1. What is the size of your tank? Volume: 102.6 litres, 22.6 UK gallons or 27.1 US gallons
2. What are your water parameters? State the brand of test kit used. Ammonia: 0 ppm Nitrite: 0 ppm (both kits are API: Aquarium Pharmaceuticals)
*I asked the fish store guy what I should have to test my water and he only gave me these two, so I don't know the pH among other things.
3. Is your aquarium set up freshwater or brackish water? freshwater
4. How long the aquarium has been set up? Appox. 6 mos.
5. What fish do you have? How many are in your tank? How big are they? How long have you had them?
1 Corydoras aeneus - Appox. 6 mos
1 Hoplosternum littorale - Appox. 6 mos
1 Corydoras concolor - Appox. 3 mos
1 Corydoras schwartzi - 1 month
1 Corydoras panda - 1 month
6 Puntius anchisporus Appox. 4 mos
6. Were the fish placed under quarantine period (minus the first batch from the point wherein the tank is ready to accommodate the inhabitants)? NO
7. What temperature is the tank water currently? 25 to 26°C (77 - 78° F)
8. Are there live plants in the aquarium? 1 Anubias
9. What filter are you using? State brand, maintenance routine and power capacity. AquaClear 300 (I believe the newer versions are called AquaClear 70: 70 gal's). I changed the charcoal Nov. 1. I put the mesh bag of 'rocks' into the main aquarium once in a while for my Corys to pick away at the gunk on the mesh - which they love.
10. Any other equipment used (aside from heater and filter which are two very important components of the tank)?
Substrate: Black Sand aka: Black Slag
Lighting: Incandescent Solar Series 2 x 25 watt bulbs
11. Does your aquarium receive natural sunlight at any given part of the day? What is your lighting schedule (assuming you do not rely on sunlight for our viewing pleasure)? No direct sun. Lighting is now 10 or less hrs/ day.
12. When did you perform your last water change: Sunday
and how much water was changed? Approx 25%
How often do you change your water? For the last month: weekly
Do you vacuum the substrate? Yes
13. What foods do you provide your fish? What is the feeding schedule?
Feed a pinch of flake, twice daily and alternate between
Sera San Colour and Growth Enhancing Flake Food
and Omega One Natural Protein Formula Freshwater Flakes.
Give 6 Hikari Sinking Wafers daily (3 in the am, 3 in the pm)
Once or so a week I give half a 'cube' of frozen Bloodworm, at separate feedings, instead of the flake and wafers.
14. What unusual signs have you observed in your fish?
Found out a month ago that I was supposed to be doing 10 - 15% weekly water changes, so started that. Have been letting the water sit for several days in a bucket then treating it with Tetra Aqua Easy Balance Water Conditioner ("Reduces frequent water changes, keeps water biologically balanced for 6 months"). It didn't specifically say that it neutralized chemicals, but everything I read on the internet said you're supposed to treat water with a "water conditioner" so that's what I thought I had (it came with the rescue fish and tank). Had been noticing the Hoplo and two Cory's breathing a little heavy, but two of them had been so neglected previously, I think they must have gotten a bit of gill damage as they always seem to breathe a little heavier. Was in a store today and saw Aqua Clear beside "AquaSafe Water Conditioner ("makes tap water safe or fish, neutralizes chlorine, heavy minerals, chlormamine, etc)", and realized that I had not been using the right product to treat my tap water. :(
In the meantime, I see that most people seem to recommend a 25% weekly water change, so today I did that much. I treated the new water with Aqua Safe, then put more in according to the instructions on the bottle to neutralize the tap water crap that I'd been putting in there for the water changes (as I understand chloramine does not evaporate, so I assumed it's still in the tank).
Now, the Hoplo and 3 Cory's are breathing heavily (The Panda Cory and barbs aren't). The bronze Cory is swimming around like crazy (though he often does that - he's got a terrible 'crush' on the Hoplo [I'm not kidding] rubs all over her all of the time), but I'm paranoid that it seems worse now). AND there are some bubbles at the surface of the tank - not a huge amount, but I haven't seen any before. Since the AquaSafe is the only thing I changed/ new since the last water change, I assume the bubbles are from it. Probably this is obvious, but the bubbles increase or decrease when I increase/ decrease the filter speed. They are the same colour as the water (i.e. they're not white or foamy or anything).
15. Have you treated your fish ahead of diagnosis? If so, what treatments did you use? State your reasons for planning ahead of proper diagnosis. (see above and below?)
Dumb @$$ed New aquarist here.
Acquired the Hoplo and Bronze Cory as 'rescues' and have been playing catch up for the last few months to try to figure out how to properly maintain their habitat. Have been relying on the advice of the fish store people, then playing catch up online when I'm looking for more information and/ or something seems like it's not right.
And something seems like it's not right, so here I am. :YMSIGH:
About a week ago, I found out that the algae in my tank was a problem and realized the lights were on for way too long. Did a clean last Sunday of the plastic plants and the rock. Left the wood piece though as I know it's stressful for fish to change too much at once. Reduced the time the lights are on to 10 hrs. Also now trying to net out as much as I can of the uneaten food (my fish don't like all off the components in either of the two foods and spit certain flakes out. Picky eaters!). Unfortunately my Hoplo cat sometimes gets skittish, and sometimes bangs into the side of the tank, so it's a bit of a precarious balance with how aggressive I get in there with the net.
Did I just pretty much seal the fate of my little guys? :-S Can you O.D. on AquaSafe? I put the right amount in to treat my whole tank, though I just did a 25% water change.
All of the fish are acting pretty much normally other than the, er, 'heavy breathing' and increased energy from the Bronze Cory, and all have an appetite. The Hoplo and the Bronze are zipping up to the top, as they usually do, slightly more often, but the others are not and the Barbs aren't gulping air or even breathing fast.
Any ideas? I don't see any evidence sickness (I've read a bunch and looked at a lot of [horrible] pictures), though I know that it isn't always immediately apparent. Over the months I've had them, I've seen a couple of them occasionally 'flash' but rarely and inconsistently. Haven't noticed them doing that today at all.
Any advice is appreciated!