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Old 02-05-2011, 03:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Fish staying at bottom

Hello,

Two of my fishes seems to have difficulty staying afloat. The red wag platy is at the bottom and the male guppy is on top of some plants. Both look like they have difficulty breathing. They have been opening and closing their mouth continuously. There are no white spots and the red wag's scales looks like it's sticking out? Not sure how to describe it. Kinda like when you stroke it against the grain.

Ammonia=0
Nitrite=0
Nitrate=10 It was about 40 two weeks ago then I did a water change and it went down to about 20 and I did another water change yesterday and it is down to about 10.

The other fishes looks OK. I am currently looking for a 20gal tank so I can quarantine them, but for now, they are all in the same tank.

Any suggestions why they are like that and how to treat it?

Thanks!
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Old 02-05-2011, 06:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fish staying at bottom

I'd like to hear responses to this as well - I've got a bloodfin tetra that is acting strange as well. Staying on the bottom near the corner of my QT, and the scales just above his face seem "roughed up" looking. Did a 50% PWC earlier, testing my water right now.

My initial guesses are: Maybe too much dechlorinator in the freshautolinker.com autolinking image water, and it's robbing the tank of oxygen, and maybe too little current in the tank (one measly little bubble stream used to power a bubble convection filter).

The other 2 in the tank with him seem fine, and the 3 in my main tank are schooling spectacularly. Bought them all from the same school at PetsMart, and inspected all six closely before buying them and taking them home.

Might go get some Stress Coat and Stress Zyme to dose the tank with and see if that helps. Looks like he might have just gotten roughed up somehow and needs some slime and enzymes to help him get comfy. Plus then I can ask out the cute checker girl I befriended the other night ;)

Edit:
Just did water testing, here's the results:
pH: 7.2
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 10 ppm
KH: 5 degrees
GH: 6 degrees
Phosphate: 0.25 ppm
Iron: 0.5 ppm
Copper: 0 ppm

Just dosed with a very small dosage of API Melafix (anti-bacterial) to nip any infections in the bud if that's what this is. All 3 fish are up and about (had to rescue one that freaked out while I was filling my test tubes and wedged himself under the filter), and their gill movements are fast, but that's because I just dosed the Melafix. Going to go get the Stress Coat and Zyme right now.
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Last edited by Gizmo : 02-05-2011 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 02-05-2011, 08:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fish staying at bottom

Roacan-It may be that your fish are stressed. Is that list of fish all in one 37 gallon tank? If so, it may be your issue. The fins sticking out could potentially be "dropsy". Its an infection and can be fatal. Most other people suggest quarantining the fish and medicating it.

Guyver-How long have your fish been in the tank? If the face looked a little injured, it could have run into something while being chased around. If the melafix seems to work, then it may have just needed some tlc. The bubble filter may not be enough flow and oxygen exchange so keep an eye on that tank in the mean time.
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Old 02-05-2011, 09:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fish staying at bottom

Fins that look like they are pineconing can be bad. Could be dropsy as mentioned. Red Wags tend to look that way sometimes in the ones I have had. Hard to say if it may br a problem, but if it is sitting on the bottom...... Your guppy could just be stressed.

Guy - I wouldn't dose zyme, stress coat, and melafix too close unless you can turnover a lot of water quickly. Too much stuff.
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Old 02-05-2011, 09:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fish staying at bottom

Agree with Jrman.. too many meds can be bad.. especially for your heathly fish in the tank if you dont quarantine.
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Old 02-05-2011, 09:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fish staying at bottom

Quote:
Originally Posted by phys View Post
Roacan-It may be that your fish are stressed. Is that list of fish all in one 37 gallon tank? If so, it may be your issue. The fins sticking out could potentially be "dropsy". Its an infection and can be fatal. Most other people suggest quarantining the fish and medicating it.
Yeah the fish are all in one tank. The babies were a recent addition. Did not know about stocking levels and how big some fishes grow when I started. Still in the planning stages for a bigger aquarium or I might just give up the pleco and the rainbow shark.

It is the scale that looks kinda ruffled. The fins looks fine and not clamped. I just notice on the guppy that its scale on top is the same thing. On my tank, I have a lot of plants and I have an air bubbler so I think oxygen is not an issue.

I am not sure but I think I saw the guppy have a long white stringy poop a couple of days ago.
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Old 02-05-2011, 10:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fish staying at bottom

Sorry, I meant the scales poking out may be signs of "dropsy". I inadvertantly said fins.
You may want to purchase a small 10-20 gallon tank to house some of the fish until you get a larger tank to relieve some stress from the fish. If your current tank is cycled, you can swap some filters, wood, etc. to help the cycling for the smaller one. You could put the mollys in there since there are so many. Just a suggestion though. Good luck!
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Old 02-05-2011, 10:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fish staying at bottom

Quote:
Originally Posted by gtm2007@yahoo.com View Post
KH: 5 degrees
GH: 6 degrees
Phosphate: 0.25 ppm
Iron: 0.5 ppm
Copper: 0 ppm
Hi,

What do you use for testing the KH and GH? Do we need to test for phosphate, iron, and copper too?
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Old 02-05-2011, 10:47 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fish staying at bottom

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Originally Posted by roacan View Post
What do you use for testing the KH and GH? Do we need to test for phosphate, iron, and copper too?
I use API's kits for KH, GH, Phosphate, and Copper found at petmountain.com, and I use a Seachem kit for iron. No need for the phosphate or iron unless you're dosing fertilizers for live plants, and no need for copper unless you're keeping invertebrates like shrimp and snails, but I really think water alkalinity (KH, or carbonate hardness) and hardness (GH) play a role in fish health.

I added 1.5 mL Melafix and 1 mL Stress Coat (didn't add the zyme as all it said was that it screws with my biological filter, which is already firmly in place). The fish now seem happy. The light is turned off, but I can see them swimming around and very calm. No more resting on the bottom or swimming funny, however it is too dark to see if the scales on the top of the one fish's head are looking better. Gonna plug my bubbler in and run it 24/7 to supply the pittance of current it maintains.

The fish have been in the tanks 24 hours now. 3 in my main tank, 3 in my QT tank. The main tank guys are rolling in clover, it's just the one in my QT that I am worried about.
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Old 02-05-2011, 10:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fish staying at bottom

Did a search on dropsy and it describes what I am observing on both fishes.
Hopefully it is not caused by bacterial infection so the other fish wont get infected as well.

I'll try to get a qt tank. My old 1gal qt tank has a bunch of plants that I quarantine before I would add to my main tank.

When I get the 20gal qt tank, I believe it would become a guppy/molly tank after
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Old 02-06-2011, 07:40 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fish staying at bottom

Fish with scales sticking out rarely, if ever, recover I'm afraid :(. Dropsy is a symptom rather than a disease and is a sign of organ failure. It can be caused by many different things, most often shows up when there are water quality issues(but not always), so make sure there are no other problems with your tank. It can be caused by an infection which is contagious but often only affects isolated fish.
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Old 02-06-2011, 09:39 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fish staying at bottom

Red wag platy is still at the bottom looking bloated and pine coning.
I can't find the guppy. If he dies, would the ghost and wood shrimps eat him? It's hard trying to find him with all the plants in the tank.

My ammonia and nitrites are 0 and has not change since it became 0.
My nitrate went up to over 80 I think about 3 weeks ago even when I was doing about 15% weekly water changes so I doubled it to 30% and it is now down to 5 or 10ppm. I have not added anything to the tank so I am guessing the high nitrates might have caused this?

If I put the platy in the same 1gal tank that I am using to quarantine some plants, would it transfer whatever it has to the plants and re-infect my other fish once I move the plants to the main tank?
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Old 02-06-2011, 10:38 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fish staying at bottom

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If I put the platy in the same 1gal tank that I am using to quarantine some plants, would it transfer whatever it has to the plants and re-infect my other fish once I move the plants to the main tank?
Possibly but most infections die with out a host so if the fish dies/ gets better just leave the plants on their own for a little more time and it should be safe. It is going to cause less danger than leaving him in the tank. It may not be infectious at all of course.
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Old 02-06-2011, 10:43 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fish staying at bottom

You might also consider euthanasia at this point. If his scales are really sticking out like a pine cone there is little if any chance of recovery, it might take him a while to die but I think he will. :(

If it still does not seem advanced you can try treating for constipation or internal bacterial infection but I think it's a long shot.
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Old 02-06-2011, 02:44 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fish staying at bottom

I captured the red wag platy and place it in a half gallon pitcher. I have maracyn 2 and it said that it treats dropsy too. So I treated the red wag.

Since 1 packet for 5 gal, that would be 1/10 of a packet for 1/2 gal.
I placed the packet in 100ml water and used 10ml. What do you do with the rest of the maracyn 2? Is it ok to leave it at room temperaturer or should I put in in the fridge or should I throw it away and use a new one everyday?

I did another 30% water change today and I still can't find the guppy.
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Old 02-06-2011, 04:07 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fish staying at bottom

If you cant find the guppy, make sure to check your ammonia and nitrite levels for the next week or two to make sure the decomposing body isnt raising them. Also, keep close watch on your other fish in case they start getting sick from the bacteria associated with it. Some of your other fish may have eaten the guppy, i think the swords are carnivorours so they may have.
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Old 02-06-2011, 08:51 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fish staying at bottom

This morning when I woke up my bloodfin tetra was on the bottom of the tank on his side, still breathing, but not moving. Waited to see if he would improve till tonight, then put him down and went and got him replaced (3 days after the purchase). New replacement is doing just fine.

I really dislike losing fish.
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