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Pleco Died, Platy sick? Also wood question.

Discussion in 'Tropical Fish Emergencies' started by Ambermmay, Feb 17, 2019.

  1. Ambermmay

    Ambermmay New Member

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    I have a 10 gallon aquarium. I have recently taken out all the gravel and decorations as I am setting up a 15 gallon column tank to be my main tank and going to use the 10 gallon for platy fry.

    All thats left in there besides fish is java moss(i think is what she called it) and a small peice of wood I bought recently from the pet store.

    When first getting the tank I brought my water up to a pet store to get it tested.

    I was told each time my water condition was good.

    I bought fish one at a time. The first molly died. The second molly died. It was ick both times and the pet store lady(big chain store) hushidly told me that the mollies often came in with ick. So the third fish i bought was a platy. It survived with no issue.

    I got my water tested each time before buying a new fish. Each time was told that the water was good. I've had the aquarium about 2 months now.

    The temperature of the house is kept at 70 degrees. I dont have a heater or thermometer for the 10 gallon yet. I have noticed that the filter inside the 10 gallon keeps it noticebly warmer than my new(to me) 15 gallon tank though which has a filter hanging off of it rather than inside of it.

    Yesterday my fish total was believed to be; Three female Platy, one juvenile male swordtail, two one inch bristlenose plecos(one albino one regular).

    I had a lot of brown algae growing in the tank a couple weeks ago. Left the lights on and allowed it to turn green as I had researched to do before removing the decor and gravel and doing about a 30% water change.

    The regular colored pleco was bought this week. I read that smaller plecos could be kept together. My thought was as they grew I would keep the smaller one in the 10 gallon and bigger one in the 15 gallon since size varies from 3-5inches for bristlenose plecos.

    The regular bristlenose pleco, named Helga was found dead this morning.

    My first thought of cause of death was that the water filter was moving to fast. I decided that probably wasnt true since i had watched a lot of videos on bristlenost pleco and in the wild bristlenose pleco are found in fast moving water anyways.

    I googled why did my bristlenose pleco die and found information saying that basically if you get a new bristlenose pleco and do a water change in the same week that can cause death. That explains why my albino bristlenose was fine. And I did do a 30% water change yesterday. I added a drop of start right to the tap water and finger temp tested tap water and tank water to make sure it wasnt going to temperature shock them.

    I at first worried that the new wood although i had ran it under hot water and surfaced rubbed(no soap) it and allowed it to soak in the unused tank because the privately owned fish store lady told me it might grow white film on it that i needed to wash off had killed my new pleco. But since i saw my albino pleco sucking on the wood as well i figured that wasnt the case.

    I also got algae wafers(green&white bag) yesterday which i worried was the cause. But even my platy ate at them and they seem fine.

    Any advice on what else could have killed my pleco would be good to know to save my albino pleco from the same fate. Since the two pleco are so young i sincerely doubt it was a male on male fight. They are way to small to even gender.

    Also.

    My first platy is named Lydia. She has squared off then slimmed down to just fat several times. I thought maybe she is aborting some since the water changes and me adding new fish etc could be a reason. Or even i have had her two months or so she has given birth and they have eaten the fry.

    But looking up a lot of information one cause of a platy being fat can be constipation and another cause can be worms. The bare bottom tank had really helped let me examine their poop. Its not white and stringy and I check their butts often I never see any red worms hanging from them.

    Today I realized my fish I call Minnow has clamped tail fin. I think because she is younger than the others I thought it was just part of her being younger. Because she is a grey color i can somewhat see through her and she has a distinct blackish backwords C that i wonder is it poop or is it some kind of worms in her tummy?

    I have not quarantine any of my fish at this point. They were bought within a couple months of each other and I just am not that far ahead to have a quarantine tank yet.

    Also, i got a branch of wood that I am allowing to soak in the 15 gallon(it will probably be another few weeks before i use that tank for fish especially with using it to soak the wood). Believe it to be oak, already fully dried out i got it off my moms property. I'm not really sure how to make it fish safe. I plan to pop a couple fry(aclimating first) in the 15 gallon if my fish ever have any to test it out besides the water tests the fish store does. Rather sacrifice the fry then my fish. But what else should i do to make wood safe for aquarium? I read oak was safe and identified it from the bark grain. I figure i should probably pull the bark which is already peeling off but what else should i do? I figure soaking it in water would kill most bugs that may have hidden in it.

    Also, not 100% sure on species of my fish. The sex is identified by anal fin. But swordtail doesnt have his sword yet but has his gonopodium(sp?). I believe he is swordtail and not platty because he has a more narrow face and a larger i believe sailfin. And minnow looks a bit different from my other platy but it could be because she is younger.

    Also the one I believe to be a young male swordtail has one black eye. A black ring around his eye. I tried googling it to make sure it wasnt like a fish version of ringworm, i have also questioned if its an injury(like he got punched in the face?) Or is it just his pattern like a dog can have a spot around one eye. I call him blackeye. The actual eye looks perfectly normal as far as i can tell, just like he has eyeliner or something.

    The three pics of a greyish fish are Minnow, the two pictures of the yellowish fish is Blackeye(one showing his normal eye the other showing his black one) and i also attatched a picture of Helga the normal colored bristlenose pleco who was doing fine yesterday but dead this morning.

    The water is cloudy green from leaving the lights on to get rid of the brown algae.

    Capture+_2019-02-17-17-40-49.png Capture+_2019-02-17-17-40-56.png Capture+_2019-02-17-17-40-49.png Capture+_2019-02-17-17-40-56.png

     

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  2. Pibbles

    Pibbles New Member

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    First of all, can you please tell us the following values:

    Ammonia
    NitrIte
    NitrAte
    Ph

    How did you cycle your aquarium? Did you add ammonia and do a fishless cycle or did you introduce fish as soon as you got the tank? If you didn’t do a proper cycle, you are sadly dealing with ammonia spikes. I’m assuming the big box store tested your water with strips which aren’t usually accurate. Invest in a liquid test kit like the API Freshwater Master test kit. These are more accurate and allow you to test for many things.

    Second, a water change is hardly ever the cause of a fish dying. In most cases water changes only improve the tank environment. Are you using a water conditioner? If so, which kind? If not, how are you removing chlorine?

    Sadly, a 15 gallon column tank will not be appropriate for many fish. Platy and other livebearers are very active swimmers and prefer more room to move around. A twenty gallon tank would give you more surface area, especially if you get a twenty long. The remaining pleco will like this more as well. If you must stick with the fifteen gallon tank, do a fishless cycle before adding any fish to it. I also wouldn’t bother keeping the platy fry. You’ll be overrun with them if you do. They would also be a poor choice as a first inhabitant in a new tank because they will be more sensitive to ammonia and nitrite and will likely not survive long.
     
  3. Ambermmay

    Ambermmay New Member

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    No I can't tell you those levels yet unless I get a chance to go to the store with a water sample, but if their strips really aren't accurate there may be no point in that.

    I use jungle Start right water conditioner. It says 1 drop to every 10 gallons so I try and put just half a drop in the water changing bowl. The label on the conditioner says "conditions tap water, removes chlorine, adds slime coat" The flake food that I feed is wardley tropical fish flake food.

    My fish tanks water is green. I assume this is from overfeeding. I have been putting in an algae wafer every 2 days or so and vacuuming out the leftover crumbs every 2 days or so as well. Also put in a bit of frozen zucini(sp?). And a pinch of the flake food every day. (When the last bristle nose died I had just gotten the algae wafers but the picture shows her stomach was not empty she likely ate flake food that settled to the bottom). Also I only had the regular colored bristlenose pleco for less than 36hrs at time of her death. From google they said two waterchanges(so the change from his store water to my water and then the water change i did at about 30%) could kill young bristlenose which is why i figured my other fish were okay maybe.

    One of the main causes of bristlenose death seems to be them starving(from me just googling stuff) so i try to make sure my albino bristlenose(brian) gets enough food and vacuum out the waste/extra food every 2/3 days. Once the 15 gallon is ready it wont be such a huge concern since there will be more things for algae and such to grow on.

    With the water being green I wonder if that kit will be effective. Since the pictures of the kit show that like, the color of the water is how you tell the level.. with the water starting green and not clear will it be accurate? Also i found it on ebay for about 30$, do they have a smaller one for less cost?

    As to the start of the 10 gallon, I bought the walmart 30$ kit. Set it up and put in a flake of fish food once a week for the first month. (Fish store person told me that putting fish food in it would help something grow in the tank or something). Then I bought a molly and it died(ick). So I let the tank sit for another 2 weeks. Same thing happened with the second molly(ick). They looked okay in the store but developed white fuzz on them&died within the first 48hrs of being in my tank. (The store associate secretly told me that the mollies often came in with ick, i am still confused as to why they looked okay in the store though) So by the time I bought my first platy that survived the tank had been up for 2 months and had started to grow a bit of brown algae(which isn't really algae i forgot what it was called and was because i didnt have the light on ever since i didnt have any fish in it at that point). The water turned green after me leaving the light on for long periods as i found suggested to cause the brown stuff to go away as the algae would overtake it fighting for nutrients or something.

    I also got the java grass(i think, its some kind of plant anyways), to combat the algae for nutrients. But overall i don't think the green water is harmful to the fish just unpleasant to look at.

    Every time i got a fish i got the water tested, always told it was good. I didn't know the stores strips don't work though. So I've got no idea if there were ammonia spikes etc.

    Do you know if the black ring around my male swordtails eye is a disease or if it is his pattern? It hasn't spread to any other fish and I look daily for that. I tried googling but didn't find anything about it.

    As far as the 15 gallon I have had it set up for at least 2 weeks at this point. Since I have a piece of wood from outside soaking in it(believed to be oak based on bark, was completely dried out my moms boyfriend said "petrified" but I'm not sure about that), I don't trust it yet for fish I care about(it could turn out not to be oak for example because it is quite old it was very light and easy to snap in half for example the bark could have been degraded to much for accurate identification and it could turn out to be a piece that is toxic to fish although i am about 80% sure its oak and several people agreed about that) . The water is being tinted slightly brown after about 3 days of the wood floating in it. My intention at this point is to allow it to sit until the wood finally settles to the bottom, then remove the bark from the wood. I have duckweed and some of the java moss in the 15 gallon. Once i remove the bark from the wood and surface wipe it down, do a 50% water change on the 15 gallon. Then continue doing water changes about once a week or so until the water no longer has the brown tint. I'm not adding any fish food to the aquarium as I don't want anything else growing in it while I'm trying to get the wood to a safe point. Once the water is no longer tinted from the wood(i think tanins? Idk..) then I will introduce fish food in the same manner. After about a month of that I figure I would put fry in to see if its safe because i wasn't sure if the wood could have risks that aren't testable by water tests(I also intended to test the water at the store first but that may not be a good idea since their tests aren't very accurate).

    I've never tried using plants and wood in my aquariums before and never encouraged algae etc to grow in aquariums. I always had clear aquariums and cleaned out algae as soon as it appeared so this side of fish keeping is not my norm. Also in the past I never bought sick fish from stores before, so am more paranoid that my fish might be sick since the store i got them from knowingly sold sick fish to me already.
     
  4. Ambermmay

    Ambermmay New Member

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    Pictures. One picture showing the 10 gallon the rest showing the wood I have in the 15 gallon. I intend to take the white vase and fake pink plant out of the 15 gallon at some point and want to cause the java grass(maybe thats what it is..) to grow on the top of the wood so it looks like a tree.
     

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  5. Pibbles

    Pibbles New Member

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    At this point you should be feeding sparingly. You are in the middle of a fish-in cycle. The pet shop worker does not seem to totally understand how to do a proper aquarium cycle. There is a whole sub-forum on this site that can get you all the info you need.

    I don’t recommend using any wood that you don’t know for sure is aquarium safe. It doesn’t often work out well.

    The test kit usually runs around thirty dollars, so the price you’ve found is pretty normal, but I would get it from the pet store as you’ll need it very soon. Do a large water change. The green water is probably due to overfeeding, but the water change will also help with the ammonia you are undoubtedly dealing with. Do not add any more fish. Change about 75% of the water. The absolute best thing you could do for your fish right now is to rehome them or return them to the fish store as a fish-in cycle can be very difficult for the fish.

    Or heavily plant your tank. That’s probably java moss you have in there which is a good start but you need fast growing plants to eat up some of that ammonia. Things like frogbit, duckweed, water sprite, etc can really get the job done. You’ll also want to look at adding substrate and adding things like some sword plants. I love ozelot swords and Argentine swords for smaller tanks, but amazon swords are amazing in larger set ups. These are also relatively easy to grow. If you prefer a bare-bottom tank, you could attach some ferns or anubius to some wood or rock.

    Get the test kit. Do a large water change every time you see that you have more than 0 ppm ammonia (you would do this if you planted the tank too). Or rehome the fish and start over with a fishless cycle.
     
  6. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Way too much stuff to read so take that. Read the following link if you have some spare time. :)
    http://www.fishforums.net/threads/what-to-do-if-your-fish-gets-sick.450268/#post-3804819

    The first thing to do if a fish gets sick or dies is to get the water tested and write the results down in numbers at the time of the test. If you don't have test kits or can't get it tested straight away, then do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate or bottom of tank every day until the problem is identified or resolved.

    Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it is added to the tank. The easiest way to do this is to get a couple of new buckets and use a permanent marker to write "FISH ONLY" on them. Use those buckets for the fish and don't let anyone use them for anything else.

    Fill a bucket with tap water and add the required amount of dechlorinator for the bucket of water. Add an air stone to the bucket of water and let it aerate for at least 2 minutes, preferably 30 minutes or more. Then use that water to fill the tank.

    --------------------------
    Green water is caused by too much light and not enough plants. Decrease the photo period a couple of hours and do a 75% water change each day to dilute the nutrients and algae.

    You can do a water change every day and it won't affect fish as long as the new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it is added to the tank. And as long as the temperature and water chemistry (pH, GH & KH) are similar to the tank water that was removed.

    --------------------------
    If you can sum up the issues so there is less to read it can get more responses because people don't like reading too much in one hit, me included. And I know that is weird coz I write long responses :)
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. Ambermmay

    Ambermmay New Member

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    I bought the water kit late last night, it should be here monday or tuesday. I just did a water change today about 40%.

    How exactly are you suppose to do water changes? I feel like if you do a 75% one then it would shock the fish. Maybe i am doing water changes wrong or something.

    (After vacuuming the tank to remove water & waste) I put water in a large bowl add the conditioner let it sit for a minute then pour it into the tank. Which i dont think that would be okay with a 75% water change.

    I just saw the post about putting in like an air thing and letting it sit for 30min. I will do that next time but i have like a in the water pump not an air stone it like.. It somehow just pushes water through it almost like a bathtub jet but a lot softer. So will probably use that since its what i have around.

    I'm not returning or rehoming my fish. They run the same exact risks if I returned them(unexperienced person buying them or even dying at the store as you always see dead fish in their tanks) and I believe they will be able to handle me getting the tank to a more suitable environment.

    Summarize;
    New pleco i had for under 36hrs died after doing a water change
    Male swordtail(thought to be doesnt have his sword yet) has a black ring around one eye is it a disease or just his pattern
    Silver fish(thought to be a female platy) has a clamped tail fin and unsure why. She spreads it sometimes but often swimming with it clamped.
    Other platy keeps fattening up and slimming down how to tell if its worms, constipation, or pregnancy and they just eating the babies really fast.


    New problem has occured since I posted this, after the water change fish developed ich(maybe wasnt visible before but i watch them every day so idk).

    Ich medicine should be here same time as the water testing kit. From what i read i need to keep the temperature warmer to shorten the life cycle of the parisite and take out the filter bc it has carbon in it and treat for 14 days. Ich is only visible on the swordtail and yellow platy at the moment.

    I read up on ick and aparently it happens if a fish gets stressed. I feel like the water changes are stressing the fish but not sure why.

    Seems like I had a lot easier time keeping guppies. I thought platy were on the same level. It actually could have to do with when I kept guppies I lived in a place that had well water so the water was probably a lot better condition to begin with. I thought about using bottled water but from what i have read bottled water has nutrients stripped out of it that the fish need. Since my tank has to much nutrients would bottled water be helpful?
     
  8. Ambermmay

    Ambermmay New Member

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    Picture
     

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  9. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Get some 10-20 litre buckets and use a permanent marker to write "FISH ONLY" on them. Use them for the fish and nothing else. You can keep nets, fish sponges, etc in them and keep them next to the tank or somewhere they won't get contaminated.

    When you do a water change just fill up the buckets with tap water, add dechlorinator to each bucket of water and aerate or stir the mixture up for a few minutes. Aerating for 30minutes is best but even stirring it up for a couple of minutes will help the dechlorinator come in contact with the chlorine/ chloramine in the water.

    Once you have made the water with dechlorinator, drain the tank. Use another fish only bucket to drain the tank water out and gravel clean the substrate (or bottom of tank). Tip the old tank water out on the lawn or garden. Then pour the clean water into the tank.

    Make sure you turn the filter and heater off at the power point before draining the tank.

    -------------------------
    The next time you visit the pet shop, get a twin outlet airpump, some airline, a couple of T-pieces, a couple of adjustable valves/ taps for the airline, and a couple of multi-coloured plastic airstones with a lead weight in the bottom of the airstone. You can use this in the main tank and the buckets of water with dechlorinator in.

    The filter outlet in the tank should be blowing across the surface of the tank water to maximise the oxygen levels in the water. Having an airstone bubbling away in the tank will also help increase oxygen levels in the water.

    -------------------------
    I can't tell what the swordtail has around its eye or on the tail. Colouration around the eyes is not normally an issue especially if it is uniform in shape and pattern and occurs on both sides of the fish (eg: around both eyes).

    -------------------------
    The silver female platy appears to have gill flukes and has clamped fins. Clamped fins can be caused by poor water quality, protozoan or bacterial infections. Poor water quality and protozoan infections are the most common cause of this.

    The fish with white dots on its tail appears to have whitespot (Ich) but better pictures would help confirm this. Whitespot and most other protozoan infections can be treated with salt and heat. Gill flukes can also be treated with salt.

    I would buy an air pump and increase aeration in the tank, add rock salt (often sold as aquarium salt), sea salt or swimming pool salt at a rate of 4 heaped tablespoons per 20 litres, and then raise the temperature to 30C. Keep the salt level high and the temperature at 30C for 2 weeks. This should treat whitespot and most other protozoan infections, and should take care of the gill flukes.

    The salt will not affect the beneficial filter bacteria but might affect some plants.

    After you use salt and the fish have recovered, you do a 10% water change each day for a week. Then do a 20% water change each day for a week. Then you can do bigger water changes after that.

    After the fish have recovered you can get some Praziquantel to treat the fish for tapeworm. It also treats gill flukes and will make sure none of the flukes survived the salt.

    -------------
    Ich/ whitespot is not caused by stress. It is a protozoan parasite that is introduced into your tank from contaminated water or plants, or on infected fish. A lot of pet shops have it in their tanks and either don't treat it properly or they sell fish before the treatment has finished and the customer gets whitespot in their tank.

    The following link has info on whitespot and the first post on page 1, and second post on page 2 are worth reading. Heat treatment (30C for 2 weeks) is the safest method to use and requires no chemicals.
    http://www.fishforums.net/threads/what-is-ich.7092/

    -------------------------
    To work out the volume of water in the tank:
    measure length x width x height in cm.
    divide by 1000.
    = volume in litres.

    When you measure the height, measure from the top of the substrate to the top of the water level.

    There is a calculator/ converter in the "How To Tips" at the top of this page that will let you convert litres to gallons if you need it.

    Remove carbon from the filter before treating or it will absorb the medication and stop it working. Carbon won't remove salt but if you use a whitespot medication you should remove any carbon first before treating the tank.

    Wipe the inside of the glass down with a clean fish sponge. Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate. Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it is added to the tank.

    Clean the filter if it hasn't been done in the last 2 weeks. However, if the filter is less than 6 weeks old, do not clean it.

    Increase surface turbulence/ aeration when using medications because they reduce the dissolved oxygen in the water.

    -------------------------
    Bottled water is not normally necessary. If you can find out what the general hardness (GH) and pH of your water is that will help. If the GH is less than 200ppm then livebearers won't do as well. And if the pH is below 7.0 they will have issues too.
     
  10. Ambermmay

    Ambermmay New Member

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    The tank is more clear now. I will try to get better pictures of the swordtails eye. His eyes are oppisite as night and day. One has the black ring and the other doesnt. I am not home at the moment.

    I've already bought ich x. Waiting for it to arrive. I need to buy a air bar thing for inside the tank because I read raising the temperature and using medicine causes decreased oxygen.

    Can I use ich x and aquarium salt at the same time?

    Will the pleco be okay with those treatments?

    I looked up gill flukes and found it said that they are not visible to naked eye. I am wondering how you can tell?

    Should i treat the empty 15 gallon for the same stuff? (Can ich or flukes survive with no live fish? There are plants in it). I used the fish net when I transfered some duckweed to the 15 gallon.

    Does the Master test kit show ph/gh?
     

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  11. Ambermmay

    Ambermmay New Member

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    http://www.picpar.com/EAhd

    I'm not home but here is the larger version of one of the pictures. Had to crop it so the file was small enough to upload.
     
  12. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Normally you can use salt and medication together, however the pleco will not like salt and you can only use the medication at half strength for scaleless fish like plecos.


    Fish suffering from gill flukes will usually have sunken gill covers, be pale, and look malnourished. It might not have gill flukes but livebearers (guppies, platies, swordtails, mollies) are renown for having gill flukes and intestinal worms, so the combination of the physical symptoms and the fish being a livebearer, would suggest it has gill flukes.


    Gill flukes and whitespot can both be transferred to another tank via contaminated water or infected fish. If you used a net in the tank with whitespot and then put that net into another tank, there is a good chance you have transferred some of the parasites to the second tank. Fortunately, the whitespot parasites cannot survive for more than a week without a fish host so if the other tank does not have any fish in, then the ich will die off without the need for medication. The gill flukes can survive for a few weeks without a host but they will also die if there are no fish to infect.

    If the second tank is a quarantine tank for plants then let it run for a month and the plants should be clean. Alternatively you can drain the tank and refill it, or treat it if you like.

    The test kit has pH but not GH. You will have to get a separate GH test kit if you want to monitor the water hardness. However, you can usually get the GH from your water supply company's website or by telephoning them. If they can't help you then take a glass full of tap water to the local pet shop and get them to test it for you. Write the results down (in numbers) when they do the test and ask them what the results are in (eg: ppm, dGH, or something else).

    Normally you only check the GH a couple of times a year so most people get their local pet shop to test it for them. If you want to buy test kits, check the expiry date on them and try to avoid getting kits that are kept in warm rooms or near heating sources. The heat causes the chemicals to break down faster.
     
  13. Ambermmay

    Ambermmay New Member

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    The swordtails right eye, left eye, and kinda a head on picture (best i could get anyways) that shows like one side is lighter than the other.

    Water is tinted blue from ich x it arrived in the mail today, still waiting on Master test kit & bought an air pump(just one outlet it was a lot cheaper) & air bar thing also got a heater & temp thing should all be here mon or tue


    These pictures are cropped to make them small enough to upload. I can upload them to picpar if that will help(the uncropped versions). The shots are not great i took like 30 pictures lol the fish just didnt want to hold still.
     

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  14. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    He's been fighting with Mike Tyson and got a black eye :)

    Normally both eyes should be the same colour but some fish can have different coloured eyes. As long as the fish is still eating I wouldn't worry too much. If the eye swells up and becomes inflamed, then post another pic but at this stage I wouldn't worry about the eye.

    ---------------------
    If you set your camera's resolution to its lowest setting, the images will be smaller and should fit on the website.

    If you can set the camera's shutter speed to 1/250 second and use a flash, the images should be clearer and reduce blur from the fish moving.
     
  15. Ambermmay

    Ambermmay New Member

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    The heater came have it set to 82 F

    Air bar and pump came. Disapointed the bar isnt pushing any air out except right at the front.

    Have done ich x for 2 days now. Going to wait about an hour then 30% water change and add ich x again today(1 teaspoon) the bristlenose has been doing fine with full dose i have kept an eye on him still eating swimming around etc.

    Going to add salt later today about an hour after i do the ich x treatment.

    The Master test kit still hasnt arrived.
     

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common causes of death for a plecko