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Re: Red fins and scales

Subject: Re: Red fins and scales
by longhairedgit on 30/3/2008 22:59:41

Any and all water intended for use with fish should be dechlorinated and stabilised for metals like copper with a decent water conditioner. This makes the usually horrendous tapwater quality a little safer, and stops chlorine from damaging the fish,and from killing the bacteria in the filter that keep the fish alive my converting the lethal ammonia and nitrite into the forty times less lethal nitrate.

Even in yorkshire youll find that water companies now introduce numerous chemicals that will harm fish and filter bacteria, the days of using tapwater safetly without harm to fish and filters was over some thirty years ago, and even then, water quality for most counties in the uk has decreased again in the last 5 years. Water conditioners are really essential now, tetra, seachem, and api probably make the best ones these days.

If youve never run into cycling concepts before, its worth reading the stickies about the subject on this site. As fairground fish says, once youve learned the subject youll realise in retrospect that youve been putting the aquarium through ammonia and nitrite spikes by overcleaning filter media and by performing unconditioned changes.

If your fish are all indeed goldfish, and im assumming they are,your aquarium will be in overstock, by approximately four years, you probably dont realise the margin by which the fish are beating the odds and staying alive, under those circumstances most fish wouldnt. Take the grace given to you and get them the tank and filter upgrade they need. Changing the filter alone wont really do anything, in fact it will probably change the impetus of problem to massive nitrate production. The fish need more water volume, id recommend at least by 3 times, perhaps even an indoor pond,AND a big filter. A filter has to match the size of aquarium and the bioload, if you overfilter yet keep the tanksize too small you could end up needing 75% water changes per week, which is a loss of stability few fish could easily survive, and it isnt recommended.

If you really love those fish and want them to live, then you need to invest in a bigger aquarium and filter asap, or youll have to love them enough to give them away to someone who has or can get that equipment. I wish merely a fondness for the fish will see them through, I really do, but only the physics of having a correct water volume for them and correct filtration and water conditioning will do that.

You wouldnt by any means be the first fishkeeper to find themselves in this situation, but there are only ever two answers to an overstocked tank, less fish, or a bigger aquarium. You can much about with denitrating chemicals, and various meds over the months to come, but it ultimately wont make any difference. A larger properly filtered and cycled aquarium is the only real solution to the problem, and every day that passes without that situation being rectified will bring with it more consequences of atmospheric poisoning, dwarfed and damged fish, and the ultimate extension of that , fish slowly succumbing to suffocation, maldigestion, dropsy, and a myriad of fungal and bacterial infection that the fish can no longer protect itself against, being that its immune system cant function properly because of its toxic environment.

The fish are showing symptoms now, things only get worse from here, unless their accommodations are addressed.

Perhaps my tone is a bit fatalistic, maybe stern, but I doubt youd appreciate it if I led you round the houses with a load of inapropriate cures and poorly planned technical solutions. Everyone everywhere is looking for a magical solution for overstock issues, theyre all thinking "if perhaps someone would give me the name of a filter pad, a chemical I could add, a magic filter I could use, then perhaps I wouldnt need a bigger tank?"but there really isnt one, its a dream that modern technology simply hasnt yet addressed efficiently. There is only larger aquaria, bigger filters and ponds. There isnt a solution that can fix the initial mistake of overstocking, only a reversal of the situation can help matters.

If you wont let the fish go, then there is only the option of larger aquaria and bigger filters left. That really is the be all and end all of it.

Its like the tips of salt and extra water changes, they help the fish a bit, but will only buy you a few weeks, after that youll be back to square one, with dying fish.

My advice, learn the cycle, do the test kit thing, plan on a larger aquaria, or on giving some fish away. There really isnt anything else that will help.

Overstocking pressures usually are slow, and its the nature of the game that people assume living fish are healthy fish, but lets be honest here, most people wouldnt know by looking. Some peoples fish die slow from overstocking, a thick beginner can kill a tankload of fish in a week, but the perception of most people is that fish that have been around a few years are ok, that there isnt a problem.

The truth is usually that there is a slowly accumulative problem to do with chemical toxicities building up beyond the keepers ability to deal with them, thanks to aquaria being too small, and underequipped, that will kill the fish prematurely , if not immediately, so in one sense you could say that congratulations are in order. You spotted it in time and met people who can steer you out of trouble.

Apart from the reading the only thing left to do then, is find some cash and go aquarium shopping, and think where you can start budging furniture.lol.

Welcome to modern fishkeeping! Though I know its always a culture shock, there are very few mysteries left in the chemistry of this hobby these days, and its often quite an eye opener as to whats actually required to do the job properly when starting out at the start of the knowledge curve. Like I say, your not alone, theres thousands of people in the same position, but first and formost with these problems there has to be a sense of pragmatism, you cant beat chemistry, even if you have got lucky with a batch of tough fish. Equally you cant expect them to go on forever in those conditions, and a fish with a 20 year plus lifespan shouldnt die early merely from lack of water volume, it would be like a puppy not making it much past 4-5 years, people would point in the street and usher their children away from people who keep animals like that.

Fishkeeping morally is still on catchup, , humans are very bad and valuing and respecting the fishy life, but on the principles and technicalities were solid enough to get the job done. If unlike half the globe you do actually love and respect fish, youll find a way to rehome some fish, or get them a bigger aquarium. There really isnt another answer. Check cycling and stocking information and youll know that to be true, just as much as I do.