Need help ASAP! My baby fish are dying as we speak!! :(

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Melissa K Lovallo, Jul 29, 2015.

  1. Melissa K LovalloNew MemberMember

    Ok, so I've got a lil dilemma...And this is really long, so I'm sorry ahead of time. :p I think I'm over-complicating things or something, but I can't wrap my brain around a solid plan.
    I've been keeping freshwater fish since last summer, starting with a 5 gal w/ 2 platies, a dwarf gourami, and a couple cory catfish. It has very quickly grown to bigger and bigger tanks, and now I've got 2 livebearing tanks. It's mainly platies, a few mollies, and a pair of guppies I've had since birth (around 4 mos). I also have a dwarf gourami, and a pleco, which are both in the 30 gallon I've had set up only a few months (bought off craigslist), and is the main one where I keep all the adult livebearers (and lots of babies of course), and the other is a 10 gallon (I've had for over 6 months) we keep above our kitchen sink so we can watch them while we do dishes n stuff, and that just has a lot of babies (most are between 1-2 mos old) in it currently, along with a bamboo shrimp (got about 2 mos ago) and a bristlenose pleco (got maybe 7-8 mos ago).

    I put my pregnant guppy in the 10 gal recently and it seems as soon as she had those babies the whole tank fell apart. :( I started noticing about a week ago that a few of the baby platies had tiny white specks on them (which I now am realizing is probably Ick) which have gotten increasingly worse. This tank had ALWAYS been healthy though. I've never had any issues with worms or ick before. And all the levels are the same as they've always been (according to the 5 in 1 test strips I have). In BOTH tanks. For some reason I can't get the nitrates down (which are between 20-40...kinda hard to tell), no matter what, but nitrites are always at 0, Ph looks like it's about 7.5 (maybe higher but again, hard to tell with those strips), and GH is between 60-120, KH between 40-80 (I have really hard water, but I can't seem to improve it unless I use a buffer, but again, I've never had problems with my fish or tank before).

    Anyway, when momma guppy had her babies (about a week ago), that same day I noticed she was pooping out some red stuff (and the other fish were eating it, which I thought was weird). After a couple days she still looked pregnant, in fact her tummy seemed to be getting even bigger. Then I noticed just a couple days ago she was having trouble swimming properly and was EXTREMELY bloated, so I took her out, along with a couple of the other sickly looking fish and put them in a 1 gal medical tank with a tiny piece of Parasite Guard. The guppy is looking a lot better now, the other 2 maybe a lil better too... hard to tell.

    But almost every little fish remaining (that haven't died) in the 10 gal either have the white specks, and/or swim frantically (when they do swim) and spend most their time lying on the gravel or hiding, until I come over with food. :(
    The shrimp and pleco look fine as far as I know, but I don't know what to do. I've tried putting another small heater in the tank in hopes of raising the temp, but it won't go any higher than like 78 degrees, and I put more stress coat in there (like I do with every water change as well), along with a little aquarium salt. I read though that I can't put the parasite guard in because of my shrimp.

    I really don't have a lot of other resources or money right now. I figured I'd try to just keep the bamboo shrimp and pleco separate but the only other tank I have to put them in is a 5 gal that's been sitting in my garage and will need to be cleaned and obviously re-cycled. Or another 1 gal that's currently occupied by one of my momma platies who hasn't been doing very well for months now (not sure what's wrong with her either, but she was one of the very first fish I got last summer, so I'm almost thinking maybe she's just getting old...?) and am afraid to put my shrimp in my other tank like I originally thought because if he's carrying the disease or anything I don't want him to infect my other fishies! :(

    Should I put the ones I just recently took out BACK in the 10 gal, treat it, and then just clean that 1 gal out and put the shrimp & pleco in there with the water and some plants from the 10 gal, in hopes they stay healthy?? Eventually move them to the 5 gal if I can't get the 10 gal in order? I don't even have a filter though for that 1 gal... Ugh. I feel pretty clueless... HELP!!! :(
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2015
  2. kidster9700Well Known MemberMember

    I still can't quite get through it all. But the ich was probably because the bristle nose pleco poops way too much to be in a 10g. Also if the bloated platy is still alive feed her a pea. And lastly from what I read, if your nitrAtes are 20-40 that's okay! Water changes will bring that down, like 50-75%, but it's not that bad. As long as ammonia and nitrItes are 0ppm then it's okay.
    As for the last 2/3rds, there's too much.

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  3. Tiny goatfishWell Known MemberMember

    why don't you buy a new heater? its the best way to treat ich. If you can't you could try commercial Ich treaters.
  4. Melissa K LovalloNew MemberMember

    Interesting... The bristlenose was honestly the least of my worries as far as adding ammonia to the tank. The platies I find poop WAY more than that lil guy does, and I got the bristlenose because I was told he would be fine in a 10 gal, and so far it's never been a problem, until I added my pregnant guppy.

    Thanks for the reassurance on the levels though!

    My main question was where do I put my shrimp & pleco for now so I can treat the 10 gal, and what would be the best way to do that?

    Btw, I knew my post was long, but was trying to cover all the questions I knew I'd get asked! ;)

    Tiny goatfish, I would love to, as that's what I've heard as well... but right now I just don't have the funds to cover the cost. Payday isn't until first week of Aug. :/ What about maybe putting the tank outside for a bit to warm up??
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2015
  5. kidster9700Well Known MemberMember

    thats going to result in a huge growth of algae and you won't be able to regulate the temp. a 50w adjustable heater is only $30. you should really find a way to get that for the ich. that cleared up my fry's ich in like 3 days.
  6. Melissa K LovalloNew MemberMember

    Ok..... And in the meantime???

    Shrimp and pleco (who seem unaffected)?? I've got a 5 gallon I just rinsed out... Should I put them in there with some of the plants/water from the 10 gal??? I want to KEEP my healthy fish HEALTHY.

    I'm sorry, but that was kind of my main question.
  7. kidster9700Well Known MemberMember

    You can try dosing freshwater aquarium salt to help with the ich. Be VERY careful with this. I killed 12 Molly fry by over dosing when I did a water change. So I would suggest just dosing the water, and then water changes after that don't add more salt. My poor babies totally OD'd and it was horrible to watch. I did two 50% water changes to bring it down, but it was too late. They truly suffered :( at least the 3 survivors are tough!

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  8. Bijou88Well Known MemberMember

    You'll want to leave the pleco in the tank during treatment as he's been exposed to the illness, even if he's not showing symptoms. I may be wrong but I don't think salt is great for plecos. Unfortunately, the only ways to treat ich that I'm aware of are heat or meds. Heat is what I would do personally since you have shrimp and they can be sensitive to medications. Until you're able to get an adjustable heater or meds I'm not sure there's much you can do. ... :(

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  9. kidster9700Well Known MemberMember

    Oh yeah, that's true. A lot of fish and invertebrates do not do well with salt. I forgot about that.
    Oh, and you probably shouldn't medicate if there's fry in the tank. It can be quite harmful to them.

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  10. ScoutsfishWell Known MemberMember

    If your local walmart has a fish section, they may have a fully submersible heater for 5-10g and 10-20g or so tanks. The smaller ones are $10 and work well, however they aren't adjustable so it will only bring the tank to 78*. But that would be better than nothing.

    I've found the salt and heat treatment work best for ick and the like. However salt will melt your live plants and most likely irritate your pleco. Good luck! Sorry to hear about your fishies!! Hope they get better:)
  11. kidster9700Well Known MemberMember

    78 will not do it. You must get an adjustable heater because it has to get to at least 84. HOWEVER I have also heard that any temp change (up OR down) of over 6 degrees (F) will help. Haven't tried that myself.

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  12. Bijou88Well Known MemberMember

    It's 86 degrees I believe.

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  13. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    Yes it's 86 degrees for a few days.

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  14. Bijou88Well Known MemberMember

    At least a week is what I hear, some say two weeks.

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  15. kidster9700Well Known MemberMember

    The ich will clear in a few days but yes, it needs to stay up there for 7-10 days. That's about the average from what I've heard (the lowest anyone told me was 3 days haha and the most was like 20)

    EDIT: that's visibly clear, it won't actually be completely gone

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  16. Et tuValued MemberMember

    The ick parasite has to be in the free swimming time of their life cycle for the heat treatment to work. So it does take about 10 days for all of them to be killed.
  17. Melissa K LovalloNew MemberMember

    Thanks for the replies! I've sadly got 3 (yes, THREE) of those little 5-10 g heaters that don't adjust temp... one of them MUST be broken because I'm STILL only at 78 degrees! :/ I've got a few Scentsy warmers though, I'm gonna be cheap and set them up against both sides of the tank and see if that helps for now until I can get the money for a better heater. :p
  18. kidster9700Well Known MemberMember

    Multiple preset heaters won't make your tank warmer. They are set to turn off when the water temperature reaches whatever it is they're programmed for (78 normally)

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  19. kidster9700Well Known MemberMember

    Basically, more preset heaters will just get you up to 78 faster. But won't heat beyond that.

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  20. junebugFishlore LegendMember

    o_O Well this is nice and convoluted now.

    Heat treatment for ICH is 86* (or slightly lower for fish that don't do well in those temps) for two weeks AFTER the last ICH spores fall off the fish. If you don't keep the temp up for this long, the ICH will still be reproducing in your tank and at some point in the future, it will likely make a comeback.

    The OP will probably want to know that the cheapest adjustable heaters, the cheapest meds, etc, for fish are probably the ones you'll find on ebay. I use eshopps equipment in many of my tanks and I purchase it for a fraction of the cost of the "petstore" brand stuff.

    As for the stocking issues, the BN pleco makes way too much waste for a 10 gallon. 20g Longs are the absolute bare minimum tank size for a single BN. Platies in the numbers I'm getting the impression are in that 10 gallon are probably also too large of a waste production machine for a tank that size. A single pair or three-four male platies are all that would be suitable in there.

    The issue causing the ICH is that you have a ton of fish in a very small tank, and all of those fish are massive waste producers. Even if you're not seeing an ammonia spike because your filter is currently able to handle the bioload, the overall water quality, TDS, etc, in that tank must be off the charts. TDS jumps, particularly those caused by excessive poop dissolving in the water, severely affect the fish's immune systems and could result in them becoming susceptible to things like ICH.