2 sick fish
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2 sick fish

This is a discussion on 2 sick fish within the Tropical Fish Diseases forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> one of my emperor tetras wont open the top part of his tail fin, and one of my blue gouramis has pink/red side fins, ...

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Old 05-22-2008, 03:34 AM   #1
 
2 sick fish

one of my emperor tetras wont open the top part of his tail fin, and one of my blue gouramis has pink/red side fins, and they are starting to look shredded (fin rot?) he also has 2 small pink pin holes on his head :(

everyone else in the tank seems ok (2 fish are preg)
but i hope this isnt an outbreak of something.

any ideas on whats going on?

thanks :)




1. Size of aquarium (# of gallons)
55 gal
2. Is your aquarium setup freshwater or brackish water?
freshwater
3. How long the aquarium has been set up?
5 yrs
4. What fish and how many are in the aquarium (species are important to know) 2 blue gourami, 2 flame gourami, 2 emperor tetra, swordtail, 2 guppies,1 cory, 1 crayfish

5. Are there live plants in the aquarium?
no just driftwood

6. What temperature is the tank water currently?
74

7. What make/model filter are you using?
fluval 305

8. Are you using a CO2 unit?
no

9. Does your aquarium receive natural sunlight at any given part of the day? no

10. When did you perform your last water exchange, and how much water was changed? about 10 gallons 2 weeks ago

11. How often do you perform water changes?
every few months

12. How often and what foods do you feed your fish?
bio pure blood worms once a week, omega one veggie flakes every other day

13. What type of lighting are you using and how long is it kept on?
dont remember exactly, some full spec flo bulb, kept on almost all the time. (i know thats not the greatest!)

14. What specific concerns bring you here at this time?
fin problems

15. What are your water parameters? Test your pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.
ph is about 6.8 , no test kit for the other

16. What test kit are you using and is it liquid or test strips?
wardley liquid

17. When was the last time you bought a fish and how did they behave while in the pet store tank?
been over a year.
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Old 05-22-2008, 04:05 AM   #2
 
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It is in my belief very hard to diagnose fish ailments over a forum type setting without pictures .Even then it is difficult. I am not an expert on fish diseases or illnesses so I cannot speak to your primary concern. I would however encourage you to step up water changes to once per week. It is also wise to vaccum the bottom of the tank at each water change to remove decayed food that may accumulate thus leading to deteroration of water quality. It is also very hard to suggest to someone who has had no issues with water quality that a good quality test kit is perhaps the single most valuable tool in fishkeeping none the less it is true. You really should consider purchasing a liquid test kit such as API which is probably the best offered that allows you to test not only PH but also ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. It only takes moments to test the water, it takes considerably longer to treat sick fish and there is no guarantee that sick fish will recover. Were it me, I would perform a 25 to 30 percent water change using a good dechlorinator for new water and try to purchase a test kit that will provide the info that those on this site will NEED in order to be of the most help. You may wish to change water every couple of days for the next week. after that once per week is the norm for most. I hope some of this is helpful. PS I would resist the urge to attempt medications until water test have been performed. Perhaps local fish store would test your water for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates if you were to bring them a sample. :)
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Old 05-22-2008, 04:10 AM   #3
 
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You really need to vary the diet of your fishes as just two items given intermittently would be like feeding you a cheeseburger once a day and potato chips the other days; you'd survive for a time on that diet, then you'd gradually suffer from malnutrition leading to disease and eventually to death. Add New Life Spectrum and Hikari micropellets to the menu. Omega One is OK, but NLS and the micropellets are far better.
You really need test kits for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Hardness would help also. The fin clamping usually means there's a toxin in the water, like Ammonia. The holes in the head are from insufficient nutrition, the red fins etc. indicate Ammonia. It also can burn the gills of the fish, suffocating it. Those readings would help immeasurably in diagnosing your problem.
I also take it you feed one large meal a day, when the vast majority of fish in our tanks are grazers, that is, they look for food all day. Proper feeding is small meals given often, say three times a day. By small I mean no more than your fish can finish in under a minute. Promptly remove what they don't eat past that time. Believe me, they won't starve. Remember, their wild counterparts usually don't eat everyday. It's also a good idea to let your fish fast for a day to clear their intestines.

Dave
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Old 05-22-2008, 05:19 AM   #4
 
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Re: 2 sick fish

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charm
one of my emperor tetras wont open the top part of his tail fin, and one of my blue gouramis has pink/red side fins, and they are starting to look shredded (fin rot?) he also has 2 small pink pin holes on his head :(

everyone else in the tank seems ok (2 fish are preg)
but i hope this isnt an outbreak of something.


4. What fish and how many are in the aquarium (species are important to know) 2 blue gourami, 2 flame gourami, 2 emperor tetra, swordtail, 2 guppies,1 cory, 1 crayfish

They're probably beating the snot out of each other. Gouramis don't share space well and you have 4 of them.

5. Are there live plants in the aquarium?
no just driftwood

Any fake? Any hiding spots?

6. What temperature is the tank water currently?
74

Needs to be 78, do you have a couple of heaters?

11. How often do you perform water changes?
every few months

Water changes need to be done more often, even if your stocking list is on the light side. Most people do them 25% weekly

12. How often and what foods do you feed your fish?
bio pure blood worms once a week, omega one veggie flakes every other day

Every other day is too little. They're going to start preying on each other if they haven't already...a larger amount once a day is sufficient and then some people don't feed on Sunday. Be careful with the bloodworms too, it can cause constipation if you feed too many.

13. What type of lighting are you using and how long is it kept on?
dont remember exactly, some full spec flo bulb, kept on almost all the time. (i know thats not the greatest!)

Put it on a timer and have it on 8-10 hours a day. Any algae problems?

15. What are your water parameters? Test your pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.
ph is about 6.8 , no test kit for the other

Get a liquid test kit ASAP, we usually recommend the API master kit since it's pretty easy to use but is much higher quality than most.
There's also some other concerns about your stocking list. Cories and tetras won't really thrive in just onces or twos, they each need groups of about 6 or more to be happy. Same with guppies, if you have all males (which I assume you do otherwise the male probably would have harassed the female to death by now) I'd get a few more and rehome a couple of the gouramis, they're too territorial. I'm not sure about the crayfish, but he's probably not a big help in this situation.

I cannot say too much that your water changes need to be stepped up too, otherwise those fish will never heal. The pin holes are a concern for sure, we can't tell you for sure if it's HITH without any pictures though.
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Old 05-22-2008, 05:23 PM   #5
 
im going to get the water tested tonight, i thought if there was an amonia problem you would see some type of cloud in the water??

here are some pics, i'll post what i find out about the water from the LFS tongiht.

as far as the water changes, thats tricky for me.. in my house the tank water evaporates at about 2-3 inches a month so im always adding new water and didnt think it was all that important to do a big change out so often. i had cichlids for many years (until there was a major malfunction that killed them all while on vacation)
and everything i did then i do now, but i guess they are a much tougher fish then the ones i have now.

if the tetra and cories are more happy in groups, does it matter the type?


(that spot on the tetra is the glass not the fishy!)


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Old 05-22-2008, 06:00 PM   #6
 
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Unless you have a reverse flow UGF setup then vacuuming the gravel needs to be done about 1/3 of the tank a week. You don't always see a cloud. It would be wise to invest in the test kit so you don't have to take a water sample and more often than not they just tell you "It's fine" anyways and we need specific numbers. Warning: The more unscrupulous LFS owners won't steer you straight and if you told them "well, I read this on the internet" they may try to brush it off.

You may as well get all the same types of tetras and cories, not all tetras are the same and might not act as a group. Cories I think it sometimes does matter since different kinds stick to different areas of the tanks.

The tetra's tail looks like it's a bit shredded too, am I seeing things? Get the parameters of your water and get back to us. And if you don't have a gravel vac I'd suggest getting one.
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Old 05-22-2008, 09:32 PM   #7
 
everything came out normal except the PH was way too low, so low that the color wasnt even close to the lowest on the chart.
my filtered tap water ph is 7.4

i got a new ph test kit since mine was reading it normal (it was old)

about 2 hours ago i put in some ph up, how long before i should do a 2nd reading?
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Old 05-23-2008, 04:34 AM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charm
everything came out normal except the PH was way too low, so low that the color wasnt even close to the lowest on the chart.
my filtered tap water ph is 7.4

i got a new ph test kit since mine was reading it normal (it was old)

about 2 hours ago i put in some ph up, how long before i should do a 2nd reading?
Charm,
OK, first thing to do is take that pH up and throw it away. A STABLE pH is what you want; using junk like pH up or down just causes drastic swings in pH which do nothing but stress and kill fish. Don't know who told you that excess Ammonia clouds water, but they were talking out of their hat. Only reason it would cloud would be due to dead fish from the Ammonia and the bacteria bloom that results from it.
Vacuum your gravel, change 50 percent of the water with tap water the same temperature as that in the tank; make sure it's the same temp, as you don't want it warmer or cooler than the tank since you'll then be battling Ich in less than a week.
Don't feed the fish.
Next day, vacuum and change 50 percent of the water.
Let the tank rest for a day, then repeat.
Twenty-four hours later, test the pH.
Feed your fish three times a day with very small meals; those that they can finish in less than a minute. I know I've repeated that in a previous post to you, but I say it again to sink in.
The reason your pH went down to the basement is, I'm sorry to say, is shoddy maintenance. Decay of old food and fish mulm which should have been removed weekly obviously was not, and doing a partial water change 'every few months' accentuated the problem.
PH is the result of general and carbonate hardness. General hardness consists of dissolved minerals like calcium. Carbonate hardness are minerals bound to carbon, like calcium carbonate. You MUST have enough carbonate hardness to BUFFER the general hardness to have a STABLE pH.
With the amount of gunk in your tank and the infrequency of partial water changes the carbonate hardness was reduced by the decay to the point it could no longer buffer the general hardness and your pH dropped like a stone.
It really is up to you if you want to do proper maintenance on your tank. Change 20 percent of your water once a week. What you're doing is not only freshening the tank; you're replacing the electrolytes in the water that are depleted by the life in your tank, including the beneficial bacteria, and renewing the general and carbonate hardness. Vacuum the substrate every two weeks. Clean out your filter WITH WATER REMOVED IN A PARTIAL CHANGE once a month. Feed your fish little meals three times a day. Vary their diet. Enjoy them.
And for goodness sakes buy test kits for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate! You will have no idea whether your ammonia and nitrite are zero like they MUST be if you don't test. And high nitrate can be injurious as well. Keeping it under 10 ppm via your weekly partial water changes should be easy. Test once a week. I test in the middle of the week between the changes. I also keep a chart for all water parameters, and it wouldn't be a bad idea if you did as well. Temperature, pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and general and carbonate hardness on your chart will enable you to spot trends before they become problems.
Thus far you've been grouping in the dark on your tank. Your fish are in pretty bad shape from a bad diet and very poor water quality but they may yet be saved if you follow what I lined out for you. If they don't, chalk it up to experience as to what NOT to do with an aquarium.

Dave
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Old 05-23-2008, 08:16 AM   #9
 
+1. It is my opinion, and substantiated by many more, that it is best to feed multiple smaller feeding than it is to feed 1-2x a day larger portions. I have heard of some keepers feeding as many as 6x per day in much smaller quantities.

Water changes, at least 25% once a week.

Get the temperature up too. 74 is a tad on the low side. 78-80 may be better.

Upgrade the filtration. Use the # of gallonsx7 as a benchmark for the minimum. I usually use 10x as my benchmark, but most are not as anal about filtration as I am.

Quit using quick fix products to "solve" the problem. The problem is not being solved just masked. Your water is becoming "old" in your tank due to lack of water changes and is losing its ability to maintain any degree of consistent water conditions. If you had the ability to measure the micro-elements in the tank, few hobbyists do, you would find that you have a complete breakdown and lack of needed chemicals and elements that sustain the health and welfare of the fish. Your water, for lack of a better term, is "dead".
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