I don't know what is wrong with my tank...
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I don't know what is wrong with my tank...

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I don't know what is wrong with my tank...
Old 01-21-2009, 10:35 PM   #1
 
I don't know what is wrong with my tank...

We have a 20 gallon tank. It has 4 platys, 1 cory catfish, 1 otto catfish, 2 tetra fish (don't know the specific name), and 1 pleco fish. The temperature in the tank is about 69F, and the water (tested by the pet shop) was said to be perfect. The tank is established, with beneficial bacteria.

Well, one week ago, we had one neon tetra fish. We also had an algae problem. What we did was went to the pet shop and bought two neon tetra fish (to form a small group) and a second otto catfish to help the algae problem. First (about a day later) the new otto catfish died. Two days later, the two new neon tetras died. We think at least one of the three new (now dead) fish have infected our tank with some sort of parasite, bacterial disease, etc.

How do we know this? Well, first, the original neon tetra that had been in our tank for a few months now had died... a few days after we got the new fish. The day before that, we added a pleco fish because the new otto catfish died, and we need our algae controlled. I am seeing other symptoms of sick fish. Yesterday, my platy (I believe only one platy is doing this) which we've had for about a year is pooping clear white poop. I called the pet store, and they told us that it was a parasite. We went to the pet store and bought "Quick Cure" by aquarium products. The package said it is "fast relief for ick and protozoan parasites". The employee stated that it would cure internal parasites, so we bought it. I came home and added it to the tank, following the directions. It told me to remove the filter, so I removed it.

Today, the pleco has been acting funny. At first, I thought it was dead, sitting behind the heater on the wall. I moved the heater to see exactly what had happened. He is still alive, but now he is exhibiting the same behavior as the sick neon tetra fish--swimming upside-down, sideways, etc. I know it is not swim bladder disorder, because we do not feed our fish a lot, and only every two days. The other fish are swimming fine, but they seem like they are a little "shy" today, hiding in places they normally wouldn't hide at.

I do not have any idea what is wrong with my tank. I want to know what disease they have, how to cure it, and what to cure it with. I do not wish for them to die...
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Old 01-21-2009, 10:47 PM   #2
 
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welcome to the forum.
first off 69 degrees is too cold for tropical fish. slowly increase this to 78 degrees. the cories, ottos, and tetras are all schooling/shoaling fish meaning they need 6+
I do not recommend you go out just yet and buy 6 of each to meet these requirements. Common plecos also reach 1.5'+ so this becomes an issue, they also like to hide during the day so that is prob. a reason you found it behind the heater. Ottos are sensitive fish and seem to die easily. Removing the filter pad most likely disrupted your tanks chemistry and you may see a "mini cycle" or even a complete new cycle all over again. Adding the fish just increased the bioload and thats prob. why they died. finding the source of the algae is a better way to fix a problem then to buy a problem to fix a problem. how long do you leave your lights on daily? how much/often/what do you feed? can you post your specific water parameters? ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, ph. how long has this tank been established?
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Old 01-21-2009, 10:51 PM   #3
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by onefish2fish View Post
welcome to the forum.
first off 69 degrees is too cold for tropical fish. slowly increase this to 78 degrees. the cories, ottos, and tetras are all schooling/shoaling fish meaning they need 6+
I do not recommend you go out just yet and buy 6 of each to meet these requirements. Common plecos also reach 1.5'+ so this becomes an issue, they also like to hide during the day so that is prob. a reason you found it behind the heater. Ottos are sensitive fish and seem to die easily. Removing the filter pad most likely disrupted your tanks chemistry and you may see a "mini cycle" or even a complete new cycle all over again. Adding the fish just increased the bioload and thats prob. why they died. finding the source of the algae is a better way to fix a problem then to buy a problem to fix a problem. how long do you leave your lights on daily? how much/often/what do you feed? can you post your specific water parameters? ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, ph. how long has this tank been established?
'

The lights are on about 15 hours. I feed the fish every other day, and not a whole lot when I do. I don't have any specific water parameter data because the water was tested at the store. All they said was that everything was normal. The tank has been established for 8 months.
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Old 01-21-2009, 10:53 PM   #4
 
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15 hours is WAY to much. i suggest 6-8 (max) hours.
Is your tank by a window or natural light source? this will also cause algae.

Sadly enough sometimes fish stores tell you your water is "ok" so you buy more fish.
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Old 01-21-2009, 10:55 PM   #5
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by onefish2fish View Post
15 hours is WAY to much. i suggest 6-8 (max) hours.
Is your tank by a window or natural light source? this will also cause algae.

Sadly enough sometimes fish stores tell you your water is "ok" so you buy more fish.
We scrubbed some of the algae off. The algae was not severe. It was just enough that it was annoying to look at while we watch the fish.

Do you have any ideas about the disease and how to cure it? I've had some of these fish for a while, and now the tank is getting messed up.
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Old 01-23-2009, 10:52 PM   #6
 
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I know its been a couple days, I hope things havent gotten worse.

How often do you do water changes and how much? 8 months is long enough for unwanted substances to build up to dangerous levels. Just because a test kit says the water is ok doesnt always mean fish will think its ok. Your fish would have adapted to the toxins gradually but the new fish were unable to adapt suddenly.

I think the fish store steered you wrong. Quick Cure is a good medication for Ich, but I have never heard of it being used for internal parasites. And no medication is really "safe" imho. The main ingredient in Quick Cure is formalin, which is diluted formaldehyde, also known as embalming fluid. It's used in many aplications, including dead bodies, because it kills bacteria including beneficial ones. Thats why it said to remove the filter, though I dont know how you would keep the bacteria colony in the filter going until the medication has been removed through water changes. I would think the colony would at least be badly crippled, further aggravating a problem with water chemistry.

Many people leave the lights on longer than they should because fish are more enjoyable when you can see them. But this means you will have more algae to deal with. No fish will keep the glass completely clean, occasionally you will have to clean the glass. I use a magnet type glass cleaner so I dont have to put my hand in the tank and disturb the fish with the scrubbing.

My advice, for what its worth, is to do a 25% water change every day for a few days and see if the fish dont start acting better. And definitely increase the temp as said above. Wait until your fish have looked healthy and none have died for at least 2 weeks before adding more.

And try not to let this bad experience discourage you from fishkeeping. nearly everyone had something similar happen when they were starting out.
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Old 01-23-2009, 11:31 PM   #7
 
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duh, just occurred to me the reason they say to remove the filter is the charcoal will remove the meds. Its been a number of years since Ive use Quick Cure and I was thinking it said then that it wont hurt the bio filter. But in my case I had a nitrite spike after at least most of the times I used it.

P.S. can anyone tell me why I cant edit the above post. The edit button isnt there
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Old 01-24-2009, 01:12 AM   #8
 
You can't edit after 30 minutes of making the post.

But did I read the original post right? You removed your filter?
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Old 01-24-2009, 01:22 AM   #9
 
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I wish it was 30 min. was it changed?
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