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Multiple possible diseases plaguing tetras, and and all help/advice appreciated!

This is a discussion on Multiple possible diseases plaguing tetras, and and all help/advice appreciated! within the Tropical Fish Diseases forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by Lupin 1077, this is just how I personally view the situation. If you take the test kits into consideration, I have ...

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Multiple possible diseases plaguing tetras, and and all help/advice appreciated!
Old 02-22-2011, 02:25 AM   #11
 
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Originally Posted by Lupin View Post
1077, this is just how I personally view the situation. If you take the test kits into consideration, I have not exactly trusted the actual readings until the OP can retest the actual parameters. All is not lost yet until we verify again the actual readings.

Not all cases are the same. We still need to reassess the whole situation before we jump on the euthanasia as a last resort.
I respect your view, I can only go by info provided .
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Old 02-22-2011, 11:48 PM   #12
 
Ok- I moved the fish to a quarantine tank- meanwhile I performed an 80% water change. Here are my readings:

Temperature = 82F
Nitrates = 0ppm
Nitrites = 0.5 ppm
Hardness = 75ppm
Alkalinity = 20ppm
pH = 6.8
Ammonia = 0.5 ppm

I plan on doing another 10-15% water change tonight, and keep the tetras in the quarantine tank- they're already looking much better, two of them only have a few blotches on their dorsal fins. I did lose another one this morning during the move, I was well aware of the added stress could cause an ailing fish.

PS. I've decided to try cycling my tank without any fish, and I was going to visit a local, well-recommended fish specialty store for a proper water test kit tomorrow.
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:45 PM   #13
 
Ok.

Temperature = 82F
Nitrates = 0ppm
Nitrites = 0ppm
Hardness = 75ppm
Chlorine = 0ppm
Alkalinity = unknown
pH = unknown
Ammonia = 0ppm


Alkalinity and pH are unknown, because the alkalinity strip stayed yellow with blue edges? and the pH stayed orange with red edges. I'm greatly confused. Safe to assume the rest of the strip tests (excluding ammonia) are also inaccurate? I'm having my water read by the "Fish Den" later today.

The remaining tetras were performing their death dance, and the pleco was starting to lose grip with the tank walls and float up to the top, swim back down, attach, lose grip, repeat... so I euthanized them all.

As I mentioned earlier, I would like to do a fishless cycle on the tank, and have been gathering information on it. Any pointers would once again be appreciated, as it's been years since I've had a tank.

Is the tank ready to begin a cycle, or should I do another water change, wait a few more days, do more water changes, and then replace the filter carbon and begin to cycle?

Help and advice so far have been much appreciated and truly helpful :)
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Old 02-23-2011, 02:31 PM   #14
 
Here are my readings:

Temperature = 82F
Nitrates = 0ppm (strip)
Nitrites = 0ppm (strip)
Hardness = 75ppm (strip)
Chlorine = 0ppm (strip)
Alkalinity = 0ppm (strip)
pH = 6.2ppm (strip)
Ammonia = 0ppm (test kit)

Here are the readings from Store X:
Nitrates = 0ppm (strip)
Nitrites = 1ppm (strip)
Hardness = 75ppm (strip)
Chlorine = 0ppm (strip)
Alkalinity = 200ppm (strip)
pH = 8.8 (strip)
Ammonia = 2ppm (strip)

The remaining tetras were performing their death dance, and the pleco was starting to lose grip with the tank walls and float up to the top, swim back down, attach, lose grip, repeat... so I euthanized them all.

As I mentioned earlier, I would like to do a fishless cycle on the tank, and have been gathering information on it. However, with the uncertainty of my parameters, I will not be starting the cycle anytime soon- I'm looking at API Master test kit, but am also going to a local, well-recommended fish store to a) get my parameters tested w/o a test kit, and b) for a second opinion, especially on a proper test kit.

Help and advice so far have been much appreciated and truly helpful :)
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Old 02-23-2011, 02:31 PM   #15
 
Pardon for the double-post.
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Old 02-23-2011, 03:41 PM   #16
 
I caught the end of this post and I'm sorry for those fish. I think you have a good plan (going to an LFS that is not a Petsmart; in my experience people who work in specialty shops are more likely to be experienced hobbyists themselves who respect aquatic life and will be more likely to provide good quality advice. One other thing I would personally suggest is to really scour this forum (and other respectable sites/forums) for information pertaining to cycling your tank and also to maintenance of an existing tank.

If I may, I'd like to make one suggestion. If you like plants, then moderately-heavily planting your tank this time around would be a great (again, my opinion) way to start. Having fast-growing plants (vallisneria, bacopa, anacharis, among others) actually allows you to skip the "fishless cycling" and start with one or two small fish after your tank is set up with plants. The plants keep the ammonia and (to some extent) the nitrite levels down until a colony of beneficial bacteria gets established. So you don't see the spikes in ammonia and nitrites that you would ordinarily see in a non-planted tank that is cycling (fish or fishless). Read up about it on this forum if you'd like....
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:13 PM   #17
 
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Originally Posted by sovrappensiero View Post
If I may, I'd like to make one suggestion. If you like plants, then moderately-heavily planting your tank this time around would be a great (again, my opinion) way to start. Having fast-growing plants (vallisneria, bacopa, anacharis, among others) actually allows you to skip the "fishless cycling" and start with one or two small fish after your tank is set up with plants. The plants keep the ammonia and (to some extent) the nitrite levels down until a colony of beneficial bacteria gets established. So you don't see the spikes in ammonia and nitrites that you would ordinarily see in a non-planted tank that is cycling (fish or fishless). Read up about it on this forum if you'd like....
- I've never done live plants, and would personally feel more comfortable experimenting with them in a larger tank, but I will look into it, as well. I do not want to repeat this a second time, or cause more fish to suffer under my hands.

The specialty shop verified that my pH was in the 6.4.-6.6 range, and that ammonia and nitrite levels were 0ppm. They mentioned that 82F was much too high for neon tetras, which are most happy in the 76-78F range. They also recommended darkening the tank for 3 days with ich, which I hadn't heard of, or done. Any thoughts?

While the fishless cycle was appealing, I'm also considering getting 2 or 3 Danios for a cycle, although I want to do another water change before replacing my filter carbon and making sure that everything is ready to go- I'd like to be sure that all the ich and bad bacteria have perished, and that my next batch of fish will be less stressed.

Another thing that worries me is the salt content- Chain Pet Store X told me the salt content was much too high, local specialty shop said it was higher than normal, but still safe for livebearers. [Local specialty shop] recommended a teaspoon per 5 gallons, vs. the teaspoon per gallon I've been following, based on near-brackish conditions they observed in their own tanks using the teaspoon per gallon rule. Again, any thoughts?

I would like to thank everyone for their responses. Should I need more help, I will certainly ask for it, but I don't feel the need to continue this particular thread since my fish have all passed, and the stress is no longer an issue. However, any comments, suggestions or advice will be gratefully taken. :)

Last edited by longirostromeryx; 02-23-2011 at 04:19 PM..
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:05 PM   #18
 
I think it would be ok to use 2 or 3 danios to cycle, but if you're really interested in not harming any more fish in your care, stick a few bunches of anacharis in there with them. You can always remove them later if you don't want them, but they really ease the cycliing stress on the fish because they remove some of those toxic materials from the water column. That's critically important while you don't have beneficial bacteria established yet.

Like Byron said, just because fish looks ok on the outside doesn't mean he is ok on the inside. Fish are not wired to swim and thrive in toxic wastes. A "hardy" fish is just a fish that can withstand wider parameters of water quality, temp., pH, etc. It's NOT a fish that thrives swimming in its own poo. The process of cycling stresses ANY fish, shortening their lifespan and causing damage you cannot see (like immune damage). But what you do is totally your decision. (Ah, and if you really want plants, don't worry about your tank size - check out Byron's tanks he's got a 10 gallon that's full of luscious plant growth. Simply stunning. And he uses no filtration other than the plants).

Lastly (experts please correct me if I'm wrong on this), as far as I know, ich is a parasite that is quite often present in aquarium water. It doesn't necessarily cause harm to fish who are healthy, but when fish are under stress and are immunocomprised, they become more susceptible to microbial pathogens (just like humans do). I myself lost almost half my school of cardinal tetras to ich when my tank heater failed in the dead of winter. The water went down to 56 degrees overnight; I immediately replaced the heater with a spare and let it bring the temp up nice and slow. But, even still, a short while after that half my school got ich. I don't treat with any chemicals. I raised the temperature and hoped for the best but realized that I was probably going to lose some fish. Cardinals are delicate and they don't handle stress well at all. (FYI, tetras, corydoras, and other species are really sensitive to most disease-treating chemicals and many of them will flat-out kill inverts...they might not tell you that in the fish store so just be aware. I'd say in the future before treating with any chemicals search the forums and make a post if needed to get advice from the people with experience).

Good luck!

P.S. I can't answer your questions about salt - sorry - I've never used salt in my aquariums. :( Hopefully someone will chime in
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:15 PM   #19
 
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Originally Posted by sovrappensiero View Post
Lastly (experts please correct me if I'm wrong on this), as far as I know, ich is a parasite that is quite often present in aquarium water. It doesn't necessarily cause harm to fish who are healthy, but when fish are under stress and are immunocomprised, they become more susceptible to microbial pathogens (just like humans do). I myself lost almost half my school of cardinal tetras to ich when my tank heater failed in the dead of winter. The water went down to 56 degrees overnight; I immediately replaced the heater with a spare and let it bring the temp up nice and slow. But, even still, a short while after that half my school got ich. I don't treat with any chemicals. I raised the temperature and hoped for the best but realized that I was probably going to lose some fish. Cardinals are delicate and they don't handle stress well at all. (FYI, tetras, corydoras, and other species are really sensitive to most disease-treating chemicals and many of them will flat-out kill inverts...they might not tell you that in the fish store so just be aware. I'd say in the future before treating with any chemicals search the forums and make a post if needed to get advice from the people with experience).
Ich are parasitic. Parasites are parasites. Their sole purpose is to sap the fish of its much needed nutrients and weaken them. They will harm your fish, regardless of the circumstances and will more easily push the fish to succumb to death only when the host is already severely stressed as a result of other factors that put a toll on its health.

Often present in aquarium water? Yes because most of the folks fail to quarantine the possible carriers. Only by failing to quarantine the possible carriers will ich establish itself in the aquarium. That does not mean however that they are present in every tank. They can be totally eliminated if the treatment course is done carefully.

Unfortunately, the temperature you set in proves inadequate. You NEED salt or any meds potent against ich to destroy ich otherwise you are simply allowing the ich to thrive in the tank. A lot of fish cannot tolerate extremely high temperature so there's no point cranking the temp too high for their liking. You will need the meds in the end to save your fish.

I've used salt with no issues. That's the mildest form of treatment you can find. The key to using it successfully is dissolution and completing treatment course as appropriate.
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:19 PM   #20
 
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Originally Posted by longirostromeryx View Post
- I've never done live plants, and would personally feel more comfortable experimenting with them in a larger tank, but I will look into it, as well. I do not want to repeat this a second time, or cause more fish to suffer under my hands.

The specialty shop verified that my pH was in the 6.4.-6.6 range, and that ammonia and nitrite levels were 0ppm. They mentioned that 82F was much too high for neon tetras, which are most happy in the 76-78F range. They also recommended darkening the tank for 3 days with ich, which I hadn't heard of, or done. Any thoughts?

While the fishless cycle was appealing, I'm also considering getting 2 or 3 Danios for a cycle, although I want to do another water change before replacing my filter carbon and making sure that everything is ready to go- I'd like to be sure that all the ich and bad bacteria have perished, and that my next batch of fish will be less stressed.

Another thing that worries me is the salt content- Chain Pet Store X told me the salt content was much too high, local specialty shop said it was higher than normal, but still safe for livebearers. [Local specialty shop] recommended a teaspoon per 5 gallons, vs. the teaspoon per gallon I've been following, based on near-brackish conditions they observed in their own tanks using the teaspoon per gallon rule. Again, any thoughts?

I would like to thank everyone for their responses. Should I need more help, I will certainly ask for it, but I don't feel the need to continue this particular thread since my fish have all passed, and the stress is no longer an issue. However, any comments, suggestions or advice will be gratefully taken. :)
The only reason darkening works out is fish are less stressed and won't succumb easily to ich. I've never seen this blackout method work in my experience.

Ditch the carbon permanently unless you opt to remove the meds (except salt which cannot be removed by carbon but water changes).

Which salt are you trying to use? A teaspoon per 5g is way too low to become lethal to ich. You risk creating salt-resistant strains of ich which will eventually need a more potent med to kill them.
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