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Ich Breakout in Planted 125, Please Help!

This is a discussion on Ich Breakout in Planted 125, Please Help! within the Tropical Fish Diseases forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by Byron This is good news all around. If you are quarantining new fish, make it 4 weeks or even 5. There ...

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Ich Breakout in Planted 125, Please Help!
Old 06-18-2013, 01:41 PM   #21
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
This is good news all around.

If you are quarantining new fish, make it 4 weeks or even 5. There is much that you won't see with 2 weeks, believe me. Ich is a minor issue, and usually that turns up within 2 weeks, but these days there are several protozoan around and these can take longer.
Thanks for the additional advice Byron. I read 2 weeks somewhere, but I'll definitely quarantine for 4-5 weeks then.

If I have any regrets it's that I didn't quarantine new fish before, and that I didn't know to just go straight to the Coppersafe treatment instead of trying the heat treatment method and killing some of our beloved fish that may not have died otherwise (hard to say really). Oh well, you live and learn. At least I'll know better the next time around.

My next question is about this tank moving forward. I have two balas remaining, one looks really good, and one looks really bad. The balas may have been a mistake from the beginning considering their eventual size (something I knew going in but was reassured that it wouldn't be a problem by my LFS with a tank this size). I was also assured that the Pictus Cats I have are the 6" max size variety, so I hope that holds true. That being said, I'd like to limit the fish in this aquarium to what I would consider medium size semi-aggressive fish in the 4-6" range when mature. Will one or two Bala Sharks do well long term, or should I return them to my LFS once I sort out the tank issues? Don't get me wrong, I do love the Balas, but I realize now that even a 125 gallon won't be enough to support a full school of Balas at maturity along with the other fish that I have in the tank at this point.

Also, I must say that I've read and followed the advice in many of your posts on here prior to joining Byron (especially the ones regarding plants and lighting), so I trust that you won't lead me astray.

Btw, I've just uploaded my two tanks and a few pics for any of you that might be interested.
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Old 06-18-2013, 03:19 PM   #22
 
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Stocking large tanks can be quite an investment - quarantining new fish is very important for protecting that investment. It's often one of those things that people don't take seriously until they have a disaster.

To answer a question you asked earlier, no, ich does not cause other issues like cloudy eyes. That's often a result of poor water quality. It seems to me like there's more than just ich going on in your tank. It can be difficult to treat a fish when there are multiple issues at hand.

To answer your stocking question, yes, it's probably best to return the balas. I would consider rainbows instead. Also, there are a number of cichlids that would fit in to what you are looking for. However, I think your filtration is on the weaker side for a tank of that size stocked as it sounds you'd like it stocked.
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Old 06-18-2013, 04:28 PM   #23
 
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I am in agreement with jaysee. Diagnosing fish problems is very difficult for any but those well trained (or at least with considerable experience) in the subject, which I most certainly am not. I tend to stay out of the disease area; its only when I see something I have experienced that I chime in.

Various treatments can work, but we must recognize that each will almost certainly cause some amount of stress to the fish, and this on top of the existing stress from the actual disease/problem. So while raising the temp (for example) may work once--and I tend to use this method myself--it may not again, solely because of other factors. And as a couple other members mentioned, no matter what the treatment, if fish begin getting worse it is usually best to stop, do a major water change, and re-evaluate. When fish are stressed, then stress is added, it is not uncommon for additional problems to take hold, as the fish are weakened beyond the point of being able to fight it off.

I also agree in returning the balas; this is simply not going to work for the reasons noted in our profile:
Peaceful for its size, but not a normal community fish. Other fish must be large enough not to be eaten, and able to tolerate this fish's very active swimming. This is a shoaling species with a pronounced social structure within the group, and must be maintained in groups of at least five fish. Fewer will result in aggression to the point of death of subordinate fish, and/or aggression toward other species in the tank.
It goes on to recommend an 8-foot tank as better, though some try in a 6-foot. But with fish that attain 14-16 inches and have a pronounced social structure within a group of 5 or more, space is needed.

If you can provide names of any fish you are intending, I will mention issues if I see them. Browse our profiles, most of the commonly-seen (and many not so common) fish are included.

Byron.
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:59 AM   #24
 
Here's a quick update:

The sick Bala and Denisons Barb unfortunately didn't make it through last night. I'm not sure what caused the cloudy eye, but none of the other fish seem to be affected right now, and as a matter of fact all of the remaining fish are acting completely normal at this point. How long should I wait before performing a water change? Until the treatment is completed? I know that I need to add more Coppersafe with any water changes until the treatment is complete, but I'm not sure if I should be doing any water changes since I have tap water and would need to dechlorinate the water. I would imagine that Prime or any other dechlorinator could affect the Coppersafe.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:01 AM   #25
 
Ok, so here's a list of the guys that have pulled through the worst of this thing, and are looking good at this point:

1 Bala Shark
3 Pictus Catfish
1 Weather Loach
3 Densisons Barbs
3 Long Finned Rosy Barbs
3 Congo Tetras
1 Kribensis (Male)

Thinking about a restocking plan in a couple months once I have the issues in the tank sorted out, what do you guys think of my plan below?

Return the Bala to my LFS
Add 3 Denisons Barbs
Add 3 Rosy Barbs
Add 3 Congo Tetras
Replace the Clown Pleco

So that my new stocking would be:

3 Pictus Catfish
1 Weather Loach
6 Densisons Barbs
6 Long Finned Rosy Barbs
6 Congo Tetras
1 Kribensis Cichlid (Male)
1 Clown Pleco

Also, I purchased a tiny (less than an inch) Golden Dwarf or Goldeneye Cichlid a couple months ago from my LFS and have it housed in my 29 Gallon right now. I know this guy (I believe he is male) will get bigger than his current tank mates (I think the max size is 3-1/2 inches). My question is would it be ok to move this guy into the 125 with the stocking list above once he gets a little bigger (say 1-1/2 inches or so)? I am also very fond of the Cockatoo Dwarf Cichlid (Apistogramma), and was wondering if a male Cockatoo would do well in the 125 with the stocking above. Any further advice is greatly appreciated guys.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:19 AM   #26
 
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Dojo loaches are highly social fish, and your tank is plenty big to get a large group of them.

Too, you could certainly get more than one pleco. Clown plecos aren't that great at eating algae, and a 125 is way more tank than one clown pleco can handle.

I think you should get the species you have up to proper school sizes, like you are intending to do, before worrying about adding any new species. To answer your question though, a 125 ought to be big enough for several small cichlids.
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:11 AM   #27
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffcoatbs View Post
Here's a quick update:

The sick Bala and Denisons Barb unfortunately didn't make it through last night. I'm not sure what caused the cloudy eye, but none of the other fish seem to be affected right now, and as a matter of fact all of the remaining fish are acting completely normal at this point. How long should I wait before performing a water change? Until the treatment is completed? I know that I need to add more Coppersafe with any water changes until the treatment is complete, but I'm not sure if I should be doing any water changes since I have tap water and would need to dechlorinate the water. I would imagine that Prime or any other dechlorinator could affect the Coppersafe.
Considering just the issue of ich, when I use this treatment [which I only do if raising the heat to 86F+ is not possible/working] I do a major water change, add the CopperSafe, then leave for 10 days before doing another water change [unless something happens during this period to warrant a WC]. I don't add more CS after the 10-day WC. CS is effective for 30 days (assuming no water changes), so it is best in my view to leave it alone; adding more is going to increase the level, which may cause other issues esp with sensitive fish, or conversely one might not get the strength back to an effective level. I also usually raise the temp a tad (and lower it back on day 7), depending on the fish species, which does speed up the ich cycle so 10 days should be sufficient.
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Old 06-19-2013, 12:00 PM   #28
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffcoatbs View Post
Ok, so here's a list of the guys that have pulled through the worst of this thing, and are looking good at this point:

1 Bala Shark
3 Pictus Catfish
1 Weather Loach
3 Densisons Barbs
3 Long Finned Rosy Barbs
3 Congo Tetras
1 Kribensis (Male)

Thinking about a restocking plan in a couple months once I have the issues in the tank sorted out, what do you guys think of my plan below?

Return the Bala to my LFS
Add 3 Denisons Barbs
Add 3 Rosy Barbs
Add 3 Congo Tetras
Replace the Clown Pleco

So that my new stocking would be:

3 Pictus Catfish
1 Weather Loach
6 Densisons Barbs
6 Long Finned Rosy Barbs
6 Congo Tetras
1 Kribensis Cichlid (Male)
1 Clown Pleco

Also, I purchased a tiny (less than an inch) Golden Dwarf or Goldeneye Cichlid a couple months ago from my LFS and have it housed in my 29 Gallon right now. I know this guy (I believe he is male) will get bigger than his current tank mates (I think the max size is 3-1/2 inches). My question is would it be ok to move this guy into the 125 with the stocking list above once he gets a little bigger (say 1-1/2 inches or so)? I am also very fond of the Cockatoo Dwarf Cichlid (Apistogramma), and was wondering if a male Cockatoo would do well in the 125 with the stocking above. Any further advice is greatly appreciated guys.
I also suggest increasing the groups for the shoaling fish. A "minimum" number is something we pretty much have to suggest, but it is always better for the fish to go beyond that. We sometimes forget that these fish (shoaling species) live in groups that may number in the hundreds and even thousands, and they have an inherent need for their own kid around them. When one has the space, more is always better for the fish's health and well-being. Check our profiles for these listed species, I think the Denison needs 8, and the other barb and the Congo I would go with 10-12.

On the cichlids, in my experience the dwarf species are best in smaller tanks, and on their own (species). This is not the only option, but I do believe it is best, and I always aim for better rather than lesser when it comes to the fish's environment. And be careful on temperature...without looking these up to check, I believe the Dojo is cool water, and this is not going to suit any dwarf cichlids.

Byron.
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:11 AM   #29
 
Ok, so I thought I would give a quick update. It has now been 1 week since I started the Coppersafe treatment, and I'm happy to report that everyone in the tank looks really healthy at this point. It has been about 5 days since I've seen any signs of Ich in the tank, so my plan is to leave the meds in the tank through this Saturday or Sunday, and then do a 50% water change or so, raise the level of the tank back up to where I normally keep it (I didn't realize how much water would evaporate out of the tank with all those extra airstones going and not doing my weekly water change), and remove the extra airstones that I added during the treatment. I also have my quarantine tank set up, and was thinking that I would purchase a clown or bristlenose pleco (or maybe one of each) this weekend to add to the QT tank, watch them for 3-4 weeks, and then move them to the 125. I am seeing more algae growth over the last couple of weeks, and while I know plecos won't eat all of the algae, I feel like they'll at least help reduce some of the new algae growth.

I feel like 3-4 weeks from this weekend should be plenty of time to watch my 125 to make sure I don't have any additional issues with Ich, and that it should be safe to add the one or two new fish at that point. After that, I plan to start building my schools back up. I would do that first, but I feel like I need the plecos for the algae a little more urgently. Feel free to step in and correct me if I'm wrong though guys.

I'm thinking of this being my restocking plan:
Remove the 1 Bala Shark and return to LFS (in a few weeks)
3 Pictus Catfish
3 Weather Loaches (Adding 2 to the existing 1)
8 Denisons Barbs (Adding 5 to the existing 3)
10 Rosy Barbs (Adding 7 to the existing 3)
12 Congo Tetras (Adding 9 to the existing 3)
2 Kribensis (Replacing the lost Female to try and re-establish the pair)
1 Clown Pleco (New addition)
1 Bristlenose Pleco (New addition)
1 additional 5" - 6" sized Pleco (Undecided on type, maybe a butterfly)

I would like to eventually move the Kribs to a new 55 or 75 Gallon Cichlid tank along with the Goldeneye Cichlid from my 29 Gallon. I would really like to have a dwarf Cichlid setup with lots of caves and multiple pairs, but I will have to work on my wife in regards to that one. It has been a tough sell just to get the quarantine tank setup. :) She is not real receptive to the idea of additional aquariums in the house at this point, so I probably need to accept the fact that the 29 and 125 gallon aquariums might be it.
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:32 PM   #30
 
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On the pleco and algae. What type of algae do you see? All of the so-called "algae" eating fish are very particular as to which type of algae they will eat. And given their side effects, so to speak, whether that be waste production, size, aggression (each depends upon species, not saying these all apply), one has to carefully consider these fish.

If all new fish can be in QT for 4-5 weeks, that should avoid ich in the main tank. This is important, because it is quite possible that some will have survived through the treatment. Most if not all aquaria have ich present; prevention is avoiding stress and a health clean environment so the fish can fight it off.

Byron.
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