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Old 10th August 2008, 21:37   #1
RichardJMoss
 
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Default Fish dying with buoyancy problems

Hello,

I have a 70l freshwater tropical tank which has been successfully running for around 4 years now.

I've got a strange problem with my tank which started a few months ago give or take, where my one of my bronze catfish start having problems with buoyancy, he started flipping on his side, then upside down, and he was unable to retain his balance. He also seemed to be gasping rapidly. This lasted for a couple of days before he died.

A month later, another catfish died with the same problem.

The next month, the final bronze catfish died.

Several weeks later, one of my lampeyes went crazy, same buoyancy issues, just on an extreme scale, he whirl and twirled and was pretty much beserk.

Roll on a few more weeks until two weeks ago. One of my danios had a strange flap of white on both sides of his tail, about halfway down it. It looked similar to a hanging flap of skin from when you scrape your knees. His tail appeared undamage and it didn't look like any disease or injury am I familar with (with isn't many, my tank has been rather lucky in this respect) I assumed it was fungus so I treated using Tetra FungiStop and this did clear it up after a couple of days, although whether naturally or from the medicine I don't know.

A week on from this, my red tailed shark whom I've had since I established the tank, and despite being a bit of a bully was by far my favorite fish, started falling on his side too. Unlike the other fish however, his downspiral was rapid, he died within a day.

Now, the danio which was originally "injured" is start the same "rolling on side and flipping upwards" behaviour as the previous fish and I'm assuming he'll be dead in a day or two like the rest.

In addition, two cherry barbs are showing signs of being ill, in the sense they are motionless in the tank with their fins tucked in tight. They have been like this for a few days but do not appear to have balance problems.

I have other fish in the tank (more danio's, white cloud mountain minnows, cardinal tetra's, glowlight tetra's, a pair of flying foxes, glaxay/zebra raboras, and an upsidedown castfish), with the exception of the aforementioned all appear healthy, no visible signs of disease or injury. The fish generally get along and so I don't think fighting or injury from each other is a factor either.

Water testing had the following results:
Ammonia: 0.1
No3: 250
No2: 0
gH: 16
kH: 0-3
pH: 6.4

Has anyone experianced any similar problems or have any advice to offer? It was bad enough when it was killing one fish a month but now it seems to be accelerating, in addition to killing the pride of my tank.

Any help you can offer would be appretiated.

Thanks;
Richard Moss
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Old 10th August 2008, 22:21   #2
AnnP
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Welcome to the forum. I am sorry that your fish are dying, If you have a photograph of the problem it would be a big help.
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Old 11th August 2008, 01:59   #3
helenfaulkner
 
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It sounds like you have quite a lot of fish for a 70 litre tank, and I am concerned that you have measurable ammonia. My guess is that you might be (or have been) overstocked, and that there may have been long-term ammonia problems, which will have weakened the immune systems of your fish, making them vulnerable to infections and parasites.

Can you please list the fish you had in the tank before the problems started, and the fish you have now, including the numbers of each species, and the size in inches of the larger fish (measuring their bodies, not including their tails, and it doesn't have to be totally accurate - a guess is good enough).

Also have you consistently measured that level of ammonia, or is that elevated level a recent development? Not that it's very high, but any ammonia, if present long-term could cause problems.
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Old 11th August 2008, 16:16   #4
RichardJMoss
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnP View Post
Welcome to the forum. I am sorry that your fish are dying, If you have a photograph of the problem it would be a big help.
AnnP, thanks for the welcome. Unfortunately taking a photograph was one of the things I tried to do prior to writing this post, however I was unable to get any satisfactory images - either too blurred from movement or unable to focus on the fish.

Quote:
Originally Posted by helenfaulkner View Post
It sounds like you have quite a lot of fish for a 70 litre tank, and I am concerned that you have measurable ammonia. My guess is that you might be (or have been) overstocked, and that there may have been long-term ammonia problems, which will have weakened the immune systems of your fish, making them vulnerable to infections and parasites.

Can you please list the fish you had in the tank before the problems started, and the fish you have now, including the numbers of each species, and the size in inches of the larger fish (measuring their bodies, not including their tails, and it doesn't have to be totally accurate - a guess is good enough).

Also have you consistently measured that level of ammonia, or is that elevated level a recent development? Not that it's very high, but any ammonia, if present long-term could cause problems.
Helen, thanks for the response. I didn't think the tank was overstocked, I've got basic image below which shows the whole tank and the fish, unfortunately as I said above I haven't been able to get any finer images, but I'm not sure how much value as to how much help they would be as the fish appear healthy. Saying that however, it looks as if the gills of the barbs are looking red, does that suggest anything?

Again, I've been rather lax in testing the water given the fact I've had so few problems and I rarely tested for ammonia, so I don't know if this is a recent development or not. I had thought the level I had written down above however was "safe".

Before this problem commenced I had

1x red tail back shark, he was at least 10cm - huge
3x cardinal tetras
2x bronze corydoras

The new fish we added, in two different batches are: (not including the ones that have since died)

1 x zebra rasbora. Tiny, only about 1cm
4 x galaxy rasboras. Also tiny, abot 1cm
4 x pearl danios. These are between 4 and 5cm
3 x cherry barbs. They are about 2.5cm each
1 x lampeye killifish. About 3cm.
4 x glowlight tetras. Around 3-4cm
6 x white cloud mountain minnow. Around 3-4cm each
7 x cardinal tetras. 3-4 cm
2 x siamese algae eater. Around 6cm each, one larger.
1 x upside down catfish. He hides in his cave during daylight but on the odd occasions he's come out, he's been 5cm and growing fast.

IMGP0027.jpg

Thanks for the help, any advice appreciated.

Last edited by RichardJMoss; 11th August 2008 at 16:20. Reason: Spelling and grammer
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