What's wrong with my columbian catfish?

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Sharkbait89

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Hi guys! I'm new here, please move this post if its in the wrong area. I'm hoping you'll be able to help me figure out what's wrong with my columbian catfish. He's about 2 years old, no previous issues. There's 3 of these catfish, one pleco, one Raphael catfish, and a few guppies. They're in a 90 gallon tank, substrate and live plants, good filtration, water changes done regularly (20% once a month), slightly brackish (1.005 salinity), pretty sure we're not over feeding. We have a billion malaysian trumpet snails in the substrate that were trying to eliminate day by day. Nitrites are 0, nitrates are between 80 and 100, ph is just over 7.
This morning, I noticed that one shark started to look like he's shedding his skin or something. White stuff hanging down off his fins and body. Where the fins attach to the body, they're turning pink where they're normally black/silver. If you have any ideas, please let me know! We did a small water change today (10%) just to hopefully clear up anything that might be causing this issue. Thank you for reading!!
 

Dom90

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First of all, your nitrates are through the roof. They should be at 40 ppm or less, although 20 or less is better. You should be aiming for 25% water changes once a week. 20% once a month is too little.


 
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Sharkbait89

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Thank you, I'll do that. Do you think it'll save my fish?
 

Dom90

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Sharkbait89

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We have a 5 in 1 test strip. I'm guessing it's not as accurate as it could be. We took a water sample in to the pet store as well and he tested it and said the nitrates were high but everything else was normal. He had the whole kit.
 

Dom90

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Yea the test strips are more inaccurate than the liquid test kit. Besides, it's better to be able to test the water for yourself. In case of emergencies etc. I recommend the API Freshwater Master Test Kit. It allows you to check ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and pH.


 
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Sharkbait89

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Awesome! I'll pick that up tomorrow. Thank you so much! You're very helpful!
 

Dom90

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You're welcome. Any other questions, just ask.


 

Anders247

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Welcome to fishlore!
Yeah, test strips are inaccurate. Have you gotten the liquid test yet?
(P.S., colombian sharks will get too big for your tank eventually)
 

slayer5590

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How big are your catfish? By the time they reach 10" or so they should be in full salt water.
 
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Sharkbait89

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They're about 7 inches long. We're gradually making it more brackish and probably by the end of this year will be full saltwater.
 
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Just a quick update; we did frequent water changes and kept testing the water and my shark is back to normal he looks healthy and happy again! Thank you for all your help!!
 
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