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snorock

Natives gasping at surface

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Hey guys

Ive got a 4ft tank with aus and png natives in it...Rhads, peacock gudgeons, blue eyes and a bristle nose. I use salt and prime with tap water. From the tap the ph is 6.8 and 2d kh. The tank hangs around 7.2 but creeps up to 7.6 after a week or two and about the same kh as the tap. Ive been slowly losing fish it started with my blue eyes and then rhads and now gudgeons. I tried treating the last rhad with tetracycline and water changes in a seperate tank thinking it was bacterial but didnt work. Now one of the gudgeon is hanging around the top of the tank and acting unlike her normal self...let me know your thoughts.

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Possible culprits I can think of are water quality, oxygen deficiency, or parasites. Are your water parameters good? What's your water temp (too hot & not enough aeration)? Are you running CO2 or dosing ferts? Dead fish decaying in your tank? Have you introduced a new fish lately? Does your fish look ok?

 

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Parameters are good. I dont run heat being in sunshine coast and keeping natives. Lots of aeration. I did introduce new rhads recently and they were the first to die. They started gasping but had what looked like a bacterial growth on them. My blue eyes seemed to get a mouth fungus and they stop eating and waste away. No co2 or ferts. The gudgeon seems normal phyiscally, but has labored breathing and lethargic. Im thinking a parasite or something to do with the gills. But not sure.

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Fungus and bacterial growths may be indicators of poor water quality despite the tested  parameters being good.    In the absence of a diagnostic test I'd say water change, water change, water change to lower bacterial counts in the water.    The solution to pollution is dilution.  Look for dead fish and build ups of organic matter around hardscape.  Clean filters etc   High bacterial loads can lower oxygen concentrations in the water quickly which would explain the gasping.

What is your normal waterchange schedule?  30% each week?  10% once a month? never?

What type of filtration?

Is there water movement?

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I usually do a 25% change every week. I use sponge filters and a aquaponic filter up top of the tank. I havent been vacuuming the gravel lately but i did partilally last night. Will try a 50% water change ro see if it will help.

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Yer not cleaning the filters in tap water are ya mate? And yer using dechlorinator I imagine....  so yea that leaves a nasty bacterial which the antibiotics should be helping unless its the wrong gram.....  or maybe some type of parasite like flukes or velvet thats leaving wounds that are then getting infected. Once you get a taste for looking at little fish under a scope and being able to actually see the nastys, it is so hard to go back to trying to guess.

 

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I havent cleaned the filters since i put them in a few months ago...didnt think they need to be to keep the good bacteria levels up. How often should i clean them and should i just rise them in the tap?

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1 hour ago, snorock said:

should i just rise them in the tap?

No.  Rinse them in a bucket of old tank water when you are doing a water change then dump on the vege garden for a win-win.  I give mine a good massaging and sometimes will rinse them again in a second bucket of tank water if they are really filthy.  No need to get them spotless.  Its better to give them a half-arse clean every few weeks than to leave them for many months. 

pH generally drops (more acidic) with accumulation of organic debris.  rising pH is often caused by some element of your hardscape neutralising the acids in the water - gravel, rocks etc. 

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Thanks guys...i feel like im on track again. Hopefully the 50% water change, cleaning the sponges and a reduction in feeding for awhile will restore the balence. As for treatments...whats everybodys go to for a bacterial treatment, parasite treatment or a fungal treatment. Hopefully i can save any other fish that dont make it. Sucks i lost some really great fish, but hopfully those were the only ones.

Ill give a report on a couple days.

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Ok so im still losing fish...im thinking its a parasite...the reason why is because each fish goes down the same way...healthy active then boom labored breathing, extra mucus on the body, red swollen gills, and dead in a couple hours. Also the fish i introduced had it first now its moving into my orginal stock. Thinking of hitting the remaining fish with blue planet trichlorfon tablets in a hospital tank to avoid killing off my bristlenose and colony of glass shrimp. What are your guys thoughts?

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Sorry to hear that. Hard part with fish diseases is that a lot of the symptoms overlaps. Hard to tell without examination. Might work if your fish has flukes. If not flukes your fish might have costia/slime disease.

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So...just to wrap up this post. After a series of daily water changes with salt, cleaning out all my sponge filters, vacuming the crap out of the gravel a few times, uping the temp a few degrees and reducing feeding schedule...i think ive stablized the tank and I havent lost a fish in over a week. So thank you guys for the support and im glad i didnt end up using meds in the end. I think you guys nailed it with the bacterial build up and the addition of the new fish tipped it over into the kill zone, which led to the respiratory infections.

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