flakes sink, the fish all go for it really quickly. It seems like they've forgotten how to eat from the top of the tank. Is that possible?

I guess it's been a realy bad week for me and my fish. Any help would be appreciated. [/i]
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Old 09-03-2003, 07:14 AM   #2
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First things first: What are your water parameters? If you haven't checked them I suggest doing it ASAP; all those dead fish and plants may have caused an ammonia spike, which could be the problem.

Its not ich. If you treated the tank properly (which I believe you did) and have not introduced anything new, ich cannot reappear. Plus, ich looks like ich on all fish.

So 2 possible issues which may be combined. Could be ammonia poisoning. A film like that is also indicative of Columnaris; check the disease section of www.fish-disease.com for a list of treatments.

Good luck!
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Old 09-03-2003, 12:34 PM   #3
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I forgot to mention, I checked all my water parameters and everything seemed okay. Ammonia wasn't high or anything. The nitrate was at 40 (mg/L) though so I just made a partial water change to be on the safe side.

Allivymar, unfortunately that website you gave me was sort of a dead end since their "diagnostic center wasn't up and running" and parts of the database were missing. It did provide me wth SOME information though.

Alright, well it seems that only my pleco is infected with whatever this is b/c I can't see anything on my tetras and guppies. I'm still not sure what the problem may be, so if I don't figure out what it is by tomorrow morning I'm just going to medicate with rid-ich since it also treats "a wide range of external protozoan and fungal diseases of aquarium fishes" (I'm quoting the bottle here).

Edit: Also, does fish medication hurt plants?
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Old 09-03-2003, 01:17 PM   #4
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Yeah, the diagnostic center doesn't work. Is why I suggested going to the disease section and looking up columnaris (I do wish they'd finish the diagnostic thing; it would make things SO much easier!). Click on enter, then if you look at the listing on the left, disease is the last one; click on that to get the list of all sorts of fish diseases.

I wouldn't suggest Rid-Ich as a treatment for this if it is columnaris; tis a bacterial infection and needs antibiotics.

And just to be clear, cause I'm so easily confused *grin* you say ammonia isn't high. What does that mean? Do you have ANY ammonia readings? And if so, what are the numbers? And what about nitrites?
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Old 09-03-2003, 07:46 PM   #5
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Alright, here are my readings:

Ammonia: 0 - 0.1mg/L
Nitrate: 35-40 (I did a 25% water change yesterday and it's still in this range. What gives?)
Total Hardness: 150 (GH)
Total Alkalinity: 150 (KH)
pH: 7.8


I checked the symptoms of columnaris, and I don't think that's exactly it. It mentions "cotton-like patches on the head, fins, gills, body and particularly the mouth," but there's nothing on my pleco's mouth or gills. I think it's actually costia, and rid-ich treats costia infections.

So, I have another question for you all, when I'm medicating I'm supposed to remove the filter and bio-wheel, correct? Am I supposed to leave them out in the open or put it in a bucket with tank water in it? If I'm supposed to put them in tank water, can I put that tank water back (since it hasn't been treated)? Also, how long do I have to wait until I can put the bio-wheel and filter back in after I've put the medication in the tank?


Edit: When I got home today, my secdond guppy was dead (the one that I found stuck underneath a rock).
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Old 09-03-2003, 09:08 PM   #6
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Ack. Sorry bout the other guppy :(

Do be very careful treating the plec with the Rid-Ich. The chemicals/poisons in ich meds are dangerous for scaleless fish; are you using Rid-Ich Plus? Its supposed to be safer. All the recommended meds for Costia are really dangerous for scaleless fish actually.

As for the nitrate levels, you have trace ammonia; theres a good chance there are nitrites in the tank as well (which may be part of your problem). Do you have a nitrite test? Those levels are just as important, as nitrite is almost as deadly as ammonia.

Leave the filter; you may only need to remove the Bio-Wheel. It does need to remain wet and aerated. Thing is, I don't know how long Costia can survive without a host (I know ich has a limited life span without one, unfamiliar with Costia). You may have to do some research to find the answer to that one. Also, the bacteria in the Bio-Wheel will only survive so long without a food source and you shouldn't replace it until the medication is out of the tank.

You may want to just leave everything on, and grab some Bio-Spira. Once the medication is finished and removed from the tank water, add the Bio-Spira to kick start a new cycle.
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Old 09-03-2003, 11:21 PM   #7
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It's just regular rid ich, but says that "when used as directed, will not harm biological filters and is safer than other medications when used with meny 'scaleless' fishesincluding most catfishes, loaches, and tetras."

Since it claims to not hurt biological filters, do you think I should just leave everything in? I don't know if I should trust it.

Nitrite is at zero

What's bio-spira again? I've heard it a million times before, but I seem to have forgotten what it is (I feel really stupid asking this, but it's better to ask).
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Old 09-04-2003, 07:41 AM   #8
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Interesting. Usually regular Rid-Ich states half doses for scaleless fish, and Rid-Ich Plus states its safe for scaleless fish...maybe they changed and ALL Rid-Ich is actually the Plus now? Just checked their homepage and it seems that way (btw, the product info is here if you want to check it out: http://www.petsforum.com/novalek/kpd38.htm )

No I wouldn't trust it either. Malachite green, which is a main ingredient in ich meds is a poison and will prob have some effect on the bio-filter.

Bio-Spira is basically the proper nitrifying bacteria in a bag. Its refrigerated and many pet stores are starting to carry it. Its the ONLY stuff the has the right bacteria on the market atm.
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Old 09-04-2003, 03:53 PM   #9
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Bio Spira ????

"Bio-Spira is basically the proper nitrifying bacteria in a bag. Its refrigerated and many pet stores are starting to carry it. Its the ONLY stuff the has the right bacteria on the market atm"


I posted here regarding my dying fish. It seems we've solved the issue as to why (I was unfamiliar with the cycle the tank needed: I cleaned out tank completely and added fish back right away).
Anyway, my question would be if I added Bio Spira, if it would speed up the process of cycling the tank?
I have been doing daily water changes, and there's been no further loss. I'm still showing ammonia, but I'm also wondering if the stuff I have added to the water is altering the readings. (Been using Neutral Regulator and Stress Zyme as directed, and testing with a liquid/vial test kit made by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals). What brand ammonia test kit, if not this one, will give me *true* harmful ammonia levels??

Thanks so much for your help!!
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Old 09-04-2003, 04:08 PM   #10
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Long as illuminum doesn't mind the slightly off topic post, I'll answer it here

Bio-Spira is made to be added WITH the fish to a new tank. Its meant to deal with rising levels of ammonia, not established. That being said, a number of people have had success with using it to kick start a tank which had a nitrite stall, as well as using it to support depleted bacterial colonies after medicating a tank. It may be worth a try in your case calmara. Obviously tho, your mileage may vary.

Aquarium Pharmaceuticals makes a Freshwater/Saltwater test kit that is a salicyte test (salicyte tests are the kind you want; the Nessler tests can't tell the difference). Its also in a yellow box (as is the AquaPharm Nessler tests) so make sure it says for both fresh and salt. I'm unfamiliar with Nuetral Regulator. Who's it by, and does it say it removes or neutralises ammonia?
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Old 09-04-2003, 10:41 PM   #11
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ok, so I'm going to medicate my tank with rid-ich and see what happens. I'm going to remoce the bio-wheel but leave in the filter. After an hour or so I'll put the bio-wheel back in. I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old 09-04-2003, 10:50 PM   #12
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Definitely keep us updated!!

If you are going to replace the Bio-Wheel after an hour or so, just leave it in. The meds don't disperse that quickly. It would need to be out of the tank until treatment is done and kept in water and aerated. Better to leave it n grab some Bio-Spira to have on hand once things are finished.
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Old 09-06-2003, 04:43 AM   #13
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Thanks, Allivymar.
The regulator I speak of was referred to me by petco when my ammonia was high when I first established my tank. It's by Seachem. It says it adjusts high or low pH to 7.0 and removes chlorine, chloramine, and ammonia. It adjusts pH and maintains it there. Softens water by precipitating calcium and magnesium while removing the above listed bad things. That's really all it says.
I will check ou those kits you recommend.
All seems to be well at the moment, though I am picking up slight ammonia with my current kit. I'm still doing water changes until there is zero.
Enjoy your weekend......
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Old 09-06-2003, 04:46 AM   #14
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eeek. just tested water again, and now i'm having a nitrite spike to 1.
????????
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Old 09-06-2003, 05:14 AM   #15
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Ahh ok. Now that I know what it is I looked it up

Its one of those multi-purpose chemical combos; I have to admit I tend to avoid them. I've never added anything but a basic dechlor/dechoramine that does nothing else, and recently Bio-Spira to my tanks; I don't even treat ich with meds (so far anyway LOL). I'm curious why they recommended this stuff; do you have Ph probs as well? I'm not sure how much it may have actually lowered Ph as its supposed to be used with Discus Buffer (if that was even one of the reasons you are using it).

Does it say it "removes" ammonia? It don't see it on the Seachem site; but other sites have that line in their Neutral regulator ads. Understand nothing actually removes ammonia; all it does is convert it to a non-toxic form which the ammonia eating bacteria are do not eat as readily. Consequently, they don't multiply as rapidly. What MAY be happening here as your tank is still cycling is those ammonia eating bacteria are finally starting to multiply rapidly; nitrites would be the result. Time to start water changing again!

Actually, the best thing to do for general ammonia and nitrite spikes IS water changes as you are doing. Fresh clean conditioned water is always a good thing! It will dilute the ammonia and nitrites, and slow the cycle down a bit, but better to have live fish then a completed cycle as you well know Has your tank spiked for nitrites before? Just a FYI, a small amount of salt will help prevent nitrite poisoning if the levels get really high; just be sure the fish you have can handle salt if you decide you need to do that.

*apologises to illuminum for the off-topic posts*

Btw, cal, next time open a new topic for stuff thats a bit diff from the original topic. We check em all; it won't be missed
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Old 09-06-2003, 09:07 PM   #16
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I snapped some shots of the strange white patches. The pics are considerably big so I'm just going to link them here:


Link 1: http://www.digitalstar.com/illuminum.../92677ORIG.JPG

Link 2: http://www.digitalstar.com/illuminum.../92678ORIG.JPG
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Old 09-07-2003, 01:28 AM   #17
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Amazing what a coupla of pics can do.

I looked at them, and it may actually be nothing. It doesn't exactly look white; more like faded. I don't see any overproduction of slime coat or anything like that. Is the lighter area symmetrical on both sides? If so, it may simply be a part of the plecs natural camoflauge. Mine also started getting lighter areas when I moved him into a new tank (after a couple of weeks). They are kinda visible here: http://www.aquariumadvice.com/photop...t=7&thecat=500 ; the most apparent one is the one near the end of his dorsal fin.

However, the pics aren't as clear as they could be, so it may also be something called velvet. Does it appear as though those areas are covered in gold dust? Does he appear to be scratching on anything? You might want to check here and see if the pics of velvet appear similar to your guy: http://www.fishpalace.org/Disease.html
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Old 09-07-2003, 04:39 PM   #18
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I don't really see a glimmery gold dust appearance on the patches. What is velvet? I've never heard about it. I haven't seen any abnormal behavior from my pleco either. He doesn't do much, but most pleco's don't, so I gues that's okay. I haven't seen him rub up against anything from irritation. It doesn't look normal though. I'm still at a loss as to what it is.
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