RE: Phosphate Discus Disaster - HELP! another one sick.

Jewels
  • #1
HI everyone,
I had such a busy day today that I left home about 10am (after doing a 1/3 water change) and didn't get home until about 7pm. Then as soon as I walked in, my "Delta" Discus is lying flat on the gravel. He/she seems to occassionally get vertical after I re-read the Phosphate remover bottle and it said for bad cases a fivefold increase in solution was OK. I'm a fairly conservative person, so I decided to start by putting in double the initial dose.
What a pity that I just couldn't get home to monitor the tank......As I do know my fish physiology (only a bit from Zoology II). I have in the past successfully rescuscitated a near dead fish like Delta. What I do is isolate the fish in a fish-shop bag and swoosh the bag from side to side to get water moving over their gills. This has worked for me a few times in the past if you keep it up for as long as possible. After a while the fish gives a little wriggle and later finally comes good. This time I also put a few extra drops of Phosphate Remover in the bag, and Delta's colour has improved. I think he/she is just breathing lightly.....
Help! I don't want to lose another Discus. This is not only probably going to be expensive (I am a part-time student), but also upsetting. Does anyone have any advice please? I forgot to mention that 2 Aquarium shops agreed that I had Phosphate levels that were "off the charts". All other fish are doing well, including young Bristlenose Catfish (which are apparently very sensitive to Phosphate).
Please post any tried and successful remedies that you know of.... As long as you remeber that I have a Community Tank. My Community Tank consists of 2 Angelfish, a Clown Loach, 2 young Bristlenose Catfish, 2 (very placid )Redtailed Black Sharks (with a favorite "play rock" to swim in and chase each other through that tends to keep them busy). One healthy Cobalt Discus left........I had 2 female Blue Platies and wanted a male to keep them 'pregnant' as a source of live food for the Angels and Discus. This may sound a bit callous, but some do have the sense to hide in the rocks and survive.......To me it is no more callous than feeding live Brineshrimp - OK?
Quick advice please, I'll log on again later tonight....
Thanx Jewels
PS: I woke up this morning and Delta is definitely dead - God bless his little spirit..... I rang my 'discus experts' and "Alpha" Discus is looking a bit better and feeding again after following their advice...No more water changes for at least a day, play it by ear, and top up the tank with a little fresh water. OK? I'm just finished juggling my budget, as I know I need 3. Alpha is being a little bit agro to "Brutus" the Angelfish, and there is that refunded Dicus owing from that other shop.......
Cheers Jewels
 
snakehead95
  • #2

all you need to do is set up a bio- wheel penguin or emporer, the add a charcoal case to the filter. you can also try replacing some of the substratum, then adding a desireable amount of conditioning salt to tha tank
 
Slug
  • #3
Salt is not always the answer snakehead lol....and its not that simple unfortunately. Especially with discus. I also find biowheels pieces of garbage and more of a pain then a help. For the record. Also carbon is good, it can remove meds and clear the water some....but if left in to long it all leaks back into the water.

Are you using RO/DI water or tap water? If you are using tap water does it contain phosphates? Not sure I understand. He got sick/died before any phosphate remover was added? You just did a normal water change with plain water and this happened?
 
clinton1621
  • #4
I'm with Slug on this one, salt isn't going to solve anything... and bio wheels unfortunately are junk... and not only does carbon leach out after its saturated but some carbon actually has phosphates present even before its used.

The only thing I'm confused with is why your phosphate levels are so high to begin with... even in treated tap water there is a restriction to how much ppm phosphate can be in the water. This level usually isn't toxic to fish, it can cause algae problems if left unchecked though. I wouldnt trust anything a LFS told you, they were most likely trying to sell you phosphate removers... however if you do have high phosphate levels that you have verified with an accurate test kit (liquid) yourself then you need to check the concentration of your source water, if it does have a significant level of phosphates then essentially every time you refill evaporation or add more water you are adding more and more phosphate until it reaches toxic levels. Overfeeding, dead plants, excess waste buildup in the substrate will all also contribute to phosphate levels.... phosphate removers would be a short term fix, but you need to get to the root of the problem. First find a source of water... R.O. or otherwise that doesn't have phosphates in it.... Second cut down on feeding.... Third remove dead or dying plants.... Fourth keep up with your water maintenance.... weekly gravel vacs, rinsing filter media in dechlorinated water to remove built up organics, and a 30% or more weekly water change for Discus... they are extremely sensitive to any pollution in the water not just phosphates.

EDIT : I also just read your profile.... a lot of your problems are very likely stemming from being overstocked.... excess waste from being overstocked will cause high levels of a lot of toxins.... you need a much bigger tank for all those fish than a 29 gallon.
 
Slug
  • #5
Another question. How long did you wait before this water change. How much time inbetween this one and the last one? Whats the schedule like?

I agree, phosphates really shouldn't be the problem of the fish death, just algae.

What I am wondering is if it was a while since the last water change and you did a good one here, you could of shocked the system sending it into a minI cycle. In turn stirring up toxic waste basically shocking your fish.

Was this discus bullied any before this? Was it dark hiding in the corner or hiding at all most of the time? I'd recommend switching out the Undergravel Biological Filter. Waste traps IMO.
 
clinton1621
  • #6
Another question. How long did you wait before this water change. How much time inbetween this one and the last one? Whats the schedule like?

I agree, phosphates really shouldn't be the problem of the fish death, just algae.

What I am wondering is if it was a while since the last water change and you did a good one here, you could of shocked the system sending it into a minI cycle. In turn stirring up toxic waste basically shocking your fish.

Was this discus bullied any before this? Was it dark hiding in the corner or hiding at all most of the time? I'd recommend switching out the Undergravel Biological Filter. Waste traps IMO.


Wow, good catch on the undergravel, I missed that one. He is absolutely correct... undergravels plain and simple don't work, they build up higher and higher levels of waste, excess proteins, and even sometimes release toxic gas into the water The problem is you CANNOT vacuum this out, it WILL reach toxic levels and is now in my opinion one of the main sources of your problem.... I would set up a good canister or hang on filter and let that run for at least a month and then remove the undergravel or you will continue to have these toxins build up and lose fish (you still need less fish or a much bigger tank though)
 
capekate
  • #7
Jewels has since posted( btw this thread is over three months old) about her Discus, and all are doing great now. You can follow her other & newer threads and responses that led up to a successful discus tank that are also in the Discus Forum. ;D
 
Slug
  • #8
Jewels has since posted( btw this thread is over three months old) about her Discus, and all are doing great now. You can follow her other & newer threads and responses that led up to a successful discus tank that are also in the Discus Forum. ;D

Bah, I hate when people bring up old topics. I should pay more attention.

Oh well it gives newer folks something to think about if they encounter the same problem.
 
capekate
  • #9
Bah, I hate when people bring up old topics. I should pay more attention.

Oh well it gives newer folks something to think about if they encounter the same problem.
LOL Slug... I have done the same thing from time to time without noticing the date of the first thread.
 

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