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Finrot :-(

(75 Posts)
pugsandseals Tue 23-Aug-11 10:38:55

We bought 4 new fish 2 weeks ago which are all doing well (guppies & platys) but the original fish (at least the guppies) are dropping like flies sad

Our normal fish shop has closed so we went somewhere else (won't be going there again!).

Fish tails seem to be going a pointy shape as all their fins disappear seemingly overnight! Have dosed the tank with finrot treatment, but is there anything else we can do to help save the remaining 30 or so fish? We took the first poorly fish to a local fish shop & he found it very hard to diagnose - thought it was finrot but that is also looked like the fish has been attacked by a bigger one (we don't have anything bigger than guppies). Really annoyed as the only reason we bought some extra fish was to get some more females as we seem to have more male babies being born than females angry. DD is distraught!


Apart from a couple of tetras, the only other animals in the tank are assasin snails & tiger snails BTW

BonneKers Tue 23-Aug-11 10:42:17

Finrot treatment, some good water changes and a little tonic is what I'd do.

Grumpla Tue 23-Aug-11 10:48:09

Have you tested your water?
30 fish sounds a lot - how big is the tank?

pugsandseals Tue 23-Aug-11 10:48:41

'a little tonic'? - not sure what you mean!

Finrot treatment already in (as of 4 days ago) - sorry should have said blush

I was thinking about water changes too, but wasn't sure how much this would dilute the finrot treatment & if it would render it useless?

Grumpla Tue 23-Aug-11 10:49:33

Tetras can be quite nippy, btw - not usually recommended to keep them with long finned fish like guppies. I'd be inclined to accuse them, especially if your platies (if short tailed) are unaffected!

pugsandseals Tue 23-Aug-11 10:50:25

it's 180 litres Grumpla - and many of them are babies. Water testing all seems normal as of 3 days ago, but you're right that maybe I should test again - I'll do that now...

pugsandseals Tue 23-Aug-11 10:52:32

I agree Grumpla - tetras were not my choice but bought for DD by well meaning friends for xmas. But if we've had them that long, there doesn't seem to be any reason for them to start nipping now I don't think? Or maybe?

EauRouge Tue 23-Aug-11 11:10:50

I wouldn't recommend tetras with guppies either, they can be nippy little buggers as Grumpla said.

What are your water readings?

pugsandseals Tue 23-Aug-11 11:30:20

Everything up hugely from normal, except the ph which is down from 8.5 to 6.5 confused

All was fine before the weekend, might the fin rot treatment have buggered things?

BTW we now have a dead one which seems to have no visable signs of fin rot too!

About to do a big water change - what's the most water I should take out in one go?

pugsandseals Tue 23-Aug-11 11:34:39

Ammonia Nitrite Phosphate PH
1.0 0.25 2.0 7.0

Grumpla Tue 23-Aug-11 12:48:14

Hmm. Even a low reading for nitrite can stress fish out quite badly. I'd do a big waterchange to be on the safe side, maybe 50%. Check the instructions for the meds you have dosed with - you may be able to dose the new water proportionally.

It does seem weird that your PH would drop like that - is there anything in the medication paperwork that says this could happen?

How long have you had the older gups for? Are there any other signs of illness except the fins - pale, hollow bellies, listless etc? If there are, can you isolate these in a hospital tank? It could be that the tetras are just targeting the gups which are already ill as they are less able to avoid them.

pugsandseals Tue 23-Aug-11 13:01:01

Seems to be all ages of guppies affected - just pulled a load of babies out of the filter while doing the water change.

All the fish affected tend to look a bit swinbladderish before they die & I presume that the one who didn't have any visable symptoms was got by the nitrite spike sad

Was hoping to add a general bacteria treatment while changing the water but the instructions on the fin rot treatment say not to mix.

All the fish seem happier after their water change. I am wondering if we have too many plants & baby snails causing problems as well as the fin rot. Might try to convince everyone that we need to be rid of some plants as they do seem to be taking over (especially the ones with floating roots like pondweed).

pugsandseals Tue 23-Aug-11 13:01:33

Still no explaination for the drop in ph though!

EauRouge Tue 23-Aug-11 13:47:22

Crikey, the pH drop is very worrying and can be massively stressful to the fish. The ammonia level is also too high, it should be zero. Few questions-

Which test kit are you using?
Did you test the tap water pH or the pH of the water in the tank?
What's your KH reading?
What's your nitrAte reading?
When did you last do a water change and what exactly did you do?

pugsandseals Tue 23-Aug-11 15:24:15

PH from in the tank!

We have 4 little glass cylinders which we test with various bottles - why? Do you think there is a more comprehensive kit we need?

We generally change about 10-20% of the water every few days but we have been a bit lax lately blush. You have jogged my mind about a new water conditioner we started using recently - it's Tetra AquaSafe. Might that make a difference? Since our wonderful fish shop closed we have been struggling on without his wonderful advice sad

EauRouge Tue 23-Aug-11 16:09:01

Typing one handed!

Test kit sounds ok, liquid kits are more accurate than those dipstick ones. Testing from the tank is more accurate too. How come you are doing such small changes every few days? Normally a weekly change of 25-40% is OK.

Tetra Aquasafe should be fine, I use it myself and I've never had any problems.

If you test your carbonate hardness (KH) then that will give you a clue about your reserve alkalinity. Water with low KH is more susceptible to pH swings so can need extra buffering. Sorry if all this is gobbledegook grin Basically if you have a high KH you will need to add more acid to cause a pH drop than if you have a low KH. Over time the alkalinity of the water is used up so if you have low KH, a heavily stocked tank and don't do enough water changes then that can cause a pH crash. Things can add up and tip quite quickly.

pugsandseals Tue 23-Aug-11 16:17:35

Ok that makes sense - especially with all the new baby guppies & assasin snails we've had recently. Never heard of KH testing though - will I need to get a kit for it?

pugsandseals Tue 23-Aug-11 16:31:06

Another thought - would the kh level have something to do with all our plants growing like weeds?

EauRouge Tue 23-Aug-11 16:40:27

What kind of plants are they? Some grow really fast, others don't. The KH won't be affecting, plants use up nitrAte and phosphate and if the lighting level is high then that will be helping them along. Lots of plants isn't a problem, they will be using up nutrients that could otherwise cause excess algae.

Yes, you can get KH test kits, they are usually in a pack with GH kits.

pugsandseals Tue 23-Aug-11 16:45:32

We've got ones that float like pond weed, ones that look like thick long grass, some little ones that look like cress & some red leaf ones. It sounds like so many when I list them out, but the ones that grow like weeds are the floating ones & grass-like ones (sorry I don't know the names blush )

I will get ordering some ph adjust & a kh/gh kit I think! Also need to get a cheap filter & heater so I can set up a hospital tank usinf an old goldfish tank from years ago. I have a feeling I won't like the bill!

Thanks EauRouge!

pugsandseals Tue 23-Aug-11 16:46:57

Been looking on the seapets website - where to start!?! There's so much choice!

EauRouge Tue 23-Aug-11 17:11:55

Ah, you've got duckweed and vallis, they can get quite thuggy because they grow so fast. You can use a sieve to scoop duckweed off the surface. Let me know if you figure out a way to get rid of the damn stuff completely! Vallis shoots out runners under the substrate and they pop up everywhere, just cut off the ones you don't want.

The red leaf one is probably some kind of lotus, do the leaves grow up to the surface like lily pads if they get long enough?

So much choice- you mean for test kits? I'd get API or Hagen, they are pretty reliable brands. Or do you mean filters and heaters? How big is the tank?

pugsandseals Tue 23-Aug-11 17:22:11

We have 2 smallish tanks in the garage we could use - a hexagonal one which I would guess to be maybe 30 litres? And a bigger very old one with a wooden lid which I would guess is about 16x14 inches? I'm just looking at the prices of heaters & filters and whether to hit ebay instead & get a whole new kit! Would really like a submerged filter as the current ones we could use are a really old loud one with all the white hama bead looking bits of plastic, or an under gravel filter (with the hexagonal tank). Been spoilt with the new juwel tank & filter - just a shame I can't buy a juwel filter on it's own!

EauRouge Tue 23-Aug-11 17:33:47

Sorry, one handed again- groth spurt!

For a hospital tank all you would need is a sponge filter powered by an air pump, you should be able to get all that brand new for about £20 if you look for bargains on Ebay. Most people run their spare filter in their main tank, then it's mature and ready for your hospital tank when you need it. It also means the hospital tank can stay in the garasge until you need it.

like this one- and you just connect it to an air pump.

pugsandseals Tue 23-Aug-11 18:55:35

Thanks for the tips - running the filter in the main tank is a great idea!

Now if we can just get through this fin rot episode without too many more dying (and kill off some baby assasins) I'll be happy.

Thanks again!

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