Dodgexander

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Tank size: 34L Link
pH: 7.5
ammonia: 1 ppm (4 ppm two days ago)
nitrite: 1 ppm (0 two days ago)
nitrate: 5 ppm (30 this morning) (0 two days ago)
kH: N/A - I don't have a test for these.
gH: N/A
tank temp: 22 'c (I have it colder than usual for the weather loaches)
 
I am testing twice daily at the moment and although the situation has improved since two days back, since this morning there hasn't seemed to have been a difference. As far as I can tell the filter is coping fine with flow and its over-rated for the aquarium.
 
Fish Symptoms (include full description including lesion, color, location, fish behavior): Gasping for air at the top. One is upside down at the bottom of the tank and another is sinking slowly and getting to the top to gasp then sinking slowly again (can't keep balance). I guess the swim bladder of these fish has been hurt, I expect I will lose two more. The other fish, are fine and the other two Guppy's seem to be doing much better, but still gasping at the top. These two Guppy's will eat, the others can'. One of the Guppy's (the biggest) has orange marks on her side, I think this is an ammonia burn, could I be correct? Is there anything I can do more to help them?
 
Edit whilst trying to take a photo I have lost the one that was upside down at the bottom of the tank, my guess is she has gone to die somewhere.
 
Volume and Frequency of water changes: At the moment 30% each day.
 
Chemical Additives or Media in your tank: Aqua Clearview (Recommended by local fish shop, they are Bacteria Supplement balls- Natural). Interpet Aqaurium Salt and Interpet Swim Bladder dose (today), Fresh Start with new water.
 
Tank inhabitants: 4x Female Guppy's, 2x Weather Loach, 6x Ghost Glass Catfish, 2x Flying Fox
 
Recent additions to your tank (living or decoration): All the fish above apart from the Weather Loach, Driftwood, 2x Cabomba Plants
 
Exposure to chemicals: None
 
Digital photo (include if possible):  Here
 
Tank Age (How long the tank has been up and running): 2 Years, was previously a goldfish tank (coldwater), has had Loach in for a year without goldfish.
 
Recent Events in the tank (things such as algae blooms, illnesses.. etc.. that have been treated recently):  I already lost one of the Guppy's I purchased, he died at the bottom of the tank, I think he must have died of ammonia poisoning.
 
The type and size of your filtration: Its an Aquaone Aquaclear 280 (link is for the 100 version, but it is the same variation just more powerful. Designed for up to 60L tanks.
 
The only other thing I can mention is until today (after reading) I had a carbon cartridge installed in my filter, which has been there since the purchase a few years ago. I have now removed it reading it could be harmful to the fish. also, the tank was mature and cycled before I added these fish, but I made the mistake of squeezing out the filter sponge when cleaning out the tank just before adding them. Although I did do this in aquarium water, I'm guessing this is what is causing my problem.
 
Is there any hope? I feel so bad seeing one of them at the bottom of the tank, alive, upside down and the other vertical struggling to swim.
 
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Okay, you will need to carry out bigger water changes until there is no ammonia or nitrite after each waterchange. I would say about 80% is what you should do as soon as you can and then test the results. It is most likely ammonia poisoning and daily water changes are the best way to remove ammonia as well as nitrite.
You are likely going through a mini cycle because of the fish recently added.
You are also VERY overstocked! I would recommend either getting a bigger tank or rehoming some fish.

Also...could you please not use that font as its hard to read.
 
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Dodgexander

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Thanks for your help! Sorry, I thought comic sans was clear.
 
The two Guppy's I mentioned died. The first naturally, but the other followed the pattern of the first and was upside down at the bottom of the tank again.I decided it was best to humanely euthanise her.
 
On top of those two, I also lost a Ghost Catfish out of nowhere.
 
So there are two Guppy's left, 5 Ghost Catfish, 2 Flying Fox, but they look a lot happier now.
 
I carried out an 80% water change yesterday and it improved the water lots, my tests today were:
 
Ammonia: 0.25
Nitrite: 0.25
Nitrate: 5
PH 7.4 (high range) 7.6 (low range)
 
My water from the tap gives these results:
 
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 10
PH: 7.4 (high range) 7.6 (low range)
 
Part of the problem I have is reading the test results, often (with Nitrate particular) I can't tell the difference in color between different values.I am using the API Master Test Kit.
 
Should I be aiming for absolute zero readings for Ammonia and Nitrite and continue with the daily 80% changes? Or shall I move down to 20% daily?
 
As for stocks, what is my limit? The Aquatic Shop I purchased these from are specialists and they did not mention that this many fish would be too much for my 34L. - I tried to research limits, but everything I found was conflicting advice.
The fish seem to get along fine, mixing with each other okay and they are not anywhere near their maximum growth sizes.
 

PrairieSunflower

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Yes, you should do water changes if ammonia or nitrite is anything other than 0.
 

Fizzy77

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Personally I would rehome/return the weather loaches as they can get up to 9in-10in which is nearly as long as your tank, I also thought they were coldwater? Glass Cats need a bigger tank aswell, http://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/epalzeorhynchos-kalopterus/ ~ Says Flying Fox needs an aquarium with base measurements of  120 X 45 cm and that should be the smallest considered. Which you don't have
sad.png

 
I think smaller tanks like yours are more aimed at invertebrates (shrimps,molluscs,small crabs,snails etc) or dwarf/pygmy fish, The reason your test results are so high is because you have way to many fish in your tank.
 
(Please correct me if I am wrong )
 
DON'T rely on LFS advice as they are *usually* badly educated or will just keep selling you fish so you overstock -> fish die -> you go back to LFS for more...
 
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Dodgexander

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One of the weather loaches I have held in the same tank for a few years now, beforehand it was a Goldfish tank and he was in there then (coldwater). I have since heated it to 22'c and turned tropical.
 
The second loach I purchased just before the rest, she was in a tropical tank at the store. I did my research and their metabolism are increased at tropical temperatures and some people have claimed it lessens their lifespan.
 
Jeffrey (my original loach) despite having him for such a while is only 4 inches, same as Gina (new loach).- They seem very happy and have places to hide etc.
 
The flying foxes I have are only an inch each,according to the store, apparently there are some kinds that grow larger than others.These are of the small variety.
 
I specifically asked in the store to make sure none of these fish would be too large before I bought them. I guess they have given false advice.
 

PrairieSunflower

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That is the sad thing most of us learn somewhere early on... a LFS clerk who gives good advice is a valuable thing, but rare!
 
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Dodgexander

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Just as an update, I have been doing daily water changes for a period of a week and the fish are looking much better.
 
I think the tank is now cycling, tests are showing Ammonia as low as it shows Tap Water and Nitrite as 0. Nitrate varies between 30 and 40.
 
Part of the problem I was having was down to the test kit. I own an API master test kit and the Ammonia reading I get from tap water looks more like 0.25 than 0.0. I am sure this must be a problem with the kit as I have seen it reported elsewhere, with the very same test kit used. Because of this I thought I was getting 0.25 reading in the tank and was wondering why I couldn't lower it- DOH!
 
The two Guppies I have left seem to be acting normal. Although they sometimes do still lurk at the very top of the tank, it doesn't seem like they are gasping for oxygen though and they do venture down now unlike they used too, should i be worried still if sometimes they seem to sleep near the surface or corners rather than down low?- I have a video clip which I will post here of them once I have uploaded it, but there are some pictures of my tank below: You can click on them for full res images.
 















 
 
 
A few questions if someone is kind enough to answer:
 
  1. Do my guppies look in good health? Is lurking near the surface occationally ok?
  2. There are only two guppies left now, would it be too risky getting just 1-3 more to join them in the tank now the tank is correctly cycling? I feel its a bit cruel having just two of them alone.
  3. The other thing is about being overstocked, should I worry about this now? Will these fish grow to their maximum size over time or similar to Goldfish, be limited by the tank? (My weather loach hasn't grown very much at all in a few years already).
  4. Finally, is it cruel keeping these fish in a 34L tank? They seem to be happy enough now its cycling.
  5. From the pictures, are my two guppies pregnant? They both have a dark patch towards their rears (one more prominant than the other). I caught the bigger female chasing the other today, dashing and then stopping and I have heard this is a sign of pregnancy, is this true?
 

snazy

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Dodgexander said:
Woke up today and found one of the guppies to have a nipped fin, I guess it was the other guppy that did it.
 
You just went through ammonia/nitrite spikes. The fish are either suffering from ammonia burns. Fins can disintegrate over night due to that, or that's a secondary bacterial infection.
 
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Dodgexander

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I didn't take that into consideration, how can I define between a nip and an infection/burn. It is just a piece of her side fine that has gone.
 
Any advice on the other questions?

I feel really bad for my fish, want to make sure they have the best chance from now on.
 

snazy

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  1. Do my guppies look in good health? Is lurking near the surface occationally ok? Hard to tell from the pictures, but on some of them they don't look too healthy.
  2. There are only two guppies left now, would it be too risky getting just 1-3 more to join them in the tank now the tank is correctly cycling? I feel its a bit cruel having just two of them alone. I'd wait several weeks to make sure all is well, also give the filter time to establish with it's current bioload. You don't want to increase the bioload when you just dealt with ammonia/nitrIte issues.
  3. The other thing is about being overstocked, should I worry about this now? Will these fish grow to their maximum size over time or similar to Goldfish, be limited by the tank? (My weather loach hasn't grown very much at all in a few years already). Fish get stunted and don't grow not because of the size of the tank, but because an overstocked tank with oversized fish has bad water quality on regular basis, also stress from overcrowding, etc...plays additional role.
  4. Finally, is it cruel keeping these fish in a 34L tank? They seem to be happy enough now its cycling. Did they tell you they are happy? Or do you think they are happy because they still manage to swim around and eat? The state of the fish tells you something is wrong, plus you encountered dying fish too which isn't as common as some think.
  5. From the pictures, are my two guppies pregnant? They both have a dark patch towards their rears (one more prominant than the other). I caught the bigger female chasing the other today, dashing and then stopping and I have heard this is a sign of pregnancy, is this true? Livebearers are most likely always pregnant, but the dark patch is no indication of pregnancy and it's noticeable on females two weeks after being born. Guppies getting aggressive is a sign of bad water quality, stress, etc..Female guppies are otherwise peaceful with each other.
 
I didn't take that into consideration, how can I define between a nip and an infection/burn. It is just a piece of her side fine that has gone.
 
 
Well, I'd say if it was a nip, it wasn't the guppies doing it to each other. There's no way to define the difference. It looks the same in both cases probably but with ammonia it happens overnight and fins will continue to rot until the problem with water quality is resolved. Similar to fin rot itself without black/white edges.
 
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Dodgexander

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The water quality seems good in there now, yet the fin seems to be damaged whilst it was good.
 
I can't seem to get the water any better than it is, ammonia, nitrite reads the same as the tap water and I treat new water with fresh start on changes also.
 
I am keeping an eye on the levels and will do a change twice a week, then go down to once a week. I really hope this guppy will be ok.
 
Thanks so much for your help.
 

snazy

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As long as the water quality is good, they should recover. Just keep an eye for a secondary issue like a bacterial infection/finrot of some sort.
Other than that, in a few days the tail should start growing back.
 

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