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My dino died and I am trying to figure out what I could have done better.


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*Please move or delete if this is the wrong place for this post.1222055532_20210425_1728482.jpg.bc8bd204371f323ee34a49fbf0fe89fa.jpg


I woke up this morning to my Senegal bichir floating. She was about two months old and had grown to about 6". There were no signs of distress, no lesions, no lumps or apparent blockages. I took the photo of her yesterday.

Food: I was feeding her sinking cichlid pellets and blood worms. I also think she had started eating small fish in the tank.

The tank temperature has been fluctuating between 78° in the day to 75° at night. I'm a little colorblind so I have provided photos of the test strips. I saw my nitrates were getting a little high and did a 30% water change yesterday. 

I watch my fish as much as I can. When I noticed a spot on one of my pearl gourami fins yesterday morning, I pulled it out and put it in my quarantine tank. I will be treating it with ich-x once it arrives.

A few minutes after pulling the pearl out one of my neon tetras jumped out of the tank so it's in quarantine as well.

The rest of the fish (angelfish, pearl gourami, dwarf sunset gourami, red skirt tetra, red eye tetras, neon tetras, guppies,  pictus catfish, kuhli loaches, pleco) all seem to be doing okay. 

I really enjoyed watching the bichir and want to learn from this experience. If/when I get another I want to be able to keep alive and healthy much longer.





Edited by AndrewK
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Aww AndrewK I'm so sorry you lost your fish. I'm not sure how sensitive that particular species is so lets explore in general terms....We can rule out Ammonia as that is safe per your strip, BUT your nitrates AND nitrites indicate a water change was needed. Nitrite reading looks like it was pushing 1ppm as it isn't pure white like the chart said it should read. Both those things could have been a factor. You indicated one of your fish had spots so you've quarantined it. Do you have a pic? Ich is in "every tank" per my extensive research when I got it in mine, and is brought out under stressful and/or poor water quality situations which stresses the immune systems, could be a combination of environmental factors here. 

The pic of your beloved Senegal doesn't bring me any concern, I don't see any body damage or spots or anything that's indicating a warning sign.

I can't tell if the pH is high the colors are all very close, has it always been at that level? Drastic sudden changes in pH never help a fish. 

The reasons in my understanding fish jump out of tanks (besides when they are fish known for being jumpers) is because of poor water quality and/or lack of oxygen and they jump to seek a better environment (can also be from lack of hiding places or bullying per some research which could cause stress hence illness). Has anything changed? New anything? Did you add any chemicals? Have construction going on at home? 

But I still circle back to the higher nitrate/nitrite levels and see that as the culprit. Just trying to bounce some ideas around, what do you think?

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Thank you xXInkedPhoenixX Calmedbyfish, and Big Green.

xXInkedPhoenixX: I really appreciate your response and willingness to help.

Water Parameters: my nitrates got really high (200) and I've been doing water changes every 4 days to get it lowered. From what I gather it has been in the 50-100 range the past few checks. 

Nitrites are hard for me to tell but my kids have said that they have been at 0. 

KH is typically between 80 and 120. It doesn't vary much.

PH has been pretty steady between 7.2 - 7.6.

GH has been hard (300?) Since I started testing. 

This morning I have tested my tap water and the tank and have added a picture. The tap water is on top with the mark.

Changes: I've added some frogbit, seachem flourish, root tabs, and 3 red skirt tetras, a dwarf gourami, and 3 kuhli loaches. I've recently removed a canister filter and added a co-op sponge filter. I still have my hob. I have an air stone in the foam filter, and two other air stones for oxygen. 

I've added the best pic of the pearl gourami I could get. 


So far I think the culprit is one of the following:

Tap water changed due to recent heavy rains.

New fish were a shock to the nitrogen cycle causing the perimeters to change.

New fish/plant had unseen things with it (illness, bacteria).

Possibly the gravel as that is something I didn't know before.

Since the fish jumping and bichir dieing happened within 12 hours of the water change, I feel a combination of the first two is likely the culprit.


Thank you again for helping me work through this. 



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Well, I like to see that your Nitrites are now 0 (your first pic it was clearly a light pink to me, now it's white) and your Nitrates are in a tolerable level -that's promising. Your tap is nearly identical to your tank water test. 

I would agree with you that the bioload probably shocked the tank. Can I ask did you ALSO change the filtering at the same time? The canister probably had a lot of good beneficial bacteria and the sponge would not yet have that same benefit- the HOB may have not been able to handle the new load even having been established. Even if it was shortly before I'd be concerned as I'd imagine it'd take some time before the sponge filter was established enough to have handled the new fish. In my experience there have been times I've done DAILY partial water changes to get certain levels down and it's only benefitted my tank/fish so while yes it could have been partially to blame in this case I'd put that at the bottom of the list- maybe even say there weren't enough water changes- because the two strips you have pictured are nearly identical (ruling out the rains messing with the tap parameters). 

I think I see 2 tiny white dots on your pic of the gourami fins (if they are indeed spots), they fit the look of Ich in my experience. Keep medicating until you see no signs at LEAST 7 days after the last signs of spots before you consider putting him back in the main tank- and keep an eye on your other tank fish- look for spots EVERYDAY. Keep an eye on the water parameters for the gourami too and follow the med directions. I really think the fish getting Ich is a secondary reaction to the water parameter shift. 

My guess for now for the culprits is the new fish caused a bioload the filters couldn't handle causing the water parameters to go wonky thereby making the fish sick. 

Edited by xXInkedPhoenixX
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