So Sad Please Help - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 10 Old 05-27-2008, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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So Sad Please Help


I have a 55 gallon freshwater tank. It has been up and running for six months. I did a fishless cycle before adding my fish. I previously owned a 10 gallon then moved up to a 29 gallon so I am not necessarily a newbie. I have several live plants a Penguin Bio-Wheel. The tank does get natural sunlight, not direct buy does get sunlight for a few hours a day. I do a 25% water change once a month. Tank light is turned on at night and left on until I go to bed. Water parameters were just checked at the pet store and were all perfect.

I have:

5 swordtails
4 danios
2 guppies
1 pleco

My fish are dying one by one. I do not know what is wrong. I thought when I moved my swordtails over from my 29 gallon about 3 months ago they might have had ich. They had only a few white spots but nothing major so I did nothing about it. I then bought the 4 danios and added them to the tank. They are alive and well. Just last week I bought six guppies and a golden algae eater. Within one day one guppy died. I brought my water into the pet store where I bought the guppies (which by the way, had three dead guppies in the tank that I bought them from) and they said my water was perfect. I thought to myself maybe it is ich that is killing the fish. So I turned the temperature of my tank slowly up to 86 degrees. The next day another guppie died. Within the next day two more guppies died along with the golden algae eater. Today one of my swordtails died and another guppy is showing signs. The most disheartening of this all is my pleco. He is huge, at least 9 inches and has been with me since my 10 gallon. He is definately showing signs of distress.

My tank is now extremely cloudy, brown algae everywhere and the fish are dying off rapidly. Please help me. I feel like I have my fish in a death tank and I do not know how to fix it. I did a 25% water change yesterday but the water continues to be cloudy. The few white spots I saw on teh swordtails are now gone. Please help me.

Thanks - Jeannine
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post #2 of 10 Old 05-27-2008, 09:54 PM
Sorry to hear about the bad luck... hopefully you'll have it all back to normal soon.

Personally, I think you need to do water changes more often. At least 30% every 2 weeks, although 30-40% every week would be beneficial. The algea is probably caused by too many nutrients in the water and all the sunlight. Decreasing the amount of sun exposure and doing water changes more often will help.

It would also be a good idea to buy your own liquid test kit. Don't just accept a "perfect" from the pet store - you don't know how they're testing your water. API has a great liquid kit that will last you a long time.

You should never buy fish from a tank with dead fish in it. Even if the fish you buy look healthy, they could bring desease to your aquarium. If you think it's ick that's getting at your fish, treat them with something like Quick Cure. I'm not sure of the other brands out there, there may be better ones. Definatly don't add any more fish until you have this worked out. You might also want to look for other fish stores in your area, since many of the fish you've been buying have not been healthy.

How do you acclimate new fish?

Hope your tank recovers soon!
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post #3 of 10 Old 05-28-2008, 02:38 AM
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To treat ich, I simply use table salt and dissolve before adding it to the tank. Dosage is a tablespoon per 5g. Add salt slowly to avoid osmotic shock. Do the treatment for 10-14 days. Get an airpump to aerate your tank as rising temperature can cause the oxygen level to decline.

It will be a good idea to move your tank away from the sunlight making sure the tank gets lighting for only 8-10 hours a day. Longer than that can result in algae problems and even natural sunlight can cause your temperature to change a lot thus can stress and kill your fish.

What is the color of the water? Milky white or green? Green is algal bloom. James is correct in suggesting an API liquid testkit for you to determine your water parameters. You need to know your ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and pH. Do as many water changes as necessary if your ammonia and nitrites are found to be above 0.25. They should be zero nevertheless as both are toxic substances for the fish.

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post #4 of 10 Old 05-28-2008, 04:45 AM
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One more thing to mention....are there immediate plans in the works to find your pleco a 75 gallon home of his own? His "output" must be tremendous and with once a month 25% changes...well, you get the idea. No doubt you need that tasting kit of your own. He must look like a monster in that tank and it's probably very hard for him to turn around and be comfortable, plus he's a threat to the other fish. Next time if you want a pleco, stick to one that will stay under 5 inches like a bristlenose or clown pleco (not to be mixed up with clown loach, however!!!). It will be MUCH better for your tank :)

I'd start out by doing a series of small changes once a day, maybe about 15% so you don't shock them. Make sure the water temp matches perfectly and dechlorinate. Get that testing kit and let us know how things end up. Good luck!

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post #5 of 10 Old 05-28-2008, 08:05 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for your advice. I feel much better today. I will go buy a testing kit and nip this thing in the bud.

One more question. Do you think it would be ok to keep my pleco? I just upgraded to this 55 gallon so getting a 75 gallon right now is out of the question. I certainly do not want the pleco to be uncomfortbable but I think it is so cool

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post #6 of 10 Old 05-28-2008, 10:34 AM
How big is he right now?
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post #7 of 10 Old 05-28-2008, 04:44 PM
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9 inches. I would say find a new home, he's going to continue to produce more waste than that size tank can handle and it will be toxic to your other fish.

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post #8 of 10 Old 05-28-2008, 04:46 PM
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Common plecos are known to grow quite quickly, so you'll want to keep an eye on him, as you'll need to rehome him if he becomes too large or aggressive. Other pleco species grow much slower, or do not grow very large.

I assume you have a common pleco?
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post #9 of 10 Old 05-29-2008, 09:03 AM
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I thought common plecos are small? and yay, 100 posts!

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post #10 of 10 Old 05-29-2008, 08:07 PM
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Noooo, common's are large and in charge!!! Like, potentially 18" large.

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