Need help, ammonia high, sick fish?

Shwiggy44
  • #1
I have a question and this post is going to kinda be all over the place but please stay with me and try to help me out. By the way I am numbering the fish (#1- #6) by the order I got them so you can follow what I’m saying. I got a 8 gallon fish tank for my 4 year old that I set up a month ago and it has been a rough go. This is my first go at having an aquarium And Like I said I set the tank up a month ago and when I set the tank up, 3 days later I added our first 3 guppies (#1, #2 & #3). We did a fish in cycle as we were told that we could do per the pet store by using liquid starter Bactria. I used the bacteria as directed for a week after getting the first 3 fish and The day after we got our first 3 fish one died (#2). I waited a few days to replace the one that died but got another one (new #2) About a week later we added 2 more guppies (#4 & #5) and a few days after that we added the 2 ADF. So at this point we had 5 guppies and 2 ADF. Soon after that, one of the original 3 fish was not doing good (#3) so I took it back to the pet store and switched it out with one that looked just like it so that my son would not be sad again that another one either died or is sick so now we have a new (#3). A week later we added the final fish (#6) to make 6 guppies and 2 ADF. I woke up this morning and one of the frogs was dead and so was the last fish (#6) we got just a week and a half ago and the fish that we got to replace the one that died (new #2) is staying towards the bottom of the tank and not eating or doing good at all. The other 4 fish (#1, new #3, #4 & #5) and the other frog are doing great and I don’t get it. Why do some die and the others are doing great? During this last month my ammonia level has been between .25 ppm to 1.0 ppm. My Nitrites are 0.0 ppm and my Nitrates are at 5.0 ppm. My pH is 7.8 which I was told was a little high but okay. Because of the ammonia I am doing water changes every day or every other day until I have 0.0 ppm ammonia or until the tank fully cycles. I have added bacteria after I add a new fish and after each water change. I use Prime as my conditioner and to control the ammonia. A couple of my fish, not all had stringy poop which I think was constipation. I thought they could be parasites but all my fish would have parasites not just a couple. If the ammonia was to high all the fish would be sick not just the ones that died or is sick. So do you think it may be just bad fish from the store? Like I said, if it was parasites or a ammonia problem all the fish would be dead or sick or am I wrong. Please help. I don’t understand why some are doing so well and others are dying.
 

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Crimson_687
  • #2
Do you know how long the fish are at the store when you bought them? I’m not sure where your LFS gets there fish from, but often fish will arrive sick or weak. If you’re getting them close to shipping day, the chance of getting a sick or extremely stressed fish is very high. Do you know what parameters they are kept at in the store? How do you acclimate?

Is for white stringy poo, that’s most likely parasites, but it could indicate a different internal problem. However, not all fish with the same parasite show the same signs, so even if it is parasitic, not all fish will show parasites. Some fish may also die quickly from a virus or it may manifest faster in a stressed fish. New fish will be stressed.

I would highly recommend investing in a quarantine tank, or asking the LFS to quarantine fish for you in the future to prevent your current fish from becoming sick from new additions.

Edit: so please correct me here, but as of now you have 6 guppies and 2 ADFs in an 8 gallon?

I think your tank is a bit overcrowded. Guppies multiply very quickly and need a 1:2-3 m/f ratio, or be kept in a male-only groups. However, males are known for fighting each other a lot in male-only groups.. the tank should he heavily planted to break the line of sight and provide respite. 6 may be too many, especially with the ADF
 

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ArtFish
  • #3
Hey, I have never had luck with guppy’s and they usually die one at a time over a few weeks, so I’ve gave up on guppies. I’ve never kept frogs so I can’t help you their.
Do you have a picture of the tank so I can see any issues that may be going on. (Filters, heaters or decor) and is it a tall or long tank.
usually cycling takes a few weeks or months and I would think you should use the bacteria to speed up the cycle and not to cycle with the fish since it doesn’t just make an established tank instantly but it seems you’ve had you tank set up for a while now.
sometimes certain fish just don’t work with peoples water And that’s ok, it’s how it is for me and I have failed and succeeded with many different types of fish and stuck with the ones that work.
I would also say that you have a lot of fish for an 8 gallon tank. And for the parasite/ illness I’ve had fish die from illnesses where others heal from it and live.
 
Shwiggy44
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
What do you recommend for the parasites. If it is parasites the whole tank is infected and I need to treat the whole tank. I am also worried about using any type of treatment as I heard I am suppose to take out the filter cartridge and I don’t think the tank is completely cycled. I did use a teaspoon of Epson salt tonight to see if it would help as a muscle relaxer and if it is constipation. I know the salt does not go away but I am doing water changes every night or every other night so the salt will get weeded out with that changes.
 
ArtFish
  • #5
My goldfish got ich and I just used API aquarium salt and it did the job, I’m not sure what to use for your fish but salt usually works fine for most issues
Some people recommend melafix or pimafix by API

Also if you have any questions if the best products/brands to buy for anything fish related I/others can let you know. here to help
 
Shwiggy44
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Hey, I have never had luck with guppy’s and they usually die one at a time over a few weeks, so I’ve gave up on guppies. I’ve never kept frogs so I can’t help you their.
Do you have a picture of the tank so I can see any issues that may be going on. (Filters, heaters or decor) and is it a tall or long tank.
usually cycling takes a few weeks or months and I would think you should use the bacteria to speed up the cycle and not to cycle with the fish since it doesn’t just make an established tank instantly but it seems you’ve had you tank set up for a while now.
sometimes certain fish just don’t work with peoples water And that’s ok, it’s how it is for me and I have failed and succeeded with many different types of fish and stuck with the ones that work.
I would also say that you have a lot of fish for an 8 gallon tank. And for the parasite/ illness I’ve had fish die from illnesses where others heal from it and live.
Do you know how long the fish are at the store when you bought them? I’m not sure where your LFS gets there fish from, but often fish will arrive sick or weak. If you’re getting them close to shipping day, the chance of getting a sick or extremely stressed fish is very high. Do you know what parameters they are kept at in the store? How do you acclimate?

Is for white stringy poo, that’s most likely parasites, but it could indicate a different internal problem. However, not all fish with the same parasite show the same signs, so even if it is parasitic, not all fish will show parasites. Some fish may also die quickly from a virus or it may manifest faster in a stressed fish. New fish will be stressed.

I would highly recommend investing in a quarantine tank, or asking the LFS to quarantine fish for you in the future to prevent your current fish from becoming sick from new additions.

Edit: so please correct me here, but as of now you have 6 guppies and 2 ADFs in an 8 gallon?

I think your tank is a bit overcrowded. Guppies multiply very quickly and need a 1:2-3 m/f ratio, or be kept in a male-only groups. However, males are known for fighting each other a lot in male-only groups.. the tank should he heavily planted to break the line of sight and provide respite. 6 may be too many, especially with the ADF
Do you know how long the fish are at the store when you bought them? I’m not sure where your LFS gets there fish from, but often fish will arrive sick or weak. If you’re getting them close to shipping day, the chance of getting a sick or extremely stressed fish is very high. Do you know what parameters they are kept at in the store? How do you acclimate?

Is for white stringy poo, that’s most likely parasites, but it could indicate a different internal problem. However, not all fish with the same parasite show the same signs, so even if it is parasitic, not all fish will show parasites. Some fish may also die quickly from a virus or it may manifest faster in a stressed fish. New fish will be stressed.

I would highly recommend investing in a quarantine tank, or asking the LFS to quarantine fish for you in the future to prevent your current fish from becoming sick from new additions.

Edit: so please correct me here, but as of now you have 6 guppies and 2 ADFs in an 8 gallon?

I think your tank is a bit overcrowded. Guppies multiply very quickly and need a 1:2-3 m/f ratio, or be kept in a male-only groups. However, males are known for fighting each other a lot in male-only groups.. the tank should he heavily planted to break the line of sight and provide respite. 6 may be too many, especially with the ADF
I was told I could have

What do you recommend for the parasites. If it is parasites the whole tank is infected and I need to treat the whole tank. I am also worried about using any type of treatment as I heard I am suppose to take out the filter cartridge and I don’t think the tank is completely cycled. I did use a teaspoon of Epson salt tonight to see if it would help as a muscle relaxer and if it is constipation. I know the salt does not go away but I am doing water changes every night or every other night so the salt will get weeded out with that changes.
 

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Shwiggy44
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
The tank is 15 inches tall 12 inches wide X 12 inches back. It has a built in filter pump with a filter cartridge.
 
Crimson_687
  • #8
I was told I could have

What do you recommend for the parasites. If it is parasites the whole tank is infected and I need to treat the whole tank. I am also worried about using any type of treatment as I heard I am suppose to take out the filter cartridge and I don’t think the tank is completely cycled. I did use a teaspoon of Epson salt tonight to see if it would help as a muscle relaxer and if it is constipation. I know the salt does not go away but I am doing water changes every night or every other night so the salt will get weeded out with that changes.
It’s hard to know what parasites without knowing more about the symptoms. If it is internal parasites, fenbendazole + garlic guard food soak might be a good bet, but different parasites need different meds. It could also be internal bacterial, and in some cases, white stringy poo is a sign of internal damage or organ failure. Epsom salt is best done separate from the tank at a ratio of 1 tbsp per gallon for 10-20 min, you can do a WC as well since you won’t add back the water. It helps them with swelling and constipation. Other things that will help with constipation is daphnia, a natural laxative that is also a great dietary supplement. Garlic makes food more appetizing and can also help boost fish health.


As for stocking, pet store advice is not always the best. Even from those who care about the fish, they may not own the fish themselves or be familiar with every single aquatic creature they sell. Especially at chain stores, you may even be speaking from someone from the cat food department who doesn’t have fish it all! It’s good to do your own research, read the experiences of others, and always know for yourself what’s best for your fish. Every situation is different. I would say your tank is overcrowded, but if you got very well-tempered fish, keep the tank clean, heavily plant, and overall get lucky, it could work, it’s just not ideal.
My goldfish got ich and I just used API aquarium salt and it did the job, I’m not sure what to use for your fish but salt usually works fine for most issues
Some people recommend melafix or pimafix by API

Also if you have any questions if the best products/brands to buy for anything fish related I/others can let you know. here to help
please do not use any of the fixes. They are not real medicines and the oils in them will irritate the skin and gills of a fish. As for salt, it can help treat light infections of those that do not tolerate salt. However, salt will have little affect on internal parasites or extreme infections.
 
ArtFish
  • #9
Hm, the tank seems all good with equipment.
It may just be the fish or one fish brought in something for the other fish.
I’ve just accepted that I will get bad fish and they will die and so I just keep trying until something works.
Try the salt or a medicine, and if you don’t want to get rid of the filter media you can get a sponge filter which usually are sold mostly online. Also you don’t have to stop the filter, just take out the media.
If they do die try not to replace them unless the issue is fixed, don’t want to just keep having more sick fish.
 
Crimson_687
  • #10
Most medicines won’t affect beneficial bacteria. Those that will usually say so, and it’s hard to know what to treat with unless you are able to identify this sickness. Throwing meds at stressed fish won’t help unless the meds are correct.

Do you have some pics? Have you asked the LFS if they have had any health issues/ diseases with their fish/shipments lately? Do you know if your fish were part of a new shipment? Have you noticed any other signs (wasting, swelling, loss of color, loss of appetite, lethargy, odd swimming, scratching, flashing, acting erratic, body streaks, red marks, wasting, etc)
 
Shwiggy44
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Besides the one fish and the one frog that I found dead today, The one that I think is sick now seems to be bloated and is just chillin at the bottom of the tank. Before I turned off the light tonight he did have a short erratic swim season before going back down to the bottom of the tank. The other 4 are doing just fine and swimming all around the tank. The other frog is doing good too. I feed him tonight and gobbled up the 6-7 bloodworms I gave him. I did do 1 teaspoon of Epson salt tonight but I have been doing daily water changes so that will weed out with the changes.
 
Crimson_687
  • #12
Besides the one fish and the one frog that I found dead today, The one that I think is sick now seems to be bloated and is just chillin at the bottom of the tank. Before I turned off the light tonight he did have a short erratic swim season before going back down to the bottom of the tank. The other 4 are doing just fine and swimming all around the tank. The other frog is doing good too. I feed him tonight and gobbled up the 6-7 bloodworms I gave him. I did do 1 teaspoon of Epson salt tonight but I have been doing daily water changes so that will weed out with the changes.
Try giving an Epsom salt bath and daphnia to the the bloated fish, hopefully that will help. If he’s lacking appetite try soaking food in garlic. If you can’t get daphnia you can try feeding a peeled pea.
 

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