Help NSFW WARNING : DEAD FISH

Frostbite77115

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So sadly I posted here and a few other forums and groups asking for help on health ID on a bristlenose pleco, over the course of some time. I never got any major help. I bought a real test kit , I've learned about cycling , I've done water changes and I decided to treat my fish for what I was worried was a Fungal or Bacterial infection. Well today , the day after the end of treatment. I came down to do a water change and found him dead in the corner. I saw him last night doing fine. Theres no other fish in tank. I believe I was finally stabilizing the chemistry in tank and even added a heater a few days prior.

Basically I just want some ideas on what could have killed it. ALSO , does the side spikes look like a growth or is this something plecos have already?

Currently grieving and just completely disassembled the tank. I feel defeated..
 

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Islandvic

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So please tell us the symptoms the pleco was presenting.

Also, how long was tank set up, tank size, filtration, temp, water change size and frequency and what were the ammonia/nitrite/nitrate levels.

What did the other fish in the tank look like when you bought the pleco at pet store ?
 

Madchild57

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Frostbite77115 said:
So sadly I posted here and a few other forums and groups asking for help on health ID on a bristlenose pleco, over the course of some time. I never got any major help. I bought a real test kit , I've learned about cycling , I've done water changes and I decided to treat my fish for what I was worried was a Fungal or Bacterial infection. Well today , the day after the end of treatment. I came down to do a water change and found him dead in the corner. I saw him last night doing fine. Theres no other fish in tank. I believe I was finally stabilizing the chemistry in tank and even added a heater a few days prior.

Basically I just want some ideas on what could have killed it. ALSO , does the side spikes look like a growth or is this something plecos have already?

Currently grieving and just completely disassembled the tank. I feel defeated..
Yeah we need to know symptoms. It could be an infection, something resistant to treatment. Also, it could be an infection brought about my treatment. This happened to one of my angels, when I used furan-2 and inadvertantly gave him a resistant bacterial intestinal infection, like c diff (probably). Or it could have been the medication itself, either harming the fish, depending on what it was, or it killed beneficial bacteria and he died from ammonia. Symptoms are important still, just a few thoughts.
Those spikes look like the normal pleco barbs under their gills. My male BN pleco occasionally displays them when I get near him during water changes or if he's stretching.
 
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Frostbite77115

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Frostbite77115 said:
So sadly I posted here and a few other forums and groups asking for help on health ID on a bristlenose pleco, over the course of some time. I never got any major help. I bought a real test kit , I've learned about cycling , I've done water changes and I decided to treat my fish for what I was worried was a Fungal or Bacterial infection.
Well today , the day after the end of treatment. I came down to do a water change and found him dead in the corner. I saw him last night doing fine. Theres no other fish in tank. I believe I was finally stabilizing the chemistry in tank and even added a heater a few days prior.

Basically I just want some ideas on what could have killed it. ALSO , does the side spikes look like a growth or is this something plecos have already?

Currently grieving and just completely disassembled the tank. I feel defeated..
Terribly long story. But basically we moved into this house recently from a older family member who basically stopped caring for the tank. It had mollies and a Golden barb and some ghost fish and this BN pelco. That setup and such had gone on for years. I recently decided to adopt the tank and take care of it , it was basically a war zone. Mud water , mollies were inbreeding , and then fish started dying randomly. We couldn't figure out why they were dying one by one (I figured ammonia would kill them all at once.) All this stuff happend before I took over the tank. Once I got the tank , it was JUST the left and the water levels were pretty low. Some family members wanted to just let the tank die out and drain it. I decided the pleco had survived so long that he deserved a chance. So I added water , did a water change , bought a 40$ test kit and test strip and started recording some chemistry. Basically the water was cleaner than ever and I got the filter back on and working also! Then we noticed the pleco had some white looking patches of skin? I posted on here with little result at the time. So I decided it was possibly a fungal infection and treated it with an All-In-One solution for Infection,Fungal,Bacterial ect. Its Tetra brand. Anyway I had to dose the tank for a week. While dosing I added a heater to the tank after realizing it was cold water and that plecos are tropical! It had the heater for 3 days , seemed fine. Then today , 24 hours after the last medicine dose , He was just dead in the corner with fins flaired.

Was it tempature shock? Was it Chemistry? Was it the medicine? Was it infection? I'm so lost and defeated about the situation.

Here is my recent recordings for testing the water.

FULL Test Kit readings :

ph - 7.6 or HIGHER

High Range pH - 7.4

No2 - 0

No3 - 0

Ammonia 4.0 -8.0

SWAB Test :

Gh - 30-60

Kh - 80

Ph - 7.0

No2 - 0-0.5

No3 - 80

Both were July 2nd

As you can see I was getting different readings on different tests that were the same time. So im just even further confused. The tank was in a BAD state and I was just trying to stabilize it , so yes it should have crazy readings but im somewhat new to this and was confused by separate readings. Like No3 being 0 on one and 80 on another..

Files are the orginal "White patches" on the pleco. From the replies I did get , overall idea was that it seemed healthy. Not sure..
 

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Flyfisha

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Hi again,
The established tank you took over was very dirty however it had a full working nitrogen cycle.
You did a major clean without understanding how bacteria live in our tanks. These bacteria are the heart of the nitrogen cycle .
As strange as it may seem cleaning out the dirty tank is what killed A LARGE NUMBER of the bacteria .Without a large colony of the bacteria the fish were exposed to toxic ammonia . Even in small amounts for a short time ammonia is poison.
Its likely that the bacteria numbers have now grown again as the few that survived can multiply quickly.
The tank may now not have ammonia?

I believe this is a short summary of what happened?
 
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Frostbite77115

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Flyfisha said:
Hi again,
The established tank you took over was very dirty however it had a full working nitrogen cycle.
You did a major clean without understanding how bacteria live in our tanks. These bacteria are the heart of the nitrogen cycle .
As strange as it may seem cleaning out the dirty tank is what killed A LARGE NUMBER of the bacteria .Without a large colony of the bacteria the fish were exposed to toxic ammonia . Even in small amounts for a short time ammonia is poison.
Its likely that the bacteria numbers have now grown again as the few that survived can multiply quickly.
The tank may now not have ammonia?

I believe this is a short summary of what happened?
Are those Bacterial Colonies considerd the measurement for No2? Also its possible but the pelco had lived through SO Much and I cleaned the tank maybe a week ago. The death seemed very sudden but yes Ammonia was my guess .
 

Flyfisha

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The nitrate in our tanks is bacteria poop ,not actually the bacteria themselves.

The nitrites in our tanks is bacteria poop from the other kind of bacteria. However a tank with a full working nitrogen cycle will always have zero nitrites as the first kind of bacteria consume them .

In short.
A cycled tank has.
0 ppm ammonia
0 ppm nitrites
And always has some nitrates unless you have hundreds of plants.
Up to 40 ppm Nitrates is considered normal.
Over 80 ppm Nitrates is considered dangerous long term.
Over 100 ppm Nitrates is considered very dangerous long term.

As the test shows a little nitrites the bacteria numbers are not strong enough to consume it fast enough at the moment. An extra water change is needed .
 

Islandvic

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@Frostbite77115 , check out the YouTube channels "Prime Time Aquatics" and "Aquarium Co-Op".

Jason from Prime Time Aquatics is one of my favorite fish hobby channels.

Look at both channel's "playlists" sections for Nitrogen Cycle and tips for setting up new tanks.

Both Jason and Cory give a ton of info on their channels.
 
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Frostbite77115

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yukondog said:
Do you know how old the BN was?
No but didn't seem to die of age unless it was poor stress management. Also believe it may have been female.

Flyfisha said:
The nitrate in our tanks is bacteria poop ,not actually the bacteria themselves.

The nitrites in our tanks is bacteria poop from the other kind of bacteria. However a tank with a full working nitrogen cycle will always have zero nitrites as the first kind of bacteria consume them .

In short.
A cycled tank has.
0 ppm ammonia
0 ppm nitrites
And always has some nitrates unless you have hundreds of plants.
Up to 40 ppm Nitrates is considered normal.
Over 80 ppm Nitrates is considered dangerous long term.
Over 100 ppm Nitrates is considered very dangerous long term.

As the test shows a little nitrites the bacteria numbers are not strong enough to consume it fast enough at the moment. An extra water change is needed .
So first you tell me I shouldn't have cleaned and now you're saying a water change was needed. Based on my Test results , which one was it and why?
 

Wrench

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Frostbite77115 said:
So first you tell me I shouldn't have cleaned and now you're saying a water change was needed. Based on my Test results , which one was it and why?
Big difference between a water change and scrubbing down the tank.
It's like feeding someone a three course meal who has been famished and starved for years...their bodies became homologated to the environment they were in and had adjusted. By you cleaning and doing a water change you disturbed gas pockets in the mud I would assume that contain ammonia from decayed matter over a long period, you shocked them in dramatic fashion is what happened.
 

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It looks like a young male now that I went back and looked at the pict. the spikes by the gills are normale they all have them.
 
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Frostbite77115

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Wrench said:
Big difference between a water change and scrubbing down the tank.
It's like feeding someone a three course meal who has been famished and starved for years...their bodies became homologated to the environment they were in and had adjusted. By you cleaning and doing a water change you disturbed gas pockets in the mud I would assume that contain ammonia from decayed matter over a long period, you shocked them in dramatic fashion is what happened.
I didnt scrub the tank. I mean cleaning as in the python. Same tool I used for the water changes.

yukondog said:
It looks like a young male now that I went back and looked at the pict. the spikes by the gills are normale they all have them.
Thank you for the clarification!
 

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Trying to answer your question.
Bacteria live on all hard surfaces, including glass ,gravel, rocks and plastic. In a tank they will find the best place that has the most food. That is often on gravel. We want them to live on the filter fabric. There is a good supply of food in the water going through a filter. However they decide were they want to be in large numbers.
Almost no bacteria live permanently in the water.
We can change UP TO 50% water of the water every day without affecting the bacteria numbers.
In a tank that has high nitrates it’s best to change a little every day to avoid shocking the fish with different parameters ( different water quality).

What is recommended is to only deep clean 1/3 of the gravel each week.
Its recommended to only clean some of the glass each week. However if you have a very clean tank MOST of the bacteria will be ON the filter because that is undisturbed. In other words on a clean tank you can clean all the glass every week because you know almost no bacteria live there.
On an established OLD dirty tank the bacteria could be anywhere, often on the glass that gets the flow of water coming out of the filter etc.

In short .
Because we suspect the tank has only a limited amount of bacteria don’t clean the glass , don’t deep clean the gravel. Change water no problem.

I believe 50% is a safe maximum for most peoples tanks and water supply, some people are happy to change more and tell others it’s safe to change lots more at one time.

The nitrogen cycle takes time to understand. I hope I have helped a little?
 

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I think in one of the posts above -- #4 -- you said you have 4ppm of ammonia - this is really bad. Nothing you do is going to save the fish if you put it in water like that. The tank wasn't cycled.
-
I say bury the fish and get the tank cycled before you buy more.
 
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Frostbite77115

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Flyfisha said:
Trying to answer your question.
Bacteria live on all hard surfaces, including glass ,gravel, rocks and plastic. In a tank they will find the best place that has the most food. That is often on gravel. We want them to live on the filter fabric. There is a good supply of food in the water going through a filter. However they decide were they want to be in large numbers.
Almost no bacteria live permanently in the water.
We can change UP TO 50% water of the water every day without affecting the bacteria numbers.
In a tank that has high nitrates it’s best to change a little every day to avoid shocking the fish with different parameters ( different water quality).

What is recommended is to only deep clean 1/3 of the gravel each week.
Its recommended to only clean some of the glass each week. However if you have a very clean tank MOST of the bacteria will be ON the filter because that is undisturbed. In other words on a clean tank you can clean all the glass every week because you know almost no bacteria live there.
On an established OLD dirty tank the bacteria could be anywhere, often on the glass that gets the flow of water coming out of the filter etc.

In short .
Because we suspect the tank has only a limited amount of bacteria don’t clean the glass , don’t deep clean the gravel. Change water no problem.

I believe 50% is a safe maximum for most peoples tanks and water supply, some people are happy to change more and tell others it’s safe to change lots more at one time.

The nitrogen cycle takes time to understand. I hope I have helped a little?
Yes thank you and I'll continue to research the Nitrogen cycle and these bacterial colonies.

jake37 said:
I think in one of the posts above -- #4 -- you said you have 4ppm of ammonia - this is really bad. Nothing you do is going to save the fish if you put it in water like that. The tank wasn't cycled.
-
I say bury the fish and get the tank cycled before you buy more.
Fish had been in that tank for more than 3 years... but yes I've buried the fish and completely taken down the tank. Other than doing water change , using Stress coat , and using a infection medication , I didnt do any kind of deep cleaning or MAJOR change in the tanks structures or gravel or anything.
 

jake37

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Well something introduced a lot of ammonia (which is deadly to fishes) or your measurement was incorrect. What i can say is how i onced killed an established tank was cleaning the filter. Cleaning the filter incorrectly is far more dangerous than deep cleaning the gravel. One form of incorrect cleaning is replacing the media in the filter. Seems like the thing to do - take out dirty floss and put in clean floss - easy way to kill all your fishes.
 
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Frostbite77115

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jake37 said:
Well something introduced a lot of ammonia (which is deadly to fishes) or your measurement was incorrect. What i can say is how i onced killed an established tank was cleaning the filter. Cleaning the filter incorrectly is far more dangerous than deep cleaning the gravel. One form of incorrect cleaning is replacing the media in the filter. Seems like the thing to do - take out dirty floss and put in clean floss - easy way to kill all your fishes.
I started running the filter WITHOUT any filter pad because it was needed to run the medicine through the tank. I feel like I really messed up and killed the fish : (. Idk how to feel. I had given up on the hobby when I was a teenager because I had lost my favorite fish. This was the first time I had interacted with a tank in years and I actually loved it. But now I just feel defeated.
 

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Sorry to say but reading the initial post
Frostbite77115 said:
So sadly I posted here and a few other forums and groups asking for help on health ID on a bristlenose pleco, over the course of some time. I never got any major help. I bought a real test kit , I've learned about cycling , I've done water changes and I decided to treat my fish for what I was worried was a Fungal or Bacterial infection. Well today , the day after the end of treatment. I came down to do a water change and found him dead in the corner. I saw him last night doing fine. Theres no other fish in tank. I believe I was finally stabilizing the chemistry in tank and even added a heater a few days prior.

Basically I just want some ideas on what could have killed it. ALSO , does the side spikes look like a growth or is this something plecos have already?

Currently grieving and just completely disassembled the tank. I feel defeated..
To be honest :

You did get major help of several members on this forum in your first thread.
The fish died within a week and EVERYONE pointed towards waterparameters.
You didn't mention a testkit and thanked for the help after the fish died.

Now you've tested and.ammonia seems.to be culprit. And now you're telling you didn't get any major help.

Commmmme on
 

Wrench

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Frostbite77115 said:
I started running the filter WITHOUT any filter pad because it was needed to run the medicine through the tank. I feel like I really messed up and killed the fish : (. Idk how to feel. I had given up on the hobby when I was a teenager because I had lost my favorite fish. This was the first time I had interacted with a tank in years and I actually loved it. But now I just feel defeated.
Do it over again, set it up how you want.
Ask for advice and opinions on here and try again....we all lose fish, you had to deal with an already mangled situation. Do not let other peoples poor fish care denture you from keeping them.
Left in that state you described I'm honestly surprised any of them were living, not your fault.
 

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