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Old 06-27-2012, 11:57 PM   #1
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Sick fish (with pics)

1~What type of fish is afflicted? In addition, please describe what is wrong with the fish to the best of your ability (i.e. cotton like growth, bloated, etc.).

Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish - Has dark spots, is mostly hanging out in one area of the tank and gasping a bit, is not eating well

2~What are your tank parameters:

Ammonia, Nitrate are 0. Temp is 82 degrees F.

3~ How large is the tank? How long has the tank been set up?

55 gallon tank, has been set up for 3 months

4~What type of filtration are you using? Please give the name and number (i.e. Fluval 304) and amount of gph if known.

Two HOB filters, one is an Aquapower 5-15, the other is an Aquapower 30-60


5~How many fish are in the tank? What kinds of fish are they and what are their current sizes?

3 Neon Tetras
4 Swordtails
4 Cory Cats
4 Assasin Snails
1 Guppy
3 Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish
1 Balloon Molly

6~When is the last time you did a water change and vacuum the gravel? How often do you do this? How much water do you remove at a time?

Water was changed yesterday. Vacuum the gravel every other water change. Changing 50% of water at once.

7~How long have you had the fish? If the fish is new, how did you acclimate it/them?

Have had these fish for 2 months. Originally had 5, two have died from some kind of swim bladder disease (fish were swimming in loop-de-loops and had already been pecked badly by other fish by the time we caught this)

8~Have you added anything new to the tank--decor, new dechlorinator, new substrate, etc.?

Nothing new

9~What kind of food have you been feeding your fish, have you changed their diet recently?

Tetra flakes mostly, with some freeze dried bloodworms as an occasional treat.


I've tried an entire course of Melafix per the instructions on the bottle in case this was evidence of some kind of bacterial infection, but it didn't seem to help. We've had several other fish deaths recently, all of which have come on very suddenly. (Two platys were fine one night, dead the next morning [not at the same time though], 3 tetras have one by one started floating vertically instead of horizontally, were gasping, and had a "pinched" look before succumbing, two balloon mollys died the same way the platys did)

Do these spots look like anything to anyone? The fish did NOT have them when we purchased it, and have gradually been getting worse.
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:36 AM   #2
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Sorry I can't help identify the spots, maybe somebody else can. Whenever I hear of black spots, I think ammonia burns, but you stated ammonia is zero.

One question that may help others answer: you stated that ammonia and nitrate are zero. Did you mean nitrAte or nitrIte?

Knowing all three will help others with more experience than yours truly answer your question.

Good luck!
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Old 06-28-2012, 12:25 PM   #3
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Sorry, I have zero NitrItes. The bad one, not nitrates. My nitrates are fine as well but I don't know the exact.

I thought Ammonia as well. I have one of those little disks that hangs on the inside of the tank and is supposed to change color if the ammonia starts spiking. Once we started losing fish I was worried it wasn't working however. I brought some water to Pet smart and they tested it.
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Old 06-28-2012, 08:57 PM   #4
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Anyone? Even if no one could even hazard a guess as to what's wrong, could I get some advice on whether I should just euthanize him or something? He's definitely not feeling well.
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Old 06-29-2012, 12:30 AM   #5
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Did you cycle the tank before adding fish? If not, I suspect your fish issues over the past 2 months are directly related to toxin levels in your tank due to the cycling process. The hang on 'disks' are worthless for accurately testing your water. Petsmart uses strips to test water which are not much better. My suggestion is to invest in a good liquid test kit such as ghe API master kit so you are able to accurately monitor your tank on a regular basis.

In respect to your fish, the black areas do look like ammonia burns. These will heal with healthy water however, he may also be suffering the effects from ammonia damage beyond just his physical appearance. Euthanasia is a choice you will have to decide for yourself- he may recover on his own with lots of healthy water.
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Old 06-29-2012, 12:41 AM   #6
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I don't mind grabbing a decent test kit, I'll do it tonight in fact (especially since the only two guesses are ammonia burns). It does seem a bit odd that the problem would suddenly present after this long, though.

I DID cycle the tank beforehand (although admittedly I confirmed no ammonia with strip after I put it in the tank) and if there was deadly amounts of ammonia was in the water that even the strips would read SOMETHING.
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Old 06-29-2012, 01:12 AM   #7
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Do you mind if I ask how you cycled your tank prior to adding fish?
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Old 06-29-2012, 01:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Do you mind if I ask how you cycled your tank prior to adding fish?
Sure, of course. Borrowed a filter and gravel from a friend's tank, that's why I have the two filters. Added a half teaspoon of ammonia every other day and tested with some cheap strips the day after, after a week the ammonia was gone within by the next day, after three weeks no nitrites. At that point I started putting fish in. The four Corys were first,then the rainbow fish.

I am going to Pet smart tomorrow, couldn't get there tonight. I'll be sure to update this with my #s tomorrow.

Edit: my #s from a good drop test, of course
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Old 06-29-2012, 03:10 AM   #9
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I suggest you not to feed them the dry worms.... These some times cause constipation and bloated issues to certain fish, similar symptoms as the ones that you described before.
The black spots, no idea.. Sorry
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Old 06-29-2012, 08:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agentnolt View Post
Sure, of course. Borrowed a filter and gravel from a friend's tank, that's why I have the two filters. Added a half teaspoon of ammonia every other day and tested with some cheap strips the day after, after a week the ammonia was gone within by the next day, after three weeks no nitrites. At that point I started putting fish in. The four Corys were first,then the rainbow fish.

I am going to Pet smart tomorrow, couldn't get there tonight. I'll be sure to update this with my #s tomorrow.

Edit: my #s from a good drop test, of course
Once you get the parameters posted, I'm sure a number of people stand ready to help you out.

The good news, in my mind, is that if it is indeed a water quality issue, those are relatively easily remedied.

Good luck!
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:01 PM   #11
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Sorry everyone for not getting back to this sooner, I got called away to an emergency and have been out of state for awhile.

I did all the tests in the API master reset kit and here are my results (I had to do ranges on some of it because I have trouble with color matching tests, I wish this thing was a titration test kit like the one for my pool.)

PH: 7.8 - 8.0

Ammonia: either .25 ppm or 0, it looked like .25 to me but my girlfriend thinks it looks like 0

Nitrite: deinitely 0

Nitrate: somewhere between 40 and 80, again there's not much difference between the two in the chart

Since I last wrote the rainbow fish pictured has died, as well as the other rainbowfish, and a guppy. I'm down to 4 sword tails, 4 corys, 2 tetras, and 4 assassin snails.

Any suggestions? I DON'T over feed, and the biological filter has been going for over 5 months now, and I'm obviously not overstocked. I know any ammonia is too much, and the ph looks a bit high for the tropical fish I've got, are they bad enough to be slowly wiping out my entire tank after we've had happy healthy fish for so long? Thank you for any assistance.
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:35 PM   #12
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Try to get your nitrates down to the 20 range. To be honest I had rainbows and they did fine for awhile then succumbed after a couple months. To me it's a common thing with them I think. I would suggest switching to frozen bloodworms over freeze dried. I found less issues with constipation and I heard they are safer bacteria wise.
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Old 07-10-2012, 03:54 PM   #13
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Any suggestions? I DON'T over feed, and the biological filter has been going for over 5 months now, and I'm obviously not overstocked. I know any ammonia is too much, and the ph looks a bit high for the tropical fish I've got, are they bad enough to be slowly wiping out my entire tank after we've had happy healthy fish for so long? Thank you for any assistance.
I concur with trying to get and keep nitrates at or less than 20 ppm if you can.

When it comes to pH, stability is far more important than the actual number. A pH of 7.8-8.0 should be just fine so long as it's stable.

Sorry to hear about your losses.
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Old 07-10-2012, 04:17 PM   #14
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I concur with trying to get and keep nitrates at or less than 20 ppm if you can.

When it comes to pH, stability is far more important than the actual number. A pH of 7.8-8.0 should be just fine so long as it's stable.

Sorry to hear about your losses.
I will definitely try this. What's the recommended way to reduce nitrates? The test kit says to use Nitraban.
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Old 07-10-2012, 04:26 PM   #15
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My ph is consistently between 8 and 8.6, depending on the tank. My tap water, gassed off is 8.2. I have a variety of tropicals, and as far as I know, never a problem with them and ph. As was said, keep it stable and the fish will be fine.
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Old 07-10-2012, 04:27 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Agentnolt

I will definitely try this. What's the recommended way to reduce nitrates? The test kit says to use Nitraban.
No, back to back water changes. Wait an hour then test. If they are still above 20, do another water change.
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Old 07-10-2012, 04:55 PM   #17
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Okay, I will do that tonight. Should I test my tap water for nitrates as well? I already do fairly massive water changes.
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Old 07-10-2012, 05:04 PM   #18
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Wouldn't hurt to test your tap. Be interesting to see what happens once you get the nitrates lowered. If they raise again quickly there is something else going on with the tank.
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Old 07-10-2012, 05:07 PM   #19
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Wouldn't hurt to test your tap. Be interesting to see what happens once you get the nitrates lowered. If they raise again quickly there is something else going on with the tank.
Oh I'll keep you all informed. Thanks for the suggestions!
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Old 07-10-2012, 07:17 PM   #20
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Okay, I will do that tonight. Should I test my tap water for nitrates as well? I already do fairly massive water changes.
I concur with testing the tap as it can contain nitrates.

My tap runs about 5 ppm, for example, though some can be higher (or lower).

If nothing else, knowing my tap runs about 5 ppm helps me determine how many and what % water changes I need to do to keep my nitrates in the desired range.

Good luck!
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