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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys I am kind of stumped here and figured Id ask for some advice. My tank is usually pretty healthy but every now and then it seems like I get an outbreak of something where I lose a fish or two. Tank is a 26gal bowfront put up for over 2 years always heavily stocked recently moderately planted as well. Tankmates are the algae cleanup crew of some Otos, nerite snails, and bushynose plecos. The scavenger cleaup crew of syno petrocola or luccipinnis I am not sure but thinking luccipinnis due to adult size of 3inches or so. Fish include school of cyps (unita) and some tetras, 2 leftover cycle rainbowfish, a baby firemouth growing out, and some small danios. I know it is heavily stocked but it is also heavily filtered.
Water- pH-8.0 kH-ranges from 8-12, ammonia and nitrite 0, gH untested, nitrate unknown( being colorblind makes it difficult but its somewhere between 40-80 I would guess trying to read the result.
Problem started with a cyp that seemed like she was wasting, fshe did pass and is the first adult cyp I have lost in approx 2 years!! *** lost wigglers and juvies left and right but never adults! There is also a male that looks to be going through that hole chases food spits it out thing but the belly is not distended at all, if anything the belly looks normal but the body looks sunken in behind it. Also on an Emperor tetra there looked to be a case os some kind of bloat, dropsy, not sure but he stopped eating got real fat and started to get that pinecone look. Swam jsut fien was a pain in the rear to catch but after catching I decided to dissect to see what I would find. Using very poor dissection technique I pulled out a HUGE INFLATED AIRSAC THING! I cant tell if the organs were enlarged or if there was ascites because I am not used to cutting my fish open! But I have only seen an airsac inflated once and it was after catching a deepsea grouper and pulling it up 100feet in onyl a few minutes. Do you think this is what was killing the fish and causing obstructions and bloating? If so this isnt a disease where I need to worry about the spread to other fish right jsut some kind of swim bladder issue?
 

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Nitrates between 40-80 is high. I'd up your water changes, aim for less than 40 at all times. Less than 20 is even better. Search the site, there is good research that has been discussed - basically, it showed that any more than 20 ppm nitrates and you can see it in the fish's physiology. Traders who keep fish alive for us to eat keep it less than 40, traders who raise successive generations for us to eat keep it at less than 20. This could very well, over time, stress your fish leading to occasional deaths, shortened lifespans and it could have contributed to your fishy.

As for your funny swim bladder, I really don't know. The above advice should help curb that occasional outbreak of something-or-another, though
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yea I have been pretty lax with WC the past year or so life got busy. The nitrates dropped to under 20 with 20 60% WC a day apart and I tested the tap just tp make sure it was 0 and it is. We will see how long it stays low I know they climb very fast sometimes if theres a source hidden somewhere. I did add Carbon to the filter for the first time since setup, I usually dont use any chemical media because I dont want it to absorb all the nutrients on the plants.
 

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Sunken body or belly for a fish that otherwise acts and eats normally suggests an internal parasite.
Bloated or pine-cone shaped fish suggests either an obstruction or possibly late stages of bloat. If bloat, the initial symptoms should have been fairly easy to observe, such as eating and spitting food, or more commonly, not eating at all, combined with or followed by thread like white feces.
If the bloated fish was still eating while bloated, it wasn't bloat but more likely an internal obstruction of some kind, perhaps a review of feeding habits and food used could be helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I use mostly NLS grow pellets, NLS flake with garlic, and a spirulina flake mixture occasionally as well. I do tend to overfeed I think and htat might be my weakness, he ate just fine and then one day just stopped. The tetra showed no signs of any illness accept being huge one day with scales sticking out and stopped eating abruptly.
 
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