Hi - I asked the following question yesterday - got a reply with questions and posted answers to those .... I think my post is now buried, as these things tend to do ... could anyone take a look? I'll repeat below both my initial question and my follow up answers ...
Hi - New to fish keeping but doing okay - I think ...however a couple of my fish have fins that are split, they don't look ragged, no white spots, eating and swimming well ...what could be causing this, should I treat it in any way and will they repair?
Hi - okay answers to questions
It's about a 30 ltr tank so not very big, has a heater (thermometer says 25 degrees) and I have filters (ceramic discs, sponge, wool and carbon)
Yes I know about the nitrogen cycle, the tank has been running about 3 months, run empty for 3 weeks h gradually added fish. I've tested Nitrite (0.1), nitrate (15), PH (7.5) and ammonia (0) so all fine. I change 25% of the water weekly at the moment adding stress zyme and stress coat each time plus a little salt which my shop told me to do but I'm not sure the salt is needed.
As to fish I have 1 white cloud, 2 Danio zebra fish, one blue tailed guppy and sucker mouth catfish.
I did have a female Siamese fighting fish but she died quite suddenly a few weeks back and I'm not sure why. Maybe that should be another post!
Hope these answers help you to help me!
Hi there Kat,
Sorry your last post wasn't answered, I hope this response makes up for that.
In my experience the three main easons for split fins are;
1) ammonia levels too high...but we know that your ammonia levels are fine.
2) agression...Possible causees for this might be the sucker. What type of sucker is it? A chinese algae eater will attak fins. Also danios can get nippy, it is always best to spread the agression of danios by having a shoal of 6 or so. Also a guppy might be a bit tempting for them to attack. Have you seen any agression/nipping?
3) poor diet can cause split fins...What are you feeding your fish? A quality flake should be OK.
I hope this is helpful.
Oh and streescoat should help with fin repair and salt will keep disease away, this is not such a bad combination treatment.
Hi thanks so much for the reply ...
One of the Danilo's certainly does like to chase the other Danilo and the white cloud, , I have recently seen the cloud retaliating though ... indeed only this agressive danilo is unscathed so I think you may have hit the nail on it's head ...
Would it be wise to get a few more Danilo's - I was intending to get another couple of clouds soon as well ...
How many should I get of each? should I add another Guppy?, I feel sorry for the single ones and think they must prefer to have friends or is it okay to have singles? How many fish in all would you think my tank could take?
As to food I feed Tetra Pro, colour. 2 flakes eacha day and there is also a slice of cucumber in there on a clip. I have occasionally given a few blood worms too.
Thanks for your help I appreciate it.
30 litres is not a big tank and is (30/3.8=7.9). So your tank is 8 gallons.
I have done this conversion because there is a rough guide for keeping fish and that is 1" of fish per gallon.
2 danios @ 2"ea = 4
1 guppy @ 1"(and a tail) = 1
1 white cloud = 1
And your sucker...you've still not told me what it is...is it a bristle nose pleco?? This is bad news if it is.
Without the sucker you have 8 gallons accounted for, so your sucker will probably take up the rest of the space. Still you may be able to add some more fish, but this is a safe level.
To be able to add more fish I advise you do regular water testing and closely monitor your ammonia nitrite and nitrate levels. Keeping an eye on thes levels is a better guide than 1" of fish per gallon and may very well allow you to add "small" shoals of fish.
I like shoals too, fish do too. All yor fish are shoaling species so we should work on getting this sorted.
I think 1st things 1st...what type of sucker do you have????
oh wow ... well I think it is a bristle nose pleco but it doesn't have bristles, maybe that means it's female?
She is about 1 1/2" long.
Oh and I have noticed that my Guppy does have a slight red tinge to the end of her tail but not where it is split.
OK! So the bristle nose will be OK for a while (because it's small) but it will grow and become a HUGE contributor to waste and therefore ammonia.
There is a great little Asian fish called a Borneo Sucker, this fish has very simillar feeding habits and even looks similar to the pleco, but it only grows to a little over 2". It might be worth considering a switch???? Also YES no bristles means a female.
Red on the tail usually means stress and is often a sing of ammonia poisoning. Maybe check your ammonia again as split fins often goes with this too.
Red in fins can also come from other stresses, but it still suggest stress from somwhere....maybe chasing!?!?
Keep an eye on what's going on and we'll take it from there.
N.B. Guppes are slow and delicate compared to danios and are sometimes just too tempting for danios t nip at.
Kat could you post your test results on here for us...your ammonia, nitrite and nitrat levels and I'll try and see if there is rom to add fish to create shoals.
I took levels again yesterday,
Nitrate between 10 and 20
Nitrite was 0.1
I was going to do my regular weekly small water change today.
Thanks for all your help I really appreciate it.
Steve have you had any thoughts yet?
Did my usual water change a couple of days late as I was unwell but all the water before the change was still as above, I assume my filter is fully working now ...
Fins seem to be healing a little and the redness is less on the guppies tail ...
I think I need to start with more Danilo's (? 3 more)and maybe a couple of white clouds so he/she isn't lonely too ... careful monitoring of my water I think may be my new pass time !
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, my computer kept dropping out (but I looked on-line)...services in the Aussie bush are very poor.
Now to your readings, zero ammonia is exellent, however you should be aiming for a nitrIte reading of zero. Nitrite can be as damaging to fish as ammonia, it burns them especially their dellicate gills.
I mean 0.1ppm is low, but if you're going to be adding new fish to such a small aquarium then it needs to be PERFECT, because things can turn bad very easily in such a small environment.
1stly you can leave your stock levels as they are, then do 2 x 30% partial water changes a week. This should get your nitrite levels down to zero and keep your nitrates lower.
I also think things might be soooo tight, space wise, that switching the pleco might be one of your 1st considerations, if you are to add new stock. You may also want to consider not having the guppy, simply because once you have got the new fish there might be no more space. You would need such space to make shoals to add more guppies, to make a shoal for him, and keep him happy. Also guppies make attractive targets for nippers...all those fancy tails!!!
So in summing up;
1) Get your water perfect, maybe by doing twice weekly water changes.
2) Remove/switch your pleco to a Borneo sucker! Maybe remove the guppy.
3) Yes add two more danios and maybe two white clouds.
After doing each of these things wait and do more testing to make sure the aquarium is handeling the bio-load and if all is well you may consider adding more fish, but please DON'T get carried away.
It is always advisable not to stray too far from the 1"/gallon rule.
BTW how big is your filter, what type is it?
Filters and their capacity play a huge roll in an aquariums cycle.
Thanks steve ... I can't imagine getting internet in the outback!! sometimes I can't get mine to work and I'm in London!
When you say to do 2 small water changes would that be okay to just scoop water out rather than syphoning up from the gravel etc, maybe leave that for once a week ... reading on here I have stopped going over all the gravel to going over alternate halves each week ...
As to Nitrite levels my scale starts at 0.1 !! so I may have 0 may not ...I'll look into a better test for that.
I can see a new bigger auarium in my near future if we are to keep these fish happy, maybe one just for the danilo's .. and maybe keep the Sucker with them .... My 10year old doesn't want any to go away.
My filter size? ummm well my pump is 4watts the whole of the back of the aquarium holds filter space I have a large sponge in there about 7"x1"x1", one one side of that is the actual pump within that I have ceramic tubes and some wool. On the other side I have a bag with about 20g of carbon and some more wool on top. I'll see if I can find out how much water it cycles.
Thanks for all your help I do appreciate it.
You are spot on with the water changes (I should have told you to take it from the top/mid water) as cleaning the gravel removes beneficial bacteria and cleaning too often will remove too much, causing your cycle to break down.
With the nitrite readings they are probably zero then! What test kit are you using?
The type of filter you have is a good filter. Knowing the turn over would be good , but it sounds fine. Also your cycle is working so this too indicates that it's doing its job.
Maybe add a new danio and a new white cloud and monitor the ammonia and nitrite readings. Wait a couple of weeks and add one or two more fish.
How is the agression (or redness) going?
I think a new tank is also a great idea, especially since you want to keep the pleco. Plecos are fascinating and hardy fish and will be fun for you and the kids to watch grow. They also bred quite readily if the tank is big enough!!
What size tank are you thinking of getting?
I'm using a Nutrafin test kit,
The redness is lessening, but the chasing is still there, though the dominant Danilo rarely seems to chase the Guppy, just the other danilo and the white cloud.
I'll change how I do the water changes, maybe only do the gravel every other week? half and half? I'll have to monitor my cleaning habit, bacteria isn't something I'm used to encouraging!
As to new tanks i think maybe 60 gallons, I've not the space for anything too huge ...
I don't know the nutrafin test kits, is that a liquid test kit? I just googled nutrafin nitrite test kits and even they say it must read zero???????
60 gallons is a good size, you'll find it a joy to have, so will any bristle nose plecos!!
I think the answer to the agression is to add afew more fish, spread the agression around. Of cause keep an eye on the ammonia and nitrites.
okay - re-read the leafled - doh and my reading is up to 0.1 the next reading is upto 0.3 so I assume that i'm below 0.1 .... why thye make these things so needlessly complicated I don't know.
I'll do the twice weekly water change, one with a clean of half the gravel and add 1 danio and 1 cloud ... I'll let you know!!!
oh and here is nother "stupid" question - when I replace say 5 ltrs of water do I add 5 ltrs worth of the stress Zyme/coat and salt or 30ltrs worth as that is what the tank fully holds?
Who knew getting a couple of fish would be so absorbing.
You only need to add the amount of stresscoat for the amount of water that you are replacing. Also add it to the water, wait a few minutes, before you add it to the tank.
And it is often not this complictaed for people to get new fish as most people tend not to care if they die. It is very good that you are doing this the right way and it will pay off in the long run. You will get to know your tank and it's cycles and things will become second nature, there's just a bit of a learning curve. Also it's just plain rewarding when your pets aren't constantly dying.
Also this is an exellent experience to get you ready for your bigger tank. You'll also find the bigger tank easier as the bigger the tank the harder it will be for things to go wrong. This is like observing it is harder to polute the ocean than a lake...not the humans can't do both.
BTW, YES they do make tets kits and stuff very complicated, scientists think very differently to us mere mortals, again there'a a bit of a learning curve and you'll get used to it.
Good luck with any new additions, when are you planning to get them?
I get what you mean about lakes and oceans, and yes sadly people don't care enough ....
I can't imagine bringing in a living thing to my home and not caring if it dies ... I became mum to a very elderly cat a few years back and cooked fresh chicken meals for it ... I think this is in my nature!
I think we will get the two new fish on Saturday - I'll let you know how they fare.