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tophat665 11-20-2006 10:39 PM

On the other side of the Ich
Well, my 55 gallon tank caught a raging case of Ich. :shock: Actually, Raging is perhaps too strong a word, but bad enough, since there are loaches in it. I noticed a dead Kuhli. Two days later, I noticed some white spots on some cherry barbs, some harlequins, and a gourami. Not many but enough to know I had Ich. I upped the temp to 88 on the end of the tank with the heater, 82 on the far end of the tank (Ambient is about 65, and it's a long, narrow tank). In any case, I lost one more Kuhli, and my male Pearl Gourami. The 2 week course of treatment ended last week, and I had just rearranged the plants and rockwork this weekend. My female gourami pined away though, and was dead this evening.

So, this tank right now has:
12 Harlequins
8 cherry barbs (2 male)
3 Kuhli Loaches (that I rarely see)
5 Botia Striata
2 Bristlenosed Plecos.
And unknown number (but not incredibly high - they're rarely seen) of MTS and a very few pond snails.

What it lacks is any top water fish or large centerpiece fish.

Now, I know that the stocking level is above the rule of thumb already. It is, however, a heavily planted tank, and it does get a weekly 10% water change and gravel vacuum. With the plants keeping the nitrates down, I expect I could get another 10 to 20 inches of small to medium (6" or less) fish in there without unduly stressing the capacity.

Now - this is in my living room. Part of the gouramis' problem was that they rarely came to the front of the tank, as my miniature chaos elementels unconvincingly diguised as small girls regularly raise a ruckus in there, and the TV gets loud sometimes. So shy fish of a diurnal persuasion are right out. Curious fish are good. Nocturnal fish don't answer the purpose.

So, bottom line - if you do not think I am completely off base on my stocking estimate, what sort of (preferably south Asian) fish would you suggest? (If you do think I am off base, please, tell me so.)

tophat665 11-20-2006 10:43 PM

One other thing to add: At some point, probably late next spring or early next summer, I'll be moving the plecos out to a 75 gallon tank in the Family room and trying to replace them with SAEs.

Lupin 11-20-2006 10:46 PM

Your stocking estimation is a bit of an understatement but with hundreds of snails, probably not.:dunno: You still have space mostly for more rasboras and possibly more cherry barbs. Were you planning to buy new fish while on the case of ich?:question:

What medicine are you using to destroy ich?

tophat665 11-20-2006 11:46 PM

It's been a week since the ich treatment has run it's course. I have seen no relapse. I was using aquarisol ich medication - half dose for a two week course with an average tank temp of 84 degrees F.

I don't think there are hundreds of snails at this point - more likely dozens. I haven't seen more than one at a time since I put 10 in the tank for sand stirring duties about a month ago.

I am not planning on going out and getting any more fish immediately, though. I am starting to think about what to fill the void with, though.

I had originally thought to get Moonlight Gouramis - but it is my understanding that I'd have the same issue with them as with the Pearls - shyness & skittishness.

I realize it's a tall to impossible order - a peaceful yet curious fish, 3 to 5" long, from between Afghanistan and Australia, that likes to be in a group of 2 or 3 and prefers the upper strata of the tank.

Failing that, an asian, topwater schooling fish that would get along with the harlequins and cherrys would be the next best thing.

Lupin 11-21-2006 01:20 AM

Malayan Trumpet Snails do tend to hide during the day. They are a pain in the neck from beng unsightly at booming numbers to eliminating them.:redmad: I used loaches as my last resort to remove them. Since then, I had no snails. The loaches are still with me. I'm not planning to get rid of them. They are quite fun and I never want to miss keeping yoyos which are rarely available in our area.

As for your Asian fish, harlies are the best option for shoaling fish. There are Rasbora hengeli, scissortails(though they grow to 4 inches), Rasbora borapetensis and species of barbs. Puntius denisonii is one barb I'd love to get.:love: Stunning though it is large growing to almost 15 cm. They are endemic to India and still fairly new to the hobby after being lifted from the list of endangered species about 2 years ago.

Good luck with the ich treatment.:)

bettababy 11-21-2006 03:34 AM

The denisoni barbs are quite aggressive, I wouldn't mix those in there.
Do we know what the water params are before suggesting more fish for this tank?

tophat665 11-21-2006 10:07 AM

Torpedos are too pricey in any case - beautiful fish, but bur a hole in my wallet.

Blue - I've got a shoal of loaches in there to keep the MTS down in the substrate or regretting it for the rest of their short lives.

Bettababy, I'll do a parameters work-up either tonight or Sunday (travelling this weekend). I know off the top of my head that my tap KH is low (2) GH is medium to high (14), pH around 7.4 (but the tank does have a big chunk of driftwood to pull that down), and I keep the temp 75 to 80 (there's about a 5F drop from one end of the tank to the other.) Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates I'll have to check, and I'll hit the rest too.

tophat665 11-25-2006 10:12 PM

Did a work up of the tank conditions:
KH: 3º
GH: 8º
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: ~40 (High, but due for weekly water change tomorrow. Also, removed a good bit of plant material last week, so there's a new equilibrium getting established.)
PH: 7.5
Temp: 77º - 72º F (heater's at one end, and there's a pretty stable 5º gradient at 65º ambient - thinking of kicking this up a tick tomorrow - to 80 - 75º)

So, assuming a 20% water change brings the Nitrates down a bit, what would you figure would be a decent centerpiece/top water fish or small group?

Thinking that, as pearls didn't work, maybe blue gouramis?

tophat665 11-30-2006 09:21 PM

With the Gouramis out of the picture, the Striped Loaches have started to come out and frolic a lot more. I am going to leave this tank alone for the foreseeable future. (Though I may replace the kuhlis that shuffled off this mortal coil.)

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