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Everything posted by uberleslie

  1. We just bought a house that's on a creek. The creek actually runs through our backyard and is fairly close to the house. At our old place, when I used to drain the tanks with the python, I would run the python outside (rather than attaching it to the faucet) because I felt like it gave me better gravel vac suction and wasted less tap water. Now that there's a creek in my backyard, I'm just a bit apprehensive, because I'm not sure if dumping about 50ish gallons of fish water a week in my backyard will harm the creek somehow (plus I use Prime and Buff-it-Up). But I'm also in a bind because the tanks are downstairs and the faucet that I'm attaching the python to is upstairs...so I have super-crappy suction going uphill. The plan is to put a utility sink downstairs where I can hook up the python to, but that's a few months off budget-wise. Am I just being completely paranoid? Is dumping the fish water in the backyard okay for a while? (The creek is a tributary to the North Fork Peactree Creek in Atlanta, which is ends into the Chattahoochee River...so we're talking pretty big river system...and my piddly 50 gallons probably doesn't mean much to it, in theory at least.)
  2. Thanks all... I'll be sure to keep up with the water changes and give some of the filters a good scrubbing again. (I did a very good scrubbing mid-January when we moved...but it might take a few to get them back to tip-top shape.) I do keep an eye on the pH too...I don't know what is up with the tap water in our area, but the pH is crazy high and the KH/GH are near 0. Lame! But I've had good success with the buff-it-up for, geez, about a year or so now. I think this is just Fisher's way of telling me that he's outgrowing his tank and is in need of a pond. He's such a big fish these days...and even the 29 gallon tank just doesn't seem like enough freedom for him to swim. Let's just see if the husband is persuadable now...
  3. About 1/3 of the bottom of the tank has gravel. The other 2/3 is barebottom. There's probably about a half inch, maybe less, of gravel on the side where it is. Plus some medium and large-ish river stones. When I gravel vac I get it seriously good -- and I do that with every water change. So, typically weekly, but given my bad habit of late a little less frequently. I'm seeing the blue-green algae mostly on the filter intake and a very little bit on some of the bigger river stones, but not really on the glass or bottom at all. I'm going to try a couple of water changes over the next few days and see how he reacts, and then add salt if needed. He is perked up a bit tonight, so I'm a little less freaked out...I think (again) his issues are a product of being a bad fish mom. ETA: There are no plants, btw. The plans I do have are fake.
  4. Aww...I love Penelope! Too cute. Starbuck is my 'special' girl. The photo in my signature was taken during a period of remarkable health for her. She was a rescue fish from a big chain store and has never been 100% healthy. She hangs on though. She's super spunky and has a healthy appetite, despite her bottom-sitting. I've had her since May 2008.
  5. No...all good questions. There has been nothing new though. The 3 fancies are in a tank together, and Fisher is separate...sorry that wasn't clear. I do share equipment between tanks, but there have been no new fish introduced since...geez...October 2008? And when I did add them, everyone was QT'd, prazied, salted, etc. and I've had no issues since. I know that my recent crappy water change regimine might be to blame, so I'm wondering if I just keep up the schedule the next couple of weeks (and maybe do an extra one) that might help. I've noticed some planaria in the filter media in the fancies' tank...so that's always a sign that I've been sucking. And I'm noticing that the bit of brown algae that I typically get is now more of a dark green/blue algae. That probably means I suck more. Bad fish mom!
  6. Hi crew, Haven't been around awhile (again), but all has generally been going well with my fish family. Starbuck is perpetually bottom-sitting, but she has a healthy appetite and no additional signs of being unwell (just some general raggedness). We just moved into a new home mid-January, so moving the tanks was a pain, but everything went well. The house we bought was about 2 miles from our rental, and thankfully the tap water readings appear to be identical (though unfortunately, it's really soft water, so I'm still relying on Buff-it-up). Anyhoo, I come to you today with a Fisher issue. Haven't had one of these in awhile. This morning I noticed he was a bit erratic at feeding time. He's always a bit quick and fast and splashy, but moreso this morning. And tonight when I went to feed, he was bottom-sitting. He NEVER does this, even when he's sleeping (he sorta floats mid-tank). Then he got extra erratic, flashed around and seems to be avoiding looking at me. He turns around like he doesn't want to be seen. Very strange. Also, I noticed that there's some leftover food from this morning in the bottom of the tank. Also, extremely rare for him. He did eat the little bit that I dropped in tonight. Given the move, etc. I have been a bit less than perfect with my water changes. I did about a 90% change this weekend, but before that it was about 2 weeks, maybe 2.5 between changes. There were about 2 weeks between the previous changes too, maybe even 3. I'm fuzzy remembering. So here's the water info, etc.: Ammonia Level? 0 Nitrite Level? 0 Nitrate level? 20 (maybe a bit less) Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)? 8 Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)? 9+ Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API Master, drops Water temperature? 68-70 Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 29, running for awhile. At new house since mid-Jan, did a huge cleaning then, but kept most of the filter media...no bump in cycle noticed. What is the name and size of the filter(s)? Emperor 280, Penguin 150 How often do you change the water and how much? Typically weekly, 80%, but like I said, I've been crappy lately. He's usually waaay more hardy than the fancy fish. I notice a difference in their behavior if nitrates rise. He's pretty much never phased. How many fish in the tank and their size? 1, common; 7 inches? What kind of water additives or conditioners? Prime, Buff-it-Up What do you feed your fish and how often? Twice daily; alternate Hikari Lionhead and Pro Gold. Hasn't had any veg in about a month or so. Typically I give peas or whatnot about weekly or so. Any new fish added to the tank? No. Any medications added to the tank? No. Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? He's got a scale that looks angry hear his head, but I think that's just from the flashing. Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? Bottom sitting (extremely rare); flashing (semi-rare, he's occasionally spastic); not eating all his food (extremely rare) Any ideas? I know it's all relatively new, so maybe he'll be just totally normal tomorrow. But given our ordeal a couple years ago, I'm now very quick to notice when something isn't quite right. Thanks in advance. And hope everyone is doing good. I need to hang around more...I miss you guys. (Plus, now that we OWN a house, I'm thinking it's time for a pond!)
  7. Holy crap, Starbuck is floaty today. I have not seen her like this in months. She's been back in the 29 gallon with Sephie and Kenobi and she's been doing pretty good. She typically sits on her side or upside-down most of the day, but she's been back to swimming around and being goofy before and after feedings. But now she's floating. This morning she was bobbing around the top, but now she's sorta suspended mid-tank. How weird. I'm going to fast tonight and tomorrow, I think. And then try to feed peas for a couple days and see what happens. On one hand, I don't want her floaty. But on the other, I sorta feel a little optimistic - like, maybe her swim bladder isn't 'popped' or something. And the floating kinda gives the irritation on her sides a break. The Starbuck Saga never ends.
  8. Another update: Fisher is loving his 29 gallon. I'm under-filtered on it at the moment (Emperor 280), but he seems to be okay. Starbuck is improving somewhat. I did a w/c on Wednesday and another on Sunday -- just want to keep the nitrates down. I'm still salting 1tsp/gal. I noticed a bit on Sunday that Sephie and Kenobi are sorta nipping at Starbuck. Not in an aggressive way, but sorta how they suck on rocks, etc. Just like she's an inantimate object that's tasty. I'm thinking this is slowing the healing of her scales and fin...but there's really not too much I can do about it. They seemed to simmer down with it after I did the water change. Who knows. Starbuck is responding to food quite well, so that's good. I think I just need to keep the nitrates really low in the tank and see if that helps. I'll probably discontinue salt after the next water change (I'm thinking Friday?).
  9. Couple questions... Is your ph/KH/GH typically that low? Have you tried something like Buff-it-Up? And when you say he is kind of curved... is his body curved unnaturally or is he just sitting a bit funny?
  10. I'm sure no one meant to offend...overstocked tanks can lead to lots of issues and things can go south quickly. That's great that you plan to get a new tank. I think a 120 would be great for your group. I would just keep up with water changes and water testing until then -- you might want to change water a couple times a week. Also keep an eye to make sure your new fancies are getting enough food -- sometimes those single-tails are sooo quick they gobble everything up before the fancies and putter over.
  11. Hi and welcome! I'm not a helper, so I'll avoid diagnosing, but until someone more knowledgeable comes along, I think you might want to do a large temp/ph matched water change. My hunch is that you're a bit overstocked and with only doing 30% water changes, you've got a lot of waste built up. The black spots are typically ammonia burn, but you're not showing that...hmm. Is your test kit newer or is it old? (Are your other fish commons or fancies?) I'll stay away from guessing about the pimple-like bumps, that could be a couple things (can you post a pic though? -- that can help folks with diagnosis). I think in this case though, a large water change (and maybe even a couple large ones every day for the next few days) wouldn't hurt. Poor guy with clamped fins. That's definitely a sign that he's not feeling well. Have you ever salted before?
  12. I have a new 29 gallon set up and I'm running an Emperor 280 on it, so I'm a smidge under-filtered. On my other 29 gallon I have an Emperor 400, which I think works great. I'd like to add a smaller filter to the new tank, rather than getting rid of the 280 altogether. So, what kind of filter will be relatively inexpensive, add about 100gph or so, and not take up more than 4-4.5 inches of room on the back of my tank. (I'm hoping not to have to cut into the hood.) I know I could add some type of canister filter and it would take up minimal space on the tank, but they seem to be super-duper costly. Any ideas for smaller HOB filters?
  13. Quick update: Just went all in and bought a new tank yesterday for Fisher. He was already cramped in his 20 gallon, so I got a 29. He's loving it. By the time I got that set up, broke down his 20 and the QT 10, I was spent. So when I got home today I did a water change on the 'fancy' tank (w/Starbuck, Kenobi, Sephie). Starbuck was definitely showing the signs of ammonia burn. Couple black spots, but mostly blood-red streaks and scales. So I salted that tank 1tsp/gal. Hopefully that will help her. She did express interest in food tonight (didn't this morning) and I think she got about 3 ProGold pellets in her. Whew.
  14. i'm sure i'll get corrected if i'm wrong, but my understanding is that true black moors don't change color, but oftentimes telescopes showing their youngster colors are incorrectly labeled as black moors. my hunch is that you'll end up with a beautifully colored (orange or even white) telescope. basically the same situation as your oranda. my 'chocolate oranda' turned orange and then mostly white, with orange bits here and there. i'm sure she'll end up entirely white one day. and 'red/white ryukin' is losing his red. (both of these statements remind me that i need to update my signature pictures!) i think i remember a thread forever and a day ago (haven't been around in awhile) that poses some possible connections between the quickness with which black coloring is lost and the kh/gh of the water. i can't remember though...
  15. Gah. Well, I'm home. Starbuck is alive, but not doing well. I tested the water in the QT tank. Ammonia was at 2. Looks like my negligence is the culprit. UGH. So she's back in the main tank, which has a strong cycle. I actually need to do a big water change because my nitrates are hovering around 40. UGH. But that will have to wait a bit as I have to purchase a new hood for my 20 gallon right now. One of my cats thought it would be an awesome idea to stand on it, and push it into the tank. Water everywhere when I got home and a VERY stressed Fisher who is missing about 5 scales (from thrashing and being trapped in an area smaller than half his tank, I'm assuming). Triple UGH. I'm having a bad fish day.
  16. *sigh* So things took a turn for the crappy this morning. I woke up late and was furiously getting ready and the fish feeding was my last stop out the door. Starbuck was wedged between the airstone and the corner of the tank and was barely moving. I got her out of the corner and dropped some food in front of her...no interest whatsoever. Very shallow gill movement. I noticed that there was a lot of debris in the bottom of the tank, so I think something might have gone wrong with the filter -- but I honestly didn't have time to investigate or test the water and I was sick yesterday, so things might have gone wrong then, but I didn't notice. I know my temp and pH are matched between her QT tank and the main tank, so I just fished her out and put her back in the main tank. I probably waited 10 minutes to acclimate her -- I know I needed to wait about triple that, but I didn't have time. Once she was in the main tank she was barely moving -- again, very slight gill movement, but that was it. I'm not looking forward to going home today...I'm afraid she won't make it.
  17. Thanks, Tinko. I've sorta struggled with the same thoughts about euthanizing. She really does seem like Quasi. I'm sorta okay with her not being able to swim, I just think the secondary issues of bottom-sitting will eventually get her. I feel like she's sorta back to perking up when I'm nearby, versus just before I put her in QT when she was starting to ignore food and me. Back in the main tank the other fish really do leave her alone, so I think she'll be okay getting food, etc. I actually noticed that Kenobi has a bit of a cut in one of his fins, so I might salt the tank (with Starbuck in it) for a week...I don't want to salt her in QT because I think the little cycle I have in there will crash. I just want her not to be in pain. If she's content and can get food, I'm okay. If she struggles and loses interest again, I suppose I'll have to decide about euthanizing or QT/Metro-Meds.
  18. So, tomorrow will be day 12 of the Metro-Meds. I'm not seeing too much of an improvement in her behavior. Her tail redness is reduced. Her scales still look rough. She lays on her side all of the time. I'm thinking the scales are rough-looking just cause she's always on them, which I'm sure has harmed her slime coat. When I come near to visit or give food, she perks up and scoots and darts around. She's able to eat on her own, she sorts scoots into the food and sucks it up sideways. What's next? Can I extend the use of Metro-Meds (if so, how long)? Should I salt her in QT? Or should I just get her back in the main tank with Sephie and Kenobi?
  19. Grr...won't let me edit. Sorry for 3 posts in a row. I wanted to add that I touched her belly just a little bit -- again, she was scooting too much -- and it seemed to be more firm.
  20. Just a quick update: When I fed her this morning, she was a bit more zippy. I tried to hand feed her at first, but she was too bouncy and zoomy, so I just strategically dropped pieces in front of her and she gobbled them up. Fins crossed...
  21. Hi again, yeesh, another busy week. I got the Metro-Meds in the mail Wednesday and set up the QT tank on Friday. She looked about the same all week long in her big tank. I wanted to give the QT some days to get a cycle going (transferred media and rocks, etc. from other tanks). On Sunday afternoon she looked BAD. Her tail was angry red and she didn't even respond to dinner at all. Very unusual for her. So I immediately transferred her to QT...got temp matched and everything over an hour and then she was in. I hand-fed her the Metro-Meds (4 pieces). This morning she didn't respond to food again -- just a bit excited at the lights going on, etc. -- so I hand-fed again (4 pieces). Tonight I just hand-fed right away (4 pieces) and dropped an extra piece in there. Came back a few minutes later and it was gone. So that was good. How many pieces should I be giving? (The MMs are bigger like Pro-Gold, but I'm just not sure with the meds.) Water params in QT are good (just tested 24 hours after she's been in): ammonia - 0 nitrate - 5+ppm (not quite 10) nitrite - 0 ph - 8 kh - 89.5ish (5 drops) gh - 107ish (6 drops) (using Buff-it-Up and Prime) Anything else I can be doing? I'm hoping the MMs perk her up. Otherwise I'm not sure she can fight through this time.
  22. Thanks Chrissy. Yeah, I'll probably have to QT her. Her tank mates are piggies and they'll totally eat her med food. I could get a divider, but she might just need a break too...some alone time. Not they ever pick on her.
  23. Aww. You ladies are seriously the best. I've missed this place. Starbuck has always been my special girl too. And I know she's never going to be a perfectly healthy fish who swims beautifully. I just don't want her to be uncomfortable or in pain. I think I'm going to keep her in the 29 gallon this week and set up my 10 gallon QT with some media from both of my tanks. Hopefully I can get a jump start on a cycle before putting her in it. I've ordered Metro-Meds. Will salt help at all with this? (Speaking of salt, can it affect a fish's coloring? I've noticed that for the month I've been salting to .1%, Kenobi is losing some orange.)
  24. Her eyes have always been a little buggy like that. I just think she's physically put together all wrong. I've never tried Metromeds. How long of a course is that?
  25. Yeah, she's still definitely got an appetite and I always watch to make sure she gets at least a couple bits of food. Sometimes she gets one bit and sorta gives up. I've noticed in the past couple days she's not really swimming around like she used to at food time, though she's perking up and scooting about the bottom a bit. In general, I'd say personality-wise, she's perky, but physically she looks rough. Since she's been doing the bottom-sitting more persistently, her tail looks irritated and spotty. Is there any kind of med that might possibly help? I'll set up a QT tank in a heartbeat if I thought it would help. Here are some pictures, in case that helps... In this first picture -- the piece of her belly that is centered, is the piece that looks bloated and feels soft.
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