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Hi all,

I would really appreciate some help with this :-? my partner and I recently began keeping tropical fish - we bought a 112 litre tank, cycled it for a week, had the water tested and was given the green light to get fish in there. We originally had 4 assorted platys, one of which we bought was pregnant... We also got 4 serpae tetra and 4 head and tail tetra. Unfortunately we had a head and tail tetra die of fin rot, days after we got him :cry: of course we treated the tank and the others seem to be absolutely fine now... The pregnant platy died after the birth of 23 platy fry.

We again had the water tested after the two died, and again our water tested fine! We do 25% water changes weekly, and of course treat the water with conditioner and pH powder as we know the tap water is slightly acidic...

We have also recently added a male and two female betta fish, a common pleco and two albino corydoras. They were all super happy and active, especially our corys who were excellent personalities - and one of our female bettas who likes being stroked!

When we bought the tank (an Aquael) it came with a filter, and heater, we recently installed a UV water steriliser to rid the water of its murky green hue. We have been silly novices and did a 50% water change after reading up a few of our poor fishies symptoms...

Now after conditioning the water and getting it tested (all perfect?!) - our poor boys and girls are gasping at the surface and crowding in to the corners. We read that it could be ammonia poisoning and obviously tested it, the level was slightly high and we treated that - but there is no change, some of the tetras and platys are perking up but our male betta, our corys are laid at the bottom and very still, pleco is still gasping and our betta is being drained of colour! :cry: It's really upsetting to see and would appreciate someone advising us how to get to the bottom of it?! I have attached photos.
 

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Off the top of my head it's a cycling issue. Get used to the 50% water changes, this is what is needed with a traditional cycle, fresh water is the best & cheapest thing around as far as preventive medication. Ditch the pH powder, it's causing a lot more problems than it's solving. What conditioner are you using?

Please fill out the following as much as possible, we'll need numbers, fine or perfect gives us no idea as to what those numbers are. Also, fine to a shop often isn't acceptable, shops concern themselves more with sales than long term care.

1. Size of tank?

2. Water parameters
a. Ammonia?
b. Nitrite?
c. Nitrate?
d. pH, KH and GH?
e. Test kit?

3. Temperature?

4. FW (fresh water) or BW (brackish)?

5. How long the aquarium has been set up?

6. What fish do you have? How many are in your tank? How big are they? How long have you had them?

7. Were the fish placed under quarantine period (minus the first batch from the point wherein the tank is ready to accommodate the inhabitants)?

8. a. Any live plants? Fake plants?
b. Sand, gravel, barebottom?
c. Rocks, woods, fancy decors? Any hollow decors?

9. a. Filtration?
b. Heater?

10. a. Lighting schedule? What lights are used?
b. Any sunlight exposure? How long?

11. a. Water change schedule?
b. Volume of water changed?
c. Well water, tap water, RO water?
d. Water conditioner used?
e. Frequency of gravel/sand (if any) vacuumed?

12. Foods?
How often are they fed?

13. a. Any abnormal signs/symptoms?
b. Appearance of poop?
c. Appearance of gills?

14. a. Have you treated your fish ahead of diagnosis?
b. What meds were used?

15. Insert photos of fish in question and full tank shot if necessary.


 
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Hi ellemarie and welcome to the forum.

Agree with Tolak here and I just want to add that you should remove your male betta immediately and give it it's own tank. Serpae tetra are going to nip at him relentlessly. Anything with long flowing fins is far too tempting to them. I had a school of them at one time and they can be relentless.

Keep an eye on those female bettas as well. They typically only do well in sororoties with lots of hiding spaces and they will establish a pecking order among themselves. I don't know what you're going to see with two in a mixed tank, just be aware that you might have a problem.
 
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Filled this in for Tolak - THANK YOU

Off the top of my head it's a cycling issue. Get used to the 50% water changes, this is what is needed with a traditional cycle, fresh water is the best & cheapest thing around as far as preventive medication. Ditch the pH powder, it's causing a lot more problems than it's solving. What conditioner are you using?

Filled this in, thank you.

Please fill out the following as much as possible, we'll need numbers, fine or perfect gives us no idea as to what those numbers are. Also, fine to a shop often isn't acceptable, shops concern themselves more with sales than long term care.

1. Size of tank? 112 litres

2. Water parameters
a. Ammonia? couldn't test?
b. Nitrite? 0mg
c. Nitrate? 0mg
d. pH, KH and GH? 7.2 pH, 20d KH & 8d GH
e. Test kit? Tetra test 6 in 1

Chlorine tested as 0, as we de-chlorinated with water change.

3. Temperature? 27.5 degrees C

4. FW (fresh water) or BW (brackish)? Fresh

5. How long the aquarium has been set up? 3 weeks

6. What fish do you have? How many are in your tank? How big are they? How long have you had them? - 1 male betta, 2 female betta, 2 albino corys, 3 head and tail tetra, 4 serpae tetra, 3 assorted platys, 1 common pleco -- none are bigger than 3 inches

7. Were the fish placed under quarantine period (minus the first batch from the point wherein the tank is ready to accommodate the inhabitants)? No

8. a. Any live plants? Fake plants? 5 live plants
b. Sand, gravel, barebottom? Gravel
c. Rocks, woods, fancy decors? Any hollow decors? 2 pieces of slate, 1 piece sandstone (possibly), 2 pieces of bogwood and a decor head

9. a. Filtration? Aquael fan 2+ and UV steriliser
b. Heater? Aquael heater AQN-100

10. a. Lighting schedule? What lights are used? Aquel lighting F24T5/D, about 6 hours of light at night.
b. Any sunlight exposure? How long? No direct sun light exposure - blinds are closed all day.

11. a. Water change schedule?
b. Volume of water changed? 25%
c. Well water, tap water, RO water? Tap water
d. Water conditioner used? INTERPET General Tonic and King British Filter Aid
e. Frequency of gravel/sand (if any) vacuumed? Weekly

12. Foods? Fluval Tropical Flakes & Bloodworms occasionally & King British Algae Wafers for bottom feeders
How often are they fed? Nightly.

13. a. Any abnormal signs/symptoms? Loss of colour in betta fish, crowding in corners at surface of tank, not feeding, struggling with buoyancy
b. Appearance of poop? Not for at least a day and a half
c. Appearance of gills? Checked and they seem fine.

14. a. Have you treated your fish ahead of diagnosis? We treated for ammonia when it tested high - tested for for fin rot and treated when diagnosed - same for swim bladder.
b. What meds were used? Waterlife Ammonia and Nitrite, Interpet Anti-Fungal and Fin Rot, Interpet Swim Bladder Treatment

15. Insert photos of fish in question and full tank shot if necessary. Already attached above, please let me know if you require further info and THANK YOU!
 

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Hi ellemarie and welcome to the forum.

Agree with Tolak here and I just want to add that you should remove your male betta immediately and give it it's own tank. Serpae tetra are going to nip at him relentlessly. Anything with long flowing fins is far too tempting to them. I had a school of them at one time and they can be relentless.

Keep an eye on those female bettas as well. They typically only do well in sororoties with lots of hiding spaces and they will establish a pecking order among themselves. I don't know what you're going to see with two in a mixed tank, just be aware that you might have a problem.
We have a small tank for this purpose, how quickly can we get it running for him? And will he survive for that long? The females have been perfect - they are called Angel and Demon - Angel is so friendly, enjoys being stroked and is always at the surface whenever we have our hands in there. Demon keeps herself to herself but is definitely not shy or aggressive... Again thank you for your advice.
 

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Do you have a heater for the small betta tank? Does it have a filter? You can do without a filter but you won't be able to cycle the tank without one. Good temps for a betta are between 78-82 farenheit.

I would isolate him asap even if your betta tank isn't cycled. You'll have to do very frequent water changes using a dechlorinator like Prime. If you can get your hands on some of that, I would.

As for the slime at the top of the tank, it's probably from the meds that were used. Do you have carbon available to remove the rest of the meds from the tank?
 

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Do you have a heater for the small betta tank? Does it have a filter? You can do without a filter but you won't be able to cycle the tank without one. Good temps for a betta are between 78-82 farenheit.

I would isolate him asap even if your betta tank isn't cycled. You'll have to do very frequent water changes using a dechlorinator like Prime. If you can get your hands on some of that, I would.

As for the slime at the top of the tank, it's probably from the meds that were used. Do you have carbon available to remove the rest of the meds from the tank?
The betta tank has a filter and a heater but neither are much good unfortunately, the heater is not automatic so we can't monitor it. He seems to be perking up slightly, he's out of the corner, but staying top-side. Unfortunately we don't have carbon, are there any alternatives? Is it worth, doing a 25% water change and topping up with pre-filtered water?
 

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Update:

Our male Betta seems to have perked up a little: he's out of his corner but still surfaced. I may be optimistic but his colour seems better. I'm convinced it is swim bladder as his buoyancy isn't great and is seemingly being led by the current. Still very worried about my corys and pleco: still no movement from them?
 

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Glad to hear he's a bit better but he should still come out of that tank asap. If you can get him set up in that other tank with a functioning heater, he will have a better chance of survival.

In the meantime, get some carbon to add to the main tank to remove unwanted nastys in the water, do 50% water changes daily until you get paramaters under control.

Do you have an airstone?
 

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Try to get a liquid test kit of ammonia & nitrite, or have a shop test them, as strips are famous for being inaccurate. The oily foam issue could be from meds, could be from cycling, floating a paper towel momentarily will remove this. If you can wedge the betta tank up against the side of the larger heated tank you will get some heat transfer to the smaller tank. Prime is one of the fishkeeping products I strongly suggest everyone have handy, and I'm pretty critical of products.

As Romad mentioned, 50% water changes daily, double dose with Prime to help with any ammonia/nitrite issues. Yea, 50% daily is a pain, I think we've all been there. What do you have for water change gear? There's plenty of easier ways to do it, I'd be a limping cripple if I didn't use hoses & pumps.
 
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