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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ok, first a little history. Three weeks ago I bought a pleco for my tank. Currently, I just have one adult green severum in a 55 gallon. I quaranteened the pleco in a seperate tank for two weeks. At the end of the two weeks, there were no signs of disease so I put the pleco in with my severum. The very next day the pleco was dead, which made me concerned. I checked my water parameters and got: 6.0 PH, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 0 nitrates. The PH is a bit low, but severums are hardy fish and her tank is usually between 6.5 and 7 and she's been fine in that for 2 years. I changed the filter media and did a 25% water change. When I went to leave for the evening I fed her, but she didn't eat anything. I attributed it to stress from the dead fish and water change and left for the weekend.

Yesterday I came back to work and fed her, and she still wouldn't eat. This fish is usually so spunky and fiesty and full of personality, but yesterday morning she was just hanging out behind the tank decorations and was gulping like crazy. I checked the PH and it was still at 6. I did a 50% water change, added some aquarium salt and put a bubble stick in her tank to increase the oxygen. Yesterday evening I fed her again and she ate two pellets, which was definitely an improvement.

This morning I came in and she was at least swimming around, but she is still gulping and is back to not eating. I'm not sure what else to do at this point. She has no visible parasites, scrapes, abrasions, or anything that makes her look sick. Her only symptoms are gulping and not eating. Any ideas on what I can do for her? She is only 5 years old, so I should have another 5 years with her! Help!
 

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The pH could have been what killed the pleco. It is a bit low for them on the most part but it kind of depends on the type of pleco it was too. Yes the Severum could be stressed but with all the water changes and the time that has gone by that should be over. What is the temperature of your tank? Is it possible that your heater is not functioning properly? Sometimes temperature changes will do this to fish that are well established and the tests you have run would not tell you if your heater is malfunctioning only a thermometer that is totally dependable will do that. I had a heater and the digital thermometer go out at the same time one time and lost a beautiful betta due to excessive heat in the tank that I had no clue to until the fish died. Now I have a backup on all my tanks that may not be very scientific but will at least give me a clue if the temperature is rising (one of the stick one types).

Has any change occured in the water you use to change the water in your tank? Do you use tap water and if so when you drink it out of the tap does it taste or smell different? Our cities water supply was being "treated" one time and they did not bother to tell us as it was not something that would hurt humans but I chose that day to change a tank and lost all my fish in that tank as it was for some odd reason something the conditioner I used to dechlorinate the water would not handle. Sometimes odd and weird things happen to tanks and since you have no other fish and the only other fish that you brought into the tank died after being quarintined, it is doubtful that it brought any disease in with it. It could have done but doubtful. If you want to make sure, you can get a general cure and dose your fish according to directions but I hate the practice of medicating well fish.

I am at a loss and throwing out suggestions here but felt you may get some help from some of the dumb things that have happened to me over the years that can happen. You never know, maybe one of them is going to help your fish, but I do not know what else to tell you. Hopefully someone else will come along here and say "AHA" that is what happened and can let us both know. I am so sorry your fish is not well and I do hope that it does okay. Please do let us know how it comes out or how it is doing.

Rose
 

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Well, unfortunately I don't have a nice thermometer, I only have one of those stick-on-the outside ones, that I know are horribly inaccurate. That thermometer reads between 86 and 88, but I have the intank heater set to 79. I turned the heater down to 75 to see if that helps. I was hoping the bubble strip would also help cool the tank. When I did the water change, I used cool tap water and treated it with AquaLife Complete. I haven't noticed anything different about the tap water, but I wouldn't discount that theory. I could try a water change with spring water maybe? I hate to medicate a fish as well, but if it would help her I'll try it. She's just hanging out at the bottom gulping. She'll swim around for 5 minutes or so, then go back to the bottom. She's not hanging out at the top gulping, which makes me think it might not be an oxygen problem. Maybe I'll Coppersafe the tank, or use some quick cure.
 

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I would sooner use something milder and more generic in nature. Those are pretty specific medications, there is a better chance of hitting the problem with a lower temperature than what you specified and I have learned that the "setting" on a lot of the heaters is notoriously inaccurate too that is why I would sooner go with the temperature on one of the sticky thermometers than the heater even. The tank needs a good glass floating thermometer if nothing else and they are cheap but hard to read. But they tend to be accurate. The little digital thermometers are very accurate according to those that I have had experience with but need replacing about every year or at least the batteries do and after two batteries they tend to die anyway but $7.00 about is a cheap price to pay to save a fish or two that you love.

If you insist you want to try to medicate I would go with things that will treat a wide variety of things but not affect the fish much. There is a herbal remedy that could help called Fish Protector. Since your fish does not fall into the category that prohibits the use of Melafix or Pimafix they would perhaps be beneficial to the fish too and are not too hard on a fish even if they are not technically antibiotics. They are herbal preparations too and would sometimes be affective without causing a lot of trauma to the fish. They are an indespensible part of most aquarist's pharmacy anyway but just cannot be used with selected fish that are in the Anabantoid family and pencilfish. But your Severum will be fine to use it with and would be a good choice for treating it with little drugs being used.

Rose
 
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