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Angelfish Dying Overnight! Please help

Discussion in 'Tropical Fish Emergencies' started by civilalloy, May 15, 2018.

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  1. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Your clown loach is stressed because there is nothing to hide under. They are nocturnal fish and hide under wood or rocks during the day. And having one on its own makes the problem worse.

    Both your guppies are pregnant. Water Sprite (Ceratopteris thalictroides) is a good plant for livebearers like guppies and mollies. It can be planted in the substrate or left to float on the surface.

    If you put a picture or some coloured card over the outside of the back, it will make the fish feel more secure and they will show up better, especially if the backing picture is dark. :)

     
  2. IHaveADogToo

    IHaveADogToo Fish Crazy
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    This happens sometimes. I've had amazon swords do that before.

    But something to be mindful of, when I read the reviews for your carpet grass, people were saying the root system of the carpet grass overtakes and smothers other plants' root systems. Some reviewers say they ended up ripping the grass out so they could keep other plants.

    I have to agree with Colin, here, though. You have no hiding places in the tank, and that's stressing the loach out. That's why it tries to hide under the air stone.

    Byron mentioned your susbrate could cause issue for bottom dwellers, like corys or loaches. I don't know much about your substrate brand, but I do trust Byron's judgement.

    It's starting to look like redoing your aquascape is in order. My suggestion:
    Rip up the mystery grass. Pour a layer of play sand from the hardware store on top of your gravel. Then add new plants. Replace the mystery grass with dwarf hairgrass or java moss. Add some "stuff" to the tank as well, like large rocks, caves, driftwood, whatever... just provide lots of hiding places for the fish. I know it sounds weird, but the more hiding places you provide, the more you will see your fish, as they will be more comfortable and feel more secure. Tall plants help with this too, like amazon swords or mature java ferns. You don't have to go nuts, but your tank is just barren right now. Imagine that fish tank is your apartment. It has no furniture. It's just an empty room with a plant in the corner. Wouldn't you be more comfortable in an apartment that has a sofa and a bed and a dining table than you would in an empty apartment with a plant in the corner? Imagine having roommates in an apartment with no rooms/walls. You can essentially create "rooms" in the tank by using caves and plants and other decor. If you're not confident in your ability to keep plants, that's okay, opt for more driftwood/rock/cave decor. Clay pots work great for creating caves, even cracked ones, and are much more affordable than a plastic shipwreck or from the pet store.
     
    #17 IHaveADogToo, May 16, 2018
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  3. civilalloy

    civilalloy New Member

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    I'm beginning to think this is definitely a parasite. I just noticed my two baloon mollies laying on the ground. At first I thought one of them was dead, he was completely motionless. I grabbed the net and waved it in front of him a bit and he got up and swam away just fine. Do you guys think this may be a parasite? Possibly from not having cleaned my gravel for a while? I did go ahead and clean the gravel out already.

    20180516_194346.jpg
    Completely motionless, save for his gills, which are flaring fairly quickly. The other baloon molly seems to be experiencing some of the same symptoms, but is moving around much more. Is it possible that he is actually a she and is pregnant? I read that sometimes female mollies do this before giving birth.

    EDIT: She got up and swam around for a while. Although I've now witnessed each of them scratching themselves on the clay pot! This would be a really cute behavior if I hadn't read that this is a common symptom of a parasite!

    EDIT 2: I've also read that higher temps can increase parasite activity. Might my fish benefit by me turning off the heater for a couple days?

    YET ANOTHER EDIT (3): I did a 75% water change (thanks, Colin!) and the molly twins are on the prowl once again. Should I still throw in a little bit of parasite remedy?

    On a side note, I went into my garage and found a broken clay pot I saved (because I'm totally a hoarder), split it in half with the back side of a hammer, and now I've got a little covered cave area and an archway the fish can swim through. I'll add more later "stuff" later, too. The clown loach is swimming around the tank like when we first got him. It makes me happy to know he'll be feeling better until we can get him a new home.
     
    #18 civilalloy, May 16, 2018
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  4. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    The gold balloon molly has clamped fins and excess mucous. This can be poor water quality (ammonia, nitrite or high nitrate), or a protozoan infection. Check the ammonia and nitrite and if there is any reading do a 75% water change each day until it stays at 0.

    The mollies moving about more after a water change would indicate ammonia or nitrite rather than parasites.

    Do not add any medication.

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    Do not change the temperature. Keep the temperature around 24-26C (75-79F). Bacterial and protozoan infections do spread more quickly in warm water but filter bacteria also grows faster in warm water. And sudden temperature changes can stress fish and kill them if they are already in a weakened state.

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    Rubbing/ flicking against objects in the tank is usually parasites but can also be water quality.

    Most bacteria and protozoans prefer soft water (water without many minerals) and this can encourage diseases. And your mollies need hard water (water with lots of minerals). Normally I would suggest adding a Rift Lake conditioner to the tank at 1/3 to 1/2 strength, however this will raise the pH and if there is ammonia in the water, it will become more toxic in alkaline water (pH above 7.0).

    At this stage just do water changes and keep feeding down to a small amount once every second day.
    Do not add medications and do not drop the temperature.
     
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  5. IHaveADogToo

    IHaveADogToo Fish Crazy
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    To expand on what Colin said, the fact that your tank isn’t finished cycling yet means toxic ammonia and nitrites aren’t being dealt with by a nitrate colony yet, so you have to deal with them yourself with frequent water changes. The more fish you have in the tank, the more rapidly ammonia is going to build up in the water. Decaying uneaten fish food, fish poop, fish urine, decaying and dead plants, dead fish, all of these things produce ammonia. So with your tank not being cycled yet you have to do a lot of water changes to keep that water clean. Once you start getting nitrate readings, and fix your stocking issues, you’ll be able to get away with weekly water changes. But until then, basically it’s on you to be the filter, by doing water changes every time there’s an ammonia reading, while the actual filter establishes. Test the water every day for ammonia to and change it any time you get an ammonia reading above 0. Pro tip: if the water stinks, you’re probably going to get an ammonia reading and have to change it.
     
  6. Byron

    Byron Member

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    The molly problem is almost certainly due to the water parameters, primarily anyway. The symptoms described certainly concur with this. Mollies cannot last in soft water, and the GH here was previously given as 0 so that is very soft. I will assume the pH is probably on the acidic side (below 7) correspondingly, and that is bad for mollies and all livebearers.

    Ammonia also plays into this, as mollies cannot tolerate ammonia; no fish can of course, but mollies are especially prone to real issues with ammonia, nitrite or nitrate.

    As you have other fish that will be fine in these parameters, you should remove the mollies rather than mess with hardening the water for them, as this can be done but it not straightforward, and then the soft water species will have issues.
     

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