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Old 03-20-2004, 02:19 PM   #1
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swim bladder disorder ??

hi everyone.. im new here, was directed over from reefsanctuary. looks like a great place. thanks in advance for your help... ok here goes, ive got a problem with my 90 gallon freshwater community tank. inhabitants were as follows; 1 Gold Severum Cichlid, 2 Mated Angels, 5 Aussie Rainbows, 7 Red Eye Tetras (?), 1 Orange Spotted PLeco, 1 Hillstream Loach, 3 Clown Loaches, 2 Gouramis, 2 Peppered Corys.

A few months ago one of my angels developed an ifected swim bladder i think, because he could no longer stay midway in teh tank effortlessly (neutrally buoyant for all the divers he would fall to the bottom as soon as he stopped swimming. so i put him into a Q tank and medicated with some antibiotics that were reccomended. he didnt get better but my wife urged me to put him back in the tank with his mate to see what would happen. well, he got a little better but would always just hang out on the bottom and only swim for food... i thought it might go away. well he died the other day. a couple of days before that a cory died. then yesterday i noticed a rainbow died and last night it looks like (and this morning) that another rainbow has swim bladder infection cuz he keeps on sinking...


so, please help me, im going to do a big water change, just did one a week or so ago. and then i will test PH and Ammonia, the only tests i have. but if anyone could help me as to why fish get SBI, what to do, and if i should med teh whole tank.. thanks alot. i feed flakes and bloodworms BTW.

thanks so mcuh
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Old 03-20-2004, 06:24 PM   #2
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Hiya strat and welcome to Aquariumadvice!

There are a number of causes of swim bladder issues:

Infection, as you are aware of. Could be viral or bacterial. Its near impossible to tell the difference.

Dietary. Flake foods, for example, cause bloating which can throw off a fish's ability to maintain neutral bouyance.

Constipation. Yep, fish get constipated. Also diet related; over feeding can cause blockages which will affect the swim bladder.

Anatomy. Some fish are simply prone to swim bladder issues, like some of those funky goldfish.

Toxins, especially hydrogen sulfide which happens in anaerobic conditions, such as in tank decor that doesn't have water moving thru it.

My guess is your guys have either a viral or bacterial infection, especially since whatever is going on appears to be infectious. But before we do anything, check ammonia ph nitrite and nitrates (don't forget the last 2; grab them from a Petsmart or something thats open late so you can be sure those are ok tonite). That may also indicate if there is a water husbandry issue as well.

I would do a decent size water change (I do one after any fish gets ill or dies), and remove any ill seeming fish ASAP to a QT so they don't keep infecting the tank (whenever a fish starts looking unhealthy anyway).
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Old 03-21-2004, 12:19 AM   #3
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[center:279450891d]Welcome to AA, strat! [/center:279450891d]
I am sorry for your losses. I think Alli covered all the bases. Once you know your water parameters, we can help further. Your LFS should do water tests for you (if you need them too), but it is a good idea to have the tests on hand.
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Old 03-28-2004, 02:21 PM   #4
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sorry for the long delay, i have had a crazy week, i apologize for not getting beck.... i feel bad ok, so i did the big water change, qt'd the sick looking fish and had my water tested at the LFS.. my ph is real low so i have to bring that up. he says to get some oyster shells and break them up in the tank to slowly raise the ph. once its back to tapwater levels then i should break down the tank and clean out the undergravel filter....

now heres a question, there seems to be a real barebottom craze going on in the reefing community. easier to keep things clean. i havent really done any research on freshwater stuff altely. but does that apply here too. ? my lfs said that undergravel filters should be broken down once a year.. could i just go with a real shallow substrate and gravel vaccum it real well. thanks in advance..

strat
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Old 03-28-2004, 02:39 PM   #5
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Heh, we all have crazy weeks; just glad to see you back strat.

There really isn't a barebottom tank craze in FW persay. Many folks who breed will use barebottom tanks, and many discus owners go barebottom *grins at BrianNY* but it seems more folks are becoming interested in planted tanks actually.

Yeah, I agree with your lfs about UGFs, but most FW folk don't use them. Who needs a filter that requires you to rip apart the tank on a regular basis? HOBs are more efficient and easier to deal with.
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Old 03-29-2004, 08:58 AM   #6
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From my experience, in a heavily planted tank with ~3 inches gravel, a UGF will break down in 7-8 months despict the frequent gravel cleaning. It happen to me twice. Unfortunately, during the last breakdown i was outstation for 3 weeks. I lost 70% of my fish n shrimp.

If you are having a planted tank, i would recommend a canister filter as i found out they are very reliable and easy to clean. Also imo HOB cause too much movement to water surface for planted tank.

hth
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Old 04-02-2004, 09:10 PM   #7
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well, i diid another water change tonight, my PH is low, but its coming up again with the oyster shells. around 6.0, whats the optimum for freshwater tanks? one of the QT'd fish died, the other is on the way out, but hte good news is that none of the others from the main display are sick... so i think ive isolated the disease and found out that the problem was probably stress due to low PH... i will be fixing this too.. thanks for the help people

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