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Results 1 to 10 of 12
  1. Question Golden Pencil Fish dropping like flies?


    0 Not allowed!
    So I managed to get the LFS to order me in some golden pencil fish after searching around for them for a couple months since starting my tank back up. Well, the research I did on the fish seemed to show that they weren't any harder to take care of than cardinal tetras, of which I have a school of a dozen. I picked up 8 to start with since they're pretty small and require a school to feel safe. Two died within 12hrs and then the rest seemed alright. So I took the two dead back to the store, got them swapped out, but also picked up 2 more, bringing the total to 10. Now three days later I'm sitting at 6 fish, almost one fish has died per day. Before I added the fish I had performed a water change and made sure my water parameters were in the clear, which everything checked out. All my tests show my water is still pristine, so why are they all dieing on me? I keep an acidic soft water aquarium which should be replicating the native environment for these little guys. The 6 I have left however have all colored up really well and are eating well, so I hope I don't lose anymore. Is there something wrong with my tank, or is just because the fish are from a chain store and who knows where they came from?

    Water parameters:
    pH- 6.0
    nitrite- 0
    nitrate- 0
    ammonia- 0
    kh- 71.6
    70 Gal Planted Rio Negro Angelfish Biotope with:
    1 Whip Tail Pleco
    7 Hatchet fish
    11 Glo Light tetras, 6 Black Skirted Tetras
    6 Bronze Corys
    3 Wild Type Angelfish
    Current Plants:
    Giant Amazon Sword, Narrow Leaf Java, Val, moss on driftwood


  2. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Nitrate should be between 5 and 15 ppm. Zero nitrate is indicative of uncycled tank. Your pH being 6.0 is very acidic and at the lower thresh hold of acidity tolerance for those fish....but in the thresh hold none the less.

    Overview sounds like you are knowledgable about fish keeping, many times the shock of transporting fish is just too much for them. How did you acclimate them to the new tank? HOw long were they in the bag? How cold did they get in transport? (wintertime is rough on fish). Sometimes, unfortunately, fish will have a death sentence before they even leave the LFS tanks and its just rotten luck.

    Give it a week or two and if the remaining 6 fish are thriving, then try again to boost the school to the desired population.
    55 Gallon Freshwater Tank (semi-planted) 48"x21"x13"

    Video of 55GAL Tank - DEC 2012

  3. #3

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    [QUOTE=FreakyFishie;1128367 I keep an acidic soft water aquarium which should be replicating the native environment for these little guys. [/QUOTE]

    + 1 to above - You "keep" an acidic soft water aquarium - Does this mean you are doing something to alter the pH in your tank? For how long did you acclimate your fish before putting them into the tank?
    46 gal fw tank with black skirt tetras, neon tetras, spotted corys, cherry barbs, otoclinus, snails & 4 amano shrimp - plastic & live plants
    5 gal QT
    Remember: Our job is to take care of the water our fish live in

  4. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by ddavis1979 View Post
    Nitrate should be between 5 and 15 ppm. Zero nitrate is indicative of uncycled tank.
    The nitrate in my tank always goes down to 0 right after a water change, it's normally around 5-10. It's takes a few days for it to bump back up.
    Quote Originally Posted by ddavis1979 View Post
    How did you acclimate them to the new tank?
    I don't have any special acclimation supplies, I sit the bag in the tank until it becomes tank temp, then I empty about a quarter of the water out and refill with tank water, wait a little bit and so on and so forth until most of the water in the bag is tank water.
    Quote Originally Posted by ddavis1979 View Post
    HOw long were they in the bag?
    They were in the closed bag for about a half hour/forty five minutes because of the drive back from the store+acclimating to tank temperature.
    Quote Originally Posted by ddavis1979 View Post
    How cold did they get in transport?
    Not sure if you're referring to the shipping transport or the transport from store to home, I obviously wouldn't know the first one, but the weather where I am was warmish the night/day they shipped into the store, not tropical warm though, probably was around 50-60F. On the drive home they stayed at room temp, which is the same as they were in store. The store I shop at doesn't do anything special for their fish, they all have the same water, same temp, same chemistry. They also I believe only use tap water, which where I am is ATROCIOUS for fish. I don't really shop with them much except for plants, they just happened to be able to order these guys in and petsmart wouldn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by andreahp View Post
    You "keep" an acidic soft water aquarium - Does this mean you are doing something to alter the pH in your tank?
    Yes, yes I do. The tap water where I live is god awful city water, it has chlorine, the kh is off the charts (when I used the API liquid test, I used 16 drops in the test tube of water and it NEVER went yellow). So I use a mix of dechlorinated tap water with RO water that I get from a fellow aquarium fan. The tap water is then additionally treated with Seachem Acid buffer, which supposedly also softens the water by particulating the minerals in the tap water and makes them precipitate out, which then gets sucked up by my filter. The tap and RO water are set to the proper pH before being added to my tank. A water change seems to take FOREVER, it takes at least 4 hours while I wait for all the chemicals to settle to be sure that my tank won't have any water swings. Of course the reason for the RO+tap mix is to keep some minerals in the water to keep it buffered enough so the pH doesn't suffer any bad swings and stress. All in all is sort of a pain to regulate a soft water tank where I live. I also keep peat in my filter, that was more to make a blackwater effect, but it hasn't worked yet :/.
    Last edited by FreakyFishie; 01-29-2013 at 04:35 PM.
    70 Gal Planted Rio Negro Angelfish Biotope with:
    1 Whip Tail Pleco
    7 Hatchet fish
    11 Glo Light tetras, 6 Black Skirted Tetras
    6 Bronze Corys
    3 Wild Type Angelfish
    Current Plants:
    Giant Amazon Sword, Narrow Leaf Java, Val, moss on driftwood


  5. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I just performed another Nitrate test and now they're between 5-10ppm. It's always so hard to tell the exact color lol.
    70 Gal Planted Rio Negro Angelfish Biotope with:
    1 Whip Tail Pleco
    7 Hatchet fish
    11 Glo Light tetras, 6 Black Skirted Tetras
    6 Bronze Corys
    3 Wild Type Angelfish
    Current Plants:
    Giant Amazon Sword, Narrow Leaf Java, Val, moss on driftwood


  6. #6

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Could the replacement water you add after a water change be at a different pH the tank water ?

    It does sound like you are taking all the right steps to prevent this. I was just wondering if you had tested the pH just to double check. That would be my only guess as you did not mention if you have tested the pH or not in your above post.
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

  7. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff View Post
    Could the replacement water you add after a water change be at a different pH the tank water ?

    It does sound like you are taking all the right steps to prevent this. I was just wondering if you had tested the pH just to double check. That would be my only guess as you did not mention if you have tested the pH or not in your above post.
    In my long winded reply I mentioned that I do make sure that the pH of the water entering the tank matches :)
    70 Gal Planted Rio Negro Angelfish Biotope with:
    1 Whip Tail Pleco
    7 Hatchet fish
    11 Glo Light tetras, 6 Black Skirted Tetras
    6 Bronze Corys
    3 Wild Type Angelfish
    Current Plants:
    Giant Amazon Sword, Narrow Leaf Java, Val, moss on driftwood


  8. #8

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I'm at a loss to give any advice because it sounds like you know what you are doing.

    Golden pencilfish IME are about the hardiest of their species so maybe it's the store you bought them from. Is the store close enough that you can go back and see how many they have lost?
    Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.
    Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.
    -Vince Lombardi

    “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” ― John Wooden
    Sandy Hook Elementary......Lest We Forget
    See my profile for my tanks and what fish I keep

  9. #9

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by FreakyFishie View Post
    In my long winded reply I mentioned that I do make sure that the pH of the water entering the tank matches :)
    Sorry about that, I missed that part
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

  10. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by steeler1 View Post
    I'm at a loss to give any advice because it sounds like you know what you are doing.

    Golden pencilfish IME are about the hardiest of their species so maybe it's the store you bought them from. Is the store close enough that you can go back and see how many they have lost?
    I'm actually starting to think they were mislabeled in the store as 'golden' I think they might really be three stripe pencil fish. I know for sure they're a pencil fish species because of the fin ratio, head shape and tiny tiny mouths. I tried to get a good pic of them, what species do you think they are? Mislabeled or no? Unfortunately these fish sold really fast, when I went to exchange the two that had died there were only 6. So I'm not even sure if the store has any anymore. I do know that they brought ich into my tank...again...so gotta deal with that. The 6 are still looking good though.

    Fishies:

    I know its hard to see, but they have bright red on their lower fins.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff View Post
    Sorry about that, I missed that part
    'tis okay
    70 Gal Planted Rio Negro Angelfish Biotope with:
    1 Whip Tail Pleco
    7 Hatchet fish
    11 Glo Light tetras, 6 Black Skirted Tetras
    6 Bronze Corys
    3 Wild Type Angelfish
    Current Plants:
    Giant Amazon Sword, Narrow Leaf Java, Val, moss on driftwood


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