cherry barbs are dying
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cherry barbs are dying

This is a discussion on cherry barbs are dying within the Cyprinids and Atherinids forums, part of the Freshwater and Tropical Fish category; --> Over the past couple of months I've had lots of problems with my cherry barbs. I had 6 cherry barbs and 6 red eye ...

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cherry barbs are dying
Old 12-10-2011, 11:15 PM   #1
 
cherry barbs are dying

Over the past couple of months I've had lots of problems with my cherry barbs. I had 6 cherry barbs and 6 red eye tetras. Over a couple of weeks two barbs died. I then watched as our third last barb died. It just seemed stressed and didn't eat. It wasn't swimming weird and the body and scales looked normal. So we went out and bought 6 new cherry barbs, bringing the number up to 8. That was 2 weeks ago, and two have died since. I'm pretty sure another one is going to die. It's swimming in an upper corner of the tank, sticking its nose into the corner. I'm no genius, but I'm pretty sure I know how that's going to end.

My water is:
pH 7.2
nitrites 0
nitrates 20
NH4 0

Water changes are every week or two, replacing 20L of the 75L tank, along with gravel vacuuming. Food is usually flake, with bloodworms once per week. I also have tons of MTS. Maybe I'm overfeeding the tank, but I only put one pinch in a day. So maybe I'm actually underfeeding. Why can't fish speak English and just tell me what is wrong?

I've been turning off the aquarium light bulb to keep the hours of light down to keep algae away. The light turns on around 9:30am, turns off between 1 and 2:30, and turns of for the night at 8pm. Maybe the lights stress the fish, I don't know.

The tetras seem to be doing fine. I lost one early in the summer to dropsy but other than that they've been fine.

thanks
Doug
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Old 12-11-2011, 08:59 AM   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shmish View Post
Over the past couple of months I've had lots of problems with my cherry barbs. I had 6 cherry barbs and 6 red eye tetras. Over a couple of weeks two barbs died. I then watched as our third last barb died. It just seemed stressed and didn't eat. It wasn't swimming weird and the body and scales looked normal. So we went out and bought 6 new cherry barbs, bringing the number up to 8. That was 2 weeks ago, and two have died since. I'm pretty sure another one is going to die. It's swimming in an upper corner of the tank, sticking its nose into the corner. I'm no genius, but I'm pretty sure I know how that's going to end.

My water is:
pH 7.2
nitrites 0
nitrates 20
NH4 0

Water changes are every week or two, replacing 20L of the 75L tank, along with gravel vacuuming. Food is usually flake, with bloodworms once per week. I also have tons of MTS. Maybe I'm overfeeding the tank, but I only put one pinch in a day. So maybe I'm actually underfeeding. Why can't fish speak English and just tell me what is wrong?

I've been turning off the aquarium light bulb to keep the hours of light down to keep algae away. The light turns on around 9:30am, turns off between 1 and 2:30, and turns of for the night at 8pm. Maybe the lights stress the fish, I don't know.

The tetras seem to be doing fine. I lost one early in the summer to dropsy but other than that they've been fine.

thanks
Doug

Sorry about your fish loss. It can be frustrating. I think your feeding, of a pinch once a day sounds fine, but tons of MTS, could indicate you are overfeeding a bit. Since it's 2 weeks since you bought them, it's possible they are carrying something when you bought them. Perhaps internal parasites? What do you keep your tank temp at? The lights should have no effect on this problem, so I think you can rule that out. Do you test your ammonia? I know because you have nitrates you shouldn't have ammonia, but it can happen if there are over feeding issues, and you could get ammonia spikes. Something to consider. Sorry, I can't be of more help :(

Gwen
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:45 PM   #3
 
Yes, the ammonia is 0 and the temperature is around 77 C.
I think it would take a person several years to get good at this, such that they can recognize things happening in the aquarium which may be causing problems.
cheers
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Old 12-13-2011, 01:04 PM   #4
 
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Quite true. Experience does teach us.

Have you observed any interaction among the fish? Thinking of aggression from the tetra to the barbs? It is best to sit quietly in front of the tank for an hour or longer, to really see how the fish interact normally. May give you a clue, or may not.

What size is this tank? And is it planted, or have some wood, rock, decor? Do you have any floating plants? I wouldn't expect this issue from the tank light, but having some floating plants will be appreciated by almost all forest fish. As will any objects i the tank.

I wouldn't worry about the snails. I feed very sparingly, and I have hundreds of Malaysian Livebearing snails. They do a terrific job of breaking down organics in the substrate to assist the bacteria.

I would increase our water changes. No less than once every week, without fail. And 1/3 to 1/2 of the tank volume, provided your tank water parameters are close to the tap water. Nothing beats a water change.

Byron.
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Old 12-14-2011, 08:12 PM   #5
 
Thanks.
A floating plant sounds like a good plan.

I finally did notice that the bottom half of the barb's tail was gone. I do think there is some aggression but I'm not sure who the aggressor is.

thanks
Doug
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