Fish lying on aquarium floor

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by RaD, May 31, 2009.

  1. RaD

    RaD

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    Hi All,

    I've been having a rough time with my tank so far and this is my third attempt at introducing some fish. Today it was 6 Mollies and a Betta.

    There were looking fine for about 4 hours, eating and what not. But now all of them are lying on the aquarium floor. Some are "wriggling" in one place and other are motionless. All alive still.

    My pH in the water is around 8, a bit high but as far as I know that shouldn't be too much of a problem for Mollies. The ammonia and nitrite levels are also negligible and I did a 25% water change last night. The temperature is 26-27 degrees C.

    Please help. I don't know what I'm doing wrong here. :( :( :(
     
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  3. Zoom

    Zoom Retired Moderator

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    Hi Rad,

    I'm probably not going to be able to give you any answers, but I know the questions that other people will probably ask you...

    How long has the tank been cycling?
    I'm assuming the other 2 attempts at introducing fish ended up with them all dying?
    Does the fish come from a reputable source? (Have all 3 batches come from the same place?)
    When the last 2 attempts failed, did you do any water changes? If you did, how much, and how long did you wait before re-trying?

    To me it sounds like either (1) the fish are unhealthy from source. (2) your water has some kind of bacterial infection or something in it. (3) the fish are too stressed during the relocation.

    Just on a side note... When introducing new fish into a tank, I prefer not to feed those fish for 2 days. It helps with the stress levels, and keeps them calm. Also a good idea to turn lights off when introducing fish.

    I also only found out today that when introducing fish... If possibly, do not introduce the LPS water into your tank. Rather quarantee the fish, and slowly, (preferable over a period of a few days) change the water from the LPS water to the water from your set up tank. What I do, because I don't have a quarantee tank, I put the bagged fish into my tank to adjust to temp. The during the course of the day I add my tank water to the bag, until I eventually have nearly 90% my water to 10% LPS water. Then I simply net the fish out the bag... and then toss away the LPS water.

    Don't know if anyone esle practises this, or their ideas on it, but it seems the next best thing to quaranteing.
     
  4. OP
    RaD

    RaD

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    Ok, complete story:

    First Attempt:
    3 small angels, 4 Corys. Did well for a day, I then decided to add some wood from a LPS. I woke up the next morning with them all dead.
    [fish from exotic aquariums and pets in Boksburg]

    Second Attempt:
    Completely drained the tank and put new water in. However I forgot that the heater needed to be off, so I broke that and I only noticed the water was ice cold once I brought a new batch of fish home from the LPS. Rushed out to get another heater and a thermometer (i know, i know) for each side of the tank, but I was unable to save them.
    [fish from VIP Pets in Cresta]

    Third Attempt:
    4x Otocinclus, from Mr. Pet in Sancton City, I didn't expect these to do very well as the store is not great and the assistant didn't really know what she was doing when she was catching them. They were very stressed by the time I got them home.

    Fourth Attempt:
    This current one, which also seems to be failing horribly.

    The tank has been in operation for 3 weeks now and as I say, the water chemistry seems fine. I'm wondering about chlorine poisoning? I did use the dechlorinating agent and it has been standing for a while...

    I don't want to lose another set of fish...

    I have had some Sweetflag in the tank the whole time, I dont know if that will make a difference? And I'm using silica sand as a substrate.

    Plantgeek.net says this about Sweetflag:

    ***NOT a true aquarium plant*** This plant will die if kept submerged and pollute the tank. Can be used on the edge of ponds or kept "feet wet" to help filter extra nutrients out of the water.

    Think I just found the reason!
     
  5. brentnorm

    brentnorm

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    You really need to let the cycle complete before introducing livestock. What type of filtration are you using?
     
  6. OP
    RaD

    RaD

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    I was under the impression that if the nitrites and ammonia were low then the cycling was complete. Am I wrong? I'm using a canister filter.
     
  7. brentnorm

    brentnorm

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    Those levels can go up and down a couple of times before the cycle is complete. Did you help it along at all by introducing some cycle or stability. This would speed it up. How long did you let the tank run before putting any livestock in? Every time you do a huge waterchange the cycle starts again.
     
  8. rogerrabbit

    rogerrabbit

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    What people forget is you cannot completely cycle your filter without fish, and even if your tank is stable with its inhabitants for ten years, the moment you increase your bioload the tank goes through another cycle. I think something is poisoning your water. Either the maid is spraying something close to your tank(they just love to spray "windolene" on the tank), the tank is to close to the kitchen, some detergents get into the water somehow or might be your mystery plant. Start with the plant, toss it and put in fresh water, run for a couple of days and replace the water again, check for any possible causes of poisoning.
     
  9. Zoom

    Zoom Retired Moderator

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    Hi Rad,

    Not necessarily. Remember that Ammonia and Nitrites is caused by the breaking down of fish faeces. Now if you don't have any fish, then obviously the ammonia and nitrites will be low and appear as if the water is safe.

    I would strongly suggest cycling the tank for 10 to 14 days BEFORE adding fish. And cycle it with a product called "Stability" from Seachem. Very good chemical in helping establish the filter.

    Also, what type of filter are you running?

    Take out that plant. Rather get proper aquatic plants.

    Another thing I'd advise. No matter how big the tank is... start off with only a few fish. If you introduce too many at once, the nitrites SPIKE because the bacteria hasn't really established itselt in the filter and gravel. So start with a few and add to the tank on a weekly basis until you have what you want. (Although you ALWAYS want more)

    Just a really stupid question- but could be the answer: What size is the tank, and is it getting any oxygen into the water.

    This is done in 3 ways: (1) plants -but generally a LOT of plants needed
    (2) an air stone with air pump
    (3) the water tension being broken at all.

    There is so much that could be causing the problem. (although the broken heater was the definately the reason for number 2 batch)

    I've seen some people actually cycle their tank with a dead fish for the first 3 days. Then take the fish out and carry on cycling for a further 7 days. For some reason... they NEVER have that nitrite SPIKE that I always have with my new set up.
     
  10. brentnorm

    brentnorm

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    Perhaps you should leave the tank running for a week and then get a couple of black mollies( these are very hardy fish) and then let the tank run another week or two before adding more livestock. Dose Stabiity every day for the first week.
     
  11. veegal

    veegal

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    When fish 'wriggle' it is nine times out of ten due to water conditions. Best thing to do as soon as you see a fish doing this is to do a water change and monitor the water conditions. I think as has been said you need to slowly introduce your fish and that, combined with the use of stability should hopefully sort your problems out. I'm pretty certain that your fish loss, except for the second batch, was caused by too many fish being introduced at once into a new tank.

    When introducing new fish you always want to quarantine if possible. Also don't forget to acclimatise the fish to the new tank's temperature etc before releasing them. And NEVER add the water from the bag into your tank - a sure fire way of looking for unnecessary trouble. Rather catch the fish from the bag and put them into the tank OR you can gently hold the net over a bucket and 'pour' the fish out of the bag and into the net and then into your tank. This is far less stressful on the fish than you trying to catch them with a net whilst they are still in the packet.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2009
  12. JaguarCichlid

    JaguarCichlid Jaguar Cichlid

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    I always try to do water changes with rain water. then top up with aged tap water. Try get some filtered water from a local "Purified Water" shop, or collect rain water from yor gutters, just filter it before it goes into the bulk tank, (bird cr@p, dust etc can cause a problem)

    get rid of it, i'm trying a bit of aquaponics on my tanks as an extra nitrate remover, i will keep you posted as the failures occur.... the daisies seem to be enjoying it, but still early days for a hard and fast result, but they lasted of 2 weeks sofar, so i might be onto something....... i refer to my post http://www.tropicalaquarium.co.za/showthread.php?t=486 where Prof shot my theory out of the water...... (Thanks Prof, I did learn something from you....) But i will perservere and learn while i do it.....

    All that i have done it put my return water through a piece of ducting running down the length of the tank and filled it with a gravel, then planted the plants in there, with the outlet flowing into the tank to create a waterfall effect...... but the daisies make the wife happy, so mmmmm who am i to argue.....
     
  13. OP
    RaD

    RaD

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    Sigh, this is terrible. What should my next course of action be? Assuming these fish all die? Do I drain the tank completely? Replace substrate? leave for another a further three weeks? Use "stability" or "cycle" anyway for a while? I have been acclimitising the fish, but I've also added the water from the LPS. I think it may be possible that the Betta survives, he seems miserable, but not quite as miserable as the rest.

    Also, when you talk about a water change, what % is it? I'd guess 25-50%

    I just feel so awful about killing all these fish. Do you guys think I should persevere or throw in the towel?
     
  14. OP
    RaD

    RaD

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    As of right now:

    Nitrite - 0.3mg/l
    Ammonia - 0mg/l

    Is there no chance this could be a disease?
     
  15. brentnorm

    brentnorm

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    There is always a chance but usually a disease would show some symtems and not immediate death. I would start dosing with stability and not add any livestock for two weeks.

    Where are you situated ?
     
  16. OP
    RaD

    RaD

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    I'm in Paulshof.

    So, purchase "stability" dose for two weeks. not add any more fish.
    Then after that how can I tell if this won't happen again?
     
  17. brentnorm

    brentnorm

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    Sorry, didn't see you were in JHB. Try the stability first. It's made by Seachem and is a very good product. Also try not to do more than a 30% water change at a time.
     
  18. veegal

    veegal

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    Stability is only used for 7 days to begin with and then with large water changes or once a month thereafter. It is an expensive product but a REALLY good product. Don't worry too much that you added the LFS water, it doesn't sound like a disease because it happened far too quickly. Do a 30% water change and start with the stability straight away.
     
  19. Zoom

    Zoom Retired Moderator

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    Hey Rad,

    Well, I guess you have got your answers. If it were myself, I would start right from the beginning. I'd take ALL the water out, rinse the gravel out, rinse the filter material, and restart from scratch. It sounds to me as if there is something out in your water, but just to be sure there is no virus or bacterial infection, I'd start again.

    It is definately worth starting with the 'Stability'. It is a little pricey (abour R100.00p/bottle depending on where you get it). API also make a fantastic product that I use... It's called Stress Coat. It does a number if things.

    (1) Dechlorinates water
    (2) Helps remove Ammonia and Nitrites (Not it's primary function though... so don't rely on this... rather rely on plants to do this, as well as your weekly water changes)
    (3) Helps 'unstress' fish. (Fantastic for when you introduce new fish. Works well to de-stress your existing tank from stressing with the new additions. And helps keep the new fish from stressing due to the relocation).

    It's also a very pricey chemical... But I haven't gone without it! It also keeps the slimy protective coat over the fish, which helps the fish fight against bacteria and infections.

    That is my suggestion. I will admit that I have only been keeping fish for 4 months, but that is my suggestion based on all the reading I have done.
    You could also take Veegal's advice. He (My appologies if Veegal is a she... :) ) has been keeping fish a lot longer than I have... and has definately earned my respect with his advice.
     
  20. OP
    RaD

    RaD

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    This morning 4 of the 6 Mollies passed away, as well as the Betta. I noticed that the one molly had reddish "bruising" near the tail on its side.

    I dont expect the other 2 to survive, based on what you guys have said. If they dont I'll do a complete water change, rinse the substrate, wash the plants, rinse the filter, buy stability, and try again 1 last time.

    Question is, if the last 2 Mollies are still alive this afternoon, what can I do to keep them alive?
     
  21. small_fry

    small_fry Fish King

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    sorry to hear this...so sad...

    if i were you i would disinfect everything with a high conenctrated dose of spirit vinegar and let stand a little while. then rinse with hose pipe until smell of vinegar is gone. resetup and let cycle for 3 weeks while monitoring water params. you can try some salt...just take the plants out...sounds like poisoning to me with the reddish tint on the tales.
     

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