sick white clouds
Hi, I'll try to give you as much info so you can help me figure out what's wrong with my white cloud..
I have an 8-gallon Biorb tank that's been going for about 6 months now. I started it with 3 white cloud mountain minnows, and eventually added 2 of the "golden" variety. Eventually 1 of the original silvery ones died, and 1 of the golden ones. 2 months ago I moved apartments, but it was just across the same complex. Amazingly, the 3 fish I had left survived. I figure after a while, once everyone was settled, I could add a couple more white clouds. Well one of my original silvery ones started acting weird--mostly hiding/laying down in the rocks against the side. I definitely thought it was dead a few times when it did that. Before I could look into it and do any treatment, he was back to normal. Yay! Then maybe 2 weeks later, he died, without much warning. Forgive my lack of detail, I didn't realize anything was wrong at the time. So about 2 weeks ago I replaced that one with a new silvery white cloud. So I had #1 (original silvery one), #2 (original golden one), and #3 (new silvery one). I'll admit I didn't quarantine it first, and have since learned my lesson and plan on quarantining from now on.
Anyway, the new one seemed fine for several days, maybe even a week. Then all the sudden it also started doing the hiding/laying in the rocks bit. I kept an eye on it and otherwise it seemed fine. I had to go out of town over the weekend, but figured it would be good for them to go a few days without eating. If anything, I maybe sometimes feed a little too much at a time (once a day), because I'm always afraid of starving them. I'm trying hard to feed the right amount. So I came back after 3 days and the new guy was gone. I ended up doing a 30% water change a bit early (I usually do it monthly), in part to search for the body, as it was nowhere to be found. I never did find it. I'm waiting to hear from the woman who came by to feed my cat, to see if she maybe saw it floating and scooped it out.
So now I was down to #1 (original silvery one) and #2 (original golden one). And now my golden one is definitely sick. :( My problem is that I can't figure out what's wrong. It's doing the hiding/laying in the rocks thing (they're large, rough rocks that came with the tank). When I did the water change, she (don't actually know the sex) was obviously stirred up by it all, and swam around, somewhat fine. But I can still tell there's something wrong. She just looks off. She hasn't been eating and her body looks smaller and her back is maybe crooked almost? Looks like there's a tiny bend just before her tail. Also, she came out this morning and was kinda swimming round, but when the other white cloud started swimming at her (almost chasing her) she finally went down into the rocks again. I managed to catch her and put her in the quarantine tank I've set up. The tank is a 1-gal triangular setup (don't have much room for it) with an under gravel airstone setup--she's just one little fish, is this tank okay for quarantine? I'm really hoping it helps her to be in there, but I'm not sure how to treat her. I can't tell if there's any white stuff or other marks on her body, because she's already mostly white colored. (I'll post some pics at the end.) I checked the water of my main tank, as well as the water I pumped out from the water change. They were the same:
PH: 7.4 (trying to slowly get that down)
Nitrate: 40ppm (will pick up some stuff to try to get that down as well)
It's about 74*F, maybe sometimes 76*. I'm trying to keep it cooler, but having an issue with the AC--a bird is nesting on the outside of the AC unit, possibly with eggs. I'm waiting for my husband to get back from out of town to see if there are eggs, or if he can move it. (I'm not tall enough to see, even on a stool!) I have the AC running upstairs, but can't get the tank up there by myself. Should I put the quarantine tank up there?
Thanks for any suggestions you can give me.
I can post more pics later.
In my view your water parameters ,temp,and pH are fine for whitecloud's.
Nitrates could be lower by about half but this is easily done by changing water out for new water treated with a dechlorinator such as PRIME .No need for products to lower the levels.
Water changes are recommended to be performed once a week for nearly all aquariums and perhaps twice weekly for aquariums of 5 gallons or smaller depending on numbers of fish.
Your feeding schedule sounds fine but try not to feed the fish any more than you actually see them eat in a minute or two. Feeding more than this ,will result in decaying food contributing to water quality issues.
I am concerned with your attempts to lower the pH with possible powders or potions. As stated, 7.4 to 7.6 would suit the whiteclouds and by attempting to adjust the pH you could cause unstable pH fluctuations that are stressful to the fish which in turn, makes them much more suceptible to sickness. Straight tapwater treated with dechlorinator such as the one mentioned is all that is needed and the tank will be much more stable than it will with ph adjusters which have temporary effect. Were it me, I would euthanize the sick fish and step up maint on the tank by performing weekly water changes of around 25 percent,and resist the urge to use anything other than dechlorinator and tapwater for water changes while seeing to it that the new water added was not too cold,or too warm.
I might take comfort with the knowledge that sometimes ,fish die despite our best efforts ,and I would use quarantine for new fishes in the future as you have wisely indicated.
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