Outbreak help

LawSkool

The friend that got me into this hobby has had some bad luck in the last 2 weeks. I was wondering if anyone can help me figure out what is happening in her tank. I do not know anything about her water but she claims it is perfect. (I included photos of her tank)

tank size 55
filters 2 for 80 gallons and 1 under gravel filter
She keeps mollies, platies, and guppies (I have no idea how many)

Illness and mishap history in the last 2 weeks-
ich
popeye
untreated water killed 5
black spot on 1 fish's body

She treated for the ich and about 3 days ago she treated with melafix for the popeye.
 

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Bettybrown922

I don't know who wrote the site - his name is Dave something. But, he makes some very, very convincing researched arguments for bad bacteria in the water having more to do with fish diseases than water parameters - hence, you can have "perfect" water, but it's also chock full of bad, disease-causing bacteria. The best solution is over-filtration.
Good luck to your friend!
 
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LawSkool

I will have to tell her about it. I just hate seeing her go through so much stress out of fear of losing her fish and fry.
 
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Unknown9182

That tank looks really overstocked. Ask her to get a water sample so we can know what the chemical levels are. If I were to guess it looks like the ammonia would be rather high which is a huge contributor to fish disease or parasites.
 
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LawSkool

That tank looks really overstocked. Ask her to get a water sample so we can know what the chemical levels are. If I were to guess it looks like the ammonia would be rather high which is a huge contributor to fish disease or parasites.

She told me she wont test for ammonia because it has never bothered her fish. I have told her it is overstocked but she argues with that too
 
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Unknown9182

She told me she wont test for ammonia because it has never bothered her fish. I have told her it is overstocked but she argues with that too
She needs to test it or we can’t help her at all. Sounds like she is quite stubborn no offense.
 
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jake37

Ammonia is deadly to these fishes and if it didn't kill them it would severely stress them - however it is doubtful there is a ammonia if she has proper filters and the tank is well established. Nitrates might be very high and if high enough that would stress the fish.
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Also there are diseases that look similar to ick so a close up of the sick fish so the disease can be properly identified would help.
--
Last thing it is normal for water to have some bacteria but healthy fishes are immune to them; it is weakened or stress fishes that tend to get sick.

She told me she wont test for ammonia because it has never bothered her fish. I have told her it is overstocked but she argues with that too
 
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LawSkool

Ammonia is deadly to these fishes and if it didn't kill them it would severely stress them - however it is doubtful there is a ammonia if she has proper filters and the tank is well established. Nitrates might be very high and if high enough that would stress the fish.
-
Also there are diseases that look similar to ick so a close up of the sick fish so the disease can be properly identified would help.

I added a photo of the fish with the black spot on it in the main post. That is what she is battling right now. Everything else has been cleared up. As for her filters if you look at the photos I do not feel she has enough or something is wrong as her water looks cloudy.
 
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LawSkool

*snipShe needs to test it or we can’t help her at all. Sounds like she is quite stubborn no offense.

She is
 
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AvalancheDave

I don't know who wrote the site - his name is Dave something. But, he makes some very, very convincing researched arguments for bad bacteria in the water having more to do with fish diseases than water parameters - hence, you can have "perfect" water, but it's also chock full of bad, disease-causing bacteria. The best solution is over-filtration.

The website is one of the more correct sites online but I don't agree with everything on it. Especially that drugs can't be absorbed through skin/gills. There are numerous studies demonstrating that at least certain drugs are absorbed through the gills (and probably through the skin as well though to a lesser degree).

Organic waste (dissolved organic carbon) is food for potentially pathogenic bacteria and best controlled by filter and substrate cleaning not water changes. We only test things in the nitrogen cycle.
 
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LawSkool

I gave up trying to help her as she wont listen to anything telling me everything with her tank is perfect.
 
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jake37

Does she even think she has a problem with sick or dying fishes ? Perhaps she has accepted that as the norm ?

I gave up trying to help her as she wont listen to anything telling me everything with her tank is perfect.
 
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LawSkool

Does she even think she has a problem with sick or dying fishes ? Perhaps she has accepted that as the norm ?

No she swears that the fish with the spot hurt itself and she says she doesnt know why they keep dying but she is also claiming her water is clear and that she cleans her filters every two weeks with weekly water changes. However if you look at the photos of her tank I posted the water is not clear. She knows what she is going through is not normal but is unwilling to accept my help even after asking for it.
 
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Mazeus

Looking at the first picture, she has ammonia or nitrites. The fish seem to be at the surface gasping, that's likely a sign of bad parameters.
 
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AggressiveAquatics

I don’t mean to sound mean but I would just leave her at this point and let her understand that she’s making a mistake
 
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jake37

If she is totally cleaning her filter (as in changing media or what have you); she might be destroying her beneficial bacteria. This would in fact cause ammonia spikes.

No she swears that the fish with the spot hurt itself and she says she doesnt know why they keep dying but she is also claiming her water is clear and that she cleans her filters every two weeks with weekly water changes. However if you look at the photos of her tank I posted the water is not clear. She knows what she is going through is not normal but is unwilling to accept my help even after asking for it.
 
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