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Guest Dragonwitch

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Guest Dragonwitch

I have a 28 gal. tank, using both undergravel filter and a penquin bio filter w/ bio wheel. i have 3 fish, 2 orandas, 1 plec. i feed them hikari floating pellets my levels are in normal range, where i live has very hard water, this has never been a problem before. after water change all levels are perfect but as time goes by, by ph is bottoming out, almost doesn't register on the 5in1 test strip. my oldest oranda, approx 1 yr.,(this time around tank has been up about 13 mos.) got what appeared to be an ulcer on they top of the tail right by where tail and body meet. treated it with maracyde ts for the time advised, no change. went through the cycle twice. still no change. the ulcer looking thing is still there and now there is a blister looking thing about the size of a pea. fish also appears to be losing scales randomly all over, worse on one side. acts normal....he is HUGE so he isn't extremely active, but seems to be eating normally. nothing wrong with other fish. HELP!!!! :krazy:

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  • Regular Member

Hi Dragonwitch and :welcome

I just have a few questions for you:

- Have you resolved your ph issue? A very low ph can cause both ph crash and acidosis in fish. When you say scales are falling off, is there a milky appearance to the skin also?

- How long have you had your fish - any new arrivals recently?

- Would you be able to post the readings for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and of course, PH?

- The ulcer you see could be due bacteria. Is it a surface wound or does it extend through several layers of tissue?

- Is there any chance of posting a pic?

Please post back with as much information as possible - hopefully it'll hold some clue as to what's happening.

Where abouts do you live? Are you able to get your hands on meds readily?

Cheers :)

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Guest squeeker

How often do you change the water and vacuum the gravel? Do you have any driftwood, bogwood, peat, etc. in the tank?

What kind of pleco do you have? The loss of scales and the ulcers could actually be from the pleco latching on to your fish. I've had it happen to me...

Please post back and answer our questions... we'll get to the bottom of this!

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Guest Dragonwitch

I vacuum gravel and do approx. 50 % water change about every 4-5 weeks, adding water as needed. the oranda is so gigantic (seriously) that other than a couple of artificial plants that have been in since day 1 i can't put anything else in...he knocks it over, buries or relocates it. my test strips don't give levels, just color blocks. my nitrates are on the high side of normal, my water is between hard and very hard, my nitrites are low end of safe, my ph is about 6.6, and what i thought was my low ph is my alkalinity, and it's probably between 20 & 40. no new fish...the pleco being newest, and he's over 8 mos., he's just a common pleco, i hate the damned thing, but he's a necessary evil, and we learned that goldfish, (at least mine) and chinese algae eaters are NOT compatible....at least once the algae reaches 2in. in length. where the scales are missing isn't milky, but the spots left by the missing scales are obvious. the ulceration goes through several layers, no better or worse than when i first noticed over 6 weeks ago, except that now there is the pea sized blister looking thing i mentioned before. I live in SLC Utah, and i've used tri sulfa, two cycles, something made by mardel that comes in foil envelopes and the name ends in tc. someone in the aquatics dept. at my local vvvvv suggested something called mela-fix (I think) but since the fish hasn't responded to two cycles each of two different meds, i'm thinking i should at least try to tailor the next round to his problem. help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! as for a picture, by the time i got it taken and developed..........i haven't made it to totally digital yet

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There's really only a couple of things I can suggest but first, have you removed all the meds since dosing?

I would do a 50% waterchange today and another 50% tomorrow to try and remove any remaining meds and also to improve your water quality. Water as a rule should be changed weekly because no matter how good the filtration, they still need to have refreshed water quite regularly - otherwise it may cause illness down the track.

I wonder if your pleco is causing this problem? If so, then this may continue to cause problems :(

For now, the best thing IMHO is perfect water and the addition of salt - at 1 teaspoon per gallon (predissolved - sea, rock or aquarium). Then if you can get some iodine - swab the area with a q-tip (being careful not to get near gills, eyes or mouth) as it will disinfect the area and hopefully with perfect water and salt, will aid in the healing.

So taking a step back from the meds, ensuring your water quality is refreshed and perfect should hopefully see some improvement although perhaps someone with experience of this may have a different suggestion.

I certainly hope he improves soon :)

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Greetings, :)

Jen gave you excellent advice. :) The only thing that I would add is to fix your alkalinity (and in turns, your pH). It is too low and it will allow your pH to swing and crash.

For a 30gal tank, I would suggest 1/2 tsp of baking soda (bicarb of soda) once per day. Retest your pH/KH after an hour. You can stop adding the bicarb when KH is around 150ppm.

Cleaning the ulcer with iodine is an excellent idea but do that only once. :)

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Guest Dragonwitch

thanks for the help......round eyes will appreciate it....just need a little clarification.....how long do i leave the salt treated water in the tank and do i add baking soda while the above mentioned water is in? also i was told that orandas like high ph...true? if so how do i bring that up. i tried that phup once and that was some nasty stuff, wanting to not poison my fish i added 1/4 of the amount in the directions, and the ph went way off the other end. if i should change my water weekly, what %.....way back when i was told 25-35% monthly and 75% every 6 months!! no wonder round eyes doesn't look so good. if the problem should turn out to be my pleco, is there any other that would be more compatible? ideally i wouldn't have a pleco at all, i absolutely detest them, but how else do i get their job done?

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No problem with salting to 0.1% and adding baking soda. :) Salt at 0.1% can be left in for weeks with no problems.

When your KH increases, your pH will raise and become stable. It is all part of the water quality balancing act. ;) Yes, avoid the chemicals like pH up/down/bullseye. Half the time they are just strong acids or strong base and if your fundamentals are not good, you can end up making the pH swing all over the place. In most cases, even if the pH did go in the right direction, it will probably swing back to where it was within a day or two.

We normally recommend a weekly wc of 10-20%.

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