OK after taking a couple years off from all fish aside from a few bettas, last summer we decided to do another tank. Due to our hard water we're really limited to no tetras etc... It was setup and running fine, a month later (August) we added fish slowly over the next couple months. So the tank is a year old. The original barbs we had (Red Glass) we exchanged for something easier going in april, they ate too aggressively and then would run and hide any time we went near the tank unless it was with food. We have NO idea how such friendly fish got so scared of everything. No bumps to the tanks, we don't have kids or other pets, nothing happened that we can possibly think of. So we exchanged them for platys to get our Ram to not seem like she needed to run and hide. She was brave when the barbs hid she'd be in the middle of the tank looking at us all proud of herself. But she was starting to pick up their behavior. With the platys and a few danios everyone was happy again. The danios which everyone says are hardy didn't make it, there is only one left, they all but two died within a week or two of getting them. The platys it's the same, but they have been dying off one by one since early-mid June. We swapped them out in April. So they were in the tank for two months before getting ill, or whatever. A month ago the one danios got pinecone scales so we had to euthanize him. No else seemed to be sick in the slightest. Then the platys started dying. The only symptoms were they would not eat and would hide, no real bloat, no fin damage or anything else. The last one to go did look like she had narrowed fins especially her tail fin. The male was heavily harassing her, so I'm not sure if that was the cause or not. We had planned on getting more fish tomorrow when we'd be near a pet store, but she died this morning.
Now the one that we're most concerned with is the German Blue Ram. Now we know the conditions in the tank are no where near ideal for her. We were reassured by many
people that steady water is better then trying to fight the ph and hardness. She was very slowly acclimated to the tank and has been very happy. All the pet stores around here have similar water issues, so they are already somewhat acclimated to very hard water. She looks wild. When she's all full of herself and flaring and showing her bright colors for us we've counted 8 bars on her! She is by far one of the best fish we've ever had, and we've been doing this for 17 years together! Some days she gets these mood swings and will sit by herself behind our decoration and in the plants a bit. But within a day or two she's back out. I call it her pms. It seems to happen maybe once a month or so. She gets nervous when a fish dies though. She hides from the fish until we scoop it out, which is normally very soon after it dies. But it's like she's human and knows what's going on. We've dealt with ich and other things with her and she's been fine. But again the last two days she's been hiding and won't come out. This morning she tried to eat but like she gets when she's like this she'll spit everything out, look at us then go back into her hiding spot. With the platys dying lately I'm very scared she's going to die. She seems fine aside from the hiding and not eating. She is breathing slightly heavier, but nothing too alarming. No clamped fins, no weird spots or cuts or bites or anything.
She is normally very goofy, like I've heard many GBR are. She'll even play, when I clean the tank she comes to taste me, then I gently chase her with my hand and she'll run then turn and charge back at me. We'll play a little during every water change, she just loves it! When I pull my hand out she'll chase it on the outside of the glass too. She seems to know her name and will come running. And man she'll win any staring contest you can throw at her! She'll even stick her whole head out of the water to stare you down when feeding them. She also is the protector of the tank, when the barbs would fight the cories and pleco for their wafers she'd chase them all away. She helps the pleco chase the cories away when he wants his wafer. She's really just a great fish!
So I'll fill out the form, I really hope someone can help.
1. Size of tank? 37 gal
2. Water parameters
a. Ammonia? 0
b. Nitrite? 0
c. Nitrate? <5
d. pH, KH and GH? 7.5, GH180 (high I know!!)
e. Test kit? that liquid one in all pet stores
3. Temperature? 80
4. FW (fresh water) or BW (brackish)? FW
5. How long the aquarium has been set up? 1 year this week
6. What fish do you have? How many are in your tank? How big are they? How long have you had them? 1 bristle nose pleco, he's now full size, got him in Oct, 4 cories, got 2 in dec and 2 in march, two are full size two are just shy of full size, 1 GBR, she's full size, we got her in early sept, 1 zebra danio, full size got it in april, 1 platy male, full size not sure when he was bought we got them in two batches of three at a time one in early april one in late. we just had the last female die this am, and two died in the last two weeks, they've been going about 1 a week or so for the last 5 weeks.
7. Were the fish placed under quarantine period (minus the first batch from the point wherein the tank is ready to accommodate the inhabitants)? no but the last fish added was at the end of april.
8. a. Any live plants? Fake plants? fake we have about 9-10
b. Sand, gravel, barebottom? gravel
c. Rocks, woods, fancy decors? Any hollow decors? rocks, and fake driftwood and two small terra cotta pots for caves
9. a. Filtration? normal hang on the back filter that came with the tank topfin
b. Heater? yes topfin
10. a. Lighting schedule? What lights are used? turn them on at about 8am and off about 9pm normal plain fluorescent
b. Any sunlight exposure? How long? in the late fall through early spring it gets about an hour in the evening, the rest of the year no, but the room is fairly bright.
11. a. Water change schedule? weekly we do a light vacuuming and change about 10-25%, then every month we do about 40-50% change with a heavier vacuuming.
b. Volume of water changed? see above
c. Well water, tap water, RO water? well water, no chlorine, no treatments, reads the same as the tank water when we test it.
d. Water conditioner used? no
e. Frequency of gravel/sand (if any) vacuumed? see above
12. Foods? algea flakes, top fin color enhancing flakes, omega one color flakes, freeze dried bloodworms, freeze dried shrimp, and frozen shrimp
How often are they fed? little in the am and the pm we vary with each meal but normally they get flakes and algea flakes for atleast one of their meals, the worms and shrimp are more treats they get every couple days. We also will go a day without a meal in the morning or evening once a week or so to give their digestion a bit of a break. We did this with out betta and have just done the same with these guys.
13. a. Any abnormal signs/symptoms? see above (fish seem to be dying for no reason and our GBR is not acting normal)
b. Appearance of poop? normal
c. Appearance of gills? normal
14. a. Have you treated your fish ahead of diagnosis? no
b. What meds were used?
15. Insert photos of fish in question and full tank shot if necessary.