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Fish are panting, among other things

Badmans Tropical Fish Message Center: General message area: Fish are panting, among other things


Friday, 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 are thriving.

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 it seemed.

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.



Friday, 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 heh).



Friday, 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!



Saturday, 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!



Saturday, 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.



Tuesday, 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 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 out.


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