Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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The Dude 03-20-2007 02:41 PM

RIP Rosy. Should I worry about everyone else?
My female swordtail passed today. Yesterday she was fine and today she was extremely pale and dead. There was no physical damage (bites, etc) but shes dead. the water perameters are fine, I actually didawater change about 4 days ago. She may have been just begining pregnancy. Should I worry for anyone else (especially my other female swordtail)?

bettababy 03-20-2007 04:17 PM

It would be more helpful if we knew what your water params are for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH?

How big is the tank? How long has it been set up? What kinds and how many fish are in it? How often do you do water changes, and how much water at a time? What is the temp? What kind of foods are you offering? How often are you feeding?
The more info you can provide the faster someone can help.

The Dude 03-20-2007 11:22 PM

ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH shouldnt be a problem because i did a 20% waterchange 4 days ago the temp hovers around 78 or 80f all my info is in the my tanks thing.

bettababy 03-21-2007 12:19 AM

A water exchange cannot ensure that water params are in good standing without testing them to find out. Example: a high nitrate level that has built gradually over a period of time... one water change of 20% won't make much difference. A series of water changes over a period of time will make a difference.
Point is, without those numbers, there isn't much anyone can tell you.

The Dude 03-21-2007 11:49 PM

i do water changes every 3 weeks. i went to my lfs and they said that the parameers were fine

Lupin 03-22-2007 12:43 AM


Originally Posted by The Dude
i do water changes every 3 weeks. i went to my lfs and they said that the parameers were fine

I'll have to repeat Dawn's call.
Point is, without those numbers, there isn't much anyone can tell you.
Your lfs deserves a slap from me.:shake: You need to jot down the exact figures. I would advise getting your own test kit instead so you'll be able to know your water parameters without the lfs intervening by claiming 'it's fine/perfect', etc. API Freshwater Master test kit is one of the good test kits out there. Easy to use and accurate. Avoid test strips which are not accurate enough.

bettababy 03-22-2007 01:09 AM

All of the questions I asked previously also still need to be answered for us to be able to tell you anything useful. A 20% water change once every 3 weeks could be all a tank needs, or it could be horribly neglected, depending on the size of the tank, the kind of fish in it, how many fish in it, feeding habits, and type of filtration. At this point we don't have near enough information to begin sorting out your problem.
Think of it as calling your Dr and telling him you have a sore throat... there would be questions and tests before he would even begin to diagnose the problem... because it could be any number of things. Same type of situation... this could be any number of problems, and without understanding what is happening and how best to sort the symptoms, there is no hope of fixing it.

The Dude 03-22-2007 02:14 PM

First off, I would have to defend my LFS, as these guys are a mom and pop operation that we have bought all our pet supplies from for years, way before i got into fish. They really do know thier stuff. Im sure they wont mind jotting down the parameters next time i got in. my LFS said its fine, but other times i go in to have it tested he will say something like "the nitrates are a little high, but not dangerous yet, do a water change within a few days." I have 2 undergravel filters and a penguin 200 filter with biowheel, the filtration is more than ample. fish are relatively diverse: 4 Serpae Tetras 1 Common Pleco 2 Emerald-Green Corys 2 Swordtails (red male and a black female) 1 Blue Dwarf Guarami 1 Ropefish and 1 African Butterflyfish (i realize i may be a tad overstocked but the butterflyfish, ropefish and placo are still small so i will either get a bigger tank as they grow or find new homes for them) i feed once or twice a day, always flake food or bloodworms with the occaisional baby brine treat. temp is 78-79 and i have a 20 gallon Long.

bettababy 03-22-2007 05:09 PM

Wow, what a mix. Well, a few things I can see as potential problems...
The fish are a bit mis matched, and territory for those fish in a 20 long will be an issue if you want to keep peace. It's good that there is a school of the serpae tetras, but just to be aware, they tend to be nasty, nippy little things. In a 55 gallon I still would not mix serpae with swordtails because I'd be concerned about agression levels.
Rope fish also can be quite evil when it comes to aggression levels. The one my ex bought yrs ago and dumped into my 55 gallon dwarf cichlid tank managed to eat my expensive cichlids within months. I came home from work one day and it had a blue ram in it's mouth. The ram was too big to swallow, but that rope fish carried it around in his mouth for almost 2 days, unwilling to give up his prize. I was in the process of finding it a different home after having chewed out my ex for putting it in there in the first place.

How long has this tank been set up? When you do gravel vacs, do you get under the plates of the undergravel and suck out the muck? I'm not a big fan of undergravel filters unless you are really into live plants, and have a fully planted tank. They cause issues long term if you don't clean under the plates often enough and don't have enough plants to feed on that "muck"/nutrient levels they are designed to provide.

Please be aware, nobody was attacking your LFS. All we were stating is that for us to help you, we need those numbers. Your LFS may be able to help you when they do the tests because they have the numbers in front of them, and maybe don't feel the need to give you those numbers. If you wish to learn to help yourself, we can teach you, but that means always having those numbers handy. "Just fine" tells us nothing that we can work with. One person's "just fine" might be considered deadly to another, and gives no indication of what else we would need to look for.

I would highly suggest working on seperating your remaining swordtail(s) out of the current tank. There is a strong possibility that what happened was a matter of aggression bewteen fish. Also, I would not advise keeping 1 male and 1 female swordtail togther. Each male will need at least 2 females to chase. With just a pair, the male will likely chase the female until he exhausts her to death with trying to breed. This is typical of livebearing fish.
I look forward to seeing the numbers for your water params. After that, I may be able to lend some further insight.
Good Luck!

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