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Diseased Tank?

Posted by lexie1397 z8. OR (lexie1397@yahoo.com) on
Tue, Apr 4, 06 at 9:52

Hello All!

I'm afraid I may have a disease in my tank but I have no idea what. I have lost a guppy and now an otto but it doesn't seem to be affecting my dwarf frog at all.

I'm not sure what setup perameters you need to know...

I would really appreciate someone's wisdom on this. Guppies and ottos are very inexpensive, but it's still a life and I loved them.

Thanks,
Lexie


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Diseased Tank?

what kind of disease did your fish die from? What were their symptoms/outward signs of disease? Fungal? Bacterial?

There pretty much will always be good and bad bacteria in a tank. Fish succumb to disease or death when their immune systems are not strong enough to keep bacteria at bay - and this can occur when things in the tank are not in balance - like if ammonia peaks or nitrites are high.


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RE: Diseased Tank?

Hi Lexie sorry to here about the fish. If you still have the same 1.6 gallon tank it couldn't handle the bio-load because it is fairly new. Since you don't have a test kit their is no way to know for sure if your tank is cycling yet. I don't remember if you have a heater or not. Check the link below for information you asked for. I would guess your fish died from the poor water quality trying to establish a cycle, either ammonia or nitrite poisoning or stress from those toxins. If you couple them with an unheated tank the fish are more susceptible to disease. I would ask your lanlord if you can at least get a 5 or 6 gallon tank. Use the same logic with the gallon of milk, What if you had a case of Pepsi or a water cooler (they are 5 gallons also)? Even Walmart has good prices on quality acrylic aquarium kits. I was actually amazed that their on-line store sells test kits (never saw one in any local walmarts here) The aquarium kit is $30-50 a heater about $17 and a "laborett test kit about $15, not bad prices. Anyway if you can get a bigger setup that will be more suitable for a few more fish then be happy with just the frog. If you add more fish the chances of disease are greater. If the frog also doesn't make it for an unheated 1.6 gallon I could only reccomend 3 white clouds.

Here is a link that might be useful: Beginner FAQ's from : The Krib


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RE: Diseased Tank?

Yes, I do still have the same tank as the last time I had problems. I ended up finding my guppy trapped in the intake tube to the filter. I've had it up for months now... how long does it take to cycle?? I've even had the same filter pad in which is where-from what I understand-the good bacteria are supposed to primarily live.

Neither one of the fish had any outward signs that I could see. The guppy had some sort of spinal issue where it looked pretty contorted sometimes, but the otto just stopped eating and sat on the bottom. If it had been a land critter, I would say it had labored breathing, but I don't know if that's the right term for aquatics. Last night I nudged it a little and it went up and tried to swim but it looked like it just took too much effort so he spiral-swam for a few seconds then fell back to the bottom. I noticed that the temp had fallen to 72 (from the norm of about 75) and suspected that the ammonia/nitrate/nitrite levels might be a bit high so I did an emergency 1/4 water change with slightly warmer water than what was in the tank. (and though not ideal, it did come straight from the tap but with aquasafe added) The only other thing I can think of is that the shop I bought the otto from said that the shipment had been delayed while the supplier dealt with a disease issue. I'm going to call them and see if I can get some more details on what the quarentine was for.

I guess I need to get a test kit. Obviously this is a low budget tank, so what is the most necessary test(s)?

Thank you both so much for your help. I really want to fix any problems I have, aside from a tiny tank, before I try to get another otto.


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RE: Diseased Tank?

I've had it up for months now... how long does it take to cycle??---- A generic answer would be 6-8 weeks. This is not always true, especially when cycling with fish. Everybodies tap water is different, too many variables to predict. Read the FAQ article I gave a link to.---Neither one of the fish had any outward signs that I could see. The guppy had some sort of spinal issue where it looked pretty contorted sometimes, but the otto just stopped eating and sat on the bottom. If it had been a land critter, I would say it had labored breathing, but I don't know if that's the right term for aquatics. Last night I nudged it a little and it went up and tried to swim but it looked like it just took too much effort so he spiral-swam for a few seconds then fell back to the bottom---- This is most likely stress from poor water parameters nitrite/ammonia poisoning. These are symtoms. The fish should be active, of good color, no bent spines (also sign of TB), always seemingly hungary, no bloating (unless its pregnant), no growths or fin deterioration.---- . I noticed that the temp had fallen to 72 (from the norm of about 75)---- well thats a little low but if you have detectable ammonia in your water lower temps make ammonia less toxic. A fully submersible 25 watt heater would be a good purchase. Avoid the preset "mini heaters" that are for fish bowls ( AKA fish boilers). Place the heater under, or near the filter return or intake. Fluctuating and low water temps is a stressor.---I guess I need to get a test kit. Obviously this is a low budget tank, so what is the most necessary test(s)? --- I would say that ammonia and pH are good to have. Get a 2-part reagent kit for ammonia, they are more accurate and not easily skewed as other single reagent test kits and test strips. Some LFS will test your water for you, it depends on there reputation for accuracy. Individual test kits can be more expensive then a master set. So know your prices, for example the pH and Ammonia individually may cost the same as a master set with nitrite, nitrate, GH and KH tests. Or the master set could only be about $2-3 more. The laborett deluxe master test set by Tetra is any where from $12-18 and is the least expensive, well for your case. If you where to be setting up more tanks down the road the API master set is more, but has almost twice the ammonut of tests.----Thank you both so much for your help. I really want to fix any problems I have, aside from a tiny tank, before I try to get another otto.--- No problem, If you deside not to get a heater, go with the white clouds I suggested. They are really colorful and don't need heat, also they are small fish. Oto's are only hardy with good water conditions. The problem is with smaller tanks is that when something goes wrong, it happens fast. The more water you have the longer the water takes to become as toxic because of dilution.


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RE: Diseased Tank?

I talked with the shop and they had me bring in the dead fish and a water sample. Turns out that he died of starvation. But they taught me how to tell when he's full enough and when he needs some more. they also explained that the ones they ahve are wild-caught so it may take a while for them to adjust to algae pellets if they ever do. I had always thought that algae eaters "cured" an existing problem and didn't really think that it would require extra algae so they had plenty to eat. My water sample turned out clean except for a pH that was almost too high.

Woeisme- I am going to do some looking, but the test kits here are about twice as much as what you quoted. I actually saw the Laborette Kit and it was $32. :P Regardless how much it costs, I'm convinced that I need to get pH, nitrite and ammonia at the least and if a combo kit comes with more for about the same price then I'll get that. This place has all of the test kits and food on a shelf behind the register so it's hard to get a look at the prices. The owner doesn't seem to be incredibly helpful but one of the employees kinda rolls her eyes and smiles when I walk in now-she's on my side! Since I only have an itty bitty tank and I need the otto to take care of the algae, I don't think it would be in the best interest of the tank to get three of anything! When I am able to move up to a larger tank, I will certainly look into them.


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RE: Diseased Tank?

well, there is algae and there is algae... kind of like vegetables. Fish that eat algae don't necessarily eat all kinds of algae. You can't expect an algae eater fish to just live on whatever algae you see in your tank alone.

The spine distortion in the guppy sounds like inbreeding to me.

Otos are finicky type of fish - they either make it or they don't. They also do better in large groups and will school.

Woe is right - if you don't have a heater, get some white clouds.


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RE: Diseased Tank?

It may be true the fish starved, but the reason for starvation was most likely from disease , TB , bacterial, parasitic or even bad genetics like Skygee said. Otos will eat most algae except BBA. If green water was you problem they wont help either. To discourage algae growth do larger and more frequent PWCs, keep lighting minimal 4-6 hours unless you have live plants, add plants like a Java Fern. If the best an LFS can do for you is $32 then order from an on-line pet store like DrsFosterSmith.com . Even with shipping it will only be about $23, also a good opertunity to get the heater since you are paying for shipping. $8 is for anything up to $30 then it goes up $1 every $30 increment. Even Walmart.com sells it for about $14

Here is a link that might be useful: Laborett Master test kit


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RE: Diseased Tank?

The shop tested the otto and found no trace of disease, but obviously they can't test for bad genetics. The algae in my tank that I was seeing was a brown algae in a filmy fashion on the sides but barely visible and a green spot algae. I didn't see green water. The shop owner explained that the otto doesn't have the mouth mechanics to scrape off the green spots so they can't do him any good (unless I scrape them off and leave them on the bottom for him to find). I have been keeping the light on more which both increases algae growth and the temperatures.

There is a Petco in town that I want to check out for the test kits. I know they carry them, but I don't remember the prices.

Supposedly the guppy's problem was either bad genetics or a nutritional deficiency. I thought that the fish flakes were a complete diet like a dog food, but I guess not. When I go to pick up my otto this afternoon I am also going to get a couple different kinds of food for my frog. He's a bit skinny, but he loses interest in food when he starts to fill out. I know animals like variety in their diet, but I never realized it would become mandatory.

Thanks to all for your wonderful help and advice!
Lexie


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RE: Diseased Tank?

The "brown algae", (which is actually diatoms, a tiny water animal that feeds on silicates) s very common in new aquariums. The material that is used in our aquariums have tons of silica(s). Glass tanks- glass is made of a silica sand and sealed with silicone caulk. Acrylic tanks- acrylic is silica based. Filters, airlines,heaters etc. - all made of some sort of plastic or glass plastic combo. After a while the soluable silicates will leach out, could take up to 6 months , some people up to a year. Once this happens the diatoms die off because of starvation. Adding more light will help because diatoms prefer less light intensity. The only problem with this is you risk getting green algae. I have had mixed luck with diatoms. Some times I get little to none. Others even with very intense lighting they linger for a while, it depends on how much silicate is present in your equiptment. Green spot algae is almost unavoidable when you keep lights on for planted tanks. Even in tanks where my parameters and nutrients are on target for high light I will accumulate at least some green spot algae. Usually after pruning or if I allow some plants to grow wild and they are sticking out of the top. The best combat for both it plenty of PWCs to dilute built organics and nutrients and proper lighting for you setup. I agree with the LFS that the Oto will not eat the green spot off the sides. It usually doesnt eat too much if any green algae. I disagree that the guppy died of starvation due to lack of variety of food. As long as you offered the fish food it would have eaten it before starving itself because it was picky. It is a good practice to give the fish a varied diet, but not totally necessary. Otos are sensitive fish, if your pH was on the high side that may have impacted the stress. Otos like a more acidic to neutral pH, anything over 7.5ppm is high for them, this doesn't mean not impossible, but with stress from cycling stages added it wasn't very ideal for its survival. Petco has the API master set for about $27 as well as individual tests. Have fun shopping. If they have Zebra Oto's they are really cool looking. They are rare though.


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