01-16-2013, 04:49 AM
Thanks 850R, I appreciate that. Ups, downs, and learning more all the while. =]
This hobby is exactly what I needed as a new challenge to keep me busy.
01-21-2013, 01:11 AM
You know... just when you thought you'd finally be done with the whole sickness thing, something else just creeps up on your to ruin your day.
I attribute this to my sister, though, as every time she visits one of my fish dies or gets sick. It's an odd phenomenon.
I took out my two Black Phantom Tetras about 5 days ago and placed them in a QT. I've been dosing with Maracyn 2 ever since. Today's the last day. Neither one of them look well... but they're still alive. I think the move really stressed them out, as they haven't been eating and they've been kind of sitting around near the top of the tank for a good portion of their being in there. I don't know if they're going to be cured from whatever this is or not, but I thought it'd be worth the effort to figure out if something - anything would work.
Meanwhile, today I just noticed that at least two of my Serpae Tetras have pop-eye and a cloudiness over their eyes. They're also showing a loss of color - like a whitish film covering their bodies.
I read that this could be due to parasites, so I felt it necessary to treat the tank with PraziPro. It's probably a good idea to do so, just in case something has a fluke, etc. You never know.
Then I decided to check my parameters again... I usually don't, because my water changes are very regular (once per week - about 50% of the water). My findings were interesting:
Amm = 0
Trites = 0
Trates = 0 (maybe .25 - hard to tell)
Phosphates = 0
pH = 7.6...
Wait, what?! 7.6?! WTF? To be clear, my tank has always been 7.0... as has my tap water. As is my 10gal Beta tank. So how in the world do I all of a sudden have 7.6ph in my 75gal - and not only that, but I have two pieces of driftwood in the tank, that should be aiding in the lowering of pH?
I did some research on this, and it's possible that some bigger bio-load fish could contribute to lowering the pH... but not increase it. I have added an Opaline Gourami, whom poops a great deal more than anything else in the tank, but that's about it. The beneficial bacteria can handle this formidable load, but perhaps it's effecting the pH?!
Why would increase the pH instead of lowering it? The poop would bring the acidity up, not down. Am I missing something?
Any ideas? I imagine this drastic change in pH could be sending my fish through osmotic shock and stressing them out, causing these illnesses. *sigh*
01-22-2013, 04:42 AM
I'm thinking the pH has to do with the rocks. I just tested my two snail tanks, which each have at least one rock and they both have crushed coral. Same pH as the 75gal. I imagine the rocks are definitely the culprit.
Knowing this, however, at least I know what to expect. It should remain a steady 7.6 (as I seem to remember noticing this months ago, as well). The Betta tank doesn't have any rocks in it and obviously my tap doesn't either. Makes sense to me.
Besides the couple of Serpaes having foggy and somewhat bulging eyes, and faded coloring, the rest of the tank is still doing well. As I'm sure the pH wouldn't have risen so dramatically to cause death from shock, I'm also sure that it could have something to do with the condition. Hopefully after a few weeks of water changes and keeping the tank in good health, they should recover.
Of course now I'm going to have to acclimate my Black Phantom Tetras, when I'm ready to add them back to the tank. I'm certain the one that didn't show any symptoms is probably ok to add back, but the other one still has physical symptoms (the tail & dorsal fin bumps, in addition to the facial growth - whatever it is). I could either administer another weekly dosing of Maracyn 2 or perhaps dose with Maracyn to see if that helps. Tonight, I did a water change to cut the meds down.
01-22-2013, 06:10 AM
01-23-2013, 07:04 AM
Well, I acclimated my healthy Black Phantom back to the 75gal tank tonight. Gave him about 1.5hrs in a bucket with a bubbler, thinking that should do it for the pH change. She wasn't eating in the QT and didn't show any symptoms, still, so I wanted to get her eating again. She'll more than likely start eating again, tomorrow.
The noticeably sick Black Phantom is still in the QT. I added another packet of Maracyn 2 today, in addition to ProxyPro. She was still looking pretty bad and didn't show any signs of recovery, but still struggling to live. I'll give her a couple of more days and see how it goes (today and tomorrow). If she's still bad, I'm just going to put her down. Seems the more humane thing to do, since she doesn't eat, either. Wasn't eating in the 75gal either. ;/
01-23-2013, 02:00 PM
01-23-2013, 02:15 PM
Thanks Gogi! I think that's the route I'm going to take. I found a place online that sort of specializes in SAEs. I guess they made it a niche, since they're so easily confused with other species. I'll probably order 2-3 in the next week. It'd be nice to get that algae eaten.
You'd be surprised at how much my Gourami has been eating algae. I should take a video of him going from surface to surface - it's seriously non-stop. He just doesn't seem to make much of a dent.
Other than algae-eating fish/snails, I've lowered my dosing of liquid ferts. I've found that dosing with this just stimulates algae growth. I'll probably limit it to one dose per week, if that. I might stop for a while to see how things progress. I just feel like I'll never get rid of the algae, unless I stop fortifying it with nutrients.
Fishmommie gave me another idea, too... I'm going to research a UV sterilizer since I've been having problems with both algae and fish diseases. It can only help.
01-23-2013, 02:40 PM
With all the issues you're having Kevin, I think a UVS is probably a good idea. Just do some research on just how many hours per day you should run a UV unit.
Originally Posted by KevinVA
When in doubt, do a water change.
"This ain't rocket science!"
Never miss a good chance to shut up. - Will Rogers
01-23-2013, 03:25 PM
Man, it's so frustrating seeing how easy some people find it to control algae or keep their fish healthy, etc. I feel like I'm doing (almost) everything right, but just can't get the results that should be occurring by the work I've been doing. haha
My 10gal Betta tank, while algae filled, has some of the most healthy inhabitants this side of the Potomac... and I perform the same maintenance on that one.
01-23-2013, 06:33 PM
I've been reading up on that page throughout the workday and I've found that if I do get a UVS, it'd have to be for disease. Apparently the only kind of algae this would effect would be standing algae, which results in green water. I don't have that problem.
I do have a problem with sick fish, but I think that's mainly a result of bad stock. Honestly, GBRs are supposed to be finicky, fragile little fish... yet, mine are thriving. I imagine they'd probably have died by now, had water quality issues been my problem.
I'm betting that if I did go the UVS route, it probably wouldn't result in any cleaner water. It might help to some extent, but I can't help but think that my water is fine...
Maybe it's the fact that I added 10 Serpaes and 10 Black Phantoms at the same time, when my cycle had just completed a few days prior?
To reiterate what I said earlier... it's frustrating, but one of the fun parts of fish keeping is finding out what works. I do like problem solving. ;P