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Old 03-10-2011, 03:35 PM   #1
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Red gills

Hi, I've just noticed that two of my three ottos have bright red gills. I know this I usually caused by ammonia, but I have been testing my water every day for the past two weeks and ammonia and nitrites have been consistently 0. Nitrates vary between 10 and 20. I thought that as otocinclus are very sensitive, they might be picking up on ammonia levels that the kit(api drip test) wasn't showing, but if that's the case surely all 3 would be showing red gills?
Does anyone have any suggestions as to what it could be?
As I'm writing this, I've noticed one of my guppies gills are also red, and another one just rubbed itself on a rock. I know the pic is awful (iPhone camera) but it does show how red his gills are thanks in advance for the help!
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Old 03-10-2011, 03:45 PM   #2
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It could be from where they came from too. I worried about my black loaches forever because they had red cheeks, but it was just normal for them. Hopefully someone who has otos can help out!
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Old 03-10-2011, 04:02 PM   #3
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Healthy fish gills will be a nice pinkish red. They have lots of blood flowing through them. Angry red inflamed gills are a sign of ammonia poisoning.
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Old 03-10-2011, 04:05 PM   #4
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They are a proper red, not pink. They weren't like it when I bought them and I've only noticed it today. I've tested my ammonia 3 times now, 0 each time. I have done a 25% water change just in case. The fish are all acting normally. No gasping at the surface, all eating fine. I don't understand what's going on
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:50 PM   #5
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Thank you for your really quick replies by the way
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Old 03-11-2011, 03:10 PM   #6
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hey, sorry to hijack a thread, but my roomies tank is losing lots of fish. He first told me one of his fish had red gills (black skirt tetra). Then he started losing fish. So far he's lost 3 Chinese Algea Eaters, 1 molly, 2 plattys, 3 Rainbow tetras all since about friday of last week. We checked the levels with the API test kit and ammo, nitrite were 0, Nitrate was at around 70ppm, we did a couple water changes since (50%) then but he's still losing fish. We don't know what to do, should we still be doing water changes everday? He still has 9 neon tetras, 3 black skirt tetras, 2 mollys, 1 platy, 1 mystery snail and 1 nerite snail.

Oh yeah, all the mollys and platys were hanging at the surface looking like they needed oxygen, so I stuck a stoneless air pump into the tank to make water agitation, they seemed fine for about a day. but yesterday they started hanging out at the surface again and lost a platy today.

He has a 55g bowfront that has been running since Dec.
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Old 03-11-2011, 03:17 PM   #7
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It sounds like a case of old tank syndrome. The nitrates accumulate over a period of time and the fish get used to the "thicker" water. When you drastically reduce the nitrates from that high a level by doing lots of PWCs, you rapidly "thin out" the water, shocking the fish. It's very similar to switching a tank from brackish water to fresh water.

How large is this tank? I suspect the tank was likely overstocked, which would contribute to the problems. The provided list of fish is enough to stock a 55g. For future reference, chinese algae eaters get big and aggressive and they don't eat much algae.

You want to keep the nitrate levels below 40ppm and ideally below 20ppm. You have to do PWCs to control the nitrate levels.
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Old 03-11-2011, 03:23 PM   #8
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Yeah, I told him not to get the CAEs, but he insisted he get those, since they seemed the most active out of all the algea eaters..... He has a 55g bowfront. I did a waterchange for him and it seemed like he wasn't cleaning out the gravel to well, lots of stuff got sucked up. So, we should just keep doing the water changes and hope nothing else dies? What about eh Mollys/Platy at the top of the tank looking like they need air ?
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Old 03-11-2011, 03:30 PM   #9
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At this point, yes, keep the water clean and hope for the best. The fish at the top sound like they may have nitrate poisoning.
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Old 03-11-2011, 03:46 PM   #10
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BigJim, do you have any idea why my ottos might have red gills?
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Old 03-11-2011, 03:49 PM   #11
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My otos have pinkish-red gills. I can't tell how red your fish's are in the picture, but it looks similar to mine.
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Old 03-11-2011, 03:53 PM   #12
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Really? So it might be normal then? I really thought it was new, and as two have got it and one hasn't, I'm a bit worried :/
I did see in one if them, the bright red seems to be in his mouth as well.
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Old 03-12-2011, 01:01 PM   #13
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Well, the otos gills seem to be going back to normal. Really strange :/
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