mysterious series of events in 15 g
Quick bit of background:
15 gallon planted tank with 7 cherry barbs (yesterday it was 8), 5 glowlight tetras and a bristlenose. Established for over 2 years, but I recently added some new fish after only having a few left.
The mysterious events:
Yesterday when I went to feed my fish, I noticed the water smelled extremely fishy. My tank only ever smells like a rainforest, so I immediately assumed a fish had died. I looked everywhere and counted all the fish in the tank, but everyone was alive. I considered doing a water change but decided to wait and hope it sorted itself out, since I couldn't find the cause of the smell.
Today I woke up to find a dead cherry barb floating on the top of the water. The smell has completely gone. It's like everything's happened in the wrong order.
Now I'm going to assume the smell was caused by an ammonia spike, and the ammonia spike killed one of the fish. But WHAT CAUSED THE AMMONIA SPIKE in the first place? I cleaned the filter for the first time in a few weeks on Tuesday, and the only thing I can imagine is that perhaps this depleted the beneficial bacteria and, with more fish in the tank than usual, caused an ammonia spike.
What do you think?
while I'm here, I want to mention something strange I've noticed in one of my glowlight tetras. I noticed recently that he appeared to have a small kink in his spine. Anyway, you know how glowlights are very transparent? I've been watching this one over the days and have seen a small white lump begin growing INSIDE him, along his spinal cord. It's only small, but it looks like it could be a tumor or something, which is worrying. So far he doesn't seem to have noticed, but I'd like to know what it is!
Did you test for ammonia at all? I wouldn't assume this without a test.
If things have been settled, the dead cherry barb may be just a dead fish, from something that happened to it previously. Are the others looking and acting normal?
As for the glowlight, they never recover from this, and while I sometimes leave them if they seem to be eating and are not being picked on by other fish, they eventually die. However the "growth" worries me. I can't say if this is what I have had, but I would remove that fish ASAP and destroy it. It is going to die anyway, and this growth might be something that spreads to other fish, such as an internal protozoan.
I don't have an ammonia test kit (can't afford one) :-?
Thanks for replying.
That's like buying a dog and then not paying to vaccinate or feed it.
A while ago, out of desperation, I bought one of those crappy little dip-strip test kits, which I know are unreliable, but at least it was marginally cheaper. Maybe they didn't work at all, because I tested lots of different tanks, ponds, and random water sources and all came up with ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate readings of zero. I've run out of the dip-strips now.
It is possible the new fish introduced something to the tank in the form of bacterial pathogen.
Would remove any fish promptly that began to exhibit lump's,bent spines,and euthanize.
Would keep up with weekly water changes.(Is a must)
Would NOT introduce new fish for a while and would consider quarantine for new fishes in future.
Quarantine can be small plastic tub with sponge filter and daily water changes.(unless sponge is mature)
Would feed variety of food's and toss out any food's over six month's old unless you keep it refridgerated.
Would not let temperature get too warm. fish mentioned would do well at around 76 degree's F but not too much warmer.
Were it me,, I would save my money for test kit rather than new fish so i could have some clue about water parameter's when fishes indicate something might be wrong.
Hope some of this help's.
Makes a fair point.....
I'd never allow myself to go without the tests, much less go and buy more stock as opposed to even looking after what i already had.
This whole episode is Likely the new fish, but we might never know as for one reason, no basis to compare levels etc on.
I'm a teenager too. I don't have a regular job either, I just help my mother in her house cleaning business plus whatever manual labor jobs I can pick up. I still live at home, and my mother thinks I put too much time and money in to my tank, too.
I know it can be hard. It sucks sometimes, because it's hard to afford some of the really nice things for the fish. But that API Liquid test kit is the best, and only costs around $25. Do you have a way to buy it yourself, or perhaps you could pay your mom cash and her buy it on her card? When I didn't have my card that's what I did.
Also, from adding the new fish there was increased biolode, plus not a lot of BB on the filter yet. Even though it's on the decorations/substrate, there may have been a spike. But there's nothing to say for sure.
If you need any help just throw me a PM, I know firsthand how hard it can be managing a tank properly with limited funds :)
thanks everyone :) I do have a way to buy stuff myself, and I'll have a look at what you linked to.
I think the glowlight was sick BEFORE i got the new fish. Anyway, I don't have a spare air pump so I can't set up a quarantine tank. I find it hard to believe quarantine tanks actually work for people - uncycled, empty and maintained only by water changes? I would have thought fish were likely to GET sick just because of those conditions.
You're right, I should have bought a test kit rather than new fish :roll: I just hope that whatever happens to the shoaling fish, my little bristlenose will survive. He's so adorable, I really don't want him to die :-( I actually think I need to get some algae tablets for him since he hasn't touched any of the vegetables I've tried and only eats tank algae.
For a long time I didn't keep shoaling fish because the ones I'd seen in shops always looked sickly. It seems when you get a large group of tiny fish it's hard to avoid some of them being 'runts', or having some sort of illness, or nipping each other's fins. Maybe I won't do shoaling fish again. I like how they look, but other species have more personality and seem to be less trouble! (My gourami I used to have, who died of stunting because she needed a bigger tank, never got sick once.)
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