my fish are slowly dieing!!

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by julie, Dec 15, 2005.

  1. julieNew MemberMember

    Help!! I have a 29 gal. freshwater community tank. It has been set up for approx. 3 months. I have a few fish that have done fine, but all of a sudden one will become lethargic, stop eating, sit on the bottom and then die. I am loosing a fish every few weeks. Now my beautiful angel is doing it, he was fine yesterday. I have tested my water, it's fine, done a 10 per cent water change,(which I do every 10 days). I don't know what else to do. Any suggestions? Thanks Julie
  2. GunnieWell Known MemberMember

    Hi Julie! Welcome to FishLore! I'm sorry to hear about your fishies. Hope we can help! First off, please post the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels for us. Is your tank cycled? Also let us know how big the tank is, and what fish you have in it. This will give us more to work with. A water change is always a good idea. It can't hurt. Post us a little more information, and we'll help you get your tank back to normal. Glad to have you with us! ;)

  3. IsabellaFishlore VIPMember

    Hi Julie. How many and what fish do you have in your tank currently? How many did you have when they started dying? The reason they're dying could be that water parameters are unstable or that there is a disease in your tank. Are they eating normally? How do they behave, how do they swim? I know you said your readings are fine, but if you could, please post your ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH levels. Ammonia and nitrite can kill really fast even when in smallest amounts present in the tank. Nitrate isn't as toxic as the other two, but should be kept as low as possible too because higher nitrate values also kill fish or cause them to get sick. Maybe your pH is too low or too high as for the fish you have, check that. Maybe you should be performing larger and more frequent water changes. I, for instance, change 25% of water every 1.5 - 2 weeks (this eliminates nitrate). And as you change the water, you should also vacuum the gravel - this gets rid of old waste and, in effect, of nitrate. Another possibility is that the temperature is too low or too high for your fish. Let us know on all of the topics I mentioned. Thanks.

  4. julieNew MemberMember

    Wow, thanks for the quick response. My tank is 29 gallons. I have 3 angelfish, 2 neon tetras, 1 swordfish, 1 platy, 1 pleco and 1 I don't remember the name of. I have lost 1 koi angel, 1 gourami, 2 zebras, 1 platy, over the last few months. My tank is cycled, I have an undergravel filter with a powerhead, and a biowheel outside filter, live plants. My Ph is 7.0, nitrite is 0, nitrate is 0 and ammonia is 0. I keep the temperature at 78 degrees. I do vacuum the bottom of the tank approx. every 10 days which is also when I do my water change. We have well water, when I do the water change I do add a pH adjuster and usually some stress coat. I feed flake food, Omega One Super Color, and Aquadine Nutritional System. I usually feed a small amnt. twice a day, alternating the foods. I was feeding frozen brine shrimp but haven't for quite some time. All of the fish have died the same way, no symptoms, just all of a sudden they stop eating, become lethargic, start hiding in the plants and they're usually dead in a day or so. My angel seems to have snapped out of it for now, looks normal and is swimming about today. But my platy is looking bad, is hiding, etc. I look forward to any advice you can give me, I did a vacuuming and partial H2O change last week, maybe I should do another one? Thanks again!! Julie

  5. IsabellaFishlore VIPMember

    Wow Julie, and we thank you for the detailed response. Your water indeed seems very fine. Zero nitrate is perfect; even in my 30g. tank it's hard to maintain 0 nitrate. It's usually 20 in my tank, even though I do 25% water changes with a gravel vac. every 1.5-2 weeks. I can't think of any disease since all water parameters are fine. Your tank is not overstocked either (although, how large is your pleco? I hear they grow to quite large). It really is baffling. Maybe Gunnie or Butterfly will know what is wrong with your fish - they are very knowledgeable.

    Your pH is good too for the fish you have. However, I have read that it's not good to add commercial pH adjusters. I am, by no means, discouraging you from using the pH adjuster since maybe it is perfectly OK. Just letting you know what I have read. The reason why, they wrote, it's not safe to constantly adjust the pH is that fish can't cope well with sudden pH changes, and it's OK if the pH increases or decreases gradually by itself since the fish can adapt to various pH ranges over time. If you want to lower your pH, it's better to put some peat in your filter (which is a natural means of lowering pH, rather than a commercial chemical product).

    Um ... besides, I don't really know why they are dying. Maybe it has something to do with pairing and schooling? Angels, I think, like to be in pairs (I have only 2 angels in a 30g. tank), so do gouramis. Neons like to be in groups (shoals) and I have 12 of them in my 30g. tank. Zebra danios also like to be in groups. I don't know about platys and swordfish.
  6. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    What is your ph straight out of the faucet?
    How often do you rinse or replace your filter media?
    Water changes are never a bad idea when you have a problem, unless you are having a ph fluctuation.
    Do a couple of experiments OK.? :) ( 1)run a glass of water from your faucet(no ph adjuster), let it set 24 hours and test the ph.
    (2) test the ph of your tank before you do a water change
    (3) test your replacement water after adding the ph adjuster- before adding it to the tank.
    Most fish are willing to adjust to just about any ph and be happy and healthy, adding chemicals to alter any water component like ph can cause fluctuations which can cause disease and death.
    Just some thoughts
  7. julieNew MemberMember

    Thank you everybody for your advice!! I am wondering about the pairing situation with my fish, I only have one swordtail, one (of that fish I don't know), 3 angels 1 platy and 2 neons. My pleco is about 2 inches long, not so big. I didn't know when I got him that they get huge, I'm disappointed that the store didn't tell me that. Maybe my 3rd angel needs a friend? I agree that my water looks good, but I wonder about the ph. I will try the recommendation of testing my tap water, etc. You guys are so knowledgeable, I appreciate the help so much, I love my fish tank but it's becoming rather depressing!! One thing I have wondered about, how do I know if I'm getting good quality fish? Could they be old or sick when I get them? I also have a beta fish I would like to put in the tank, right now he is in his own goldfish bowl (minus the goldfish), so the water isn't heated or anything, can I move him into the tank without any harm? Thanks again for your help, I will keep trying! Julie
  8. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    While your having problems with your tank I wouldn't add the Betta or any other fish. Lets figure out what the problem is before adding anymore variables. ;D
    Although they tend to like warmer water, if your room temp is about 70-75 degrees the Betta will probably be OK for awhile.
    When you get them if they have good color, are shaped good for their species and active then I'd say their pretty well healthy. just some thoughts.
  9. julieNew MemberMember

    Re: my fish are slowl dying!!

    Thanks again for the replies. I got busy over Christmas so wasn't able to check in. My angel fish did die. My few remaining fish look good. I think perhaps my problem is the pH factor. It is about 7.2 out of the faucet and I have been adding a commercial pH adjuster to lower it each time I do a vacuum, water change. I think now the best thing to do is just use the water straight from the tap and let it remain a little high, however, how do I start doing that without upsetting the remaining fish? Just slowly add the new water? Won't that raise the pH from what it is in the tank? Thanks.
  10. GunnieWell Known MemberMember

    Yes it will. You must be very careful when acclimating your tank to your tap water. was there any change in the ph of your tap water after sitting for 24 hours? The reason in testing this is because sometimes water will "gas out", and if you are doing water changes with with water out of the tap at 7.2, and the next morning, your tank ph is 6.6, that is too drastic of a change and can seriously hurt your fish. This test will determine if your tap water needs to be "aged" or not. Aging water is simply putting it into a bucket or barrell 24 hours or more before using it, and adding a heater, and either a powerful airstone or powerhead for circulation. This way you gas it out before putting it into your tank, and the ph will stay at a stable level.
  11. julieNew MemberMember

    My pH straight out of the tap is 7.0, after 24 hours it is 7.2, water straight from the aquarium is 7.0. What should I do? It's time for a vacuum and water change and I'm afraid to do anything!! Help!!
  12. MaryPaNew MemberMember

    I personally see nothing wrong with your pH. Why are you trying to lower it?
  13. GunnieWell Known MemberMember

    Julie, a .2 difference is okay. Go ahead and use your water straight from the tap. Just make sure you adjust the temp. to be the same or close to the same temp of your tank.
  14. julieNew MemberMember

    OK, I'm going to go ahead and do my maintenance and not add anything to the water. If the fish do ok, I'm kind of back to square one, which is, why are my fish dying? I was hoping the pH was the problem, and maybe it is, since I was adding the pH adjuster everytime I vacuumed and did my water change. I guess time will tell, I sure don't know what else to do. thanks everybody for your advice!!
  15. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    Sometimes the pH adjusters cause the pH to fluctuate quiet a lot and this causes more problems than a high or low pH and can even cause death.
  16. julieNew MemberMember

    I did my water change (about 20%) and didn't add anything to the tap water. Today my swordtail is not doing well. So, I am down to 2 angels, 2 neon tetras, 1 platy and 1 pleco. They seem to be fine, are eating etc. Overfeeding? I'm at a loss.
  17. kennythesharkNew MemberMember

    Hi Julie,

    I am fairly new at this myself...but I am having a similar problem...I brought a sample of my water to the fish store and they were amazed at how good the water was...I thought I was doing everything right. Recently I had an angel die and now my other angel is sick. The people at the fish store said it could be a parasite...if 1 fish is sick they all get it and start to slowly kill off. It had been several months since I had added any fish and then all of the sudden 1 day my angel stopped eating and a few days later he was dead. This was because the parasite slowly killed him even months later. I am currently treating my tank (all the fishes get treatment) with a mild parasite treatment (you can pick it up at your local fish store it is about $5.00) My angel fish is currently on his 3rd night of getting "baths" (I take him out put him in a bucket with lots of the parasite killer for about 30-45 minutes) he hasn't started eating again yet, so I don't know if it is working or he is too far gone or maybe it isn't even the problem or what. Perhaps it is too late to save my angel but maybe this is also your problem and you could possibly save the lives of your other fishes. Good luck!
  18. julieNew MemberMember

    Thanks kenny, I am willing to try anything at this point, since it seems that all of my fish are going to die anyway. My swordtail was dead this morning. The platy is now on the bottom gasping as well. I am wondering if I should wait until the others are symptomatic are if I should just treat the whole tank, which only consists of a few fish at this point. I do have 2 beautiful angels I would like to try to save. Maybe if I treat them before they look sick it would help? I will go into the fish store today. I did pick up something a couple of weeks ago but it says not to use it on bottom fish. I wonder if my pleco is going to do ok, he sure seems healthy right now. Thanks again for your help, I hope you don't loose all of your fish as well!! i'm getting pretty discouraged about my aquarium at this point.
  19. JasonWell Known MemberMember

    When you said you didn't add anything to the tap water you still added tap dechlorinator didn't you? To remove chlorine and chloromines... something or rather can't spell it
  20. molliesrevilNew MemberMember

    Does the gill arches look inflamed or red, and does the fish gasp for water near the suface?

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