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About 6 weeks ago I had a tank get Ich from a new Upside Down Catfish. I raised the temps, added some salt, but they kept getting worse. I hit the tank with Jungle's Ich Guard and they started to respond, a couple fish died though. After the second dose it cleared up even more, but then everything but the snails died. I did a 50% water change, pulled the media out of the filter and let the tank set for 10 days with only the 2 snails to make sure the Ich was all dead.

After the 10 days I did another 50% water change and put in new filter media before adding in a couple Gourami and another Upside Down Catfish. A week later we added a Black Finned Shark (catfish) and 2 more snails. About 8 days later the Shark died and we replaced it and added 2 Rainbow Sharks. Didn't think much about the Shark dieing. A week later we added another Black Finned Shark. One of the Sharks died 5 days later. It was replaced with a Rubber Lip Pleco. The Pleco only lasted 5 days. We replaced the Pleco and added a Clown Loach last week, after doing another 50% water change. I was starting to get a little concerned at this point, I have lost a couple new fish over the years, but it is pretty rare and never 3 in a row. So I have been watching them pretty closely now.

Tonight I started to think and realized it was only the catfish that are dieing. The Gourami, Rainbow sharks and snails seem to be fine. Although the Upside Down Catfish has survived so far as well. In each case, the fish appeared fine only a few hours before being found dead. Then low and behold the remaining Black Finned Shark started swimming funny tonight, just an hour after we feed them and he was very active while feeding. I dipped him out and dumped him in a bucket with water from my other, SUPER stable tank. An hour later he was dead.

I have been checking the water every week since the first fish died. PH has held steady at about 7.5, Ammonia and Nitrite levels have tested at 0, Nitrates are around 10, hence some algae blooms and the need for the Pleco. I haven't added any new salt since the initial Ich outbreak.

I know the Ich Guard wasn't the best choice initially for catfish, but shouldn't it be OK now after 2 new batches of charcoal and 3 50% water changes?? I am going to do another 50% change tomorrow.

The tank is 29 gallons and was well established (over 5yrs). When the Ich hit it had about 6 Severum that were about a year old and had a 3-4 yr old Pictus cat that died about a month before the Ich, when we moved the tank to a new room. The tank has about 2 inches of gravel, an under gravel filter and medium sized power head. There is also a Whisper Internal Filter and submersible heater.

I am racking my brains and can't figure out why we are losing the catfish suddenly after a week or so. Specially considering I have a 12yr old Spotted Raphael in another tank! Interestingly both tanks had the algae bloom like nuts about 1 month ago.

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Okay, first of all the ich. It needs a host to survive so if the tank was empty it should have died out but I honestly don't know if it could have survived via the two snails but in any case if ich was still a problem you would see the salt like spots on your fish.

I got a little lost as to how many fish died and what their symptoms were but the deaths may or may not be from the same things and it may be a coincidence that you've just lost catfish.

Since there's been an algae bloom and also since your tank went for a period of time where there were no fish in it I would first of all suspect a problem with the water quality. I know your test results came out good but I still think there could be a problem with the water or there was a problem with the water. Did you do anything to cycle the tank after it had gone without fish?

For now, wait on buying any more fish. For the next couple weeks continue with the frequent large partial water changes that you've been doing (make sure you're using a good quality dechlorinator--always important but especially so when you're doing large water changes). Do them daily or every other day and siphon the gravel thoroughly--those undergravel filters can cause a huge waste build up. Feed the fish sparingly during this time. Check your filter media and make sure there's not a build up of waste on it. If so, rinse it off in a bucket of tank water.
Watch all fish closely for any symptoms such as not eating, not swimming, gasping, growths, etc .

And another possibility here is just back luck :( New fish are always 'iffy' and you may just have gotten some that were borderline healthy to start and then the stress of a new tank with different water parameters put them over the edge. That happens.

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