Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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CatfishALore11 04-08-2013 03:47 PM

Mad fish desease
Ok do when I got home sadly my Mickey Mouse platy was dead so when I scooped him up a few minutes later jack my cherry barb started floating I went to scoop up another dead fish but when I went to scoop him up he swam away? A few minutes later 5 fish were floating at the top! But this time they didn't swim away exept for Rosolie my other cherry barb so I scooped her up put her in another tank and luckily she was fine but for a while she floated! Any reason why 5 fish would just all the sudden die like that and somehow be swimming for a while while floating?
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MoneyMitch 04-08-2013 04:17 PM

we need more info before we can help

CatfishALore11 04-08-2013 04:27 PM

1. What is the size of your tank? 20 gallons

2. What are your water parameters? State the brand of test kit used. Normal says petsmart

3. Is your aquarium set up freshwater or brackish water? Freshwater

4. How long the aquarium has been set up?
About a month
5. What fish do you have? How many are in your tank? How big are they? How long have you had them?
I had 2 balloon-bellied mollies
3 cherry barbs
2 Cory catfish
1 striped Raphael catfish
1 rubber lipped pleco
1 cream sickle Molly
1 Mickey Mouse platy
1 sunburst platy
1 dwarf gourami
6. Were the fish placed under quarantine period (minus the first batch from the point wherein the tank is ready to accommodate the inhabitants)? Yes

7. What temperature is the tank water currently?
8. Are there live plants in the aquarium?
9. What filter are you using? State brand, maintenance routine and power capacity. A good one and I think it's aqueon

10. Any other equipment used (aside from heater and filter which are two very important components of the tank)?
A bubbler
11. Does your aquarium receive natural sunlight at any given part of the day? What is your lighting schedule (assuming you do not rely on sunlight for our viewing pleasure)? A little sun light and about 12 hours of light

12. When did you perform your last water change and how much water was changed? How often do you change your water? Do you vacuum the substrate? 2 weeks ago I change it ever 2 weeks and I do vacuum

13. What foods do you provide your fish? What is the feeding schedule? I feed them top fin flake food and I feed them in the morning and night

14. What unusual signs have you observed in your fish?
Before they died they swam weird
15. Have you treated your fish ahead of diagnosis? If so, what treatments did you use? State your reasons for planning ahead of proper diagnosis. No
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MoneyMitch 04-08-2013 06:09 PM

the tank has been setup for about a month and gets w/c every 2 weeks, so its had 1 maybe 2 w/c so far? when they said ur water was normal was this before or after the addition of fish? how long ago did they say it was normal?

im thinking you have elevated levels of ammonia and its poisioning the fish. I would do weekly w/c 25-50% and definitely invest into a test kit as things can change on a moments notice.

CatfishALore11 04-08-2013 11:20 PM

Well the day they died petsmart said that all my ph and ammonia levels were normal and my water was normal way after I Aded the fish
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jentralala 04-09-2013 12:02 AM

Petsmart will tell you what you want to hear. It's definitely worth investing in a test kit to check your own water and get actual numbers, not just a general 'it's fine'. That tells us nothing, quite honestly.

Okay, so was the tank cycled before adding fish? Even so, you have a very heavy bioload which is giving you a lot of ammonia, especially without live plants. Most likely your fish were in the death throes of ammonia poisoning, from the information you've given us so far.

Several of the fish in your tank are not suitable for that tank size, and will either die or become very aggressive because of this. (The Striped Raphael Catfish especially). Other fish in your tank do not have suitable schooling sizes which also contributes to stress which = more ammonia and hormones being put in the water.

As a mater of practice you should always do weekly water changes of between 30%-50% and siphon/gravel vac the mulm off the bottom. For now you should look into doing daily %50 water changes, with a dechlorinator such as Prime by Seachem to renders ammonia nontoxic for 48 hours.

CatfishALore11 04-09-2013 05:30 PM

I was just keeping the rubber lipped plectomulus and the striped Raphael catfish in ther until I got my 50 gallon tank cycled
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SeaHorse 04-09-2013 07:53 PM

Hi Catfish! I'm sorry you are having troubles. First off... it's a fairly new tank and has not finished cycling. This process takes 6-8 weeks. In these early stages you can suffer a lot of fish loss. You will see spikes in both Ammonia and NitrItes before you see stable numbers of NitrAtes at 20ppm or less. Water changes can still continue thru this time span but any elevated numbers will require extra water changes. When your numbers settle you can go back to weekly. If you don't have your own testing kit you are unable to stay on top of issues as they occur. Your only option at that point is to do a substantial water change, or several.
Having the testing kit at home allows you to test several times in one day if you want, or test at night, see a high number, do a water change and test again in the morning. That type of thing. You don't have to wait for another trip to the pet store just to have them say, "it's fine". You also should test your tap water to know what those numbers are too.
The other item you can keep in your arsenal is Prime water conditioner. It's a little more expensive but is used at 1 cap for 50 gallons so it will last a very long time. It can be used to neutralize Ammonia, NitrIte, NitrAte, Chlorine and Chloramine and can even be used at 5x the strength in an emergency.
It has been suggested here on the Forum to add a small dose daily (it only lasts for 24 hours which is long enough for the good bacteria to grow and take up the ammonia). Then as you go thru the NitrIte stage it continues to protect your fish.
Lastly, is your new larger tank in the process of cycling too? You will need to start it or transfer gravel, filter etc from one tank to the other. Are you planning how you are going to do it? We're here to help if you have questions.

CatfishALore11 04-10-2013 06:04 PM

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