Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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albanach 03-25-2010 12:18 PM

Random deaths and feeding time at the zoo
I have a three month old 26g tank (full details below).

It was stocked with a half dozen neon tetras, four peppered corries and a pair of dwarf gourami's.

I was out of town for three days last week. The fish were all well fed, and I'd hoped they'd make it through the three days without feeding. I returned to find a dead cory attached tot he filter intake.

I did a midweek test using a test strip.

Ammonia 0
Nitrates are negligible, i.e. well under 20ppm the first color on the comparison chart.
Nitrites Nil
GH 75ppm
Chlorine 0
KH between 0 and 40
pH 6.8

I then did a 50% water change.

I put the death down to stress from us being away. Next day we were at the pet shop and so I replaced the cory and added 2 oto's.

Over the next two days a neon tetra and the new cory died. That was two days ago.

Another water test has shown the same results. The fish appear to be acting normally. The tetras are schooling. The corries switch between resting and foraging vigorously. The gouramis continue to assert themselves.

Should I be doing anything differently? Is it likely the fish just failed to cope with stress from a few days not being fed? The new cory was tiny so I'm guessing very young and may also not have adapted well to the move.

My second question was about feeding. The Oto's look great and cleared any and all algae from the tank in 24h. I added a slice of zucchini which they appeared to find and start work on. It was about 1/4" thick and was boiled for 2 minutes. After about 24h, the gourami's discovered this too. At 36h it was almost gone.

I'm guessing the gourami's ate most of it. Should I be concerned about them overeating? They're certainly voracious. They'll often follow the cory catfish to see if they have found anything worth eating. Are there any tips to ensure the oto's get fed without the gourami's over-feeding?


== Tank setup ==
1. What is the size of your tank?

2. What are your water parameters? State the brand of test kit used.

As above. Quick Dip test strips.

3. Is your aquarium set up freshwater or brackish water?


4. How long the aquarium has been set up?

3 months

5. What fish do you have? How many are in your tank? How big are they? How long have you had them?

2 dwarf gourami
5 neon tetas
3 peppered cory
2 oto's

6. Were the fish placed under quarantine period (minus the first batch from the point wherein the tank is ready to accommodate the inhabitants)?


7. What temperature is the tank water currently?


8. Are there live plants in the aquarium?


9. What filter are you using? State brand, maintenance routine and power capacity.

aqueon 30. Carbon filter changed monthly.

10. Any other equipment used (aside from heater and filter which are two very important components of the tank)?


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)?

Natural light from north facing window. Aquarium light on ~12h/day

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?

50% change as above.

Been reducing water changes after cycle completed. Currently change 4g twice a week.

13. What foods do you provide your fish? What is the feeding schedule?

Flakes with occasional dried bloodworm. Usually feed what is eaten in about 30-45 seconds twice daily.

1 shrimp pellet daily for catfish. Usually broken up, otherwise the gourami's will eat it all.

14. What unusual signs have you observed in your fish?


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.


kelly528 03-25-2010 03:00 PM

I only read up to how you tested your water. Those test strips are deadly. Very inaccurate, guaranteed your nitrites are 10ppm higher than what those stupid strips are telling you. And seeing that nitrite is deadlier than either ammonia or nitrate, that's probably what killing your fish.

Do some water changes until you get nitrites under control and hopefully there won't be anymore losses. And buy a liquid test kit so you can accurately monitor the nitrite to make sure it is eliminated by the biological filter.

KSASTER2 03-25-2010 03:51 PM

+1 ON THE LIQUID TEST KIT... I have the API master test kit works great

good luck

albanach 03-25-2010 06:42 PM


Originally Posted by KSASTER2 (Post 350607)
+1 ON THE LIQUID TEST KIT... I have the API master test kit works great

good luck

I just went to PetSmart and purchased their last API Master Kit. Got it home. No instructions or color charts.

So, until I get that resolved, I can't give you more info on water status.

However, as I am and have been consistently changing over 15% two times a week including a gravel vacuum, I'd hope my parameters are okay.

karjean 03-25-2010 07:29 PM

I bought my API master test kit at Big Al's, they do sell seperate items also. Sorry for the loss and good luck.

albanach 03-25-2010 07:45 PM

Found instructions
I found instructions online and scanned color cards.

My ammonia test remained yellow. 0ppm

Nitrite remained bright blue. 0ppm

Nitrate changed only slightly. Probably 5ppm

So, I'm pretty confident in my water parameters. I am doing twice weekly changes of slightly over 15% so it's pretty much what I'd expect.

Assuming no other losses, should I just put it down to stress from no feeding for a few days?

Any thoughts on my concerns about the gourami overfeeding on the Oto's zucchini?

Thanks again for all the replies.

kelly528 03-26-2010 11:25 AM

Ack sorry I thought you said it was nitrItes that you had. It still stands that those strips are a waste. When they run out get a test kit... they seem more expensive but they actually cost less per test.

I still find it very strange that the fish couldn't survive for 3 days without food... in the past it was routine to feed fish only once a week. Is there any chance of internal parasites? Any white, stringy poop, etc?

KSASTER2 03-26-2010 11:31 AM

i would agree 3 days without food isn't very long. i have friends that go away for a week and dont feed their fish

albanach 03-26-2010 12:57 PM


Originally Posted by kelly528 (Post 351261)
I still find it very strange that the fish couldn't survive for 3 days without food... in the past it was routine to feed fish only once a week. Is there any chance of internal parasites? Any white, stringy poop, etc?

Ah, yes there has been - I'd put it down to overfeeding with the gouramis, but now I've found some other posts on this.

Is there a suggested treatment?

Thanks! While I'd rather not have a problem with the fish, you folk have been most helpful.

albanach 03-26-2010 04:48 PM

I've added some pictures of the lethargic cory. I don't see anything obvious, but someone more knowledgeable might.

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