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Thread: Sick Fish

  1. #11

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Kati1999 View Post
    I appreciate all the water change suggestions but I feel like that is the most obvious answer. I guess I was looking for a little more in-depth response like what exactly could be wrong with the fish (ie ich, fungal infection, pop eye, etc) and what needs to be added to the water to fix the fish before they die as well.

    In depth responses require in depth information to diagnose the issue that is why knowing your parameters are so important. AC members want nothing more to assist you but misdiagnosing the issue can be possibly lead to more problems. It would also help if you could post a picture of the fish you are having the problem with to assist with a proper diagnosis and and course of action.

    While I realize that a water change will correct the levels in the tank, will it fix the fish or do I need to do something in addition?

    When in doubt, do a water change. This is especially helpful if the issue is popeye or finrot.

    Considering not all my fish are sick I would like to save as many as possible. I've noticed that most of the instructions on the treatments at the store direct you to use the product for a week or so and then do a water change. Will doing a water change mid treatment mess up the progress in treatment? I was planning a water change and gravel vacuuming since that is when the "treatment" I initially started at the on set of this problem would be complete. Being that I work full time, have a small child, and are pregnant, mid-week massive tank cleanings are extremely difficult if not impossible.

    I know your not going to like this answer but a 50% water change on a 20 gallon tank can be a piece of cake, you may want to look into a python water changer. I have a 10 gallon, 45 gallon & 135 gallon, work 5-7 days a week and take care of elderly parents and pets and do minimum 50% changes 1 to 3 times a week. Is there someone who can help you out since I do realize being pregnant does make things much more difficult for you.

    With no real diagnosis or idea of what to do other than a water change, I stopped by my big box pet store last night and picked up a treatment that is supposed to help with ammonia and nitrate levels and Melafix. I realize that the ammonia fix is a temporary solution and I still need to do a good water change but I felt it would be an immediate help until I have time to properly fix the levels. I haven't tested yet (my kit seems to have grown legs as many thing in my house do) but I agree that it is possible that the ammonia and nitrates are high.

    What exactly are these products that help with ammonia & nitrates? You're adding a lot of stuff to your tank in addition to the Melafix? Without testing for those parameters you could just be compounding the problem.

    Have any of you had any experience with the Melafix? It seems to have helped the Glo fish's eye and no other fish are showing signs of illness so I think I may have at least stopped the problem from progressing which was my immediate goal.

    I have used both Melafix & Pimafix when I was not able to diagnose a problem of either bacterial or fungal infection. I was able to use the product and do large water changes, adding the Melafix & Pimafix for the amount of water I changed. Glad to hear the problem is not progressing but it's really important to find out what caused it or it most likely will occur again.

    Again I do appreciate the suggestions and help in this matter, just looking for a little less obvious of an answer.

    As for losing a fish and not noticing, that's not possible. I keep a close watch on my fish and the tank is right beside the couch in our living room. I think my husband and I spend more time staring at it than the TV these days. I love to observe their behavior and watch the ecosystem at work. So to note, there have been no signs of aggression, everyone is still eating as they should (even those that died were eating normally up until death), and the Tetras are still schooling.

    Thanks again for all the help and attention to my tank issues.
    Have you managed to find that test kit yet? Lol. Please post the info when you can & hopefully we can help further.
    _______________________________________________


  2. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I have managed to find all the parts of my water test kit. As suspected my ammonia and nitrites were slightly high and I'm guessing that the blind dosage of Nite-Out II (that's what I added the other day JudiJetson, not a whole bunch of stuff just one lol. I realized after your response that it sounded as if I was just adding chemical after chemical) brought the levels down to a manageable level. This plus the Melafix probably saved my poor little fish, thankfully.

    I'm still planning a major water change for this weekend when I have to vacuum the rock and trim back my plants. This will make sure that there isn't a built up of excess food and junk that is just going to put me back in the same spot again.

    I have a sneaky suspicion that part of my problem and the reason for the sudden on set of illness maybe the fact that I was out of town for 5 days and my husband was left to care for everything. I suspect some over feeding occurred while I was away. My husband, bless his heart, isn't home much and doesn't have the responsibility of taking care of our pets on a daily basis so I think much of this stems from his inexperience. lol I've come to this conclusion from the reading I've done on brown algae being caused by over feeding. My tank as had an outbreak of it as well but I was much less concerned about it than the sick fishies, hence why I'm just now mentioning it.

    Or is brown algae caused more by poor lighting? I can't really find an answer that is definite and reliable and opinions seem to range between over feeding and poor lighting as to the cause.

    What products would anyone recommend for making water changes easier? My tank is a 20 gallon half moon so it's taller than it is wide. My water sources are on the complete opposite end of the house so up until now I've been using a simple bucket and manual vacuum for cleaning the rocks and gallon pitchers to refill so I can add the chemicals for the amount of water replaced. So far this has been adequate but I will admit the it does discourage more frequent water changes. Again my husband works A LOT so anything that would avoid needing his assistance and me lifting more than 30lbs at this time would definitely be an improvement.

    Also, back to the sick tetra, will his eye get better? It is looking much better but he does seem to have lost vision in that eye.

    Sorry for all the questions but my 3.5 year old son keeps me on my toes so I wanted to ask all this while I could. lol Thanks again for the suggestions and help!

  3. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Kati1999 View Post
    As suspected my ammonia and nitrites were slightly high
    Slightly hi does not help us diagnose. We need to know exactly what your ammonia, nitrites and nitrates read so we can help you. Please tell us those numbers. If ammonia and nitrites are anything BUT 0 your tank is not cycled and toxins from the ammonia and nitrites can be making your fish ill or kill them. If your nitrates are over 20 - again, toxins can be harming your fish. that's why everyone is suggesting water changes. ONLY water changes can bring those toxins down by reducing ammonia and nitrites and nitrates. And only then can your fish start improving.

    and I'm guessing that the blind dosage of Nite-Out II (that's what I added the other day JudiJetson, not a whole bunch of stuff just one lol. I realized after your response that it sounded as if I was just adding chemical after chemical) brought the levels down to a manageable level. This plus the Melafix probably saved my poor little fish, thankfully.
    Again,as everyone has been telling you, WATER changes are what will help your fish. The nite out is not the answer. Melifix MAY help if it's fin rot but again, water changes are the best cure for fin rot too. So save your money and do water changes

    I'm still planning a major water change for this weekend when I have to vacuum the rock and trim back my plants. This will make sure that there isn't a built up of excess food and junk that is just going to put me back in the same spot again.
    You need to do a water change ASAP - not wait - if, as I said above, you have anything but 0 ammonia and nitrites or over 20 nitrates.

    I have a sneaky suspicion that part of my problem and the reason for the sudden on set of illness maybe the fact that I was out of town for 5 days and my husband was left to care for everything. I suspect some over feeding occurred while I was away. My husband, bless his heart, isn't home much and doesn't have the responsibility of taking care of our pets on a daily basis so I think much of this stems from his inexperience. lol I've come to this conclusion from the reading I've done on brown algae being caused by over feeding. My tank as had an outbreak of it as well but I was much less concerned about it than the sick fishies, hence why I'm just now mentioning it.
    Over feeding could cause a nitrate or even an ammonia spike. I know you're tired of hearing this but we need to know your water perimeter number and you need to do those big water changes

    Or is brown algae caused more by poor lighting? I can't really find an answer that is definite and reliable and opinions seem to range between over feeding and poor lighting as to the cause.
    Brown algae (diatoms) are generally present in newer tanks. Often they go away on their own. Often not. Sometimes they develop due to a combo of too much light, substrate that is high in silica and over feeding. It doesn't hurt your fish, it just looks ugly.

    What products would anyone recommend for making water changes easier? My tank is a 20 gallon half moon so it's taller than it is wide. My water sources are on the complete opposite end of the house so up until now I've been using a simple bucket and manual vacuum for cleaning the rocks and gallon pitchers to refill so I can add the chemicals for the amount of water replaced. So far this has been adequate but I will admit the it does discourage more frequent water changes. Again my husband works A LOT so anything that would avoid needing his assistance and me lifting more than 30lbs at this time would definitely be an improvement.
    purchase an Aquean water changer with a long hose. you can get 25 or 50 foot hoses. I use a 50 because I have the same issue you do. Makes the W/C a snap.

    Also, back to the sick tetra, will his eye get better? It is looking much better but he does seem to have lost vision in that eye.
    Again, without photos it's difficult to tell. glad he looks better.

    Sorry for all the questions but my 3.5 year old son keeps me on my toes so I wanted to ask all this while I could. lol Thanks again for the suggestions and help!
    You are clearly wanting to do this right. And while W/C is an 'obvious answer, in this case it is the correct one. Topping off a tank that has lost water due to evaporation is not a water change. Nothing can replace fresh water for your fish. Think of it as the fish living in a bathtub with the same dirty water day after day and no clean water added. You wouldn't want your environment to be that dirty.

    So - here's hoping all goes well and you get on top of the problem with ..... you guessed it. water changes. Daily if need be to get the ammonia and nitrites down to 0. You might want to read the cycling with fish thread in my signature line. I learned a lot when I was starting out by reading it. Wishing you much luck.
    30 g FW planted:corys, ABNP, blue angel, harleys, zebra danios, pair kribs, & nerite snails
    15 g FW planted: crown tail betta, neons, snails
    90 g FW semi planted: EBJD, congos, apple snails
    90 Gal Journal: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ad.php?t=93939
    Fishless cycling: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ead.php?t=5640
    Cycling with fish: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ad.php?t=36492

  4. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I do want to do this right and making water changes easier will help with that. Doing water change tomorrow. Can you give me more tips to make it easier? Tips on vacuuming with a planted tank and baby fish would be helpful as well.

    I think my tank has cycled because it's been up since November/December and from what I understand about cycling, that would have occurred several days after tank's initial set up. Is that not right? I did replace the filter but that was back in April/May and I used tank water to fill it.

    I do feel that this problem was caused by over feeding so this water change is going to take longer than just removing some water and replacing it with fresh. I'm going to have to vacuum in order to get junk out of the gravel, otherwise I would assume that I'm just going end up in the same place as before.

    The brown algae just started a couple of days ago along with my ill fish issues. Since I haven't seen it before I'm guessing they are related. My husband's pinches are apparently larger than mine.

    My experience in the past with aquariums, has been that replacing the evaporated water with fresh does spread out the need for significant water changes, which I do when I vacuum my gravel and trim back my plants. I don't know what the evaporation rates in your area are but in my area they are fairly high. My 10 gallon loses about a gallon a week, my beta bowl (that requires nothing but adding water and feeding and has been happy for over a year) doesn't have a lid and it requires around 1/4 a gallon a week (which is a good percentage when your dealing with 1.5 gallons) and my 20 gallon loses anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 gallons a week (which averages to approx. a 10% refill). This method is also the same method a friend of mine with a 55 gallon angel fish tank uses as well and her fish are thriving. My recent issues seem to stem from the recent over feeding for almost a week and not as much from the regular care I give to my fish. But I do appreciate the constructive critique.

    When I had similar issues with the 10 gallon I did water changes and still lost all my fish and they died almost over night. I'm was pretty sure that was ich at first because I had a fancy goldfish that I had moved from the big tank to the small to recover from injuries it got from an aggressive golden algae eater. I read that ich is caused by stress, etc. So I treated the tank as if that was the problem. Apparently I was wrong because even with water changes and Primafix, I still lost every fish including another survivor of an accidental birth.

    Since the water changes didn't work last time and they are a pain on my 20 gallon I reached out here for some ideas as to what could be wrong with the fish. I am taking all the suggestions into consideration and will start making adjustments to my maintenance plan in the future so maybe occasional over feedings won't be so devastating to my tank.

    I have tried to get a photo of the Glo fish but he won't stay still with the bad eye facing me long enough to tank a good one. This is also complicated by the half moon shape of my tank so I apologize, still no pics. I have a feeling that he will be blind permanently.

    Thank you again for all your help.

  5. #15

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Kati1999 View Post
    I do want to do this right and making water changes easier will help with that. Doing water change tomorrow. Can you give me more tips to make it easier? Tips on vacuuming with a planted tank and baby fish would be helpful as well.
    I suggest getting a clean turkey baster to use, especially around plants that hate their roots being disturbed. Also, you can take a clean pantyhose or sponge and put that over the vacuum to keep the fry safe.

    I think my tank has cycled because it's been up since November/December and from what I understand about cycling, that would have occurred several days after tank's initial set up. Is that not right? I did replace the filter but that was back in April/May and I used tank water to fill it.
    Yes, it likely has cycled on its own. It's still to be able to test the waters to know what's going on in there, in case there's a spike or your fish are suddenly unhealthy. The first thing people ask someone who posts about a sick fish is the water parameters, in case there was a spike or the cycle crashed.

    Replacing the filter, especially if you tossed out the old media and just used new, would have destroyed your cycle and started the process over from scratch. Still, your tank likely has some level of a cycle going.

    I do feel that this problem was caused by over feeding so this water change is going to take longer than just removing some water and replacing it with fresh. I'm going to have to vacuum in order to get junk out of the gravel, otherwise I would assume that I'm just going end up in the same place as before.
    Don't clean more than about 1/4 of your gravel per day or so. There's cycle bacteria in your gravel, and cleaning them could cause a mini-cycle to occur as bacteria have to grow and re-colonize the gravel.

    My experience in the past with aquariums, has been that replacing the evaporated water with fresh does spread out the need for significant water changes, which I do when I vacuum my gravel and trim back my plants. I don't know what the evaporation rates in your area are but in my area they are fairly high. My 10 gallon loses about a gallon a week, my beta bowl (that requires nothing but adding water and feeding and has been happy for over a year) doesn't have a lid and it requires around 1/4 a gallon a week (which is a good percentage when your dealing with 1.5 gallons) and my 20 gallon loses anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 gallons a week (which averages to approx. a 10% refill). This method is also the same method a friend of mine with a 55 gallon angel fish tank uses as well and her fish are thriving. My recent issues seem to stem from the recent over feeding for almost a week and not as much from the regular care I give to my fish. But I do appreciate the constructive critique.
    When water evaporates, it's just the pure H2O molecules that go up into the air. Everything else in the water, the minerals, the nitrates, any potential toxins still remain in the tank, and are now more concentrated. When you top off, then you're just adding whatever is in the water in as well. In the case of dissolved minerals that make water "hard", that means the water hardness creeps up over time, as would nitrates (which are toxic to fish, it just takes higher amounts to become toxic). An actual water change removes water with the higher concentrations of minerals, nitrates, etc. out of the tank and replaces it with new water that has lower concentrations of those things.

    When I had similar issues with the 10 gallon I did water changes and still lost all my fish and they died almost over night. I'm was pretty sure that was ich at first because I had a fancy goldfish that I had moved from the big tank to the small to recover from injuries it got from an aggressive golden algae eater. I read that ich is caused by stress, etc. So I treated the tank as if that was the problem. Apparently I was wrong because even with water changes and Primafix, I still lost every fish including another survivor of an accidental birth.
    Sometimes even the best fishkeepers in the world lose fish to illness, because the fish just doesn't respond to treatments. That doesn't mean that water changes aren't beneficial, or that a fish's chance of recovery is the same when regular water changes are used versus when they are not.

    I hope your fish get better!
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