Hey, my half-a-year-old albino ancistrus just died suddenly for no apparent reason. This is the third ancistrus I have had that has died. my tank conditions are as follows: 70 degrees Fahrenheit 7.0 pH Hardness 50 ppm Alkalinity buffer 100 Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 Nitrate 5 25-30% water change every week Tank Set up 29 gallon Fine black sand substrate Penguin biowheel 350 filtration 1 echinodorus, 5 dwarf saggitaria, 2 lava rocks w/ holes, one large piece of bogwood, one pink and red rock with two holes and numerous caves, four large plastic plants, five cryptocoryne. four bronze corys, four albino cory, one albino ancistrus (dead), one regular ancistrus, 6 black neon tetras, 5 cherry barbs (three male, 2 female), two amano shrimp, three snails. Please get back soon, I really don't want my remaining fish to die.
I am feeding my plecos aqueon algae wafers, organic lettuce, and aqueon bottom feeder wafers. They also graze many different kinds of algae from the front back and sides of the tank as well as the decor. ( my tank is kinda messy) . All the other fish in the tank are fine, including the other bristlenose. The body seemed a little thin, but I am not a fish docter and it may have been perfectly normal. The eyes seemed a little sunken to me, but this could also be natural. I did notice that the fish in question started grazing on the tank glass more shortly before death, and I had not observed him feeding or lying on my bogwood for quite some time, unlike his youthful companion. Could he have starved?
I think you have a very good point. That may be it. Unfortunately, I have my heater as high as it can go, and the temperature on the thermometer has not changed since I put it in, even though I have tried everything I can think of.. I am not sure if my thermometer or heater is busted, or if I just need a bigger heater. The one I have now is a 200 watt.
What temperature is it outside the tank? A 29G tank is about 110 liter - at 10'F lower ambient temperature, you'd be looking at around 100-125W heater, and at 20'F lower ambient, a 200W heater should be fine - that would be about 50'F in your room.
Have you checked that the heater actually gets warm? Does the light come on? [Is it even plugged in? - it's happened to me before that I've unplugged something, and then wondered "why is it not working?"]
It is definitely plugged in. I checked that. It does not have a light that I can see, nor does it mention one in the instructions. It is 71 degrees F in the room, which is about the temperature of the tank. That seems very suspicious, I will definitely check to see if the heater is working. Do you think that if the water I do my water changes with is room temp or colder when I put it in the tank it would affect the tank temperature?
If your room and tank temperarure is witin a couple of degrees, then your heater is not heating the water (assuming it's also adjusted to a higher temperature, of course). I would unplug the heater, leave it for about 15 minutes, then take it out of the tank. Plug it in, and feel the heater - if it doesn'r warm up at all, then it's probably busted, and you need a new one.
Thank you all for your help. The heater was broken, which seems to have been the cause of death. I went to the LFS and bought a new higher quality one, and my fish are swimming around happily at 77 degrees. I also got a very interesting burmese botia, which has acclimatized well and is helping my corys clean the tank. Thanks again!