Bala Shark has white spot on top right next to top dorsal/fin
1. Size of aquarium (# of gallons) 30 long
2. Is your aquarium setup freshwater or brackish water? Freshwater
3. How long the aquarium has been set up 6 months or so
4. What fish and how many are in the aquarium (species are important to know) 3 Balla sharks, pleco, 2 tetra's, 8 glass catfish and blue lobster.
5. Are there live plants in the aquarium? None
6. What temperature is the tank water currently? 76. Ranges between 76 and 78
7. What make/model filter are you using? Penguin Bio wheel
8. Are you using a CO2 unit? None
9. Does your aquarium receive natural sunlight at any given part of the day? Not really no, majority is from tank light.
10. When did you perform your last water exchange, and how much water was changed? About 2 weeks ago? Maybe 3. 50% water chanaged
11. How often do you perform water changes? One a month?
12. How often and what foods do you feed your fish? Every night. Flake food, sometimes blood worms, shrimps and pellets as a treat.
13. What type of lighting are you using and how long is it kept on? Fluorescent? From 2pm - 2am.
14. What specific concerns bring you here at this time? One of my balla sharks whom is VERY tiny and has continued to remain tiny since purchased. Well now he has a white spot on top of him under the dorsal/fin. He keeps himself secluded. What do I look for symptons when it comes to fast breathing?
15. What are your water parameters? Test your pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. pH: 6.8, Ammonia: between 0 and .25, Nitrate: 0 and Nitrite: 0. These were taken earlier today.
16. What test kit are you using and is it liquid or test strips? Liquid
17. When was the last time you bought a fish and how did they behave while in the pet store tank? last time was maybe...4 months ago?
Your tank is heavily stocked. I would bump up the water changes to at least 50% weekly.
The tank being setup for 6 months, it should be cycled. I am wondering why you are getting a reading for ammonia. Perhaps the weekly water changes will help keep the ammonia at zero.
How big are your bala sharks? Mine where of a pretty good size at 4-6 months. A 30 gal tank is not big enough for them to live in long term. The fact that there is ammonia in the water and the tank size restricts their growth, this could be putting stress on the balas.
What does the white spot look like? Does it look like a grain of salt (ick), is the spot fuzzy looking? A picture would help.
I would do a water change today, to lower the ammonia. Sometimes ill fish can become well, just through extra water changes.
The Ammonium is probably 0. The color difference between 0 and .25 are very similar to me, being color blind makes it difficult for me to truly decide which one it is. Honestly it blends in more with the 0 color then the .25 color.
As far as the white spot, it's like the fish scales are turning white in that spot. A white/transparent look. His dorsal/fin seems to be pushed back and not sticking straight up in the air as the other two healthier ones are. The size of the others are..dont know the exact size but they got huge quick so they will be moving to a bigger aquarium shortly.
With the spot and clamped fins, it does appear he is not well.
I would start out with daily water changes and watch the fish closely for signs of improvement. If the spot continues get worse, despite the water changes, you may need to resort to a broad spectrum antibiotic. Maracyn and Maracyn-Two used together, would be my first choice in meds.
I would use the meds only as a last resort.
I fully concur with Twistersmom's advice. I only want to comment further on the partial water changes (pwc); this is such a crucial aspect of maintaining a healthy aquarium that it cannot be overstated.
A pwc is the only way to clean the water in an aquarium that is (a) without live plants, and/or (b) normally stocked or overstocked. Filters make the water clear, but that is not the same as clean. Plants greatly clean water, provided the fish load is within reason. But in a tank without plants, there is no way to clean the water except removing and exchanging it. The best filter you could have on the tank can only remove particulate matter from the water, but the water is still the same water. Fish produce urine and solid waste and the solid waste breaks down but still remains in the water column, and over time this keeps building up. A pwc is the only way of keeping the water clean for the fish.
The more often you do a pwc the better. More often with less water is much better than less often with more water, because the water remains more stable from week to week with a weekly regular pwc. In most tanks, 30-40% is my recommended pwc every week. The larger the fish, or the more there are, the more water should be changed, say 50% weekly. With heavily planted tanks you can reduce this amount a bit, but when overstocked this is still not wise.
Your fish will thank you by being healthier and showing their natural colours and behaviours even more.
One last thought picking up on TM's sound advice to resort to meds as a last resort: the fewer chemical concoctions you put into an aquarium the better for the fish. Clean water is the best preventive, and the best remedy. Only when something has progressed too far should medications be turned to.
Thanks for replying and I apologize for the delay in response. I did a partial water change today. About a 15% water change tonight. I will do a larger amount tomorrow.
Question - You're saying I should be doing pwc daily, right? I was told by the people at the fish place (def not a typical animal place. They are very highly knowledgeable place) they said by doing water changes a lot is not good, it will cause the chem. levels to rise. How true or bad will they arise?
What chemicals, was your lfs referring to?
It could raise your ph, gh, and kh slightly.
I have seen some of my own fish recover from illness, just from water changes. It does not always work, but like Byron said, medication will stress the fish and you should try to be avoided it.
Out of curiosity, what did the fish store recommend for treatment?
They meant my ammonium, nitrate, nitrite levels. I have not asked them about this problem yet. Looking at the shark now, his dorsal fins are still pushed back but he is a lot more active then he has been. Right now he keeps swimming up to the top of the tank then lets himself fall to the bottom, then he swims back to the top and has been doing this for a good hour now ha. I'm goign to assume he is feeling better.
Glad to hear he is acting better!
The only way a water change could raise your ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate, is if these are in your tap water and at a higher level than whats in the tank.
As TM said, the partial water change will not cause ammonia/nitrite/nitrate to increase, just the opposite. However, when you syphon out the water, don't disturb the substrate because the bacteria is colonizing it and you want it to stay there. Once the tank is fully cycled, it is fine to vacuum the substrate with every pwc, but not until then.
Also don't clean the filter until the tank is cycled. When you do, rinse the media/pad in a bucket of water from the tank (some you've removed during the pwc) to clean it of mulm and detrius, then put it back. The media/pad do not need to be replaced with new ones until the present pad literally is falling apart. As long as the water continues to pass easily through it, without getting around it, it is fine.
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