Jump to content

Wiggling at bottom of tank then dying :(


Recommended Posts

I have what I think are Endlers and they will go to the bottom of the tank and wiggle like they are swimming in a strong current.

This will go on for 1/2 a day or so and then death. 😞

They are in a quarantine tank and I've dosed them for Ick (3x)[kordon], Erythromycin (3/4x)[API], and parasites (2x)[API].

Any ideas what could be going on?



Wiggly Fishes video

These are the meds I've used on them since Thursday:



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrators

Lets start with the basics, list water parameters and temp.  Also that seems like a lot of meds and switching in the few days. Is there any active infection or we are just guessing different meds trying to help them not die? 


Where did the fish come from/how long have you had them? Can you take a few more pictures of the fish so we can get a visual on them?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Cory

Here are the water conditions:

GH: 30
KH: 240
pH: 7.5
NO2: 0.5
NO3: 0
Temp: ~76

I didn't have access to your med trio, so I used what was available here. (need to order yours for the future).
I didn't know what was killing them so I just tried to cover the basics.

Now for the embarrassing part 😄  I was in the hobby for 15 years, 15 years ago. and just setup a new 55.
When I thought it was ready I bought a dozen "feeder guppies" from LFS to test the setup.
They all died, but I realized it wasn't the tank.

I also saw they were Endlers with crazy colors and I was hooked. I needed to have those fishes.
I was not able to find them online, so I went back and bought 100 more to put in quarantine (ended up being about 200).

I've been treating them and trying to keep some alive for about a week now.
I think I'm down to about 40 from the original 200.
I know it's a long shot, but... man, I'd like to have a pair survive.

I'm rambling...

Thanks for looking and here are some pictures.










Edited by LumberZack
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I picked up some Fritz Trace and added it to the water.
Maybe this will help quickly against the shimmies.

I tested the outside hose water against the inside tap water and the GH difference is quite large.
The tap water is GH: 30 ppm
While the Hose is GH: 180+ ppm
KH on both is 240+ ppm
Looks like I might need to use the outside hose water for water changes to bring the GH up in this and my main tank as well.

I also put some plants and a bag of carbon and ammonia rocks in the tank.

Here's hoping they stop dying soon ...





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi @Pete, on Friday I had the water tested at a LFS and the ammonia was 0.
I have a test kit that will be here on Thursday that can check ammonia levels.
In the mean time I added some of that white rock stuff that is supposed to remove ammonia, just in case.

I'm thinking of adding a bit of aquarium salt to the tank this evening.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrators

With the extra pictures these look like wild type guppies to me. In the pictures you can see lots of stress, definitely some bacterial infections. I would put a large amount of money ammonia is in the water and currently the problem. 

If I owned this aquarium, and didn't have access to an ammonia test kit for a few days. I would change like 80% of the water and put 1 tablespoon of salt per gallon to fix this. I'd likely lose another 20% of the guppies are some are in really bad shape but then see them recover as I can keep the ammonia away. 


The symptoms they are showing are from either ammonia or ph burn in my experience, we have your pH reading. This is why I think it's an ammonia issue. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ok, @Cory that's crazy.

I'd been using water from my main tank for this quarantine tank with lots of water changes in the 25% range.

How is the ammonia so high? 


These are, from left to right, tap water, Main tank, quarantine tank (before change), quarantine after 80% change.

I'm even dosing it with Fritz Complete to kill the ammonia .... ?
API quick start, and Fritz Trace too.
I did add the 1 Tbsp per 5 gal of  aquarium salt too.

On a bright note, there was a tiny little fry today that I extracted to main tank in a hang on breeder box. 🙂



API Ammo-carb in those baggies. Knocked off the sponge filter during the water change.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrators

Dechlorinators don't kill ammonia. They bind it up for 24 hours. After that it's back in the tank hurting things. I don't recommend any anti ammonia stuff. Just water changes, dechlor to remove chlorine and salt to heal them. 


When things are dying and uneaten food, it can go up very quickly. I would change water again and get it to 0, and not feed, and monitor with salt in the water of 1 tablespoon per gallon and let these guys heal up. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Been busy this week. But here's an update.

Did some big water changes, 80% then 90% then about 80% and another 80% this morning.

Used the tablespoon per 5 gallons of salt, but I just reread Cory's post saying a tablespoon per gallon... So I guess I need to increase the salt level some.

Still can't seem to eliminate the ammonia. It's somewhere between the 0.25 and 0.50 color I think.

Added some cabomba to the tank as well.

Still holding out hope to save a couple of them. 😄


Link to comment
Share on other sites

How are your water parameters looking after a week?

Is your main aquarium cycled and are there any fish in there?
If not do you have a friend / coworker or someone else where you can get some filter medium from? See if you can jump start the cycle by introducing beneficial bacteria to your main aquarium and move the endlers there to give them a bigger volume of water. To me it seems like you never have had the tank cycled or had the cycle crash, somehow.

Salt isn't going to fix this issue as the root cause of your problem is chemically and not any disease.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Wesley I'd say they look normal except for the ammonia level.  I think the cycle crashed.

My main tank is cycled and has fish / shrimp in it.
It's a planted tank and using an undergravel filter.

This 10 gallon is a quarantine tank and I'm afraid of introducing something into the main tank if I move them there.

I tried initially doing the water changes from the main tank to this tank, but stopped when we thought the issue could be that the water was too soft.

Since then it's been figured out to be an ammonia problem.
I believe Cory's salt suggestion is to address bacterial or fungal issues that might they might develop from the ammonia burns.

Two days ago I added hang on back filters to each tank with the idea that in the future I'd have filter medium I could move to a quarantine tank if needed.
The 55 now has a double wide Marineland 375 and the 10 has the 125. 
I'm also using sponge material (like what's on the Coop's sponge filter) in them instead of the filter cartridges they come with.
Again, with the idea that I can pull one side from the 375 to jumpstart a tank if needed.

I'm down to 1 male and 3 females, plus the 1 fry I extracted from the tank.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you've put Ammo Chips in the gravel bed, I think you need to replace the grave bed. As I recall, they will absorb ammonia and are supposed to be in a bag and removed after a period of time for rinse/soaking to remove that collected ammonia. If they are left in gravel bed, I expect they are holding ammonia and may be leaching out the ammonia they originally absorbed. I may be wrong but Cory would be able to verify any of that info. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I only have Ammo-Carb in the bare bottom 10 gallon tank.
I bought a 4 pack of reusable media bags to put them in.
I put one in the intake basket and one against the sponge filter.
Only been in there about a week so far.

I need to find some resources on having a quarantine tank setup and running that doesn't crash or ammonia spike when I put actual fish in it.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...