cardinals dying !!!

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

  1. fishermanspieValued MemberMember

    I have just added 15 cardinal tetras to my tank .
    The tank was looking cloudy so I added some seachem clarity the day after I lost 4 !
    All my levels are good 0, ph is 6.8
    The remaining fish are feeding and swimming when I looked at the ones that had died one had no rear tail fin , one had a whole under its chin another had the left fin missing !!
    Remaining tetras seem a little blotchy on the red coloration (front end).

  2. Wendy LubianetskyWell Known MemberMember

    You need to do a water change as soon as possible. It sounds like they are suffering from amonia poisoning. If not that then some other poisoning.

    Bacteria blooms cause the cloudiness in your water, adding clarity of any kind is not going to help. Your tank is still cycling and your fish are not doing well. I would suggest and immediate 50% water change, followed by another 50% water change and go from there.

  3. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    I second water changes! What kind of test are you using - strips or liquid? Strips are not accurate. Plus, if there is no nitrate in your tank, it is not cycled.

  4. Wendy LubianetskyWell Known MemberMember

    When you first set-up a tank after the first few days is when the bacteria bloom hits. Your tank has to be new or you changed all the filters at once or some such thing. But, what you need to do is everyday for the next couple weeks is a 50% water change everyday until your cycle starts to kick into the tank. How much do you know about the nitrogen cycle in your tank?
  5. toosieWell Known MemberMember

    It doesn't take long for fish to start consuming their dead counterparts.

    The nitrogen cycle is an extremely important step in being able to keep fish as the others have mentioned. Cardinal Tetras are not cycle friendly fish because they really don't tolerate ammonia or nitrites.

    The Clarity is a flocculant which means it makes particles stick together making it easier for the filtration system to remove it, however... it can also gum up the gills of fish making them unable to use them. It can basically make a fish suffocate. If you get another bacterial bloom, do nothing more than the water changes required to keep the ammonia and nitrites low in the tank. The water changes will make it so you can see into the tank a little better and after that it's just a matter of waiting for the bloom to subside. It doesn't usually last more than a few days and it won't harm the fish. Your tank just doesn't look as pretty as it otherwise would for those few days.

    Please do as the others suggested and carry out a large water change. It will help dilute the amount of flocculant in the tank as well as bring any ammonia or nitrite levels down.

    The blotchiness will go away if you can manage to make your fish start to feel better.

    EDIT: I see by your aquarium information we may have jumped to some conclusions about the cycle. I didn't look at your info before I posted and for that I apologize. It's possible your tank is going through a spike due to the added fish. Other than a cycle causing a bacterial bloom, having too much disolved organic matter in the water column can also cause a bacterial bloom. The water change will help you correct this, and it will still help to dilute the flocculant which may be the most likely contributing factor to your fish loss.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  6. fishermanspieValued MemberMember

    Thanks everyone for advise I am doing water changes daily though not massive . My water sauce has a ph of 5.2 I am trying to keep it at 6.8 by using some crushed oyster shells in a small section of stocking in the filter housing .
    If I did a 50 % water change then my ph would drop dramatically . I am standing three bucket 30 liters over night but the ph has not risen in the bucket yet despite adding the oyster shell . Can anyone recommend a safe water conditioner that raises ph I also keep shrimps . No further loses today tank still looking cloudy . My tank did take nearly a month to cycle first time around then had massive algae problem seems better now ! . I found a dead shrimp a few weeks ago ammonia had risen slightly and ph had crashed to 5.5 now checking daily . I think I will stay clear of water clearer s . Any advise very welcome thanks again . I was wondering if it would improve things if I added another filter to my tank . The tank has a built in biofilter (juwel rio 180 ) ??
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012
  7. toosieWell Known MemberMember

    If you are preparing water in buckets you can add a little baking soda to increase the pH because you have control if pH increases too much by mixing in more of your water. It doesn't take very much, a small pinch may be all you need. Make sure you give it time to adjust the pH and do all of your adjustments in the buckets before you add the water to your tank.

    Because your pH is so low, do you test GH/KH? Keeping track of KH in particular in these situations can be very helpful in knowing how stable your pH will be. With the pH dropping below 6.0 it's understandable you had an ammonia spike. Beneficial bacteria will go dormant in pH ranges under 6.0 which allows ammonia to accumulate. Most of it is in the form of ammonium which is a less toxic form than ammonia. One of the dangers is raising pH when ammonia is present because as pH rises so does the toxicity of the ammonia.

    The crushed oyster shells in the filter was a very good idea. You can also use crushed coral or a little argonite. These things will leach minerals into the water to raise your GH/KH and pH and help keep things stable. Some people have a preference on which one they use, but I'm not sure which actually works best.

    Forgive me if I'm telling you things you're well aware of already, but I rather mention things just in case.
  8. fishermanspieValued MemberMember

    Thank you Toosie your advise is greatly appreciated and I will buy some baking soda in the morning .
    Actually something dawned on me this morning when I do water changes I have always poured the new water through the filter housing perhaps I am killing off the bacteria all the time ??
  9. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    That is actually very likely. Are you using a dechlorinator? (Sorry if I missed it.) I prefer Prime, as it detoxifies not only chlorine/chloramine but also ammonia and nitrite. However, although it says it works "on contact," I still wouldn't feel comfortable pouring mine over the filter (though obviously it is filtered after being poured in the tank, but at least it's a bit diluted with normal tank water).
  10. fishermanspieValued MemberMember

    Yes I am and I can not believe it has taken me this long to realize what I am doing how stupid have I been . I remember reading somewhere put the water through the water housing so to get little disruption , this was obviously only ment for the set up time only AGGGGGGGHHHHHHH !!! Live and learn )
  11. toosieWell Known MemberMember

    Hmmmm, now when I look at your info it says this tank was set up 3 weeks ago. You won't be killing off the bacteria by pouring the water into the filter, it's just that it takes 6 to 8 weeks to cycle a tank and the pH has to remain above 6.0 for the beneficial bacteria to remain active.

    (I guess maybe we hadn't jumped to conclusions regarding the cycle afterall.)
  12. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    Really? I thought that pouring chlorinated gap water over the filter would kill the bacteria, hence why you aren't supposed to rinse the media in tapwater. Interesting, you learn something new every day...
  13. toosieWell Known MemberMember

    The water is dechlorinated from what I understand in the buckets the OP prepares the water in. If the OP was using a python and running the water straight from the tap it would have more potential of killing things off especially if the colony isn't well established. So...... I wasn't saying you were wrong, it's just that I understood things differently and if I have misunderstood what the OP is doing (I've done that once already on this thread) then there is a very good possibility that I am WRONG. :D

    Fishermanspie, it would be good if you could clarify your procedure for us.
  14. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    Ohh I see. I forgot about the buckets. :) At one point I accidentally primed my filter with tapwater, and I was sort of freaking out that I killed my cycle, so that's why I'm interested. (Well, if you can call what I have a "cycle" yet...)
  15. fishermanspieValued MemberMember

    I need to update my profile not sure why it says three weeks I have just worked the dates out and its more like three months nearly four and my ph reading is about 6.6 trying to keep it at 6.8.
    Ok water change I put 30 liters into a bucket dechlorinated and left to stand 24 hours and then pour it straight into the filter housing until today !!
    While gazing at the tank tonight I spot my first babies 5 baby shrimps !!!
    I know the tank cycled it took forever almost a month and then I was hit by the algae yuk yuk .
    Very excited about the new arrivals do they need any special food ???
  16. toosieWell Known MemberMember

    No, I don't think the shrimp will need special food. They'll eat algae and detritus so they'll be ok.

    If you are dechlorinating the water in the buckets and letting it sit before pouring it into the tank, your beneficial bacteria won't be harmed. You can pour it straight into the water column of course if you want to, but either way will be fine.

    It's ok, I just got slightly confused because when I initially looked at the profile all of the info pointed to a well cycled tank. Now when I looked it said 3 weeks so... but my confusion is neither here nor there.

    What are your current readings for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate?
  17. fishermanspieValued MemberMember

    Current readings Ph 6.8 Ammonia , nitrate, nitrite all zero.
    This morning I lost a corydoras sterbai one of my favorites , no signs of illness was feeding well just started flipping over . Only 8 of the 15 cardinals left they too are not showing signs of illness other than they are not completely red underneath . Trouble is I can `t find the missing ones could my assassin snails be eating them ??
  18. toosieWell Known MemberMember

    The fish and snails will all consume dead tank mates. I'm starting to wonder if your fish didn't come to you infected with Neon Tetra Disease. This disease is spread mainly by other fish nipping or consuming diseased tank mates. I don't have first hand experience with this disease but I have seen fish infected with it in stores. You might want to google the disease for more information to help you determine if this is what is happening.
  19. fishermanspieValued MemberMember

    Thanks I have treated the whole tank now with King British disease clear , so far no more casualty's.
    Not planning on adding any more fish yet but when I do I was wanting to introduce them using the drip method to acclimatize them instead of just floating the bag . Can anyone tell me the best way to do this please ?
  20. toosieWell Known MemberMember

    You don't mention having a small tank for quarantining new fish or sick fish. This is the first thing I would recommend you to do before you buy more fish. Quarantining new fish helps you prevent transmitting any disease or parasites they maybe carrying to the main tank and if treatment is required it is much less expensive to treat a quarantine tank than your main tank. Some treatments will kill off beneficial bacteria so another thing a quarantine tank will help prevent is the necessity of having to recycle a large tank and putting all of your stock at risk.

    For a quarantine tank, you don't have to use substrate, decorations, or anything other than the basic necessities unless you want to. The tank, filter, heater and thermometer are all you really need. You can keep extra media that can be used in the quarantine tank filter in the main tank so that when you are ready to buy new fish, you can remove some of the cycled filter media from the main tank and use it in the quarantine tank for an instant cycle effect.

    It's best to quarantine all new fish for 3 to 4 weeks so that you can be sure all of the fish are strong and healthy.

    Here is a FishLore Sticky with the different acclimation processes, including drip acclimation. A video is included and it seems to be very good. You will note the person in the video uses an airline control valve on the end of the tubing. It works very well to help regulate the drip. Clipping the tubing to the tank and bucket with a clothes pin, veggie clip or something will prevent the tubing from popping out of the tank or bucket. You will also notice he is acclimating salt water fish so, any mention of salt won't apply to you.

    One other thing I would like to mention is, in the video this person claims it's ok to add some of the water from the bucket to the tank when you move the fish but I disagree with that. Some of the store's water will still be mixed into the water you added to the bucket so it is still safer to net the fish from the bucket to put into the tank to try to avoid any nasties from being introduced to the tank.

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