why do my fish always die? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-09-2008, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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why do my fish always die?

Someone help me understand why this happened? This is very confusing to me.

1) My guppies were doing great for several months, they had babies and 1 male survived and grew up.
2) Then my fancy guppy Hedwig starting to lose chunks of his tail fin. I though maybe the other male was fighting with him so I gave away the young male and got 2 more females from the fish store.
3) 2 days later one of the new females was dead.
4) 1 week later another baby guppy was missing the entire rear half of his body, including his tail, and the wound was covered with white fuzz. I had to euthanize him, he was barely alive and seemed like he was in pain.
5) Now my fancy male Hedwig is not able to swim straight ... he is at the surface with his head pointing up and his tail pointing down. Barely alive ... I think he will probably be dead in the morning.

I don't understand what I did wrong. The tank has been set up for more than 6 months and is fully cycled, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 10ppm, ph 7, temp 78 degrees. I don't understand why my fish keep dying ... if anyone has any insight plz let me know. I seem to be better at keeping plants alive than fish. This is very sad to me. :(
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-09-2008, 06:46 PM
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2 days later one of the new females was dead.

Was this a new fish from the store?
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post #3 of 11 Old 01-09-2008, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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yes...that female that died was one of the ones I got from the fish store.
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-09-2008, 07:07 PM
I think your temperature may be a little low. Try raising it to about 82 degrees F. Is the tank loacated near a draft? This could cause extreme fluctuations in water temperature. Add a little Aquarium salt to your tank. About 1Tbsp for every 5 gallons of water would be sufficient. Do not use table salt. Keep us informed as to your progress.
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-09-2008, 07:11 PM
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sounds like fin and tail rot, along with body fungus

can you post water parameters? what size is the tank? is the tank heated?
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-09-2008, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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Is aquarium salt safe for live plants? I have plants in there too.

It is right next to a window, so yes it is a drafty location, but I have a good heater with a thermostat that keeps the water temperature stable ... it doesn't fluctuate more than 1 degree. I will raise the temperature though ... I didn't realize it was too low.

tank parameters are ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 10ppm, ph 7. It's a 15 gallon tall.

Weirdly, Hedwig is swimming around normally at the moment. Is it possible that maybe he was just sleeping or something? I have never seen a fish sleeping vertically before. it doesn't seem right. his tail doesn't have any white fuzz on it but he is definitely missing big chunks of tail fin. I really want to help him if I can because he has been through a lot and survived a lot of my beginner mistakes and I want him to be safe.
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-09-2008, 07:57 PM
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well adding in some melafix wouldn't be a bad idea, it will help repair any damage done and take care of fin rot if its present.

but your water parameters sound ok to me.
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-10-2008, 12:12 PM
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how and how much do you change the water? and fish dont sleep vertically. does he eat regularly now? and how much/wat do u feed him? no, salt does not hurt plants, or at least not mine

The first rule of Fight Club is - you do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is - you DO NOT talk about Fight Club. Third rule of Fight Club, someone yells Stop!, goes limp, taps out, the fight is over. Fourth rule, only two guys to a fight. Fifth rule, one fight at a time, fellas. Sixth rule, no shirt, no shoes. Seventh rule, fights will go on as long as they have to. And the eighth and final rule, if this is your first night at Fight Club, you have to fight.
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-10-2008, 12:25 PM
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Fine leaf plants do not do well with salt nor do crytps, not in my experience anyway.

What are your GH and KH? With a planted tnak and anything more than low light your KH and GH could be too low at wahter change time. And your KH needs to be at least 2 dKH or 38-40ppm. Swings in the GH and KH can be even worse than pH. But a low KH can make pH swings even worse.

As teh said, water changes, how many and how often. If oyuhave not been doing any then it is time for a big one! 50% minimum to get all the dissolved solids out that we can't even test for and are likely causing the fin and tail rot.

And last but not least, liquid regeant test kit or dip strips? If it is strips, your nitrates could be through the roof and you may never know.
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-15-2008, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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I usually do a 10-15% water change once a week. I am at work so I will measure GH and KH when I get home. This tank gets a lot of sunlight.

I just started DIY CO2 a couple of weeks ago so I wonder if that was what started all of my problems. :( I know that causes PH changes.

I have good news though ... Hedwig is swimming normally for the past few days and one slit in his tail seems to be growing back. I have been adding melafix daily for the past few days. (In addition to what I usually add which is 2 ML of flourish excel daily and maybe a 3-4 drops of flourish comprehensive supplement per week).

ps. I am using the tetratest stuff with bottle droppers and colors not the test trips.
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