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  L# Help, my community fish keep dying.
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SubscribeHelp, my community fish keep dying.
meliss_310
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Small Fry
Posts: 4
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Registered: 23-Apr-2007
female usa
Post InfoPosted 23-Apr-2007 20:49Profile PM Edit Report 
mughal113
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Big Fish
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Registered: 16-Jun-2006
male pakistan
Ah, I think that treatment with antibiotics has put your tank to a new cycle. Antibiotics kill bacteria and those include the beneficial bacteria, that convert ammonia to nitrates as well! That's the explanation for your higher ammonia readings.
The current bioload (bala shark + pleco) is too much to cycle a tank with. If you can, get that bala shark the pleco out and wait for the cycle to complete. The glass catfish are very sensitive to water quality too
Wish u all the best!!!

-Mughal
Post InfoPosted 23-Apr-2007 21:17Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
Babelfish
 
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Small Fry with Ketchup
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Registered: 17-Apr-2003
female australia us-maryland
Sorry you keep losing fish, that is frustrating.

From your test numbers (thank you for including them btw ) I agree with the minicycle. Live plants and airstone will help to increase the oxygen in the water by increasing surface area, but you still have an improperly stocked tank. And that is likely what is causing some of the stress the fish are experiencing now (along with the ammonia spike).

First off, get a bottle of Cycle or better yet Biospira. The first one is carried by most all shops including petsmart and petco it comes in a white bottle like this. The second product, Biospira is considered a little better, but is a bit more expensive and isn't as widely carried as it needs to be refrigerated. What both these products do is add the benificial bacteria that your tank needs to cycle with. Since you used an antibiotic you likely killed your bacteria hence a minicycle (the ammonia we're seeing). Since we do also see some nitrAte we know it was cycled at one point.

For now, add the Cycle or Biospira per directions on the package. Increase airation as much as possible, leave the airstone running all the time, and try removing half an inch of water from the tank to increase the ammout of splash provided by the filter. Keep up on your weekly water changes as well making sure you're using a good dechlor (one that removes chlorine, chloramine and heavy metals is best) and matching water temp. All these things will help minimize fish stress.

The bigger issue however is the tank stocking. Bala sharks do NOT belong in that small of a tank. They get to be a foot long, are schooling fish and are very active fish. Unfortunatly we see this quite often. I personally wouldnt put balas in anything smaller than a 250gal.
The pleco also worries me. Most are also grow too big for that sized tank. If it's a 'common' they grow almost as big as the tank is itself and that puts a massive strain on the tanks bioload due to the ammount of waste they create. Plecos are known for being heavy waste producers.
My suggestion is to ask to exchange the remaining bala shark and pleco for a bottle of Cycle or Biospira ASAP.

What disgusts me is that this store sold you fish that it knows are too big for that tank. Sounds like to me they were only interested in the sale and not the fishs health.
HTH some, let us know how it's going and welcome to the site .

^_^

Post InfoPosted 24-Apr-2007 00:07Profile Homepage AIM MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
longhairedgit
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male uk
EditedEdited by longhairedgit
Yeah, id cut it out with the antibiotic for now, there isnt a conclusive symptom there that indicates straightforward bacterial activity per se, in fact id suggest the problem was probably parasitic originally, and antibiotics will have no direct effect on that.

Assuming the water quality was ok before you started, then stop doing the treatments, its obviously making things worse, Ive seen it so often, when folks are given advice to go straight in with heavy antibiotics with no symptom to warrant it, many fish deaths can be involved when the tank crashes.

Change tack, do what you can to correct the water quality quickly, and desist with the antibiotic. Once things are a little safer go with a more passive treatment like melafix, that generally doesnt kick the hell out of the filter Then go for an orally consumed treatment like jungle labs antiparasirte formula or food soaked in metronidazole, and I reckon the fish will survive.

Sounds to me like they unknowingly and despite their best intentions, gave you the wrong advice in that shop. The diseases that give the least physical symptoms and still cause deaths tend to be in the the protozoan groups rather than the bacterial groups.

Water quality is your biggest threat at the moment, get that fixed, and you can treat for protozoa without ever affecting the water quality. Protozoa will already have been significantly reduced in number by the water changes you have already done, and that will buy you time to fix the water quality and then use more appropriate meds a week or two later.

For future ref, try the milder cures before you go straight in with a heavy antibiotic, its much safer to do things by degrees.

Whats the antibiotic you are using BTW, im almost betting its tetracycline or terrymycin.
Post InfoPosted 24-Apr-2007 15:23Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
meliss_310
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Small Fry
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Registered: 23-Apr-2007
female usa
Thanks for the suggestions everyone.

Longhairedgit, The antibiotic I was using was Erythromycin. The store said it was mild, but who knows. You recommended that I treat with melafix and with jungle labs antiparasirte formula after I get the water conditions under control. How long would you recommend I threat with the melafix before I start the other treatment. Should I continue doing weekly water changes during the treatments?
Post InfoPosted 24-Apr-2007 18:27Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Babelfish
 
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Small Fry with Ketchup
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female australia us-maryland
Has everyone been doing okay so far?

Melafix can be used in conjunction with other treatments, it's pretty mild and there's great debate as to if it does anything. I've used it recently to help with some fin regrowth on some fish that had some nipping issues.

Erythro is 'safe' to use on most fish but it's still strong enough that it'll mess with your biofilter. Any damage to the biofilter tends to increase stress that the fish are already experiencing.

Weekly water changes are always good . Again, make sure you're matching temps very carefully, we don't want to stress anyone out more .

^_^

Post InfoPosted 26-Apr-2007 06:01Profile Homepage AIM MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
longhairedgit
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EditedEdited by longhairedgit
Babel is right, id go with a 40- 50% water change, and run carbon for a day if its an option. Melafix wont react with the antibiotic, so you can start using that straight away, but id wait for a couple of days before using the antiparasite formula as you dont want the heavy load from the antibiotic and the meds in the formula all happening at once in the fishs' renal system.

The major water change will shift most of the meds, and lower the ammonia ensuring the water is as safe as possible before you continue with a more correct treatment.

After that , its water changes as per normal, and fingers crossed. It wont be necessary to do major water changes to get rid of the melafix or the formulas effects since you want the filter to recover, so after the big change, just do as you do.Melafix usually requires slightly heavier than normal water changes once the course is completed, but in this case id skip it. Just dont go ape with the melafix, perhaps use only a half dose (in amount, not in frequency).

Good luck
Post InfoPosted 27-Apr-2007 01:22Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
meliss_310
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Small Fry
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Registered: 23-Apr-2007
female usa
Thanks for the advice. I haven't lost anymore fish yet this week and I have already put the carbon back in my filter. I will do the large water change tomorrow and then start with the melafix. Thanks so much for help, hopefully this works.
Post InfoPosted 27-Apr-2007 03:25Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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