name that ailment????

  • #1
Hey guys,
   So I read every possible post I could read to try to figure out what's going on with my fish and I just can't figure it we go:

2 albino tiger barbs; symptoms: lethargic, swimming upside down, not eating, very skiddish, stays on bottom, hiding, no weight loss??

2 red eye tetras; symptoms: very skiddish(really always have been, their adopted) dwell on bottom of tank when
                                                 they where always at the top at first, not eating, hiding
1 tiger barb; symptoms: major weight loss, no eating, has been in the same spot at the top of the tank for a week. lethargic.

*My tank is cycled 0amm 0nitrites
*I also lost a redtail this weekend that was showing no symptoms(I loved that little guy :'() found him stuck to the filter intake his fins were all eaten up.
*I did a 25% water change last Friday and forgot to put the water conditioner in the water(I know your cringing, rookie mistake). I'm not shure if that has anything   to do with it   
*they seem to swim around more when the lights are out(mainly the tetras)
*I use a lot of Algae kill also

   My post from the other day     

Please "ol' wise ones" I need help!!!!
  • #2
HI praterface, sorry you are having problems with your tank.  :'(
   You say it is 55 gal?  How long have you had it set up?  Are the fish mentioned below all that you have in it?  You mentioned ammonia, and nitrite, what is the nitrate?    Those are all important factors.  Do you temper the water you are putting in? Do you make sure to treat it for chlorine, or let it set out 24 hrs before adding it to your tank?   IF the nitrates are up  I think the first thing I would try is a 25% water change, then another 25% change.  Then every day for a few days a 25% change.
   You don't need all the chemicals.  If you have algae, get a DWARF species of pleco or a combination of other algae eaters, shrimp, a variety of live bearing snails etc. DO not get a chinease algae eater, they will cause trouble in your tank.   The algae will not kill the fish, but the chemicals might.  The algae might also indicate your nitrates are up.  That, as well as getting rid of the chemicals, is the reason to change the water.  Don't rinse the filters or anything.    What is the temperature?  If you do those water changes, try turning off the powerhead for a couple of days.  Some fish love these, but if they are upset already, sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming for them.  The water  changes will  help the oxygen level in the tank. 
   Are any of these fish new to your tank?  Or have you added any not listed here right before these started showing signs of distress?  The swimming upside down sounds like it might be swim bladder problems.  Have any of them been fighting?  It can be caused by a bruised swim bladder from fighting, or constipation.  What were you feeding them?  Sometimes to much protein can upset, and you have to feed more vegetable based flakes.  I have a shrimp pellet I like to feed, but have had some of my fish gobble them up, and end up eating to much and getting sick.   Hope this helps.  I am sure others can help more, but this is my best advice.

Good Luck !
  • #3
One of four things come to mind.

1) It sounds like there are chemicals or some compounds in the tank that are poisoning your fish and the tap water needs to be tested for ammonia, nitrite, AND nitrates before you add anything to it. City water systems can sometimes surprise you with what is in your water. If the nitrates are high, either get some jugs of spring water and use for 50% of the water in the tank (I know ... not cheap but neither are your fish) If the nitrates are not high (over 20) then need to be doing water changes of 50% then test your water in 8 hours or so and if any of the 3 tests are out of line do another 50% water change.

2) If you do not have a bully fish in your tank, I would be surprised. Your fish sound like they are hiding due to aggression of some type. Stress could well be the reason for the behavior you are seeing and they are not eating due to extreem stress.

3) What are you feeding and how much? They do not sound like they are being nourished with the right type of food.

4) Oxygen starvation could be part of the lethargy. Do you run an airstone? A tank of your size is going to need airstones and such to keep the oxygen levels up.

I do not know that these are the problems, but I am throwing out some suggestions. I hope something has been helpful or given you a hint at what is wrong.

  • Thread Starter
  • #4
I don't seem to have a bully fish in the tank. I could be wrong.

I feed them regular tetra tropical fish flakes. twice a day

I just put an air stone 2 days ago. Before, I had a power head hooked up to a pump at the top of the tank blowing bubbles( I thought that is what was mabey stressing them out so I removed it.)

I belive my NitrAtes are @ zero but I have to check. My kit only tests amm/nitrItes/PH
I have some crappy test strips that test for that.

What about PH?

& stress coat. will that stuff work pretty good?

I guess the main thing I'm worried is TB. I read some posts and and it seems horrific.

I feel like I'm watching an episode of Doctor House guys are great.

let me kow
  • #5
This sounds the same as what my fish were doing with Velvet. They were hiding when the light was on, they stayed at the bottom or the top (depending on how far it had advanced) they darted around and rubbed on the gravel when the light was off, the serpae tetras wouldn't eat. Have they lost coloring? Are there any yellow/white spots on them? The tetras were impossible to see the "gold dust" (velvet) on them because of their coloring and the way it faded. Are they breathing rapidly sitting on the bottom? Swimming to the top just to go back down again? I used the Maracide concentrate and I was able to save 4 out of my 8 fish (the other 4 all died before I could get the medicine, it seemed to hit them quickly being as they were smaller and I couldn't see the color change) I kept the tank covered with a lightweight dark sheet, kept the heat at 82 degrees and monitored it closely so it wouldn't get too warm being covered, I fed them twice a day, very small amount unless they acted hungry (which they did in the last couple days), and I vacuumed the gravel out on the 3rd day, let the nasties settle in the bottom of the bucket and scooped out the clearer water on top as much as I could, only took out about a gallon and replaced with the same clear water so as not to alter the treatment in the water. If the water tests fine you shouldn't have to do that but I was without a test tube, it broke! (FIGURES!)
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Well got home today and my last tiger barb was dead......this is so frustrating!
jaded, your problem sounds a lot like what I'm going through right now. I don't see any spots on them but their acting exactly the ways you described.
And their really not moving at all. think I'm gonna try the stuff you used...see what happens

  • #7
John, I am truly sorry your fish are dropping....If you don't have any way to test the nitrates, take a sample to your LFS and ask them to test. BEFORE you add any more chemicals. You can be sure if you have algae, you have nitrates. The water changes are what will help. Throwing chemicals into a tank without really knowing what the problem is will certainly cause you more headache. Better water quality on the other hand can reduce stress and help your fish. Hope you weather this storm and start enjoying your visit to the tank.

Fish in the Frozen North. 8)
  • #8
Are your fish showing any other weird symptoms or behaviors?--What do they look like exactly?
  • #9
how are your fish doing?
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
Fish seem to be doing a little better. Still hide a little. They eat now....boy do they ever.....After reading almost every post in this blog..I'm thinking I have a parisite.
The fish shop guy said if they are showing improvement not to put in any chemicals. Also if my amm/Nitra/NitrI are good not to get to happy with water changes.

I have Mistery snails now. 2 in fact...both the size of a "sequin" very little. where do these come from?

Thanks for all the help,

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