Help - cloudy water & fin rot (maybe) - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-20-2020, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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I need your collective wisdom. I have a couple of problems going on - not sure if they are related. I'll try to attach or link to a video if it helps. https://youtu.be/lTv8e4UMBRM

1) cloudy water: within 24 hours of a 50% water change out my tanks is cloudy. it looks like it has dust floating in it.
2) I have 1 neon with what I thought was fin rot but now another has a tail that looks a bit town up. Can you tell from the video if the bit white part on the tail is fin rot?

Tank specs:
48 gal
HOB filter with Bioballs and Siporax media with filter floss (no carbon)
Planted (cycled - 4yrs running): Water lily, Java plant, Amazon Sword, Pennywort, Glossostigma, moss ball, Anubias, and something that looks like little bananas (forgot to save the tag).

Water:
Nitrate - 0
Nitrite - 0
GH - 75 soft
Chlorine- 0
Alkalinity - 80 moderate
pH - 6.8

Tankmates:
7 neon tetras
2 adult Male platty
4 adult female platty
6 - 5 month old platty (4 female, 2 male)
2 Corey catfish (1 male and 1 female - lays eggs but never had any survival)
Dwarf bristle nose plecos:
1 male and 1 female breeding pair
2 females - 1 year old
8 - 4 month old
Bunch - under 1 month

Any suggestions or advice would be great!

Forgot to say, I treated fin rot for 1 week with no change in appearance.

Last edited by Darkblade48; 01-21-2020 at 02:07 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-20-2020, 05:30 PM
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It is extremely unusual that your tank is at 0 nitrates given how many fish you have and how old the tank is.
Is your water testing equipment old? have you recently tested for ammonia?

Looking at the haze in the tank, Im wondering if this is due to growth of heterotrophic bacteria after experiencing a mini cycle. This can happen even in well established tanks.

The neons look stressed- all of them. At points their mouths open wide and they appear to be gasping. One with the tail rot ( it does look like tail rot) has erosion of the mouth that is due to secondary bacteria. Most likely aeromonas bacteria.

Some questions:
How often do you change water on tank?
Vacuum substrate?
Maintenance filter?

Did you experience this cloudiness after treating for fin rot? Did you happen to use erythromycin?


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-22-2020, 10:51 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Discusluv View Post
Is your water testing equipment old? have you recently tested for ammonia?
I used both the quick test strips (6 way strip and separate ammonia strip) and the full test kit (API kit that has test tubes and chemicals). I didn't think it could expire but I'll run get new test materials today. Are there test systems you reccomend?

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Originally Posted by Discusluv View Post
The neons look stressed- all of them. At points their mouths open wide and they appear to be gasping. One with the tail rot ( it does look like tail rot) has erosion of the mouth that is due to secondary bacteria. Most likely aeromonas bacteria.
?
Gosh, that sounds horrible. 1 of the tetras had his 6th birthday with us in Nov 2019 (based on when he came home from LFS - not including how old he was at time of purchase). 3 of the neons are 5 years old and the others are 3 years old.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Discusluv View Post
.
Some questions:
How often do you change water on tank?
Vacuum substrate?
Maintenance filter?
A month ago we had a Huge infestation of snails. It started as 1 then, then a couple, then many. They came in on plant b/c I didn't quarantine the new plant as I had put corey catfish eggs in our quarantine tank (eggs are always eaten so we tried to grow them separately but failed).

We got assasin snails but they couldn't keep up ever with me removing snails daily. One day, after picking over 100 snails out of the tank (really, the kids counted), in frustration I decided to empty the tank/snails. I know - not a good decision!

The fish all went to different tanks and containers separated by species, same for each plant. Emptied tank completely and got rid of gravel - added sand. Yes - I know this was completely the wrong

Prior to a snail infestation:
Stable tank, everyone was healthy, cleaning routine was easy: weekly rinse of filter floss, tank rinsed biomedia, 1/3 water change every 4-6 weeks when I did a light vacuum the gravel (most was carpeted with baby dragon tears) . Chemistry testing was weekly when my kids record babies, plant and fish growth and behavior patterns. We used only Prime and 1 correct pH tablet at water change. It was a happy little ecosystem.

After the snail removal nuclear option (for past month):
Replace gravel with sand, added back fish, kept plants in different quarantine tanks and buckets for cleaning, slowly added in big leaf plants I could clean. The water chemistry was normal but 1 neon started to look bad. We were doing 50% water change weekly with filter floss rinse 2x week (I tank rinse my bio media too).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Discusluv View Post
.
Did you experience this cloudiness after treating for fin rot? Did you happen to use erythromycin?
Yes, all problems (cloudiness) were post snail tank change out when we treated for the "fin rot" (a week after snail/tank mistake I made). LFS said to treat with both Primafix and Melafix at same time followed by 60% water changes after 7 days. We never used erythromycin.
I've added API stress coat during and post snail disaster.

I'll go get a new chemistry set today!

Should I move neons (or everyone) to my quarantine tank?

Are they in pain?

Our bristlenose pleco momma does not appear to have laid eggs and she was due yesterday (based on past cycles).
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-22-2020, 05:25 PM
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This is most likely the issue:

Replace gravel with sand, added back fish, kept plants in different quarantine tanks and buckets for cleaning, slowly added in big leaf plants I could clean. The water chemistry was normal but 1 neon started to look bad. We were doing 50% water change weekly with filter floss rinse 2x week (I tank rinse my bio media too).


This points to a mini-cycle. After doing a substrate change, its best to not rely on water testing equipment alone to determine if water is safe for livestock. Instead, you treat your tank as though a mini-cycle in inevitable and do water changes daily for -- at least-- 48 hours as the beneficial bacteria rebuilds to match bio-load. You use testing equipment as an aide to determine where you are with water changes.

The cloudy water is an indication of a min i-cycle as well. It is the heterotropic bacteria rebuilding itself-- normal process in establishment of a nitrogen cycle or after a mini-cycle.

Ammonia and or nitrite toxicity does explain symptoms you are seeing. The results of this toxicity -- especially nitrite--are not just red gills and fin-rot; but, can also do damage to internal organs and neurological system.

Pimafix and melafix are very mild antiseptics. No match for ammonia/nitrite toxicity.

Yes, the water testing equipment does expire. they will have the dates of expiration on box. If dated I would get some new testing equipment.


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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-24-2020, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
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Update: You were right - my chemicals for testing were all reading my water parameters incorrectly. I'm doing water change outs now to get my water back to normal.

If they were being exposed to ammonia or nitrite toxicity - can they get better if I get the water healthy or are they just suffering? I'd hate to euthanize them but I don't want them to suffer if it is fatal.

Were my neons the canaries of my tank? My bristlenose plecos, platty, and corries all look/act normal. My platty gave birth today so we pulled the babies out. Should I move other fish (or everyone) out to a temporary tank and if so, for how long?
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-24-2020, 01:27 AM
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Do tests on water now and see if you are still showing traces of ammonia or nitrite. If you are, you need to do back to back water changes until both of those numbers are at 0. Then, do daily water changes until your bio-filter has been able to catch up on bio-load. Like I said, it may be a few days for it to get there.

The problem with it at this point is we dont know if exposed to ammonia, nitrite, or both. Or when this exposure occured. It was most likely 3-4 days after switchover- depending on bioload and tank size. With ammonia toxicity, metheleyne blue is a good choice to counteract damage-- up to a point, depends on severity.
With nitrite poisoning you want to use non-iodized salt to counteract damage-- again, help depending on severity.

If you have metheleyne blue or a product containing metheleyne blue- use it. But, dont use in main aquarium because kills beneficial bacteria. You can use it as a dip or bath in another aquarium. With salt, I would use a tsp per 5 gallons in aquarium to offset damage of nitrite toxicity. You could add much more ( a higher amount is recommended to combat nitrite toxicity) but fish like neon tetras are sensitive to salt. A low dose is better than nothing.

I see no reason yet to euthenize. Only if fish are laying on their side gasping or, of course, if you feel that it is time to do so. Clove oil is a good alternative for euthanization if it comes to that.


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