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 Fish loss due to Nitrite levels and the desperate move to the 55 gallon tank!

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Jackietupr
Fry


Join date: 2010-10-30
Age: 48
Location: Lakewood, WA

PostSubject: Fish loss due to Nitrite levels and the desperate move to the 55 gallon tank!   Sun Nov 07, 2010 12:39 am

I lost my breeding male Angelfish *Blushie* today, and several days ago one of the breeding female Veil Angelfish *Stripes*. There have been several deaths in my 37 gallon tank over the past few days to a week & upon taking the water sample in, I found out that the Nitrites were too high. Of course, before putting Blushie & Stealth back into the 37 gallon tank, Blushie started hemorrhaging into his tail, had clamped tail & refused to eat. Stealth, the alpha female was in the breeding tank with Blushie for a few days before they both stopped eating and he started bleeding into his tail. I discovered the temp too high in the 20 gallon breeding tank and moved them into the (much cooler) 37 gallon tank. Soon after moving them, they started losing the color in their tails and looked like they were getting sicker.

Blushie, male Sunset Blusher
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Stealth, female Blue Blusher with some of her first spawn
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The folks at Aquarium Paradise suggested putting MelaFix and/or Maracyn into the tank to avoid a fungus. As I didn't have funds to do that and only had PimaFix, I started treating with that in hopes of avoiding a fungus. A couple of days later, I aquired some MelaFix & started treating with that, but by then it was too late. Three of the adult angels in the tank had a fungus and Blushie and Stealth looked like they were starting to lose their tails. Fortunately I'd started treating with MelaFix shortly before they lost their tails, but the fungus was now on three of the adults; Blushie, Stealth (tail only) and Stripes around her mouth.

Stripes, female Silver Veil
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A couple of days after starting MelaFix, Stripes was laying on the bottom of the 37 gallon tank looking dead. When I netted her, she started to struggle. But she was weak already. Water quality in the 37 gallon was toxic so I moved her to the less toxic breeding tank to see if she'd be ok there, and changed some water out of it to help with Nitrites. Unfortunately, it was too little too late and I lost her the next day. Then today I discover Blushie dead in the 37 gallon tank & I'm devastated to lose a breeding male...the ONLY male I had that was old enough to breed!!!

Blushie with Goldie, female Gold
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I thought I was about to lose my other adult female *Goldie* and moved her to the 55 gallon tank, where the only problem is high pH...which kills my plants, but at least it won't kill fish. I now have all my fish from the 37 gallon in the 55 gallon in the desperate hope that I can stop the killing fields of Nitrite poisoning. Just for good measure, I pulled all the plants out and did a good gravel cleaning on the 37 gallon and 30% water change. There's nothing in there but the gravel, substrate, heater and a magnet cleaner & thermometer now. I'll continue to test the water and change out the poly fiber until the water clears up, then slowly introduce fish after taking water to be tested at the fish store. The test strips can only tell so much, so after about a week of cleaning it out and testing with strips, I'll take water in for the big gun test.

Sigh...it sucks to be the only one at home, and have a nasty habit of over-feeding the fish! I really need to learn to put a little in my palm and pinch just enough to sprinkle over the top of the water....
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protocl
Contributing Member


Join date: 2010-05-18
Location: Highlands.

PostSubject: Re: Fish loss due to Nitrite levels and the desperate move to the 55 gallon tank!   Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:20 am

So sorry to hear of your loss.

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Jackietupr
Fry


Join date: 2010-10-30
Age: 48
Location: Lakewood, WA

PostSubject: Re: Fish loss due to Nitrite levels and the desperate move to the 55 gallon tank!   Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:39 am

Thank you...I'm praying my babies will survive!!!!
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Jackietupr
Fry


Join date: 2010-10-30
Age: 48
Location: Lakewood, WA

PostSubject: Re: Fish loss due to Nitrite levels and the desperate move to the 55 gallon tank!   Mon Nov 08, 2010 10:19 pm

Goldie has been bobbing at the top of the 55 gallon tank since I put her in there, but today after running around getting groceries, I saw my Flying Fox pestering her to the point that she was hiding in the coliseum. Unfortunately, Ice Man (Powder Blue Gourami) was playing in there and shooed her out. I had to break down and net the Flying Fox and take him to Aquarium Paradise to get credit (I hope). I think he tagged a few of the Platy & Mrs. Kravitz, their tails were split & had signs of fin nipping. I've had that Flying Fox for about three years, and although his size was not too big (compared to the ones at AP), I didn't know they could become aggressive.

After bringing him home from my daughter's house, he started chasing his tank mate from her house, an Oto that I've had for the same amount of time. I found him dead a few days before the fiasco with the tail rot & Nitrite issue and thought the Flying Fox had run him to death. But then I found the dead Platy female & knew there was something amiss. Then I started losing my adult Angelfish & decided to take the desperate measures I blogged about above.

Goldie still isn't out of the woods. She isn't acting normal for an Angelfish & neither is Mrs. Kravitz. She is usually so nosey & energetic, but has been lethargic. At least they are attempting to eat. Stealth seems to be normal, she even picks on the baby Platy a little, but she isn't picking on the other Angels, especially the ones that are acting sick. She chases the little ones, but not too much. Her tail looks good for having just been eaten by the fishy equivalent of Flesh Eating Disease. I have to wonder if her tail will come back, or if it will forever be stunted....

More later.....
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Vic
FishBox Regular


Join date: 2010-11-07
Location: Skagit County

PostSubject: Re: Fish loss due to Nitrite levels and the desperate move to the 55 gallon tank!   Mon Nov 08, 2010 10:51 pm

So sorry to hear this. It's so hard to lose those we care about. Unfortunately, sometime all it takes to start a chain of disaster is for some equipment to malfunction, like a stuck heater. I hope conditions get back to normal soon and your fish recover.
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Jackietupr
Fry


Join date: 2010-10-30
Age: 48
Location: Lakewood, WA

PostSubject: Re: Fish loss due to Nitrite levels and the desperate move to the 55 gallon tank!   Wed Nov 10, 2010 3:35 am

Thanks Vic, I appreciate your sentiments. I'm wondering if my girls are just mourning the loss of their male. He paired up with both of the adult females left behind & both of them are just bobbing near the surface.

Aquarium Paradise has a large Marble that could be a male, but I'm afraid to introduce anymore fish into the tanks with the parameters so messed up. High pH issues in all but the 37 gallon tank due to the high pH in the water in Lakewood. Changing water only makes the pH higher.

A friend just told me the poor man's solution to high pH & will give that a try since the pH Decreaser is nearly empty and I have three or four tanks with high pH issues now. Doing a water change in the 37 gallon should raise it, and I have Increaser to add to it. For now, I'll just add Baking Soda to the tanks with high pH and wait 5 hrs to take another reading to see if it comes down any.

For now, my adult female Angels are moping around the tank & it is rubbing off on the Adolescent female. Mrs. Kravitz is usually so perky and nosey, but she's moping too. Wondering if they all could be sick still....
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Betty
Contributing Member


Join date: 2010-07-05
Age: 54
Location: McKenna

PostSubject: Re: Fish loss due to Nitrite levels and the desperate move to the 55 gallon tank!   Wed Nov 10, 2010 7:31 am

Jackie, sorry to hear of your troubles. I don't think your girls are mourning -- it sounds like there is still a water quality issue if they are bobbing at the surface.

What are you doing to lower the nitrite level? Do you know what caused the nitrites to get so high in the first place? There are some steps that you can take to help the fish through this like frequent water changes, adding some salt, reduce feeding or don't feed at all if they are not eating, and increasing the aeration. I use Seachem Prime as a dechlorinator and that product states that you can dose your tank with it at a higher than dechlorinating dose to detoxify nitrite in an emergency.

I'm not sure if I understood the reason for adding the baking soda. Baking soda is usually added to raise the pH, not to lower it.

If you do some research on nitrite poisoning, you'll probably find some other ideas to help your fish through this. Good luck, I hope you don't lose any more.
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Vic
FishBox Regular


Join date: 2010-11-07
Location: Skagit County

PostSubject: Re: Fish loss due to Nitrite levels and the desperate move to the 55 gallon tank!   Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:23 am

Yes, if your pH is too high the last thing you would do is add baking soda. If you really need to treat your water I think it is best to treat it in a bucket before you add it to the tank. But, and please don't take this the wrong way, you shouldn't be buying more fish until you have your water conditions under control.

What is the pH of your tap water? It is usually easier for fish to adjust to a stable pH, even if it is not what they prefer, than a wildly fluctuating pH due to treatments.

What type of test kits do you have - or is all of your testing done at the store? If you are having this type of problem, and especially if you are breeding, you need your own test kit for at least pH, ammonia, nitrite, and I suggest nitrate. I prefer the drops to the strips. In the long run they are cheaper and they tend to be more accurate. Check the expiration date of the kit before you purchase.

Keep up with the water changes like Betty said and keep posting. You and your fish will be so happy when you get this settled.
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Kianna
FishBox Member


Join date: 2010-05-27
Age: 53
Location: Lakewood, WA

PostSubject: Re: Fish loss due to Nitrite levels and the desperate move to the 55 gallon tank!   Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:59 am

I live in Lakewood and don't have any problems Ph with water out of the tap. I wouldn't mess with the ph at all. As already said your fish will do much better with a good stable ph whatever it is. I also agree with the others in that.....(1) prime is a very good neutralizer of ammonia and nitrites (2) water change, water change, water change, (3) reduce feedings (4) invest in liquid test kits (I use API) for at least ammonia & nitrite (5)salt will help the fish with the nitrite poisoning.

Good luck and sorry for your losses .....I know its tough to watch your fish go through this!
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Jackietupr
Fry


Join date: 2010-10-30
Age: 48
Location: Lakewood, WA

PostSubject: Re: Fish loss due to Nitrite levels and the desperate move to the 55 gallon tank!   Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:19 am

Update on the fish... I lost Goldie yesterday and it was really hard on me. I've been suffering from severe depression anyway, and had lost interest in the fish tanks due to so many issues. It is really hard to keep up on when I'm all alone & unable to figure things out. I don't have a job, so an expensive hobby like fishkeeping is going to be even harder to keep up with so many issues. That's why I need to resort to the poor man's method to lowering the pH.

I had moved Goldie to a hospital tank, along with Mrs. Kravitz because of the Tail Rot issue. Goldie lost her tail, had fungus & the PimaFix and MelaFix helped, but she started floating at the top of the tank on her side two days ago. I took her to Aquarium Paradise to look at her, and had the water tested in the 55 gallon where she had just come from & the 20 gallon that is now the hospital tank, and the 37 gallon where I put Stealth the Alpha female.

The pH in 37 gallon was 6.8, and the 55 and 20 gallon were slightly high, but not too high. Nitrites were high due to over feeding, which is something I do when I'm happy I guess. I cut WAY back on all of the tanks to avoid this issue with anyone else, and did many water changes on the 37 gallon where all the fish loss was happening before throwing them into the 55 gallon out of desperation.

Goldie was alone in the 20 gallon all day after finding her floating on her side at the top of the tank two days ago, because I was afraid it was an infection of the swim bladder and was afraid it would spread to Mrs. Kravitz. I brought her back home & continued to treat with MelaFix & PimaFix, but she was too weak from trying to swim down to the bottom of the tank & removing her from the tank to go to the store.

The same day I found Goldie dead in the hospital tank, I found my female Honey Sunset Gourami dead in the 37 gallon & I was just thrown into more severe depression. I absolutely REFUSE to buy anymore fish until I have this water issue under control!!!! Don't worry, I'm not up for wasting money on more fish only to kill them.

As far as the testing supplies, all I have right now are the strips. Until I get a job, I won't be able to afford a good test kit...so the store does it when I can take the water in. The Baking Soda seems to be working with the pH even though you say it would raise it. Maybe I'm reading the strips wrong, or the test at the store is going the wrong direction...but it seems to be coming down in the tanks with high pH.

Stealth has been horrible to Mrs. Kravitz, so I moved her to the 55 gallon tank so she can be her normal happy self. She seems to be getting along well with the others in the tank so far, she's being nosey & exploring now. I know it is the hierarchy thing, but I just couldn't watch her being subjected to that anymore. The only reason I was looking at getting a male in there was to calm her butt down!!! She's so aggressive toward any other Angelfish in the tank, being the alpha female. I'm almost afraid to see what she does to the others in the tank now that she doesn't have a target. Of course, the others in the tank are mostly janitorial, except for Ice Man (Powder Blue Gourami), so I don't expect her to be too rough on anyone else. She does eye up the Koi Angels in the 18 gallon neighboring her tank though...LOL But they are safe from her.

Thanks for all your advice on the tanks. I'll keep plugging away at them and hope not to lose anymore fish from these issues. The fish usually bring me such joy and relief from my depression, but losing so many due to these issues is just so hard on me. Keep the ideas coming, they really do help.
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Kianna
FishBox Member


Join date: 2010-05-27
Age: 53
Location: Lakewood, WA

PostSubject: Re: Fish loss due to Nitrite levels and the desperate move to the 55 gallon tank!   Fri Nov 19, 2010 4:42 am

Oh I'm so sorry to hear about your losses. I know its hard and believe me we've all been there at some time or another. I think I saw somewhere that you live in Lakewood.....I also live in Lakewood and would be willing to help if I can. I have lots of kits for just about everything you can think of. Maybe we can get together and see what we can come up with. PM me and lets see if we can get together.
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Jackietupr
Fry


Join date: 2010-10-30
Age: 48
Location: Lakewood, WA

PostSubject: Re: Fish loss due to Nitrite levels and the desperate move to the 55 gallon tank!   Fri Dec 17, 2010 10:42 pm

Kianna wrote:
Oh I'm so sorry to hear about your losses. I know its hard and believe me we've all been there at some time or another. I think I saw somewhere that you live in Lakewood.....I also live in Lakewood and would be willing to help if I can. I have lots of kits for just about everything you can think of. Maybe we can get together and see what we can come up with. PM me and lets see if we can get together.

I do live in Lakewood, and it would be great if someone could help out when I need it. I'm not sure how to PM someone, so I'm answering here. Fish loss finally stopped, and I found out that the tail does come back from Tail Rot because my Alpha Female Stealth has recovered fully from the incident. Her tail looks normal again. I'm so happy for this event, since I lost three of the original four Angelfish I got from the pet store. Unfortunately, she's all alone in the 18 gallon tall & only has a pleco & two cory for company. She hides behind the intake hose until I walk up to the tank.

The 55 gallon has five juvenile Angelfish in it now, two cory & a pleco. Let the heirarchy games begin!!!

I turned my 37 gallon tank into a very colorful Livebearer tank. I have eight adult Platy & three baby Platy, four adult Lyretail Molly, six Guppies, seven Neon Tetra, two cory & a pleco in there right now. There's a lot of attempts to mate going on between all the Livebearers, and the Tetras are just chasing each other... they were a gift, I didn't plan on getting them for the Livebearer tank.

For now, fish loss is not an issue... but cleaning tanks has fallen to the wayside as I battle depression. I'll get back into the flow soon though, I need to just get a hold on my emotions right now.

Kianna, my email is [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] if you would like to message me that way. Just put Lakewood Fishkeeper in the subject line... that way I'll know who you are.

Thanks everyone for your support!
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Fish loss due to Nitrite levels and the desperate move to the 55 gallon tank!

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