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Discussion Starter #1
One of my flame tetras has dark spots behind its gills that have never been
there before and aren't on any of the other fish. They are in the same
location on each side, and they look rather like ulcers. One is more pink
than the others which are very dark.

Fish skin spots pictures, photos, and videos, from friends & fun on webshots

Fish had a serious issue with letting me photograph both sides.

I put two slightly impure gneiss rocks from the family house in the Southern
Adirondacks in the tank two days ago in place of the two sick looking rusty
white quartz, so I checked all the water parameters carefully. They all
appear to be fine.

Ammonia - as close to 0 as I've ever seen it. The color was actually
yellow.

Nitrites - 0. As usual. It has always taken an Act of God for the
nitrites to rise in my tank, and a new bottle of test solution made no
difference.
Nitrates between 5 and 10.

GH between 8 and 9, as usual - compared to between 7 and 8 for the tap
water. (They seriously soften the tap water here.)

KH 3, as usual, compared to 4 for the tap water.

pH pretty much normal, but I was getting consistently inconsistent results
with my high range, normal range and wide range test solutions, and,
strangely, the newly prepared water in the bucket that's had air bubbled
through it was much lower ph than usual. I dumped it out on the lawn; Lord
knows what's up with that. pH of teh water out of the tap actually varies
between 9.0 and 8.4. When I tested it, the high range showed between 8,4
and 9.0 and definitely under 9.0, and the wide range showed atleast 9.0.

I scrubbed the rocks with dish washer detergent, soaked them in chlorox,
scrubbed them with bleach scouring powder, and then boiled them, before
putting them in the tank. My sister picked them up outside the house, and
not from a body of water.

Yours,
Dora Smith
Austin, TX
[email protected]
 

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Hmm.. the flame tetras can get two black markings behind the gills, its natural for the species to have some color there eventually. How long have you had them? This could perhaps be something natural and not to worry about.. although on yours the coloration seems a little low on the body.. I wonder how it will progress.
 

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Rock will not release the residue of cleaning solutions easily and chlorine not at all. This is why the recommended method for disinfection of rock and gravel involves heat instead of chemicals. It could be that the tank was contaminated but this was probably not the only thing wrong. But please be aware that you cannot use chlorine bleach on stone or gravel as it leeches into the pores of the material and is not neutralized and when you put it into the tank it will cause a release of the chlorine into the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Folks, the fish is long dead, and autopsied, see other post about it - but then you won't, because you're obsessed with the rocks. The experts think it was a bacterial infection or terminal indigestion, and this stupid debate about the rocks did nothing but delay treatment of the fish.

Yours,
Dora Smith
 
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