Swordtails have fin rot?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by Irukan, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. IrukanValued MemberMember

    I got 4 female swordtails 2 weeks ago. Yesterday one died after hanging at the bottom, looking exhausted. Two of the remaining 3 look just as awful. One of them is wagging its whole body erratically. Both of them are staying at the bottom and barely moving.

    I'm sad to say that I am beginning to think I don't know how to take care of anything but tetras and rasboras. :-(

    This is because I buried 1 female platy, 2 female swordtails, and one male swordtail since I started my tank in June 2012. Mostly they were harassed by a dwarf gourami, who I returned to the store. But also because once one female was killed, the males harassed the females.

    Could it be my pH? Not enough aeration?
    The 29G tank has an Aquaclear 50 powerfilter, and the readings as of today are:
    pH 6.2, Ammonia 0.10, Nitrites 0, Nitrates 3.0ppm.

    Here's a picture photo.jpg
  2. Thunder_o_bFishlore VIPMember

    The PH is low for the needs of swordtails, if memory serves their range is 6.8 to mid 7's

    Ammonia should be 0, is this an established tank, meaning is the bacteria doing its job? Are the fish "panting" if so they may have gill damage from the ammonia.

    What is the temp?

    Any chance that you are over feeding? Swords and platys are slower than the fish that you are accustomed to and would need less food.

    How many males to females do you have? I have always understood that you want at least 3 females for each male, or the males will run the females to death.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
  3. IrukanValued MemberMember

    Hi there, I have two females per male swordtail. Well, after the death the other day, now it is 1 1/2 females per male.

    I lowered the temperature to 80F. I'll check the ammonia, hopefully that has gone down.

    I am worried about doing a water change because it can be stressful for the fish. I could do the change more slowly. My technique is to fill a bucket with the right temperature water, add 1/4 tsp prime, some salt, mix, then dump immediately into the tank.

    This is an established tank, but the ammonia increased when I added 4 fish at the same time. I hate to say this, but they are also Petco fish, and I haven't had that much success with them.

    I have been feeding them a lot, because I listened to popular opinion in the house - plus thought more fish meant more food needed.

    Should I add a chemical, or is there a natural way through this?
  4. IrukanValued MemberMember

    Oh, and how do I increase pH?
  5. Thunder_o_bFishlore VIPMember

    I am surprised that in an established tank of that size 4 small fish would rase the ammonia. But anyway, there are products for raising the PH (my problem is my waters PH is sky high) I have dealt with Big Al's and have never had a problem with them.  
    This will help with the ammonia short term  

    I have a good Petco near me, I know the guys in the fish shop and they really do a good job. I guess it all depends on the store.

    Being that fish are cold blooded they need a lot less food than people might think. Better to under feed than over feed in the short term. If they don't eat every bit of food in 5 minutes they are being over fed.
  6. Dlondon95Well Known MemberMember

    I would recommend daily water changes with Prime. If a water change is done with water of the same temperature, it shouldn't be stressful for the fish.

    Don't mess around with your pH. It is fine where it's at. Human bred fish can live in most any pH, as long as it's steady.

    I agree too that your ammonia should be zero. Just keep up with your water changes and you should be good! I hope you don't lose any more fish!
  7. IrukanValued MemberMember

    I already added 1/4 tsp of baking soda and the pH rose. The fish are looking better, but 2 are still wagging their bodies but not hiding and panting as much.

    I will do a water change, since the ammonia is at 0.25. Not the light yellow that I much prefer to see. I have filters on order - the foam layer and the carbon are out of date by a few weeks. Adding artificial plants to replace half of the dead plants might have had an impact too?

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