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high nitrates causing fish to flash?

Discussion in 'Tropical Fish Emergencies' started by aquarium3, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. aquarium3

    aquarium3 New Member

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    I have seen ongoing flashing in my first aquarium last summer and treated for ich but that changed nothing then I dosed with general cure to see if gill flukes were a problem but they still were flashing my ammonia and nitrites were zero but I never checked my nitrates because I could not get the tester because I live in Alaska and they will not ship it here. My fish are still flashing months later to this day and I never figured out why. I am wondering now could high nitrates cause flashing?

     
  2. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Poor water quality can cause fish to rub on objects but so can any chemicals in the water.

    If you do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate each day for a week, that should remove any nitrates in the aquarium. The only exception to this is if the tap water has nitrates in then the tank water will also have nitrates. However, Alaska should have pretty clean tap water.

    Perhaps check your water supply company's website and see if they have any nitrate in the water.

    -----------------------
    The most common reason fish rub on objects is protozoan infections.
    White spot will appear as small white dots about the size of a grain of salt.

    You can check the fish for velvet (Oodinium) by shining a torch on the fish at night after the tank lights go out. If they have velvet there will be a yellow or gold sheen/ reflection on the fish.

    Costia, Chilodonella & Trichodina will cause cream, white or grey patches on the body. In severe cases there will be a red area around the cream, white or grey patch.
     
  3. aquarium3

    aquarium3 New Member

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    They do not have ich (no white spots) pretty sure its not velvet I have checked before no signs of it and am pretty sure it would have killed my fish in the amount of time they have been flashing which is probably about 6 months. Pretty sure its not costia no white patches. I have ruled out everything I can think of except nitrates because I have not been able to test them. This has brought me to the question are the nitrates causing the fish to flash, they all act healthy with good appetites, I am honestly at loss of what could be causing this.
     
  4. Byron

    Byron Member

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    There are many possible reasons for fish flashing, and nitrate is one of them. But "high" nitrate can mean something very different to different members, so you/we need to know test results. Is there a fish store that will test? If yes, make sure they give you the number, not some vague and meaningless term like "acceptable." Nitrate in the source water needs to be investigated too, and here you might be able to find out from the water data; check the website of your water supplier, or call them.

    I had a similar problem in one tank for over a year before I finally resolved it. With the help of two professional biologists, it turned out to be a very stubborn case of ich. No spots were ever seen on fish, but this is not surprising because ich first attacks fish in the gills where we cannot see it but it causes the flashing. I am certainly not saying this is the issue in your case, only pointing out that it cannot be ruled out just because you do not see spots. Velvet is similar. Or even some other parasitic protozoan.

    Clean water is key in any of this; regular weekly water changes of at least half the tank but preferably 60-70% goes a long way for healthy fish. But stubborn cases of some parasite can still continue.
     
  5. aquarium3

    aquarium3 New Member

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    I noticed today that one of my serpae tetras has a cloudy eye could that mean anything.
     
  6. aquarium3

    aquarium3 New Member

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    Also I did a large water change yesterday and the flashing has stopped.
     
  7. Byron

    Byron Member

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    The water change result is not surprising; so much can be improved with water changes. As for the cloudy eye, I won't speculate as this may or may not be related.
     
  8. aquarium3

    aquarium3 New Member

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    I am always paranoid whenever I see something change on my fish the cloudy eye just seemed a little strange as it seemed like it happened over night.
     
  9. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Just do daily water changes.

    Cloudy eyes are usually from poor water quality but can also be from physical damage (fish bumps into something and scratches the eye). Keeping the tank, gravel, filter and water clean will help the fish heal itself.

    If you do big daily water changes and the eye gets worse, then post a picture showing the side and front view of the fish and we can talk about treatments.
     
  10. aquarium3

    aquarium3 New Member

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    Thanks I will keep an eye on it.
     

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