Why are red and blue Rainbows so sensitive they don't last 2 years? In general.

Stan510

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My M. boesemani? Never a problem. Nothing..hearty eaters beautiful and now large fish. But the Red and Blues I've bought over the last three years is down to one female blue. I write this knowing the male twice as large has done what the previous reds had done..stopped eating. Or take in food and spit it out. Dead in a week.
I also have M. parva- a pair- and some others of no ID. All always healthy.
Anybody agree in general?
One more.. I notice even Gary Lange has so few of those two fish. Watch his vids..he's got a gazillion other Rainbows but for some reason..he's not big on those two type either.
 

Sgooosh

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My M. boesemani? Never a problem. Nothing..hearty eaters beautiful and now large fish. But the Red and Blues I've bought over the last three years is down to one female blue. I write this knowing the male twice as large has done what the previous reds had done..stopped eating. Or take in food and spit it out. Dead in a week.
I also have M. parva- a pair- and some others of no ID. All always healthy.
Anybody agree in general?
One more.. I notice even Gary Lange has so few of those two fish. Watch his vids..he's got a gazillion other Rainbows but for some reason..he's not big on those two type either.
maybe it has parasites. try treating for parasites since they may not like to eat with parasites
 

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What is the GH (general hardness), KH (carbonate hardness) and pH of your water supply?
This information can usually be obtained from your water supply company's website or by telephoning them. If they can't help you, take a glass full of tap water to the local pet shop and get them to test it for you. Write the results down (in numbers) when they do the tests. And ask them what the results are in (eg: ppm, dGH, or something else).

Virtually all rainbowfish do best in hard water with a high pH. The only exception to this is wild caught Iriatherina werneri, Rhadinocentrus ornatus and some of the Pseudomugils that come from soft water. But Melanotaenias and Glossolepis all do best in hard water.

I had mine in tanks with a GH above 200ppm and a pH above 7.5.

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FOOD
What are you feeding them?
Rainbowfish need at least 50% of their diet to be plant based. If they don't have enough plant matter in their diet, they have a lot more health issues.

You can use aquarium plants like Duckweed, Ambulia, Water Sprite and any type of green algae to supplement their diet. Use goldfish foods or vege flakes/ pellets in addition to other foods. You can add marine algae and various fruits & veges too.

Avoid frozen bloodworms. I had nothing but problems when I used frozen bloodworms with my rainbows. Other people have used bloodworms and not had issues, but if you are having problems with the fish and you feed them frozen bloodworms, drop it for 6 months and see if it helps.

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FISH TB
Have any of the fish that died shown the following symptoms?
  • small red sores on the body that open up into ulcers
  • sudden bloating up
  • stop eating
  • do stringy white poop
  • gasp near the surface or near the filter outlet
If yes, you should get them tested for fish TB. The above symptoms are commonly seen in fish that have a Mycobacterium infection and it will go through an aquarium and kill one fish here and one fish there over a period of years.

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NOT EATING
If the fish stop eating but don't swell up and try to eat but spit it out, that can be an infection in the mouth, gills or sinuses. I used to treat this problem with big water changes and salt.

Wipe the inside of the glass down with a clean fish sponge. This removes the biofilm on the glass and the biofilm will contain lots of harmful bacteria, fungus, protozoans and various other microscopic life forms.

Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate. The water changes and gravel cleaning will reduce the number of disease organisms in the water and provide a cleaner environment for the fish to recover in. It also removes a lot of the gunk and this means any medication can work on treating the fish instead of being wasted killing the pathogens in the gunk.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it is added to the tank.

Clean the filter. However, if the filter is less than 6 weeks old, do not clean it. Wash the filter materials/ media in a bucket of tank water and re-use them. Tip the bucket of dirty water on the garden/ lawn. Cleaning the filter means less gunk and cleaner water with fewer pathogens.

Increase surface turbulence/ aeration when using salt or medications because they reduce the dissolved oxygen in the water.

Add some salt, (see directions below).

It's also a good idea to deworm rainbowfish because they are frequently infected with intestinal worms like Camallanus.

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SALT
You can add rock salt (often sold as aquarium salt), sea salt or swimming pool salt to the aquarium at the dose rate of 1 heaped tablespoon per 20 litres of water. If there is no improvement after 48 hours you can double that dose rate so there is 2 heaped tablespoons of salt per 20 litres.

If you only have livebearers (guppies, platies, swordtails, mollies), goldfish or rainbowfish in the tank you can double that dose rate, so you would add 2 heaped tablespoons per 20 litres and if there is no improvement after 48 hours, then increase it so there is a total of 4 heaped tablespoons of salt per 20 litres.

Keep the salt level like this for at least 2 weeks but no longer than 4 weeks otherwise kidney damage can occur. Kidney damage is more likely to occur in fish from soft water (tetras, Corydoras, angelfish, Bettas & gouramis, loaches) that are exposed to high levels of salt for an extended period of time, and is not an issue with livebearers, rainbowfish or other salt tolerant species.

The salt will not affect the beneficial filter bacteria but the higher dose rate (4 heaped tablespoons per 20 litres) will affect some plants and some snails. The lower dose rate (1-2 heaped tablespoons per 20 litres) will not affect fish, plants, shrimp or snails.

After you use salt and the fish have recovered, you do a 10% water change each day for a week using only fresh water that has been dechlorinated. Then do a 20% water change each day for a week. Then you can do bigger water changes after that. This dilutes the salt out of the tank slowly so it doesn't harm the fish.

If you do water changes while using salt, you need to treat the new water with salt before adding it to the tank. This will keep the salt level stable in the tank and minimise stress on the fish.
 
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Stan510

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I have to dig out my old 25 gallon plexi and use it as a treatment and later quarantine. I know our hardness is 0. I never see spots on yard plants or need any kind of RO for carnivorous plants. The tap ph can be high- 8-9+ over the year. Its only been those two species of Rainbow and there is no stress in the aquarium from bully fish. I avoided adding anything that's even slightly aggressive. Even the smaller species like the Parva are active and breeding all the time- feeding the rest of the tank fresh roe.
What gets me too Collin? I've raised both reds and blues from small ugly ducklings to full grown or near it,THEN they get sick.
No more of them. There are plenty of other species to try and hopefully would be happy in the big aquarium. One of my Bozeys is pushing 6". What a difference in hardiness.
 

Colin_T

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They are either crap quality fish or they have an underlying health issue. The crap quality fish isn't from you but whoever is providing them to you and the shops.

You need to add some Rift Lake water conditioner to increase the GH and KH of the water. Some rainbowfish come from lakes with very hard water (300ppm+). And all rainbowfish evolved from marine ancestors in the last 10,000 years so they are relatively new to fresh water.
 
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Stan510

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Might be dna. That blue as it grew always had some kind of perpetual open mouth unlike the others. It looked old for being young. The New Guinea? If Gary Lange has no large old ones to show..that says something.
Its passed on since posting. Once they get where they don't eat,that's too far gone to cure. Well,for internals. Fungus or Ich for sure can be cured is my advice to new fish keepers. That internal problems? rare to cure OR we are into vet medicines and cost and no guarantee.
I'm going with just Bozys from now. I have not had one die of disease and a half dozen males all soon to be over 5" and pushing six in the aquarium,with three females..is enough.
 
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Stan510

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Also,in one of Gary Langes videos he says he knows of M. boesemani that are 16 years old. They are the Toyota of Rainbows.
 
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Stan510

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One more thought on just sticking with what I have. Calm. The fish since the day they went in have not seen a net come for them. I know- I remember the constant transplanting when I had a fishroom. There was always a better combo..and that lead to fish getting stressed,panicky even.
I've moved past that on my return to fishkeeping- just the big tank indoors. All my concentration goes into that. My reward has been M. boesemani becoming large,chunky,and very calm. They,a trio of Clown Loaches,and a pair of Roselines with a foursome of Giant Danios. Good enough.
 

Colin_T

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Also, in one of Gary Langes videos he says he knows of M. boesemani that are 16 years old. They are the Toyota of Rainbows.
Most rainbowfish should hit 8+ years old. Even the smaller species will live for a long time. Gerald Allen had some Melanotaenia eachamensis (Dirran Creek) that were 9 years old and still breeding. They were only about 3 inches long and the male was nearly blind from cataracts but they live a long time if you can get good stock and keep them free of fish TB.
 

StevenF

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what products do you add to your water GH, KH boosters, fertilizers, conditioners? If so how during the water change.
 
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Stan510

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I add Iron and Potassium. I might have in three years made mistakes. I think of the times I used Hydrogen Peroxide..or put in fish I didn't quarantine. The time the heater went out ..or hot summers.
Yet- none of my Boesemani died from anything but one that I just added that got stuck between a rock and glass overnight. Never had one die from a disease.
Anybody else notice they seem to be very hardy fish?
 

StevenF

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I add Iron and Potassium. I might have in three years made mistakes.
what form of potassium (potassium nitrate, potassium phosphate, potassium sulfate. And how much and how often? And how often are your watering how much? Also how big is your tank? Too much iron and potassium can kill fish.

Fish do best in water with small amounts of sodium and potassium. If sodium and potassium levels get out of balance it can kill fish and humans. Iron has limited solubility the water. And its solubility is sensitive to PH. The PH of the water can change in gills due to O2 CO2 changes in the gills. Underthe right conditions iron can buildup the gills and possibly kill the fish.

So it is possible your fish are sick due to too much iron or potassium. So we really need to know a lot more about why you redoing these and what products you use and the size of the tank and how much you add. Iron and potassium are two nutrients found in plant fertilizers. But they are only 2 of the 14 nutrients plants need. All 14 need to be present for good plant growth If just one is missing plant won't growl. Based on my experience just dosing 2 of the 14 nutrients is likely to cause more problems and few benefits.

You only need about 0.1 ppm (0.1milligrams perlite of water) of iron for plants and no more than 5ppm of potassium. This isn't a lot and if you are not careful it is easy to dose 10X the amount needed. This post is a forum discussion about nerve snails dying in a tank. The problem was traced to potassium bicarbonate that was bing use to increase the KH value of RO water. He switched to sodium bicarbonate and then added replacement nerite snails. The snails didn't die.
 
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Stan510

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But still,whatever I might have used in excess...All the M. boesemani sailed through. Never showed any stress after water changes,doses of iron or potassium. Not even when I spot treated plants with Hydrogen Peroxide. Right now,I'm past need ing HP..but once a week I add a capful of Seachem Iron for the 240 gallon aquarium. Blue's and Reds both died no sooner than they reached about adult size and color..and then,like Discus,stopped eating and never recovered.
There might be other Rainbows just as hardy but I think what luck that the most exotic looking of them all,might also be the hardiest of the bunch.
 

Colin_T

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first thing you do if rainbowfish act odd, big water change, gravel clean substrate, clean filter, add some salt,
 

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