Okay, i am SO frustrated right now, so excuse me if this post isn't as coherent as it could be.
55 gallon, freshwater. Set up since September. Housed 12 danios, 12 neon tetras, 3 loaches, 3 cory catfish, 2 plecos (L75 and L264).
Nitrites and Ammonia have been 0, for nearly as long as it has been up. Nitrates are ALWAYS 30 or less, and the vast majority of the time 20 or less. I do 25-75% water changes every week.
I feed a general flake, shrimp pellets, and algae wafers. Occassionally, frozen blood worms or brine shrimp. Recently (like last week) I started feeding peas on occassion. Other than that, I have not found a fresh veggie they will eat.
It has sand substrate, and some live plants. Plenty of caves, and a decent amount of drift wood. Light about 12hrs/day. HOB filter and 2 sponge filters. Generic submerged heater.
The cory cats are the most recent addition to my tank. I bought them to live with the Betta, but he hated them, so I had to move them to the 55, in december (i believe). In january, the smallest one died. It lost the ability to swim properly, became lethargic, and passed away.
Also in january I moved into the dorms at college, and had to leave daily feeding to my brother and grandmother. However, I still personally performed weekly waterchanges.
Shortly after this, I lost one danio every other week or so. The first two I found dead upon coming home for the weekend. I couldn't tell what had killed them. The last one got dropsy- pineconing, swelling, etc. I quarantined it, and it died a week later. The last fish was just a few weeks ago.
Now, ALL 9 danios have fin deterioration and tearing. This appeared last weekend. Monday (when I came home from my b/fs and saw it), I quarantined them, and started treating with marocyn 1 AND 2. I moved the tetras in the quarantine as well. Temp is at 80 degrees, tank is 20 gallons. I can't remember if i added salt, i know i meant to. I may do a water change tomorrow so as to add salt without risking double-dosing.
Today, i get home from school and there is NO improvement. Furthermore, their gills look... damaged. Scales are missing, and several of the danios have heavy, red discoloration. As if there is severe bruising behind the gills.
I can't tell if the tetras are showing symptoms or not.
As far as I know, everyone is eating. They all swim around, perhaps a wee bit less than normal, but its hard to tell. I will update after I feed tonight to say if they are anorexic or not.
SO now i dont know what to do? WHY are all my fish dieing? Im new, but I know the rules. I take care of them. I quarantine. WTH is going on!?!?!
I want to save them, but I have a feeling it maybe too late. And i know i cant afford 4 more kinds of medication. I spent 50 bux setting up the quarantine and buying meds as it is.
Most importantly: HOW do i keep the rest from getting this??? Are there preventative measures I can take? Are there different signs I can watch for in my plecs? I love them and theyre darn expensive. And they're not as easy to track changes in, as they like to hang out and do nothing all day, and have never eaten every time I feed.
grrr. It is just SO unfair that most of the people I know don't even DO water changes, and while they lose fish, its usually only cuz something else ate it. And I am OCD about water quality, and tear all the caves apart to get all the poop out when I do water changes... and yet its my fish that seem to have some strange epidemic.
I thought fish don't get sick if you keep their water clean???
ps.. my b/f is bringing his camera out friday, hopefully then i can get pictures. Nothing I have here will capture the danios- they're too silvery and swim around too much.