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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a new aquarium, about 3 weeks old. My daughter persuaded her mother to get a betta. They came home with the fish and a 1 gal bowl with light. The water got so foul we were doing water changes every other day. We decided to upgrade to an aquarium. We ended up with a 55g. Set it up 3 weeks ago. Put the betta in after 24 hours. I've been monitoring with a test kit every other day looking for ammonia. Finally started to get some a few days ago, but not enough to register .25ppm. Just barely a color change above 0.

We bought 8 black phantom tetras Friday to try to jumpstart things. Ammonia is still just barely above 0. Nitrates have just started appearing. The betta and tetras were all doing fine, but we lost a tetra overnight. He was floating upside down this morning. I didn't notice anything odd about his appearance. Started really studying the fish when I got home from work and noticed a white snout (not sure what you call this area) on one of the tetras. Nobody had noticed it before, so we think it is new, but are not positive. Does anyone think this is something to worry about?

I'm trying to get up to speed as fast as I can. I've been pouring over these forums every night. Thanks in advance for any help.



 

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The nose discoloration is odd, but I don't know of a disease or condition that would lead to this specifically. That doesn't mean that there isn't one, just that I'm ignorant of it if there is. Poor coloration in general means that the fish are stressed in some way, but nose-specific discoloration is just kinda strange.

I'd be more concerned about the tank's cycling, honestly. By now it may well be close to cycled, but I'd suspect that as the cause of your earlier fish's death. If you're trying to test for ammonia with a strip test, you can't really trust them, they're terribly inaccurate. Unless the tank is heavily planted having fish in there and feeding them regularly should have generated a fair amount of ammonia by this point.
 

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White discoloration around the mouth can be a symptom of a bacterial disease. If you see it on more than one fish, it is spreading and you will know for sure. You will need to treat for columnaris.

On the other hand, these fish are stressed by the cycling of the tank, and stressed fish can lose coloration. Get some stem plants in there to help absorb the waste products and improve the water quality.

Good luck.

Julia
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Unfortunately the fish expired. :icon_frow

I am using an API master test kit. Tonight the ammonia level was clearly .25 ppm. I did a 50% water change.

I really hope the rest make it.
 

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Sorry to hear that Nash. To be honest, your method of cycling the tank was exactly the thing you want to avoid. Typically, since it seems like this is your first aquarium, you want to start with some sort of ammonia that does not involve having any fish in there. You can do this by introducing food into the tank which will release ammonia as it decays. You can also add stem plants (make sure your lights are up) as these will also help consume ammonia. This process will take time as you must wait for food to decay and release the ammonia. This may also result in itty bitty critters in your tank but nothing to worry about as once your tank is cycled and you introduce fish, they will disappear.

I'm also assuming that you have a large canister filter on this tank. The tank will tank at least a couple of weeks to reach a full cycle. You can speed this up if you can get a hold of used substrate or filter media from an established tank as this will introduce a relatively large number of bacteria to kick start bacteria production.

Make sure your test kits are calibrated. A reading of 0.25 ppm is still high and its possible it could stress the fish. You really want to have a reading of 0 ppm before adding fish. You should not add any fish if you have any ammonia and nitrite readings (assuming the test kits are calibrated).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm pretty sure it's Neon Tetra Disease.
We lost another today, it had another large white splotch just below the dorsal fin. Did not notice anything yesterday or this morning, however we weren't specifically looking for it. It seems to have come on pretty quick. I noticed it kind of 'spasming'. We pulled it out of the tank as soon as we noticed it, well before it had a chance to exhibit any other symptoms. From what I've read, that is important.

The only thing I can't seem to find any solid advice on is what to do now. Apparently it can be Neon Tetra Disease, a parasite, or False Neon Tetra Disease, a bacteria. Apparently FNTD responds to antibiotics. Do I dose the tank in hopes that it responds? From what I've read if it is a parasite, it can live in the tank for quite some time, infecting new fish I may put in down the road. Ugh.

So we're watching the fish like a hawk. Since I had the ammonia spike I've been doing nightly 50% water changes, and the fish seem to be doing ok from that. Water tests (not calibrated, need to read up on that) are coming back with slight traces of ammonia (probably halfway to .25ppm, and the nitrates seem to be stronger every day. Right about 5ppm now.
 

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It's hard to say what this is because the tank hasn't completely cycled so fish death is expected. If it is tnd, there is no known cure. You'll have to eurhanise fish with symptoms. Get a uv sterilizer to kill any remaining tnd. They're protozoans, not bacteria.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What a nightmare! The betta came down with it overnight. He's gone now. This is so frustrating and sad. I saw your message late last night and planned to get a 10 gallon quarantine tank today. Won't I have the same cycle problems with it though? I need to read up on these qt's.

Suggestions on where I go from here? Get a UV sterilizer as was suggested? I have 6 remaining tetras, and probably 8 live plants.
 

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I don't think it's neon tetra disease. I've never heard of it affecting bettas, only other tetras at most. Also, neon tetra disease doesn't act on the fish as quickly since it is protozoan. It is most likely bacterial. False neon tetra disease is also called columnaris or cotton mouth disease. It's a gram negative bacteria so maracyn two or maracyn TC is effective against it. It also dislikes salt and cooler temperatures, so try doing large water changes and lowering the temperature before resorting to salt and medications
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the info.

I bought a UV sterilizer at lunch today. I can swing by and pick up some Maracyn as well before I head home. I have been doing 50% water changes nightly. Temp is set to 76.

I know nothing of fish diseases but it strikes me odd that it affects 1 fish every 2 to 3 days. I guess I would have expected it to hit them all at roughly the same time.

At this point, should I do both the sterilizer AND the Maracyn?
 
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