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Results 1 to 10 of 16
  1. Red face How so save my dying aquarium.

    0 Not allowed!
    For the pasts few months, my aquarium has been carreening towards destruction. It is a 20 gallon aquarium and this is the current stocking ratio:

    1 betta (rescued)
    4 guppies
    4 neon tetras
    8 panda corydoras (only bought 4...)
    3 otocinclus

    A few months ago, all of my female guppies died. The young f2 females each gave birth to their first litters, then became pale and died. I also lost one of my three males for unknown causes and one male died of an inverted rectum. I no only have three immature females, one adult male, and one immature male. I lost one immature male on Christmas eve. The eldest female is covered in patches of white slime.

    I believe the tank may be afflicted with some species of parasite which entered during with new plants, but I have found no way to thrawt them. I medicated two of the the three females (took some time to learn there was something wrong) and the male with API General Cure first, them one of two antiabcaterial medications I have, made by the same company, because I had no luck identifying the disease, but all failed. I tried in vain to medicate the community aquarium with API Fungus Cure which had previously thrawted several parasite and bacterial infections, but only succeeded in destroying the population of hydorzoan (which I actually wanted around >:(. ). I want to use one of the antiparasite medications on the aquarium, but either it or one of my bacterial infections decimated my plants. I used all three back to back to save the guppies on another occasion, so I do not know which, if not all three, are too toxic. The final one did kill the disease, whatever it was, but my plants died off. I only lost two, but many of my swords came pretty close to giving up. It took six months to regrow. Because I planted only five months ago, the aquarium cannot handle another chem-bombing, especially with one of my Amazon swords sending up a double flower spike.

    I cannot identify what the affliction is and even if I did cure guppies one by one, they would probably become sick again upon reintroduction. I appear to have two choices. I can medicate the tank with one wave after another of the three medicines and watch my plants struggle with defoliation. Or I can keep trying with weak medicines and watch my guppies die. All of my guppies in this family line have been killed by disease and I do not want to end it at filial generation 4.

    To make matters even better, I purchased a guppy about two weeks ago to my population a needed boost, but my parents got mad when I tried to quarantine her before introduction. My mother and father cannot be reasoned with and they ALWAYS have to be right (these same people killed my hermit crabs with neglect by preventing them from buying a heater and sponge to increase humidity.) I have learned that I cannot try anything new with them, but that is a different story. To summarize, I told them the importance of quarantine and ignored me. Then they told me to put it in the aquarium or I could never purchase any fish again and essentially starve away my last hobby they have not hacked apart. I added her and she lasted a few days before dying. The slimy skin on my current immature female only became a symptom after I added her, so I introduced ANOTHER disease into my aquarium. My thoughts are "So your new guppy died and introduced a disease into your aquarium; well that's always fun *eyeroll*". If you think it could not get any worse, you are mistaken.

    I have been having problems with nitrate this past two weeks. My guppies appear to be suffering from nitrogen poisoning and the one otto NOT missing in action (I have need seen more than one at the same time in days) appears to be oxygen starved. My aquarium became overcrowded as a result the constant breeding of the cories and the guppies. Toxins were never a problem, but they appear to have come full force spontaneously. I clean the water every day and it only gets worse and worse. Nothing has died and I increase the rationing of their food. I remove rotting matter, but nothing helps. The cories are the only problem, but I have nowhere to put them. I kill so many of their fry with my second betta, but five made it through the "blockade" and I do not have the courage to place them on a cutting board and dice them up like sushi *shivers*. The same with the guppies, except I kind of want more of them because I created a pretty little "setting sun" breed. I have decided to just let the shoal of neon tetras die off, and because the betta was rescued I have NO intentions of replacing it when it eventually expires.

    This is my second independant aquarium and it is sixteen months old, but it has never had more than a two months of peace without me needing to go to war with some surprise out of nowhere disease. The first was long ago retired and it had a good run in spite of my rooky mistakes. I have been reading fish books since I was three years old, so I know what I am doing. My family kept and aquarium because of me, but it was pretty messed up now that I know what is right and wrong and I regret so many things we all did (so very sorry for buying you artificially dyed brackish-water glassfish).

    I am bad at treating diseases because this element has only been in my life for this aquarium and I have a 0% recovery rate. I actually know when fish are going to die based on when I medicate them. Those who do recover have usually been weakened so heavily that they die anyways. I try so hard to identify and counter, but I admit that I am a failure and now my aquarium is going to die. My medical resources are low and more serious treatments, such as raw chemicals to kill the parasite such as salt and iodine, scare me to much to try. Also I cannot be too "obsessed" of my parents will take away my last hobby (R.I.P. : ants, stick insects, hermit crabs, microscopy, gardening, orchid breeding, botany, and other "waste of time" hobbies), so I am limited. My aquarium is a falling star. I cannot even take care of all the diseases because I have so much to do in life. Even now I wanted to finish my college essay, but my fish will die if I wait until the first to seriously investigate. Should I just give up and use what I have until I buy my own house where I can take care of my "obsessions".

    Please help me.

  2. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    I used to do a 33% water change every week, but that has not been enough for two weeks now, and it only gets worse.

  3. #3


    0 Not allowed!
    Ordering all the information would help.

    Do you have a test kit? If so what are the readings on the tank and the tapwater?
    Cories are always in demand, why not give some away?
    Where in the world are you?

  4. #4


    0 Not allowed!
    +1 to the above questions. That information would be very helpful to try and figure out what is going on in your set-up. Knowing what your current parameters are for:ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH would be very helpful (both your tank and tap water)

    Quote Originally Posted by Angelshark8 View Post
    I used to do a 33% water change every week, but that has not been enough for two weeks now, and it only gets worse.
    Could you please clarify what you mean by the above statement ? Have you stopped completing 33% waterchanges

    What other type of routine maintenance do you complete on this set-up ?
    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=""]

  5. #5


    1 Not allowed!
    You provide a lot of words (and I will only read main sentences, sorry but I am rushed right now) but not water parameters! Like possible ammonia, and/or nitrite levels (filters crash, at times), and especially and most critically, nitrate level!!

    Nor the water changes you do - need amount/number; your one extra post about 33% every week tells us only what you were doing the last two weeks (if you did smaller/fewer WC in the past, then that was and IS causing your problems) and even that level is no where near enough for a tank with high nitrates. You do know that nitrates (unless you have a special algae filter or reactor) builds up in all tanks due to the filter converting deadly ammonia into this less but still toxic substance?

    So, here is my guess - your guess may be very correct - nitrate poisoning. Simple solution - near 100% water change. Also, I did not read the entire post so maybe you did say this but if you have a substrate (sand, especially,) Such a substrate can absorb a great deal of nitrates and release toxic levels of wastes in areas of the tank (due to 'dead zones or areas that have near zero oxygen due to special nitrate consuming bacteria growing.) This is caused by not cleaning the substrate properly: i.e. stirring the substrate when vacuuming out debris on the bottom of the tank. I would strongly suggest doing that (the tank will get VERY cloudy) and require another near 100% water change.

    Also, how often do you clean the filter (and what type is it?) Do you have chemically treated tap water (some type of chlorinated treatment?) and if so, do you only use old tank water to clean the filter? and for water changes do you neutralize that deadly chemical in the added water?

    As many will say - when in doubt, always do very large (50% +) water changes (being careful to keep pH in the tank withing 0.25 of the new water!) water change!

    Repost your water parameters , water change infro, and pH, as well as filtering system (and it cleaning method/time.)
    Last edited by Cermet; 12-30-2013 at 01:03 PM.
    Knowledge is fun(damental)

    A 75 gal with eight Discus, fake plants, and a lot of wood also with sand substrate. Clean up crew is down to just two Sterba's Corys. Filters: continuous new water flow; canister w/UV, in-tank algae scrubber!! Finally, junked the nitrate removal unit from hell.

    For Fishless cycling:

  6. #6


    0 Not allowed!
    Pictures are handy too, when diagnosing illness and tank condition.

  7. #7


    0 Not allowed!
    Use dechlorinated water, do a massive (near 100%) water change at the temperature the tank is set at. Your tank does not seem over stocked, but don't add any more fish, at all, until your tank is healthy.

    Do that thorough gravel vac recommended, as well. Guppies are messy, so that could cause a rapid increase in nitrate.

    Put some carbon in in your filter to get rid of lingering medications. The patchy slime kinda sounds like columnaris, but without a positive ID, DON'T treat. Pictures maybe?

    Try natural fixes first...always hesitate to put chemicals in.

    It's a shame about the QT tank situation, but 20g is small enough to make dosing it possible if you need to. Not preferred, but possible.
    20 gallon with a male betta, neons, glowlights, and red cherry shrimp. (work in progess) Recently added a few LIVE plants and driftwood, Woooohoooo!

  8. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Ammonia and nitrite are always 0. Nitrate was 30 +/- 5 ppm at the last test, but that was two weeks ago. I somehow managed lose my ammonia test kit some time ago, so that's a thing. I am going to the store today to stock up on more supplies and get a refill on the anti-fungal for the columnaris; I killed the disease last time with that medication, but I hope it is not too late. I am also using Christmas money to buy other supplies and I will clean, test, and medicate when I take a break from writing in a few hours.

  9. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    College essays are so long, but I will be only be offline five hours at a maximum.

  10. #10


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Angelshark8 View Post
    I am going to the store today to stock up on more supplies and get a refill on the anti-fungal for the columnaris; I killed the disease last time with that medication, but I hope it is not too late.
    Columnaris is NOT a fungus. It is bacterial. Please do your research before buying medications. Perhaps the reason it came back was because you used the wrong meds.
    20 gallon with a male betta, neons, glowlights, and red cherry shrimp. (work in progess) Recently added a few LIVE plants and driftwood, Woooohoooo!

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