HELP!! This can't be normal....
I'm new to this forum. Actually I just joined because I think my Blood Parrot is getting sick. Over the past month she has been developing severe black spots all over her body. It started on her face/mouth and then spread to her body. At one point it seemed as if it was fading away but then all of a sudden last week it came back.
1. What is the size of your tank? - 40 GL
2. What are your water parameters? State the brand of test kit used. - Stupidly enough I haven't purchased my own test kit. Borrowed an ammonia and PH/Nitrate/Nitrite test strip from PetSmart and they all looked normal.
3. Is your aquarium set up freshwater or brackish water? - Freshwater
4. How long the aquarium has been set up? - Just shy of 2 months
5. What fish do you have? How many are in your tank? How big are they? How long have you had them? - 2 Blood Parrots (2"), 2 Pink Kissers (1"), 4 Barbs (1/2"), 2 Gold Gourami (1"), 1 Tri Colour Shark (3"), 1 Black Tail Shark (2 1/2"). All about about 1-2 months old.
6. Were the fish placed under quarantine period (minus the first batch from the point wherein the tank is ready to accommodate the inhabitants)? - No
7. What temperature is the tank water currently? - About 80-84 (recently turned it up as the tank is close to a window so it gets cold quicker)
8. Are there live plants in the aquarium? - No
9. What filter are you using? State brand, maintenance routine and power capacity. - Aquaclear 70 running with Foam, Carbon and BioMax filtration. Cleaned bi-weekly. Sponged washed monthly and will be changed end of Feb. Carbon already changed end of Jan. BioMax added end of Jan.
10. Any other equipment used (aside from heater and filter which are two very important components of the tank)? - Pump supplying bubbled via aerator inside the tank. 2 strips.
11. Does your aquarium receive natural sunlight at any given part of the day? What is your lighting schedule (assuming you do not rely on sunlight for our viewing pleasure)? - The aquarium is against a bay window however we keep the blinds closed as to reduce algae growth. I turn the light on in afternoon and turn it off around 9pm. So about 6 - 8 hours of tubular lighting.
12. When did you perform your last water change and how much water was changed? How often do you change your water? Do you vacuum the substrate? - Started with 10% when we got the tank. Then did an emergency 50% change in fear of ammonia burns when we started noticing the parrot turning black. The water was filthy with lots of garbage in the gravel. Now we do bi-weekly 10 - 20% changes and just recently did a 40% change this Sunday along with cleaning the plastic plants and the filter. Scrubbed for algae.
13. What foods do you provide your fish? What is the feeding schedule? - Flakes, dried shrimp and frozen shrimp brine. They LOVE the frozen brine, they go crazy when I feed them than. Feed them twice a day. Once at about 7am and again at about 7pm.
14. What unusual signs have you observed in your fish? - Other than the recent black spots on the parrot nothing very unusual. They all chase each other. The parrots of extremely docile and keep to themselves. When we first setup the tank we put a big coliseum in there and the 2 parrots spent about 80% of the day inside. We removed the coliseum about a month and a half ago and put in a log instead so at least they weren't already hiding from site. 1 parrot is fine (still always hiding tho) the other just looks sick.
15. Have you treated your fish ahead of diagnosis? If so, what treatments did you use? State your reasons for planning ahead of proper diagnosis. - I've asked the fish experts at PetSmart and they said it can't be ammonia burns as that would result in white spots. But i've read over and over again that ammonia burns turn black when healing. I asked about how I can reduce stress level so he recommended aquarium salt and throwing in some extra water conditioner to re-coat the slime on the fish. I've use the aquarium salt twice now (both times after large water changes).
How are the other fish in the tank behaving?
It is very important at this point that you purchase your own test kits. You need to provide us with extremely accurate test results so that we can help pinpoint the course of action. Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, and hardness are all 100% necessary for us to help at all. Without these test results we are only guessing and could cause more harm than good.
By the way, after over 20 years in this hobby and having kept all of the species you currently have on literally dozens of different aquarium setups, I can tell you without question that your tank if FAR overstocked. It is impossible for you to sustain this environment without constant disease, regardless of filtration and water change routines. The stress your fish are experiencing as a result of hormonal signals between these fish is overwhelming. It is very important that we look at a plan of action that includes a proper stocking level and picking fish that are capable of living in this aquairum environment.
I'm worried now... Should I take some fish out? Which ones do you recommend I take out?
Oh by the way the other fish are acting like they are all buddies. they swim after each other and seem like they are enjoying themselves. they all love eating and no signs of sickness...
Don't get test strips! Get the API LIQUID Master Test Kit. Test strips are extremely inaccurate.
I heard black spots are signs of nitrite/ammonia/nitrate burn I forget which...
If you added them after a few weeks of cycling maybe it didn't cycle all the way properly.
Define "normal" about your nitrates/nitrites/ammonia. Ammonia and nitrite should be 0. Nitrate should be low. That means the tank is cycled.
It almost looks like coloring to me... not a disease... but idk I don't think most parasites/funguses are black.
Also your blood parrots are so cute! :D I want some now. Blood parrots look so funny and cute they make me giggle.
Oh and 99% of the fish people at petsmart know NOTHING. Don't trust them. Ever. Use the internet, books, and this forum for your information resource it's the only way you'll find accurate information. (well, the internet is mostly... there's some inaccurate info too but most is good)
+1 for pasfur and petsmart employees know NOTHING when it comes to fish. you may, on ocassion, find one that does actually know something. Also, if this is not a case of any sort of toxic/stress problem. if your parrots are young he may just be developing his color. i have seen full grown Bp with similar coloring as yours has developed. Just some info regarding your tank inhabitants...the BP will grow to AT LEAST 12" as well as your "kissing fish" which i am assuming are the pink kissing gouramis.....we can get you going on the right track;-)
Wow really you guys have been a great help so far. I don't know why I didn't come here sooner.
So I went to Big Als (I'm front Toronto) and purchased the API Testing Kit and got the following results:
PH: 7.4 or 7.8 somewhere in between but I think the standard is 7
Ammonia - 0ppm
Nitrate - 20ppm (box said it should be at 40...?)
Nitrite - 0ppm
Intersting thing I saw when I went to Big Als today. I was explaining my enter scenario to the fish dude (who was extremely helpful and friendly) and I look to my left into their Blood Parrot tank and what do I see? A Blood Parrot with black ALL OVER it's find and body. I said LOOK! That's what my fish looks like. He then went to talk to his buddy and came back and said test the water and it could possibly be their diet (ie. the type of food we are feeding) or even that we are keeping the tank toooo clean.
I don't know anymore. Maybe it's just normal. Maybe just like molliefan09 said, they are simply developing their colour?
Nitrate should be UNDER 40ppm. You're okay at 20ppm.
I read just a little, not in depth, about blood parrots. I think they may be injected with color. If so it could be the colors are running lol I make light of something not too funny but maybe it's an avenue to look at. But maybe not as I don't want to give wrong info on this.
Bloods are however, a fish not well liked being seen by animal activists in the fish hobby. They are severely deformed and it's done on purpose. I digress...
You water tests look good. If those nitrates climb near 30 ppm do a partial water change. Maybe Bettababy can weigh in here on the spots. She's pretty good at this stuff. Educated, to say the least.
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