Most fish killed by one added w/illness. More put in before treatment....

  • #1
I've got PLENTY of experience with fish aquariums, so I know to quarantine new fish, treat tanks before adding new fish, etc., etc.

But now I'm dealing with my nieces and nephews and my sister, who aren't very good at keeping fish (I live with them right now). I had a tank with angelfish (that had successfully acclimated and were growing well), a clown loach, and three minnows from the local bait shop that would become turtle food.

I bought my niece a betta fish for her birthday. I expected her to put it in a large betta bowl that she has had for a while, but she doesn't. A few hours later, I see this dark blue fish swimming around in my aquarium...

A couple of days later, he's hiding, has his fins all retracted, and it looks like something has been eating his tail. He's also refusing to eat. The next day, he's dead - and my two bigger angelfish are starting to act bad now too.

It looks like a possible fungus. I didn't look at it much. I knew I didn't have anything on hand right then to treat it, and I had just been cut from my worker's comp paychecks to come back to.. no job. I couldn't afford it. All of my angelfish died.

The clown loach and minnows were never affected.

It's been about a week since that happened. I sent my sister to the store once I got some money, to pick up several different disease treatments, so I could make sure everything was out of the tank before I added new fish. The betta probably had fin rot, but who knows what else he could have introduced to the tank!

Instead she returns with a male betta, a female betta, two angelfish, and a pleco. Male bettas can't live with any other betta, of course. Oh, but she did get a wide-range "treats everything" disease treatment tablets. However, the number of tablets she got will only treat my tank for four days, not five which is what the packaging states.

Now I'm thinking that this just might work, as long as the new fish were healthy when I got them. I added the tablets into the water, and let them all dissolve before starting to acclimate the fish. I didn't have another tank or enough equipment to put the other fish while the existing tank was being treated.

My question is, do you have experience with this type of issue, and will it work just treating it for four days? It only would have been the WATER that needed to be treated, since the actual infected fish all died off. And it was more or less a prevention/cleaning attempt to keep the new fish from being infected anyway. I would have just cleaned the entire tank out and scrubbed everything down, had it not been for the clown loach and minnows that were still surviving in there.

So what do you think the odds are that the new fish will be okay with short treatment?
  • #2
Welcome to the forum.

If all these fish are in your tank, you're going to have major issues. You cannot keep a male betta and a female betta in the same tank unless under supervised spawning, and that's only a few hours at best. They will kill each other.

I don't think the angelfish will do well with the bettas either.

What species of pleco? If it's a "common", then it requires a HUGE tank. They can grow to 18 inches.

This is a large increase on your bioload. Expect a mini-cycle, at the very least.

Not putting these newbies in quarantine, especially after what you just went through is not the smartest idea.

I think you can expect a train wreck, but that's just me. You should return the fish, get only what you wanted in the first place, quarantine them and go from there.

Since you can't diagnose what the problem was when your fish died, it makes little sense to medicate the tank. You don't know what you're medicating against.
  • #3
+1 to Lynda. Take the fish back to the store, this time, go yourself, and get what you really need for your tank.
  • #4
So what size is the tank? Parameters?
Oh, welcome!!
  • Thread Starter
  • #5

And I forgot the type of pleco, but it doesn't look like the common pleco. It has gold stripes all across it. She told me "the guy at the pet store said it only grows to be 4" long."

Edited to say: Nevermind, just remembered. It's a clown pleco.
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Once I stopped and thought about it.... these answers aren't really helpful at all.

All I really wanted to know, is if medicating for only four days - with healthy fish - would keep them from getting the disease.

It wasn't my intention that these new fish arrived. And they had already been released into my tank (it happened yesterday). When I called the store about taking it back, their answer was "we'll refund you if they are dead, but we don't want them back, because they might introduce the disease to our tanks". So... that's not possible. I didn't think it was. Asking a store to take back a fish from a diseased TANK is a bad idea anyway, to all of the other customers that may buy a fish from them. Taking them back is a horrible idea!

And I had already pointed out that male bettas can't live with another betta. At all. Female are so-so, but males, definitely not. HOWEVER, this time I can have her put the male in it's own bowl (and she did) and the female can go in with the other fish. And since putting them in yesterday, the female betta and the angelfish get along just fine. The pleco... well, he's just THERE, anyway.

And the bio-load is actually LESS than what I had. My angelfish were almost full-grown. These are babies. I also had three, she only brought two home. She did get the pleco (clown pleco) and a female betta, but the sheer size of all of these fish were nothing compared to my angelfish.

I KNOW not putting these fish in quarantine wasn't a "smart" idea, and I thank you for the insinuation that I did the opposite. But I didn't expect any new fish, and had nothing to quarantine them in.

As for the sense in medicating the tank, the medication she got is a single tablet meant to treat fungus, bacteria, parasites, and all. It's called Tetra Lifeguard All-In-One treatment. So even without diagnosing what it was, I'm pretty sure there's a good chance this will treat it - and then some.

My question was simply whether or not anyone thought that missing the fifth day of treatment might still work, since the NEW fish being introduced are healthy. What are they odds that the new fish will be okay with only four days of treatment, instead of five?
  • #7
medicating for only four days - with healthy fish - would keep them from getting the disease.

No. It only works if the fish is already sick. As with any medication, follow the directions and use it for the stated length of time.

There's nothing wrong with prophylactically treating new fish. A lot of aquarists do, including me. Just use the medication according to the directions.

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