Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Rckpenguin 03-28-2008 09:59 AM

Newbie needs help!
I have a 55 gallon tank that has been set up since 2/25/08 with 2 silver dollars and 2 dwarf gouramis. Tank has been cycled for weeks now. (Nitrates: 5-10, Ammonia: 0, Nitrites: 0, pH: about 7.5)

On 3/9 I added 10 neon tetras and 2 clown loaches. Since I'm new at this, I didn't realize I should have quarantined the new fish until it was too late. The whole tank got ick/ich, which I fought for a week with salt (1 tbsp/5 gal), elevated temps (86 degrees) and 50% water changes everyday. (I did lower my water level so the filter would create more aeration.)

After a week there were no visible cysts but I continued to treat for another week with salt (1 tbsp/10 gals) and elevated temps, but water changes only every other day.

There are still no signs of the ick but Wednesday I came home and 1 of my tetras had an almost clear/beige "patch" on her tail where it should be red. I quarantined her in fear that it was neon tetra disease. However, she turned white and died over night. As far as I understand NTD shouldn't have killed her that quickly. (?)

Last night I found a loach that had also turned white and died. I removed him and did a 50% w/c, this time, without adding salt. This morning I woke up to find that all of them seemed to be losing their color. (They look "cloudy") Now I don't know what to do and I'm afraid I'm about to lose the whole tank.

Here are some things that I wonder about:
(things that might be causing the problem)

*I have well water, is that missing certain minerals the fish need? (I've tested the water itself and the nitrate, nitrite, ammonia and pH levels are perfect)

*I accidently dropped about 50 gravel sized pieces of the loose activated carbon in there about two weeks ago and I wasn't able to pick it out as I can't find it in my black gravel! (I will remove all the gravel though, if that is what is hurting my fish!)

*I was told not to give them the flake food because it doesn't sink and they will gulp air trying to eat it. I was also told that I needed to give them frozen brine shrimp since I gave up on the live plant thing. So, I have been giving them a freshwater multi-pack. It contains four different "blocks": bloodworms, spirulina enhanced brine shrimp, cichlid chow (with ingredients from turkey heart to a Vitamin B12 supplement) and emerald entree (with brine shrimp, krill, plankton, spinach, and so on). I take one of the blocks and melt it in water from the tank and feed them about a 5 mL dropper's full twice a day. During my research though I found some people that say to only give them this type of food as a treat. I switched them back to the flake food for now (since last night). Could the food I was feeding them be the culprit?

:oops: For all of you who took the time to read my novel, thank you for bearing with me. I wasn't sure if all of this info was pertinent, but I didn't want to leave anything out! :D Any advice will be very much appreciated! Thank you in advance!

herefishy 03-28-2008 11:05 AM

To diagnose your problem, read this:

To find meds read this:

Rckpenguin 03-28-2008 12:55 PM

I read through that article before my OP. I can't seem to find anything that matches the symptoms. Anyone out there know what this is and what I should do?

herefishy 03-28-2008 01:17 PM

There is a malady in the hobby called SDS (Sudden Death Syndrome). I do not know that anyone has found a cause, which means, they don't have a remedy either. Unfortunately, all the advice I can offer could be for naught. The only thing that I could possibly tell you is to maintain the highest water quality possible. Cater to the fishes' needs as far as temperature, water conditions, food, ect. I have had plenty of tanks "die-off" for no apparent reason. But, that's how it goes sometimes. I have felt the same feelings of helplessness you are feeling now.

By the way, a good quality flake food is a necessary component in the diet of most fish. It may be that your fish are suffering from a constipation problem. If you can get them to eat, try feeding peas, zucchini, or fresh, blanched spinach. It might help, no promises. But you are feedingaton of raw protien and fiber needs t obe in their diet too.

Rckpenguin 03-29-2008 02:44 AM

Wow, you guys are wonderful!! All very helpful advice.

I've stopped adding the salt as of Thursday and I added a dose of Ick Clear Friday night as I am beginning to see the spots again!

The fish have gotten their colors back though so I'm definitely not as spastic as I was. I know fighting the ick will be an easier battle than fighting "the unknown", especially since I am using meds now instead.

Once again, thank you all for the advice, it was very much appreciated. Without it I just might have lost my mind!

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