I need urgent help - I'm about to loose another fish
I have a 95 litres established tank - it contains wood rock and plants ( lots of plants )
over the past few weeks I have had a recurring problem that I cannot find the solution to and tonight I am about to loose my Sailfin male.
in short the scenario is this ........ every 4 - 5 days a fish will go down and when I say go down I say literally with hours. it is always the same sequence - fish is fine .... fish sits on the bottom - fish leans over - fish dies
there is no consistency with the type of fish - Ive had Guorami's, sword tails, tetras ..... the perplexing part is that I trend to have a male and female of each and whilst one will die the other is fine - my sick sailfin is the male for example but his pregnant female of perfectly fine. the sword tail was female - fine at 10.30 by 4 pm she was dead - the male is fine
I religiously test the water every other day and it is fine - I have taken it to various aquatics centres to be tested in case I am missing something and they cannot find anything wrong with it. I do regular water changes of 20 % with the appropriate Tap safe added. the water in the tank is perfect.
the temperature is a constant 26 C ( I have a digital prope thermometer )
there is a tank length aerator and a long block one too
I have removed the snails and they are presently living in another tank
I had in the tank
6 x Tetras 2 x honey dwarf gourami I flame dwarf gourami 2 blue gourami 2 red dwarf gouramis' 2 sail fins 2 sword tails 4 small rams 2 small rosie barbs
I have lost the female sword tail, both blue gouramis' ( which died weeks apart ), both red gouramis', one tetra and now the male sailfin.
the fish have come from different outlets
I have added salt
I added melafix - made no difference
Esher 2000 ( having removed everything previously with active carbon filters )
the fish that die have no sign at all of any illness - they do not have any damage to fins or tails - I have had a 'scrape' done on a recently dead one with negative results for anything
they are fed tropical flakes and once a week either blood worms or shrimp lavae - both clearly state they are suitable for all tropical fish
I'm at a total loss as to what is going on and I do not want to loose any more fish
Sorry to read about this and I know you'll be hoping for an immediate solution rather than more questions but it would really help us a lot to try to figure out the problem if you can let us know: * actual test results for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and PH * brand of test kit(s) * what brand of filter you have and what type of filter media is in it, plus what your maintenance regime is on it * how regular the 20% water changes are * what your water hardness is in CaCO3 (PPM) and/or German degrees hardness (DH) * how long the tank has been established, and roughly how long each of the inhabitants have been in there * is there anything that coincided with the onset of the spate of deaths, such as an external toxicant like a plug-in air freshener? [https://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk ... -that-can-kill-your-fish/] * have you ever noticed any of the fish bullying (or, conversely, others cowering/hiding)? [How often is the fishtank in your line of vision to be able to gauge whether this might be going on by one/several fish?]
ammonia (NH3) is 0 PH is 6.5 - 7 nitrate (nH2) is 0 general hardness is GH 180 ( its a hard water area ) temp is 26.7 c
filter is juwel ( fitted in the tank ) - I have green filter sponge and black filter sponge and ceramic bio rings ( although I have recently removed one of the sponges and put in activated carbon when I switched from melafix to esha 2000 ( with a 48 hours interval ) - I rinse the sponges out in water taken out of the tank about once a month during a water change
I do a 20 % once a week but have been doing one every 4 -5 days since this problem started - its been going on for about 8 weeks
some of the inhabitant have been in for over 12 - 6 months - some a few weeks - those that have died have been a mix of time spent - this tank itself has been where it is now, the kitchen for probably 4 years and Ive never had issues ( it had goldfish in at one stage ) and before this tank there was another smaller tank which was there for 3 years - so all in there has been a tank in this kitchen ( which is a big kitchen for some 7 years and it is no where near any cooking stations such as the cooker / toaster etc ) - the tank has a tight fitting lid ( as the tetras jump out ! ) and there are snails usually but I have moved them
as the tank is in the kitchen - it is seen by me all the time ! I'm aware that I have busy fish and placid fish but its well stocked with plants and hiding places plus I don't think its over stocked
those that have died have not been bullied as far as I can see and they have never displayed any signs of such, such as raggy tails etc
I don't use air freshners etc or anything like that
the sailfin is now separated in little tank within the main tank - he is more upright than horizontal and resting to one side - he seems to be gasping and struggling to balance - there is a aerator the entire length of the tank and a large air stone - ive positioned the air stone closer to the small tank to give the sailfin its benefit
ive treated with esha 2000 today and will do the repeat does tomorrow - I have put therapeutic doseage of salt
this lunch time the sailfin was fine - swimming around - this evening as he is described ( the swordtail went the same way and I had video just by chance - the aquatic places ive visited were perplexed as the swordtail is clearly swimming about perfectly normally at 12 and by 4.30 on its side - by 8 pm dead )
I'm wondering if there is something in the tank which is stressing them and allowing latent disease to take hold - but if so why so quick ? only one fish goes this way at a time an all the other fish are fine and I'm confused as to why one of a pair will go and the other be totally unaffected
I have an led light and it dims slowly at night and the tank is set for 'moon light'..... when I go to bed I turn it to off
in the morning the light is set to simulate sun rise although I don't usually leave the light on at all if I'm not home as I hate algae ( I have no algae ) the tank is not in direct sun light
I have a pregnant sailfin and a pregnant platy
they get a small sprinkle of King British tropical flake a day and once a week either a defrosted cube of mini blood worm or brimeshrimp + garlic ( both by gamma ) but not with flake food they eat the plants !
the snails were 1 stripy and three bunny snails ( but they have been removed due to treatments )
I'll admit I'm perplexed here too - there is nothing from what you've described that is ringing alarm bells for me. [I'm assuming it's ammonia/NH3 and nitrite/NO2 that you've provided results for, and that your nitrate/NO3 isn't higher than 20ppm above your tap water nitrate levels.] I'll keep having a think but hope that's of some tiny consolation in the interim. I just hope I - or someone else - will be able to come up with a more helpful suggestion to prevent any further fatalities, though...
I wonder if an interim measure might be: * to do a small daily water change of say ~10%. Rather than a full substrate-siphoning water change, the simple removal of a few jugfuls of water and replacement with dechlorinated water daily might help dilute anything that may be present in the water that isn't detectable via home-testing kits such as fishes' stress hormones which may be being released given the current situation (whatever it is); * to do a quick internet search to check if your water/utility website has mentioned any particular treatment works taking place recently that might account for this.
Fingers crossed that I or someone else may be able to suggest something else in due course...