Losing fish rapidly, not sure why
After many years without having an aquarium, my wife and I decide to get one together and populate.
After the setup and population, everything seemed to be going ok. We had 1 tri-color shark, 1 african albino clawed frog, 1 angelfish, 1 catfish (not an algae eater, but one with really long barbs around the mouth), 2 pink kissers, 1 Koi, 1 Stargazer goldfish, 3 guppys, 2 painted tetras, 3 gourami (paradise, powder blue, gold), 1 upside down catfish.
We noticed that the 2 kissers were acting very strange and started to see what we thought was Ick covering them. We purchased Ick Guard II to treat this because it keeps from harming the scaleless fish (catfish & frog). We added this along with a generous portion of aquarium salt (not more than recommended) for a 29 gallon tank.
Within 3 hours, the shark was dead. This was around 3 on Saturday. Since then, we are down to the 3 gourami, koi, upside down cat, & frog. Everything else has died on us. We set up a quarantine tank, with Coppersafe, but once fish have been moved, they have died.
Since then, we have raised the temp to 80-82 degrees, added extra airation, been making daily 10-20% water changes (for the past two days), and treating with the Ick Guard II.
Now, the powder blue gourami is showing signs of ick and 'acting' sick. Staying hidden and not swimming around very much.
My first question is: could I have over-saturated the water with salt? I know that Ick can kill the fish, but I'm not sure that it could have killed that many in such a quick period of time.
Of my research, I've found that catfish don't respond well with high amounts of salt, so I believe that much of this may be my fault. I am thinking that the salt levels could have been too high, thus killing most of the fish.
Any input on this will be greatly appreciated.
Not knowing the sizes of all of your fish, but taking a "small side" estimate...the first problem may have been overstocking, or overstocking too quickly. Did you cycle this tank to insure a good supply of good bacteria to handle all of the fish and food waste? Not cycling properly, and overstocking can definitely lead to stress which can make the fish susceptible to ICK. With that said...my recommendation for the current ICK issue is what has worked for me....first do a large water change, not only will that dilute some of the salt making your sensitive fish feel better, it will remove a large portion of the ICK that may be free floating or in the gravel. Since you said you did some research I am hoping you caught enough info to understand the 3 stages of ICK. Go ahead and bump the heater up a little more to around 84 and dose the entire tank with stresscoat. The stresscoat will help the fish naturally fight off the ICK parasite and make them feel better. The bottle has dosages right on it for dechlorinating or for treating damaged skin. I personally like the squirt pump bottle. If you can lure the worst of the fish over to you squirt some directly onto them. You cannot overdose stresscoat, it is a natural product that helps the fishs slimecoat. I have never purchased an ICK medication...have only dealt with ICK 2X, and have not yet seen a recurrence. I then continue to do small daily or larger every other day water changes (this is when I see ANY issues with my fish), and dose with stresscoat again. I usually see a physical improvement in the fish within 24 hours..and then I leave the heat up for about 2 weeks continuing the water changes. I am sure you will also get responses from others on what has worked for them, this is just my method and I prefer to go the natural route at all times.
Second, if that truly is an african clawed frog...get it out of there. They will kill fish and eat them. Do a search and see if you have the african dwarf or clawed frog...there is a difference. He may not yet be big enough to kill your fish at this point, but he could be harassing, and or damaging the to the point that they can't fight off the infections or stay healthy.
Lastly, do some research on the koi...it appears you lost the goldfish? Goldfish (and I believe koi) are coldwater fish and really shouldn't be housed with tropicals, so you may want to reconsider that one. Don't worry, little by little you will get everything straightened around and come out with a tank you can be proud of. Learn from your mistakes and go on from here. Always take advice from your petstores very carefully, they are usually wrong. Do your own research and make better choices, your fish will love you for it.
My first thought as well........sounds like an overstocked uncycled tank? Do you have a Master Test Kit for the water? Almost as important as having a filter on your tank. You should know what your water parmaters are for ammonia and nitrites so you can better understand what's happening here.