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Old 01-10-2012, 11:56 PM   #1
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Yet another Plea For Help

1~What type of fish is afflicted?
Guppys 2 adult (F about to give birth), 3 young. 7 fry White Cloud Mountain Minnow. -Flashing/rubbing against bottom and the plants. The male guppy becomes listless occasionally and lays on bottom. No visible white spots. 4 cory fry no flashing or white spots. 4 baby cherry shrimp. Sounds like lots of fish but most are tiny (low total biomass)
2~What are your tank parameters (ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, temp, pH)? Please give exact values.
Master Test kit is 3 days late from mail order. I don't have one as I'd planned to. Kid at petstore said water is "as clean as tap water". ...read from test strips from a water sample taken before 1st cycle. I don't think he knew much of anything. They don't carry the master test kit. I've been cycling 1/2 the water daily for the last 3 days since I consider my water a chemistry to be unknown. I have been feeding just a tiny bit every other day. (no food hitting the bottom.)
3~ How large is the tank? How long has the tank been set up?
37 gal. 1 week, planted, old filter media from an established tank placed in filter upstream of new filter media.
4~What type of filtration are you using?
Topfin 40 external hanging. Crystal clear water.
5~How many fish are in the tank? 16+4 shrimp. It would take 4 to 6 of some of them to = "1 inch of fish" again, very low total mass. What kinds of fish are they and what are their current sizes? See 1. above.
6~When is the last time you did a water change and vacuum the gravel?
Three 1/2 tank PWC's in the last 3 days. Never vacuumed the gravel. I'm attempting to establish some roots in my plants. Tank filled 1st time 7 days ago. How often do you do this? How much water do you remove at a time?
7~How long have you had the fish? 5 days. Bought off Craigs List. Seller a botany PHD getting out of hobby. He breed all the fish. All his fish/shrimp looked healthy. I got a few plants and the used filter media from him too. If the fish is new, how did you acclimate it/them? Floated bag in tank 30 mins then slowly dripped tank water into bag a few times then netted and put in aquarium.
8~Have you added anything new to the tank--decor, new dechlorinator, new substrate, etc.? I may have brought some uninvited guests off plants I got at a high-end fish store. I asked the old sales guy with the King Neptune beard if I should do anything before adding the plants to my tank and he said "Absolutely not. You want the bacteria that's on them"
9~What kind of food have you been feeding your fish, have you changed their diet recently? Tetra flakes broken into small pieces. Short/light feeding every other day.

All I can guess is that I either have ich and the fish are so small that it is hard to see white spots (though I can't see any spots on the adult M F guppys). OR bad water. The water is crystal clear and the fish are not gasping for air.

It gets better. I go out of town for a week starting tomorrow.

My ideas after some research. Please tell me if any of them are good solutions:
1. Do nothing.
2. Do I do another PWC.
3. PWC+Get the heat to 86F and add a tablespoon of salt/5 gal water. Will this kill my plants or my young cory or shrimp? If so I'd then try the increased temp only. Any Ich/external parasite meds I've found kill shrimp. I can't catch them either too small.
4. Hope a few people here have a good solution.

I can get minor help while I'm gone from my kid.


Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-11-2012, 12:40 AM   #2
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Hi,
My guess it bad water but it's hard to tell without a test kit. I would continue to change a minimum of 50% of the water daily. Are you using a dechlorinator with your water changes?
Here is a link on ich. It literally looks like grains of salt on your fish.
http://www.aquahobby.com/articles/e_ich2.php
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:41 AM   #3
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Thanks for wading through my long-winded post. I've been dechlorinating every time. I've read a bunch of articles on ich, including that one. Again, nothing is visible on the fish. But rubbing/flashing is a symptom. Some say that in the early stages, you can't see the spots.

I've also read many articles on tank cycling. That's why I chose fish-in with a small mass of fish. I'm defiantly within the "1 inch of fish per 10 gal." rule of thumb, with my young/small fish.

Doing a 2/3 PWC right now. Unfortunately, other than this morning, water changes won't be happening for another 7 days.

At this point, I don't know if it's bad water, parasites or both. My question, would I do any damage running up the temp to 86 and adding a tablespoon of salt/ 5 gal. (ich treatment) Would that kill my plants, shrimp, or young cory over the next 7 days?

Thanks all.
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:48 AM   #4
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Typically salt and cories are not a good mix. Increasing the heat slowly can't hurt but then again it might not help until you figure out what is going on.
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Old 01-11-2012, 12:33 PM   #5
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no salt with your shrimp either or they will be gone...i would do a pwc 40% b4 you go then do minimm feeding and one 25% water change untill you get back...should be alright....try to keep your plants under the lights at the back, maybe adventually try a good substrate(organic), but will muck up your water a bit temperarily,maybe try a gravel vac too b4 you go hopefully its not too late good luck


...just cycled my own planted 55 with 25rcs 5 corys(4 panda(juvinile) one full grown juvi, 6 guppies, 4 danios...
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Old 01-11-2012, 03:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eelpout
Mumma-

Thanks for wading through my long-winded post. I've been dechlorinating every time. I've read a bunch of articles on ich, including that one. Again, nothing is visible on the fish. But rubbing/flashing is a symptom. Some say that in the early stages, you can't see the spots.

I've also read many articles on tank cycling. That's why I chose fish-in with a small mass of fish. I'm defiantly within the "1 inch of fish per 10 gal." rule of thumb, with my young/small fish.

Doing a 2/3 PWC right now. Unfortunately, other than this morning, water changes won't be happening for another 7 days.

At this point, I don't know if it's bad water, parasites or both. My question, would I do any damage running up the temp to 86 and adding a tablespoon of salt/ 5 gal. (ich treatment) Would that kill my plants, shrimp, or young cory over the next 7 days?

Thanks all.
Unless you see the parasites I wouldn't start treatment. (There is a chance they are in the gills of the fish though) Especially if you not going to be near the tank to keep a close eye on things going wrong. Flashing can also mean many other thing including poor water quality. Is there anybody else that will be able to to a water change in the 7 day period? Any one to watch the tank for you?

Are you able to get the water tested at your lfs before you leave?

As said above the cories and shrimp are salt sensitive. If you are going to salt the tank I would use a half dose.

The one inch per gallon rule is basically useless IMO. There are too many factors to take into consideration when stocking a tank like aggressiveness, schools, compatibility, swimming space, etc.

As I said before its hard to say if it is the water conditions. You have seeded media so you've got a fairly good chance (if you have enough) that the ammonia spike won't be too high in the week you are away.
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:03 PM   #7
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Thanks again all.
I punted and did the big water change this AM. Doing incrimental temp increases via the phone. Jacked up the flow on my filter pump and left the water level 2" low to areate. Light feed every othe day.
Unable to do anymore water changes for a bit.

I agree that that rule of thumb probably doesn't mean much. Just attempting to illustrate that the total of the fish mass is pretty small. Great help all!
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:43 AM   #8
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I'm home now with more questions. The water is crystal clear with no algae growth.

API test results:

pH-dark blue. Darker blue than any of the color chart squares. So I did the High rang pH test

HIGH RANGE pH purple but not matching any of the color squares.- most like 8.2 or 8.4.

Ammonia 0ppm

NO2 0ppm

NO3 5.0-10.0 ppm

Temp 86F but my weak heater doesn't hold that temp through the night. I plan to leave the temp high another week and then drop it back to normal.

I don't know if the guppy and WCMM flashing/rubbing was bad water or parasitic or both. The good news is it has stopped!

1. I want to know the water pH but with 3 separate sets of eyes all agreed with the inaccuracy of the pH test result colors. We have no idea what the pH is. Suggestions? If my pH is in fact high, how can I lower it so that I could add a couple blue rams and neons to the tank?

2. Anything else to do for the water besides plants, 8-10 hrs lighting, PWC's and water testing?

My tank population increased by about 40 while I was gone. Baby guppies. PWC will be interesting.
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Old 01-18-2012, 03:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eelpout
I'm home now with more questions. The water is crystal clear with no algae growth.

API test results:

pH-dark blue. Darker blue than any of the color chart squares. So I did the High rang pH test

HIGH RANGE pH purple but not matching any of the color squares.- most like 8.2 or 8.4.

Ammonia 0ppm

NO2 0ppm

NO3 5.0-10.0 ppm

Temp 86F but my weak heater doesn't hold that temp through the night. I plan to leave the temp high another week and then drop it back to normal.

I don't know if the guppy and WCMM flashing/rubbing was bad water or parasitic or both. The good news is it has stopped!

1. I want to know the water pH but with 3 separate sets of eyes all agreed with the inaccuracy of the pH test result colors. We have no idea what the pH is. Suggestions? If my pH is in fact high, how can I lower it so that I could add a couple blue rams and neons to the tank?

2. Anything else to do for the water besides plants, 8-10 hrs lighting, PWC's and water testing?

My tank population increased by about 40 while I was gone. Baby guppies. PWC will be interesting.
Your water looks good. You want 0 ammonia and nitrite and less than 20ppm nitrate.

Glad they have stopped flashing! Good idea keeping the heat up for another week just to make sure.

If you low range pH maxes out then go off the high range. It's picks up where the low range stops. You can post pics if you like and we can try help.

Lowering pH can be tricky. Usually it's advised not to mess with it. Changing pH can stress fish. It's better it stays stable. The rams I can't speak for but the neons I can. I have 8 neons living in a tank with pH 7.8-8 (slightly higher than my other tanks because of the play sand substrate). As long as acclimated properly they should adjust to the higher pH.

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...um-186089.html
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Old 01-18-2012, 09:16 PM   #10
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results

API results after a 50% water change:
pH test tube: darker blue than end of scale 7.6
HIGH RANGE pH test tube: my best guess 8.2
See pictures

I wrote too soon about rubbing/ flashing on gravel and rocks. I don't know if it's in the water. I've been treating the whole volume of water w/ API Stress Coat+ when doing PWC's. The guppies are at it again. I'm seeing them with fins down too...not good. No visible spots. I'm keeping the temp up but I'm pretty clueless as to what to do if that doesn't work. Every treatment I've researched either kills corys, plants, or shrimp.
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Old 01-18-2012, 09:40 PM   #11
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To me pH looks between 7.8-8.
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Old 01-19-2012, 09:30 AM   #12
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From the photos, I agree, but in person, it looks like 8.2. Not the best pics.

I do understand that those overall water parameters are good and that my tank is cycled for the current volume of waste load. My water is clear, well oxygenated, dechlorinated, and the tank is heavily planted with growing plants. So perhaps my fish problems are not from the water?

On the other hand, I've got a small portion of playground sand too and the rest is gravel/small pebbles from a lake shore. Both were thoroughly rinsed and boiled before use. Perhaps my substrate could be causing pH rise or an odd chemical release.

I tested my straight dechlorinated tap water this morning and it is a definite 7.8.

Still no visible spots on any other the fish. Fish are still scraping and rubbing hard on the bottom and becoming less active, and laying their fins down. They appear to be deteriorating.

I'm going to ride out the 86F temp for 2 wks total. If the elevated temps don't do the trick, what would anyone suggest to cure the fish in a tank with shrimp, plants, and cory? I might go with a portion of salt next. I'd rather not stain my silicon edges blue/green.
Thanks again for all the help.
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:43 PM   #13
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If they are still flashing by the end of the two weeks we can assume its not ich.
The play sand will increase the pH but not by much. 8.2 is still in the normal range and nothing to worry about. When you tested the tap water did you let some sit to gas off? Straight from the tap can have a different pH so get a cup and let it sit over night with tap water then test in the morning. That will show the true pH of your tap water.
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Old 01-19-2012, 05:25 PM   #14
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Thanks again. I did leave a glass of tap water out for 24 hrs. Still lots of rubbing, listlessness, now some floating on surface and gulping. Might not have much to deal with in another 5 days. Just flushed one.

Head scratcher.

So if it's not ich, anyone have a plan B? I'm tempted to throw in some salt now and see if it does anything for them.
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Old 01-19-2012, 05:34 PM   #15
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Ok complete back flip on my side. I think you should slowly turn the temperature back down and see what they do. I'm 99.9% sure it's not ich. Do they have any other markings on them? White fuzz, dust? Are they pooping white or clear and stringy?


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Old 01-19-2012, 09:21 PM   #16
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Possibly red gills on the guppies. The problem is they are red guppies so they have fairly translucent gill plates as well red markings. The WCMM and cory are too small to see. white or brown poo. I think I'm going to leave the temp up 'til two weeks pass. I've already swam more than half way across the lake. Might as well go all the way. I have no idea what they might be carrying. At least I could rule out ich. Still no spots. No fuzz.
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Old 01-19-2012, 09:26 PM   #17
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great chart
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Old 01-20-2012, 01:54 PM   #18
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Good luck with sorting out your issue. Problems do tend to accure in new tanks and after a few hick-ups and maybe loss if fish they tank should stabilise. It takes about 7 weeks to stabilise a tank. Using filter aid can help and certainly daily water changes also. As u said good luck fingers crossed its not a parasite!!!!

It regards to the blue ram you want to add, be warned that they require soft water around 5- 6.5 ph. With perfect water conditions. U too have a soft spot for dwarf cichlids and struggle as my water is ph 7.5

However if you can find a shop or a breeder that had them or they have been breed in hard water then you should be ok, but be prepared for regular water changes. If you want rams to breed a seperate smaller rank would work well using either lfs RO water mixed 50-50 with tap water or use bottled spring water as this us also soft . Either way will soon add up in ££££ or $$$. If not have a look at west African dwarf cichlids as they are better kept in harder water pelvichromis think that's spelt right. There are a few varieties available . They mostly look similar with only colour or pattern differences. But they are nice fish and can mostly be kept in a community tank.

Hope this helps
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:08 PM   #19
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Update:
My tank is back at 76F after 2 wks of poaching. The shrimp look really red. The guppies are STILL rubbing on gravel. No spots ever visible on any fish. I guess ich is not it. There is now a visible whitish patch on the big female. See pictures: http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...ot-190157.html
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:24 PM   #20
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http://badmanstropicalfish.com/fish_...ation.html#ERM
This might help pin point it.
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