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Need some advise please

Discussion in 'Tropical Discussion' started by Lesley C, Jun 1, 2019.

  1. Lesley C

    Lesley C New Member

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    Hi All, this is my first post so hopefully I make sense!
    The History -
    I've had my EcoStyle 61 tank for around 2yrs (80l). I have live plants (Java Fern fat leaf, Java Moss and Anubias), drift wood and bog wood. Fish - I currently 3 siamese algae eater, 7 Neon Tetras and 6 Rummy Rose Tetras.

    I have been battling Nitrate for a little while, not crazy bad but can get up around the 20-40ppm, but the water here is PH8 and my tank runs pretty constantly at 6.6PH so I don't want to keep doing big water changes as that effects my PH which seem to upset my fish much more than the Nitrate does. Temp 24-25degrees celcius

    I've had the filter medium in my tank since it first cycled, I change the filter wool every 1-2 weeks and the black filtration sponge every 6-8weeks but I wash it out when I change the wool.

    My Java moss doesn't grow! but my Java fern grows like weeds. Anubias is slow and steady but healthy.

    For a months my Neons have been acting weirdly. 3 males have stacked claim to 3 different Java Ferns and do not leave. They don't school with the other, they actively defend the area! expect from female neons.

    I did a water test last week and the Nitrates were around 40ppm so I did a bigger than usual water change and gravel vaccunm (big clean).
    Today I noticed one of my SAE didn't come out to eat (blood worms) normally they LOVE blood worm day! he was lying on the bottom of the tank under the bog wood with his stripe faded. I tested the water and Nitrates were around 10-20ppm but PH was 7.2 if not a little higher. Nitrites and 0ppm and Ammonia 0ppm. I've also noticed one of my big Neon Females has a grey spot on her back near her fin and her eyes are a little googly.

    What should I do? So far I've added a little primer and PH down with some Aquarium salt (with a little water change) I don't like using PH down, so also added my driftwood back. Pic's attached show the female with the grey lump and eyes...
    Many thanks in advance, sorry so long :)
     

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  2. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Hi and welcome to the forum :)

    How long have you had the fish for?

    Have you added anything new to the tank in the last 2 weeks?

    I need a few more pictures of the neon with the lump. Check them on your computer and pick a couple that are clear and in focus and show the problem.

    Do you gravel clean the substrate when you do a water change?

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    You shouldn't change filter media unless it is falling apart.
    Carbon (black granules) can be replaced but it isn't normally needed in an aquarium.

    If you add a sponge to the filter it will develop beneficial bacteria on it and then you simply squeeze the sponge out in a bucket of tank water.

    Filter wool can be rinsed out and re-used.

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    If you grow Duckweed or Water Sprite (Ceratopteris thalictroides/ cornuta) in the tank, it will use the nitrates and help keep them lower.

    If you fill a large plastic container with tap water, you can put some driftwood or peat moss in it and that might drop the pH. When the pH is low enough, you can use that water to do bigger water changes.

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    The male neon tetras sound like they have set up territories by the Java Fern and are trying to breed with the females. It shouldn't be a problem and can occur in tanks where there are no predators to scare the fish into a group. I wouldn't worry about it.
     
    #2 Colin_T, Jun 1, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2019
  3. Lesley C

    Lesley C New Member

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    Hi Colin, Thank you. They are sleeping now so will try again for pics in the morning.
    I've not changed the Ceramic Filter Media in 2yrs (since I set up), I only change for new the wool and sponge but will try washing out in the water I've extracted with the substrate cleaner. I do vacum every water change but only bit by bit.

    New to the tank are the rummy nose Tetra's. about 2-3week, and I lost a SAE about a week before that but she had lived with a split side (not sure what she cut it on, but her guts were coming out the hole) for a yr so I figured she was on borrowed time to begin with.

    I'll try get some Duckweed sounds like an amazing little plant. Do you know why my Java moss stopped growing? it used to grow like a weed about a year ago now almost not at all? Seems as the Java Moss stop the Anubias started. must be water parameters but I wonder if its the PH or Nitrates?

    Thanks again, nice to have someone to talk to about these things
     
  4. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    The neon has probably caught something from the rummynose. I will have more ideas when you get more pics tomorrow.

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    If you are using fluorescent lights on the tank, the globes are probably old and no longer producing the correct wavelength or intensity of light and the Java Moss is struggling due to that.

    If you are running fluorescent globes, they should be replaced every 12 months. You should also replace the starter in the light unit when you change the globe. Try to get globes with a 6500K (K is for Kelvin) rating.

    Most aquarium plants like a bit of light and if you only have the light on for a couple of hours a day, they struggle. If the light doesn't have a high enough wattage they also struggle. Try having the tank lights on for 10-12 hours a day.

    If you get lots of green algae then reduce the light by an hour a day and monitor the algae over the next 2 weeks.
    If you don't get any green algae on the glass then increase the lighting period by an hour and monitor it.
    If you get a small amount of algae then the lighting time is about right.

    Some plants will close their leaves up when they have had sufficient light. Ambulia, Hygrophilas and a few others close their top set of leaves first, then the next set and so on down the stem. When you see this happening, wait an hour after the leaves have closed up against the stem and then turn lights off.

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    Stress from tank lights coming on when the room is dark can be an issue. Fish don't have eyelids and don't tolerate going from complete dark to bright light (or vice versa) instantly.

    In the morning open the curtains or turn the room light on at least 30 minutes (or more) before turning the tank light on. This will reduce the stress on the fish and they won't go from a dark tank to a bright tank instantly.

    At night turn the room light on and then turn the tank light off. Wait at least 30 minutes (or more) before turning the room light out. This allows the fish to settle down for the night instead of going from a brightly lit tank to complete darkness instantly.
     
  5. Lesley C

    Lesley C New Member

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    Morning Colin, Its a lot hard than one would think to get a picture of a little fish but I've sone my best. Thanks for the other advise I'll give it all a try.

    Hopefully one of these will be ok! many thanks for you help
     

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  6. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    The pics aren't that helpful. I need a picture of the fish from the side.

    The fish definitely has bulgy eyes, which is usually bacterial.

    The lump on its back could be anything from a raised scale to a cyst or puss fill sack of protozoans.
     
  7. Lesley C

    Lesley C New Member

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    HI, From the side you don't really see anything as its the same colour as her scales. I've added active coal and will keep doing little water changes all week while checking the Nitrates.

    Is there anything else I can do? My SAE is still very quite! hiding and not eating. I'm going to try a pea tomorrow, he normally loves those.

    Thanks for your help
     
  8. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    do big daily water changes and gravel cleans and if there's improvement in 2 days then treat the tank with anti-biotics.
     
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  9. Lesley C

    Lesley C New Member

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    Thanks ill keep you posted
     
  10. Lesley C

    Lesley C New Member

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    Hey There,

    After following a week of bacteria treatment and then a week of big water changes and deep cleaning the substrate my fish seemed really happy and healthy again.

    But today I noticed my Siamese Algae Eater floating at the top of the tank! They don't have a swim bladder so am unsure what else could be the problem. he/she does have a bigger than usual 'tummy' the section between the head and the dorsal fins. He's really not in a good way. I'm going to isolate him now but should I be trying anything in particular?

    Many thanks, Feeling sad!
    LC
     
  11. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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  12. Lesley C

    Lesley C New Member

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    He's really battling to stay on the bottom, I don't have an isolation tank so he's in a fish carry bag in the tank. I tested the water and Nitrates are creeping back up even though I did a water change 4days ago? they are at 20 but have been around 5, for at least 2 weeks...
    I'm not feeding him currently (day2) and will give a cooked pea tomorrow. But I'm not convinced its a constipation issue! it's like he has air in his gut, he pops up to the surface face first if he stops swimming. :(
     

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  13. AKfish

    AKfish Fish Fanatic

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    Victims of inexperience lol. Not laughing at you my friend not at all. When I started I would drain a 55gal completely and clean it then return the fish to a brand new tank. Was horrible lol. But we all learn by mistakes. Your essentially killing your own fish by cleaning out the filter. Common beginning mistake. They need the beneficial bacteria. You need to research nitrogen cycle before doing anything else involved with fish. Then come back and ask as many questions as you need until you understand how it works and what you need to do to maintain it. Once you have that knowledge your set my friend. As far as your sick fish. It's tough to tell. My first guess would be constipated. Sometimes fish can eat more then their stomach can process. This will allow food to actually rot in their stomach. This can create all kinds of issues from infection to gas's. He may have gas building in his stomach or digestive system from rotting material. But being kept in poor water condition for extended periods of time. Always has the potential to creat serious and life long lasting issues in fish.
     
    #13 AKfish, Jul 10, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019

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