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Aroc2226

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So I can’t really say I’m new to the hobby but I’ve been away for quite awhile.

I decided to set up a small 29 gallon tank to re-introduce myself to the hobby.

I decided to go with live plants this time.

So I set it up. Let the live plants get started. Got it cycled and ready to go.

I put a betta in and things seemed to go well for awhile. I picked up a bristle nose pleco and a couple of kuhli loaches.

The pleco is doing well as are two of the three loaches.

My wife likes shrimp so I picked up a handful of ghost shrimp.

The betta died with no real warning. All the shrimp died.

The pleco and last two loaches continue to do well.

I picked up three Molly’s about three weeks ago. Right on cue they started to sink to the bottom. One even started spinning similar to a shark spinning to get a chunk of food. I’m thinking some sort of parasite but not sure.

I thought oxygen but with the plants and the filter there should be enough.

All water parameters are good.
PH is about 7, nitrates and nitrites are 0 and there is no ammonia.

I’m missing something but not sure what it is.

Thanks in advance for any help
 

GaryE

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Let's look at each incident independently, as they may be unconnected. Do you you know your water hardness? I really dislike the API kits because they don't measure that, and it is extremely important. If mollies go into soft, low mineral water, they will get fatal neurological symptoms that sound like that you're describing.
However, those symptoms could also be from viral infections that come from the store, or from the farm before the store.

The shrimp. Often, they are sold as feeders, really inexpensively. Ghost shrimp can be major disease carriers, as feeders don't get great treatment. If one was vulnerable and moulting, a Betta would go for it in most cases, and onward goes the line of transmission.

My suspicion is what you're missing is suspicion. If you are buying from one of the large chains, expect a certain percentage of losses. The fish are often in very rough shape.
 
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Aroc2226

Aroc2226

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Not sure of our water hardness but it is ground water so I would imagine fairly hard although we don’t really get a whole lot of build up
 

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Not sure of our water hardness but it is ground water so I would imagine fairly hard although we don’t really get a whole lot of build up
Just about every water source in Montana leaches through limestone. Surface water runs across it and aquifers run through it. It is not overly hard . It is fine for almost all tropical fish. Your pH will probably run about 7.5 . Don’t worry about your water. We have great water here. Pick your fish with the water conditions in mind. The Mollies should have been fine. You must’ve gotten some sickly ones.
But . . . and this is a big but , if you are drawing from a well you likely have a lot of alkali in it. If that’s so you’ll see the mineral crust buildup on your faucets.
 

Slaphppy7

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Let's look at each incident independently, as they may be unconnected. Do you you know your water hardness? I really dislike the API kits because they don't measure that, and it is extremely important. If mollies go into soft, low mineral water, they will get fatal neurological symptoms that sound like that you're describing.
However, those symptoms could also be from viral infections that come from the store, or from the farm before the store.

The shrimp. Often, they are sold as feeders, really inexpensively. Ghost shrimp can be major disease carriers, as feeders don't get great treatment. If one was vulnerable and moulting, a Betta would go for it in most cases, and onward goes the line of transmission.

My suspicion is what you're missing is suspicion. If you are buying from one of the large chains, expect a certain percentage of losses. The fish are often in very rough shape.
API does indeed carry a hardness test kit, but it is sold separate from the other test kit (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, ph)

 

Colin_T

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Pictures of the fish and shrimp (live and dead ones)?

How long has the tank been set up for?

How often do you do water changes and how much do you change?
Do you gravel clean the substrate when you do a water change?
Do you dechlorinate the new water before adding it to the tank?

Do you have chlorine or chloramine in the water supply?

What sort of filter is on the tank?
How often and how do you clean the filter?
What filter media/ materials are in the filter?
 
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Aroc2226

Aroc2226

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No picks of the shrimp. They are all gone.

I water change about once every two weeks. I remove about 25% or so.

We are on a well so I don’t worry about dechlorinating.

The tank has been set up for about 4-5 months

I use a Shark 600…the smaller one.

Filter media is just foam. I clean those about every couple of weeks or so.

I haven’t cleaned the substrate as yet although I’m going to this weekend.

I’ll attempt a pic later today but the fish are very shy right now.

Interestingly enough a medicated them once 48 hours ago with API General Cure. They look better. I’m giving them another round later today and the do a 25% water change.
 

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GaryE

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I know API sells side kits., but collecting the whole set adds up. I used to always have a hardness set, but it expired and I switched measuring ystems. I still use their pH kits. I would buy hardness and pH kits before I'd buy their supposed 'master kit'. It gives new hobbyists the illusion that it's all they need "master" when it isn't.

General Cure looks like a decent option.
 
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Aroc2226

Aroc2226

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Well things seem to be getting better. I gave the tank a couple doses of an all purpose medication for parasites. They seem to be doing much better. Utilizing more of the tank and not hanging around the bottom. At one point I thought one was dead and I tried to pick it up only to have it swim off. I’m not seeing the odd twisting behavior either.

Still a little nervous about it but more optimistic. I’m going to give it some more time before I add more fish.

Brackish water might be an issue. Not sure if it’s too late to add salt
 

Byron

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You need to ascertain the GH and KH (and pH while there) of your source (tap) water. If you are on municipal water, check their website. No point in buying a test kit once you know the numbers for the source water assuming you do not try messing with the parameters.

Do not start adding medications unless you are fairly certain of a specific problem. Healthy fish are negatively impacted by any of these, so use needs to be limited to a need for whatever.

Male bettas are best not combined with any other fish, something to keep in mind. Loaches need soft sand as a substrate, as do other substrate fish like corydoras if you may think of those.
 
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Aroc2226

Aroc2226

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We are on a well. We had the water tested a year ago or so. Not a state test but a private company did the water test. The water here is very very good.

I understand the issue with medication. I needed to do something though, and it appeared to have worked.

Can’t say I agree with you on the male betta comment. I have never had a problem in the past with placing males bettas in a community tank. This particular betta died before I added any other fish except the Kuhli Loach or Pleco.

I’m going to wait a bit longer before I add any more fish. I would like to get the snail population under control and the plants healthier.

Thanks to all for the advice
 

Essjay

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Does the test you had done give the hardness of your water?

If it doesn't you can take a sample to an LFS and ask them to test for hardness (but be aware that if they use strips some brands only measure up to 180 ppm/10 dH and if yours is higher it will still read 180 ppm). Or buy a liquid GH tester.


The reason we are asking for this is because it is better to keep fish which come from water with a similar hardness to your tap water. If soft water fish are kept in hard water they get calcium deposits in their organs, especially their kidneys. If hard water fish are kept in soft water they suffer mineral depletion. These make the fish more susceptible to disease and the fish don't live as long as they should.
 
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Aroc2226

Aroc2226

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I wish I could find the test results. I might just have to get a hard water test separate from this one. I know we don’t have very hard water as we really don’t have a lot of build up around faucets etc.
 

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