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Roano

Bulge On Abdomen

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Just went to check on him, and he was up hanging around the filter intakes/surface (no gasping, and I don't know how much hanging he was doing... I went in, checked all the bottom corners, behind the plant, etc (I didn't see him because of the angle I was at and how the tank's situated...) and then saw him, at which point he was already watching me... so I don't know how inactive he was before I just saw him.

A concern that comes to mind... one of my fish I'm treating for flukes... I've been very careful about not cross-contaminating the tanks... I've been taking alot of steps but it could have happened. I've seen no rubbing or gasping though (all of which I saw in the infected fish) and it seems like even though he's been clampish and hanging the past day or so, before that he's been normal (and if any cross-contamination happened, it would have been weeks ago, I think, when I was unsure if the other fish had flukes or not (I was still being very careful, but in the past three weeks I've been EXTREMELY careful...

I think this is more likely related to digestive issues... he seems to clamp and act less active before he has a big poo (or at least last time that happened) and I think he may feel a little uncomforatble inside with that coming. Anyway, I'll continue to observe and if the temp rises I will add a frozen water bottle or something.

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Flukes do usually cause flashing but after and/or between the flashing there is usually a lot of bottom sitting and sidehanging lethargy.

If you have never treated this fish for flukes you really should do it at some point.

However, I don't think it is the main problem here given your fishes behavior, digestive/constipation issues, curly poo and early stunting issues. As you say, the timing of the clamping is always before passing his poop and after he seems so much better and this is a key point.

Also in warmer water fish will hover nearer the surface, because this is where the most dissolved oxygen is. The warmer the water the less oxygen available. All my tanks have oxygen saturation (14PPM)all year round - I really believe it is an undervoted preventative medicine!

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I don't understand what's going on now...

This evening after my last post, I was periodically checking in on him... sometimes he'd be up near the filter outflow corner (where I couldn't find him before) moving around, with (I think) all fins out; other times he'd be bottom sitting... he found his calm corner and sat over there.

I added in a frozen container of water, and it lowered the temp from around 82 to around 81-80.5. This was after I saw him bottom sitting. After that when I checked on him he was sort of hanging around mid-upper level, but wasn't to active in his swimming. Then I came upstairs and saw him bottom-sitting again. When he was disturbed, he was up and about, but still swimming lethargically, like he didn't quite care where he was going. He wobbled a little in the water sometimes, not too much, but a little side to side when he was using his pectoral fins to steady himself.

I spent quite awhile trying to feed him. It was like he couldn't see the little floaty pieces of gel food. I'd point/gesture to them, like normal, which he usually responds to by swimming over and eating them. It didn't work this time; he'd get SO close to the food, and then it was like he couldn't find it. We spent awhile doing this, and then the floaty piece of food stuck at the waterline and the tank wall. Surprisingly, he found it, but after that he still had trouble finding things, and swam around the tank (I usually feed him on one side of the tank exclusively.) I have one plastic plant in his tank and he swam over between the fronds and actually got stuck in it. He just went in headfirst and then didn't try to get out before I quickly helped him. Then he swam around and tried finding food some more, to no avail. Then he went back to his calm corner, faced the plant and sort of moved his face into it a little (I don't think he was deliberately trying to go into the plant, but it was like he was trying to turn and his face bumped the plant.) His right (and somewhat his left) pectoral fins started quivering like he was trying to manuver but the movements of his fins where so small nothing happened, so he just settled down where he was. I moved around the outside of the glass and he got up.

Eventually, I gave up trying to feed him like I was and hand fed him about 3 pieces. One sunk and it took him forever to find it (same story as when he was at the top: it was like he could smell it or knew something was there but couldn't find it... he'd pass right by it and I would think "there's no way he can't see that" but he didn't. Eventually he got it, so that was 5 pieces total (I usually feed about 4 that equal 1/4 pea's worth (twice a day).)

I think the whole time he was swimming throughout the feeding ordeal, all his fins where up. When he sat sometimes they would drop (seemed to do this earlier in the evening) sometimes not (later tonight.) Thoughout the whole day (and yesterday, Tuesday) his swimming has seemed kind of weak. It's really worrisome.

Also these past few days (seemed like it started around Tuesday (yesterday)) he was slower at finding food. He eventually found it though, unlike tonight.

The past few times I've checked on him since the feeding, he's been up and about, with fins out. I'm not sure what's going on... I'm a little concerned about dropsy, not that his scales are really sticking up, but he could be a little more rounded after his head, and sometimes I scrutinize a fish's scales so close that it looks like a couple stick out ever so slighty, and this is probably what I'm doing with him... I tend to grasp at straws.

Another straw I'm grasping at: the gel food I've been feeding him has been from the edge of my gel food batch... it seems more gelatine-y than, say, the more middle parts, which sink as opposed to float and tend to have a slight mushyness on the underside of the thawed piece of food after a day or two... could he be getting too much gelatine, and not enough of the actual food? It doesn't seem likely; edge pieces and middle pieces look the same. But I just thought I'd throw that out there... I don't know.

I'm really tired, so I'm going to bed but I think I'll check back here in a couple of hours and update if there's anything to update. My guess is he'll be bottom sitting.

Edit: The heat wave started Monday, and rose Tues. and Wed. It's suposed to end around Friday.

That's good to hear about the flukes.

Do you have something special to keep the oxygen so high? Or is it alot of filtration/bubblers?

Edited by Roano

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Well, I just woke up to check on him and he seems alright; not great but alright. When I went over to the tank, he was up and swimming... hopefully he hasn't been bottom sitting in the last hour since I saw him last. (He could have been and was just roused by the light before I saw him.) His fins are clampish (meaning not fully clamped all the time, but that he tends to keep them lowered or against his body) but his temp is stable.

I guess my goal/plan of action is to keep things stable and see if that improves the situation... if it worsens, then I'll probably see more symptoms of whatever it is that's causing this (be it digestive issues or something more serious.)

Oh, by the way, something I didn't mention earlier: when I first saw him behaving strangely, I checked pH, and things looked normal to me. (I have a high kh and gh, but the tap pH is usually lower than the tank pH for whatever reason, and I thought with a 50% change today maybe something somehow got off, but it's about the same: 8.2-8.1 beforehand, aprox 8.0 after.) Just thought I'd throw that in as something I'd eliminated as it seems like pH can cause top hanging and bottom-sitting.

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He was surface hanging with his dorsal half lowered the few times that I checked on him this morning. (I'm still a little concerned about dropsy, as a few of his scales seem slighty rough... but that's just something I'm trying to keep in the back of my head.)

Anyway, haven't seen any other signs of digestive issues (no lumps or poo coming, etc.) Not yet anyway.

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He started bottom-sitting again this evening, and has been so far. I've yet to feed him; I'm thawing a chunk of gel food now.

Do you think something went wrong with my gel and that somehow it's lost it's nutrition? (In the freezer, it's got ice on top of it and it's shrunken slightly from the sides of the container... but I figured this was fine.) Or maybe I'm not feeding him enough? Based on yesterday, he started bottom-sitting in the evening then after I fed him he seemed more active (or at least hung at the surface instead of bottom sitting.) I don't know... could it be swimbladder issues? Could something big passing through his intestines press on the swim bladder? When he's up, sometimes he kind of rocks slighty from side to side, like he's not quite balanced.

His chest (right under his chin) seems a little more hollow too... I'll try and get a pic and compare it to older photos.

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He had a lot of trouble coming up to the surface... it was like he couldn't get off the bottom very well. When he finally did make it to the surface he had alot of trouble staying there and just sank back down. So I ended up picking him up in my left hand, holding him near the water's surface (he struggled a little at first) and placing food right in front of his mouth, (almost placing it in his mouth) which he ate. I gave him four large pieces, and ended up feeding him probably over half a peas worth... (usually I give 1/4 peas worth twice a day.) So if it's swim bladder from constipation issues, I may have made it worse. But if it's lack of strength from some sort of feeding problem, then I think it was the best thing to do... I think it may be the later, simply because last night he acted like he had more strength (he stopped bottom sitting) after I fed him. But before that, he had clamped fins, which would indicate digestive issues, so I don't know if I did the right thing or not. (Please let me know what you think... what's done is done but if I ever get in a desperate situation like this again, do you think I did the right thing?) I didn't mean to feed him so much... just a little extra and four large pieces doesn't seem like to much to me... but when I looked in the container where I store his thawed gel food, I had used up what was there except for some small pieces (and about 2 pieces and little bits from the ones I fed him lost in the tank.) I'm trying to visualize what they looked like in my mind's eye but it's hard... it seems like there was quite a bit in the container, but that an adequate yet not inappropriate amount went in his mouth. I don't know... like I said, what's done is done... we'll see if it helps or hurts.

Didn't get a pic of his chest... after I let him down from the hand feeding he was 'done' and swam (I almost wrote crawled there because of how he moves just above the gravel) behind the plant. Here and in front of the plant seem like his choice spots. In one pic you can see a shot of his gills (they seemed a bit open while he was resting there... he was breathing, but it seemed (and maybe it's just the angle) that I saw alot of gill.) The other pic you can see him hiding, but with his fins erect. It seems like for the most part he has them up when he's bottom-sitting, but it's hard to tell because by the time I see him, he's seen me, and the fins are up whether they were down a momment before or not.

simpkin-1.jpg

2-4.jpg

I'm heading to bed... I think I'll check on him later tonight (around two again)... I think I've done all I can for tonight but I don't want him to get stuck in the plant or something. I'm feeling pretty discouraged (although I'm glad I was able to get him to eat.) Before that (and during the feeding; I've had a little time away to calm down now) I was feeling like I can't keep doing this... like he's never going to get back to a semblance of normality ever again. (And then I think about Sue and all her fish and everything she's going through... and feel bad for feeling like I can't do this anymore. I keep telling myself that it's going to get better, even if the worst happens eventually all this will pass... and that's the only thing I can tell myself because I'm not an opptimistic person and I don't see him getting better... I'm rambling though... need to sleep. Maybe he'll be better later tonight.)

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Jamie it looks like your fish has taken a turn for the worse and things have changed here. I would also prazi his tank for flukes as you are the other fish, and add 0.1% salt to start. I think you may also need to get some medicated food into him. What can you get locally soon? Can you get Jungle antibacterial food for example?

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Are Metro Meds okay? I have those.

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Fed him about 7 tiny Metro-Med pellets... he had alot of trouble chewing, but it looks like he got it down. Wouldn't let me hold him in hand and fed... had to put MM on bare part of tank and pick him up and steer him over to where they were, tipping my hand so his head was down a little and he ate them.

Have to go to work. Was bottom-sitting still this morning. Fins still seem up when he swims.

Prazi went in and salt is at .01%

(BTW, yesterday's params: am and ni: 0 ph: aprox 8.1-8.2 na: 3-5)

Hope MMs were okay... they were on hand and should help since they're medicated. (Fresh too.)

Thanks for all your advice! I'll see how he looks when I get home today.

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Okay, work was just canceled. So I'll give a little more detail. (Sorry for so many posts! I could probably wait and condense some of these but oh well.)

Last night after I fed him gel he went over to the corner in front of the plant and rested. Like I said before, dorsal seems erect, both when bottom sitting and 'swimming'. Checked on him at 2:30 and from what I could tell his fins were still up. He was in the same spot, but he could have moved... when I turned on the light he rose up from the ground a little and sort of hovered. Then he sank back down into about the same spot. This morning, he was in the same spot but while I was messing around he moved around the tank a little. When I was holding him and hand feeding, he would suck at my fingers where the pellet was (although I can't tell if this was in agitation at being somewhat immobilized and he was just breathing harder or if he was actually interested.) But because the pellets were so small I would have had to time it so that I released the pellet from my fingers just as he was sucking in... it almost worked several times but didn't. So I did what I said (holding him loosely in my hand and directing his mouth towards the pellets on the ground.) I never held him tightly or rubbed him too much (when he tried to swim out of my hands I'd either let him and move my hands around him to adjust again or use my other hand to prevent him from going forward.) So I think slime-coat wise, things will be okay. (I'll keep an eye on it though.)

When I was observing/feeding him, I noticed what I think were clear bits of poo (casts, I think they're called?) floating around. Other than that (and possibly a tiny little circle of poo floating around the tank yesterday) I haven't seen any poo. But it's possible that his upper body is more pronounced, more rounded. I'll try and get pics later. For now I'm letting him rest.

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Since this late morning/early afternoon, he's been up pretty much floating around mid-level, fins severly clamped. He won't even raise them when I come over... so sort of the opposite of this morning. He kind of tips back and forth a little when he floats/swims too. Should I feed him more MM tonight or (because he has constipation/digestive issues) not push it? (I fed seven to eight small pellets this morning.)

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It's probably enough. You have to try and get 14 days of those into him and no other food. I hope these dont make more constipation issues...keep letting us know how he is.

The prazi should start to help soon if he has flukes. Is your other fish recovered?

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Okay, maybe tommorrow I'll break the feeding up: 4 small pieces in the morning, 4 in the evening. (I hope they won't cause digestive issues too...)

The other fish... it seems so. I've treated him every three days for almost 2 and 1/2 weeks (with 50-60% changes between dosing with Prazi-Pro). He's the one you helped me with before, the ryukin, who was treated for ich for about a month. What I'd been seeing was yawning, rubbing (which might not have been rubbing) and then I did see him flash once (swim vigorously around the tank, although this was when I lifted the lid off, and I could have scared him.) I saw top gasping and top hanging, and clamping fins. The reason I'm not absolutly certain things are gone, is because he still might be rubbing... or it might be him turning in a tight spot. What happens is he gets where the aquarium floor meets the aquarium wall and has to tip sharply sideways sometimes, and sometimes his side brushes the tank bottom. He did this before, and I thought he was turning, and then I saw him do it in the middle of the tank. (I have not seen this since.) No gasping though, or surface hanging. (He does a bit of mid-level hanging, but I think it's because he has nothing to do... tank is absolutely bare, and it's dim in his room and he doesn't have an aquarium light (yet).) Seems normal when I watch him (although I saw a yawn today, but haven't before this for quite awhile, it seems, so I'm hoping that wasn't anything to do with his (hopefully prior) problems. Do you remember those pink lines he had along his sides when you first started helping me with him? They're still there.

His tank (the ryukin's) never cycled (zero ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, even without water changes: the longest I went was five days, I think, when I was waiting to see if nitrates showed up.) And I have to leave in two weeks for five nights, so tommorrow or the day after tommorrow, I'm moving one healthy fish from a fully cycled tank into a tank with two other healthy fish, and then moving the ryukin into the cycled tank. If I have to retreat, I'll do it there. (I'd prefer to treat him one more week in his old tank, to be sure, but time isn't going to permit it... I need to make the tank changes so that I can monitor for any cycle bumps before I have to leave...)

I can't get out of this five day thing... I'll have someone monitering the fish, hopefully daily, but... it puts alot of pressure on both this fish and the other.

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The times I've checked on him this late afternoon/evening, he's been up, swimming a little more than hanging, and a couple of times his fins were all extended. They clamped back up again, but they came out for a little while... don't know what this means.

This last time I checked on him, I can see a poo coming, probably a large one since his 'belly' right before his vent is a little rounded. So was this all digestive issues? It seemed like something more extreme could be going on, just because of the bottom sitting. I think I've only caught him bottom-sitting once before while I was messing with different foods to feed him (can't remember when, but it was out of place, because mostly he clamps.) Anyway, that bottom-sitting and then the fact that he seemed really weak and had trouble getting up are worrisome. The only way I would think it relates to digestive issues would be if while he was digesting his swimbladder was compressed or affected in some way to make him sink and rock when he swam. I find it strange that when he bottom-sat, all his fins were up and healthy looking, but when he started to hang and swim again, they were all clamped.

I have a quick question that relates to fluke survivability: if aquarium equipment is completely dried out, any potential flukes should not survive, correct? I ask because I have seperate little plastic containers for this fish and then another for the rest of the fish in general, and this fish and the container for the other fish each have a knife to chop up peas and other food. The knife used for feeding the other fish in general never gets water from any of the tanks on it, so it's 'clean.' The other knife for just this fish has touched his tank water. Well, I ended up using the clean knife on accident and it touched water that had been in the his food container. I rinsed it off, and it's been dry for several days. Can I still use it to feed the other fish?

One more question about fluke survivability: when working on more than one tank at a time, I rinse hands and arms thoroughly in hot water, then let them dry, then usually rinse again and let them dry. (Other times I have washed hands, rinsed them well and let them dry.) I try to do it so any messing with the previously infected tank (the ryukin's) is after all other healthy fish have been dealt with, or I try to do one tank a day so that my arms and hands definately dry out between tanks. But like I said before, I have to do some tank switching tomorrow and will be messing with multiple tanks. Are the multiple rinsings and dryings enough?

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HELP! Woke up this morning and he's slightly curved into a C-shape on his side, like before... I'm going to try and feed him a few MM pellets like I planned, and more this evening, because I'm not supposed to quit the medicated food, right? MM's are supposed to have krill in them, I think, so they should have enough nutrients for him. I'm going to try that now, hopefully he can hold on until this afternoon/evening and if you're on you can let me know if I should do something else...

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I've feed him two tiny MM pellets. He seemed less interested in eating than he was yesterday; I feel almost like I'm force feeding him and shouldn't be doing it. I drop the pellet on the clear part of the floor and hold him (which he doesn't like) and tip him down like yesterday toward the pellet. But it seemed like yesterday he smelled it and went for it, and today I pretty much have to place his mouth right above or almost on top of the pellet, and he sucks it up. (But if he's trying to breathe normally, he would suck in too... but I would assume if he didn't want it he'd spit it out.) Looks like a large poo many be coming too.

Also, I removed his plant this morning so he wouldn't get stuck... sometimes I think he uses it to hold himself in place but it's sort of pokey and I don't want him to get hurt. In the tank end furthest from the filters there is some calm.

Finally, something I saw last night: I could see poo coming, but hanging out of his vent was a small piece of something. It lookes sort of like a tiny tan worm to me, but it could have been just a piece of poo, I suppose, but it was tiny (very unlike his poos) although I suppose it could have been a cast or a sick poo. Anyway, if it was a worm, the Prazi and MM's (which treats for internal parasites) should help, although I'm not sure if we're past the point of helping now or not.

Here is the image of the possible worm: look at the clear space between the anal and ventral fin. There's a small bubble almost halfway between them; look up and slightly to the right of the bubble and you should see a tiny brown line that extends up to the bottom of the vent (parrellel to the ventral fin.)

I've feed him two tiny MM pellets. He seemed less interested in eating than he was yesterday; I feel almost like I'm force feeding him and shouldn't be doing it. I drop the pellet on the clear part of the floor and hold him (which he doesn't like) and tip him down like yesterday toward the pellet. But it seemed like yesterday he smelled it and went for it, and today I pretty much have to place his mouth right above or almost on top of the pellet, and he sucks it up. (But if he's trying to breathe normally, he would suck in too... but I would assume if he didn't want it he'd spit it out.) Looks like a large poo many be coming too.

Also, I removed his plant this morning so he wouldn't get stuck... sometimes I think he uses it to hold himself in place but it's sort of pokey and I don't want him to get hurt. In the tank end furthest from the filters there is some calm.

Finally, something I saw last night: I could see poo coming, but hanging out of his vent was a small piece of something. It lookes sort of like a tiny tan worm to me, but it could have been just a piece of poo, I suppose, but it was tiny (very unlike his poos) although I suppose it could have been a cast or a sick poo. Anyway, if it was a worm, the Prazi and MM's (which treats for internal parasites) should help, although I'm not sure if we're past the point of helping now or not.

Here is the image of the possible worm: look at the clear space between the anal and ventral fin. There's a small bubble almost halfway between them; look up and slightly to the right of the bubble and you should see a tiny brown line that extends up to the bottom of the vent (parrellel to the ventral fin.)

IMG_2666.jpg

Look for the bubble in his vent (this happens because he swims around and in the bubbles) and then look down; there's a slight cuved line the same color as his fins, and only about the size of one of the rays; if you weren't looking, it would seem like the last ray (closest to the vent) on his anal fin.

(Picture forthcoming... internet not loading quickly enough.)

Here's what he looks like this morning.

(Picture forthcoming... curved into a C shape.)

Do I keep "force feeding"? Normally I would but I worry about digestive issues (but I guess they take secondary concern to what's happening now.) Also, the second (and last, so far) pellet I fed him (which was smaller than the first) he seemed to have a little trouble with: his mouth sort of extended twice, not wide open, but like he was flexing his jaw/mouth, and it worried me a little.

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Here is the last pic, just of him this morning (internet's going slow, but I'll try getting the other one (the second one) up later maybe, although it might not make much of a difference):

IMG_2681-1.jpg

He's still this curved, maybe even more so. He can't get up off the bottom for long, it's impossible for him to swim. I've just gotten back from town after picking up some fish stuff, and will try and feed him a few more MM pellets now. But he definately has a large poo coming, and I'm not sure how that'll go with him like this... they're hard enough for him to pass. So I guess I'll keep trying to feed him, but is there anything else to do? I can't really see him getting better... even if he does, what then? If this is from malnutrition problems, like he had before, what do I do? Everything I feed him ends up getting twisted around and hurting him, and when I finally thought I found something that would solve everything (the gel food, he seemed to be handling it pretty well), this happens, and I don't know, even if he gets better, how well I'll be able to balance feeding him too little, or too much. I thought I was doing good but apperently not. I feel stuck. Any thoughts are appreciated.

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Just looked at him and he definately has a poo coming... I feel like things are going to get even worse pretty soon. His dorsal seemed clampish when I checked on him, and his breathing doesn't seem normal either, but that could be because he's on his side. I'm holding off on feeding for the momment; I'm worried what'll happen inside while he's like this. It hurts him to pass large poos just normally, and I think the fact that he has trouble moving isn't going to help push the poo out, it'll just prolong things. I don't want him to suffer.

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Oh :cry1

I am so sorry to see him like this.

Please dont worry about his pain if he is still eating/wanting to eat. It means there is some hope and he is trying/hanging in. I think you have done so well with him and trying so hard for him.

I would stop teh prazi and anything else in his water. Perfect water is so important at this point. The gravel still looks so deep, but vacuuming it now may not be good as he is right there lieing in it.

Let me just have a think hun and post back in a mo, I just woke up here.

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Thank you. I'm not sure if he's really wanting to eat; I only fed two tiny pellets today and had to put his mouth directly over them but when I got him near them it wasn't enough like it was yesterday... yesterday he seemed more eager about eating. Like I said, he didn't spit it out, but it seemed to take quite awhile to chew... but I guess if he didn't want it he'd spit it out (if he could?)

I know I'm supposed to do MM for 14 days... does it have enough protein in it for him, do you think?

Edited by Roano

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It isn't the protein factor (it is packed with krill- that's the smell of MMs)I'm thinking this has happened because of the MMs and all the meds. I think he was so much better( struggling less) with the peas and veg etc :(

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Yes, he was, and the gel food seemed to be working... I still don't know what sent him to the bottom though. It was right after a 50% water change, but like I said, I changed another tank, and there were no adverse affects. Last time he curved like this, it seemed to be precedded by bottom-sitting.

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Did you disturb the gravel?

It is full of gases that rise and can knock a fish out like a punch in the face. Especially one having some probs already. I can't think what else...

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I vaccummed, and could have knocked the gravel around then, yes. But I thought I've pushed it around before more and nothing happened. But the bottom-sitting did happen suddenly after that. It was hanging/clamping, water change, bottom sitting (7/29), hanging, a little bottom sitting (7/30), still bottom sitting a little on the 31st, and then I added Prazi, salt and in about 2 hours he was up and swimming clamped (7/31.) He was swimming last night at 1:30 when I went to bed, and this morning at 9:30 he was curved.

Should I do water changes but try to disturb the gravel as little as possible? Only possible stress factor with that is my tap pH is lower than my tank pH, for whatever reason; varies from 7.4-7.8, usually around 7.6, and my tank water is 8.0-8.2. I've never seemed to have problems before with it, and have tested tank after doing water changes and tank pH has remained the same. If necessary, I can do some water changes, wait an hour or two, do more water changes, etc.

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