Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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smiles 01-29-2012 07:58 AM

gill rot?
Last night a couple of my tiger barbs started acting strangely. They sort of hovered near the corners of the tank tilted downward and breathing heavily. Only one or two of them were doing it, but now they all are - and only the tiger barbs. None of the other fish seem to be affected. Unfortunately I don't have another tank I could safely keep them in. I did recently add some fish, but they were from the same store (but a different tank). I've been doing weekly water changes, and actually just did one yesterday. I've also been using seachem purigen in the filter, so I don't think an over concentration of organics could have been the cause.

I read that, if it is gill rot, I should bathe them in a salt solution for 5 minutes each day until they're cured. Can they tolerate salt water? If so, what concentration of salt should I use? What would be the best way to treat them? Should I consider getting something like AP fungus cure since the whole tank is likely infected, though not yet showing symptoms? Is there any other disease/issue this could be?

Here is a picture:

Like I said, they've been hovering like this, without moving much, since late last night. Their breathing has become very rapid as well.

afremont 01-29-2012 06:59 PM

Check your pH, ammonia and nitrIte levels. A quick look around indicates that they often tilt downwards a little. Have you had these fish for a while?

smiles 01-30-2012 06:43 AM

This is a very young tank, only stocked for a little over a month, but I fishless cycled it. The tiger barbs have been there for about two weeks, I should include that I added two more fish on Friday 27 - a sparkling gourami and a spotted cory. Now my total stock looks like: 7x serpae tetras, 5x tiger barbs, 1 pearl gourami, 1 sparkling gourami, 1 spotted cory. I also added some more plants.

I fully expected my water parameters to be spotless, since they have been this whole time (there hasn't even been nitrate, I think the plants have been using it all). However, I tested yesterday and found slightly under 0.5 ppm ammonia. The rest were alright (pH stable at 6.4, 0 nitrite, 0 nitrate, 1 dkH). I attribute it to the new additions, and I may have overfed a little. So yesterday I cleaned out any dying plants, uneaten food, and waste that I could get to and did another 25% PWC. I've stopped feeding for the time being as well.

I still cant help but think that something else is going on, since I've read that ammonia turns into much less harmful ammonium in acidic water. I'll do water changes until the ammonia is completely gone and see if they improve. Thanks for your reply.

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