Thanks for all your help a few weeks back! I wanted to send you an update and a followup question.
Since I posted here's what I've done:
- 25% water changes every 3 days. A few hours after my most recent water change, nitrates were down to 15, the lowest they've been in over a year. My plan to to test 3 days from now to see how much they've risen, to see if I can shift to water changes every 4 days and gradually increase from there.
- Switched to NLS food plus Boyd's Vitachem daily.
- Treated with General Cure. Tried twice with a gelatin feed I made (I experimented with two different formulations), but they didn't seem to eat much of it, so I dosed directly into the water 3 more times, always 48 hours apart.
- Cut back the length the tank's light is on by 1 hour.
- Removed some algae manually (removing badly "infected" plant leaves, removing and scrubbing hardware that had a lot of algae).
The algae situation seems much improved. There have been no more fish deaths (just one in the last year, but that's what led me to post in the first place). One fish looked newly sick for a day (also, white poop for the first time!), but seemed to return to normal after the last two doses of General Cure.
However, one of my original concerns is unchanged: Some of our younger endlers look too thin (top to bottom), like they're missing the correct curve of the abdomens. These fish sometimes rest on the bottom substrate for long periods of time.
It seems to me these fish may have been born "deformed" in some way. None have died, but they don't look right or act like the others. They are a small percentage of all the endlers.
I guess maybe the best I can hope for is that now that the fish will be less stressed and healthier, there won't be more babies born like this?