Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Help with recent fish losses (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/help-recent-fish-losses-9965/)

satwood 12-12-2007 07:52 PM

Help with recent fish losses
 
Hi, I joined this forum a while ago and downloaded tons of really useful information. Thank you to everyone who contributes and all the great knowledge that is in here.

My 20 gallon long tank has been running for about 6 months now and I have been carefully monitoring my cycle and it has been very stable, finally, for the past month or so. My ammonia level is never more than 0.25 and Nitrite levels do not even register. My nitrates were very high in October (40+) but have now fallen to 2.5 or so. I built and activated a drip de-nitrator about 8 weeks ago and I suspect it is starting to help. My ph levels are around 7.2 and I now change 2 gallons of water each week. I was changing 4 until the nitrates came down.

The tank is planted with 6 small live plants that are growing slowly. Green algae overall is light to moderate.

Recently I have started losing multiple fish. One chinese algae eater, a rather senior pleco I adopted from another family, and a bamboo shrimp. I have had a school of 4 neons living in the tank almost since I started. Last Sunday I bought 4 more neons because I particularly like them and felt greedy. I also bought two small tiger barbs (which I just read online are going to be aproblem when they grow up). On Tuesday 3 of the new neons had died. Now tonight one of my original neons was dead.

In none of the cases do the bodies show any evidence of a struggle such as being attacked. They are normal weight and just dead. It seems to happen at night, but the most recent neon died between this morning and tonight.

The tigers I brought home on Sunday are doing fine, and none of the fish that died showed any earlier symptoms. They were all doing their things and then they weren't.

I add stresszyme each week, use neutral regulator 7.0 because we have VERY high ph from our tap water, and have airstone aeration as well as filter flow.

1. Size of aquarium (# of gallons)
20 gal long
2. Is your aquarium set up freshwater or saltwater?
Fresh water
3. How long the aquarium has been setup
6 months
4. What fish and how many are in the aquarium (species are important to know)
4 neons (surviving) 2 red wags, 2 serpae tetra, 4 glass tetra I can't identify, 1 chinese algea eater, 2 tiger barbs.
5. Are there live plants in the aquarium?
6. What make/model filter are you using?
AquaClear 30
7. Are you using a CO2 unit?
No
8. Does your aquarium receive natural sunlight at any given part of the day?
No.
9. When did you perform your last water exchange, and how much water was changed?
4 days ago, 2 gallons. Changes usually 2 - 3 gallons depending on evaporation and nitrate levels
10.How often and what foods do you feed your fish?
Flakes, morning and evening. Small amounts each time, less than 2 minutes to consume.
11.Is your aquarium light incandescent or fluorescent and how often is it kept on?
Flourescent, 30 watts, 14 hours per day on timer
12.What specific concerns bring you in with a water sample at this time?
See above.

I hope you can suggest some things for me to try. I don't know if this is a water / disease problem or compatability, or the butler in the kitchen with a pillow. :shock: In any case, I hate being the grim reaper each day.

Thanks
Steve

herefishy 12-13-2007 02:13 AM

Water changes should be a minimum of 25% weekly. I prefer to do 50% weekly. Gravel sweeps shold be done monthly with gravel stirs done weekly. Monitor temperature regularly at this time of year. We are going through drastic climate changes and temps will fluctuate as much as 5 degrees Fahrenheit until your heater is adjusted.

TrashmanNYC 12-13-2007 02:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by herefishy
Gravel sweeps shold be done monthly with gravel stirs done weekly.

whats the difference?

satwood 12-13-2007 06:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by herefishy
Water changes should be a minimum of 25% weekly. I prefer to do 50% weekly. Gravel sweeps shold be done monthly with gravel stirs done weekly. Monitor temperature regularly at this time of year. We are going through drastic climate changes and temps will fluctuate as much as 5 degrees Fahrenheit until your heater is adjusted.

OK, thanks. I was approaching this a bit differently. I was doing major water changes (30% or more) until the nitrate levels came down and then I thought I could reduce the volume of changes because the cycle is more stable. Also, I have not been stirring the gravel or sweeping because I thought the decaying matter was good food for the plants, which seem to be doing well right now. The bottom of the tank is actually pretty clean. My goal was to get to a point where I had a pretty balanced eco-system. Am I not thinking about this correctly?

satwood 12-16-2007 07:44 PM

Just an update since last week, tonight I lost one of my two tiger barbs. He seemed to be listless the last few days. When he ate, he had trouble swimming afterwards. It seemed like he was swallowng air when he ate. Today he was curved and struggling to swim. Finally he looked like he went into convulsions, swimming violently in swirling circles and then he expired. I wish I knew what caused this.

Does anyone think this is related to using neutral regulator? I have been dissolving it in the change water in a slightly heavier dose to treat the tank every week and keep the ph balanced. I've been using about 1 teaspoon for each 3 gallons of water when I do the water changes. It amouns to adding 1 teaspoon to the 20 gallon tank each week.

I also use the Aqua Safe in the water when I change it and add 10 - 20 ml of Stresszyme each week.

Thoughts?
Steve

Falina 12-16-2007 11:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TrashmanNYC
Quote:

Originally Posted by herefishy
Gravel sweeps shold be done monthly with gravel stirs done weekly.

whats the difference?

Gravel sweep = gravel vac
Gravel stir - stirring the gravel sto disturb it and bring up any waste sitting under stomes


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