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 Uh Oh... disease in tank

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DL Lawrence
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PostSubject: Uh Oh... disease in tank   Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:17 am

First topic message reminder :

Looks like one of my Oto's has a white spot on his back- around 2mm in diameter (which looks big on him, because he's only about 2.5cm long or so- he's not hanging out with his other three buddies, and acting a bit peculiar.  I also see some white stuff around the mouth of one of my Serpeas- both these fish were in a group of the newest stock added to the tank- is this a fungus?  Or Ich?  Thoughts and suggestions welcome...thanks!
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PostSubject: Re: Uh Oh... disease in tank   Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:34 am

Hi Deb-

Sorry for the delayed response. Somehow, I missed your post. Anyway, no, the Oto didn't make it- no remains found. Bum. I do see what you mean about them hiding, though- for a few days I thought I'd lost another, until a roll call one day, and there he was- back from vacation or whatever.

As an update and recap, I removed the sick Serpea, and began what turned into a three week treatment period of Mfix/Pfix treatment for the tank. Since then, I have seen no symptoms of any fungus on the livestock. Per ianjones, I have begun to feed them some live blackworms- Azalea sells them, in a portion (about 1 oz, maybe?) for a buck. The ones I bought looked good, and were definitely alive and black. I use them as kind of an occasional gourmet dinner for my fish. A portion works for me for about 4 feedings. Then, back to the usual diet. I have been attentive to not overfeeding.

As far as the UV Sterilizer goes, this has been an adventure. Can anyone say "you get what you pay for?". I did buy the Green Killing machine submersible 24W, and put it in my tank about a month ago, shortly after I posted I was going to try it. Actually, the difference was pretty fast, and quite noticeable. The water became much clearer in about a week, and my tank was pretty clean to begin with. It was pretty impressive, until I looked one day (after 2 weeks) and the LED indicating it was working was out- hmmm.....I called the US Distributor, AA Aquarium in Connecticut, and they were quick to send me a new bulb free of charge. When that didn't fix it, I called them again, and they sent me a new control box at no charge. When THAT didn't work, I returned the whole thing to Petco for an exchange, since I was still within my 45 day return period. This one seems to be working fine. In hindsight, I'd have done a lot more research on this particular one before I bought it- there's plenty of bad reviews out there which all describe the same issues I had. So- buyer beware. If it craps out again, I'm going to go with another one, which costs more, but has better reviews. I do like having one, if only for the clearer water. I guess I have no way to quantify the effect it may have on any biological fungus that may have been in the tank, other than the fish appear and act very healthy, with good color. I am concerned that my albino Corys seem to have big round bellies (?), but that's another thread.

This weekend, I changed inhabitants a bit. I wasn't quite into the Danios maniacally darting about after each other all the time- I have found I prefer shoaling fish that are more "laid back", shall we say. So I called Azalea, and they took them in for re-homing, and I added 10 rummy nose tetras, which are pretty cool little dudes. I dig the little packs of smaller fish casually hanging out and cruising about. I also changed my plants up a bit last weekend- just removed the ones with hair algae on them. Did not like that.

I'm hoping the tank is getting more mature and stabilized. It's now been running for 4 months. After my weekly WC, my numbers have been consistently- 0Am, 0 NO2 and 5-20 NO3. Right after a change, NO3 is under 5 or thereabouts, and a week later, prior to the change, it's usually 10-20. I'm usually changing about 40%. I hope this will keep everyone healthy. After a few weeks of testing, I'm comfortable with the hardness, so I stopped using bottled water. My untreated well water is testing right around 5-7 for both GH and KH. No adverse effects on livestock noticed.

I think the tank looks great now, I'll post an updated pic later today.

I was bummed that I wasn't able to make it to the meeting last weekend, and thank you folks in person for all the help- it just wasn't in the cards schedule-wise. Hope you all had a good time!

DL
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PostSubject: Re: Uh Oh... disease in tank   Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:11 pm

Sounds like you are diligent in the care of your fish and plants.

A school of rummy nose tetras is nothing short of cool. Also more hardy than neons and cardinals in my humble opinion.

Here is a link to an article on sterilization in case you are interested:

http://www.tfhdigital.com/tfh/201211/?pg=91&pm=2&u1=friend

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PostSubject: Re: Uh Oh... disease in tank   Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:05 am

Cool- Great link- thanks!
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PostSubject: Re: Uh Oh... disease in tank   Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:12 pm

OK, another update. Now, about 2 1/2 months after my original post, I think MAYBE I have this tank stabilized. But not without cost. None of the Rummy Nose made it. They were all gone within a week. Bummer. I then decided to not add anyone for a while, and went another week with Mela/Pima treatment. Everyone else in the tank looks fine. So, About 3 weeks ago, I added 8 Red-Eye Tetras, which have done very well to this day. About 2 weeks ago, one of the Serpeas showed the telltale white "saddlemark" on his back. The next day, he was dead. So- I did some more research on the Columnaris thing- there's a lot out there. I began a treatment of the tank with Maracyn. Per the instructions, I turned off the UV Sterilizer. I did the 5 day treatment, and then just before the water change, my testing showed a big spike in NO2. Not good. So, I did a few major water changes every other day for a week, and finally got the numbers back under control. I think maybe the Maracyn killed some of the good bacteria, and "broke" my biological filter. After the Maracyn adventure, I turned back on the sterilizer, and everyone left (5 Serpeas, 8 Red Eyes, 12 Neons, 5 Otos, and 4 Assassin snails) seems to be OK as of today. The water is crystal clear, and the tank looks great and runs good numbers. I had read where Columnaris can be "dormant" for a while, and then a stressed fish can get it again (i.e., even though you may think it's gone...it's still in there). I'm not sure if that's what happened with the last Serpea, but I suspect so. Short of breaking down the tank and starting over, I'm not sure what I can do. I have now decided not to add anyone else, though, for quite a while. This is because last week, I wanted something to help out the Otos with the algae on the rocks and driftwood, so I added a Pleco, who lasted......2 days. Another big bummer. So I'm not sure if I got a sick Pleco, or there's something in there that they just don't like. I've read that Otos are more of a challenge to keep, but the 5 in there seem to be doing great. The Neons are growing like weeds, and like the remaining Serpeas and the Red Eyes, seem to be thriving. I may try some more Mela/Pimafix treatment if anyone else gets sick, but I'm hoping that won't happen. I do go down to Azalea on the weekends and pickup some blackworms- which everyone loves, and hopefully helps keep their immune systems healthy. For now, I think I'll just not change anything (other than water, of course), and keep a close eye on everyone to see how things progress.
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PostSubject: Re: Uh Oh... disease in tank   Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:08 am

Here's the tank this morning....everyone looks good, and seems to be thriving.

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PostSubject: Re: Uh Oh... disease in tank   Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:17 am

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PostSubject: Re: Uh Oh... disease in tank   Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:55 am

I see an Oto on the left I believe. Smile Nice looking Swords.

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PostSubject: Re: Uh Oh... disease in tank   Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:50 pm

Beautiful tank! I wish my swords were looking that good. I also had to deal with columnaris when I first started my 40 gallon. It wiped out my first group of 6 cardinals pretty quickly. Since then, I prophylactically treat the tank with melafix/pimafix for a few days after each new addition and so far so good.
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PostSubject: Re: Uh Oh... disease in tank   Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:07 pm

Thanks, but I'll have to confess that the swords are brand new- I planted them yesterday before I took the picture- hopefully, they'lll do OK. I got them from AA on my weekend blackworm run. They were in the koi angel tank that was marked "display only". Apparently the "display only" pertains only to the fish. It pays to ask! I did a major cleaning this weekend during the WC, and took out the rocks and driftwood for a scrubbing, and got a real good vacuuming in on the gravel. I really wanted to put a Pleco in there to help out with the algae, but as I mentioned above, I don't think that's wise right now. I also removed some plants that had a bunch of BBA on them. Per gundog's suggestion, I'm going to change my light schedule up, and cut back on my ferts to see if I can slow the propagation of algae.
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PostSubject: Re: Uh Oh... disease in tank   Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:47 pm

Scrubbing your rocks and wood will remove beneficial bacteria and algae/little critters that your bottom feeders will munch on.

JMHO.

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PostSubject: Re: Uh Oh... disease in tank   Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:30 am

Thanks for the heads up! The bottom feeders I had in the tank (Corys) are now moved to another tank, and the Otos seem to pretty much just work on the glass and plants (and occastionally driftwood), so I'm hoping that everything will be cool- some of the rocks were getting pretty fuzzy, and I did not have success with a Pleco, so I'll keep a close eye on things.
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PostSubject: Re: Uh Oh... disease in tank   Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:05 am

What type of algae is it? Otos go after green algae and I think brown.

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PostSubject: Re: Uh Oh... disease in tank   Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:15 am

I believe it was regular green algae growing on the rocks, and some of the plants had BBA pretty bad. I took them out.
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PostSubject: Re: Uh Oh... disease in tank   Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:40 pm

@DL Lawrence wrote:
I'll have to confess that the swords are brand new- I planted them yesterday before I took the picture- hopefully, they'lll do OK. I got them from AA on my weekend blackworm run.

Good looking tank DL!

Azalea always seem to have LOTS of really nice Amazon Swords....


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