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Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 22
  1. Default Endler deaths :(

    0 Not allowed!
    A little over a month ago I set up a 5 gal Fluval Chi aquarium (10" x 10" x 12"). All stock have been received from the same LFS. Generally clean conditions, healthy looking stock. All fauna were drip acclimated. Dosing 0.1 mL of excell and 4 mL comprehensive (was 2 mL before new plants were added on 10/4) once a week. Dosing was done with a PWC on 10/8.

    -I planted the tank on 9/10, and on 9/17 I added 7 RCS.
    -About 10 days later one died after a power outage that appeared to stress all of the shrimp (decreased coloring etc). I also performed a large WC which may have stressed them (everything tested normally but after a storm it's hard to say what may have gotten into the water).
    -On 10/4, I added some more plants (these were not potted, so they may have come from a different source and appeared to have been grown immersed which I was pleased about) along with 4 male endlers and a single berried female RCS. Since then ammonia, nitrite have read 0ppm and nitrate has read <5 ppm.
    -Last Saturday, I observed that the temperature had dropped from 77 to 72, and the fish didn't seem happy. Many shrimp were hanging out by the heater (15 watt aquatop). This corresponded with a decrease in ambient temperature. I added a Hydor Theo 25 watt and put a piece of tupperware over the fountain to help retain heat.
    -Yesterday I removed the 15w heater. Temperature seemed stable, until this morning when I noticed it had dropped to 74.
    -This morning I found two endlers near the substrate breathing rapidly. I immediately removed the tupperware top fearing that I had impaired gas exchange overnight. I also performed a 30% pwc.

    My tapwater does come out with a pH of 8.2-8.6, that decreases with age. I try to age water sometimes, but sometimes I just treat it and add. pH in the tank runs 7.4 to 7.8 and is fairly steady. A 30% wc doesn't seem to cause any ill effect or elevation in pH. pH and temperature are the only parameters that have been unstable. Substrate is capped onyx sand, which is supposed to increase kH. It was last checked about a month ago and was 3-4 dkH.

    I noted one of the endlers was fairly weak the day I added him. There was a period where the fish and shrimp were both afraid of each other but they seemed to have gotten used to the digs after a couple days. I did however note that two of the fish (including the "runt" of the batch) were displaying clamped fins, but chalked it up to the temperature swings. I fully expected the weaker one not to make it, but I'm concerned that two seem to have been effected. The weakest one was clearly being out competed, and I now feel badly that I didn't intervene more aggressively and more promptly. After inspection there is some damage to the tail fins of the endlers that didn't make it.

    The other two appear healthy and active. I never observed any outright aggression between any of the group. The dorsal fin of one does appear slightly clamped which has me concerned, but both are active and curious. The black may be slightly less rich on the one that appears slightly stressed.

    Here is a picture of the first one to go. The second one looked similar and died within an hour of the first.

    Is there anything I could be missing? Aside from the temperature swings and possibly some minor pH swings, is there something I should be doing for these guys?

    Sorry for the book, just trying to cover all of my bases. I really appreciate anyone who takes the time to read through all this and share their advice.

  2. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Endlers are usually pretty tough but big temp swings can be really hard on fish. Do you temp match your new water to the tank when doing water changes? Have you lost any RCS?

    Did you QT your new fish? Whenever I buy new fish, I QT them and give them a dose of prazipro, never know what they have come in contact with.

    One time I forgot to plug the heater back in after a water change in my Endler tank. Found out the next week when I was doing my routine water change. Didn't lose any, Their water was like 68 or 70. There is a chance your Endlers were sick from the store.

  3. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Yes, I do match the temp or go a little warmer. I haven't lost any RCS except the one almost two weeks ago. The one who appeared weak from the store was in fact the second to pass. I imagine it may have been stress related as it was a fairly new shipment, but I wanted to see if there was something I was missing as well. The temp swing was rather rapid. I hadn't considered this in the design, but every time the water goes though the filter it passes through a sort of fountain where it is exposed to air over a high surface area. The temperature dropped 5 degrees overnight (and probably another few in the preceding few days as ambient temperature was fairly high before this cool fall front). It is currently requiring 40 watts of heaters to maintain 77 in a 65 degree atmosphere. The tupperware cover helps a lot, but I'm concerned that it might impair gas exchange.

    I don't currently have the resources to QT, and the tank is only stocked with the shrimp and now the endlers. If I were stocking more species or a larger tank I would certainly set up a QT.

    I know both endlers and RCS are theoretically adaptable to fairly cold temperatures (as low as 60 per some sources, but I'd have trouble believing that), so if I can get things stabilized I might try to gradually decrease the temperature to save energy this winter. However I'll have to be aware of how sensitive this aquarium is to ambient temperature.
    Last edited by Zerileous; 10-12-2013 at 02:08 AM.

  4. Default

    1 Not allowed!
    What temp are you aiming for? 77-78 would be best. With such a small heater, you really aren't saving much power by running the tank at a lower temp. Not worth it IMO. Stable is the most important thing when it comes to temperature, as I'm sure you are aware. Hopefully you can prevent future swings.

  5. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Yeah 77 is the goal. Currently running a hydor theo 25 watt and aquatop 15 watt (not adjustable set at 77)

  6. #6


    1 Not allowed!
    The optimum temperature range for the Endler, Poecilia (Acanthophacelus) wingei, is 24-30C/75-86F. But having said that, night-time drops to the low 70's would probably not cause deaths. Tropical waters do have temperature fluctuations between day and night, something many don't recongnize, and by several degrees. But I am not certain if the natural habitat of this species experiences these; the species is native to Campoma and Buena Vista coastal lagoons in NE Venezuela, in very hard and alkaline lakes which would tend to retain uniform temperatures more than streams.

    Which brings me to the GH which you didn't mention. Do you know the GH of the tap water (and presumably tank would be the same)? The GH is really more important to fish than pH. KH has no effect on fish whatsoever, since it merely buffers (to some degree) the pH.


  7. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    My tapwater varies from 5-8 dGH. This might be why they are struggling, although it is low I was under the impression that they are pretty adaptable to soft water.

  8. #8


    1 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Zerileous View Post
    My tapwater varies from 5-8 dGH. This might be why they are struggling, although it is low I was under the impression that they are pretty adaptable to soft water.
    This is certainly going to add stress to Endlers, having such soft water. And of course, any "stress" is to be avoided as it weakens fish so they then become more susceptible to other issues. This may be what is happening here.

    The GH range for this fish is minimum 10 dGH and upwards to 35 dGH which is so hard we can safely say there really is no upper limit. All livebearers have a real need for mineral in the water, as it is part of how they are made physiologically. When the GH is not at least moderately hard (10 dGH and above) they do slowly weaken. Some, like mollies and Endlers, weaken much faster.

    The easiest and safest way to achieve this is with the substrate, one that contains calcareous substances (sand or gravel made from limestone, dolomite, aragonite, crushed coral, marble, etc.). Adding this to the filter will raise pH but not the GH appreciably, as I have found out through trial and error.

    An alternative method is with commercial products like rift lake salts, livebearer salts, or mineral tonics such as Seachem's Replenish. This will obviously be much more expensive long-term than simply adding some substrate material. Their Equilibrium also increases GH, but is more geared toward plants than fish.


  9. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks for helping me suss that out byron! I just had a feeling I was missing something. My tank is actually fairly heavily planted, so equilibrium might be best. It shouldn't be difficult to mix a solution to use during my water changes.

  10. #10


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Zerileous View Post
    Thanks for helping me suss that out byron! I just had a feeling I was missing something. My tank is actually fairly heavily planted, so equilibrium might be best. It shouldn't be difficult to mix a solution to use during my water changes.
    The plants won't benefit much more from Equilibrium, as your initial GH is sufficient for their calcium and magnesium needs. I use this product, as my tap water is near zero in GH, and in two tanks I raise the GH to 5 dGH with Equi8librium. My other planted tanks I don't, as the plants in those seem fine with just the calcium/magnesium level in Flourish Comprehensive. I also have soft water fish, mostly wild caught, so the lower the GH down to zero the better.

    My point in the above is that when the fish are the issue for minerals, Equilibrium is not the best solution. Replenish would be much better as it would target the fish needs. Seachem told me in response to my direct questio on the two products that the minerals in Replenish are such that fish can readily use them, but plants cannot. Equilibrium is somewhat opposite, as they put it.

    But having gone down this road many years ago with rift lake cichlids and livebearers, both of which need harder water than what I have, I found calcareous substrates to be very easy. They last for years, slowly adding mineral to the water. I used dolomite which was readily available then, but there are many more suitable substrates on the market now, some made by CarribSea and others. Those intended for rift lake fish or even marine will work, so long as there is no sodium salt in the mix. I recently had success with CarribSea's sand made from crushed coral and aragonite.


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