Aquarium Forum

  · Tropical Fish Home
· Fish News
· Aquarium Forum
· Buy & Sell
· Calculators
· Equipment reviews
· Free Aquarium Ebook
· Feedback
· Link to us
· Photo gallery
· Plant species
· Tropica Plant DB
Tropical fish species
· By Common name
· By Scientific name
Tropical Marine fish
· By Common name
· By Scientific name

        Via paypal

  · African Cichlids
· Algae Control
· Aquarium Decoration
· Aquarium Resources
· Aquatic Plants
· Barb Fish
· Betta Fish
· Breeding Fish
· Catfish
· Central American Cichlids
· Cichlids
· Clownfish
· Corals
· Corydoras Catfish
· Discus Fish
· Dwarf Cichlids
· Fish Diseases
· Frogs and Turtles
· Goby Fish
· Goldfish
· Gourami
· Invertebrates
· Jellyfish
· Killiefish
· Lake Victoria Cichlids
· Livebearers
· Malawi Cichlids
· Marine Aquariums
· Marine Aquarium Fish
· Other Fish
· Pleco
· Predatory Fish
· Photography
· Pond Fish
· Responsible Fish Keeping
· Rainbow Fish
· Shark Fish
· South American Cichlids
· Tanganyika Cichlids
· Tetra Fish
· Tropical Fish Food
Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1

    Default Oh dear - Sickly American Flagfish

    0 Not allowed!
    I had hoped to make my first post an introduction/journal thread, but it looks like this is more important!

    All 5 of my american flags (4 females, 1 male) are looking sluggish. They're hanging around at the surface, loss of colour, not interested in food. All are shoaling very tightly.

    My WC was two days late due to a really hectic weekend - nitrates climbed between 20-40ppm but these guys have been in higher nitrates than that with no ill effects. WC was just over 50% - normally after water changes they are really active, and the male really tries to spawn with anyone. They haven't changed after the WC (performed a few hours after I noticed they were looking iffy)
    Temperature is at 26.
    No introduction of new fish for over a week and a half. New fish are very healthy. Have transferred plants from another tank about a week ago, but regularly share things between tanks and these are the only sick fish.
    I have had one female who plays up every now and again - sometimes she'll get a bit thin, lose colour, stops hanging out in the group - she's done this twice, both times I've managed to nurse her back to health.
    Have had them for 6 months, been in excellent health and have always been the most active fish in the tank. They're probably one of my favourites.

    All other fish are looking brilliant. Stocking is -
    3x Red honey gouramis (1 male, 1 female, 1 unknown - these are the "new" fish)
    3x Indian banded gourami (all female)
    1x Thicklip gourami (female)
    5x Whiptail catfish (sexes unknown)
    5x American Flagfish (1 male, 4 females)

    The tank is low flow, but has a sponge filter (which is just there to cycle) and is heavily planted. So I don't think oxygen is an issue?

    Video below - that's all them hanging out in the corner.

    As you can see, they're not as colourful (the girls) as this (an old pic) -

    The male still has all of his colour, and isn't looking as bad as the girls, but is still sluggish and uninterested in food.

    An old pic of the male -

    Edited to say that I'm not running any CO2 yet (was planning to do so over the next few weeks)
    Attached Images Attached Images
    120L Planted community, 220L Planted community, 55L Killifish & hara cat, 31L Dwarf puffer tank

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    A little further from sanity

    Awards Showcase

    Thanks so much for everything. - metweezer Thanks for the rep friend :) - Compass Merry Christmas! - rebecca_finny Thanks for the rep! - AmazonJoe Happy Holidays. - gadget228 
    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! - Plecos Happy Holidays! - Boundava Merry Christmas! - Anders247 Merry Christmas! - Slaphppy7 Merry Christmas - AmazonJoe 


    1 Not allowed!
    That's a lot of gourami for a 31 gallon tank. My guess is they are picking on the other fish and stressing them.

    In fact now that I go back and watch the video, I see two of the gourami picking at the other fish.
    Last edited by mommy1; 06-12-2014 at 01:39 AM.
    When I go fishing I just throw sharp rocks in the water and wait for the dead fish to float to the top... Kingfisher
    Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is you are stupid and make bad decisions.

    I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
    Dear naps, sorry I hated you so much when I was a child... Love me

  3. #3


    0 Not allowed!
    Hello and welcome to the forum.
    I see several possibilities of what could be going on.

    firstly, your plants may not be able to keep up with the oxygen requirements of your plentiful stock, especially in a low-flow tank. I would recommend increasing circulation and surface agitation and see whether that makes a difference.

    secondly, have you ever quarantined any of the fish before adding them? considering your recent fish purchases it might as well be that the gouramis introduced something to your tank. I once has dorsigera cichlids afflicted with very similar behavior (including the on-off illness episodes) in a healthy tank. I treated with an antibacterial/protozoal medication and it went away.

    lastly, you have underlying issues with your tank you should look at. You are quite heavily stocked for 120 liters, and have the high nitrates associated with that. nitrates should never be over 20 ppm. fish will not die immediately in higher nitrate concentrations but it has a long term negative effect on their health and longevity. high levels of organic matter in the tank also foster growth of opportunistic pathogens that are ready to attack any fish with a reduced immune system (which is also caused by high nitrate).
    not sure what you mean with low-flow, but generally tank filters should circulate minimum 5X the tank volume per hour.
    as Mommy1 mentioned, gouramis can be territorial and often it is recommended to keep only 1 per tank. the fact that your population is mostly female may alleviate aggression but still, 7 gouramis in a 120 liter tank is a lot.

  4. #4


    0 Not allowed!
    The gourami have never touched the flags (the flags are typically the "boss" of the tank). The gourami are typically very peaceful and don't show any aggression other than the occasional territorial dispute (and is usually between the specific species). I've had these guys together for months and not had anyone speak up about it or suggest otherwise (have posted on multiple forums before this), so was pretty excited about my gourami community I have one other tank I can put them in but only if there are issues.

    The new gouramis weren't QT'd - I intend on QTing future fish but have never really QTed anything if all fish appeared healthy. What medication do you suggest?

    The nitrates are so high because of my lack of WC because of havoc in life - I'm working towards reducing them including growing emersed plants.
    By low flow I mean the circulation is turned down for the gouramis - any more and it stresses them out.
    120L Planted community, 220L Planted community, 55L Killifish & hara cat, 31L Dwarf puffer tank

  5. #5


    0 Not allowed!
    OK, so I intend on removing the female thicklip and putting her in Dad's tank, along with isolating the flags tomorrow, but have no idea what to treat them with.
    I have tonic salt, Praziquantel, Furan 2, Melafix, Pimafix all on hand - the praz seems like it may be a first option?
    ABs (other than API) and other meds can be pretty difficult to get here in NZ, by the way.
    120L Planted community, 220L Planted community, 55L Killifish & hara cat, 31L Dwarf puffer tank

  6. #6


    0 Not allowed!
    One died overnight. Attempted a dissection but I'm out of scalpels and only had a rusty craft knife - so a bit of a mess. Nothing in there living visible to the naked eye. If only I had a microscope :(

    So for the past few days (I was away over the weekend, father was looking after them) they've been in about 15gallons, with salt at 1tsp/gallon. No visible differences, no decline though other than the one death. Still not eating anything (frozen food or prepared). Have dosed with Prazi now.
    120L Planted community, 220L Planted community, 55L Killifish & hara cat, 31L Dwarf puffer tank

  7. #7


    0 Not allowed!
    I just wanted to mention that these ended up being internal parasites (type unknown) and after 3 treatments of Prazi they responded positively. Shortly after the treatment I lost one due to dropsy (reason unknown) and still have one female quite sickly thin, who I've separated into a community tank with plenty of green algae which she won't have to compete for. However in a couple of days I'll move her back because as social fish I worry she may just end up getting stressed from being alone. The other two remaining are looking very healthy, though.
    120L Planted community, 220L Planted community, 55L Killifish & hara cat, 31L Dwarf puffer tank

  8. #8


    0 Not allowed!
    AHH I'm having NO luck with these guys lately.

    One of my girls is still very thin, now they've stopped foraging again SO

    Can parasites make a "comeback" after being treated? Perhaps the parasite had a longer lifecycle and I didn't treat it long enough - so I'm going to have to treat them all with prazi.

    But now my male has a "hard" looking stomach, it's slightly bigger so I'm going to have to try and give him an epsom salt bath in case it's bloat but his abdomen looks very firm, he's not eating etc. These fish are going to drive me insane :(
    120L Planted community, 220L Planted community, 55L Killifish & hara cat, 31L Dwarf puffer tank

  9. #9


    0 Not allowed!
    Sorry to hear they are giving you so much trouble. I'd say parasites can come back if they weren't fully killed off. I'd treat for longer than the medication calls for though. Be careful about doing multiple medications. Prazi, salt baths, it'll stress the fish too much. It might be your fish is bound up. See if they will take some softened peas. It might help.
    Increasing your biodiversity increases your stability.

    You know what this tank needs? ........................ Crypts.

  10. Default

    1 Not allowed!
    If you have dormant parasites, you might have an on-going issue if a longer treatment doesn't cure them. If it were me, I would be thinking about rehoming the fish temporarily while I do 100% WC and try to clean the tank a bit.
    Last edited by Fishhook; 07-18-2014 at 06:54 PM.
    55 Gallon: Bluegill
    29 Gallon: Pearl Gourami, Brilliant Rasbora, Bristle Nose
    10 Gallon: Betta, Clown Pleco

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts