Fish Itch and Brown Slime

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by nd1fanviking, Apr 2, 2006.

  1. nd1fanviking New Member Member

    I've lost 2 out of 7 mollie fish in the last 3 days after having them thrive for 2 months. I've noticed a sudden brown slime covering the gravel on the bottom of the tank and the artificial plants. Also, I've noticed white spots on the 2 fish that have died and one of the remaing 5 fish. The white spots I have identifed as most likely itch, but why is everything in the tank turning brown? Any suggestions.

  2. Gunnie Well Known Member Member

    Welcome to FishLore!! More than likely, the brown slime you see are diatoms, and are common in new tanks. It doesn't hurt your fish, and it will pass as the silicates are balanced out. You can get rid of the brown algae quicker by keeping the lights on longer. As for the white spots, you are probably right in determining it's ich. If you slowly raise your temperature to 85 degrees, that would be a good start. If they don't get better with just a temperature rise, then add 1 tablespoon per 10 gallons of water in your tank to see if that will help. Someone please correct me if that salt amount is not right. Can you please post your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels in your tank, and also post what size tank you have? This information will help immensely to help us determine why your tank has ich. It's great to have you with us! We are here to help you!

  3. 0morrokh Fishlore VIP Member

    1 tablespoon of salt per 10 gallons is fine. But if all you have in there is mollies, you can add twice that much.

  4. Butterfly Moderator Moderator Member

    But try the heat first, it os less stressful.

  5. nd1fanviking New Member Member

  6. nd1fanviking New Member Member

    I have a 10 gallon tank. The nitrate is 40. The nitrite is 7 which isn't good at all. I've done 2 20% water changes in the last 3 days and it has come down, but only to 7. The PH is 7.8. May be time to add in some chemicals to help alleviate the nitrite and PH. Water changes isn't doing this. Everything was in line for about a month so I'm not sure what caused the spikes. Also, I changed the filter. Guess although the numbers are very bad the rest of the fish are thriving, eating, and swimming well, but this is still frustrating. I have a hanging filter, would a gravel filter be better for filtering? The hanging filter doesn't seem to get any of the waste of the bottom of the tank.
  7. 0morrokh Fishlore VIP Member

    Please DON'T add chamicals! These will stress your fish and hold up your cycle, which has not finished yet. What you should do is some more water changes. Your nitrates are twice as high as they should be. :-\ What are your ammonia levels? Changing the filter may have caused the spikes. All the good bacteria that help along the Nitrogen Cycle live there, and if you change all of the filter media the tank will have to re-cycle. And don't worry about your pH, a stable pH is MUCH more important than one at a perfect level. Adding chemicals to lower it will cause it to fluctuate too much. And no, an under gravel filter(UGF) is not better than a hang on back(HOB) one. I could go on about the disadvanages of ugf's, but I will spare you. ;) :D The waste at the bottom of the tank is removed whan you do a gravel vacuum/water change.
  8. nd1fanviking New Member Member

    Thanks for you comments and advice. I will do an ammonia test tonight and let you know. The filter says to change the filter cartridge once a month? If I understand you correctly am I better off not changing the filter at all or just not once a month? Also, will the tank recycle everytime I change the filter?
  9. 0morrokh Fishlore VIP Member

    Yes, don't change the filter media during the cycle.  And the only reason they say to change it once a month is because they want you to buy more. ::)  You can leave in the cartridge until it is so dirty the water can't flow through it well.  Every once in a while if it starts getting gunky you can swish it around in old tank water you've siphoned out for a water change.  Don't rinse it in tap water because the chloring and temp change will kill the bacteria.  You may only need to change it twice a year.
    In an established tank, there should be enough bacteria present everywhere so that the tank will not recycle if you change the media. However, as a precaution, I cut a piece out of the old media and put it in the new stuff to seed the new bacteria colony.
  10. nd1fanviking New Member Member

    Thanks for the filter advice. The amonia is between 0 and .25 judging from the test I just administred.... looks closer to 0 than .25. Is it common to see nitrites at 7.5 and amonia almost 0? The nitrites I just tested are between 7.5 and 10 if my tests are accurate.
  11. nd1fanviking New Member Member

    I have a correction I had a combination of 2 black mollies which were the fish that died. My other 5 live one's are orange platies and are doing great. Must have been tired when I posted I had all mollies :) While I take it personally and am sad I lost my two mollies....... they were not good tank mates from my perspective and I thought they were very aggressive toward the platies so maybe it is a good thing for the other fish that they are gone as they aren't being chased all over the aquarium all day by the black mollies. Maybe I was more bothered by this than the fish, but it didn't seem peaceful. I won't buy black mollies again. I did buy the two black mollies at Wallmart so maybe they were sick to begin with. The platies I bought at an actual fish store and seem to be doing great. I think I'll shy away from Wallmart fish. When I get my tank stable for a month or two I'de like to add 4 tetras.
  12. 0morrokh Fishlore VIP Member

    It sounds like youy cycle is getting on its way. You should do a large water change as the nitrite levels have gotten dangerous for your fish. Once the cycle is done, both ammonia and nitrites should read 0. As the nitrite levels go down the nitrate levels will go up, and your nitrates are already too high at if water changes aren't doing the trick you may need to see if you can find filter media that removes nitrates...I think they make that...don't use chemicals, buy stuff for the filter that will catch the nitrate molecules.

    Yes, don't buy fish from Wal****, their tanks are terrible. :mad:
    And if you get tetras, you need to have a shoal of at least 6 in order for them to feel secure and happy. If your tank isn't big enough to support 6 more tetras, then please don't buy them as they are MUCH happier and healthier in a larger shoal. There are plenty of other fish that are fine in smaller groups.
  13. nd1fanviking New Member Member

    Thanks all for your help. My cycle took roughly two months, but I am now at 20 nitrates, 0 nitrites and almost 0 ammonia and it's been consistent for a week. Remaining fish are doing great. What is your reccomdation for water changes? I've read 15% a week, 25% a week, and 25% per month. All sort of confilicting data out there in ifsh forums. I haven't touched the water for 10 days and the readings are great. Should a change a little or let it sit? I was changing roughly 15% weekly beofre.
  14. 0morrokh Fishlore VIP Member

    Sorry I took so long. I'm glad your tank is doing well. How much water you change depends on the tank and fish. In a large, densely planted tank which has low nitrate readings, you may only need to do 10% water changes. On the other hand, an unplanted tank with very messy, large fish may need 50% water changes. The recommended amount for your average community tank is 20-25%. Water changes definately need to be done once a week. If the 15% was enough to keep the nitrates at a low level, then that is fine.