I'd likely perform another water change if things don't improve by tomorrow.
You cycled with Stability? Did you ever see any nitrites then?
The ammonium could be a false positive if your tap water has chloramine in it.
Any physical abnormalities showing? Could be a toxin in the water, maybe something sprayed in the room. Difficult to diagnose.
We are currently doing a water change. I have always purchased RO water because our well has active iron in it and other bad stuff.
Yes, I started my cycle with Stability and I have never seen any nitrites.
Something I just noticed is that the fish do tend to breathe heavily.
Two weeks ago when I got the Aceis one was flipping sideways every once and a while and I asked the seller and he said it was stress from the shipping. He only did it some times. I'm not sure if he is the dead one or not. Two Aceis have died and one is just about gone. The others are normal except they dont come up to the glass and visit like normal and they dont really play or swim much.
The tank is covered really well. I rarely even loose much to evaporation. Dont think any thing got into the water unless it came from my hands. I did run my fingures through the sand to get the gas out. Not much came but a little.
All the Aceis are dying the same way. They are weak and upside down. every now and then they flip right side up and swim only to fall back down and go upside down. the bigger fish just sit there and dont swim much. I dont know what medication to give them. I dont know what to do. finished the water change and it has not helped. All water quality things seem right.
Sorry to hear about your losses...it has to be frustrating.
When is the last time you checked your pH? How large of a water change did you do? Is there a contaminate coming from the bucket/source you are using for water changes?
Right now, IMO, I would (the very least) turn your heater off. The fish will get more oxygen into their systems and they'll survive the gradual drop in temperature.
PH gets checked daily (three checks actually - Drop test, test strip, and one stuck to the glass) pH seems very stable at 7.4 - Did a 20 gallon water change and will do another in a few hours.
the water jugs I use are the 3 gallon type on a water cooler at work. they are capped and I rinse when I fill. I never put anything but the RO water I buy in them. I thought about treating the water in them but then I could never use for drinking water so I have not.
With no clear directiona and the deaths continue, I lowered the temp to 74, added aquarium salt at 1 tbl /5gal which seemed like a lot of salt (125 gal tank) and added a large air stone.
Only one small Acei left which did not look good but my daughter said to leave her in the tank. (Cant swim, upside down on the bottom) The next smallest is a yellow lab (fluffy) and she is getting weak now. she can barely swim and when she does her body is curved like a bannana and so she goes in a circle. sometimes she swims straight but mostly lays on the bottom. The larger ones show no sign of sinkness other than their actions. (dont swim, puffing for air, hiding)
My only guess is maybe someone had hand cream on when we sifted through the sand for gas. seems like a small issue for such a large tank but I dont know.
Okay, my smallest red zebra just tried to rub his side on the sandy bottom of my tank. He did it 3 times and is now back in the corner. I have not seen the other remaining fish do that yet. Does this help answer the what is going on question?
Lowered temp to 74
added large bubbler
added aquarium salt
several large water changes
added a bag of carbon/diamond mix
Flashing is normal to some extent bit it also could be an indicator of parasites. Do you see anything externally on the fish? Ick possibly?
Flashing could also be an indicator of poor water parameters (low pH, high nitrates, etc) but with all your water changes, I can't imagine that poor water quality would be an issue.
I would keep the temperature stable for now. You're getting more oxygen into their systems and that's one of the best things you can do for the time being. Once you start treating the tank, then I would turn the temp up. Also, lower the water level to create more surface agitation (if you're using any kind of powerhead or HOB filter)
How is their breathing? Any improvements since yesterday?
Well maybe I screwed up last night. I thought it could be ick so I changed the temp to 80 and raised it slowly. All the little fish have died. No deaths since adding salt. No change in their actions. Do I try to feed them?
Well finally some progress. I had added aquarium salt at the rate of 1Tbs/5gal and raised the temp to 80 degrees. I also added a large bubbler. My two XP4 were already providing rally great surface aggregation with their two spray bars. The fish are swimming like they used to and eating great. Only the larger fish survived. The two red zebras, the mix, and the lace catyfish. Our beloved yellow lab Fluffy did not make it. The small Aceis were the first to go. I have no idea what happened or why. The only thing new added was the 6 small Aceis from a private seller. They were added 14 days before things went south so I'm not sure if that was how it happened or it was something else. One came in rubbing his sides on the sand and when I asked the seller he said it was stress. So, I plan on cleaning all my decorations and putting them back it next week. I'll let the salt do its thing and start doing water changes again. I do see the zebraÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s rub the sand sometimes.
QUESTIONS: how long do I leave the salt in? (It will take a bunch of water changes.) When should I lower the temp back? (Is 76 okay?) Will the salt hurt my new bacteria cycle?
Thanks for your input.
Glad to hear they are doing better. Sorry to hear about the small fish. When they're gasping for breath like that, sometimes the best thing to do is lower the temp because the water is more oxygenated (university chemistry courses). But, you manged to save the larger fish, which is good.
Don't worry about changing the salt out. Just keep up with the 20% weekly water changes.
If they're doing okay with the higher temperature, I'd wait a few days. Consistent temp at 76 degrees is fine, lower temp =more oxygen, lower metabolism rate and less aggression.
I would caution against cleaning all the decorations. Since the tank has only been up a month, you could be killing you beneficial bacteria and that could set your tank into another mini-cycle.
Another note- if you can, get a small quarantine tank set-up.
(BTW- did you end up getting the nitro? Believe me when I say it's an excellent product to have on hand.)
DanniGirl, Thank for your help. Never got the Nitro, in fact I could not even find any more aquarium salt in town. (I live in a small town& used all the salt I had) I might try getting some incase I have more issues in the future. It's over an hour each way to get a Pet Smart or Petco. No specialty shops for two plus hours each way.
I took most of my decorations out when they first got sick. (Texas Holey Rock, plastic plants, shells, etc.) So any bacteria is toast anyway. I just did not know what was going on so I simplified as much as I could.
I do have a 20 gallon but not it was not setup nor was it even starting to be cycled, nor would all my fish fit in it. (Now they would).
Anyway, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll wait three days and do my next water change at which IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll lower my temp.
So the salt will not hurt my cycle???
You're welcome. I'm sorry the aceis and lab didn't make it. :?
Na- the bacteria will be fine. Keeping it simplified is the best. Personally, I refuse to medicate until necessary because (most of the time) it compounds the stress, especially if it's a water-related issue. From the symptoms you described, it lead me to believe it was a water issue/ poisioning.
I would just keep checking the water parameters to make sure the ammonia and nitrite stay at 0.
(Quarantine tank is for new fish so they won't introduce anything to the established tank. When I first go into this hobby, I learned that lesson the hard way. :x :roll: )