Guys. Need help here. Angelfish all of a sudden developed a sore spot.

Well. From the time of this last post to now, the Angel died. Went south really fast. We have been losing so many fish over the past months. I’m guessing the worms are really bad and I had no clue. Completely my fault. The meds arrive today. Got another larger trash can so I can produce enough water for the large water changes after treatment. This sucks. I really hope treating my main tank finally addresses what has been killing the fish.
 
Did the other fishes die in the same way?
It could be more than just worms.
 
Did the other fishes die in the same way?
It could be more than just worms.

I think it was a mix. I went through really bad water issues when using tap water. I'm on a well and found out we had bad bacteria in the well, and I also had to run water through a softener. The water prior to was so hard it is considered brackish. That eventually led me to the RO/DI which has cleared up the water issues. We are also newer and didn't know the difference between hard water and soft water fish. So my live bearers are suffering in soft water since the vast majority of our fish are soft water fish. I think we lost:

3 balloon mollies - they just kind of slowed and died over teh course of time
4 tetras - one had badly injured himself and it didnt heal. Was right at his mouth so he just stopped eating. 2 of them just disappeared. I think they jumped out prior to me having a full lid. One randomly passes.
5 sword tails - one had prolapse and kicked out its entire insides. I knew she was on borrowed time. One I think got trappd under decor. The others are a mystery, but they were our first fish and dealt with the really bad water the longest.
3 Angels (now) - always had them in pairs. The one that just passed was our first. We got another and he and the female were good until the female laid eggs. She seemed to become egg bound and then went south quickly. After her passing we got another. I think the original and that one fought (referenced with the healed lesions you saw above) and it ended up killing him. He had a large sore spot that looked like a giant ulcer that I can only assume was infected.
2 shiners - One developed bad popeye. The others spine went crooked, then developed a sore at the bend. When I moved him to quarantine, he pooped multiple times, but was 5 times thicker than normal. Looked more like human waste. That is what started my thoughts on TB, but this guy was clearly overly constipated and also was still when my water was very bad.

Basically, my oldest fish from when we started this hobby I really believe got screwed by my lack of knowledge with the horrible water then lead to a few other things as well, beyond the worms. I'm just trying to deal with everything to get a good, safe environment. I'm hoping after worm treatment I'm good to go finally. I've addressed everything else. If it wasn't for you guys here, I'd still be lost so I can't thank everyone enough for their feedback and knowledge sharing.

Oddly, my Neon Tetras which I was told were not as hardy, have been great. Zero issues. Overall, all my Tetras had been pretty good assuming the 2 disappearances did actually jump out and weren't eaten by my shrimp or pleco. I can't imagine that they could eat the body that fast, but I really don't know.
 
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Is your well open at the top?
If yes, there could be a dead animal or bird in it if there is bad bacteria in it.
If no, then the ground water is contaminated by something and that is a public health issue and an issue for anyone using ground water for any purpose.

Balloon mollies and all balloon fishes are badly inbred and due to the shape of the inbred bodies, their guts and internal organs are squished up. This makes it harder for them to swim, digest food and have normal bodily functions. Most balloon fishes only live a few years at most and many don't even make it to their first year. Everybody needs to avoid buying balloon fishes of any kind so the companies making them, stop making them.

The 4 tetras, depending on what species they were. If the fish damaged its mouth and bacteria got into the wound, it could have developed an infection in the mouth and jaw, which would stop it eating and kill it pretty quickly. If a small fish like a tetra dies, it will get eaten by other fish, shrimp and snails and the body can disappear in a matter of hours.

Swordtails and other common livebearers are heavily inbred. Females in particular have problems either giving birth or just after giving birth and many die shortly after they produce their first batch of young. The prolapse intestine is a genetic issue caused by too much inbreeding. Most common livebearers from Asian fish farms are also infected with intestinal worms, which is probably where the ones in your tank came from. Although any freshwater fish can carry them, but they probably came from the mollies and swordtails.

Freshwater angelfish are another fish that is heavily inbred and suffer all sorts of problems due to lack of genetic variation. Ulcers and sores on fish are caused by bacteria. If you still have bad well water (contaminated with bacteria) that could be contributing to this if the fish are swimming in it. Most reverse osmosis units won't filter out bacteria or viruses. and you need an ultraviolet (uv) steriliser to kill the pathogens in the water.

I think you have been unlucky with the fish you got and also due to the bad water supply. If you haven't had your well water analysed by a professional water testing company, you might want to get it done just to make sure there is nothing else bad in it besides bacteria. If bacteria is seeping into the ground water, other things like heavy metals and chemicals could also be getting into it. In the mean time, don't add anything new to the tank for a month and let things settle down. See if you can get the well water tested and try to find out when the contamination is coming from, and go from there.
 
Is your well open at the top?
If yes, there could be a dead animal or bird in it if there is bad bacteria in it.
If no, then the ground water is contaminated by something and that is a public health issue and an issue for anyone using ground water for any purpose.

Balloon mollies and all balloon fishes are badly inbred and due to the shape of the inbred bodies, their guts and internal organs are squished up. This makes it harder for them to swim, digest food and have normal bodily functions. Most balloon fishes only live a few years at most and many don't even make it to their first year. Everybody needs to avoid buying balloon fishes of any kind so the companies making them, stop making them.

The 4 tetras, depending on what species they were. If the fish damaged its mouth and bacteria got into the wound, it could have developed an infection in the mouth and jaw, which would stop it eating and kill it pretty quickly. If a small fish like a tetra dies, it will get eaten by other fish, shrimp and snails and the body can disappear in a matter of hours.

Swordtails and other common livebearers are heavily inbred. Females in particular have problems either giving birth or just after giving birth and many die shortly after they produce their first batch of young. The prolapse intestine is a genetic issue caused by too much inbreeding. Most common livebearers from Asian fish farms are also infected with intestinal worms, which is probably where the ones in your tank came from. Although any freshwater fish can carry them, but they probably came from the mollies and swordtails.

Freshwater angelfish are another fish that is heavily inbred and suffer all sorts of problems due to lack of genetic variation. Ulcers and sores on fish are caused by bacteria. If you still have bad well water (contaminated with bacteria) that could be contributing to this if the fish are swimming in it. Most reverse osmosis units won't filter out bacteria or viruses. and you need an ultraviolet (uv) steriliser to kill the pathogens in the water.

I think you have been unlucky with the fish you got and also due to the bad water supply. If you haven't had your well water analysed by a professional water testing company, you might want to get it done just to make sure there is nothing else bad in it besides bacteria. If bacteria is seeping into the ground water, other things like heavy metals and chemicals could also be getting into it. In the mean time, don't add anything new to the tank for a month and let things settle down. See if you can get the well water tested and try to find out when the contamination is coming from, and go from there.

Fortunately, we did have the well analyzed. It is a closed top, 4" PVC well system so nothing go in it. I am almost positive it is leaching from nearby water systems. We live on a small peninsula, next to the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. The fact our well is brackish in nature is what is leading me to believe there is leaching. It is also a more shallow well at only 67 feet deep. When the bacteria was discovered, we had a UV sterilizer installed and sanitized all house lines, including our house RO. I threw out any external hose used and even threw out my RO system I bought for the fish tank, replacing all of it. I also added the UV filter to my aquarium. The bad bacteria is gone after it was retested post install, but wasn't quick enough for our fish and all a learning experience.

The Tetras were Yellow Tail Congos. I only have 1 in the tank now and I want to get him a school again, but not putting another fish in the tank until I get this all ironed out.
 
Sounds like you got the well issue sorted out so that's good. :)

Yellowtail Congo tetras are normally pretty tough and don't have issues. Were they wild caught or captive bred?
 
Sounds like you got the well issue sorted out so that's good. :)

Yellowtail Congo tetras are normally pretty tough and don't have issues. Were they wild caught or captive bred?

I honestly don't know. I am pretty sure all the fish our local shop gets are captive bred, but could be wrong. I still do feel that I had a couple jumpers. Some of my others in the tank currently will jump when I'm doing water changes and the 2 that disappeared were fine one day, them poof, gone the next. I told my wife that protocol is changing from now on though. That little tank in my pics, I'm going t set it up and cycle it. I said we need to start quarantining fish for a couple weeks until we introduce them to our main.

Funny how this was going to be her hobby and it ended up mine. Definitely learning a lot. I've still got algae issues, but getting more under control. Just told her we are not leaving the light on more than 8 hours anymore just because she wants it lit up. I'm about to do a hydrogen peroxide bath in the 3 remaining decorations that have the algae. Also going to upgrade my cheap Aqueon light to Fluval's Plant 3.0 since I've been learning more about that and how my light is not sufficient for some of my plants.
 
If you are going to use a quarantine tank, you should keep new fish isolated for a month. If the fish get sick during that time, the month starts after they have recovered from the disease.

If you have algae problems, upgrading to a brighter light can make the problem worse. Algae problems are generally linked to the algae triangle (light, nutrients, live plants). If there is too much light or nutrients and not enough live plants to use the light and or nutrients, you get algae problems.

One way to see if the plants are getting sufficient light is to look for small bubbles coming out of the leaves. This is called pearling and happens when the plants or algae get good light.

Another way to see if the plants have had enough light is to look at the leaves on Hygrophila species and Ambulia. When these plants have had enough light, they start to close up their leaves. The top leaves close up against the stem and over the next few hours the remaining leaves close up. If you see this happening, the plants are getting enough light.
 
If you are going to use a quarantine tank, you should keep new fish isolated for a month. If the fish get sick during that time, the month starts after they have recovered from the disease.

If you have algae problems, upgrading to a brighter light can make the problem worse. Algae problems are generally linked to the algae triangle (light, nutrients, live plants). If there is too much light or nutrients and not enough live plants to use the light and or nutrients, you get algae problems.

One way to see if the plants are getting sufficient light is to look for small bubbles coming out of the leaves. This is called pearling and happens when the plants or algae get good light.

Another way to see if the plants have had enough light is to look at the leaves on Hygrophila species and Ambulia. When these plants have had enough light, they start to close up their leaves. The top leaves close up against the stem and over the next few hours the remaining leaves close up. If you see this happening, the plants are getting enough light.

They definitely don't have enough light then. My current light is underpowered.

The algae (green hair) is only now on 3 decorations that had it at the peak of my problem and I never was able to get it off. It hasn't spread and doesn't appear on the glass etc. I have added more plants and got nitrates more under control. I do believe I read that high nitrates, harder water and higher PH are an algae fest waiting to happen. Is that correct as well? Only other thing I get is black on plants, but has seemed to not be as bad with proper flow in my tank.

Nutrient wise I use Flourish and Fresh Trace

Water profile built with Equilibrium, Alkaline buffer and acid buffer
 
The pH and hard water don't encourage algae. Nutrients like ammonia, nitrite and nitrate will encourage algae.

If you post pictures of the black stuff on the plants we might be able to ID it for you. Does the black stuff wipe off in a film and smell musty/ mouldy?
If yes, it's probably blue green algae (Cyanobacter bacteria).

Adding an alkaline buffer and an acid buffer is counteractive, they will cancel each other out.
 
The pH and hard water don't encourage algae. Nutrients like ammonia, nitrite and nitrate will encourage algae.

If you post pictures of the black stuff on the plants we might be able to ID it for you. Does the black stuff wipe off in a film and smell musty/ mouldy?
If yes, it's probably blue green algae (Cyanobacter bacteria).

Adding an alkaline buffer and an acid buffer is counteractive, they will cancel each other out.


My Nitrates were approaching upwards of 40ppm for a while. I've got them tamed at the ~10ppm now.

My pic in post 4 shows the black, but I can get a better pic when I get home later. I'll have to trim a leaf and smell it to see about the odor and see how easily it wipes off.

That's interesting about the buffers. I was only going off Seachems info about targeting a certain PH. So basically, with my RO/DI I can just add the alkaline buffer?
 
The pH and hard water don't encourage algae. Nutrients like ammonia, nitrite and nitrate will encourage algae.

If you post pictures of the black stuff on the plants we might be able to ID it for you. Does the black stuff wipe off in a film and smell musty/ mouldy?
If yes, it's probably blue green algae (Cyanobacter bacteria).

Adding an alkaline buffer and an acid buffer is counteractive, they will cancel each other out.
Here are a couple pics of the black.
IMG_0583.jpeg

IMG_0584.jpeg
 
That's interesting about the buffers. I was only going off Seachems info about targeting a certain PH. So basically, with my RO/DI I can just add the alkaline buffer?
It depends on what fishes you keep and what the pH, GH & KH of the reverse osmosis (r/o) water is. Theoretically r/o water should have a pH of 7.0 and a GH & KH below 10ppm.

Angelfish, discus, most tetras, most barbs, Bettas, gouramis, rasbora, Corydoras and small species of suckermouth catfish all occur in soft water (GH below 150ppm) and a pH below 7.0. These fish will live happily in water with a GH below 20ppm and a pH of 7.0 so you shouldn't need to adjust the r/o water if you keep these types of fish.

Livebearers (guppies, platies, swordtails, mollies), rainbowfish and goldfish occur in medium hard water with a GH around 200-250ppm and a pH above 7.0. You will have to buffer the r/o water for these types of fish.

African Rift Lake cichlids live in very hard water (GH above 300ppm and pH above 7.6). You will need to buffer the r/o water for these types of fish too.

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You don't have to remove a leaf to sniff the black stuff. Just wipe your finger across it. It will come off in a film and smell like a musty swamp.

The black stuff on the plants is blue green algae (Cyanobacter bacteria). It can occur in a range of colours include dark green, dark blue, brown, black, red and pink. It loves nutrients, red light, slow moving water and low oxygen levels.

  • Reduce the amount of dry food going into the tank.
  • Don't add plant fertiliser for a few weeks (assuming you use any).
  • Do big water changes and gravel clean the substrate every day for a couple of weeks to physically remove the stuff.
  • Increase water movement, especially around the bottom half of the tank.
  • Increase aeration to maximise oxygen levels.
  • If you use fluorescent lights above the aquarium, make sure the globe is less than 12 months old and has a Kelvin rating of 6500K.

If you still can't get rid of it after a few weeks of doing the above, you can get things like Ultralife Blue Green Slime Stain Remover that will kill it. But try the above things first because if you don't fix the problem that caused it, the stuff will keep coming back.
 
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It depends on what fishes you keep and what the pH, GH & KH of the reverse osmosis (r/o) water is. Theoretically r/o water should have a pH of 7.0 and a GH & KH below 10ppm.

Angelfish, discus, most tetras, most barbs, Bettas, gouramis, rasbora, Corydoras and small species of suckermouth catfish all occur in soft water (GH below 150ppm) and a pH below 7.0. These fish will live happily in water with a GH below 20ppm and a pH of 7.0 so you shouldn't need to adjust the r/o water if you keep these types of fish.

Livebearers (guppies, platies, swordtails, mollies), rainbowfish and goldfish occur in medium hard water with a GH around 200-250ppm and a pH above 7.0. You will have to buffer the r/o water for these types of fish.

African Rift Lake cichlids live in very hard water (GH above 300ppm and pH above 7.6). You will need to buffer the r/o water for these types of fish too.

--------------------

You don't have to remove a leaf to sniff the black stuff. Just wipe your finger across it. It will come off in a film and smell like a musty swamp.

The black stuff on the plants is blue green algae (Cyanobacter bacteria). It can occur in a range of colours include dark green, dark blue, brown, black, red and pink. It loves nutrients, red light, slow moving water and low oxygen levels.

  • Reduce the amount of dry food going into the tank.
  • Don't add plant fertiliser for a few weeks (assuming you use any).
  • Do big water changes and gravel clean the substrate every day for a couple of weeks to physically remove the stuff.
  • Increase water movement, especially around the bottom half of the tank.
  • Increase aeration to maximise oxygen levels.
  • If you use fluorescent lights above the aquarium, make sure the globe is less than 12 months old and has a Kelvin rating of 6500K.

If you still can't get rid of it after a few weeks of doing the above, you can get things like Ultralife Blue Green Slime Stain Remover that will kill it. But try the above things first because if you don't fix the problem that caused it, the stuff will keep coming back.

For my water, GH and KH come out at 0 degree from the RO/DI so thats why I add the Equilibrium. Seachem root tabs have raised my GH from 5 degree to 8/9 so I'm not using root tabs any longer so I can keep it down to the 5/6 and meet more closely to the 150ppm you mentioned.
PH comes out mid 6's. I believe it was 6.4, but will double check next water change. For some reason though, my PH will rise to 7.8 no matter what I do. It stays stable there though.

For the algae:

I have backed off light to no more than 8 hours/day.
Moved my filter output to ensure I get full flow throughout my tank and get a nice circular movement of flow
Added UV filter to tackle any in the water column.
Gravel vacuum every week
Lights are LED, not fluorescent so should be ok there (only recently did I learn about red and blue lights for plants. I wasn't using either of those 2 colors, but now minimal exposure to those for the healthy plant growth. I'm watching that closely)


I'll definitely be doing a larger water changes since I'll be treating the worms over the next 4 weeks
I'll up my bubbler output for O2
Going to Hydrogen peroxide bath the decor that is worse than the plants and may be coming from those pieces.

Slowly but surely I'm getting everything under control.
 
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You want to try to remove the bga every day because it can grow extremely rapidly. If you only gravel clean it once a week, the bga will usually spread over everything between gravel cleans.
 

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