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Old 02-18-2004, 11:04 PM   #1
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Sick fish?

Hi,

60 gallon aquarium
6 large Koi's
temperature: 72
PH: 7.6
Nitrite: .2
Ammonia: 0
KH: 170
GH: 80

Excuse my lack of wording, but I have one of those ugly "glass suckers" in this tank, and lately he's looking bad. His stomach is sucked in (and getting worse) and the left side of his tail has lost its color, it's becoming white. He still sucks the glass, but he really looks rough, and I don't what it might be.

I recently cleaned the gravel (it was, as you can imagine with 6 large Koi's, VERY dirty) and also did 2 40% water changes.

Any help appreciated.

Eric
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Old 02-18-2004, 11:37 PM   #2
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A few questions, so we can better help you out...

How big is the sick fish?
Is it an oto or a pleco? Maybe you could post a pic or a link to one

Is the sick fish a new addition? Did you add any other fish recently?

How long has the tank been set up and cycled. The reason I ask is the 0.2 nitrite reading.
What are the nitrate levels and how often do you gravel vac/do water changes? I've never kept koi, but I know that they are very messy. Nitrite and nitrate are toxic and the fish could be suffering rom a disease brought on by stress.

Is the tail white at the edges, or is it covered with white spots or splotches?

Are you feeding the little guy algae wafers? A sunken stomach is indicative of starvation. Oftentimes suckermouth catfish starve because the tank does not produce enough algae to support them.
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Old 02-18-2004, 11:43 PM   #3
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The tank has been unchaged for over a year, no new fish, he's always been there. There's adequate amounts of algae on the windows.

the only thing I can tell you is I did a major cleanup two weeks ago, and there was gunk all aover the place after I celaned the gravel. I also removed all the ornements in there for one week.

I think this may be the cause, it was at the same time. If it's stress, what to do?

Thanks
eric
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Old 02-18-2004, 11:46 PM   #4
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It's a fair size Pleco. I put all the ornements back in last night.
I don't have a nitrate test kit, so I can't say.

I do daily 20% water changes right now.

Eric
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Old 02-18-2004, 11:56 PM   #5
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Try giving him some algae wafers like QTOFFER said. I had one of those guys just die for no aparent reason. I never fed him any wafers, maybe I should have.
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Old 02-19-2004, 12:23 AM   #6
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The tail is becoming white, like it's being bleached. No spots.
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Old 02-19-2004, 01:34 AM   #7
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What kind of filter are you running? Is it enough for the high bioload? Is it an undergravel filter? Those things cause lots of gunk to accumulate in the gravel.

Your fish probably suffered stress from the sudden influx of gunk into the water when you cleaned the gravel. In addition, I suspect that your nitrate and dissolved organics were high - contributing to the stress. Finally, you may have suffered a mini-cycle when you vac'ed the entire gravel bed and removed the ornaments. The loss of color could just be a sign of the stress.

I would just keep doing what you are already doing - frequent water changes - say 20% every other day. Just don't exceed 50% in any given day. I would also try to get a nitrate test kit. As I said, I've heard that koi are messy and you need to check the nitrate levels so that you can guage when to gravel vac/do water changes.

I would keep an eye on the plec for diseases brought on by stress like ick, finrot, and body fungus. Also, pick up some algae wafers and try feeding him at night when the koi are less active. He may not be getting enough nutrition from the algae in the tank alone.
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Old 02-19-2004, 07:05 AM   #8
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I have an Aquaclear 500 and a Fluval 4 Plus. Also a powehead too.
Yeah, I'm quite sure the high level of gunk stressed him out, hopefully it's not too late.

I ordered a nitrate kit, and will pick up the food tonight.

Thanks for your help everyone.

Eric
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Old 02-19-2004, 01:43 PM   #9
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Your filtration is more than adequate, 55reefguy.

You probably just had really high nitrates from all the gunk in the gravel. That and possible malnourishment probably stressed out the plec.

One other thing - do you have a piece of driftwood in there for the plec? They need the lignin found in wood to aid their digestion.

Keep doing the water changes, check the nitrates, and maybe gravel vac more often so the gunk does not build up again. Keep us posted on the plec's recovery. And the koi - they are completely healthy?
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Old 02-19-2004, 02:58 PM   #10
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From close inspection, the Koi's are in great shape.
I'm getting algae pills tonight. As for driftwood, I can get that from an lfs, correct?

I think Hagen makes these too, are they any good?

Thanks
Eric
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Old 02-19-2004, 03:29 PM   #11
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Glad to hear that the koi are OK. My brother has some in his pond. They're supposed to live 30 - 40 years if the blue herons don't get them first.

I would only buy driftwood from a lfs to be safe - that way it will be free of parasites. You'll have to soak it to make it sink (if it is not attached to a piece of slate) and remove most of the colored tannins. Even so, expect the wood to turn your water a bit brownish - like very weak tea. This blackwater extract is harmless; some fish even thrive bacause of it; but you may find it aesthetically displeasing. With time it will dissipate. The driftwood will reduce the plec's stress by aiding its digestion and giving it a dark place to hide under during the day.

I'm sure Hagen makes the algae wafers, as does Tetra and Wardley; but I have heard only good things about the Hikari brand.
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Old 02-19-2004, 05:09 PM   #12
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They state this should not darken water, it's also suppose to float.
Will this be good for the Pleco?

Which one do you recommend, the second link says it's made of Polyester resine?!

http://www.hagen.com/canada/english/...01018180010101

http://www.hagen.com/canada/english/...01022600010101
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Old 02-19-2004, 07:05 PM   #13
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You really want actual wood, so the resin decorations are out. The pleco will eat what he is able to scrape and rasp away - cellulose, lignin, yum!

Big Al's has wood attached to slate, so you don't have to worry about floating. I would still soak it to clean it up, tho.
Man, these prices are about half what I would pay here in NY...and they're in Canadian dollars too! We get so ripped off down here.

http://www.bigalsonline.ca/search/?keywords1=driftwood&method=all&collection=sitebui lder%2Fcatalog1-1&category=DECORATIONS&type=parametric&pretty_name =DECORATIONS&x=16&y=13
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