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Fish are panting, among other things
Badmans Tropical Fish Message Center:
General message area: Fish are panting, among other things
April 19, 2002 - 12:42 am
I now feel like a complete idiot. Ive read through the site
here to find out how to fix the problems I am having, and
it seems as though every ailment and every problem that
can go wrong with a fishtank, is going wrong with mine.
Yet I cannot figure out what I am doing wrong. Then I read
things here and how to fix things, and I am now thinking
I am getting information overload or something (or maybe
its my pregnant brain?!?! they say you get a little 'dense'
with pregnancy, can i blame that?! lol) Whatever the
reason, I am upset I am messing up so bad.
First thing, 2 of my fish died. I had 4 convict cichlids(2black
2 pink) now only have one of each. Still have 2 oscars,
1 Red Devil and 2 Plecos. When the first one died, I checked
the ammonia level. It was extremely high. Then I checked
the ammonia level in my tap water: just as high I am sorry
to say. I don't know why? Isnt ammonia from waste? I
know I have alot of chlorine in my tap, but ammonia? and
btw, my ammonia level was high in my tank from BEFORE I
even got the fish, and the associate at the LPT was surprised
that I didn't have any other fish in the tank yet. She
said (before I found this site of course) they would
be fine. This was over 2 months ago, and although I do all
that I knw to do to decrease it, its not helping. I am not
overfeeding anymore. My 2 pink convicts once again had fry
before that first fish died, and when I went to look at
them, I noticed the father fish looked like he had white
'funk' on him, yet you had to look close to see
it. I dont think ick, doesnt seem to fit the description
of what I've read. It almost looked crusty, and was
all over his body, except his head and by his tail fin.
A few hours later, I checked on him again, and he was dead.
All the fry were gone. Very upsetting about this male fish,
he was beautiful and very interesting to watch. And about
the fry, maybe the mother ate them? Last time they had babies
they took such great care of them. They are all still doing
well in a smaller tank, growing pretty quickly and are seemingly
quite healthy. They are about a month old now, and although
not all survived (some 'disappeared' the first
week), about 25 of them have survived the month, and
I have a 75 gallon tank. I use the Aqua Clear filter with
the carbon insert, and also the ammonia remover insert.
I have been using stress coat and stress zyme. I have used
a detoxifier for the ammonia. I am doing bi-monthly water
changes, and lately more often than that. And I've been
changing the water 3/4 of the way down because I had to
Now the problem now is my other fish aren't looking
good. They are sluggish, keep opening and closing their
mouths, their coloring is pale, the 2 remaining convicts
and 1 of the oscars look as though their tail fins are jaggedy.
There is none of that white 'funk' on these fish
though. I did a water change again yesterday and no difference
in the fish.
What is going on? Any ideas? And I have read you should
treat the water before putting it into the tank, but how
is that possible? I hook the hose right to my sink? Is this
why? Because I am not treating the water first? How can
I possibly treat the water 1st? Its a 75 gallon tank, I'd
have to have 50 buckets of water?
Please help. And sorry to be such a pain in the butt. I
feel like I come in here too often. Maybe I am not cut out
for this hobby, but want to be. I love it and am trying
to do the right thing.
April 19, 2002 - 01:40 am
Jen, I know I can't help you too much, but I also add
the water directly to my 80 gallon tank with no problems.
As it is filling though I use Prime by Seachem. I don't
add it all at once, but 1 mL at a time. Are you dechlorinating
as you go? Sorry I can't help with the sick fish. Maybe
Joyce or Pandora would know. Hope your tank gets better.
And yes, you get to use the pregnant excuse for everything
and it will get you off the hook in every case (heh
April 19, 2002 - 08:35 pm
If you are adding tap water with a hose you still have to
use dechlorinator. I use my python to fill my African tank
and first put in enough dechlorinator for about 15 gallons
of water(the amt I usually replace). Chlorine in
your tap water can indeed kill your fish! I don't remember
how long this tank had been set up, but I can tell you that
it's a bit small for all the fish you were keeping.
Oscars are very messy fish and one pair in a 75 will put
enough fish waste(poo) in your water, that I'd
be hesitant to add any fish other than possibly a pleco.
These fish really get huge ....about the size of a dinner
place and eat a lot of food! If you are seeing whitish ragged
fins, treat with a broad spectrum antibiotic ie Kanamycin.
Be sure to take the carbon out of the filter when you medicate(carbon
will absorb meds).Make sure your ammonia test kit isn't
outdated. Also I would recommend a better filtering system
if you wish to keep Oscars. I have a Eheim filter and a
Magnum HOB biowheel running on my 75 gallon tank. The aquaclear
works great for small tetra,barbs,gourami and angelfish,
but for messy fish or heavy fish loads I would go with either
a biowheel or cannister filter!
April 20, 2002 - 10:09 am
Thx for the advice! i am on my way out to a confirmationfor
my cuz, just checked the posts quick and saw both responses.
sorry to be so quick! thx :-) i appreciate it!
April 20, 2002 - 09:24 pm
The only thing i would add is do your water changes more
often. Bi-monthly is a long time without a water change,
especialy since the fish you're keeping can get messy,
and large. At the least, you should change around a quarter
to half the water once if not twice a month. The filter
can only handle so much, and the waste that can build up
over two months is probably too much to handle.
April 23, 2002 - 11:31 pm
Jen, I am not an expert, but through my own experiences,
ammonia will torture a fish and cause all kinds of diseases
that you will not be able to cure as long as you have ammonia
in your tank. What I would recommend doing is a 20% to 25%
water change everyday or at least every other day no matter
what just to detoxify your ammonia. I would definitely invest
in a Marineland bio- filter to store your good bacteria
and produce more oxygen. Marineland just put out a filter
just for 55 gallon tanks to 135 gallon tanks it pumps 600
GPH and has a bio wheel. I usually shop at www.thatfishplace.com
because they have the best prices cheaper than any pet store.
I have seen this filter advertised in fish hobbiest magizines,
but I don't know the exact name of it. As far as your
water changes go, I would never put water into my tank without
putting dechlorinator in it first. I recommend a steady
use of Stress Coat for water changes and for any time you
add new fish to your tank or when injuries occur. Stress
Coat will take out the cholrine and any chemicals in the
water. I would also recommend putting ammo-chips in your
filter to take out any ammonia, and if you have an underground
filter to put ammonia filters in rather than charcol filters.
You can also buy a product called Amquel which instead of
using Stress Coat to detoxify your tank water you can use
this because it removes ammonia which makes more sense since
it is coming directly out of your tap water which is weird.
You need to test your ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates at
least once a week, all your levels should always read zero,
and if they don't do a 25% water change everyday if
you have to until they go down to zero again. I would test
your ammonia everyday being that you are having such a problem
with it. Keep adding the Stress Zyme or another product
called Cycle once a week, so you can keep your good bacteria
good. Make sure to change your filter cartriges and udergravel
filter cartriges once every three to four weeks, and being
that you have fish in your tank that excrete a lot of waste,
I'd recommend vacuuming your gravel twice a week if
you have to. It's important that when you vacuum your
gravel to move up and down with it, almost as if you were
plunging it. Don't stir the gravel or mix it up with
the vacuum because you don't want to remove your good
bacteria that lives in the gravel. As far as you hooking
up a hose to your sink to fill up your tank, I would go
to walmart and buy three mop buckets by sterlite products(they
are only a couple of dollars each) and run your hose
into the buckets add your decholorinator in the buckets
and dump the water into your tank. You could buy a Python
hose instead of a garden hose which is used to siphen the
water from your tank right to your sink and then you can
use it to fill your buckets with water. I hope I have been
helpful. I know what it feels like to keep losing fish and
watching them suffer and gasp for air at the surface, but
now you know that the heavy breathing is lack of oxygen
do to high ammonia and stress. Let me know how it turns