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Old 05-16-2013, 10:45 PM   #1
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Unhealthy fish. . . .help please

Alright, so i like to believe i know my way around a fish aquarium so when a co worker of mine approached me because she had a newly established tank with a lot problems, I was happy to help. She has a 20 gallon, did everything right setting it up, it cycled for a little over a week, i tested the water and everything looked great, so she added 2 fish, a long finned danio and a glo fish danio. a week later she added a couple more fish. no problems, then she described a white fluffy spot appearing on her fish. I automatically assumed fungus so i told her to begin treatment with pimafix. A few days later it spread, i went to her house to check out the fish, and oh boy was she over feeding, worst i had seen, all you could see all over her tank was extra rotting food, this happened in not quite a 2 week period. i tied the fungus to the the overfeeding, making the water poor in quality. i helped her do a small %15 water change and cleaned decorations, main goal was to get all that extra food out of there. Tank started looking good again, added in a cory cat to help with the left over food. She then calls me to tell me a fish died,( so far lost 4 danio) now describing what sounds like fin rot. i told her to start treatment again. i tied it all together as polluted water caused fungus and snow balling into fin rot. . . .. im not sure at this point. her nitrites were testing a little high so she added a bacteria supplement, everything else was testing fine. This girl is really attached to her fish, doesnt want to kill them. . . . .any help would be great.

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Old 05-17-2013, 05:34 AM   #2
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If poor water quality is the problem, fresh water is the only solution. Large daily water changes with something like prime and perhaps stress guard until the fish heal. I wouldnt have added a Cory myself- they are sensitive to bad water and get very stressed when they don't have more of their own kind- he could well end up being the next fatality. Does your friend vacuum the gravel during water changes? And has she withheld food for a couple of days to get things under control?
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Old 05-17-2013, 10:20 AM   #3
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Welcome to AA!! The issue here with fish sickness and demise is a very simple one. Its the result of poor water quality and lack of appropriate water changes in an uncycled tank. Running a tank for a week or a month or a year will do nothing to properly cycle it. An ammonia source needs to be added daily to start the cycling process. It takes 6-8weeks or longer to fishless cycle a tank. When the fish/food were added, the cycling process began.

As numerous fish and lots of food were added immediately, the ammonia levels at this point are likely very high. Fish-in cycling requires a proper liquid test kit such as the API fw master test kit, a bottle of Prime or Amquel Plus and lots of water changes. Water changes may need to be done daily or even more frequently with temperature matched, properly conditioned water. Ammonia and nitrite levels need to be kept at .25ppm or less- anytime they are higher, water changes (50+% at time) need to be performed immediately.

The remaining fish need healthy water- lots of it. Meds are pointless when toxin levels are out of control and will do nothing to help the fish. If your friend is unable to commit to the responsibility a fish-in cycle with constant water changes and constant testing (with a proper test kit), I suggest that you consider returning the fish and take the time to properly fishless cycle the tank. Please check the links below and ask any questions!

I just learned about cycling but I already have fish. What now?! - Aquarium Advice

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fish, unhealthy fish

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