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  L# 40+ Deaths In Less Then Two Weeks, Please Help
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Subscribe40+ Deaths In Less Then Two Weeks, Please Help
Small Fry
Posts: 2
Kudos: 1
Votes: 0
Registered: 28-Jan-2006
My guppies have been dropping like crazy in the past two weeks. I usually only lose about 1-3 a month from other diseases but in the past two weeks I have lost about 1-4 fish every day. Today I pulled out about five dead guppies and ten sick ones that I transfered to another tank. The majority of sick fish are gravid females that cannot swim correctly and wobble around the tank, some even swim vertically with their heads facing the gravel. Others just lay at the bottom, sometimes upside down and breath rapidly. Very few males show the same symptoms and the others look like they are starving to death. They have shrunken abdomens and lay at the bottom as well. Some look pale and some look fine. I don't see any changes in behavior in the loaches or the ABNP.

My ph is usually around 6.8 through 7.0 and was around 7.4 in Aug./Sept. and I have noticed it falling slowly. I treated the tank with a Jungle Labs product (forgot the name, a fizzing tab that turns the water green) twice around Nov./Dec. because my fish were showing signs of body fungus, clamped fins, dropsy, septicemia, and also suddenly jerked and darted around the tank and scrapped their bodies on plants and rocks. After I treated the tank, there was less signs of illness and about only four deaths since then, one being my male betta which showed heavy signs of dropsy and septicemia. I have not treated that tank with anything else since then.

Here are some of my water parameters.

Date: 12/19/07
PH: 6.8
NH3: 0.0
NO2: 0.1
GH: 140
KH: 20
Temp: N/A

Date: 01/08/08 (Before PWC)
PH: 6.4
NH3: 0.6
NO2: 0.1
GH: 160
KH: 30
Temp: N/A

Date: 01/08/08 (After PWC)
PH: 7.0
NH3: 0.0
NO2: 0.2
GH: 120
KH: 30
Temp: N/A

Date: 01/22/08
PH: 7.0
NH3: 0.6
NO2: 0.2
GH: 160
KH: 40
Temp: N/A

Date: 02/28/08 (Before PWC)
PH: 6.0
NH3: 0.6
NO2: 0.3
GH: 100
KH: 20
Temp: N/A

I have a 30g planted aquarium that's over two years old with a hob filter and a 150w heater. About 1" of Eco-Complete Planted Aquarium Substrate and 2" of leveling sand (wet sand) from Home Depot. The inhabitants consist of 100+ guppies, 8 (3-4" clown loaches, a 4" ABNP, about 10 ghost shrimp and about 100+ mystery snails. Yes I know I'm overstocked.

They only changes that I can think of that might be causing this is that I added two mystery snails about two months ago which reproduced so now I have about 100 pea sized mystery snails. Maybe their shells are absorbing the calcium and nutrients from the water which might be lowering the ph and causing a mini-cycle. My test kit only goes to 6.0 but I have a feeling it might be even lower because the tint of the liquid looked lighter then the color on the color chart. I also noticed an increase in Co2. I don't inject or use DIY co2 by the way, or any type of co2 additive or ferts. I looked at a chart online to determine the amount of co2 gases in the system and according to the chart with a ph of 6.0 there seems to be a slightly high level of co2 which is usual for my system which is usually low. I recently added a drop checker and it's green which means it's ok though. When I noticed the gravid females rapidly breathing at the bottom, my first thought was that the co2 levels were too high so I added a large airstone which I now have running 24/7. The drop checker is currently blue. Btw, my plants have never looked better. Another change to the system was that I added a new light fixture. It went from 60 watts to a total of 100 watts. I set it on top of a piece of plexi-glass that covers 2/3 of the top which is also new. It might be that the new lights are raising the temp of the water. Someone told me that guppies like cooler temps in the lower 80's. Another thing that may cause a problem is that about a month ago while I was cleaning the gravel and moving some plants, I noticed that the gravel kept releasing some bubbles. I believe these are called anaerobic bacterial bubbles? I heard this could cause illness when released into the water column. I was talking to someone about this and they told me to look for posts on how to keep from getting these pockets and how to maintain a sandy dense substrate. I also read long ago that MTS stir up the dirt/sand which help reduce these pockets of gases.

I did a pwc on 02/28/08 to help reduce the low levels of ammonia and nitrites but have yet to re-test the water since then. I'll get those results posted here later on today as well as some temp readings.

I would greatly appreciate any help or advice on how to fix this problem. Btw, I have an empty uncycled 10g tank with a hob filter but no heater. I might be able to get another one with hob also. I also have a bunch of different meds and a Seachem product that raises the ph to 7.0. I don't know the exact name but I will post that later. I hope this all is enough info about my system to help determine the issue.

Post InfoPosted 03-Mar-2008 16:13Profile PM Edit Report 
Mega Fish
Posts: 1246
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Registered: 27-Sep-2003
female usa
NH3 should be 0. It's possible your guppies are succcumbing to ammonia poisoning. Keep doing daily (or several daily) water changes up to 50% until the NH3 is unreadable.

Post InfoPosted 03-Mar-2008 16:35Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
Big Fish
Posts: 376
Kudos: 549
Votes: 7
Registered: 19-Apr-2004
male canada
The guppies are dieing, the loach are probably chowing down on your snails which are eating dead guppy bodies/their remains and all of this going into the water is going to do nutty things to your water chemistry. If you're over-feeding, which is possible given the snail buffet you have offered your loach, then that will further mess with the water chemistry and encourage infection. The medication could be giving you false ph readings, and stressing the fish more than normal treatment if you aren't doing 50% daily water changes, with heavy substrate vacuming/deep stirring of the gravel.

Here is what I suggest:
1. clear your tank of ALL living creatures:
Put them in stock bins if you have to, separating the sick from the healthy. Be sure to use fresh water (NOT from the tank), acclimate them properly, and give them heat and aeration.
2. Get rid of all the water in your tank. It's full of medication, might have parasites in it, and the dead stuff that's been around in it hasn't helped either. This includes your filter, be sure to keep your filter sponge in some water that's been treated to remove chlorine/chloramine.
3. If you want to go nuts, wash your substrate thoroughly
4. Put it all back together, but leave the sick fish out- treat them until they get better, or let them die. Make sure the new water is at the same temperature as what your fish are in, acclimation won't be necessary if the water source and temperature is the same.
5. Test your water over the next few days, make sure the tank stays stable.

Solution #2: separate sick fish out, treat, change water in your tank at 50% a day for the next few days, and vacuum the bottom like nuts.

Between these, solution #1 will work far better and work faster. Solution #2 is what some people might suggest, but I would say your survival rate is going to be much lowwer, especialy given BN nitrite sensitivity and loach's medication sensitivity. Once your done, you may want to keep in mind that your clown loach are going to grow over the years, and you'll need a bigger tank for them.

I would also suggest a change in medication. I used jungle labs product when I started in the hobby- despite doing everything properly, it failed to treat my ich, and left a fair mess on the bottom.
Post InfoPosted 03-Mar-2008 22:19Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
Small Fry
Posts: 2
Kudos: 1
Votes: 1
Registered: 06-Apr-2007
male usa
A medication I have had good success with is Furan-2.
Post InfoPosted 04-Mar-2008 04:56Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Show me the Shishies!
Posts: 1507
Kudos: 1350
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Registered: 25-Apr-2001
female australia au-victoria
EditedEdited by Lindy
I dont see any sense in treating the tank with meds atm as it is quite likely that your water quality problems are the cause. I would like to know the level of nitrate in your tank. All the symptioms you mentioned that you treated for late last year can be signs of high nitrate levels, your stocking levels indicate to me a possible nitrate problem.

Your current pH level is too low in my opinion for guppies and you should work on raising the KH level to stabilise your pH. Ideal pH would be around the 7.4 mark.

Before you criticize someone walk a mile in their shoes. That way you're a mile away and you have their shoes.
Post InfoPosted 04-Mar-2008 11:58Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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