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Old 01-10-2022, 08:08 PM   #1
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Sick Rummy Nose Tetra

Hi everyone. Last week I lost one of my 7 Rummy Nose Tetras shortly after seeing it swimming erratically. Now another one of the tetras is doing the same thing. It looks similar to SBD with its tail down and difficulty swimming up. The affected tetra also looks darker than usual. I am not seeing and dropsy swelling.

I have a 20 gallon high tank that has been operational for over a year with these fish. I use a Tidal HOB filter and switch up the feed between flakes, dried shrimp and Bug Bites. In addition to the now 6 tetras, I have a female betta and a nerite snail. I replace 20% of the water weekly without fail. It is a planted tank and a couple of months ago, I added two new plants. There was alot of plant melting which I took as normal but now there is also alot more algae than usual.

My parameters taken today:

Temp: 79
PH: 7.5
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate:0

I’ve attached some pictures…thanks for any help.
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Old 01-11-2022, 02:51 AM   #2
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If possible i would always quarantine sick fish. If whatever is causing the issue is infectious you protect your other fish, and if you are planning on medicating the fish its better not to medicate your display tank.

I would question your water parameters. Unless you did your water test immediately after a near 100% water change those test results are unlikely. Nitrate is the end result of the nitrogen cycle and in a cycled tank you should be seeing some nitrate. Typically nitrate is only removed through water changes, so a 50% water change will remove 50% of the nitrate. In an uncycled tank you will be seeing ammonia and/or nitrite depending on how far along your cycle has progressed. Given the tank is over a year old, its unlikely you arent cycled yet so i would expect to see some nitrate in there. I would check you are doing the tests correctly.
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Old 01-11-2022, 07:32 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply! I'm trying to come up with a quarantine solution as I wasn't very prepared. As far as the water parameters, I have never measured any appreciable amounts of nitrate after cycling which I attribute to the planted tank. All of these problems began shortly after I added a couple of new plants to the tank so I'm focusing on possibly something from that - parasite or bacteria possibly?
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Old 01-11-2022, 07:42 AM   #4
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Did the plants come out of a tank that contained fish?

How old are the tetras?
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Old 01-11-2022, 10:08 AM   #5
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The plants came from my LFS. They have a separate plant tank, but there are a few small fish in there. The tetras are as old as the tank, a little over a year. I suspect something came in on the plants. I had a lot of plant melting with the new plants but also some on the existing plants which have been there happily since the tank started. There looks to be a lot more algae, but now I'm not sure it is algae. Could it be a fungus? I've attached another picture of the plant issue and of the fish.
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Old 01-12-2022, 02:45 AM   #6
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Unless you have a very heavily planted tank along with a low amount of fish i wouldnt expect to see zero nitrate. I would make sure you are doing the test correctly and get a second opinion. Either try a different test or get your LFS to check your test results.

Plants need some nitrate in the water or will suffer from nitrate deficiency. You may want to look into this with a fertiser if your plants are truely taking up all the nitrate.

It looks like algae. If the plants arent doing too well they will start to decompose and this will put ammonia into the tank and the algae will be feeding of these nutrients on the surface of the leafs.
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Old 01-12-2022, 07:47 AM   #7
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Thanks for the info. I do fertilize the plants, sorry I forgot to mention. I use Easy Green per the instructions each week. The plants were doing really well until the new plants came. I use the liquid API testing kit and I'm sure I am doing it correctly. I am going to take more frequent readings to try and nail down if any specific water problem is the issue.

I appreciate your replies.
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Old 01-12-2022, 08:08 AM   #8
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Make sure you really shake the heck out of bottle #2. Like bang it on the table.
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Old 01-12-2022, 09:12 PM   #9
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Well, I feel stupid. I shook the heck out of the bottles and what do you know…I get 20ppm on nitrate. And that is just a day after a water change. I get that this could explain the algae, but would that affect the fish at all?
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Old 01-13-2022, 03:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psinderson View Post
Well, I feel stupid. I shook the heck out of the bottles and what do you know…I get 20ppm on nitrate. And that is just a day after a water change. I get that this could explain the algae, but would that affect the fish at all?
I was just making a point that your testing results seemed impossible. You typically want to keep nitrate below 40ppm so assuming your 20ppm is after a 50% water change you are at the upper end of where you want them to be.
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Old 01-13-2022, 07:14 AM   #11
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No, I appreciate your advice. I just feel stupid that I've been testing this tank for over a year and probably never got an accurate reading for nitrate. I've got another tank that I need to go and check now. I'm going to keep an eye on this now and see where we go.
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Old 01-13-2022, 07:50 AM   #12
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And this is why we always ask for actual numbers rather than relying on someone saying "my water parameters are perfect". While 0 nitrate might be considered perfect, it is usually a sign that something is off. Commonly a sign that you arent cycled, in your case its a sign you arent doing the test correctly.

Its also very common for people to report "my water parameters are perfect" or to even report them all as zero when in reality they havent tested and have no idea what they are.
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Old 01-21-2022, 07:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aiken Drum View Post
And this is why we always ask for actual numbers rather than relying on someone saying "my water parameters are perfect". While 0 nitrate might be considered perfect, it is usually a sign that something is off. Commonly a sign that you arent cycled, in your case its a sign you arent doing the test correctly.

Its also very common for people to report "my water parameters are perfect" or to even report them all as zero when in reality they havent tested and have no idea what they are.


UPDATE: First of all, I wanted to thank you for your help. After seeing my nitrate testing was bad, I realized that both of my tanks had a nitrate problem. I did a series of water changes over a few days and now both tanks are a manageable 10-20 ppm nitrate. I plan to test more often and perform larger water changes to slowly bring it down further.

But now, another problem. I had another tetra die in the 20 gal, which isn’t surprising as it was not well before the changes. But the remaining fish, 5 rummy nose and a female betta, are lethargic and not swimming much. They eat well when I approach but otherwise rest. Could the water changes have shocked them a bit? My water parameters are fine (now I AM sure), but I know that too much change can be an issue. I am waiting it out a bit as they seem slightly better each day. So frustrating!
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Old 01-22-2022, 05:03 AM   #14
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Coming down from 40ppm nitrate with a 50% water change shouldn't cause any shock. Your parameters werent too bad. They werent bad at all actually. Typically you want to keep nitrate no higher than 40ppm. If you are needing to change more than 50% of the water weekly to keep at this target upper level you are either overstocked or there is something else contributing nitrate into the water. My tap water has 7ppm nitrate to start with for instance.

Your 10 to 20ppm nitrate is a really good place to be if that isnt causing too much maintenance. Certainly no need to bring it down further.
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