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  1. It sounds like the pH is dropping because you have soft water. The only way to pH match for water changes in a situation where your pH changes over time is to age the water before doing the water change. And in your case it sounds like crushed coral would help. I think the swinging pH is probably causing a lot of stress to the fish and should really be addressed before you medicate.
  2. Those photos all look like wen growth to me, but I'm not an expert. I'd say that if that looks like what you are seeing, and it is only showing up on the wen and not on the fins or body, it is most likely wen growth. Just keep an eye on it. Metro is an antibiotic, and now that you've started it you definitely need to finish the course. I think it still wouldn't hurt to get some PraziPro to have on hand. The thing with flukes is in the egg stage they can survive the prazi, and the eggs won't hatch with prazi in the water. So to really make sure they are gone, you need to treat on a schedule that includes periods of just clean water so any eggs will hatch and you can kill those when you re-dose. I doubt the general cure will allow for that.
  3. Orandas can get wen growth on their faces, and wen growth can look lots of different ways. You say yo started with the two orandas two weeks ago. Is that when you got them from the store, or were these fish you had already that you moved from a different tank? Just trying to clarify if they are all relatively new to being in your care. Without clear pictures it's hard to say for sure, but from your description it sounds like the white spots could just be wen growth, especially if they haven't been with you long and you may have not had time to become familiar with the different ways it can present. The other symptoms you describe do sound to me like it could be parasites, likely flukes. It is very, very common for fish to come from stores with flukes. Sort of the aquatic equivalent of fleas. We reccommend Praziquantel to treat for flukes, as it is very gentle. I don't know much about the general cure, but I suspect it is much harsher (though I've also heard it's not quite as bad as parasite clear). If you can, you might look into ordering some PraziPro online if you don't have any local fish stores that sell it. The only chain in my area that carries it it Petland, but I do have a few smaller stores that stock it. I do not think you would want to add any more medications to the tank currently. Antibiotic foods and the like can be hard on fish and overmedicating can cause long term problems. It's best to take it slow. I'm sure there will be others with more suggestions for you. I also wanted to say, it sounds like you've done a lot of research and it's really nice to see new people come to the site who are so willing to educate themselves and who are open to making changes as they learn. Welcome to Koko's!
  4. I'm going to suggest that you take the fish out while you remove the rocks. I had river rocks in a previous tank and even though I thought I was getting all the crud sucked out I found some seriously nasty stuff hiding when I broke that tank down. You wouldn't want to stir up something that could make them sick while they are still in there.
  5. I've tested that water before and the pH was about 6.4 for me. It is very very soft. You will probably have to use a buffer or some crushed coral to keep it stable. That could also be why water changes seem to cause stress for your fish.
  6. I also like Oswald. Or what about Figaro? Or Flotsam?
  7. You will probably have to do bigger water changes to see a difference. I would suggest 50%-75% daily. As long as the water you add in is pH and temp matched, that shouldn't be stressing the fish. They are probably stressed by the toxic ammonia and nitrites. Feed sparingly to help keep ammonia production down. And how much filtration do you have?
  8. I wonder if you could get the dividers out if you cut/removed the seal around them?
  9. Oh yeah. Silly me. When I was trying to cycle my other tank fishless I was on well water with no chlorine. Don't mind me!
  10. Gosh, I wish I had some great advice for you. But I just wanted to say I'm so sorry to hear this.
  11. Actually, I don't think there's any need for Prime in a fishless cycle. You will do a w/c before adding fish anyway and add it then, I think?
  12. The suggestion to remove the ornaments is to give the fish as much swimming space as possible since you are overstocked, and also because if any of your ornaments are hollow they can be dangerous. Removing the gravel will also maximize water space, and if you are going to have gravel you need to have only a very thn layer and vaccuum it very thouroughly at least once a week to prevent growth of bad bacteria and build up of toxic gasses. In addition to what everyone else has mentioned, I wanted to add that it is not a good idea to use salt in a tank where ammonia is present. Salt increases ammonia toxicity.
  13. It's hard to see in the pic. But I'm thinking its really probably just stress poo.
  14. They are both gorgeous! Steve has a ryukin I really like too (the bright red and black one), but my tank is all boys so far except poor little Chloe, so I'm really thinking she needs a girlfriend or two to share the boys' attention.
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