Am I missing the obvious? Help

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by cameronpalte, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. cameronpalteValued MemberMember

    please excuse me if I've asked this before.

    3 dead- julii leapord catfish /8
    1 dead- longfin gold zebra danio /8
    48 hour time frame

    That's it... for now (and forever I hope)

    The longfin I understand may just be chance but what am I doing for the catfish? or what am I doing wrong?

    Water Parameters:
    0-0.25ppm ammonia (hard to tell from test kit color but closer to 0)
    0 nitrite
    0 nitrate

    tank 2 weeks. fish purchased 4 days ago~

    Used tetra safe start + tetra aqua safe (conditioner)... don't think tank is cycled looking into it.

    25-30% weekly/biweekly water changes w/ gravel siphon

    female swordtail- quarantine tank

    will be getting vita chem, and garlic boost soon to help them.

    male swordtail torn fin, slight white fuz on edges. doesn't look like growing, but may treat for fin rot (not sure).

    feeding: thera a spectrum fish pellets (1mm diameter) morning when I wake up, night before I turn the lights off (catfish), and late afternoon early night when I get home from school.

    Ocassionally I add flakes, bloodworms, or brine shrimp...

    filter- aqueon 55/75- 400gph, not overly strong suction when adding extra piece (always added)

    water temp- 76-78 degrees

    lights- on around 14 hours/day. 2 standard flourocents (each half as long as my tank) one light tick stretching along

    decor- 2 large logs (not sure don't think driftwood, cleaned anyway), small castle, large castle, 3 large plants, 2 medium plants, 6 small plants

    so (once again I am sorry if I have asked this before):
    why are my catfish dying, what am I doing wrong, I have read they are pretty hardy fish, and even though they sit around a lot are some of my favorites (i don't know why:))?
    does my male have fin rot, what are some clear characteristics of it?
    tank obviously not fully cycled, any way to speed up the cycle?
    is there any special reason my danio died?

    thanks ahead for everything.
  2. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    Hi Cameron,
    It sucks when we do everything we think is right, and then lose fish straight away.

    I'd start with:

    The tank wasn't cycled completely/correctly to start - the fact you have no nitrates suggests possibly that even though you used TSS, that there wasn't a sufficient ammonia source to keep the bacteria alive.

    I'd also think that you've added too many fish at once, even using TSS, you should only add a few fish per week to allow the bacteria to grow with the bio-load.

    How did you acclimate the fish? This could be part of the cause (known as osmotic [sp] shock)

    On a separate topic - the lights don't need to be on for 14 hours a day, you're asking for an algae problem IMO.

    And, I would think possibly it's a little too much food - freshwater fish don't need 3 feeds a day, generally once a day is fine, possibly twice, but not three times - this may be adding to your ammonia problem.

    And to speed up the cycle, no there is no way to speed it up. I would invest in a bottle of Seachem Prime or Kordon Amquel+ to detoxify your ammonia, water changes everyday to keep the concentrations down, and possibly another dose of TSS ???

    All in all, IMHO, too much too fast has resulted in some undesirable results.
  3. OP

    cameronpalteValued MemberMember

    Ok thanks for the advice. I acclimilated the fish using what the instructions that came with the fish said (ordered online) but bag in 15 min, open edges float for 15 min. switch water from bag, take out part of fish water, add tank water over and over until mixed. release. though, part way during the second 15 minutes I left some, and my catfish floating bag tipped for whatever the reason and some got out so that may be part of the problem, but I had no dead fish for first 2 days and no suddenly...

    I will keep the lights of less but I'm generally gone 10 hours/day school so I can try that.

    I will cut it down to maybe 1 feed morning and 1 feed before night (pellets for catfsh).

    I will look into prime.

    Also, I got some aquarium salt, I'm thinking 1 tablespoon/10g (I heard thats recommended if you have catfish because there more sensitive) so will that help?

    I got bottle primafix too, but thats expensive and I heard bad so I was thinking if I need it transfer swordtails (the ones showing possible fungus) to 2.5g hospital tank, treat with pimafix there and move back?


  4. toosie

    toosieWell Known MemberMember

    To add what Ryan has said, corys do not tolerate ammonia or nitrites. They are a fish that should be added after a cycle has completed and has had a chance to stablize for a few weeks.

    It would be a good idea not to add any more fish until this tank has finished it's cycle or the apple cart is going to be completely tipped over.

    Edit: No... don't add any salt. Your corys are salt intolerant.
  5. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    And don't use the salt! There's no need for salt in a fresh water system. It only irritates the fish.

    If you follow our advice, slow down, and let nature take its course (let the cycle complete), your tank will establish itself.

    You shouldn't need to add anything to your tank, other than prime or amquel+ and maybe some more TSS.

    Fish keeping is synonomous with patience. No matter how good additives claim to be, there is no substitute for patience and good husbandry in this hobby.

    You're going to see swings in pH etc while your tank cycles, and you'll be tempted to add pH up/down etc, don't! These swings are all perfectly normal in a cycling tank, and will stabilise if you allow them to.

    EDIT: And your acclimation procedure looks good. I use clothes pegs to peg the bag to the side of the tank while acclimating. Stops the bags falling in the tank. Just a little tip ;)

    EDIT 2: A cheap $10 timer from walmart will solve your lighting issue ;)

    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012
  6. OP

    cameronpalteValued MemberMember

    Well we had to say good bye to a female guppy today you guys caught me right before I was going to add salt;). Just wondering what do you guys think of pimafix. I guess these are the mistakes I made and I have to let nature take its course while the tank cycles. I'm not planning on adding fish for ~2 months. Thanks for help.
  7. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    Pimafix treats fungal infections and both internal and external bacterial infections (per API's website)

    What you're experiencing is not infection, more a result of ammonia poisoning (IMO)

    I'm also reading that Pimafix contains clove oil, used to humanely euthanise fish.

    Personally, I wouldn't touch it, and I think it'll just cause more stress and/or problems in your tank. I'm not saying it's a bad product, I've never used it, but I'm fundamentally opposed to any additive/treatment unless absolutely required.

    Like I said, patience and good husbandry should get you through this. (Don't worry, it's happened to all of us)

    A little garlic guard may help boost your fishes immune systems. I've had success soaking food in garlic guard then adding the food (not the liquid) to the tank, but if they're already stressed, they may not take to it.

    We all want quick fixes, but sometimes the quickest methods cause more problems than they solve. Keep it simple, and you'll reap the rewards.
  8. toosie

    toosieWell Known MemberMember

    It looks to me from your info (correct me if I'm wrong) is that you currently have one fish showing symptoms of finrot but all other fish are looking ok at this time. If the finrot is the only physical ailment your fish has at this point in time, take comfort in the fact that most times the ONLY thing needed to treat finrot and make it go away is really clean water conditions. So, while you are working on doing daily water changes to keep ammonia and nitrite levels low (Prime or Amquel+ to detoxify the rest) you will actually be treating the finrot at the same time. That's a pretty sweet deal.

    +1 on the garlic.

    Best of luck with the rest of your cycle.
  9. Donnerjay

    DonnerjayWell Known MemberMember

    Cameron, I hate to say this, and please take it the right way...I wish you had listened to all of the great advice you got before you purchased the fish and put them into your tank.

    But you have the chance to listen now. Ryan and toosie have given you great ideas and suggestions. Follow the tips you receive on the forum and you will have a healthy tank

    Take care and keep us posted. :)
  10. mosaicguppyWell Known MemberMember

    I agree about not adding salt, especially if you have any scaleless fish in the tank, that inlcudes cories, they're very sensitive to it. I've used pimafix to successfully treat fungal infections before, IMO it's quite effective and you don't lose your cycle, but since this tank is clearly not cycled, I would have to agree that water changes will greatly improve their chances of recovery. :)
  11. Shawnie

    ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

  12. LyndaB

    LyndaBFishlore LegendMember

    All I can say is, listen to the advice you've been given and follow it. You could have avoided all these issues.
  13. afremontNew MemberMember

  14. Wendy Lubianetsky

    Wendy LubianetskyWell Known MemberMember

    Pimafix is great to treat a certain spectrum of bacterial and fungal infections. There is a great debate as to whether or not it is harmful to labrynth fish (Betta and Gourami). I do not know the answer to that question, all I can say is that it has done wonders for me when used specifically for faster healing of wounds, bacterial and/or fungal infections. I used it on tail rot once and it worked really well. It does have the advantage that is does not bother the cycle in your aquarium or bother invertebrates. I am an advocate of Pimafix, but only when it is specifically indicated. It doesn't sound to me like you need it camerone. I think what you need is daily, consistent, large water changes.
  15. Lucy

    LucyModeratorModerator Member

    Cameron, I'm really sorry about your fish :(
    We know you're probably very frustrated right niw.
    You'll get things turned around and be enjoying a happy healthy tank when all this is over. :)
  16. OP

    cameronpalteValued MemberMember

    I'm hoping I get to enjoy a happy healthy tank after this... my mom say's that its hard right now but once its done I'll be happy but I think she's just trying to cheer me up...

    We had to say good bye to another catfish today and our total losses:

    4/8 catfish
    1/8 danio
    1/4 guppy

    1/8 catfish- missing
    1/8 danio- missing

    good news:
    one of my 2 pregnant guppies had babies but I think that the other fish treated them as a protein snack because when I woke up I could only see one left.... I'm hoping that worst case this protein or food helps the other fish

    I'm planning on maybe moving the other pregnant guppy to a 2.5g and raise the babies there and then transfer it back so those fish can make up for my losses. I'm planning on another fish order in ~2-3 months to add extra and fix my tank up:).
  17. OP

    cameronpalteValued MemberMember

    Things seem to go well, and the fish store told me they would credit me all the deaths. No more deaths in 24 hours (improvement). I have prime which I am using to treat and the female swordtail in the hospital tank is healing up amazingly red mark (5-6mm) nearly gone and healed, and torn fin growing back nicely. She should be ready to be moved back in ~3 days. The male will also be transfered to a hospital tank due to his torn fin, treated and moved back and all other fish look fine. Thanks for all the help!
  18. Lucy

    LucyModeratorModerator Member

    Hopefully things are taking a turn for the better!
  19. OP

    cameronpalteValued MemberMember

    They seem to be so far, and I really hope this continues... really appreciate all the great advice, it really helped.

    and note to all those out there I think you can contact and sell them some of your fry and get store credit (they have nearly anything an aquarium runner could want) or credit card, haven't tried that yet if your wondering I contacted them but they said that the cost of me shipping would be greater than the cost of the money I would receive:). (shipping ~$35) so good luck:)
  20. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    Good to see that things are turning around for you. Stick at it, and stay patient, it's very tempting to think "things are going well, I'll just....."

    Let everything establish and stabilise first, good luck :;hf

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