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CatSoup 03-01-2012 12:55 PM

Fish keep dying~ PLEASE HELP!
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If it doesn't have legs, I kill it. plants and fish are not safe with me. :( Before I bought the fish I had two red eared sliders in my tank, and then when they started getting around 3 inches in length I gave them to the pet store who had appropriate sized tanks for them. I never tested my water with them, and they never had any health trouble. The little guys were tough. I bought 2 guppies and 2 otocinclus. Male guppy got sick and died. The other ended up with dropsy a month later. One of the otos died later. Then I got two Chinese algae eaters and they died within weeks of each other. I then got some danios, one of which died with a swollen, red tummy. Got two platies at the same time. One I think I accidentally killed while adding plants, and the other died a month later after spending a day seeming weak.

Now I have one guppy who appears to be pregnant in a 5 gal by herself (until she gives birth), all parameters are great in that tank, but her poop is sometimes clear. In the main tank I have one otocinclus, and 5 danios. One danio is very weak and maybe has kind of a bubble in it's belly. It seems to keep it's fins straight out when it swims to keep balance. Another danio has had a red wound on it's gill. I've been adding metafix and doing lots of water changes. Until about a week ago when I washed the gravel, my nitrates were crazy high, but the nitrites here good. Now the nitrites are high too. I'm going to do another 25% water change today. Am I cursed, or just stupid? Please help. I love animals and I hate to think they are suffering at my hands. Thanks to anyone who responds! :oops:

1. Size of tank? (main) 10g

2. Water parameters
a. Ammonia? probably high
b. Nitrite? 40-80
c. Nitrate? 3, definite stress level
d. pH, KH and GH? kh-180, ph 7.8
e. Test kit?
jungle quick dip 5 n1 test strips
3. Temperature?75 C

4. FW (fresh water) or BW (brackish)? freshwater tank, small amounts of aquarium salt

5. How long the aquarium has been set up? Years, but I just took out all the gravel and washed it less than a week ago.

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

7. Were the fish placed under quarantine period (minus the first batch from the point wherein the tank is ready to accommodate the inhabitants)? no

8. a. Any live plants? Fake plants? A few plants from pet store, not sure what kind
b. Sand, gravel, barebottom? gravel
c. Rocks, woods, fancy decors? Any hollow decors? several decorations, two hollow, one with bubble stone

9. a. Filtration? large whisper filter
b. Heater? submersible heater

10. a. Lighting schedule? What lights are used? standard aquarium light that came with tank, only on during daylight hours.
b. Any sunlight exposure? How long? Some natural light during daylight hours

11. a. Water change schedule? weekly (now)
b. Volume of water changed? 25% (50% last time)
c. Well water, tap water, RO water? Brita filtered tap
d. Water conditioner used? prime
e. Frequency of gravel/sand (if any) vacuumed? just cleaned, but never before

12. Foods? tetramin tropical flakes
How often are they fed? once daily

13. a. Any abnormal signs/symptoms? they keep dying, red sore on one, possible early dropsy in another
b. Appearance of poop? white, red, brown
c. Appearance of gills? normal

14. a. Have you treated your fish ahead of diagnosis? some Metafix for the wound
b. What meds were used? metafix

15. Insert photos of fish in question and full tank shot if necessary.

ladayen 03-01-2012 01:10 PM

How did you wash the gravel?

Your Ammonia and Nitrites are posioning the fish. Dont add anymore until you get them down. Also assuming you got your nitrate and Nitrite levels mixed up because 40-80 Nitrites doesn't make sense.

CatSoup 03-01-2012 01:22 PM


Originally Posted by ladayen (Post 999313)
How did you wash the gravel?

Your Ammonia and Nitrites are posioning the fish. Dont add anymore until you get them down. Also assuming you got your nitrate and Nitrite levels mixed up because 40-80 Nitrites doesn't make sense.

Yes, sorry, they are mixed. The nitrates are the higher level. I will not be buying anymore until it evens out one a more permanent basis. I washed the gravel with hot water. The fish were in a smaller tank while it was washed. Then I put half of the original water back and added half new water.

The white danio that seemed weak is now resting on the gravel. I just did another 25% water change. Should I put him in my smaller tank with the guppy? I didn't know if she might have some sort of parasite.

CatSoup 03-01-2012 01:31 PM

I can't figure out why the nitrites are already so high either. They were good the day before yesterday, and now they are 3. I just did a 50% water change less than a week ago. What is going on? Should I add more Prime for now? Salt maybe? I've been a little iffy about adding much salt because I didn't know how well the otocinclus would do with it.

Tazman 03-01-2012 01:36 PM

The tank is cycling because the HOT water will have killed off all the good bacteria in the gravel.

Washing gravel or anything tank related should only be done in dechlorinated water or better still old tank water.

There is not much you can do to reduce the nitrites except perhaps add plants if you wanted to.

Do not dose a lot of chemicals as this will disturb the chemistry in the tank and potentially prolong the mini cycle.

CatSoup 03-01-2012 01:49 PM

I thought so. I didn't know what else to do because the nitrates just wouldn't go down. Next time I will get an aquarium vacuum. I went ahead and moved the weak danio to the smaller tank and added a pinch of salt. He's not looking good. I will get some more plants for my main tank soon. Do I need to get anything special for the wound on the leopard danio?

Tazman 03-01-2012 02:13 PM

Melafix should be ok, and keep the water clean in the hospital tank by performing small water changes :-)

CatSoup 03-01-2012 02:27 PM

Thanks for the help. Poor fishies.

redchigh 03-01-2012 02:41 PM

I agree to not add any more fish, but I have a few ideas that may help.

1. Find a product named 'ammo-lock' or get some prime- it detoxifies ammonia, but will not affect the cycle.
2. Plants can definately help, but you need fast growers.. Stem plants left floating can help (stargrass, cabomba, anarchis, and pennywort are good) but the quickest plant I can think of for you is duckweed. It can take over a tank, and you'll be scooping out handfuls every week or so.. but every handful represents nitrogen that the plants removed, and you are removing from the ecosystem.
3. Up the waterchanges... Seriously, something like 25%-35% per day would be ideal and help keep all the nitrogenous parameters low... As for the wound, I would ignore it. It's ammonia burn, and will heal once the tank is cycled.
4. Add an airstone... When people are sick, hospitals make sure they get plenty of oxygen. The same technique can help sick fish. You don't want to create too much turbulence, but an airstone can speed healing.

CatSoup 03-01-2012 03:13 PM

Thank you Red! I was really worried about that wound. I will definitely not be adding new fish until the tank has been normal for a couple of months. I'm thinking the wild caught sliders really mucked up the original cycle (I had a koi before them, and he lived a very long time with no trouble). I will add the max recommended dose of prime, and upping the water changes to once a day will hopefully help.
Anyone have any ideas about the guppy? My last female guppy died with dropsy, but I thought she was pregnant before her scales prickled up. Is this one pregnant (normal scales) or have a parasite (clear poop)? I had a male for awhile, but he died too. It's been at least a month since he was near her.

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