This is my first post so i hope i cover everything correctly so you can advise me.
My problem is that I have 2 upside down catfish that are about 12 months old and i've noticed some strange behaviour in one them in the past few days/week. Okay - scratch that! I have literally just gone looking for them both as I only noticed one behaving differentally and thought i should check the other and I just found the other one dead. Looks a few days gone so i can't tell if there were signs of disease. The remaining catfish i noticed a few days/a week ago begun swimming around the tank whilst the light was on and i've never seen him during the day before. It has been hiding in different places to usual, alot of these places in brighter lights than his usual hiding place. This morning i thought i could see some moss or something hanging off one fin and whiskers on the same side of his body, i really don't think fungus! Looking at him again now i think it's gone so it may have just been moss rubbed off driftwood but i can't definitely say it's gone...Anyways in finding the other dead i have just taken him out of his tank and popped him in a bucket of the tank water with a oygen/ph block as i dont have a spare airpump but always have a few of the oxy blocks just in case. Could it perhaps be that he's looking for the other upside down? They did hide together and were different sizes though they were the same size when bought which makes me think they may have been male and female. the remaining is the larger so maybe a female?
I have a 150lt tank. For this post i used an API (Aquarium Pharmaceuticals) dip stick test kit. Usually i don't bother with checking the parameters unless there is a problem and this is my first in about 8 months for this tank.
Test results were:
- GH = 60-120 (colour was in-between)
- KH = 40
- pH = 6.5-7 (again colour in-between)
- Nitrites = 0
- Nitrates = 40
It would consist of brackish water. I never use chemicals or conditioners in the water only the recommended dose of aquarium salt being 1gm/L. If ever there's a prob with fish I add a little more salt and it always fixes the problem. I havent done it in this case though because I wanted advice first. the aquarium is about 12 months old.
- About 30 guppies that breed like crazy but I have 1 goldfish in the tank that keeps baby numbers down plus I give alot away to friends and family also. I'm about to do a major cull and get rid of most of them, I just need to find good homes for them. Unfortunately pet stores won't take them due to disease risk.
- 4 Bristlenose catfish, 3 are about 1.5 - 2 inches and the other is about 3/4 of an inch.
- 5 corydoras.
- Was 2 Upside down catfish now one that is in isolation.
- And the 1 goldfish i mentioned.
I know that goldfish arent really compatible with catfish but i had a tank break about 6 months ago and didnt have much of a choice.
I hadn't quarantined fish as i added them but the last of the fish would have been added maybe 2 months ago. the upside downs are amongst the oldest. water temp is set at 26'C, this is my winter setting and has been this for 2/3 months now. the heater sits close to a filter to help disperse heat.
I have live plants in the tank, unsure of types but they have been in since the beginning.
My filters are:
External - Fluval405, 1300L/hr, designed for 400L tanks but it is on a low-med setting. It siphons from the bottom and puts water back in at the top third level of the tank. I clean this every 2/3 months as recommended by my pet store and change the carbon at this time.
Internal - Smaller Fluval, i've lost the box but it was recommended for a 50L tank i previously owned. it sits at about halfway down the tank on the opposite side to the external filter. It contains carbon also which is changed or recharged regularly. i Clean this filter weekly/2nd weekly depending on how busy i am. There is a 25cm long, 1/2 inch wide airstone just in front of the smaller filter on a moderate setting.
I've mentioned where the filters and oxygen block are as i read a post about some bottom dwellers getting sick due to insufficient bottom water flow and oxygenation. I feel this is not the problem as my other bottom dwellers are fine.
The tank doesnt really receive any sunlight, maybe indirect but the light i have is one designed to encourage plant growth. The light comes on about 6/7am before i go to work and then gets turned of about 6/7pm after their last feed.
1/3 of the water was changed about 3 days ago. I usually change about 1/3 every week but if the guppy numbers have risen i change about 1/2 the water each week but will only change 1/3 if planning to do the larger filter not long after as i don't like to upset the water conditions or bacteria too much. I clean my tank by siphoning the gravel first and then just suctioning the water till i drain 1/3 of it. I often cut off and discard dead and dying leaves on the plants also.
I feed my fish algae wafers in the morning and tropical flakes at night.
I think the only thign i didn'y mention was that i have only natural gravel in the tank, and only river stones and driftwood for decoration. i try to keep the tank as naturall as possible with minimal artificial products used. i've never had any major problems with my fish and very few deaths. the upside down that's died would be my worst so far. There my favourites after my albino bristlenose.
I hope i've covered everything but havent dribbled too much. i'm worried about my last upside down seeing that the other has died.
Hope you can help,