Fin rot? Really?!?!
Okay, so some of you might notice that exactly one week ago I posted about my fish having ich... and now I think two of them have fin rot. It's as if the aquarium world is saying "Hi, Constance. Welcome to the world of aquaria. Here's a present from all of us, and just in case you don't appreciate that one enough, here's another one!"
Anyway, here's my statusy stuff-
1. Size of tank? 10 gallon
2. Water parameters
a. Ammonia? Unknown
b. Nitrite? Unknown
c. Nitrate? Unknown
d. pH, KH and GH? Unknown
e. Test kit? Obviously, I haven't used one...
3. Temperature? 26 degrees Celsius, but I've been trying to keep it up higher for the ich (yes, it's still there...)
4. FW (fresh water) or BW (brackish)? FW
5. How long the aquarium has been set up? Almost 4 weeks
6. What fish do you have? How many are in your tank? How big are they? How long have you had them?
2 Black Skirt Tetras, 3 weeks
1 Black Skirt Tetra, 1 week
7. Were the fish placed under quarantine period (minus the first batch from the point wherein the tank is ready to accommodate the inhabitants)?
8. a. Any live plants? Fake plants? 2 fake plants
b. Sand, gravel, barebottom? Gravel
c. Rocks, woods, fancy decors? Any hollow decors? I have some (real) seashells on the bottom, but that's it.
9. a. Filtration? Whisper, 10i
b. Heater? No heater, I live in a climate that doesn't need one (although I keep an eye on the temperature, of course)
10. a. Lighting schedule? What lights are used? Whatever came with my Tetra kit, I turn the lights on for 3-4 hours a day
b. Any sunlight exposure? How long? A little indirect sunlight exposure through the afternoon
11. a. Water change schedule? I've been doing 2-3 25% water changes a day because that's what's on the directions for the ich medication
b. Volume of water changed? Look above :)
c. Well water, tap water, RO water? Tap
d. Water conditioner used? Topfin dechlorinator
e. Frequency of gravel/sand (if any) vacuumed? None and never.
12. Foods? Just flakes
How often are they fed? Twice a day
13. a. Any abnormal signs/symptoms? Well, yesterday two of the fish's bottom fins (whatever they're called) were tearing a little and today they are worse and one of them is gray on the very edge.
b. Appearance of poop? How do you even find that?
c. Appearance of gills? Normal
14. a. Have you treated your fish ahead of diagnosis? Well, for ich...
b. What meds were used? AP QuICK Cure
15. Insert photos of fish in question and full tank shot if necessary. Sorry, but probably not possible.
So, I guess my question is: What should I use to treat them, is there anything that doesn't have chemicals in it I can use, and should I wait until after the ich is done to start treating them?
Thanks everyone!!! :)
You're going to hate me, and I'm not saying this to pick on you, just to help.
Illness is not caused by a disease, per se. Stress, due to many things, is the direct cause of illness. I don't even worry about putting a new fish with ich, into a tank of fish that have been already established with good water params, as the other fish will not get ich because they are not stressed. I don't have scientific proof, but I've been keeping fish for years and run a lfs.
Medication often isn't necessary. Unless you are feeding a feed-through medication like Seachem has, any medication for ich is absolutely useless and may stress the fish more. Increased water temperature and some salt will kill the free floating ich spores. You then correct water parameters/wait for fish to settle from being moved/etc.
So, I would definitely get your water tested. Tank water and tap. You are doing daily water changes, yes, and that's great-BUT it may be stressing the fish more than necessary. I also don't believe Topfin dechlor has any ammonia/nitrite neutralizing properties? The medication can kill off the good bacteria in your filter (which isn't a great filter either, it doesn't allow any aerobic bacteria to grow, you need both for a stable tank). I would probably bet that there is a mini-cycle going on, if the tank has cycled at all yet.
There is yet another issue here too...the temperature of 10g of water will change pretty quickly. Although fish might be able to tolerate a lower temp long term, if it's going up to 75 during the day and dropping to 68 at night..every night..that's going to cause stress. Everyone always sees ich when their heaters break and the temperature drops 10 degrees. It's happened to me. A heater doesn't really have to 'heat the tank', it's purpose is to keep the temp stable.
And, looking back through your post, you have seashells in the tank that while not inherently bad, do raise the ph. Ammonia is more toxic at higher ph levels.
Moral of the story, have your water tested, come back and let us know. Probably pick up some Prime or AmQuel+ to do water changes with if possible.
Told you you were going to hate me ;).
Don't worry... I don't hate you. :)
I knew maybe half the stuff in there, but it was very helpful. Thanks! It's more of a money issue right now... I know I should've saved more before I bought everything, but I didn't count on ich and fin rot hitting me right away. I do plan on getting a heater, then a new filter, and a test kit somewhere along the way, but I have a somewhat unstable job and haven't been able to work the past 3 weeks. So... yeah. Thanks!
I definitely had no idea about the seashells- my little sister got them at the beach this past summer and thought they would look pretty. I should take them out, then, until I know what the ammonia level is, right?
Okay, update time! The two fish's fins are healing up very nicely now. The ich has come back full force, but is only on the fish w/o fin rot, Mr. Nibbles. Mr. Nibbles's top half is pretty well covered with white spots, but he's eating very, very, very well so I have no doubt that he will get rid of that soon.
As for the temperature, it's been getting up to 74-76 during the day just from the light being on, and only dropping 2 degrees overnight, which seems pretty cool (cool as in amazing, not cool as in cold...) to me, considering the house sometimes drops to 68 degrees overnight.
I'm not going to lie to you all- I haven't gotten my water tested yet :-(, but I've been doing water changes every 2-3 days now and the fish seem relatively fine, and I think one is about to lay eggs... we'll see where that goes :-).
Chevelle is right, you've got to make some changes to keep your fish from getting sick. Do you have a high end fish store, that will test your water with the API liquid kit and not test strips? This isn't really going to help in the long run, but it's better than nothing. You really need to test your water almost daily, until you really understand your water parameters. As hot as it gets here in the summer in New Mexico, I still ran a heater, because houses can get cooler running air and such. I think few people realize how expensive keeping fish can get, at least in the beginning with set up. Fin rot is caused by poor water conditions. You should only feed your fish once a day -you are likely over feeding, and that is causing poor water conditions. You have not cleaned your gravel in a month, which means there is likely lots of decaying food sitting in the gravel.
I hope things clear up for you. It is such a bummer to have problems happen in a tank, and can be very disheartening.
No, the fanciest pet store around here is Petsmart, and my location uses test strips. I actually have a snail that is very good at cleaning up the gravel, and I'm very sure that I am not overfeeding, since I am feeding them what they can eat in two minutes twice a day. Lately the temperature has not been fluctuating at all really, and they all seem very happy, and my new fish is starting to warm up to everyone. Thanks for the well-wishes!
That rule of feeding is from the people who want you to buy lots of fish food. :-D I feed once a day, and my fish eat everything in less than 30 seconds. I think like many people, I wonder if I'm feeding enough, but healthy fish will always act like they are starving. I will still bet you're overfeeding, IMO. Even if Petsmart does only strips, you can buy the API liquid tests there. They will last you a long time. If I were you, I'd just buy the kit for nitrates once your tank is cycled, if that is all you could afford. From what I read here, 20ppm is acceptable for nitrates, but I never let mine get close to that, but I have live plants too. Anytime you do a new tank, or have something happen that could result in ammonia spikes, you could benefit from ammonia test bottle.
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