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rainbowcolors 09-10-2008 08:30 PM

white fuzz on ornaments
I recently lost a rainbow fish to dropsey (I think). Now another one is sick - hasn't eaten for 5 days. NOW all 4 are sluggeih. I pulled all the gravel our to rinse since I had a lot of debris and algae build up. I also changed about 50% of the water, treating with melafix and pimafix. I runsed off the ornaments. The next day, I noticed white fuzz on my sphynx ornament. I have treated the water today with Amquel+ for high nitrate. Other than ph and nitrite levels ok buut hard water.

What is the fuzz? It is not yet on the fish but they are all sluggish and won't eat.

onefish2fish 09-10-2008 09:59 PM

im going to take a wild guess and say your white fuzz is un-eaten decaying food.

keep in mind since you rinsed the gravel your tank is probally going to go through another cycle ( if it even cycled to begin with ) because the gravel is where alot of the good bacteria hangs out and you said you rinsed it.

you also say your levels are "good" can you post exact readings? that would be helpful.

rainbowcolors 09-15-2008 07:24 PM

Thanks. I think you are correct as there is food in the fuzz. You didn't mention if the fuzz should be removed. It now looks like there is white balls forming which is probably still the same stuff (tiny cotton balls). I have never seen that before in all my times of cleaning and treating fish. I finished with the medicine (melafix and pimafix) and added cycle (adding good bacteria). 2 of 4 fish are eating but the original sick one still hasn't eaten. They are all looking ragged. Should I clean the fuzz or just wait? Nitrite is low (0), nitrate is still high (off the chart which goes to 200), GH & KH are off the charts (over 180 & 240), ph is 7-7.5. I haven't been able to find anything to reduce the hardness or nitrate. Any suggestions for this - freshwater tank) Should I add back some plants or continue to wait?

onefish2fish 09-15-2008 11:44 PM

whoa! 200 nitrates

do a water change asap, as in leave the computer now and start siphoning lol..

200 is lethal. im guessing your overfeeding with such high nitrate levels.

siphon out 30-50% of the water and refill it with dechlorinated new water.. if need be use a tap water conditioner according to the instructions on the bottle.. and while your at it, siphon up the white fuzz.. sorry i didnt tell you to remove it .. we where still trying to identify it lol..
after thats complete, test your nitrates again and see where you stand.. if they are still high, do another ( smaller ) water change.

in the future do about 10-15% water change a week to keep your nitrate in check. you can use a gravel vac to clean the poopy and uneaten food from the gravel while removing this water at the same time.. just refill it up with similiar temperature water ( just make sure its close enough ) and that it is declorinated..

rainbowcolors 09-19-2008 10:21 PM

That's what I don't get. I had just done a 50% water change. I even tested my plain water to be sure it wasn't high in nitrates. Seems an ongoing problem for the last year, tho it is just recent they were getting sick. Could the high nitrates be due to the recycling? I wonder if it is the test strip brand. Do you have a brand that you recommend?

iamntbatman 09-19-2008 10:46 PM

I don't personally recommend any brand of test strip. Liquid test kits are always much better as they give a more accurate reading and are generally less expensive. (They may cost slightly more at the outset but provide you with many more tests). I use API's Freshwater Master Test Kit, which includes tests for pH, high range pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. It goes for about $30 in most stores, but online aquarium supply places (like Drs. Foster and Smith and Aquariumguys) sell it for about half that price.

rainbowcolors 09-20-2008 09:50 PM

Thanks. I did aadd more Anquel+ and it appears to have dropped o 80, which I know is still high. I noticed a post where someone used epsom salt for dropsy/bladder problem - wondering what that would do to the one that is still sick. The three seem to be happier. I am concerned that salt might not be good for dojo loaches. Any ideas on that? It is so frustrating to watch these pretty fish die. I have had them for almost two years and lot 3 so far.

1077 09-21-2008 06:45 AM

Weekly water changes of 20 to 25 percent with dechlorinated water of same temp. of tank, NOT overfeeding, and vaccuming the bottom of the tank, a small area, and a different area at each water change will be more helpful to your fish than many realize. Sometimes if this is done regularly no medications are needed. This leaves more money in your pocket to buy more fish. :)

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