My danios ate a gourami! Help

  1. Altari Member Member

    ETA: Probably important. I use .5ML of Prime with every water change. I change our 1 to 3 gallons (however much I need to to get the bottom clean) every 3 days. I tried doing it every other day, but Emery started freaking out. I measure the water temperature before adding the water, and it's as close to the same temperature as I can get it (a 1 to 2 degree margin for error).

    Everything was going well with the tank. Tom (the Danio school) swam around just fine. Emery (the pleco) did his pleco thing. And the gouramis, well...they just kept hiding in the log.

    About a week ago, after I did a vacuum/water change, I noticed that Tom was acting strange. They weren't schooling any more. The two big ones were fighting really viciously. I let them go on for about 10 minutes before sticking the net in to separate them, before one of them lost a fin.

    The next day, the two that were fighting turned yellow. An odd, mustardy yellow. I checked the water parameters (with my brand spankin' new kit :p) and everything was fine. The day after, I vacuumed out a gallon and put another gallon in. The danios had gone from yellow to green. Eww. I tried to get them out, lest they infect the other two, but no luck.

    The next day, they were back to normal. The odd color changing hasn't repeated, but they still aren't schooling. They start to school, then the big one attacks the little one. Before, when I'd pull out the food, Tom would rush to the surface. Now, they scatter.

    Last night, the kicker came. I came home, reached for their food and noticed one of the gouramis dead at the bottom. After fishing him out, I noticed that his fins, gills and part of his belly had been eaten. what the heck? The other gourami was hiding in the log, while Tom circled around it like Jaws. Of course, Emery was just chilling out on the wall.

    What in the world is going on? Are there not enough danios to keep Tom happy? Too many males? Are they sick? Not all of them are Zebra danios. I must not be an observant person, because I noticed one of them doesn't have the stripes (he's just silver) but he's the most placid of the group.

    The test kit I have doesn't measure nitrates, but the ammonia is at 0 and the nitrites are under .3. The cloudiness the tank had is gone (I was told this is a sign of the cycle?) and the test strips measure nitrates as "safe." Tom just went from happy to psychotic.

    As a total aside, my husband doesn't want to give up Emery. What size tank do I need for him? I'm guessing it's pretty darn big. If I can't get a tank large enough, I'm going to ask the LFS lady if she still has room to home him. I'm ready to be done with Tom and get a bunch of pretty Mollies...
     
  2. eiginh Well Known Member Member

    :-X Sorry can't help but that's interesting news. What kind of gourami do you have?
     

  3. Altari Member Member

    He's a sparkling gourami. Really pretty, with bright blue eyes. Don't see him much, though, since Tom has him scared witless.
     

  4. ynaggo Member Member

    If you can immediately get rid of the test strips as it can give you false readings most of the time.

    How often do you feed your fish, and how much?

    If those strips are false than the nitrites can be stressing your fish. Take your water to a LFS to get it tested and get the exact levels of each test.
     

  5. Meenu Fishlore VIP Member

    Danios can get quite aggressive unless there are at least 6 of them. Otherwise, the overcrowding in your tank or the fact that it isn'y cycled may be causing aggression.

    If you have a .3 nitrite reading, your tank isn't cycled. What kind of kit are you using? The API master kit comes with a nitrate test.

    Stresszyme doesn't contain the proper bacteria to cycle your tank. Only Tetra Safe Start has the right stuff. I would stop adding it if I were you. When you add it, it eats the ammonia and so the healthy bacteria your tank needs doesn't have a chance to colonize.

    Also, chemicals to alter pH are very highly discouraged. There's a link about it, but I haven't been able to find it. Hopefully someone else can post it for you.

    I think you should consider doing daily water changes with Prime conditioner (you already have), which will detoxify those nitrites for 24 hours at a time. This should be kept up until a liquid test kit shows 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and 5-20 nitrates. You should also rehome Emery now rather than waiting. Messing with your pH with chemicals can be dangerous - I'd stop doing this. Take your water changes slow at first, since the water you add is going to be a different pH than that in your tank. Also, feeding a bit less should help keep the parameters more steady while the tank is cycling.

    How is your betta doing in the tank? It's discouraged to have a betta in a community tank as well.

    edit: If you are having to clean the bottom every three days, you may be feeding too much. Due to illness (mine), the bottom of my tank hasn't been cleaned in 3 weeks, and just now I am starting to see a bit of debris. You should be feeding your fish only enough that all of the food is gone within about 3 minutes, without any left over on the bottom of the tank. The extra food will break down, creating more ammonia and a strain on your cycling tank.

    I wouldn't add more fish at this time, even to get Tom up to get to a proper school. If you have a quarantine tank, you could move the poor gourami out of the tank. Otherwise, it may be worth it to divide the tank temporarily until this is all fixed. It would be awful if Tom, your mob of angry danios, claims another victim.
     
  6. Shawnie Fishlore Legend Member


    sorry for your loss :(
    if the tank isnt cycled, (which it isnt with a nitrite reading) fish will get stressed and weak...sounds like your gourami couldnt handle an uncycled tank and the danio was eating him because he couldnt get away....danios will eat ANYTHING that passes or is weak and lying on the bottom..as most fish will....id suggest getting some prime and do DAILY water changes until your cycle is complete...as well as being severely overstocked, you are going to have to rehome, or look for a bigger tank before more happens with your fin babies....
    EDIT: wow i type slow when multi tasking LOL
    GREAT replies from other members....good luck!
     
  7. Altari Member Member

    I have a Tetra test kit. I went to the store, asked for the Master Kit, they didn't have it, and I got the one they had. It was enough of a haul to get to the store as it was, so I wasn't going to go on a further hunting spree.

    Maybe I have the ammonia and the nitrites confused. I'm trying to remember the readings I got yesterday night. I can say that the water color for the ammonia was the same color as the first indicator and the nitrite was lighter than the first indicator, one one was 0 and one was .3.

    I'm not using any pH chemical and stopped using StressZyme a long time ago (both at the suggestions of the awesome posters here). I've just been using Prime to remove the chlorine and ammonia in the tap water. (I'll update my aquarium info, since I'm sure both of those are still in there.)

    I'm feeding once a day. The bottom is getting dirty because Tom isn't coming to the surface to eat. I drop in four little pellets to attract them, and by the time they notice the pellets, they're basically at the bottom. Then I drop four more in, once they've already decided to come out to eat. I try to put in a few extra by where the gourami usually hides, since he simply won't compete with Tom.
     
  8. Altari Member Member

    Alrighty, here's an image of the kit.

    NO2 is at .3 (less, I think, because the color was fainter) and NH is at 0. If memory serves me, NH is ammonia and NO2 is nitrites. I test the water before I change/add Prime, just in case that causes any jinkiness with the reading.
     
  9. Lucy Moderator Moderator Member

    I'm so sorry about your fish. :(
    Sparkling gourami's really need a peaceful tank. They can be shy and not a good match for zippy nippy danios, imo.
    If Emery is a common, he's going to need at least a 55, they can grow really big.
     
  10. Meenu Fishlore VIP Member

    Thanks for updating your aquarium info. It's much easier to give proper advice :)

    You'll need a better kit. Can I suggest you look online? I ordered mine from Amazon for 10 dollars less than at any pet store around me.
    Once you have it, you can use it to cycle. Then to use up the strips so the money wasn't wasted, after the tank is cycled, you could check with them until they run out. I'd say if anything looks off with them, verify with the API tests, and do a spot API test every couple of weeks.

    Also, next time you go to the store, maybe pick up some sort of floating flake food for Tom? If you develop a routine (turn light on, tap on the side of the tank lightly a couple of times, etc.) every time you feed, I think that your fish will learn cues to tell them it is feeding time. Maybe that will help too?
     
  11. eiginh Well Known Member Member

    You're test kit is fine, It's the Tetra Laborette Master kit right? I used to have that but it ran out too quickly. I consider purchasing a API nitrate test kit from your lfs. That'll last you longer than the Tetra brand test kit.
     
  12. Meenu Fishlore VIP Member

    I just looked at the test kit, eiginh, before I read your post. lol... I was just about to post that the test kit looks fine. I was saying OP needed a better kit based on ynaggo's post that it was strips.