can't figure out fish deaths

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menagerie

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I had a Fire Gourami that was laying on the bottom of the tank,, fins clamped with very labored breathing, last night.  I checked the forums and all signs pointed to ammonia poisoning.  I checked ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and PH and everything was good.   I did a 50% water change last night anyway, but this am he was dead.  I checked closely, but didn't see any trauma on his body.   No spots, fungus, holes, nothing to indicate (as far as I can tell)  His coloring was still good too.   Now,  one of my platys is lethargic as well.   Not gasping at the top, but just hanging out in the  top corner, with her fins clamped.   I checked all water parameters again, and they are about the same as last night:
Ammonia-0ppm
Nitrite-0ppm
Nitrate-5.0ppm
PH is between 6.8-7.2
water temp is 80F

Tank has been up and running for about 6 months.   No other fish are acting strangely.  I have 2 other playties, 1 platy fry, 3 mollies, (1 male, 2 female) another fire gourami,2 cory cats & a pleco in a 29 gallon tank.
They are in my office, so I watch them all day, and no one is picking on anyone, they all get along great. 
I always add aquarium salt or live bearer's salt when I do my changes, as well as the normal water treatments for chlorine, etc..
Any thoughts?
Thanks,
Traci
 
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menagerie

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Just an update....

Platy finally came out & tried to eat. Proceeded to dart around and rub on the gravel and rocks. So it looks like I've got a case of Velvet. Is it better to treat the whole tank, or quarantine just the platy? I'm more inclined to treat the whole tank, more of a preventative measure.

Thanks,
Traci
 

Isabella

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Hmm, your water parameters seem very good. Although I have to tell you right away that a Pleco is (or will grow to be) too large for a 29 gallon tank. Plecos need, in my opinion, at least 75 gallons of water, or so.

Also, why are you adding salt to your tank with every water change? You do not need salt in a freshwater tank, unless it's to treat a disease. Maybe the salt is making them sick (if it's added to the tank on a regular basis)?

Lastly, were any of your fish bought lately? Or you've had them for a long time already? If water parameters are good, if tank is not overstocked, and if it has low nitrate (as well as no ammonia and no nitrite) - then the addition of new fish can cause a disease. Newly-bought fish are often sick, only the symptoms of the disease may not show for up to a month. This way they get sick what appears to be "later" and they may infect all other fish this way. Another way a fish can get sick in a good-quality water is no acclimatization or improper acclimatization. When you buy new fish, you need to acclimatize it properly because if you don't do this, the fish may get sick and even die from a shock due to a sudden change of its environment.

Have you checked with the Disease Chart (on the top of this board) to make sure that it's actually Velvet? Scratching against objects also occurs in other diseases such as Ich. If you decide to medicate, try your best with diagnosing your fish. Wrong medication can kill fish as well.
 
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menagerie

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Isabella,
I added another female Mollie about a month ago, but that's the newest fish. The guys at the LFS said that the Mollies and Platys both like livebearer salt in the water. I know that's a sore subject for a lot of people, but I was told that by 3 different guys there. This is a fish only store, & everyone has been very knoweledgable & helpful there, so I trust them. I had checked the forums try to place her symptoms, but I was just a little lost until she started darting and rubbing. I went and got some Maracide and am treating the whole tank with that. I also turned up the heat to about 84.
Hopefully all will be well in the am.

Thanks,
Traci
 

jenniwren

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hmm i wouldnt turn up the heat that much. there is also alot of controversy on salt use. my platy had a torn fin and i added salt ( less than recommended) to the whole tank. at the time all i had in with her was other platies. corys are known to NOT TOLERATE ANY SALT. so keeping that in mind i would stop using salt. how frequent are your water changes? try a large water change ( make sure to condition the water) and see if they start to perk up.
 

0morrokh

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The livebearers are fine with or without salt, but I agree that the Cories do not like it. I doubt the salt has anything to do with the fish dying but I'd take it out for the sake of the Cories.

I agree with Isabella that scratching could mean any number of diseases. Check the fish closely to see if you can find any parasites. To check for velvet, shine a flashlight on the fish and see if you can see a sprinkling of tiny gold or reddish things. It may be velvet or it may not...best not to treat until you know for sure.

Hope your fish get better.
 
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