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John Vickerd
New Member
Username: johnnyv906

Post Number: 1
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 09:51 am:       

hello my name is john,
I recently bought a parrot fish. Ive saw him at the pet store for a while, and i wanted him. hes large, probably around 6-8" long. He was active at first, now he just kinda lays arouns all the time, he hasnt been swimming or eating, but when i stick the net anywhere near him he swims away perfectly fine. My other fish are a large pacu, a large south american red tailed catfish, a shovelnose cat, a small butterfly cat, 2 jack dempsys, and a sucker fish. i dont want whatever he has to spred to my other fish. how can I take care of this prob?
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Plazma
Junior Member
Username: plazma

Post Number: 96
Registered: 02-2006


Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 11:55 am:       

well one of the best ways to prevent any type of infections or sickness of course is to have a Quarantine tank to house newly bought fish for 3 weeks or longer that way being able to observe them for any defects in health.
What size tank are you housing all these fish in,how long has this tank been running.Have you been doing any test water changes etc etc etc need more information ,how long have you had the fish etc etc,is this a blood parrot?
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
Albert Einstein
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dan
Moderator
Username: dan

Post Number: 6721
Registered: 01-2003


Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 12:22 pm:       

john, let me apologize in advance for what i'm about to say ... can i assume you have a 500 gallon tank? can i also assume that you're aware that Phractocephalus hemiliopterus - the red tail catfish grows to 5 feet? and that Sorubim lima - the shovel nose catfish grows to 2 feet? and let us not forget Piaractus brachypomum - the pacu grows to several feet and can weigh over 30 pounds?

ok .. you're gonna tell me that your fish are small now. fine .. but they'll grow, rapdily if well maintained. what then? is a several thousand gallon tank in your future? no? will your local Zoo take them? or your local pet shop? i can answer that for you .. no. they won't. so when you arrive at that fork in the road, will you kill your fish due to in inability to care for them and no way to 'dispose' of them properly?

these fish should not be sold at pet shops and they should not be in the hobby at all. they cannot be properly cared for by anyone without huge tanks and the result is that most of them die due to poor care or are killed outright when they become too large to deal with.

how long has your tank been running? have you checked your ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels? how often do you perform water changes and how much do you change each time?

as for your sick fish, and your other fish such as dempsey and butterfly cat ... these will soon become dinner for your red tail catfish or shovel nose and their disposition will become a moot point.
you're never too old to have a happy childhood.
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John Vickerd
New Member
Username: johnnyv906

Post Number: 2
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 01:19 pm:       

well, how fast do they grow. my shovel nose is tiny (about 4-5" long)but really skinny. my red tail cat is about 6" long with a huge head. I do 25%water change a week. he is the only fish thats been acting wierd
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dan
Moderator
Username: dan

Post Number: 6722
Registered: 01-2003


Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 02:36 pm:       

they grow fast john. what size tank are the fish in right now? what are your ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels? 25% water changes once a week may not be nearly enough depending on answer to the questions which you've not answered yet.
you're never too old to have a happy childhood.
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John Vickerd
New Member
Username: johnnyv906

Post Number: 3
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 04:05 pm:       

HONESTLY, I never had a tank, this is my first. its a 75 gallon. How do I check the chemicals in the water? And if they are too high what do I do about it, how do I fix the problem?
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dan
Moderator
Username: dan

Post Number: 6725
Registered: 01-2003


Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 04:39 pm:       

there are test kits available at the same place you purchased your fish. the important tests are for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

john, those fish don't stand a chance in a 75 gallon tank. it's far too small. your problem may be entirely related to the water quality and until you test those parameters i've mentioned there's little we can help you with.

i'd strongly urge you to return the red tailed and shovel nose catfish as well as the pacu. the parrot fish, your two jack dempseys along with the butterfly pleco is plenty of fish for a 75 gallon tank. i'd not be tempted to add more.

in interum, see if your LFS can test your water for the parameters i've noted. when we know the results we can better help your sick fish.
you're never too old to have a happy childhood.
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John Vickerd
New Member
Username: johnnyv906

Post Number: 4
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 04:48 pm:       

ill test it today. can u tell me what reults to hope for, and what to be worried about
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Plazma
Junior Member
Username: plazma

Post Number: 97
Registered: 02-2006


Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 05:27 pm:       

take a watersample into to you fish store where you purchased they should be willing to test your water for free right off the top.
then you can purchase some test kits or a master test kit and take home.
Look for test kits of PH/Nitrite/Nitrate/Ammonia

Water changes are some of your best methods of controlling incorrect water conditions dont let the fish store talk you into things you may not need like ph up donw etc etc wait until you know what your water conditions are like after a test and water changes.
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
Albert Einstein
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dan
Moderator
Username: dan

Post Number: 6728
Registered: 01-2003


Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 05:53 pm:       

can u tell me what reults to hope for, and what to be worried about

your ammonia and nitrite should be ZERO. your nitrate should be 10 ppm or less. virtually 'any' ammonia or nitrite can result in stress related diseases.
you're never too old to have a happy childhood.
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John Vickerd
New Member
Username: johnnyv906

Post Number: 5
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 08:56 am:       

Well, i think i found my first problem. for one my ph was at 7.8. i did buy ph down, thats how they told me to fix it. Also, I had no salt in my water. i also bought aquarium salt and added 1 tablespoon per 10 gal.
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dan
Moderator
Username: dan

Post Number: 6732
Registered: 01-2003


Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 09:10 am:       

you need to frequent a different store .. thosse guys are filling your mind with erroneous information.

your pH was not and is not the problem john. adding chemicals to your water to bring it down is definitely a bad idea. your fish will adjust to whatever the pH of your tap water is as long as it is stable. adjusting it with chemicals creates an instability which is very injurious to fish.

neither is adding salt to your water a good idea. your fish are fresh water, not brackish water fish and adding salt will do nothing positive for them. what exactly did this store tell you it was good for?
you're never too old to have a happy childhood.
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John Vickerd
New Member
Username: johnnyv906

Post Number: 6
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 09:28 am:       

they said i should of had salt in there since day one. They said it keeps the fish safer from diseases, cause it keeps the tank cleaner as well. i actually saw my parrot swim for a while yest and he ate bloodworms, im not sure if hes sick or lazy. I looked real close to his skin and he looks fine. no spots or nothing
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cindy
Ancient Plus
Username: cindy

Post Number: 9688
Registered: 05-2003


Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 09:31 am:       

typical...they sold you stuff to "fix" the only two parameters that didn't need it, but still didn't tell him what his ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites were...

"The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve." --- Albert Schweitzer

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molly b
Junior Member
Username: molly

Post Number: 19
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 10:44 am:       

Hi John. I have not much info for you, just a pep talk
As you can see, I am new too. But I have learned a whole lot by looking through other posts.
One big thing I learned is that there are many (MANY) people who work at fish stores who either don't know much, are told to sell add-ons to anyone they can, or who like to have fish die so you buy more. If you have the properly sized and stocked tank, but the proper number of fish, maintain it, you will then not be back every week to buy new fish! That means less cash for them, unless they then can sell you more and more products to "fix" a problem (that in turn they have helped to create by telling you the wrong info...a continuous cycle of $$$$$$) Don't feel bad, there are a whole heap of us who have been tricked by the fish store sales folks! Not our fault that we believed someone who works at a fish store would know, and care, about fish...

I have read from many others that it will be way less of a struggle to get the right fish, rather than trying to fight mother nature. If you look through old posts you will see heaps of posts where they say that their fish is fine because he is little, then a month later asking for help because the little fish is not little anymore!
Look at this example http://badmanstropicalfish.com/discus/messages/231/62355.html#POST178140 to see the difference between what people are told, and what really happens...(look at Shari's picture!) I bet you have seen those little 1" guys at the pet store, look so cute...18", who knew! The folks on this site have both "book" knowledge, and the critters to back it up. I've found if you follow their advise, you will have great fishies!
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Randy
Regular Member
Username: milesteg

Post Number: 215
Registered: 01-2006


Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 10:48 am:       

Hi John,
Welcome to Badman's.
dan and cindy really do know what they are talking about. You local fish store seem to be way behind the times. Adding salt to freshwater fish tanks is what I was told to do 35 years ago. If you can get us those other test readings, that will help a lot.
If you go through a day without learning something new, you wasted it!
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dan
Moderator
Username: dan

Post Number: 6733
Registered: 01-2003


Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 10:52 am:       

They said it keeps the fish safer from diseases, cause it keeps the tank cleaner as well.

yah .. and did they tell how how the salt works such magic? trust us john, salt does nothing positive for diseases your fish don't have and for the most part, does nothing positive for diseases they do have.

adding salt to your tank is just not based on science. in fact, it goes against many of the principals of aquatic biology as we know them.

some folks believe that "salt helps fish regulate their osmotic balance" .. this is patently rediculous! all fish are different in this regard, depending on where they live. some species are native to "soft water/low dissolved solids" habitats while others inhabit hard and alkaline biotopes with high salt concentrations inherant in the water. the species inhabiting these very different environments have developed metabolic processes which take advantage of the specific chemistry of that water. to add salt in the misguided attempt to "help regulate osmotic balance" may actually upset that very balance you are erroneously trying to "help".

your fish are much better served by leaving them alone and allowing them to regulate their own osmotic balance ... something they have been doing without your help for thousands of years.

some folks will tell you that salt is a tonic for fish when it is kept in fish tanks at moderate levels. poppycock! If your fish are the most commonly kept community fish such as tetras, corys, angels, rasboras and most anabantids, these are fish largely from soft, acid, low-TDS (total dissolved solids) waters. the average tap water in the U.S and Europe is at least moderately hard and alkaline and is certainly not improved by increasing the "salt" concentration ... that very thing in which your water already differs most from the natural waters of these fish.

Certainly many of these fish adapt well to our local water conditions and I am an advocate of adapting non-breeding fish to local conditions. this is far better for both fish and keeper than constantly battling see-sawing water parameters. but, acclimation to your tap water is one thing .... making your water worse than it already is however, is quite another.

Then there's the prophylactic use of salt to avoid common pathogens and parasites of fish by keeping some level of salt in the tank ... more baloney. true, the use of salt, usually accompanied by increased temperature, is an effective treatment for one of the most common ectoparasite which beginning aquarists encounter ... Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, or Ich. however, only the free-swimming form of this parasite is treatable. neither the fish-embedded growth phase, nor the encysted multiplication stage that rests on or in the substrate is readily attacked by salt or any other medication. thus prophylactic treatment is useless as it makes little sense to treat a non-infected tank on a chronic basis. further, any treatment for parasitic infestation is a "medication" and thus the use of salt differs little from the use of any one of the other available Ick medications available at any LFS. the biggest difference in my opinion though, is that of all the medications available, salt is probably the least effective by comparison.

another falacy is the addition of NaCl for livebearers. these fish as a group are native to estuarine environments where the waters are likely to be hard and alkaline at least and may even be brackish. the addition of sodium chloride (i.e, "salt") does little to match these species native waters since salt comprises only a portion of the total "salt" concentration. the more significant elements are calcium, magnesium, potassium, boron and silicate salts. It's important to note that the term "salt" isn't limited to sodium chloride. Calcium and Magnesium salts of carbonate, silicate, phosphate and borate are actually more important to the biology of brackish water fish.

If your water is at least moderately hard (GH and KH 8-12) then the addition of some NaCl will do no harm. on the other hand if your water is soft and acid the addition of sodium salt will do little good. you need increased buffering capacity as much as the addition of minerals to the water and NaCl alone does absolutely nothing in this regard. you will need to add crushed coral or aragonite, both of which are primarily calcium carbonate salts, in addition to 'salt' as sodium chloride or better still, use marine salt mix which contains the whole range of cations and anions (positively and negatively charged ions, such as Na+, Ca ++; Cl-, CO3--) found in the sea. this will adequately buffer your water and more closely match the native waters of most live bearers in question.

salt does have other limited uses. It temporarily reduces the effect of nitrite toxicity at 0.1-0.3 % -- the chloride ion counteracting the nitrogen blockage of oxygen uptake. salt is useful for the erradication of hydra at 0.3-0.5 % for five days. salt will remove leeches from pond fish as a 3.0 % bath for 15 minutes. salt will mitigate the affects of ulcer disease in cold water fish as a 1.0 % addition to the tank water by temporarily reducing osmotic stress.

beyond these few 'uses of salt' ... it has no place in your aquarium.
you're never too old to have a happy childhood.
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John Vickerd
New Member
Username: johnnyv906

Post Number: 7
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 11:45 am:       

ok, im thinking the activness of the fish thati saw yesterday was due to the slight water change. the petsote says i need to do a 10% change every 30 day period. that doesnt sound right. since i added the chemical and salt to the water maybe i should do like a 75% water change when I get home from work to get that stuff out? what do u think?
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dan
Moderator
Username: dan

Post Number: 6734
Registered: 01-2003


Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 12:03 pm:       

10% change every 30 day period that's patently absurd john. 50 percent a week would be more like it.

these guys your asking questions of obviously don't know anything at all about the fish they sell.
you're never too old to have a happy childhood.
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Randy
Regular Member
Username: milesteg

Post Number: 218
Registered: 01-2006


Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 01:45 pm:       

A general practice of water changes is 25% - 40% water change every week, is what is usualy recomended. there are exceptions where you would want to do more but rarely less that 25%. In you case I would recomend 25% twice a week for the next month. I'll bet you a much improvement in the activity level in your fish. DON"T FORGET THE DECLORINATOR!!
If you go through a day without learning something new, you wasted it!
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Plazma
Regular Member
Username: plazma

Post Number: 101
Registered: 02-2006


Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 07:52 pm:       

As a general practice on a tank that has been cycled i do a water change once a week usually for me 25-30% ,some people prefer more water and more frequency but for this has worked.
Until your tank is cycled i would continue to water changes based on readings of your water daily if needed,Like if Ammonia is high Nitrite etc etc,
Did you purchase a test kit?at this point until your readings are stable i would be testing daily if needed and if you have your own kits no need to be running back and forth to the pet store where they talk you into things you dont need.I did mention about the store talking you into buying products you dont need like ph up or down.Its hard to find good advice but many of these people running the stores are there to make money the more things they can sell you the better.If your fish die then you also buy another etc etc not to say that these stores are doing this on purpose but its their job to make sales and some are quite uneducated while other people ive spoke to in stores are very helpful and knowledgable,
With some advice from here at least you'll know when the guy/gal in the store is feeding you a line.

Good Luck
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
Albert Einstein
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Michael Bryant
Advanced Member
Username: michaelb

Post Number: 2198
Registered: 07-2004


Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 08:09 pm:       

find another store John, the one you are frequenting will drive you to drink!!
Many seek advice, only the wise profit from it.
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John Vickerd
New Member
Username: johnnyv906

Post Number: 8
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Friday, March 24, 2006 - 09:48 am:       

lol, thanks everyone for all the help. Ive learned alot from this site already. I think the status on the fish is getting better. i did maybe a 60% water change and as soon as i did that he was active. even swimming up high. I couldnt believeit. he ate almost a whole frozen cube of bloodworm. I also am gonna go bac to the petsore after work and see if they'll buy the soouth amherican and pacu back.
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John Vickerd
New Member
Username: johnnyv906

Post Number: 9
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Friday, March 24, 2006 - 03:23 pm:       

lol, thanks everyone for all the help. Ive learned alot from this site already. I think the status on the fish is getting better. i did maybe a 60% water change and as soon as i did that he was active. even swimming up high. I couldnt believeit. he ate almost a whole frozen cube of bloodworm. I also am gonna go bac to the petsore after work and see if they'll buy the soouth amherican and pacu back.
Badman's Tropical Fish - Archives * Fish Health * I think i have a sick fish *PLEASE HELP*       

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