Sick Tank, Missing Fish?
I've been being very careful with my new 10 gallon tank, well aware that small tanks are more difficult to start with in some cases. I thought that with my previous experience at my parent's house combined with help from this forum, I could pull it off. It was pretty successful at first, and I only lost one fish initally.
Then came Spring Break. I'd been working 35 hours a week and going to school full time. My fish, my boyfriend, and our cat had pretty much been my only release from all that. A friend of mine in Colorado's Spring Break lined up with mine, so I went, leaving my boyfriend to feed the fish since he couldn't get out of work and would be home anway. He was supposed to feed them every day except Friday, and he did. Well, since he didn't even go in that room Friday and I came home early Saturday morning, the first thing I saw was a dead fish that could have been in there a while. I scooped it out but noticed a little later that there was another one that matched the rocks hidden down in the corner, so I scooped that one out too. My heart sank right then when I realized that my favorite male guppy was also missing. I didn't find him in the filter and looked all over the rocks for him, but he's nowhere to be found.
The remaining fish (some mollies and two females guppies) have developed some ick, which I medicated. I also did my best to take care of the ammonia levels since I figured that was what might have started the death count in the first place. It hadn't settled to zero from being a new tank.
So... I read the thing about salt in the "Icky Sticky," and was wondering if it would hurt my guppies. I know mollies are pretty hardy and could handle it as well as the temperature raise. Also, what about the missing fish? Do I need to dissasemble the entire tank and do a full water change to find him? The only other explanation is that my cat got him, but I hightly doubt it. I'm pretty sure the lid is secure.... what do I do?
My perameters, because I know someone will ask, were as follows last time I checked (which was before the Colorado trip, I'm checking again later today):
nitrate and nitrite: I haven't bought the testers yet. That's next paycheck.
Sorry to hear about your fish losses. The first thing you need to deal with is the ammonia reading of 2.0. This is highly toxic to the fish, and should be brought down with a series of water changes.
As for the ich, raising the temperature and treating with medication will be required, but you will have to work out how much medication you are removing with each water change.
Firstly though, a large water change to get that ammonia reading down, and feed only a bare minimum until the tank has cycled.
Ask your boyfriend if he left the lid off at any time because they can if they realy want to jump out.
I would say up the temp and salinity.
Mollies and guppies are used to it.
As for the the ammonia, definately change your water!
Then add the salt and etc.
Do I have to buy special salt for this or can I just use regular table salt and mix in the (however much) per 10 gallons that the Icky Sticky said slowly with my hand?
Some people say not to, but I have always used regular table salt when treating ich without any problems.
I looked at it again....dead fish into consideration, is it a possibility it could be fungus? It looks more like white mold than salt specs. I'm leaning towards that.... how is that treated?
Use salt when treating for ich. Your fish will be fine. Dissolve the salt first before adding it to the tank.
Thanks to everyone for all the help. I haven't even had a chance to add in the salt, but my fish are already looking better just from the medication and raising the temperature slightly (I thought I'd do it a little at a time). I think it's going to be okay, and I'm thankful I only lost 3 fish from this ordeal when it could have been so, so, much worse.
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