05-31-2013, 02:20 PM
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What's Killing My Fish!
Help! Hopefully you more experienced fish keepers can steer me in the right direction. It's sad to see 1 fish die every couple of weeks and not know how to stop it. What happens is 1 fish will start to isolate themselves and breath rapidly, and eventually stop eating. They will ususally bloat up at bit or have scales sticking out. Once they get to this point they die within a few days. I also lose a shrimp about once a week.
I believe my fish issues could be due to parasites from an weak immune systems - possibly due to high nitrates (20-40ppm - see below for more info). They do not get spots (ICH). This could be due to lack of vacuuming my gravel (but see my routine/issues below).
Regarding the Plants, I also wish they would do better. The crypts are doing OK (sometimes a leaf melts), just very very slow growing. The swords are not doing too well. The plants eventually turn a lighter green and the leaves start to melt (break apart). They do grow a bit but the new growth also doesn't look too good and is fragile. The java moss and moss balls look good and grow ok.
Here's some info on my setup & maintenance: Tank:
- Marineland 27 Gallon Cube (Petsmart) - set up for about 6 months now
- (2) Aquaclear 30 HOB Filters (both with Sponge, Purigen, & Biomax - as well as a Fluval Prefilter on the intake)
- (2) Marineland Double Brite LED light strips
- Eco Complete Gravel (got this because its supposed to be good for plants for it's been a pain to keep the plants down in it, and it's extremely hard to vacuum)
- 30-40 Cherry Shrimp (I had 5-6 adults up until 1-2 months ago, they had a bunch of babies and the adults died off)
- 3 Amano Shrimp (had for 4-5 months, no issues)
- 2 Nerite Snails (had for 1 month, no issues)
- 3 Kuhli Loaches (had for 6 months, no issues with them)
- 2 Celestial Pearl Danio (had for 1 month. use to have 3 others but they lasted 3-4 months)
- 9 Ember Tetras (had for 1 month, no issues....yet)
- 3 Male Guppies (had 1 for 7-8 months, other 2 are new - replacing 2 others that died after 4-5 months)
- 5 Threadfin Rainbows (had 12, lost 7 within 4-5 months)
- 7 Gertrudae Spotted Blue Eye (had 12, lost 5 within 3-4 months)
- I feed once a day - What they can consume in about 5 min. (i know they say use 2-3 min, but I need to ensure some of the shier fish get fed too).
- I normally feed small pellets and/or crushed flake. But every 3rd day I feed frozen baby brine/frozen daphia instead.
- I also feed an algae tablet (maybe 1.5 small tabs), broken up for the shrimp and loaches, although the fish eat off of them as well. But every 3rd day I feed a few blanched frozen peas/zuchinni pieces instead of the algae.
- 3 Swords
- 6 Cryptocorne Plants
- 3 Moss Balls
- Clump of Java Moss
- Couple other Misc Plants
- Add Seachem Flourish 1/week (most weeks)
- Tap Water (always use Prime) - out of tap 0 Nitrite/Amonia, but 5-7ish Nitrates
- Nitrite - 0 (have never seen a reading other than 0)
- Almonia - 0 (have never seen a reading other than 0)
- Nitrates - 20-40 (after a week or two it starts getting to 40 or a bit higher before I do the water change)
- KH - 6
- GH - 16
- Temp = 76-78
- I use API Master Test Kit
- Water Changes - I typically do 1 50% water change every week, with Seachem Prime & Flourish
- Filters - I clean the prefilters each week and the main filters every couple of months. I also clean the most balls every 2 weeks.
- Vacuuming - I hardly do any becauses its soo hard to vacuum Eco Complete without sucking up the gravel and making a huge mess (if I dig down into it it stirs up tons of fine dust like particles). I don't see any debris on top of the gravel, except for the occasional dead fish/plant piece, which I remove right away. So the top of the gravel always looks good.