Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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nexlevel07s 02-16-2010 03:44 PM

Please help??? New aquarist new member.
Hello and thank you for your time. I have a 10 gallon tank that I have purshased over a month ago (about 5 weeks now). In the tank lives-

2 serbai cory cats
2 Albino cory cats-
3 silver tip tetra
1 juli cory cat- bought today
1 Betta male
1 common suckermouth pleco

My problem is that I did have 3 albino cory's before today = ( I really got upset as did my daughter. One died and I don't know why!!! HELP!!!!!

My nitrate, ammonia and ph levels are all fine. no cloudiness or debris anywhere around. What was the culprit that killed my beloved albino cory cat????

I was reading some other forums and I seen a lot of mention about Swim bladder disease, I suspect this and I will tell you why.

I witnessed my cory swimming funny but at first it sat at the bottom for a day and a half. He was swimming sideways and eventually started swimmimg upside down. He was put into my rescue tank and continued to appear like something was wrong. The cory did this for about 18 hours before he died. He came up for air swimming upside down then sank back to the bottom. The funny thing is he was actually very active just upside down. I gave a pea and put just a pinch of epson salt in the tank not such at all.

Now my other cory cats are fine swimming like olympic gold nothing fishy going on there it appears but I am watching them close. Now since the sick cory passed in the other tank I figure no need for water change. All my other fish seem to be thriving as well with no ill affects. I bought a juli cory today for my daughter to make up for her suffering.

Also there were no signs of it being attacked as all my fish live in harmony, no white spots no sores or any sign of disease on the otter part of the fish. Just swimming strange thats all. Of anyone can help or give advice it will be greatly appreciated, I want all my fish to live happy and healthy. Thank you all..

cmc29 02-16-2010 03:53 PM

How often do you do water changes?

nexlevel07s 02-16-2010 03:59 PM

20% every week. Is that too much or too little? Pleco is a poop machine so I also do a vac with the water change.

cmc29 02-16-2010 04:12 PM

My tank is a 29 gallon and i do about 40% every 4-5 days. I'm a bit on the excessive side, but my nitrates are always around 5 ppm.

How did you cycle your tank?
Did you test frequently during the cycling period?
What is the temp of your tank?
What are the Nitrite and Nitrate readings?
What is your p.h?

nexlevel07s 02-16-2010 04:25 PM

Yes cycle was tested my readings are .25 ammonia 2 ppm nitrate. Water temperature is stable at 80. Sometimes fluxuates between 78-82

cmc29 02-16-2010 04:41 PM

If you're still getting an ammonia reading then the tank is not yet fully established/cycled. When it is completely cycled your ammonia and nitrite will read 0ppm.

Are you sure it's nitrate that 2...and not nitrite? tester only tests nitrates by 5ppm increments, but tests nitrite by the 1 ppm increment.

Did you add all your fish at once, or did you introduce them gradually?
It sounds like you've added too many fish too quickly, and if your tank was established it caused a minicycle because of the extra bioload of the new fish. This could cause your fish to stress and die

nexlevel07s 02-16-2010 05:31 PM

It would make sense since I did add 3 tetras, 3 albino cory, and 1 betta at once. The other 2 cory and pleco came about 2 weeks after.

Maybe I did overload. I fell bad about that... Gosh what would the solution be?

By the way it was Nitrate, nitrite is at 5. Sorry for the confusion.

I really appreciate the help.

Austin 02-16-2010 06:05 PM

Well, your tank is definitely not cycled! In a fully cycled tank you will have a colony of good bacteria that processes the ammonia into nitrite, and then the nitrite into nitrate (which is wayyyy less harmful to fish). You should never have nitrite or ammonia. And you won't when your tank is cycled.

I suggest buying something to rid your tank of the ammonia/nitrites if you want, or do some major water changes for a while until you get readings of 0 on nitrites and ammonia, and low nitrates.

I reccomend 25-30% water change weekly 20% is a little on the low side...

The fish probably died of ammonia poisoning...

cmc29 02-17-2010 07:56 PM

+1 on the water changes weekly but i'd do 40% weekly. It sounds like your tank still has a little while to go to cycle. DON'T GET FRUSTRATED, it'll be o.k., and don't feel bad about your mistake of adding fish too quickly.:-) You'll know next time.

I would continue to check the levels every day. As ammonia levels decrease, you'll see a rise in nitrites( which is what is happening in your tank right now). Over the next few days or week your ammonia levels will drop off, nitrites will drop off, and nitrates will start to rise. When your ammonia and nitrite are completely zeroed out and your nitrites are up to 5-20 ppm you'll be cycled. BE PATIENT. If you see a spike in ammonia, do a water change immediately! Good luck, keep us posted on here what's going on with your tank:-)

Romad 02-18-2010 06:18 AM

Be prepared to rehome that Pleco. They get way too large for a tank that size. And you'll never be able to stay on top of keeping the tank clean with him/her. I had to bring mine back to the LFS last week bc he outgrew my 45 gallon in 10 months and I couldn't keep nitrates under 40 even though I change 1/3 of the water each week and do a thorough gravel vacuum.

Sorry but it's really the best thing you can do for your tank and for the pleco. Good luck and welcome to the forum.

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