2 injured fish...how can I help them? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 10 Old 04-29-2008, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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2 injured fish...how can I help them?

I've got 2 gouramis with two different injuries. The first one is a turquoise dwarf and sadly, he somehow ruptured his eye and now it looks like it's all shriveled up. Is there anything I can do to help him live through this? I'm kind of worried b/c he doesn't seem to be eating. I don't know if it's because he can't find the food or what. The other is a flame dwarf gourami....he's got a sore picked into his side right behind his gill and I think it is the 3rd dwarf gourami that is doing it (she is constantly chasing him around). Anyway, is there anything I can add to the tank to help him heal & not harm the other fish?

My current tank readings: (we currently use test strips, and I don't like them b/c the ammonia always reads the same).....anyway....Ammonia .5; Nitrate 0; Nitrite 0; ph between 7.2 - 7.8. Temp 82'. We did a 10 gal water change about 3 days ago; and we usually do a 10 - 20 gal water change once a month.
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post #2 of 10 Old 04-29-2008, 11:58 PM
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I use melafix for most of my injured fish. Hope this helps you & gl.
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post #3 of 10 Old 04-30-2008, 04:46 PM
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hi,welcome aboard
please can you tell us a few things about the tank.
how long has it been running for.
what lives in there.
feeding food and how often.
how big is the tank.
it will help members to help you help your fish.
thanks. :)
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post #4 of 10 Old 04-30-2008, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Hi, the tank has been up for about 3 months now. It's 40 gal. We've got 3 dwarf gourami, 5 neon tetras, 2 green eye tetras, 6 guppies, 4 rainbows, and 2 clown loaches. (We were unaware of just how big the loaches get, but have made plans to get another - larger - tank to move those to so they can grow. Right now, they're just little squirts.) :D No live plants. Tank temp is a consistant 82'. We feed Wardley Total Spectra Max, bloodworms, and brine shrimp. The Wardley is one to two feedings a day (small amounts), the bloodworms or shrimp are only once a week. We also have some aquarium salt still left in the tank b/c we had a bout of ick about a month ago.

An update on the gourami's eye - it's totally "dried" up now & he only has a crater on that side of his head where his eye used to be. I still haven't seen him eat yet. he mostly stays in the bottom corner of the tank, under the pump. The other gourami's sore doesn't look any worse, but it doesn't look any better either.

Any help you guys have is greatly appreciated! :D
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post #5 of 10 Old 04-30-2008, 07:10 PM
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Welcome to fishforum! You're going to need to get your ammonia under control before anything else, as it should always read zero. This is probably part of the reason your fish are injured (or injure so easily). Also, gourami are rather territorial, and it's 99% likely that you have 3 males, which means they'll fight even more. Floating plants and such will help break up the line of sight, but if they keep fighting, you may have to consider rehoming one or two of them.

Also, what kind of rainbows are yours? I ask because some are very small, but some grow quite large. I'm just trying to figure out if your tank is overstocked or not, which could explain the ammonia levels.

I'm SO sorry if this sounded harsh. It's just that a lot of fish stores tend to grossly misinform people in order to sell fish. We all want to help you have the best setup and stocking possible to save you as much time, money and stress and we can. Good luck!
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post #6 of 10 Old 05-04-2008, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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I dont take any offense to any information you guys can give us. I know we're newbies & it will take time to get everything established & for us to learn. Just an update, our blue gourami died. :( I feel bad, b/c I think we actually injured him when cleaning the tank. I went ahead and bought the liquid ammonia test kit, and WOAH, our ammonia is out of control! It was at 8ppm. We're taking steps to get it under control by doing water changes and using the API ammonia lock. (I'm surprised our poor little guys weren't dropping like flies.) I have another question too....I couldn't imagine our tank ammonia being that high since we had done a 50% water change about 2 days before testing so I tested our tap water....yuck...it's at 2ppm (and we're on city water). What are your suggestions for when doing water changes to either neutralize or keep the ammonia under control?

As far as overcrowding, I think we have enough room for now. We do have plans to get another tank (125 gal) and move the loaches and rainbows to that tank once it's established. Right now, all of our fish are 1 - 1 1/2" in size. I'm hoping this will be ok until we can get a new tank set up.

Thanks for the help so far! :) We love having the tank. It is so relaxing to sit and watch the fish after a long day at work.....our dogs even enjoy sitting there with us, lol!
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post #7 of 10 Old 05-04-2008, 05:00 PM
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aww.sorry you lost him :(
ok umm water changes are good,that will help to keep the levels down.
do you put dechlorinator in the new water befor it goes into the tank ?
can i ask how you got your tank up and running,did you
fill and add fish or did you cycle without ?
is there carbon in the filter ?
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post #8 of 10 Old 05-04-2008, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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We started the tank empty. After about 2 weeks of the tank being set up, we were told by the fish store to just put a couple of feeder fish in the tank to get the cycle started, so we put 3 feeder goldfish in. They were in there for about 2 weeks before we added the 3 gouramis. We removed the goldfish b/c we were told that they really slime things up and prob weren't good to be with the gouramis. We slowly added fish until we got to our current status. We added the 4 rainbow fish about 2 weeks ago....they were our final purchase. When we change the water, we use Aqua Plus for dechlorinating. Every time I check the chlorine levels, it reads as 0. Yes, we have a carbon filter. The brand is Bio Wheel Penguin Power Filter Cartridges featuring Black Diamond Premium Activated Carbon (whatever that means) :)
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post #9 of 10 Old 05-04-2008, 09:00 PM
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I'm glad to hear you got an ammonia test- clearly we've found the root of your problems! Interestingly enough, most cities don't use chlorine (or certainly not just chlorine) in their water anymore to purify it, rather other things. What you need is a water conditioner that removes chlorine, heavy metals and in your case, ammonia. I use Prime which is made by Seachem for my water, and I couldn't recommend it enough. It will take care of all the things I mentioned above, and it's super concentrated. 1ml will treat 10 gallons, so the conditioner will last you forever (which means more money to spend on other fish stuff!).

It's usually best not to use chemicals to neutralize ammonia, as it will cause problems in the long run. The best thing to do is keep up with regular tank water changes and make sure you have a good filter. You may want to consider using bottled water, as clearly you have some seriously toxic tap water. If you choose to go in that direction, make sure it is spring water, not RO or distilled water. RO and distilled lack the essential nutrients and minerals that your fish require.

The Penguin filters are very good. They're made by Marineland, whose filter I use on my main tank, and I also use a penguin on a 10 gallon.

I don't think you answered before about what kind of rainbow fish you have, do you know?

The most important thing right now is to get your ammonia to zero. The ammonia lock you are using will render the ammonia harmless to fish (theoretically, I'm not sure how well it works), but you will still get ammonia readings on your tank, which has probably confused you already. Mostly, you just need to keep doing water changes with water that has NO ammonia in it, perhaps 25% daily, until the ammonia is at zero. Once you have no more ammonia, you'll be fine doing weekly 20-25% water changes, and you just need to keep making sure the water you add has no ammonia.
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post #10 of 10 Old 05-05-2008, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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We're certainly dropping in the ammonia readings but not 0 yet. We're between 2.0 - 4.0....better than 8, but not that great. Luckily before we started using the ammo lock, I did read the info about still getting an ammonia reading so we decided to go with the ammonia clear by Jungle. I will definitely buy some of that Prime though. Thanks for the tip.

Our rainbows are: 2 boesemani & 2 australian rainbow
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