Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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pasha 07-31-2009 02:30 AM

Need help
I have 4 tetras in 10 gallons tank, had them for a year.
lately i start to experience two issues what i suspect are connected.


All tetras are keep moving there mouths. kinda resembling heavy breathing.
It couldn't be oxygen -- it's only 4 of them in the tank. And air filter seem to be working all the time.
They seem to stop eating - i tried 4 different types of food including the kind they ate before. they show interest but not taking it.


green slime keep growing rapidly. water become cluttered and stinky very quickly. walls are covered with it . Here are the things I'm trying :

Clean walls rocks and accessory (no live plans)
Replace water often (25% - 30% at the time)
Algae treatments
PH stabilizers
Salt (according to instructions)
Replace filter cartridge
Ammonia and chlorine removing conditioner
Test shows what PH is 6.5 and amonia is normal

any advice? email is prefereble

aquakid 07-31-2009 09:09 AM

conduct a water change of 25%

redlessi 07-31-2009 09:29 AM

Why are you using salt? What are you using to test with? The only thing I would continue is water changes.
I think you should stop treating until you definitely know what is going on with your water parameters. That way you know what to treat for if anything...........

DragonFish 07-31-2009 10:25 AM

I second that. Could you please post all your parameters(Ammonia, NitrIte, NitrAte)? What kind of test kit are you using? What kind of tetras are these? I'd say do away with the salt, I doubt its going to do more good then harm. PH stabilizers can be dangerous as well, a sudden PH swing can easily kill your fish. If these are chemical algae treatments, don't use them. They can be very dangerous.
Any way you could get a picture of this slime? That might help. A PWC(partial water change) of 20%-30% can never hurt.
What was you WC schedule before this occurred? Do you used a gravel vac? Anything added or taken away recently?

JohnnyD44 07-31-2009 12:48 PM

I agree with the others...chances are the salt is what is hurting your fish....salt where it's not needed can cause gill and other health issues for fish which do not require it. Get us a water sample and answer the questions dragon fish asked schedule may be a key here too

Byron 07-31-2009 02:24 PM

I'm only repeating what previous replies have stated; but the problem is very clearly the water quality. Characins (the tetras, pencilfish, hatchetfish) are very sensitive to chemicals; on this issue, the salt is detrimental (it causes problems internally leading to immune system deficiencies, ill health and possibly death), and any chemicals added to adjust pH, remove algae or remove snails is not advisable with characins as they are highly sensitive to these things. And frequent pH fluctuations is a real cause of internal issues leading to stress and poor health and susceptibility to disease and parasites.

The slime is probably cyanobacteria, often considered "algae" but actually a bacteria. Poor water quality resulting from inadequate tank maintance is almost always the cause. Partial water changes should be weekly without fail, and in a 10g 25-40% is good. Use a good conditioner, nothing else. And don't overfeed; characins can live well on one or two flakes a day, so don't be afraid of "starving" them (unless they stop eating which is quite different). Do more frequent water changes (every day won't hurt the fish) to remove the chemicals and salt, then stick to the weekly schedule.

The rapid respiration is probably not oxygen derficiency in the water (they would more likely be gasping at the surface in that case) but is probably internal gill damage caused by the salt and chemicals. They are respirating faster because they are unable to absorb sufficient oxygen with normal respiration. The fish may survive, but it is difficult to determine what damage internally may have been done by all this, so be prepared.

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