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Urgent Help Please!
July 8, 2010
9:13 am
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Flyingfox
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July 5, 2010
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pH: 7.6
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 5
Temperature: 24.5 ish

Test kit used: API Liquid

Tank Size: 100 x 50 x 45cm, 200 Litres

Length of time set-up: 5 months

Filtration used: Aqua one aquis 1050 external - biomedia, 2 x sponges, filter wool

Maintenance Schedule: Dechorinated water change 12%/week, filter monthly

Detailed stock list: 12 x neon tetras, 7 x Zebra Danio, 5 x Emperor Tetra, 6 x Ruby Barb, 1 x Ancistrus sp., 4 x platy. All juvenile/young adult except 2 of the danios and the Platys been in the longest.

Recent additions to tank: neons, barbs 31 May; emperors, 5x zebras 4 June

What fish are affected: 1x platy acting abnormal up to yesterday - see separate thread.
What are the symptoms: All my fish are today at the top of the tank - look like they are trying to eat at the surface when there is no food there. Wondered if they are struggling to get oxygen?

Have put my filter outlet to disturb the surface some more. Any other help welcome...

Treatment already used: Fungus Treatment (interpet no. 8) added two days ago as best guess at treating sick platy.

Thanks

July 8, 2010
1:43 pm
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Plaamoo
Bellingham, Washington U.S.A.
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Hey flying fox, Sounds like there's something wrong there. I'm not familiar with your equipment as I'm in the US. Sounds like about 55 gal with a cannister filter of some sort. How much water does it move? I use a spraybar with mine at the surface and aim it up so it really churns the surface.
Though your parameters look good, 12% weekly isn't enough IMO. I'd do that twice a week at least. For now I'd do 10-20% daily for a week and see what happens. Maybe add a powerhead or airstone for more turbulence. Look for sources of contamination? What dechlorinator are you using? Did you put the ice bottles in the tank? Were they really clean? Soap residue??
Best of Luck!

July 8, 2010
7:13 pm
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Flyingfox
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QUOTE (plaamoo @ Jul 8 2010, 02:26 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hey flying fox, Sounds like there's something wrong there. I'm not familiar with your equipment as I'm in the US. Sounds like about 55 gal with a cannister filter of some sort. How much water does it move? I use a spraybar with mine at the surface and aim it up so it really churns the surface.
Though your parameters look good, 12% weekly isn't enough IMO. I'd do that twice a week at least. For now I'd do 10-20% daily for a week and see what happens. Maybe add a powerhead or airstone for more turbulence. Look for sources of contamination? What dechlorinator are you using? Did you put the ice bottles in the tank? Were they really clean? Soap residue??
Best of Luck!

Thanks - things are looking much better after a slight panic for a couple of hours. I think the extra oxygenation helped. Did a decent size water change and that has helped a lot more.

The bottles should have been OK, given them a rinse but has been OK, and temp has been fine without them as the last couple of days have been cooler here.

Think it must be the medication - but a bit odd it's only on day 3 that it's kicked in. Almost looked like a film across the surface of the water at one point.

The filter is about 700 litres per hour I think and it's supposedly about 8 litres capacity. I use a duckbill rather than spraybar as when I tried that it seemed to freak out the fish and they just hid...

My ammonia and nitrite have been steady at zero with the previous water change routine but might up it as you suggest.

July 9, 2010
10:32 am
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Eyrie
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Ammonia and nitrIte should always be zero in a cycled tank so aren't an indication of whether you're changing enough water. You can get a rough read on that if the nitrAte is increasing or the kh falling but these can be distorted by other factors. It's always best to change more water on a regular basis to keep the tank water in line with the tap water in case you need to do a large change in event of an emergency.

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August 27, 2010
4:54 pm
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Nomad
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Just a couple of observations, if the temperature was elevated in the tank, the fish could indeed have been struggling for oxygen as warmer water holds less than colder water.

More importantly though, get a small tank to use for hospitalisation of sick fish and for isolation of newcomers. That way you won't have to medicate in the tank and the sick fish will get a rest from its tank mates which is as good for it as a couple of days in bed when you have the flu. Much better to not be indiscriminatly dumping medications into the tank.

You don't mention the hardness in the tank, but your pH seems a little higher than optimum for the fish you have. Neons in particular do well in blackwater. Your fish mix is a little out of whack. Whilst the danios won't really care, the platys prefer hard, alkaline water with a little salt added and not alot of flow, the ancistrus prefer clear water conditions, high flow with moderate alkalinity and hardness and the neons prefer peat stained water with a low pH and negligable harness. To keep the tank successfully over a long period, you might want to think about which way you want to go and stock accordingly in future.

August 27, 2010
5:01 pm
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Senor Bastardo
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What you are describing is the fish trying to get oxygen. Have you fed very heavily? If you pour in too much food at once you can get an explosion of the bacteria in the tank, these bacteria then consume most of the oxygen theat is dissolved in the water.

Remember fish eat less then you think and hungry fish leave less waste products, they dissolve the food more completely than a fish that is quite full.

August 27, 2010
5:12 pm
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Nomad
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The rotting plant matter in the tank wouldn't have helped either. This would have produced bacteria and gasses normal in the breakdown process. Coupled with the heat, this could have provoked an oxygen deficiency.

August 27, 2010
6:24 pm
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Senor Bastardo
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Saw that you had treated with medicine as well. This might have killed off the benficial bacteria.

The film you describe is from feeding with protein heavy substances.

Some tips:

Before you bring on the big guns and add medication which might kill off the benificial bacteria, try adding 1/2 tablespoon of salt (not with iodine in it) per 10 liter of water and give it a couple of days.

You haven´t got such a big load for the size of tank, I got way more fish per litre in all my tanks, while it might be advicable to change twice as much water the most important thing is to do the same thing every week to keep things stable.

And last but not least, don´t overfeed,you want your fish alert and on the prowl for food. Try not feeding one-two days a week.

Good luck!

August 27, 2010
7:20 pm
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Nomad
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And feed little bits often rather than one big feed. That way the fish will finish everything before they fill up. It is also better for their digestion.

It is unlikely that a fungucide would kill off bacteria so I doubt this was the issue. Also, the killing of the bacteria would have seen an amonia spike, and whilst that would account for the gasping, amonia attacks the gills and attaches to haemoglobin in the blood stream, thus delivering a double whammy suffocation, it was not indicated in the test by either elevated levels of ammonia or nitrite.

August 27, 2010
8:37 pm
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Senor Bastardo
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QUOTE (Nomad @ Aug 27 2010, 08:03 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
And feed little bits often rather than one big feed. That way the fish will finish everything before they fill up. It is also better for their digestion.

It is unlikely that a fungucide would kill off bacteria so I doubt this was the issue. Also, the killing of the bacteria would have seen an amonia spike, and whilst that would account for the gasping, amonia attacks the gills and attaches to haemoglobin in the blood stream, thus delivering a double whammy suffocation, it was not indicated in the test by either elevated levels of ammonia or nitrite.

Sorry read a bit hastily, true a fungicide won´t kill off the bacteria.

My bet is left over food. I read somewhere that bacteria use over 90 percent of the dissolved oxygen whilst the fish use about 4 percent. And the bacteria can increase manyfold in a short time. Overfeeding is, I think, the most common of mistakes.

August 30, 2010
8:26 am
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Matt
Málaga, Spain
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QUOTE (Nomad @ Aug 27 2010, 05:37 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
You don't mention the hardness in the tank, but your pH seems a little higher than optimum for the fish you have. Neons in particular do well in blackwater. Your fish mix is a little out of whack. Whilst the danios won't really care, the platys prefer hard, alkaline water with a little salt added and not alot of flow, the ancistrus prefer clear water conditions, high flow with moderate alkalinity and hardness and the neons prefer peat stained water with a low pH and negligable harness. To keep the tank successfully over a long period, you might want to think about which way you want to go and stock accordingly in future.

True in principle but water chemistry tends to matter much less with farmed fishes which I assume those listed here are.

Cake or death?
August 30, 2010
8:30 am
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Nomad
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QUOTE (Matt @ Aug 30 2010, 06:09 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
water chemistry tends to matter much less with farmed fishes which I assume those listed here are.

True in principal, but even farmed fish will live best and reproduce best when given conditions approximating their ideal.

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