Neon tetra disease or nitrite poisoning? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-20-2013, 05:29 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Illinois
Posts: 20
Neon tetra disease or nitrite poisoning?

I bought a handful of rummy nose tetras to cycle my tank last week. Anyway about a couple days ago I noticed one of the fish had a pale body and his dorsal fin was missing, as if it was nipped. He would barely eat during feeding. When I got home from work today I noticed most of the fish were just hiding in my plants and either resting on the substrate or just floating in the current.

After googling I concluded that it is either from the stress of high ammonia/nitrites this past week or Neon Tetra disease. Is there any way to tell which one it actually is? If it is neon tetra disease, do I need to clean out my entire tank, filter, etc before I get more fish? (once the tank is fully cycled)
Ammonia: .25
Nitrite: off the chart
Nitrate: 40
FlipsideJohn is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-20-2013, 05:50 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
pantherspawn's Avatar
 
PTrader: (16/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Wildomar, Ca.
Posts: 587
I've never seen missing fins from neon tetra disease, it's usually a secondary disease that causes fin rot. Also, to my knowledge it generally has to be consumed to be transmitted, so infection of other fish would be later down the road. I could be wrong with that part though. Are all of your parameters reading normal or are the levels still spiked? Color from all fish will diminish if I'll or stressed, so the color loss isn't associated with just those two things. Also, neon tetra disease, usually eats away at the flesh, causing white muscle masses or deformed tissue.

55 gal heavy planted low tech south American tank
38 gal bow front live bearer tank
20 gal Marineland led brackish puffer tank
14 gal cf newly planted
10 gal Marineland led low tech low light
10 gal Marineland led qt tank
6 gal snail breeder
5 gal fluval chi dust collector
3 gal beta tank
pantherspawn is offline  
post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-20-2013, 06:00 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Illinois
Posts: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by pantherspawn View Post
I've never seen missing fins from neon tetra disease, it's usually a secondary disease that causes fin rot. Also, to my knowledge it generally has to be consumed to be transmitted, so infection of other fish would be later down the road. I could be wrong with that part though. Are all of your parameters reading normal or are the levels still spiked? Color from all fish will diminish if I'll or stressed, so the color loss isn't associated with just those two things. Also, neon tetra disease, usually eats away at the flesh, causing white muscle masses or deformed tissue.
I assumed the missing dorsal fin was from another fish nipping it. There was only 1 adult rummy nose and he seemed to bully the rest, especially during feeding. The readings I posted are current, earlier this week ammonia was in the 5-7ppm range, even with daily water changes. Currently most fish are more pale than usual, I'm hoping the fish are just stressed, and don't actually have NTD.
FlipsideJohn is offline  
 
post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-20-2013, 06:05 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
pantherspawn's Avatar
 
PTrader: (16/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Wildomar, Ca.
Posts: 587
I would chock it up to stress and unhealthy water. When doing water changes, how much are you switching out each day?

The fact you have nitrate readings so high is a good sign that the tank is mostly cycled and just trying to catch up to the bio load. A few large water changes should take everything down to zero and balance everything out. Unless the load you have in there is high. When doing water changes in cases of emergency like this with sick fish, I do water changes as follows. Drain 80% fill up to 50% again, the immediately drain again to 20% remaining, then again fill to 50%, drain to 20% then fill to normal. Each time you drain, you're only dropping levels by half. So that nitrate lvl goes 40/20/10 etc each time you drain and fill. Some people will say draining that much is stressful for the fish, but my seeing is that it's less stressful than living in toxic water.

55 gal heavy planted low tech south American tank
38 gal bow front live bearer tank
20 gal Marineland led brackish puffer tank
14 gal cf newly planted
10 gal Marineland led low tech low light
10 gal Marineland led qt tank
6 gal snail breeder
5 gal fluval chi dust collector
3 gal beta tank

Last edited by Darkblade48; 07-20-2013 at 10:17 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
pantherspawn is offline  
post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-20-2013, 06:14 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Illinois
Posts: 20
I think so as well because I had the fish for about a week now and none of them showed any signs of stress/disease until now. Between 25-50%, I use RO water so it takes about 45min-1hr to get a 5 gal bucket full. It depends on my work schedule and such. I was getting scared for the fish this past saturday so I ordered dr. tims nitrifying bacteria from amazon. Ammonia dropped around wednesday, so I thought I was almost in the clear... guess not /:

edit (in regards to your 2nd post): I started the cycle with 13 rummy nose tetras, so yea defintely a large bio load for a brand new tank. I can try your method but like I just said, my RO unit takes a long time to produce water and I have a 40 breeder. It'll take so long to drain to 20%, fill to 50%, repeat repeat, that I think the tank will be drained far too long to see a benefit
FlipsideJohn is offline  
post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-20-2013, 06:33 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
pantherspawn's Avatar
 
PTrader: (16/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Wildomar, Ca.
Posts: 587
With those numbers, your cycle is pretty much complete, it's just playing catch up on the bio load. Within the next few days you should see the nitrites drop dramatically and the nitrates rise. If you have a planted tank, the plants should take care of part of the nitrate spike, if not, you will again need to do water changes to get those numbers down as well. That's a lot of fish to start with, hopefully they make it without casualties. Water changes are the only way you're going to keep those numbers down. Buying any other additives in my opinion is a bad idea, best to just let nature take its course it's shown that it's doing what it's supposed to.

55 gal heavy planted low tech south American tank
38 gal bow front live bearer tank
20 gal Marineland led brackish puffer tank
14 gal cf newly planted
10 gal Marineland led low tech low light
10 gal Marineland led qt tank
6 gal snail breeder
5 gal fluval chi dust collector
3 gal beta tank
pantherspawn is offline  
post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-20-2013, 06:52 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Illinois
Posts: 20
So far no casualties, but the original fish I posted about (missing dorsal fin), is lying on his side. I'm hoping he can make a comeback but I doubt it,, he's been looking bad for a few days. I'm going on a hike tomorrow morning but when I get home I'll do a 50% water change, and then again sunday and monday. Hopefully that'll take care of most of the nitrites/nitrates.

Thanks for all the help, I greatly appreciate it
FlipsideJohn is offline  
post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-20-2013, 10:11 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
pantherspawn's Avatar
 
PTrader: (16/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Wildomar, Ca.
Posts: 587
Sure thing, hopefully it all works out for you. Really try to get those water changes in there, and keep us updated. Good luck.

55 gal heavy planted low tech south American tank
38 gal bow front live bearer tank
20 gal Marineland led brackish puffer tank
14 gal cf newly planted
10 gal Marineland led low tech low light
10 gal Marineland led qt tank
6 gal snail breeder
5 gal fluval chi dust collector
3 gal beta tank
pantherspawn is offline  
post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-21-2013, 06:01 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 11,721
Here is the fishless cycle.
Much safer!

Cycle: To grow the beneficial bacteria that remove ammonia and nitrite from the aquarium.

Fish-In Cycle: To expose fish to toxins while using them as the source of ammonia to grow nitrogen cycle bacteria. Exposure to ammonia burns the gills and other soft tissue, stresses the fish and lowers their immunity. Exposure to nitrite makes the blood unable to carry oxygen. Research methemglobinemia for details.

Fishless Cycle: The safe way to grow more bacteria, faster, in an aquarium, pond or riparium.

The method I give here was developed by 2 scientists who wanted to quickly grow enough bacteria to fully stock a tank all at one time, with no plants helping, and overstock it as is common with Rift Lake Cichlid tanks.

1a) Set up the tank and all the equipment. You can plant if you want. Include the proper dose of dechlorinator with the water.
Optimum water chemistry:
GH and KH above 3 German degrees of hardness. A lot harder is just fine.
pH above 7, and into the mid 8s is just fine.
Temperature in the upper 70s F (mid 20s C) is good. Higher is OK if the water is well aerated.
A trace of other minerals may help. Usually this comes in with the water, but if you have a pinch of KH2PO4, that may be helpful.
High oxygen level. Make sure the filter and power heads are running well. Plenty of water circulation.
No toxins in the tank. If you washed the tank, or any part of the system with any sort of cleanser, soap, detergent, bleach or anything else make sure it is well rinsed. Do not put your hands in the tank when you are wearing any sort of cosmetics, perfume or hand lotion. No fish medicines of any sort.
A trace of salt (sodium chloride) is OK, but not required.
This method of growing bacteria will work in a marine system, too. The species of bacteria are different.

1b) Optional: Add any source of the bacteria that you are growing to seed the tank. Cycled media from a healthy tank is good. Decor or some gravel from a cycled tank is OK. Live plants or plastic are OK. Bottled bacteria is great, but only if it contains Nitrospira species of bacteria. Read the label and do not waste your money on anything else.
At the time this was written the right species could be found in:
Dr. Tims One and Only
Tetra Safe Start
Microbe Lift Nite Out II
...and perhaps others.
You do not have to jump start the cycle. The right species of bacteria are all around, and will find the tank pretty fast.

2) Add ammonia until the test reads 5 ppm. This ammonia is the cheapest you can find. No surfactants, no perfumes. Read the fine print. This is often found at discount stores like Dollar Tree, or hardware stores like Ace. You could also use a dead shrimp form the grocery store, or fish food. Protein breaks down to become ammonia. You do not have good control over the ammonia level, though.
Some substrates release ammonia when they are submerged for the first time. Monitor the level and do enough water changes to keep the ammonia at the levels detailed below.

3) Test daily. For the first few days not much will happen, but the bacteria that remove ammonia are getting started. Finally the ammonia starts to drop. Add a little more, once a day, to test 5 ppm.

4) Test for nitrite. A day or so after the ammonia starts to drop the nitrite will show up. When it does allow the ammonia to drop to 3 ppm.

5) Test daily. Add ammonia to 3 ppm once a day. If the nitrite or ammonia go to 5 ppm do a water change to get these lower. The ammonia removing species and the nitrite removing species (Nitrospira) do not do well when the ammonia or nitrite are over 5 ppm.

6) When the ammonia and nitrite both hit zero 24 hours after you have added the ammonia the cycle is done. You can challenge the bacteria by adding a bit more than 3 ppm ammonia, and it should be able to handle that, too, within 24 hours.

7) Now test the nitrate. Probably sky high!
Do as big a water change as needed to lower the nitrate until it is safe for fish. Certainly well under 20, and a lot lower is better. This may call for more than one water change, and up to 100% water change is not a problem. Remember the dechlor!
If you will be stocking right away (within 24 hours) no need to add more ammonia. If stocking will be delayed keep feeding the bacteria by adding ammonia to 3 ppm once a day. You will need to do another water change right before adding the fish.
__________________________

Helpful hints:

A) You can run a fishless cycle in a bucket to grow bacteria on almost any filter media like bio balls, sponges, ceramic bio noodles, lava rock or Matala mats. Simply set up any sort of water circulation such as a fountain pump or air bubbler and add the media to the bucket. Follow the directions for the fishless cycle. When the cycle is done add the media to the filter. I have run a canister filter in a bucket and done the fishless cycle.

B) The nitrogen cycle bacteria will live under a wide range of conditions and bounce back from minor set backs. By following the set up suggestions in part 1b) you are setting up optimum conditions for fastest reproduction and growth.
GH and KH can be as low as 1 degree, but watch it! These bacteria use the carbon in carbonates, and if it is all used up (KH = 0) the bacteria may die off.
pH as low as 6.5 is OK, but by 6.0 the bacteria are not going to be doing very well. They are still there, and will recover pretty well when conditions get better.
Temperature almost to freezing is OK, but they must not freeze, and they are not very active at all. They do survive in a pond, but they are slow to warm up and get going in the spring. This is where you might need to grow some in a bucket in a warm place and supplement the pond population. Too warm is not good, either. Tropical or room temperature tank temperatures are best. (68 to 85*F or 20 to 28*C)
Moderate oxygen can be tolerated for a while. However, to remove lots of ammonia and nitrite these bacteria must have oxygen. They turn one into the other by adding oxygen. If you must stop running the filter for an hour or so, no problem. If longer, remove the media and keep it where it will get more oxygen.
Once the bacteria are established they can tolerate some fish medicines. This is because they live in a complex film called Bio film on all the surfaces in the filter and the tank. Medicines do not enter the bio film well.
These bacteria do not need to live under water. They do just fine in a humid location. They live in healthy garden soil, as well as wet locations.

C) Planted tanks may not tolerate 3 ppm or 5 ppm ammonia. It is possible to cycle the tank at lower levels of ammonia so the plants do not get ammonia burn. Add ammonia to only 1 ppm, but test twice a day, and add ammonia as needed to keep it at 1 ppm. The plants are also part of the bio filter, and you may be able to add the fish sooner, if the plants are thriving.
Diana is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome