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Help needed fish dying.
3rd attempt at posting this!!

Hi all, I have a 200l tropical tank.  I currently have 1 clownnloach, 2 Cory, 2 catfish that are black & spotty & 3” king & no clue what they are , 1 Pleco, 3 neon, 4 spotted dollars & a neurotic silver shark.

Something is going horribly wrong in the tank.  I noticed when I lost a Pleco some weeks ago, since then I’ve lost 3 yo-yo & 2 corys & a 2nd Pleco..  The fish are flashing a little but rarely & not in last month!  I’ve noticed a few white patches on the mouths of my catfish, it’s not rot, or any fungi, it looks like the colour has gone from their mouths, but this disappeared again 2 days later & they look fine now!  Happiest thing in tank!
Now my 4 dollars have white mouth rot.  My shark hasn’t eaten for weeks, neither has my last Pleco.  The Pleco is pooping very long clear string.

The yo-yos died quite quickly & went very white & disintegrated into a cloudy mess, I’m not sure if this was just what happens when scaleless fish die? Only took 24h to break down!

The water is changed regularly, I’ve done a test & only thing that flagged was slightly high chlorine & usual very low ph.  Chlorine is weird as I use a good water purifier when I do water changes (Prime) & been doing for years! I’m not a novice!  The water purifier is in date & been used all year.  May be usingvtoo much as it’s hard to measure 1 drop /10l bucket, but I assumed more is better & certainly shouldn’t cause chlorine?

No new chemicals that I know.

I’ve noticed my remaining pleco which is very inactive atm is pooping white string only.  It has today developed a red sore on back.  This happened to last Pleco before it died . No sign of bloating or skinny fish, no sign of worms on fish.  Literally nothing visible.  Neons did have white patches around mouths so automatically thought fungus & treated with 3 day course of Esha 2000.  1 still has a spot & all 4 dollars still have mouth rot, although not got worse.

Just recently noticed really really tiny white worms on glass.  These are less than 1/2mm long & like a tiny hair!  There are a lot gathered around algae, but don’t look big enough for detriatus worms or round worm or plantaria?  I won’t be able to get a good photo as you can barely see them!

I’m at a loss what to do.  I’ve tried melefix with no result.  I’ve tried the Esha 2000 3 day course x 2.  I bought a general parasite med off amazon. But that says no scaleless fish & since it’s my catfish & clownnloach (& Pleco) I’m most worried about that’s not an option.

I’ve bought another parasite med which I’m using waterlife sterazin - says to dose days 1,3,6,8&10.  I’m on day 5, so thought a good day to do major water change & scrub everything??  I have the added nightmare that I’m off on holiday on Weds! So can’t do day 10! But there’s little change in aquarium & worms still present so not sure it’s working anyway?

I’ve added garlic & peas.

I’ve done a lot of water changes, tank is now full of garlic & peas & algae so need to scrub again!

I’m open to any suggestions pls.

Pleco not eating now . Feel I’m going to loose her next.

I’m so upset, lost so many fish in such a short time!

Hoping someone can suggest something!?  I’m in north devon UK & not got access to pet stores or large fish stores locally, just a small limited Lfs.  All my product purchases are usually amazon but I can travel at weekends if anyone has any ideas for a quick solution?

I’m aware I have big fish in my not big tank that’s not ideal!  We had to downsize 12m ago, but fish are my sons & he won’t let me rehome . All fish are 6+ years old & unlikely to grow anymore! Im not adding any more fish until these are all gone!  Hence the weird numbers of some!  I have a 1000l Eheim external filter so filtration isn’t an issue!

Thank you x
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Hi and welcome. So sorry you have to be here under horrible circumstances. As you’ve said in your post you are aware your tank is very overstocked. That makes me think this all started from a water quality issue. When all this began what were your test results for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and PH (also what are nitrate and ph from tap?) what have they continued to be whilst this has been going on. What was your maintenance schedule previous to the problems?

Fish will often be more susceptible to disease and infections when stressed so perhaps when you lost one of the fish it may have caused an ammonia spike which has started to send the others over the edge so to speak.

I’ve not used most of the meds you have mentioned (others will be able to advise on that)

How long are you going away for?
500L Sooperhooge Goldfish tank Smile
200L The Barbarium….Tiger barbs and a very grumpy BN plec
200L Marine Reef.....stocking in progress!
[-] The following 1 user Likes Cheltgirl's post:
  • Sturgcl1
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Hello S, and welcome!

I apologise in advance for being necessarily brief - I'm snatching a few moments between domestic stuff to give a quick-and-dirty initial response. I see Cheltgirl is currently reading your post, so she may well give a more complete reply in due course.

I'm guessing that if we were to ask what the ammonia concentration in the tank is, you wouldn't be able to say?  If I'm right then you do need, as a priority, to get yourself a liquid test kit for ammonia.  Without that information, I'm afraid you can't say whether or not filtration is, or is not, an issue.

When using Prime to treat small quantities of water, the amount to use is around 4 drops per litre.  There are usually about 15 drops per millilitre, if using something like a 5ml syringe to measure.

The symptoms you describe suggest to me a mix of bacterial infections - possibly Aeromonas spp., Pseudomonas spp and Flavobacterium.  These exist in most aquariums but fishes' immune systems cope with them unless the fish are otherwise stressed (or unless the pathogens prevail through sheer weight of numbers).  From your description, the numbers of individuals of some of each species could well be a stressor ; but more likely that the chief culprit is water quality.  Give us a run down of all the tank's physical and chemical parameters that you can? Can we have a pic or two, please (whole tank). 

Rehome the Clown Loach. Ignore son.

Little point in chucking in medications until you're very much more sure of the cause of the problem : can make things worse. 

Ignore the 'worms' for now.

Lots of small water changes (with correct use of Prime) until more is known.

Got to go - sorry.
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  • Sturgcl1
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Hello Claire and welcome to the forum

As suggested by Vale! a syringe is useful for measuring the small amount of Seachem Prime, either a 2ml or 5ml syringe, both available on ebay for about 99p.

Quote:I have a 1000l Eheim external filter so filtration isn’t an issue!

I assume the Eheim filter has a flow rate of 1000L/h.
Based on the potential size of some of the fish (clown loach, silver dollars, pleco, catfish) and if they are only half grown then you are likely under-filtered.

You need to get a liquid test kit such as the API Freshwater Master test kit. This measures pH, high pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. (available on Amazon).

Quote:I’m aware I have big fish in my not big tank that’s not ideal!
For the sake of the fish you do need to re-home some of the larger fish (clown loach, silver shark, silver dollars) as previously suggested.

The Clown loach will grow to around 14 inches and will require a 6 foot aquarium.
It is also gregarious and needs to be in a group of it's own species.

The Silver shark is another fish that will grow to around 14 inches and will require an aquarium of around 6-8 foot.
It is another fish species that needs to be in a group.

The Spotted Silver dollar will grow to around 6 inches.
It also prefers to be in a group and will require a tank measuring around 6 foot.

Please do not be offended by this reply or other replies, we only want to help.

All the best
[-] The following 1 user Likes Stephen's post:
  • Sturgcl1
Thanks given by: Sturgcl1

As above all advice here is golden, knowing your water stats will help and I'll also add what kind of decor do you have in tank, maybe even a picture? Some decor can rot for instance or some substrate or stones can have different effects on water value ect.

If you yoyo are anything like my dojo then the white stuff is more then likely heavy mucus /slime coating as something is clearly aggressing them very heavily.

- Migs
Thanks given by: Sturgcl1
Thanks everyone. I know fish are not ideal. My sons autistic so removing fish is a major issue. I’ve explained today how we need to rehome them as they will die if not & can get some smaller fish. He won’t budge on removing sharkey his favourite but the rest can be rehomed as soon as well enough! How do people rehome fish? Do I take to lfs?

The silver shark must be close to 7/8 yrs old. He was one of the 1st fish we bought. He’s about 8” long.

I’ve taken everything out to scrub today & noticed one of the catfish is chasing everyone about, it’s very aggressive - could this be the issue?

Stats are :

Nitrate 25
Nitrite 0
GH total hardness >4
KH carbonate hardness 0
Ph value <6
Chlorine 0
Carbon dioxide <15

This is after another water change. I’m sorry I didn’t keep stats from before the problem but I know chlorine was in the red, and Nitrate was higher in amber warning. I’ve always had a Seneye but we removed this when we swapped tanks a year ago. The nitrate would sometimes rise but everything else was always stable.

I don’t have an ammonia test kit, will get tomorrow.

I was doing 25% monthly water changes b4 the problem

Eheim is pumping at 1250/l/h sorry thought it was 1000.

Decor is plastic plants, a large log, smaller piece of driftwood, rocks & stones, flint caves & ceramic caves & a big plastic tunnel. All bought years ago.

I have fine black gravel sand in a 1cm layer.

Tank is infact 220l.

2 extra air stones.
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Can’t seem to add photos?
Thanks given by:
(12-10-2019, 04:10 PM)Sturgcl1 Wrote: Can’t seem to add photos?

Click the ‘imgur’ button on left, and select pic to post
Bikini Bottom - 168l
Bronze, Peppered  & Albino Cory, Black Widows, Cherry Barbs, Green Tiger Barb (rescues), Amanos.
The Kremlin - 58l 
Bronze Corys.
Thanks given by: Sturgcl1
[Image: ocRG7LPl.png][Image: ZXwWiLrl.jpg][Image: KfGDL04l.jpg][Image: fPjccl2l.jpg]
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(12-10-2019, 04:12 PM)Annie Wrote:
(12-10-2019, 04:10 PM)Sturgcl1 Wrote: Can’t seem to add photos?

Click the ‘imgur’ button on left, and select pic to post
Got it - thanks
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  • Annie
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Thanks everyone for your help - much appreciated. Ive posted a photo of pleco with sore spot, & one of empty tank. sorry abot quality of photos - only got an phone & no photographer Smile

Hopeing also someone can tell me what the catfish are - they were sold as upsidedown catfish & told they would remain small, but they are pretty big. they do skim the surface of the water upsidedown a lot, but they are very aggressive & am quite worried about them.
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Also just out of interest, you all mention the fish i have are going to get very large - how long do these fish live on average? I assumed since they are all between 6-8 yrs (except the cats) that they were fully grown?
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Clown loaches can be well over 25-30 years Smile
500L Sooperhooge Goldfish tank Smile
200L The Barbarium….Tiger barbs and a very grumpy BN plec
200L Marine Reef.....stocking in progress!
[-] The following 1 user Likes Cheltgirl's post:
  • Sturgcl1
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(12-10-2019, 04:38 PM)Cheltgirl Wrote: Clown loaches can be well over 25-30 years Smile
WOW! thats crazy! I just assumed they only lived a few years!

OK I spoke to my LFS (Maidenhead Aquatics) & they will retire my fish in their giant display tank which is great as ive explained to my son he can visit & they will be really happy.

Cant send them while they are sick tho so need to get them better.

I have found, cleaned & assembled my Seneye and it still works.  Will try & locate slides tomorrow.  This does the same as my strips but also measures Amonia and alerts me if anything is wrong with the stats, so will be good to keep this running - especially as I can get alerts while away & can get someone in to check.  If I cant get while out tomorrow then it will be Tuesday before i know stats!  I fly out Weds morning for 10 days so really hope to get tank stable before then.  Anything I can try???

Also I would like to know if I could keep 1 of the cats as I was told they would be fine for my 50 gal tank - will rehome 1 as they are fighting all the time but i do love them, they are beautiful fish.

Actually quite optomistic about this - ive hated having the spotted dollars as they literally eat everything i planted so had to resort to horrible plastic plants!  would love to go back to a nice community tank with guppys & attractive fish!

I originally got yoyos & clowns to control snail problem - what a mistake that was!

Thanks again to everyone - nice seeing some familiar faces on here - user to be on fish forum and Stephen said you all moved here.  Glad I found you all again x
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Rehoming is certainly the best option, glad you've been able to find somewhere so quickly. Unfortunately I don't think there will be a quick fix for them while still in your tank other than lots of water changes. When cleaning have you cleaned out the filter at all? How have you done that? (If you did) Without knowing if there has been an ammonia/nitrite spike (most likely) its hard to say how to progress. The fish may recover in time or they may not, it depends how badly they have been affected. If it was me I would be testing for ammonia and nitrite daily and water changing at least a couple of times a week to keep the tank super clean and hope the fish are strong enough to recover.

It looks like you're using test strips for your other levels. To put it bluntly, they're rubbish. Get a set of liquid tests such as API master test kit (not from a shop as expensive there, find one online), that will cover the basics. There are tests for GH and KH available too.

For the future, read read and read about any fish you like the look of. Always triple check what a shop tells you. With research and reading you won't go too far wrong. and can be very helpful Big Grin
500L Sooperhooge Goldfish tank Smile
200L The Barbarium….Tiger barbs and a very grumpy BN plec
200L Marine Reef.....stocking in progress!
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