Rainbowfish With Inflamed Gill And Fast Breathing

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by Samgoog, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. SamgoogNew MemberMember

    F198F83F-E509-4C35-AD4A-C42854A5A358.jpegA9AAD431-6BF7-4440-BB8D-BDDBE778C9B1.jpegimage.jpg I have 3 Australian rainbowfish. One just died 2 days ago and now the biggest one has some inflammation on its right gill and is breathing heavy. On another note the fish is extremely territorial since I have gotten it. It chases the other rainbows but not the other fish. It is a 20 gallon tank with weekly water changes. My ammonia levels seem low enough at .25. Water temp is upper 70s, PH is 7.4, nitrate is close to 0, nitrite is 0, KH is around 50, and my general hardness is very high due to how it comes out of the tap. It is a well established tank with 2 small platys, 2 Cory’s and a pleco. I had a batch of platy baby’s last summer and none of them seemed to grow up either. They all were stunted and slowly died off. I gave lots away but kept about 6 and now only have 2. The platy is about 9 months now and still very small. Not sure what could be causing this as my other tanks seem to be fine and have the same tap and regular maintenance. Could it be the stones I have in the tank? I’ve had them in for years though. Thanks
  2. cla001

    cla001Valued MemberMember

    I wonder why ammonia is still detectable in a tank that seems to be well established - do you have 0.25ppm in your tap water?
    I can believe 0 nitrates as you tank seems to be quite planted, but not sure about ammonia.
    Do you use drop tests or test strips?
  3. OP

    SamgoogNew MemberMember

    Yeah it’s a little surprising. I don’t think it would be in the tap water but I can check. I have well water. I have the dropper test kit for the ammonia and strips for the other stuff. I have a few live plants and a few fake. The live ones seem to be struggling a bit from which I believe to be the high levels of general hardness. So live plants lower nitrate levels? I don’t think I’ve heard that before. The gill seems to be a little less inflamed this morning. Thanks for the reply.
  4. cla001

    cla001Valued MemberMember

    Is there any chance you could have your cycle crashed somehow?

    I might well be missing something as I am very new in the hobby, but I basically see only a few reasons why ammonia may still be detectable in the water column of a presumably established tank:

    1) Tank is actually uncycled or had its cycle crashed recently
    Did you do any substantial changes recently? Do you happen to discard filter media from the filter often? Do you use pre-treated water during WCs (shouldn't matter if you have non-chlorinated well water...)
    2) There is ammonia in the tap water and the measurement has been performed shortly after a partial water change before ammonia is consumed by nitrifying bacteria
    (also unlikely with a well water)
    3) The bioload is way too high for the size of a tank AND for bacteria colonies there, ammonia simply doesn't get processed fast enough
    Do you have enough media for bacteria to live on? E.g. do you use Seachem Matrix or any other biofilter media in your setup?
    4) (basic, but overlooked one) Something is wrong on a testing side (e.g. bad reagent in drop test, bad test strips (not uncommon at all)
    Ideally you'd like to have drop tests for all parameters, but not sure how much it impacts the situation here. Maybe you can try bringing some of the water from your tank to a local fish store and see if they can do drop tests on it?

    Maybe it's a wild goose chase I'm here on, but with a history of sudden and unexplained illnesses in that tank I'd be uncomfortable without crossing all t's about water parameters prior to investigating anything else :)

    Hope that helps and that someone with more knowledge would chime in!

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