Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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MediumPace 09-07-2011 11:26 AM

Do my fish have parasites?
Hey everyone, first poster here. Not sure if fish are sick. I appreciate anyone who can help. Any questions, please let me know. Please see below:

1. What is the size of your tank?

36 gallon

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

Brought water into Petco - everything was fine except the Ph level (6.0) Petco guy said it needs to be
raised to atleast 7.

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

fresh water

4. How long the aquarium has been set up?

2 months

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

3 tiger barbs, 2 red fin barbs, 3 red tetras, 2 convicts w/ fry (Used a divider to protect fish)

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

Had 5 barbs first - about a month ago introduced the rest.
No quartine

7. What temperature is the tank water currently?

82 degrees

8. Are there live plants in the aquarium?

yes, one small one.

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

Marineland Magnum 350 Canister w/ carbon (change once a month)
Aquatech 20-40 HOB filter

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

Air Pump

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)?

Very little sunlight

Marineland LED lights 12 hrs 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?

20% change once a week, done Sunday. Vacuum the substrate.

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

2 times a day, flakes, bloodworms, krill

14. What unusual signs have you observed in your fish?
1 tiger barb has ripped fins
1 tiger barb seems to have loss color
1 red fin barb also lost color

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.

Have not done anything, not sure if the fish have a parasite or not.

KendraMc 09-07-2011 11:34 AM

what makes you think a fish is sick? the ripped fin and faded colors?

my guess would be more stress and bad fish count/combination. tiger barbs are aggressive and will nip at each other and other fish. i had one eat the entire tail off of another. i would recommend either getting a lot more ( i now have a total of nine with no further issues) or getting rid of them. color loss could easily be from stress from aggressive fish.
i don't know a lot about the other fish you have, but you will probably want to look at their profiles (top menu bar, second tab from the left) to see if they should be together/need more/are ok with a low pH. any and all of those factors can lead to stress and a stressed fish won't be as pretty as a happy fish.

oh, and no one on here recommends using any kind of chemical pH adjuster. those chemicals tend to cause more problems than they are worth. just look for fish who like low pH's. you are lucky, there are a lot more who like acidic water (low pH's) than basic (high pH's). my pH used to be about 8.4, and there really aren't many fish who can handle that. again, check out the profiles. they are really helpful.

MediumPace 09-07-2011 11:42 AM

Yea, they arent as bright as others. I also did some research and these signs can be disease related so I am just making sure. I had a few tanks in the past but I am no pro. I would like to get more (also read they do better with high numbers) but don't want to crowd the tank. Thanks!

BarbH 09-07-2011 01:15 PM

I posted on another thread of yours what some of the issues that I can see and what is probably going on. Again I believe that it is a stress and fin nipping issue that is going on as Kendra has mentioned. At this time I would not add more fish to the tank. The mix of fish and the size of the tank is going to have problems and by adding more fish these problems I believe are only going to increase. Also 82 is on the high side for these fish, is there any particular reason why the temp is so high in the tank?

MediumPace 09-07-2011 01:42 PM

I read somewhere increasing the temperature would help kill disease (back when I set up the tank I first wanted to prevent & or stop the spreading of disease) & increase chances of offspring as well.

The fin nipping would make sense but what makes me think otherwise is the fins are torn on the dorsal fin & caudal fin as well - doesn't look like nipping.

Regarding the PH LEVEL, I washed off some sea shells my mom had from Maine - about 3 decent sized ones and some small others - will this have an effect on PH?

BarbH 09-07-2011 11:21 PM

With some diseases like columnaris or different fungal diseases heat can actually speed up the diesease and make the fish more susceptible to certain diseases. With a disease like ich the temp actually needs to be higher, if I remember right off of the top of my head it is at 86 that ich is unable to reproduce, and will speed up the life cycle of the disease. Which is why increasing heat in treating something like ich will work. It all depends on the disease if increasing the heat will help or not in treating. At the higher temps it will also increase the metabolism of the fish, which will also increase their need of oxygen. At higher temps oxygen is also not as availabe in the water as it is in lower temps. A few degrees may not seem like a huge difference but for the fish it really is. As for spawning, if it is for the convicts, they will spawn in lower temps. I keep my convict tank at 78 and have had them spawn now twice within the month that I have had them.

As for what is going on with the fish I am still sticking with fin nipping. Also you said that they said your water parameters where fine. Did you get the exact levels for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates? Depending on the water quality with the fin nipping and stress of the fish you may also be having some issues with fin rot. I would suggest that with your water changes that you change out 30 to 40% at least. I change out about 40% to 50% on my weekly changes, some members here do 50% water changes. This will help in making sure that the water is good in the tank, and will remove things from the water that your filter is unable to remove.

ladayen 09-07-2011 11:47 PM

Between the barbs and the convicts.. spawning convicts no less. You're going to have some very stressed out angry fish. Red Tetra isn't the most descriptive.. they could be a number of species, possibly fin nippers as well. I would get rid of the divider to start. You need the space. Yes the fry will get eaten. Thats ok because you have no room for more fish anyhow. There will be lots and lots more anyhow, unless you get rid of the convicts, which I would encourage. I would get rid of the tetras as well.. them or the barbs.

Leave your PH alone. As mentioned already your PH is great for many fish. Putting it at 7.0 is probably only going to hinder your choices.

As to the seashells.. I'm assuming you mean you washed them off and put them in your tank? I dont see it having any signifcant effect. What they can do is bring in diseases and "crud" which can screw your tank up. Not to mention they are great at trapping rotting food and such giving you a steady source of ammonia.

MediumPace 09-08-2011 09:23 AM

No I didn't write the levels of the amonia/nitrate/nitrite down @ Petco, but I will go back and post the results.

I lowered the temperature when I got home last night & I will take your advice and do a 40-50% water change from now on. I figured with my strong filtration (Canister & HOB), a 25% water change would be sufficient.

I will make sure to keep a close eye on the barbs to figure out what is the issue with the fins. Thanks for all your help.

MediumPace 09-08-2011 09:36 AM

I bought the divider for the other fish as well, the convicts were beating up on all my other fish.

My buddy has a tank that's aggressive which caused him to give me the tetra & convicts. I am not looking to keep the fry, maybe one since this will be my first experience spawning. I have a local fish store willing to pay me for the convicts after they are about a month old.

Yes washed off the seashells and read somewhere they might help with the PH. I also took out a piece of driftwood last night to see if this will have an effect. I am not looking to use chemicals or do any significant changes to mess up my tank.

I really just want to keep the convicts in this tank and find the rest of the barbs/tetras a new home. I might have a free 55 gallon tank coming soon so I'll have to see.

k19smith 09-08-2011 01:29 PM

I would try to get rid of the other fish except the convicts soon everyone will be much happier. Your tank is a good size for just the convicts.

The seashells will raise your ph over time but not a lot, crushed coral as your substrate or pieces of coral in your filter will have a much better effect. My ph out of the tap is 6.8 but with crushed coral it stays at 7.2.

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