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Nitrates And Sbd


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  • Regular Member

I read somewhere that having a higher concentration of nitrAtes isn't good for a fish with SBD. My nitrAtes stay at 40 all the time. How can I safely lower the nitrAte levels? Anyone know if this will help my oranda?

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  • Regular Member

I am a strong believer in high nitrates causeing flipping and equilibrium problems in fish. I have had fish that would start to flip with as little as 10ppm nitrate. If you have a fish that is already unstable, that 40ppm reading might be exasperating the problem. It would certainly be a good idea to lower the value to a nice 10 or under. It may not solve all the SBD problems, but it will not hurt and it might help. The susceptible fish I have had will respond to a nitrate lowering between an hour after to a few days after, depending on the other problems the fish has and the duration of the nitrate problem.....

I also think they can be made more susceptible by high nitrIte values - particularly in a cycling tank. The nitrites seem to permanently injure the fish, causing higher sensitivity to nitrates later in life. High nitrates (160+) also seem to have this affect.

You can do multiple massive water changes in a row to lower the nitrates. If you have a strong media base in your filter holding a solid cycle, you can even do an 75%+ water change. Feeding less can help keep the nitrates down, and changing larger amounts of water each change can help keep the values down. And, of course, real plants will use the nitrates as food and use them up. A good carpet of bright green algae on the bottom or sides of your tank will do a lot to keep the nitrates in control.

Fully stocked or slightly overstocked tanks can have big enough bio-cycles to process all the waste but the results are excess nitrates. These can be addressed with careful feeding and loads of water changes.....

:)

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Thanks for the suggestions Daryl! I'm currently doing 50% water changes once a week. Do you think I need to up it to 75% water changes once a week, or maybe change to doing 50% water changes 2-3 times a week?

My tank is fully cycled, with no ammonia or nitrites showing when I test. I have a 55g with four fish in it.

I just afraid that no matter what I do now, it won't help my oranda. She's had SBD for months now and, in the last couple of weeks, it's gotten to the point where she just floats upside down at the top. Do you think she could possibly get better if I start doing more frequent and larger water changes?

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At "only" 40ppm, and months of being upside down, I seriously doubt that the only thing you are seeing is nitrate complications. 40ppm is certainly on the very upper end of what you would want on a daily basis in your tank but, all in all, it is not all that bad - it is certainly not great, but not so high that it should truly bother the average fish. It certainly will not hurt to do a couple of back to back 50% water changes that will take the nitrate from 40ppm to 5 ppm and give you a good start again, but I do not think it will solve you fish's problem in itself.... :(

I do not think you need to do more than a 50% water change each time, normally. If you run a cannister filter, it might be that there is excess biological waste in the bottom of it, creating excess nitrates as your biological cycle processes it. I am guilty of that on occasion - I am usually amazed at the amount of waste I find in the bottom of the cannister!

I am also guilty of overfeeding my fish. I love watching them eat - and they do eat the majority of the food, but it puts out HUGE amounts of ammonia - ammonia that all ends up as nitrates in the tank. I am being a bit more careful about feeding now - keeping them always a tiny bit hungry and the nitrates have been easier to control.

SBD or flipping is a very complicated condtion to remedy. It can happen as a result of so many different conditions and problems - problems that occur singly or in combination with other factors. The shape and genetics of the fish, the history of the fish before it came to you, the food and method of feeding, the water temperature, parasites, bacteria, etc..... the list goes on and on!

The only success I have ever had with a long term flipped fish was with the use of MediGold medicated food, 80 degrees F water, keeping the nitrates below 5 ppm and twice daily "walking" of the fish - holding the fish in the upright position, letting him use his fins and body to "swim" so the muscles and body do not atrophy. One fish like this recovered completely. I have had others that have had a modicum of cure from intensive treatment - but they were/are never "normal" again, swimming unsteadily in some cases, twirling in others, or, in the best, being extremely susceptible to every nitrate, every temp. change, every pH aberation, every non-soaked pellet, every lack of a pea every day, etc. They are tough fish to deal with.....

If you have tried peas, epsom salts, antibiotics, temperature raising, water quality, and parsititic treatments, then I, sadly, do not see a great deal of hope for your fish.

I hate having to write this kind of reply. I wish I could give you a magical cure. I do not want you to lose all hope for your fish. Lowering nitrates might help to a degree.....

:hug:cry1

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  • Regular Member
does your oranda have floaty poop?

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I'm not sure what you mean by "floaty" poop. I fed her two mashed up peas last night and that was the first time I've actually seen her poop in quite a while.

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I fed her two peas again last night and watched her for about 15 minutes, but didn't see any waste. I'm wondering if she has some kind of parasite since the poop looked so weird the night before...like poop with a white string attached to it. Could some type of parasite cause her to have SBD?

She's totally floating upside down at the top...can't swim to the bottom at all. I did notice last night that my other fish are wanting to nip at her.

I'm wondering if I need to put her in a QT. I've never set up a QT before, so I'll have to read up on it. I don't have any antibiotics and am not really sure what kind to get if she does have parasites.

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So was the white kinda like a sausage casing?

was the brown the color of the food you're feeding?

Did the poop float or sink?

What are you feeding her?

a qt tank could be as simple as a rubbermaid tub with a heater and filter.

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The white was very thin almost like a thread and it was attached to the brown part. It did float around for a while. I've been feeding her peas for the last couple of days to see if that will help.

I noticed last night that there is part of her wen missing! I had seen the other fish swimming up to her head, but didn't realize until last night that they were actually nibbling away at the wen. It did look like there was a small amount of fuzzy white stuff around the area. What can I do for this???

I'm really beginning to think it might actually be better to euthanize the poor thing.

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How does her belly feel?

You can take a q-tip and clean the area with either peroxide or iodine. Be sure not to get it in her eyes or gills.

I think you should set up a QT tank for her and hand feed her medicated food for 7-10 days. either metromed or medigold. bump the water temp up to the high 70s.

then swiitch to totally fresh/frozen foods (e.g. shrimp and veggies) and homemade gel food with added acidophilus.

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Thanks for the suggestions! I've got her quarantined as I noticed that the other fish had been nipping at her wen. It looked like it was beginning to get maybe a fungus on it. I'm medicating her with melafix hoping to repair the wen.

I'll start feeding her medigold tonight for 2 weeks, then switch to fresh foods. I can also make gel food, but what is acidophilus?

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it's a bacteria. I buy it in pills at a pharmacy in the health food section. Antibiotics may kill some of the normal bacteria in the intesting and acidophilus fills that niche while the normal flora is getting up to speed again.

So how's she doing?

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