Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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chllngr528 11-16-2010 08:26 PM

Please help!
I copied and pasted this here because the other forum I joined couldn't seem to help. Thats why its in the order it is.

Let me explain everything we have going on here, we have a female sunburst platy who all of a sudden got really thin and hunchbacked. She swam almost vertical and stayed at the bottom a lot, we thought she'd be dead the next morning but she's doing better-gaining a little weight and
eating more.

Now the biggest platy we have (a mickey) is acting weird, swimming funny, his mouth is doing weird things and he was hanging out at the bottom as well. And he died this morning, he was once the biggest and most dominant in the tank!

Our tank had really high ammonia, and we finally got that under control. Well I went to the aquarium store and had my water tested today. It was bad. Very bad. Ammonia was ok, ph was a little low and nitrate and nitrites were off the charts. The store owner recomended I use a product called prime. He also said to raise my water temp to 80 and add 2 table spoons of aquarium salt. As far as the sick fish he said to wait and get my water right before trying to diagnose the fish. I do definatly know at least one fish has ich. He said the salt will help treat it and help the fish cope with the high water temp.

Any opinions on this plan of attack. The mickey died last night so I am down to three plus the two fry I discovered this morning. The sunburst is still acting weird but is the first one to eat .

Romad 11-16-2010 08:56 PM

Prime is one of the best conditioners you can use. It will neutralize ammonia, nitrite, nitrate for short periods of time while you're dealing with high levels. It isn't a cure for what ails your tank but you can use higher levels when dosing the tank in an emergency.

How often do you change the water and what size tank? Hopefully you've done a significant one to get those nitrAtes down? Sounds like your tank was cycled bc of the zero ammonia factor but your bacteria can't keep up with the bio load of your tank during water changes.

I don't think you can reverse the nitrate/ammonia poisoning suspected in your fish deaths. :( Here's a link that includes everyting you ever wanted to know about Ich and then some. Good luck and keep us posted and don't be afraid to ask lots of questions.

chllngr528 11-16-2010 09:27 PM

Thanks, in short yes I have been doing water changes aprox 3 10% changes a week and a couple 50% within the past few weeks I think its too many but the fish store said I was ok with problems I am having.

How long does the prime take to reduce nitrate and nitrites? I did the max of 5 times the normal does. The aquarium store didn't even tell me how many ppms they were. He just looked at me and asked if I had living fish in the tank.

I am going to attach a vid of my sick fish the other 2 seem fine except for the one with tiny white spots on her. THE WATER DOESN'T ACTUALLY LOOK THAT COLOR. Its clean it must be my camara or the lighting.

chllngr528 11-16-2010 09:28 PM

double posted some how

chllngr528 11-18-2010 09:27 PM

Tuesday I did a 50% water change and added the prime. Wednsday I did another 10% water change and today when I had my water tested it tested the same as the intial test. The nitrites and nitrates are really high, the amonia is at .25 and ph is at 6.5. The store owner told me to stop doing water changes for a week and see if my tank will cycle. Anybody else think this is a good idea?

Second, my platy is doing no better but no worse I attached a better vid. Maybe someone could give me an idea on whats wrong with her? The video was taking while I was feeding them so I could get her to move around.

Third, When I did the 50% w/c I added 2 tablespoons of aquarium salt. Should I add more now? And if so how much?

zof 11-18-2010 09:44 PM

I cant help you much with the disease but as far as the cycle goes, keep doing you water changes until you nitrites get to acceptable levels, you tank will continue to cycle even if you do water changes because you are only removing some of nitrites not all of them and it is quite normal to be doing a water change every 2 or 3 days during a fish in cycle. It might take a few extra days to finish cycling but still better then losing more fish, also stop taking someone elses word on your tank parameters and get yourself a good liquid test kit, at very least it will pay for itself in not always having to drive to the fish store for them to look at you and say yup its bad.

Also you didnt say but how long has this tank been going with fish in it?

luckysarah 11-18-2010 09:47 PM

Your poor fish looks really stressed :-(

It almost looks like the fish is injured to me? or some kind of genetic defect?

With ammonia/nitrIte problems you are looking for red/brownish colored gills and either the fish will be grasping at the top for air or lying still on the bottom.

If you don't have any live plants I would get some, hornwort is great for sucking out the bad stuff because it grows very fast and is easy to grow and inexpensive.

As for the water changes I would probably try and do 20% every other day, the problem is that they more water you change the more it could slow down your cycle but if you don't change it enough the fish will perish.

Do you have a testing kit?

When I was cycling I would test for Ammonia and nitrIte everyday and change 10 to 20% of the water if the ammonia was over .50 and the nitrite was over 1ppm. (sometimes it was daily and sometimes every 3 days depending on the readings from the test kit). Don't worry about your nitrAtes right now, you want those in your tank.

Aquarium salt can help with nitrite levels but it won't help with the live plants and I think in your position the live plants might help cycle the tank faster and will be more of a benefit to the fish.

Do you understand how a tank cycles? I am sure there is tonnes of info on the forum if you look around, it really helps to understand how the cycle works and what your water tests mean.

chllngr528 11-19-2010 06:04 PM

Thanks to both of you.

Heres my tank info
4 months old
4 platys now 3 plus 2 fry

The fish store I am going to is actually pretty good they do the water test while you watch. when he tested for nitrites and nitrates one vile turned dark purple and the other blood red almost instantly.
I probably made it sound like the guy was a jackass but he was actually serious when he asked if I had living fish. I have test strips which I know aren't the best but they give me atleast a rough idea of where I stand.

The sick fish is not hurt and used to look just like the other sunburst so I dont think its genetics.

I'm going to take your advice and continue my water changes at 10% daily. When I do the water change should I add aquarium salt and if yes how much?

chllngr528 11-29-2010 07:49 PM

Well I got my tank fixed up ammonia 0 nitrate 0 nitrites 0.

The strange acting platy died and I think my ich is cleared up ( I'm still treating for it though) so I believe disaster has been averted.

tanker 11-30-2010 01:57 AM

As I understant it, you should have a reading for nitrates if your tank has cycled. Ammonia is converted to nitrite, nitrite is converted to nitrate. If everything's being converted as it should, you should see a nitrate reading.

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