Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Mirta 10-28-2008 12:48 PM

frantic blue tetra
This morning I found one of my blue tetras swimming in circles on its side. The movements were quite fast. The fish looked fine otherwise, only it was thinner than the rest of the flock. I have already lost one blue tetra once to a tumor in the tail area. It was about four or more months ago.

After I came home from work I found the tetra still alive but the movements are faster. It looks even thinner and it seems like everyone and everything is bothering her. The fish is darker in color, the lilac sheen is gone, it looks like a small herring.:cry: I really do not know how to help her. I can set up the quarantine tank, but it will take awhile. It is also chilly, so I will have to wait till it heats.

I suppose, nothing can help the poor fish now, anyway. I only wish to know what could have caused this terrible condition. I have never observed anything like it. I always thought that a fish would be passive and pale if ill, this one is frantic!:-(

Mirta 10-29-2008 02:06 AM

I guess I answered my own question by testing the water... The parameters are unexpectedly poor :-(. I couldn't imagine this rezult since we take care of our tanks regularly.

This is our largest tank and it will be tough to perform a quick water change. I have to prepare a lot of water.

Do you think I can do it gradually? What could have caused nitrate increase in the water? It is really difficult to say. Maybe we disturbed our feeding regime.

This is the only tank where ampularias (pomaceas) actually die for no apparent reasons. This is the only tank, where angels with very long fins have fin rot...

Characins are fragile therefore one of them reacted first and fast. By the way I couldn't find the sick fish todat in the morning:-(.

1077 10-29-2008 05:08 AM

You may wish to test the water you use for water changes for nitrates. High nitrates affect the ability of fishes blood to absorb/hold oxygen which increases their breathing and stress levels. The build up of nitrates can reduce alkalinity of the water resulting in ph fluctuations. Excess nitrates are best controlled by small weekly water changes of 15 to 20 percent and vacuming the bottom of the tank a small area at each water change and a different area each time so as not to destroy benficial bacteria needed. this will remove poo, uneaten food, or decaying plant matter that may be present.:-)

Mirta 10-29-2008 09:57 AM

Thank you for advice! I do regular vacuuming, actually. Maybe it needs more... I am afraid the tap water is also contaminated. I will test it today.

The little sick blue tetra is miraculously alive! It is not doing well though and I do not know how to help it.:-?

Mirta 10-29-2008 10:07 AM

It's me again :-). I have just checked on the little patient and - I couldn't believe my eyes - it was swimming almost perfectly wagging a little as if drunk:-), but much better than this morning! I do not know what to think, really.

As to the water - the tap water that I temporarily keep in a large pail meant for this tank shows very good results. What surprises me is that the general hardness is much better, actually perfect. How can the water get hard in the tank? Apparently all those pomaceas who had died and left their shells - must be removed fast. I cannot really get them from the bottom - my hands are not long enough:oops::-D:-D

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