Sick and dying fish- multiple species
Greetings all. I have a 50 gallon curved front tank with 2 aquaclear 50g filters on there. One has charcoal the other does not. Temp stays at about 70 deg. Lighting is a 50/50 Actinic daylight bulb. Light and bubbler with 2 8" strips on each side of the tank with large bubbles run on a timer from noon to 9pm.
8 neon tetras (a few weeks ago had 10)
6 tetra skirts (2 white / albine, 2 zebra striped, 2 glo)
5 male guppies (seems to be enough of a school they do not fight)
1 bristlenose pleco
1 other pleco type catfish that looks like a blackish white and brown with a horizontal stripe4" oto forgot his type
Substrate is about 3 inches of gravel. Have an algae ball and a live plant. Try and change weekly to two weeks at 20% always vacuuming gravel.
Few weeks ago had a third glo tetra seem to have swim bladder problems. Started to corkscrew, swim sideways float to the top and such. He eventually died and got pulled pretty quickly. Subsequent research leads me to fear it was a parasite.
In past 2 weeks have had 2 neon tetras die for no apparent reason. Nobody in the tank seems to be nippers and they were pretty safe in their school.
Today found a very lethargic oto lying on his back until disturbed then swims around. And a glo tetro losing the roundness over his eyes, now looks more angular. This poor guy kept getting stuck on the filter. No apparent discoloration or fin nips.
Did a 15 gallon change and replaced carbon and put in a ammonia absorber. Vaccumed out the gravel real good as well.
Further inspection shows 2 neon tetras with 1 bright white spot each on flank, one near gill the other at fin joint. This is a bright white. The type of bright white that you can spot across the room with the actinic bulb. I also say on 2 of my glo danios (blue and purple, supposidly the bigger hardier ones of all the colors) that their stomoach areas are losing their color and turning pale white. No noted swimming problems to these four fish. My other 2 glo danios do not appear to have same issue.
I will be working on getting all 6 into my 2 gallon hospital tank. But that is way to small for all of them!
Is this parasite? Neon tetra disese? My imagination? Thanks for the help.
1. What is the size of your tank? 50 gallon
2. What are your water parameters? State the brand of test kit used. Brought to petco and asked them to test to be sure, nitrates tad high, everything else normal (am getting my own kit soon)
3. Is your aquarium set up freshwater or brackish water? freshwater
4. How long the aquarium has been set up? 9 months
5. What fish do you have? How many are in your tank? How big are they? How long have you had them? fish as above, skirt tetras 8-9 months, guppies 4-5 months, danios 6-7 months, neons 3-4 months, otos 4-5 months, unknown pleco 4 months, bristlenose 3 months, neon tetras 2-3 months
6. Were the fish placed under quarantine period (minus the first batch from the point wherein the tank is ready to accommodate the inhabitants)? no, only the one tank except for a hospital tank at 2 gallons
7. What temperature is the tank water currently? 70
8. Are there live plants in the aquarium? yes
9. What filter are you using? State brand, maintenance routine and power capacity. 2 auqaclear 50 gallon filters. both with sponge cleaned weekly, one with charcoal, both with biomax tablets. Just put in new sponges new charcoal and ammonia remover to be on safe side to one without charcoal. These replaced per manufactorer
10. Any other equipment used (aside from heater and filter which are two very important components of the tank)? 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)? light on noon to 9 pm, some daylight when curtains open in living room same time frame. plenty of algae growth
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? today, 15 gallon, 1-2 weeks, yes
13. What foods do you provide your fish? What is the feeding schedule? tropical fish flake, once a day at night
14. What unusual signs have you observed in your fish? see post
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
Welcome to the forum! Sorry no one posted yet to help. Difficult when these things happen. :-? Your tank sounds like it's cycled, but something appears to have caused stress in your tank. The spots sound like ich possibly, which is easily treated with something like "Quick cure" (follow directions for tetras) and increasing temp. Your tank temp at 70 is too low. I'd raise it slowly to about 78 and keep it there. To treat for ich, you can raise your temp up to 85 as long as the fish don't show signs of stress. I'm guessing the temp of 70 may be the problem, but I could be wrong.
You should not replace all your filter media with water changes, in case you are doing that. Media hold very benefical bacteria.
You should not have nitrate readings over 20ppm. I keep mine around 5-10ppm. Get a liquid API test kit asap. I would not trust Petsmarts tests, as they use strips which are not reliable. Make sure you don't have Nitrites, which are very deadly. If you have nitrates, you shouldn't be getting nitrite readings, unless your bacteria level can't keep up with the waste/bioload. I hope that helps a little. How are things going now?
85 will not kill ich at all... 87 is the lowest temp for any control of the parasite... anything less just speeds up the life cycle and infection. ive also yet to come across anything about striops being more inaccurate then liquids. seems to come down to user perception more then anything
Heat alone cures ich, every time - no need for salt or meds or anything else. It kills the parasite by interfering with its life cycle.
86 is the magic number - it's what is most commonly quoted, and will do the job the vast majority of the time. MM - 87 is not the lowest. We have gone over this before. its only one degree, i know, but inaccurate is inaccurate. If you want to keep saying that, then say 87 is the lowest temp that YOU use.
However, some strains are more resistant to heat than others - occasionally you hear about a case where it does not work. Happened to me one time, so I kicked the temp up to 89 and it was gone. From that point on I just go right to 88. I give all new fish a heat treatment while in quarantine.
Anyway, 85 may work as well, but the lower you go with the temp, the more likely it is not to work. The treatment time is 2 weeks. The spots should be gone after about 5 days, but maintain the temp. I don't know if its ACTUALLY needed, to maintain the temp for the full two weeks, but it's easy enough to do, and I've not found a reason to test it. Some people are concerned about the effect on their fish, but I have administered the treatment to close to 50 species, from tropicals to cold water to ancient fish, without a problem.
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Wow a whole bunch of replies all of a sudden!
Quick updates, I moved the ones that worried me to my 2.5 gallon tank. I used fresh water but the sponge and charcoal from my recent change. When moving them, the oto and glo skirt tetra were pretty lifeless so I euthanized them to be on the safe side.
I raised the temp to 88 using my imersible 300w heater. I have the gauge on the heater as well as a mercury thermometer on the opposite side of the tank. I do not have a heater for the 2.5 gallon tank. But the water is at room temp of 70. All four fish in the 2.5 gallon are very active.
I was also initially thinking about ick but I am not to sure about that. Here are some pictures I took:
Here is a good picture of the glo danio, he should be all blue. I am worried about the discoloration on his belly. My purple danio is having the same but his picture didn't come out as well. And nope I do not have gravel in this tank. Not supposed to be used long term!
This one is a very blurry neon tetra. The white spot is what concerned me. I realize it is hard to tell but I cannot really capture it on camera in the 2.5 since the actinic bulb is what made it stand out.
Before I put the 4 concerning ones back in the main tank, I want to make sure it is actually something that I don't have to quarantine for.
While we are on the subject, one ting to keep in mind is that heater temp settings are not always accurate, as was mentioned. Setting it to a specific temp may or may not get it there, so until you know how accurate your heater is at that higher temp, it is best to raise the temp cautiously.
ill be sure to word my reply's way more precisely. I tend to forget there are some that will dissect anything they can
Jim, thanks for the pics, but they are too large to see anything. I'm not sure if that has an influence on the blurriness or not. If the spot in the last picture that you are referring to is on the side of the belly there, then that is most certainly not ich.
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