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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
37 gallon freshwater
78F
7.4 pH
ammonia 0
nitrite 0
Nitrate 0-5ppm
dGH and dKH high teens
Tank is almost 11 weeks old.
Lots of plants
No medication, treatments or chemicals of any kind other than weekly fertilization with flourish comp.
Weekly water changes in the 30% range... missed this weekend.

We have an emerald brochis that is struggling right now. I netted it and looked closely with a magnifying glass but can see absolutely no signs of any discolouration, gill issues, fin problems, parasites that might be visible, no spots nothing. I assume some swim bladder problem as the fish cannot stay upright, but tries. It is now somewhat "bent". at first I thought it was from curving while trying to get upright but it isn't the case, the bend must be a symptom.

The odd time it gets upright and swims for a moment and, other than the bend, it looks fine.

I skipped through all of the diseases here and the only one that doesn't have some other obvious visible symptom is the bladder.

Small backstory.

We bought 8 of these cats originally (47 days ago), got 9 (freebie), one with damaged dorsal fine. Two weeks, almost to the day, that fish passed. OK, it happens with new fish and I think the store guy sort of half expected it. I inspected the fish afterwards and found nothing obvious other than the fin problem and the resulting colour drain due to having been dead for at least a few hours... but I honestly don't think that alone could be a real fatal problem. I saw no symptoms in this case, one day 9 catfish, next day 8 catfish.

I bought two more almost three weeks ago (19 days). They were of the same original batch so I cannot tell them apart but I may assume that this is one of the new recruits... two weeks and a few days after bringing them home. Perhaps some delayed shock of introduction? I float the bags, add tank water gradually (over a minimum of 30 minutes... closer to an hour) then net them into the tank... I don't like putting store water in my tank if I can help it.

Jeff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That red must have been a reflection as it is not apparent otherwise. The others look normal.

No quarantine.

Anything else that can come up like this and still have the fish look, otherwise, healthy still?

Jeff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It actually didn't take long to come up with quite a list of possible causes. I'm still leaning toward something in the transfer process from store to home. If I knew for certain that this was one of the new ones, particularly seeing as the ones at the store were from the same initial batch and I had probably the same thing around the same time as the other confirmed injured fish.

Well see what tomorrow brings. It's not like there is any treatment for this without knowing exactly what the true cause might be.

Jeff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Good idea. Seeing as it was a batch of 50 they brought in and they haven't had them before, recently, losses should stand out.

The little guy didn't make to the night last night, let alone through the night.

I'm watching the rest closer to see if anything appears out of the ordinary. I thought one might have been a little lethargic this morning... but that's hard to pin anything on. They are usually quite active and any that are not I would expect would stand out, but maybe not if it's not looked for specifically.

Jeff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
A followup.

I lost one more catfish, slightly different symptoms, same result. This time more colour loss and a little popeye going on and less or no spine curving. I'm going to assume some sort of infection. Everyone else seems lively and normal, good colours.

A thought.

Most of my plants are stem or tall. I have one corner behind a vertical piece of driftwood where the cats most often congregate. I put a couple of new crypts in yesterday and I already see the cats coming out under them a bit more than they would into the open area and are SLIGHTLY less skittish (although this is a subjective observation and deserves more observation).

I started with 9, lost one due to supposed injury during catching him at the store two weeks later, damaged fins were visible. I added two more to bring them up to ten and have since lost two... between two and three weeks later. I suspect, but cannot be certain, that they were the two new additions. The store claims no unusual losses and that the ones that they still have seem healthy and strong... I don't honestly know if they would own up to losses or not so this is suspect.

Given that my tank bottom is 12" x 30" and they are almost always in the rear right corner, perhaps the layout is limiting their numbers somehow? 8 seems to be the baseline.

I don't mind experimenting with plants, add some, toss some, thrive or not no big deal... I hesitate to do the same with fish. I was going to add more lower smaller plants to provide more cover on the bottom and see how the current 8 respond and will consider adding two more again if they respond well.

Any thoughts on whether I may be anywhere near correct in any of those assumptions?

Jeff.
 
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