Black Marks On Fish

NaturalGothic

Hey guys!
Question for you - Have your fish ever developed black marks on their fins before? I did a water change of about 30% and that’s when I noted the black markings. I keep mostly cichlids and, if I’m being honest, I saw them on my blood parrot first and didn’t think too much of it. Sometimes a parrot will stress and the marks will suddenly appear. However, after seeing it on a convict and an OB peacock, I then tested my water. Obviously the first thing I tested was my ammonia. The ammonia was a tiny bit elevated (Less than 0.25ppm) so I tested the rest of my parameters. My nitrite is a 0.0ppm and my nitrate was 0.05ppm.

After a few hours, I re-tested my water and while the ammonia and nitrite have remained the same, my nitrate has skyrocketed. It went from under a 0.5pmm to either 40 or 80ppm. (I have a very hard time differentiating between colors so please bare with me.) Now, it’s entirely possible I did the Nitrate test wrong or something, but, I don’t think I did. Can nitrates case black marks to appear? What’s the most effective way to get control of my nitrates? I had done a water change just a few hours ago and it’s already so high. I’m afraid if I do another water change, I’ll end up triggering new tank syndrome. I plan to move my fish to a bigger tank (currently in a 29 grow out going to a permanent 65 gallon) no later than Monday. Should I bother adding easy balance plus weekly? It’s also worth noting that my fish aren’t showing any other signs of irritation such as flashing.

I admit, I have a high bio load, but, I stay on top of maintenance. I‘m not sure why my nitrates are so high; I’ve cut back on how often and how much I feed them (was twice a day is now once), I do a 30% water change every Thursday. If I can, I do two water changes a week because of the amount of fish. What would you do?
 

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A201

I think you are describing "Black Smudge" the black blotches sometimes appear on fish that are exposed to unstable water parameters. The blotches are obviously more visible on light colored fish.
The slightly elevated ammonia level certainly might have caused the problem.
Keep on top of the WC's. That should take care of the elevated ammonia & nitrate.
 
Upvote 0

NaturalGothic

I think you are describing "Black Smudge" the black blotches sometimes appear on fish that are exposed to unstable water parameters. The blotches are obviously more visible on light colored fish.
The slightly elevated ammonia level certainly might have caused the problem.
Keep on top of the WC's. That should take care of the elevated ammonia & nitrate.

Thanks hun; I decided to added in ammo lock and ammo carb just to be safe. I didn’t want to risk my finned friends lol I can’t wait to get them in the big tank. My guys started out at like 1-2 inches and now the average size is about 3inches.
 
Upvote 0

NaturalGothic

I think you are describing "Black Smudge" the black blotches sometimes appear on fish that are exposed to unstable water parameters. The blotches are obviously more visible on light colored fish.
The slightly elevated ammonia level certainly might have caused the problem.
Keep on top of the WC's. That should take care of the elevated ammonia & nitrate.

Question while I have you - How long do your water peramiters stay elevated after maintenance like gravel vacuuming? I feel like it takes longer than it should for my tank to level out after cleaning.
 
Upvote 0

A201

I rarely gravel vac and change out 50% of the tank water each week.
In an over stocked small tank, be a good idea to up the WC's to 2x a week. One 50% & one 25%.
In a properly maintained cycled tank the only weekly water parameter variation should be increased nitrates, and that level should significantly drop directly after a WC.
A bigger tank will make your water management job less burdensome.
 
Upvote 0

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