Gaping Mouth, swimming oddly.

kribensis12

I know where you live
Joined
Nov 13, 2006
Messages
8,102
Reaction score
128
Location
Peoria, Illinois
Hello,

I recently introduced 6 serape tetra's into my aquarium (circa 11 days ago).

Two days ago, one of the tetra's died. No observable symptoms - just passed. Today I have noticed another tetra with concerning symptoms.

Sx:
Swimming at a 45 degree angle; struggling
Gaping Mouth

Here is the stock list (20g - stocking is maxed out, I know):
6 zebra danios
6 leopard danios
6 (now 5) Serpae Tetra's
3 mollies; 2 female guppies
1 Albino Bristlenose Pleco
1 male Golden Ram; 1 female Blue Ram

The filter is a 60g filter - tank is well established with live plants.

I have not done a water test (working at the moment) but will soon. I did a 20% water change/gravel vac last week. The only new introduction in the past 10 days is some Mopani wood.

Any ideas as to what is going on? I did a quick google and it sounds like water parameters (which seems unlikely; been doing this for 20 years and never had that issue prior - but hey, ya never know) or some type of disease.
 

Metalhead88

Fish Herder
Joined
May 31, 2019
Messages
1,023
Reaction score
687
It could be bad luck.

Or..... maybe you do have some water parameter issues. You'd heavily benefit from doing larger water changes. I know it's an old school way of thinking to 20%, but research shows that big water changes are very important to remove the buildup of nitrates and other toxins. This should be done weekly at least.

Another issue is that you have a mix of fish that are sensitive to different levels of hardness. Rams and mollies in particular are very sensitive to hardness and really need opposite conditions. Rams need soft water and mollies need hard water. Some fish aren't as sensitive but these 2 are.

When you can, test the water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and hardness with a liquid test kit.
 

PheonixKingZ

Fish Expert
Tank of the Month!
Pet of the Month!
Fish of the Month!
Joined
May 8, 2019
Messages
14,141
Reaction score
8,208
Location
Lawrenceburg, KY
What are your water parameters? If you have been keeping fish for 20+ years you should know what the proper water parameters should be. Do you have a test kit? Any chance of a short video or a picture of said fish? How often do you feed? How often do you clean your filter?
 

PheonixKingZ

Fish Expert
Tank of the Month!
Pet of the Month!
Fish of the Month!
Joined
May 8, 2019
Messages
14,141
Reaction score
8,208
Location
Lawrenceburg, KY
hardness with a liquid test kit.
Most liquid test kits (API Master Test Kit) don’t test for hardness, unfortunately. You might need to call or go to your local water providers website to find out the GH of your water. :)
 
OP
kribensis12

kribensis12

I know where you live
Joined
Nov 13, 2006
Messages
8,102
Reaction score
128
Location
Peoria, Illinois
I have not been able to check the parameters this week due to working (and until this fish started showing symptoms, lack of concern) - but I will be today; I have an api Master freshwater test kit. I feed 2x daily, do water changes every 2-3 weeks - and I over filter (60g Marineland filter). I typically change one of the two filter floss every 1-2 months (unless it gunks up prior; don't want to lose my good bacteria).

I can get a video soon.

As far as water quality goes, I mix R/O with tap water (our water is VERY HARD) here. I will get test results ASAP. Unfortunately, all of these fish are sold in our cities tap water which means the Rams are typically kept in hard water with a pH of 8.4-8.6.
 

PheonixKingZ

Fish Expert
Tank of the Month!
Pet of the Month!
Fish of the Month!
Joined
May 8, 2019
Messages
14,141
Reaction score
8,208
Location
Lawrenceburg, KY
I have not been able to check the parameters this week due to working (and until this fish started showing symptoms, lack of concern) - but I will be today; I have an api Master freshwater test kit. I feed 2x daily, do water changes every 2-3 weeks - and I over filter (60g Marineland filter). I typically change one of the two filter floss every 1-2 months (unless it gunks up prior; don't want to lose my good bacteria).

I can get a video soon.
Sounds like you are doing everything correctly. You still should test your water ASAP. A video or a picture, which ever one is easier for you.
 

Metalhead88

Fish Herder
Joined
May 31, 2019
Messages
1,023
Reaction score
687
Most liquid test kits (API Master Test Kit) don’t test for hardness, unfortunately. You might need to call or go to your local water providers website to find out the GH of your water. :)
It doesn't come with the master kit, but api certainly has a liquid test kit for hardness.
0402201033.jpg
 

PheonixKingZ

Fish Expert
Tank of the Month!
Pet of the Month!
Fish of the Month!
Joined
May 8, 2019
Messages
14,141
Reaction score
8,208
Location
Lawrenceburg, KY
It doesn't come with the master kit, but api certainly has a liquid test kit for hardness. View attachment 100383
Yes, I was just saying it doesn’t come with the API Master Test Kit. Because you said,
When you can, test the water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and hardness with a liquid test kit.
I was just clarifying for the OP that if he got the API Master Test Kit, it would not Test for GH. :)
 
OP
kribensis12

kribensis12

I know where you live
Joined
Nov 13, 2006
Messages
8,102
Reaction score
128
Location
Peoria, Illinois
I can't seem to get my video to upload - do you know what the supported formats are / maximum size?


@essjay - could you provide me with some data behind that? I've never, ever done weekly 50% water changes and I've had a lot of success. At one point I used to breeding wild caught apistogramma cacatoudies. In my experience (and reading), the water change amount & frequency is highly dependent on water quality, parameters, and honestly preference. Every time I test my water I have 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrites, and at the most 40 fish ppm for Nitrates. If the water is clear, the fish seem to be thriving, and my levels don't exceed the aforementioned (+ adding water to the tank as it evaporates) why would I change it?
 

Colin_T

Fish Guru
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Messages
25,687
Reaction score
9,861
Location
Perth, WA
upload the video to YouTube and then copy & paste the link here. We can view it at YouTube.
 
OP
kribensis12

kribensis12

I know where you live
Joined
Nov 13, 2006
Messages
8,102
Reaction score
128
Location
Peoria, Illinois


In addition, here are the pictures of my test results... Odd that the ammonia is clear when it should be yellow - the test kit is less than 6 months old and has not been exposed to extreme temps.

1585843373381.jpeg

1585843386685.jpeg

1585843396765.jpeg
 
Last edited:

Metalhead88

Fish Herder
Joined
May 31, 2019
Messages
1,023
Reaction score
687
Are you certain that you did these tests correctly? There are 2 bottles for both ammonia and nitrate. These tests need to be followed exactly as instructed or they are not accurate.

You should have some nitrate, especially with your water change schedule.

And clear for ammonia? That's not right....

Idk if I'm right, but it looks like you used only 1 bottle for each test.
 
OP
kribensis12

kribensis12

I know where you live
Joined
Nov 13, 2006
Messages
8,102
Reaction score
128
Location
Peoria, Illinois
I used the appropriate amount of drops, fresh water right from the tank, clean bottles and waited 5 minutes before taking the images to confirm accuracy. 100% positive I did it correctly, because I even checked with the manual prior to posting as I thought people would question the validity of the findings.

Last water change was 20-25%, one week ago. It does help to some extent that live plants are pulling some nitrates.
 
Top