Distressed fish?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by minceymeatpie, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. minceymeatpieNew MemberMember

    Hi all,

    New to the forum and am having some problems with my new 20g tank. Didn't know about cycling when I started it 10 days ago, and am of course learning through the unfortunate deaths of my fish :(

    Currently in the 20g I have 5 neon tetras, 5 black neon tetras, 1 baby bristlenose pleco (1.5 inches) and 1 baby clown pleco (2 inches). There is driftwood, fake plants and a cave in the tank.

    Unfortunately since starting this tank I have lost 2 neons (sucked into the Aquaclear 20g filter - found one swimming in the filter alive but it later died). I now have prefilters installed on all my filters (both the 6g and 20g tanks)

    Last night I noticed that 3 of the black neons had broken away from the main group and were swimming at the surface. The other black neons schooled with the neon tetras and were all fine. Today 1 black neon was dead and 1 was in poor shape so I had to euthanise it. And when I returned from work this evening, the 3rd lone swimmer was dead too.

    I thought I noticed small white spots on one of the dead black neons and figured ich might have broken out so I raised the temperature of the water to 30deg today, and since my 20g was being filtered by an Aquaclear 20 I bought an Aquaclear 70 and set it on "low" to add to the filtration plus installed an airstone.

    Now one of the other black neons is swimming at the surface. He seems to swim there, dart away, play in the current of the Aquaclear 70 then return near the surface again. He doesn't seem agitated and isn't swimming abnormally but I don't know if this top-dwelling proclivity is a sign of trouble. He is not schooling with the other tetras.

    Not too sure what else I can do. My water parameters are: ammonia 0.25, nitrites 0, nitrates 5. I do daily 20-25% water changes with added Seachem Prime because of the plecos (which will be rehomed in a new 55 or 60 gallon in the next few months - haven't decided which size to go for)

    Should I be worried about my black neon loner? Is an Aquaclear 70 too powerful a current generator for a 20g tank? I am running it together with the Aquaclear 20 I already had in place since I figured any bacteria I had in that one would be wasted if I took the 20 off.

    Any ideas? Or do black neons simply like to freak their people out?
  2. Shawnie

    ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    Welcome to Fishlore!!!

    Allot of us started as you did :( At this point, keep up with your daily water changes and try to find some prime or amquel+ to add with it. One of those will detoxify the water(ammonia/nitrites) for 24 hours and keep the fish safe.
  3. Gordinian

    GordinianWell Known MemberMember

    Welcoe to fishlore!!

    There's not much more that you can do other than daily water changes. Keep an eye on the rest of the fish to make sure the possible ich stays under control. You have some nitrates, which is promising; you're almost there! Good luck!

  4. OP

    minceymeatpieNew MemberMember

    Well I just went out to check on him and he was floating upside down. Gills still moving spasmodically. So I put him down... he was a big dude, over an inch long. No idea what killed him, checked his body and there were no spots, deformities, lumps etc, nothing to suggest ich or NTD or fin rot, he looked in perfect condition. Bah. My hope is for my two plecs to survive I have grown especially fond of Bozo the clown... Thanks dolphinlover and Shawnie for the encouragement - the next tank shall be cycled fishless - much less expensive and easier on the nerves.

    Any thoughts on whether the new Aquaclear 70 is too powerful for a 20g tank? I chose it because I am hoping to be able to use it on a new, bigger tank when the time comes, keep a Fluval Edge shrimp/galaxy rasbora tank and save the 20g for quarantining new fish. But am just not sure about the crazy current.
  5. Shawnie

    ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    Oh no im sorry!!!! :(

    Once you get this tank cycled, you can add extra filter media for a few weeks. That will give you more beneficial bacteria to have an instant cycle on a new tank. Good Luck with the rest of your fish!

  6. Gordinian

    GordinianWell Known MemberMember

    Aww, I'm sorry :( I would guess that it was the ammonia that killed him, and not ich, or anything. The best thing you can do now is water changes.

    By the way, what kind of test kits are you using? Many people on the forum believe that strips are unreliable and instead reccomend API master liquid test kits.
  7. OP

    minceymeatpieNew MemberMember

    I am using Nutrafin Mini Master Test Kit. It is the liquid type. The ammonia reading was 0.25 and I also added Seachem Prime, which is why I'm a little puzzled how that would be the culprit. It seems to be quite the mystery... the tank had its water change with Prime dose just four hours prior to my noticing him checking out the "zone of impending doom" at the top of the tank.
  8. Gordinian

    GordinianWell Known MemberMember

    Well, the only thing I can think of is that neons (for me) are always a bit touchy with their water parameters. I'm actually surprised that only two of your normal neons died- good for you! It's probably just an especially bad batch of black neons. This happens all the time to many different kinds of fish (I can't keep guppies alive for more than a couple months anymore for the life of me). Looks like now the best thing you can do is wait until your tank is cycled.
  9. kinezumi89

    kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    In case you didn't know (I only learned recently), Prime is only effective for 24 hours. I'm in the same boat as you (I thought cycling a tank meant plugging in the filter for a few days...oh how we learn), and I dose my tanks for the full volume every day. And I thought my bottle of Prime would last forever!

    Another idea might be to test your tap water, as well. I know quite a few members, myself included, have ammonia in their tapwater. So if the ammonia in your tank is LESS than the ammonia in the tapwater, then doing a water change will be making matters worse! Of course, you also need to keep an eye on nitrates, as well.

    Best of luck with your fish :) Prime and frequent water changes will be your best bet.
  10. jdhef

    jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    Are you dosing (or double dosing) enough Prime to treat the entire tank, or just enough to treat the new water you are putting in?
  11. kinezumi89

    kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    Enough for the entire tank, because Prime is no longer effective after 24 hours. I'm not double dosing though, because I have no nitrites and ammonia is just at 0.25.
  12. jdhef

    jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    My reply above was actually meant for the OP, minceymeatpie. Sorry for any confusion.
  13. kinezumi89

    kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    Oops, sorry... :) (I thought about asking who you meant, too.)
  14. OP

    minceymeatpieNew MemberMember

    Hey there,

    I'm dosing the Prime for the entire tank. Dose daily and do a 20-25% water change daily. My survivors happily seem to be doing okay for now; especially with the added filtration and airstone. The temp is still 30 and they seem to be doing all right, the bristlenose is eating and always active. But oh poor Bozo, I have no idea what my clown pleco does. I put zucchini and cucumber in the tank and they go untouched and at first I thought the algae wafers were also untouched but I saw (!!! with my own eyes!!! the bristlenose eating it tonight when I sneaked up in the dark to watch) Bozo has driftwood but surely he can't live on that alone?

    For now I keep my hopes up that the survivors will all make it. No further signs of ich on any of the tetras :)
  15. OP

    minceymeatpieNew MemberMember

    Thought I'd update the thread - 20g is now cycled, the fish all seem happy and are growing; Runty the Sole Survivor neon tetra of the Fluval Edge was transferred to the 20g; the Fluval Edge is now home to 6 new galaxy rasbora and 10 red cherry shrimp, and a new 75g tank is on the way - gonna take down the 20g and run the Edge with the 75g and use the 20g as quarantine/backup as needed.

    Thanks all for the encouragement and support!
  16. pirahnah3

    pirahnah3Fishlore VIPMember

    Glad to hear it! Sounds like a fantastic plan to me.
  17. jdhef

    jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    That's great, I'm glad to hear everything worked out well.

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