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#1 Saracirce

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 01:01 AM

So, this afternoon I went up to check on my tank and noticed one of my shy female platies was resting at the top of the tank, just sort of floating up there, with her fins clamped. I watched her for a bit and she kept her fins clamped so I did a quick google of clamped fins to see possible causes. Because she wasn't acting like this this morning and ate normally, I'm assuming I caught this early. I put in a couple drops of Stress Coat, which is all I have on hand at the moment, right above where she was. Came back 30 minutes later and she seems to be feeling much better. She was swimming normally and her fins were no longer clamped. It's a normal habit of hers and one of the other females to rest at the top of the tank like that but not as much as she was. I'm just worried if this starts to pop up in the other fish or return, what should I do? The number of medications I can use is limited due to otocinclus catfish also being in my tank. It's also hard to see on the otos and the other shy female because they all hide from me.

10 gallons
5 platies (one male, four females)
1 male guppy
5 otocinclus catfish
undertermined number of mystery snails (that I'm in the process of removing)

Currently growing dwarf lily bulbs. One's sprouted, the others haven't taken yet. They've only been in 12 days though so I'm going to wait until the beginning of January to take out any unsprouted bulbs. They're slow growing plants.

Tank has been set up for almost a year, starting with guppies, all of one of which died off. The only change I can think that would make things bad is I did a small water change (about 10%) 2 days ago.

location: United States

Sorry, I can't test the water parameters because I don't have a test kit. I do plan on buying one when I can. I am one of those people who started without knowing much and now has to run and try and gather everything they need. Also, I live in a town with 10k people and no actual pet store. The only store I know that carries a good amount of fish supplies is Wal-Mart, which again limits what I can get without ordering online.

If needed, I can try to take a picture of this fish but she's still acting normally and no clamped fins on anyone. And, again, she's very shy and likes to hide.

EDIT: I can NOT remove any of the fish for an extended period of time. I don't have a hospice tank and there's no safe area I can put them away from the cats. My room is the only room off limits to cats and it's extremely drafty.

Edited by Saracirce, 16 December 2009 - 01:05 AM.


#2 WILDER

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 04:04 PM

First thing we look at is water quality. Without water stats we would be guessing.

Do you know anyone who has a liquid test kit you could borrow.
Or buy one online.

For now water change and increase aeration.

Clamped fins can be stress to desease.

Any signs of laboured breathing or flicking and rubbing.
Does she look pale or darker in colour.
Is the fish showing any other symtoms apart from clamped fins.
Hiding for long periods can also be a sign of ill health and stress.

Don't use meds till you know what you are actually treating for.

#3 Saracirce

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 02:41 PM

Yeah, and I realize that. I really want one and I've been asking for all fish stuff for Christmas and telling everyone exactly what I need for them.

I don't know anyone else IRL who keeps fish, as I don't have many friends in the first place, so no one I can borrow a test kit from other wise I would've done so long ago.

My filter died last night so my fish have pretty much been sitting in almost stagnant water all night. I took it completely apart and cleaned it as much as I could, and while I got a good bit of gunk out, it's still not working right so I think it's the engine. We're going to Wal-Mart today so I can show my bro which gravel vac I want and I'm going to pick up a new filter there as well as get water conditioners and a test kit. I'm going to try at least. I'm supposed to be getting my laptop back today from the people fixing it and I think my mom wants to pay for that before paying for anymore fish stuff.

Also, I'm going to try to pick up a cheap air pump and some air stones.

No other symptoms but my guppy died sometime last night (at least an hour or two after the filter had died). The original fish I was worried about is acting mostly healthy right now but another female has been hiding excessively and resting on the bottom. I'm fairly sure it is my water quality as the city's tapwater is crap and I'm afraid to put any conditioners in the water without knowing exact parameters. The only thing I use is StressCoat, which is a dechlorinator and purifier. I'm worried putting in other conditioners somewhat randomly will do more bad then good, ya know?

Edited by Saracirce, 17 December 2009 - 02:42 PM.


#4 WILDER

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 02:44 PM

Keep preforming water changes till you get the new filter. Transfer old filter sponges into the new filter.

Then post your water stats.

Good Luck.

#5 Saracirce

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 09:09 PM

Okay, went there and Mom gave me 50 dollars to spend.

Bought:
New Filter
replacement cartridges for the new filter
a basic gravel vac
air pump
tubing
air stone
aponogeton bulbs

And I'm happy to say I came in 4 dollars under my limit.

The new filter is set up, after me cursing at it a few times because it took me a bit to get it to work right. It's got the cartridge from the old filter in it to help out the bacteria.

Set up the air pump and stone exactly the way the directions told me. The air stone is now soaking for another 30 minutes at least before I plug in the pump.

Did a small 10 percent water change with the gravel vac. and, man, is my gravel dirty. I had like brown water coming out. I'll do another 10 percent tomorrow and keep doing so everday til I get clean water. Hopefully, I won't get the floor all wet next time.

dropped in the aponogeton bulbs and they've all sunk. I'm hoping these plants, since they're supposed to be quick growing, will help with airation quickly and so I can get rid of the plastic plants. they're a hassle when you're actually trying to get in your tank and vacuum gravel. gee whiz.

Still Need:
5 gallon bucket (so I don't make such a big mess)

I have 2 $25 gift cards to Amazon so I'm hoping that'll just about cover the cost. The test kit I'm looking at now is about $20.

Also, I was looking at the lilly bulb that's sprouted. it's actually got two sprouts coming out of it, not just one. Kinda cool.

Water Test Kit and an Ammonia remover on the way as well as a breeder thing.

Edited by Saracirce, 18 December 2009 - 12:19 AM.


#6 WILDER

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 03:26 PM

I just remove plastic plants and ornaments when preforming a gravel vac.
The crap you can fetch up is unbelievable. That's why you should do a gravel vac at least once a week, once the tanks cycled.

The api lquid test kit a bargain.
The only api test kit that is not very good in the nitrate liquid test kit. I buy tetra brand in nitrate instead.

#7 Saracirce

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 05:59 PM

yeah, I knew I had a lot under my gravel but I wasn't expecting brown water to be coming out like that. How long should I leave the cartridge from the old filter in this new one?

Also, two of my females were looking sick so I did end up removing them. One was the one being lethargic and she died during the night. The other is the one that had been clamping her fins the other day. She appears to have red patches on the top of her head (they just appeared and isn't part of her coloring) and she has one eye that's swollen. The swelling doesn't appear to be getting worse. I removed both of them and put them in a small bucket which is sitting under a lamp to help the water stay heated. The first female died last night and the second one is still alive but she isn't eating.

Also, I put a blanket over my window to try to keep it from being so drafty. I noticed that the window had ice on the INSIDE so I'm going to have to point that out to the landlord and get it fixed over the summer, as it's frozen shut right now.

Edited by Saracirce, 18 December 2009 - 06:01 PM.


#8 WILDER

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 08:00 PM

I think I would add the two fish back to the tank. If you decide to add them back match temp of tank water.

Then I would add a bacterial med. Not melafix an internal bacteria med.

Do you have a heater in the tank?

Edited by Wilder, 18 December 2009 - 08:01 PM.


#9 Saracirce

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 08:28 PM

Well, one's already dead so it would be bad to add her in lol. She's in the trash now anyway.

I do have a heater. I've got one when I first decided I wanted to keep fish again (started in 7th grade but all my fish died within a month because I didn't know anything about fish then started back up a year ago). It's a sorta cheap one though that you can't change the temp it's set at.

Anyway, I'll go add her back in after getting her used to the temp again.

#10 WILDER

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 08:36 PM

Should be able to alter temp up or down on a heater.

#11 Saracirce

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 05:02 AM

http://www.walmart.c...uct_id=12177656 That's my heater -_-

She's just laying on the substrate now and rapid breathing. She's also staying in areas where the water's less agitated by the filter and air stone. I think that's why her eye's swollen. It could've easily been injured when laying by the ceramic 'stump' I have in there. Since I can't really afford to go buy any medicine right now, I'm probably going to just put her out of her misery tomorrow morning. If she's still alive. I've already kept her alive too long...

#12 WILDER

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 02:01 PM

Bless her.
You really need a bacterial med as the red patches could be septicemia.

#13 Saracirce

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 02:10 PM

I know. But my mom's real hesitant on spending more money on the fish. She doesn't really get it, you know? If I get any more money for christmas, I'm going to go out and buy as many different types of meds I can so I'll get my bases covered in the future.

So, I'll be getting an anti-bacterial, anti-fungus, more StressCoat, anti-parasite and a 5 gallon bucket.

EDIT: just been up to check, and yeah, she's gotten worse. she's sorta bumping around when she does move and her eye looks worse then it was. I'm going to go put her out of her misery.

Edited by Saracirce, 19 December 2009 - 02:11 PM.


#14 WILDER

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 02:12 PM

All you really need is a bacterial med, a parasite med.
Sometimes you need an internal parasite med.


Fish keeping can be a expensive hobby.
The more you learn the happy the fish will be.

#15 Saracirce

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 02:48 PM

Yeah. I'm considering right now giving my fish away and just restarting the tank with better gravel and actually cycling it right. Then, no more fish from a big pet store or local people. I'm going to order fish from liveaquaria.com. And no more livebearers. Maybe some zebra danios. Those are supposed to be the hardiest fish, right? That can fit in a 10 gallon at least.

#16 WILDER

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 09:22 PM

I've had no luck with guppys either.

Never kept danio's but they are meant to be hardy fish.
Danio's really need bigger tanks as there active fish.
Very limited to what you can keep in a 10 gal.
Harlequins are nice fish, panda corys, black neons.

#17 Saracirce

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 10:06 PM

Yeah, I realize that. I would eventually upgrade to a 30 gallon but until then I should probably wait... I don't really like tetras that much. They're pretty but... I don't know. I do love cory cats and the harlequin rasboras... I'll see if the high school is willing to take these guys off my hand that I have right now. They have an aquaculture class with a big lab and everything. Then I'll spend a couple months swapping gravel, meaning I'd have to re-cycle the tank. And then I wanna grow plants, get driftwood all that this time.

Edited by Saracirce, 19 December 2009 - 10:07 PM.


#18 shi24137

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 10:28 PM

you could get a betta and keep him in the 10g. i have 3 bettas. one in a 10g with a few guppy fry, one in my 30g with guppies and platies, and one in its own 5g next to my bed. is your tank in your living room? i discovered that my platies and guppies did not like being in my living room(as my kids were always looking in the tank) they didnt like all the traffic. but now they are in my room where there is less traffic and they are flourishing! my bettas dont really mind the traffic. maybe you could get one and keep him? theyre awesome fish and have great personalities.

#19 Saracirce

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 11:17 PM

Nope, it's in my bedroom and the door's shut all the time to keep to keep the cats out. I'm not in my room all that much so they get to be left alone a lot. I do want a betta eventually but I don't know. I was thinking I would wait to get one until I could get a tank specifically with a betta's needs in mind. I think the current filter in this tank is a bit too strong for a betta unless it's a female or plakat. Then that combined with the airstone... I definitely I'm going to be getting a male betta sometime down the road and put him in at least 5 gallons with lots of plants. I already know what I want lol.

Going to call the school tomorrow and see if they'll take the platies at least. Hopefully both platies and otos.

By the way, got the first leaf from one of my lily bulbs. pretty cool. it's tiny lol.

EDIT: Went upstairs to feed them and turn out the lights... found a dead oto under my heater... and one's missing so I'm going to presume it's dead...

Edited by Saracirce, 20 December 2009 - 02:15 AM.


#20 shi24137

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 02:30 AM

awww...im sorry for your loss. the swollen eye sounds a little like pop eye? i dont know much about pop eye though so dont take my words to action. and you could keep a betta in there if you kill the current from the filter. what type of filter do you have? i have a tetra whisper 2-10i. its an internal filter. i just cut the top and bottom off of a water bottle and a little off the middle and stuck it over the waterfall part of the filter and it instantly killed the current. it diverts the flow to the back of the tank so the current isnt so strong. my betta loves it!




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