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Discussion Starter #1
Here are the current tanks that we will be dealing with throughout this thread:

  • 29 Gallon Freshwater Tank - Fully Planted - Hard Water needs to be Soft Water
    • 12 Neon Tetras - 1 Cardinal Tetra (4 Neons and 1 Cardinal were added this yesterday)
    • 4 Bronze Cory
    • 1 Male Lyretail Sailfin Molly
    • 1 Female Kribensis Cichlid
    • 1 Male Bristlenose Pleco
  • 20 Gallon Freshwater Tank - Fully Planted - Hard Water
    • 8 Red Wag Platy Fry
    • 3 Bolivian Rams (Added exactly 3 weeks ago)
    • 1 Female Black Molly
    • 1 Male Bristlenose Pleco
  • 10 Gallon Freshwater Tank - Fully Planted - Hard Water - Possible QT Tank
    • 10-15 Red Wag Platy Fry - Too hard to count
    • 1 Male Dwarf Gourami
  • 1.75 Gallon Quarantine Tank - No Filter, No Heater, Not Cycled.
Here are my...astonishing water parameters:

pH: 7.5 (High and Low)
gH: 18dGH (Hard Water)
Nitrate as N03 out of Tap:
33.8ppm (Lab Tested - Nitrate Ion Selective Electrode)
20ppm (LaMotte Kit)
40ppm - 60ppm (API Master Test Kit)
Nitrate as N03-N out of Tap:
7.68ppm (Lab Tested - Nitrate Ion Selective Electrode)

Requested Water Plant results for Tap Water - Water Plants report 5ppm out of source water. River water also measure 5ppm from the lab who tested my water.

As you can see the Nitrate is an issue. I still have not done anything about changing the water yet because of the other issues I am currently dealing with. Once all my fish are healthy I will slowly start to change the water parameters, so as not to shock them. The plan is to add 25% R.O. water with every water change in the two bigger tanks. R.O. water here isn't to expensive, but the LFS doesn't sell it. WalMart only sells drinkable R.O. water which I can buy at a decent price. Any more advice on this would be appreciated. I don't want to spend a lot of money and am looking for the cheapest method to solve this problem.

Here are the other more pressing issues.

29 Gallon

The Male Molly in the 29 has this abnormal growth on his right side. It appears to be black and underneath the scales. Here is a video where you can see what I am talking about. You can see it at about 0:24 into the video, it was taken about a week ago.


The snails I speak about in those videos have since been active and moving fine. The dead ones have been eaten by the Kribensis, she is ruthless.

The tank has previously been treated with Levamisole HCl and Salts for Camallanus. This tank has also been and is currently being treated with API General Cure which contains the following chemicals: Metronidazole and Praziquantel.

What is that growth and how can I treat it. These are the medications I currently have available:

  • Metronidazole
  • Praziquantel
  • Minocycline
  • Tetracycline Hydrochloride
  • Stabalized Chlorine Oxides
  • Levamisole Hydrochloride
  • Salt
I was suggested to use the Tetracycline Hydrochloride along with the Minocycline. Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions? When to use it, considering I am currently treating with the Metronidazole and Praziquantel, 48 hours left of treatment.

20 Gallon

The Bolivian Rams when I got them didn't look too healthy, since then two have started eating and the third is still palish and not eating as well. He is also still hiding.

Today I noticed the still sickly Bolivian Ram pooping stringy white poop.

This tank has been treated with Metronidazole and Praziquantel about one week ago. Should I try another treatment or should I quarantine this fish and do a treatment on that one fish? Should I treat the entire tank? How long should I wait?

Also, if I quarantine the Bolivian Ram, I would have to move everything out of the 10 gallon tank. The 1.75 is not ready unless I want to do daily water changes, which I don't mind. Any suggestions?

If I move the 10 or so platy fry into the 20 gallon and the gourami into the 29 to free up the 10 gallon tank for quarantine, would the 10 fry over load the bio load in that tank? I will be removing a bolivian ram when I do so.

If I do this, the gourami would be in the same tank as the kribensis...which is not really ideal.

Here is a video of when I first got them 3 weeks ago just for comparison, the one that is now pale is more pale than they look in this video:


Here is a video of the Bolivian Rams about a week ago so you can see them. The third one that is pale is hiding and is not shown in this video:


I originally treated the 20 gallon tank with the API General Cure because the Rams had that sunken stomach. I wanted to make sure they were safe. Two have made it through fine and are getting fatter.

I have already started going 10% R.O. water changes in the 20 gallon where the Rams are just to comfort them, but I do not yet have a gH and kH test kit so I can't take a reading yet. I will need to purchase one soon so I can keep track of where my water parameters are in there.

I think I covered everything but if I missed anything please ask. The only tank I have that I didn't mention is my betta 5 gallon tank but that tank is not going to be messed with. Its finished and doing great. I listed the 29, 20, 10 and the 1.75 gallon tanks as references to see what I am working with and the possibilities of moving the stock and everything.

Any help and all advice is appreciated.
 

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Oh, Termie. . . I'm so sorry you're having such troubles. I REALLY hope someone out there will be able to help out. . .
 

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AbbeysDad has high nitrates in his tap water and posted his remedy some time back; PM him and he should have some advice on this issue.

The disease issues I will not guess at. Without knowing fairly exactly what the issue is, using medications can make things worse. If no one comes along on this issue, PM bettababy.

Byron.
 

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Nothing to do with fish but that high nitrate isn't even safe for people to drink, especially young children. :| This is city water? Gosh, shocking.
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If no one comes along on this issue, PM bettababy.
Byron.
I have already sent a PM to Bettababy on Termie's behalf, and am really hoping that she finds a moment to stop on here and give some advice. He could really use it. . .

Nothing to do with fish but that high nitrate isn't even safe for people to drink, especially young children. :| This is city water? Gosh, shocking.
It IS shocking, isn't it? Terrible. If you check one of Termie's last threads, he goes into more detail about the issues with his tap water. It's really a terrible situation, he has people checking into it with more sophisticated tests than API, but. . . well, I don' t know what they'll really be able to do about it, aside from get more accurate results. What a mess.
 

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Yep, horrible. Just like how nitrate (and nitrite/ammonia) make it hard for fish to transport oxygen in their blood, the same for people.. Young babies are really vulnerable to nitrate, it's called blue baby syndrome.

Anyways, a complaint should be made to the city, and any other health authorities you have in the states. If it's well water then you have to deal with it yourself, but the city should take better care of it's water supply.
I can only imagine it's from manure/mine runoff into the water, and there are ways to filter it out.
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Oh my goodness. It sounds like you've got some serious issues with your water. I hope you can get it fixed.

I think I have an answer for what is growing on your male molly. It looks like lymphocystis (sometimes called cauliflower disease), a viral infection that is typically nonfatal. I had a betta that came down with this a few months ago. Since it's very difficult to the see the image on the video, I encourage you to look up images of fish with lympho infections and compare that to your fish.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
AbbeysDad has high nitrates in his tap water and posted his remedy some time back; PM him and he should have some advice on this issue.

The disease issues I will not guess at. Without knowing fairly exactly what the issue is, using medications can make things worse. If no one comes along on this issue, PM bettababy.

Byron.
Thanks Byron, Yes I have read through his thread and ran the method I plan to do by him. The point is I have to spend constant money in order to keep the nitrates down--which really sucks...

Looking into seeing how much a home system is.

Nothing to do with fish but that high nitrate isn't even safe for people to drink, especially young children. :| This is city water? Gosh, shocking.
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Yes this is City Tap Water. I am in the process of writing a letter/article on the issue. I will post it on here soon which will address many Nitrate issues, its health concerns and what you can do about it.

I'm coordinating with a few local organizations in order to address the problem to the community.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Oh my goodness. It sounds like you've got some serious issues with your water. I hope you can get it fixed.

I think I have an answer for what is growing on your male molly. It looks like lymphocystis (sometimes called cauliflower disease), a viral infection that is typically nonfatal. I had a betta that came down with this a few months ago. Since it's very difficult to the see the image on the video, I encourage you to look up images of fish with lympho infections and compare that to your fish.
Out of all the pictures I found only one possibly looked like what he has. It is possible but those look really bad. He did get Dropsy as a result of this I think. Someone advised that this parasite/bacteria w/e it is will keep doing this until either the fish dies or it dies.

I think that this "growth" looks something like this (I drew this on a sticky note):



If you are right, wouldn't it do what I described and give the fish Dropsy every so often? And if so, would the Tetracycline Hydrochloride take care of it?
 

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Most of the images I found of lympho infections were pretty bad. It is possible that he could have a parasite infection, but you are treating the tank with prazi (a strong anti-parasitic) and you should have seen some reduction. Attached is an image of my betta's lympho infection as a comparison. It wasn't a bad case

Lympho won't outright kill the fish. It will weaken the fish and allow other opportunistic infections like fungus or parasites to creep in. As dropsy is thought to be a bacterial infection, then yes, your fish could come down with dropsy every once in a while. As for a cure for dropsy, I'm not too sure. I've never dealt with it, and it seems like every aquarist has their own cure for it. If something has worked for you before, try it again.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Most of the images I found of lympho infections were pretty bad. It is possible that he could have a parasite infection, but you are treating the tank with prazi (a strong anti-parasitic) and you should have seen some reduction. Attached is an image of my betta's lympho infection as a comparison. It wasn't a bad case

Lympho won't outright kill the fish. It will weaken the fish and allow other opportunistic infections like fungus or parasites to creep in. As dropsy is thought to be a bacterial infection, then yes, your fish could come down with dropsy every once in a while. As for a cure for dropsy, I'm not too sure. I've never dealt with it, and it seems like every aquarist has their own cure for it. If something has worked for you before, try it again.
The Dropsy would come as a result of this disease. I can take this fish and quarantine him to treat with the Tetracycline Hydrochloride which is for bacterial infections. I already treated for parasites and it didn't work.

I am also really concerned about one of my Bolivian Rams. Two of them have sectioned off the 20 gallon tank each side for themselves. The third gets this little back end corner of nothing and is hiding and I saw stringy white poop coming out the past two days while the treatment has been done for a few days before that. He is still pale in color but i have seen him nibble and has a little orange in his belly. Any suggestions on what to do about this fish?

I don't really want to get a quarantine tank but do you think a 1.75 gallon could serve a quarantine tank for either of these fish for the duration of a treatment. I think the Bolivian Rams is more severe and life threatening, therefore it should be taken care of first. The mollies he can live with for a bit longer so I want to focus on the Ram.

Thanks everyone for the help so far. Koi, thanks for the advice, I will most likely end up treating for what you suggested as it seems to be the most likely of things to be so far.
 

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On the Bolivian Ram issue; a 20g is very small quarters for more than a pair (male/female) or a single Bolivian. Have you seen any sign of pushing, chasing, etc. by either of the other rams toward this one?

I have a male Bolivian in my 5-foot 115g tank. I managed to find a female and added it. He seemed to accept her, and they went through 4 spawnings, then he decided he no longer wanted her around and killed her simply by always going after her. Rams are territorial, and a male will always take the entire tank as "his" and they only bond with the female they choose.

Byron.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
On the Bolivian Ram issue; a 20g is very small quarters for more than a pair (male/female) or a single Bolivian. Have you seen any sign of pushing, chasing, etc. by either of the other rams toward this one?
Yes I have noticed the two main healthy ones created a border where the wood is. They will have stand offs/pushing ramming battles there. Both of them will chase the third one away to the back of the tank. The plan is to move these fish into the 29, I just wanted to treat them separately from all my other fish in case they were sick.

I can move them into the 29 right now if necessary--more on this below.

I have a male Bolivian in my 5-foot 115g tank. I managed to find a female and added it. He seemed to accept her, and they went through 4 spawnings, then he decided he no longer wanted her around and killed her simply by always going after her. Rams are territorial, and a male will always take the entire tank as "his" and they only bond with the female they choose.

Byron.
I will have to sex all three of my Rams. They may all three be male, which I think they are, although I thought I chose at least one female.

This was the main reason I listed all of the tanks available to move fish into.

29 Gallon Community Tank that will be turned into a soft water tank slowly. Neons and Cories The male molly in here will be moved to the 20 gallon tank.

20 Gallon Community Tank that will stay hard water with Platys and Mollies.

10 Gallon Community Tank - Unknown Outcome

Fish that need to be decided on where to put:

1 Female Kribensis Cichlid
1 Male Dwarf Gourami
3 Male(possible) Bolivian Rams

I'm quite sure with the barriers, plants and everything in the 29 I can put in a weird combination in there that would not normally work. Thoughts?

Thanks for the help.
 

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Staying on the Bolivian issue, you do not have any tanks listed that are sufficient in area for 3 Bolivians, or two males.

If you read our profile it mentions that in its habitat this fish occurs in isolation, only pairing up to spawn. Placed in the small confines of any tank there will be trouble. I would almost guarantee the "sickness" of the one Bolivian is solely due to the aggressin from the other two. If you separate the "sick" one i would expect it to recover. If not, I can all but assure you it will be dead soon.

If two of the three are together, they are likely male/female. Two female might tolerate each other, but they wouldn't be defending a territory.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Staying on the Bolivian issue, you do not have any tanks listed that are sufficient in area for 3 Bolivians, or two males.

If you read our profile it mentions that in its habitat this fish occurs in isolation, only pairing up to spawn. Placed in the small confines of any tank there will be trouble. I would almost guarantee the "sickness" of the one Bolivian is solely due to the aggressin from the other two. If you separate the "sick" one i would expect it to recover. If not, I can all but assure you it will be dead soon.

If two of the three are together, they are likely male/female. Two female might tolerate each other, but they wouldn't be defending a territory.
I will take a picture of the three Rams to help identify the sex, although I do think all three are male. My original plan was to put the pair in the 29 and one in the 20, I may have to settle for this until I either set up another tank of can figure something else out. That is the reason I brought up the entire stocking issue.

For now, I can move the sick Ram into a quarantine tank when I get home today to assure his health. I just have to decide where to quarantine him.

My other concern once I Quarantine the Ram is that I will most likely end up with some kind of incompatibility unless I want to get rid of fish.
 

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I would not have a cichlid and gourami together- especially in a 10 gallon.
I'd move the gourami (is there a reason it's by itself?)
Since it's just QT 10 gallons should be fine for him for now.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
I would not have a cichlid and gourami together- especially in a 10 gallon.
I'd move the gourami (is there a reason it's by itself?)
Since it's just QT 10 gallons should be fine for him for now.
The gourami is being Quarantined. 3 weeks in right now.

The 10 gallon is my quarantine / hostpital / fry tank.

yeah the plan was the keep the gourami in the 10 gallon for good BUT I think the gourami would work better with the Rams than the Kribensis would.

That Kribensis is quite ferocious, but she stays away from the molly, cories and the school of tetras. I've only ever seen her chase all of them away while eating AND go after the old Bolivian Ram i had (burt) who died from Camallaus. I was going to keep her in the 20 gallon in the end with the mollies and platys, the only issue now being that all three rams can't go in the 29. Therefore I think I will have to keep 2 rams in the 29 (even though they wont be super happy about it), 1 ram in the 20, krib in the 10. The question is where does the gourami go? OR if I should keep 3 rams in the 29 and then everything is fine....

That is the stocking issue. Chesh suggested using a divider on the 10 gallon for now. Keeping the ram and gourami separated through the divider....

Tough spot...
 

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Holly molly things are complicated in the Termato fishery!! what a NIGHTMARE, think its time to stop adding to the collection, until things get less complicated. I hope you find some kind of agreeable resolution for everyone concerned. Would suck to loose another Ram. You know my feelings on Kribs, just looking at one now gives me acid reflux!

Not wanting to hijack your thread, as things are compacted enough as it is.... but,

I think I am possibly on the brink of some kind of pooping disaster..

Noticed my female honey gourami with long stringy poop today, first inch or so was normal then it went all thin and fine right up to the body. seen her do normal poops since, but seen the stringy stuff a couple times.

Also today noticed nearly all of my danios with poop hanging, which I have NEVER seen, let alone all at the same time, at least wasn't stringy though..

and then 2 of my platys seemed to have stringy poop too, although thats not unusual for them, couldn't really tell if it was the really thin stuff or not.

the reason I worry, I added 3 oto's at the weekend, I got them from my trusted LFS and didn't QT them, I never do as I don't have a QT tank.. I did notice at the LFS that in the platy tank there was one with long wispy white stringy poop, but the tank was around 50 tanks the other direction from where the oto tank was... not sure if the tanks are all connected or not? the oto's seem fine, no pooping issues, although I know fish can carry parasites etc.

What do you think I should do? just keep an eye on the pooping, see what happens? medicate with something? it would have to be the whole tank, and I got some cory's which I believe don't like meds eh?
 

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Holly molly things are complicated in the Termato fishery!! what a NIGHTMARE, think its time to stop adding to the collection, until things get less complicated. I hope you find some kind of agreeable resolution for everyone concerned. Would suck to loose another Ram. You know my feelings on Kribs, just looking at one now gives me acid reflux!

Not wanting to hijack your thread, as things are compacted enough as it is.... but,

I think I am possibly on the brink of some kind of pooping disaster..

Noticed my female honey gourami with long stringy poop today, first inch or so was normal then it went all thin and fine right up to the body. seen her do normal poops since, but seen the stringy stuff a couple times.

Also today noticed nearly all of my danios with poop hanging, which I have NEVER seen, let alone all at the same time, at least wasn't stringy though..

and then 2 of my platys seemed to have stringy poop too, although thats not unusual for them, couldn't really tell if it was the really thin stuff or not.

the reason I worry, I added 3 oto's at the weekend, I got them from my trusted LFS and didn't QT them, I never do as I don't have a QT tank.. I did notice at the LFS that in the platy tank there was one with long wispy white stringy poop, but the tank was around 50 tanks the other direction from where the oto tank was... not sure if the tanks are all connected or not? the oto's seem fine, no pooping issues, although I know fish can carry parasites etc.

What do you think I should do? just keep an eye on the pooping, see what happens? medicate with something? it would have to be the whole tank, and I got some cory's which I believe don't like meds eh?
Feed them some shelled peas. Fresh or frozen, just squeeze the peas out of their outer covering so you are just feeding the mush.
 
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