Fire eel problem!
Hi, I just recently bought a 6 inch baby fire eel from Wal-Mart (I was told already that Wal-Mart is the worst place for fish) 3 days ago and was doing fine, until this morning I noticed at first, it was trying to bite its tail, and then a couple hours later it stopped moving around and lying upside down on the floor, or hanging over objects, breathing slowly. The underside of the belly is coming whitish-grayish, it has some spots. At first, I thought it was ick, but I think ick goes all over the fish so maybe columnaris? I'm not too sure, but I took him out of the tank and stuck him in a hospital tank. I added some aquarium salt and maracyn to the water. As of the moment, he breathes a little better but still lies still in awkward positions and when he does move it looks disoriented, and also he twitches. I never got to see him eat before, but I always stuck live tubifex worms where he would hide at and then turn off the lights. My tank size at the moment is 20 gallons, I'm going to be upgrading it in a couple of months, and is freshwater. I just set up this tank 2 weeks ago and got fish that are still babies (not at Wal-Mart, but a tropical fish store). They are an albino rainbow shark, a dragon bichir, black ghost knife, plecostomus, mystery snail, and two african dwarf frogs cause I thought they were pretty cool. I have only artificial plants in the tank at the moment cause I heard about them uprooting a lot of live plants. Right now, the water parameters are a temperature of 78 degrees, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels are 0, but the pH is 7.6, so I am going to try lower the pH. I just performed a 50% water change right before I introduced the fire eel into the tank. All my other fish are doing fine and I just bought the fire eel and I don't want to lose it ..... I'm hoping I'm doing the right things and diagnosed him correctly, but any help will be appreciated.
Wow... Do you realize the size of tank your going to need for all these fish? I hope your ready, because all those dollar signs would make my head spin.
What kind of substrate do you have in your tank? the fire eel requires a soft substrate like sand, or I suppose gravel with absolutely no sharp edges. I've read that the fire eel will scrape it's belly and fins on the substrate and become susceptible to fungus. So you may be right, your fire eel probably have fungus. Can you post a picture?
Another problem I've noticed, your nitrates are zero? Have you cycled this tank?
Wow, twice in 5 minutes I've posted this...this is why God invented the internet. DO YOUR RESEARCH! If ANY of your fish survive another week I'd be shocked. Take them back to your fish store and cycle your tank.
Thanks for the info fizz and qpc ..... I did some research and found out that I need to cycle my tank foor 4-8 weeks. The sales person told me I just needed to run my tank for 24 hours and I should be all good. Looks like he was just trying to make some quick cash. But I was planning on getting a 150 gallon tank afterwards, in about 3 months. As of right now, my gravel is rounded gravel, so it shouldn't have been the cause of the eel scraping itself on the bottom floor, but it guess I have to take the fish back to the store until the tank is ready. Thanks for everything, you guys were a big help.
Pretty much all of your fish need tanks of at least 100 gallons. Your poop machine needs like 50 gallons plus, your black knife, about 100 gallons or so. The dragon bichir 65 gallons, and your fire eel needs about 100 gallons too. These are all really big and rather difficult fish for a beginner to deal with. But if your really honestly planning on getting a 150 gallon tank in the near future, then buckle down and do some serious research now. Then by the time you have your tank and cycle it, you'll be a fish nerd and will be able to care for these monster fish. But in the mean time if you can return these fish, please do so.
And don't trust your 'friends' down at the local fish store. They don't really care about you or your fish, they just like your money.
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