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I've had a 72G for about 5 years now and although my tank parameters are consistently good; my fish all seem to die of dropsy or flukes after 3-9 months. I do regular tests and monthly water changes of 40%. I always quarantine fish for at least 14 days. I'm a sucker for Ranchus, Lionheads, Pom Poms. My Father in Law has had the same 2 Koi for the last 4 years in a 30G tank with a tiny HOB filter. All he does is quarterly water changes and feeding. i don't get it.

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Sounds to me like the fish your getting might have really bad problems when you got them. Or there is something bacteria in the tank thats not good. Have you cleaned everything before you added fish when they died like that?

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UV wont always kill everything, it will hold down things like Ich but I may be wrong but I really dont think it will kill Flukes. It will also work for Algae, but the tougher parasites it wont effect them :(

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I've had a 72G for about 5 years now and although my tank parameters are consistently good; my fish all seem to die of dropsy or flukes after 3-9 months. I do regular tests and monthly water changes of 40%.

I think the fact that you do monthly water changes could be your problem IMHO. Personally, I do 50 to 80% water changes every 5 to 7 days.......

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I've had a 72G for about 5 years now and although my tank parameters are consistently good; my fish all seem to die of dropsy or flukes after 3-9 months. I do regular tests and monthly water changes of 40%.

I think the fact that you do monthly water changes could be your problem IMHO. Personally, I do 50 to 80% water changes every 5 to 7 days.......

Totally agree. Also, your dad with the koi: I'd wager a fair amount that the koi are surviving and not thriving.

I kept a common in a 5 gallon for 3 years and it eventaully caught up to me.

Edited by uberleslie
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I agree with Koko, if you're buying them all from the same supplier, I would switch. I lost my two 8 years old during the past year, have the one five year old, but have had an array of others that didn't make it in-between. Usually, if they make it a year, they are good long-term. The first month or two is totally touch and go. I hate to say it, but I lose a LOT within the few months, before I get a "keeper". Usually to mysterious deaths, fine one day, dead the next, no signs of illness, injury, nothing.

My local LFS chain store told me that all their fish were medicated at the wholesaler, then medicated MORE when they come into the store. If they are small, I think they can get damaged by that, along with the stress from shipping, and then the crowded conditions in LFS tanks. Not a very good start. I would imagine that they are very compromised, and that any type of bacteria their system would normally be able to fight off they just can't handle.

You mention 40% water change monthly. Is that enough to keep your tank bottom free of waste/anything decaying or stuck anywhere? Hollow ornaments? Trying to think of anything that could cause bacteria to accumulate.

I hope you find the answer! Such a frustrating situation!

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Monthly water changes with goldfish is pretty much never enough, bi-weekly should be the bare minimum. How old is your UV light in your sterilizer? Those wear out after 6-8 months and need to be replaced...so if you haven't been replacing it then that could be part of your problem if you're relying on that to take care the nasties in your water.

Also, when you quarantine what do you do? Do you just observe the fish for problems and then treat or do you treat prophylactically?

The average age of my inside fish is about 3 years (almost how long I've been keeping inside fish) and my pond fish, except for the babies, are at an average of 7 years and still going strong. The adults in my pond are all originals except for one that I bought to be an inside fish and he just got too big.

Edited by nichjake
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Ya I must echo that you need to do weekly water changes. Also do you have enough filteration to do 720 gph?

I would also buy from a different pet store.

I have two that are over a year old and I had one that I had for two years before I moved it to my friends pond.

Good luck

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Thanks for all the suggestions. They are all appreciated.

Why would it be necessary to do weekly water changes if my ammonia, nitrite are 0 and nitrate are at worst 20ppm when i do my monthly water changes?

I quarantine with salt and observation for 2-4 weeks.

My filters should flow 1350 gph if the manufacture specs are correct.

I usually change the bulb in the UV filter every year or so.

I have a bare bottom tank with 2 large pieces of driftwood. I also usually have a couple of banana plants to lower the nitrates.

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Why would it be necessary to do weekly water changes if my ammonia, nitrite are 0 and nitrate are at worst 20ppm when i do my monthly water changes?

The short answer is that, even if your water params are in order, you're still accumulating fish waste and that's building up. So it's not just nitrates you're removing with a water change, but organic material (dissolved organic compounds and particulates). Basically, all the crud you suck out of the tank or rinse out of the filter media.

Also, what are your pH, KH, GH readings? This can also affect the health of your fish. (I ask about pH because I know this can be affected by driftwood.)

Edit/add: Your QT period may be on the short side. Especially if you may be bringing home fish with nasties. When I QT I salt and Prazi -- and watch for a month minimum. I had 2 new babies (Kenobi and Sephie) and it took about 2 weeks for ich to pop up.

Edited by uberleslie
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Why would it be necessary to do weekly water changes if my ammonia, nitrite are 0 and nitrate are at worst 20ppm when i do my monthly water changes?

The short answer is that, even if your water params are in order, you're still accumulating fish waste and that's building up. So it's not just nitrates you're removing with a water change, but organic material (dissolved organic compounds and particulates). Basically, all the crud you suck out of the tank or rinse out of the filter media.

Also, what are your pH, KH, GH readings? This can also affect the health of your fish. (I ask about pH because I know this can be affected by driftwood.)

Edit/add: Your QT period may be on the short side. Especially if you may be bringing home fish with nasties. When I QT I salt and Prazi -- and watch for a month minimum. I had 2 new babies (Kenobi and Sephie) and it took about 2 weeks for ich to pop up.

My PH is at 7.0 when it comes out of the faucet and the water is a little soft so I have crushed coral in my filter and buffer with baking soda to a ph of ~7.8. I must admit that I don't premix and age the water though. I add prime as I am filling the tank up for the chlorine. The PH usually drops to about 7.4 until I add baking soda to 7.8 over a period of 24hrs.

I have bought fish from almost all of the pet stores in ~60 mile radius of me(5-6 stores), with the same results. I wish I could find some "stronger" fish!

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I'd definitely say don't give up. Maybe try to buy the best looking fish in that radius and do a long QT period where you salt and hit with Prazi a time or two?

The baking soda works as a buffer, but it can also cause swings in pH. You should look into a buffer that does a better job holding KH and pH steady. I use Buff-it-Up from goldfishconnection.com.

And then keep up with large weekly water changes. Healthy water is the most important part of keeping healthy fish. And it's definitely possible!

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Thats what hit my head the Ph, its going into a swing. If its 7.0 out of the tap, then you add baking soda to 7.8 but it goes to 7.4 they are getting a swing. Then my thoughts are what are the readings after a few days cause you said you do a water change once a month, so Im wondering is that when you change the ph? If so this would be a long so swing for them, water change once a month then the ph adjusted..

Just trying to help here :)

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one of my goldfish has lived for 8 years+

for all that time i was just using a VERY small HOB filter, and 2 small internal filters in a 200L tank (bought a canister filter today). i have to admit im very lazy when it comes to cleaning the tank out, i usually just do 80% one a month. hopefully ill start to look after em better

maybe you should try some goldfish that arent fancy? they are alot 'hardier'

Edited by Nick
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I like doing WEEKLY water changes!! Think of it like this....you could stay in your room day in & day but I am sure you'd want to throw open a window every now & then to get FRESH AIR!! I feel that when I change 50% (or more!) of the water every week I am not just cleaning the tank but giving them a "breath of fresh air (?) Well you know what I mean!

The same ole STALE water has got to be ICKY!!!

Edited by Jeana727
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