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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have 55 gal. tank stocked with 2 brichardi, 4 juvenile leleupi, and 1 bristlenose pleco. The tank has been set up for a little over 2 months and includes rock work, some java fern and a pothos plant growing out of the top. Water is heated to between 78 and 79, and I'm running 2 eheim classic cannister filters (rated for 60 gal. each). Ammonia is between 0-.25ppm, nitrate and nitrite are 0, GH is about 150ppm, kH between 120-180, and pH is between 8 -8.2.

All of the fish were quarantined and precautionary meds were used during quarantine. None of the fish act sick, all are eating and actively setting up little territories around the tank. However, I recently noticed 1 of the brichardi has about 8 pin size holes in its head. They look almost identical to the nares, but are randomly located around the head. They do not appear to be infected and the fish is not flashing or otherwise acting funny. I suspect the fish came home from the store with these pinholes but I am not 100% certain about that. I have been monitoring for a few weeks and there doesn't seem to be any change in size or number of holes. Additionally, possibly unrelated, both Brichardi are developing dark gray splotches on their light grey bodies.

I'm thinking the pinholes could be scars from a prior disease but would greatly appreciate any other suggestions. One of the pictures I will try to post make the holes look like ich (possibly due to the camera flash) but these are definitely not ich nodules. They are holes and very similar to the size and shape of the nares.

If you have any theories about the development of dark grey splotches, I would greatly appreciate your thoughts. Thank you
 

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How was the tank cycled? Showing ammonia and 0 nitrates makes me think the tank isn't completely cycled, which can cause harm to fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It was cycled by bringing over a mature canister filter from an existing tank. And, I added some beneficial bacteria supplements. This was in place for about 1 Assuming you are correct that it is not 100% cycled, do you have any suggestions? I do a 20% water change weekly.
 

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You should have a nitrate reading if the beneficial organisms are healthy (if the tank is cycled). Are you shaking the bottle and test tubes long and hard enough according to the directions?
 

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Don't bother with the strips.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Tested water again, ammonia is between 0 and .25. I think it's zero, but may be slightly above 0. Nitrite is zero. Nitrate is between 0 and 5 ppm, but is probably just slightly above 0. I would post a picture but the color on the API test tubes doesn't come thru in the photo.
 
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