Need more help with my columbian sharks please

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daviem
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Need more help with my columbian sharks please

Post by daviem »

Hi, I posted a few days ago about possible finrot on my columbian sharks whitish grey on their dorsal fins that had just arrived but it appeared it might be normal however today I have noticed two new things both fish have developed dark patches on the skin near their gills and have bloated stomachs one being much worse than the other. The only thing that’s happened before this is that 2 days ago there was some clouding in the aquarium (keeps coming and going) so I added a additional filter and I decreased the temperature from 26c to 24c as someone said they would do better in that temperature. There’s very little to no ammonia and no nitrites the ph is between 7.6-7.8 Here’s some pictures. Is this an illness regarding their stomach? They are catfish pellets 6 hours ago and canned sterilised bloodworms 12 hours ago. Also their skin looks like it has black patches on it in certain angles.
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Re: Need more help with my columbian sharks please

Post by Acanthicus »

Hi

Despite that blue gravel I can't spot anything that would make me thoughtful. They look good to me. If you feed them pellets, make sure to water them first, so they can swell before they are eaten. Otherwise you might risk bloat and blockage.
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Re: Need more help with my columbian sharks please

Post by daviem »

Thanks, but if you look at a comparison from Friday the first image to today there’s a big difference in their stomach size, also what’s wrong with the gravel :)
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Re: Need more help with my columbian sharks please

Post by MarcW »

daviem wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 11:01 am
There’s very little to no ammonia ...
Does this mean that this aquarium was recently setup? If so please keep up large daily water changes (be sure to use a dechlorinator), to keep the ammonia as close to zero as possible until the filter has matured, this can take several weeks or more. Be sure to keep testing for ammonia and nitrite regularly, keep in mind that as ammonia starts to fall, levels of nitrite will increase, until there are enough suitable bacteria to convert it to nitrate. You'll need to keep up the daily water changes until there is no ammonia or nitrite, then you can fall back to weekly water changes.

Regarding the stomach, to me it looks like it's had a good feed. Some fish keep eating until it looks like they'll burst, give it a couple days and it should reduce in size.

Good luck with them.

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Re: Need more help with my columbian sharks please

Post by Viktor Jarikov »

There is nothing wrong with their tummies. I'd feed them next time only after the tummies go flat and do it every time like that.

Black spot by the gill is natural.

Cloudiness and measurable ammonia are not right. It means you haven't cycled the tank before getting the fish and now the tank is cycling with the fish in it.

Do you understand the nitrogen cycle in a fish tank?

Please, do not use dip sticks for measuring ammonia and nitrite as they are notoriously crude but get the liquid test kit instead. Both chemicals MUST be firmly at 0 ppm at all times in an adequately run tank as measured by a quality liquid test kit such as the API, Salifer, etc.
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Re: Need more help with my columbian sharks please

Post by daviem »

Thanks for the replies :) im happy that it is probably just over eating/full stomachs, as for the cycling it’s true the tank wasn’t cycled but the original aquarium sprung a leak so I had to start again by that point the fish had already been purchased and getting the aquarium replaced and everything set everything back, and the place I purchased them from wanted me to take them, I am using a API test kit as on YouTube it was advised to use the freshwater one as the salinity is low and I’m following the sachem cycling routine which means I added the daily dose of sachem stability for 8 days and to make sure there’s no free ammonia or nitrites until the aquariums fully cycled I add prime every two day’s which binds up ammonia and nitrites until the cycle is complete. I also used reverse osmosis water. Thanks for the help I really appreciate it :)

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Re: Need more help with my columbian sharks please

Post by Viktor Jarikov »

Sounds like you got a handle on it.

Until the tank cycles, I'd feed extremely lightly. You may be playing with fire by letting them pig out like that.

I don't know exactly but suspect that Prime in the water at the high concentrations it is recommended to fight ammonia and nitrite does not allow for accurate water testing for these chemicals. I could be wrong.

Faced with the same, I use Ammo-Lock liquid for ammonia and table salt for nitrite, both of which allow me to still measure the toxins with the same accuracy as before more or less.
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Re: Need more help with my columbian sharks please

Post by daviem »

No I think you’re right the problem is ones belly has gone completely flat the other ones is exactly the same, you’re also right about prime so what I did was buy a sachem ammonia tester that takes into consideration both binded and unbinded ammonia apparently the api test kit still shows the real values but I’m not sure, I want to get a Uv sanitiser but they don’t have a suitable one in stock for my aquarium, thanks for the tips, I will try them. :) thanks for the help one of the most helpful forums.

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Re: Need more help with my columbian sharks please

Post by Bas Pels »

I also used reverse osmosis water.
As these fish come from brakish water, RO water will not only not be helpfull, it will be harmfull to the fishes.

Your fish feel a certain pressure from the tank water to enter their body - a feeling which should be abandoned. In hard water this pressure is less than in soft water, hence my advice to do without the RO water.

Your tap water will be better
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Re: Need more help with my columbian sharks please

Post by daviem »

Bas Pels wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 7:38 am
I also used reverse osmosis water.
As these fish come from brakish water, RO water will not only not be helpfull, it will be harmfull to the fishes.

Your fish feel a certain pressure from the tank water to enter their body - a feeling which should be abandoned. In hard water this pressure is less than in soft water, hence my advice to do without the RO water.

Your tap water will be better
Thanks for the reply but I’m a little bit confused, our tap water is disgusting full of bacteria when I use a distiller for myself I see this also if you let it sit after a few hours it smells really bad in the past fish have gotten ill and died from it, are you talking about the PH in the water? If not what is removed in the reverse osmosis that’s bad for them. After the reverse osmosis the PH is still 7.6-7.8 I appreciate your input.

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Re: Need more help with my columbian sharks please

Post by dw1305 »

Hi all,
@daviem, I suggest that you should listen to the posters on this thread, they are people who really understand fish keeping and your fish, and they are trying to help you, they aren't trying to be difficult and they are offering you sound advice.
daviem wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 9:06 am
Thanks for the reply but I’m a little bit confused, our tap water is disgusting full of bacteria when I use a distiller for myself I see this also if you let it sit after a few hours it smells really bad in the past fish have gotten ill and died from it, are you talking about the PH in the water? If not what is removed in the reverse osmosis that’s bad for them. After the reverse osmosis the PH is still 7.6-7.8 I appreciate your input.
Bas Pels wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 7:38 am
I also used reverse osmosis water.
As these fish come from brakish water, RO water will not only not be helpfull, it will be harmfull to the fishes.

Your fish feel a certain pressure from the tank water to enter their body - a feeling which should be abandoned. In hard water this pressure is less than in soft water, hence my advice to do without the RO water.

Your tap water will be better.
@Bas Pels is right, your tap supply will be naturally hard and much better for the fish. You can get parameters for your tap water from "Thames Water", it definitely isn't isn't full of bacteria and it will be hard because it comes from a limestone area. Hardness and pH are often linked, but they are independent and what your fish need is hard, salty water, pH isn't really that relevant.

cheers Darrel

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Re: Need more help with my columbian sharks please

Post by Viktor Jarikov »

daviem wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 9:06 am
... our tap water is disgusting full of bacteria when I use a distiller for myself I see this also if you let it sit after a few hours it smells really bad in the past fish have gotten ill and died from it...
This is strange and unsettling and hard to comprehend. If your source water is potable and drinkable and is disinfected by chlorine or chloramine or ozone etc. by the authorities, all one needs to do to make such water be fish friendly is to eliminate the chlorine or chloramine, by aging or by a use of conditioner such as Prime.

When the water is just standing and aging, it can develop an unpleasant smell not due to bacterial activity but due to some chemical reactions that are occuring in it. There shouldn't be much of anything living in tap water that contains (and smells of) chlorine.

RO removes all dissolved solids from water, making it extremely soft. They call it "dead water". Distillation accomplishes the same. When we use RO, we then must mix back the right amount of hardness (calcium and magnesium divalent cations; carbonate for buffering the pH), salinity, and other microelements living organisms such as fish need for their bodily health. Toward this purpose the most used and the best material is crushed coral. Things like crushed seashells, calcite, etc. are sometimes used too.
daviem wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 3:15 am
... the problem is ones belly has gone completely flat the other ones is exactly the same...
I hadn't caught that before. Sorry. Yes, this would be strange. Perhaps one ate more or found more later? Or, a long shot, one regurgitated (stimulated by the other or independently) and the other ate it up.

Or if your water is really soft, the fish may be developing a bloat or some other digestive issue, you might be right to worry.
daviem wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 3:15 am
buy a sachem ammonia tester that takes into consideration both binded and unbinded ammonia apparently the api test kit still shows the real values but I’m not sure, I want to get a Uv sanitiser but they don’t have a suitable one in stock for my aquarium, thanks for the tips, I will try them. :) thanks for the help one of the most helpful forums.
API liquid ammonia test tests for both forms of ammonia, free and bound, so it doesn't matter.

I just vaguely recall that Prime throws off the test results, interferes with the tests. It's a proprietary concoction of chemicals.

UV sanitizer would be an overkill in my humble opinion but many people, especially who own very rare and expensive fish, opt to have one.
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Re: Need more help with my columbian sharks please

Post by Lycosid »

Viktor Jarikov wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 2:49 pm
UV sanitizer would be an overkill in my humble opinion but many people, especially who own very rare and expensive fish, opt to have one.
I have one, but I've only ever used it to try to control a mycobacterium outbreak. I don't leave it running in any tank normally.

Let's review the problems:
1) The tank is not cycled. You're managing this, but you're managing it, not solving it. (I know you didn't intend for that to happen.)
2) The fish have been moved twice, it sounds like, recently. (Once from the store, and then once when your first tank started leaking.) That's stressful. (Do they have anywhere to hide in the new tank? It can add stress if they feel like they are exposed in the open all the time.)
3) You may have an issue with water hardness. I'm not sure whether you mean that you started with RO water and added a marine salt mixture made to add to RO (in which case you are fine) or whether you just filled the tank up with RO and ran with it, in which case that's bad. (Even people who drink straight RO water can end up with unpleasant side effects, like leaching calcium out of their bones.)
4) You may have a disease issue.

However, if you have a disease issue numbers 1-3 are going to make it worse, and taking care of these will let the fish settle down and their own immune systems get back to normal. I'd be careful about anything that will stress them further.

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Re: Need more help with my columbian sharks please

Post by daviem »

Update so I researched reverse osmosis and you’re right about the water hardness but because Thames valley water is from a river where sewage water is pumped back into the same river from many towns and in the past they have even poured the sewer into the river as is Uncleaned killing animals and polluting the water I still intend on using the reverse osmosis kit, but I now know the fish need some hardness in the water so thanks, would these products be enough to get the minerals they need back into the water

Sachem replenish, it states it adds hardness back into the water after reverse osmosis

And API GH tester to test before and after.

Next the reverse osmosis kit is for aquariums I was told, so I don’t know if that left any minerals still in I was also told to add the salt mix to reverse osmosis or distilled water only, as for their bellies thanks to the original replies I didn’t feed them and they were right the fishes bellies are fine now, the fish have been moved once from the store to my aquarium as the first new aquarium that was cycled leaked literally after I purchased them. So I told them to keep them they had them ages and wanted me to take them so I had to. There is no stress or issue with the cycling as there’s no free ammonia thanks to prime and stability my ammonia alert confirms this as does API test kit, eventually the tank will cycle until then the ammonia and nitries are being bound and not toxic.

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Re: Need more help with my columbian sharks please

Post by dw1305 »

Hi all,
daviem wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 2:27 am
........ into the river as is Uncleaned killing animals and polluting the water I still intend on using the reverse osmosis kit, but I now know the fish need some hardness in the water so thanks, would these products be enough to get the minerals they need back into the water.......
I understand your concerns, but in the UK we are still bound by the EU water framework and it isreally tight on faecal coliform levels, so I honestly wouldn't worry. My guess is that there will be an erosion of this legislation in the aftermath of Brexit, but we have a long way to go before we end with water like the Americans have to put up with.
daviem wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 2:27 am
Seachem replenish, it states it adds hardness back into the water after reverse osmosis.
Because you are going to change a lot of water (certainly until the tank is cycled) I'd definitely use a DIY mix. You can find them for Tanganyikan Cichlids (Seachem sell one of these, but it is going to be an expensive option).
daviem wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 2:27 am
And API GH tester to test before and after.
You would be much better with a TDS (conductivity) meter, a refractometer or a hydrometer.

You will need advice from some-one with practical experience of these fish to tell you the values you are looking for.

cheers Darrel

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Re: Need more help with my columbian sharks please

Post by Viktor Jarikov »

Don't mean to jam it down your throat, so treat these as my thoughts caused by our exchange, not orders, God forbid...

*****

IDK the situation with tap water in the UK but I cannot fathom it'd be so problematic requiring the RO! It must be potable water that people wash their face and shower with and rinse their mouths and eyes, some perhaps drink it too.

This is extreme and it would seem it is hampering your success with your hobby. Forgive me please but not beating around the bush and in the interest of saving those fish, I'd say your (perhaps too emotional and germaphobic, maybe irrational?) view of your tap water might be the greatest danger to your pets as this appears to be the root cause of the current and most future problems of theirs.

You are also adding an undue burden on yourself and your wallet with first filtering out the hardness and then adding it back. On the plus side, you will learn more, sure, as you have already started.

I'd most strongly recommend listening to Darrel aka dw1305, who is both hand-on, supervisory, and science-level professional sewer water treatment specialist... and may take your accusations personally hahaha... little did you know who you are talking to, haha... :)
dw1305 wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 10:31 am
... My guess is that there will be an erosion of this legislation in the aftermath of Brexit, but we have a long way to go before we end with water like the Americans have to put up with.
That left me perplexed. In as few words as possible, what do you imply? EDIT: thank you, Bas! (see below) I mean do I need to worry about municipal waters in the USA?
dw1305 wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 10:31 am
... You will need advice from some-one with practical experience of these fish to tell you the values you are looking for.
These guys are born either in brackish or at the border of f/w-brackish and migrate into brackish and marine as they grow and mature. They have been shown to tolerate f/w when small but not when starting to grow. For the millions sold over the last decade, I have heard of three exceptions of 1'-2' ones grown in f/w but these are sad cases with illnesses and swift deaths.
dw1305 wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 10:31 am
daviem wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 2:27 am
Seachem replenish, it states it adds hardness back into the water after reverse osmosis.
Because you are going to change a lot of water (certainly until the tank is cycled) I'd definitely use a DIY mix. You can find them for Tanganyikan Cichlids (Seachem sell one of these, but it is going to be an expensive option).
daviem wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 2:27 am
And API GH tester to test before and after.
You would be much better with a TDS (conductivity) meter, a refractometer or a hydrometer.
Why not merely stick a bag of crushed coral in the filter and be done for a long time until it is consumed?
Last edited by Viktor Jarikov on Wed May 20, 2020 4:25 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Need more help with my columbian sharks please

Post by Bas Pels »

What I think Darrel meant was

Apparently the EU (European Union) has rules for the quality of potable water (new to me), and you may have heard Great Brittain has left the EU - implying the EU rules will not have any meaning for the UK.

Darrel expects the rules for potable water to become less strict, and is of the opinion that in the USA they are far less strict.

I can't say whether his predictions will right or not. Perhaps our Dutch rules for potable water are much more strict then the European ones, so we never hear about these.

But I cannot imagine the UK stopping with producing potable water one can drink, as it used to be in Southern Europe, once. The UK is not a third world country, is it?
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Re: Need more help with my columbian sharks please

Post by dw1305 »

Hi all,
Bas Pels wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 3:32 pm
What I think Darrel meant was

Apparently the EU (European Union) has rules for the quality of potable water (new to me), and you may have heard Great Britain has left the EU - implying the EU rules will not have any meaning for the UK.

Darrel expects the rules for potable water to become less strict, and is of the opinion that in the USA they are far less strict.

I can't say whether his predictions will right or not. Perhaps our Dutch rules for potable water are much more strict then the European ones, so we never hear about these.

But I cannot imagine the UK stopping with producing potable water one can drink, as it used to be in Southern Europe, once. The UK is not a third world country, is it?
Exactly that. We chlorinate our supply (I don't think the Netherlands does?), but only to less than 0.5 ppm chlorine.

I live a maximum of ~100 km to the west of the OP, and our tap water is extremely high quality, and much better than nearly anything you can get bottled. If you go ~100 km east of the OP, you are in London and the water is of much lesser quality, but still entirely safe to drink.

The EU water regulations are here.

My guess is that there will be a bonfire of most environmental regulations post Brexit and Covid19 in the UK, our right wing politicians are a bit more nuanced than Joao Bolsanaro etc., but they have exactly the same goals, aims and inclinations.

With regard to the water quality in some of the USA I'll leave that to Shane
.........Five minutes later I realize I did not add Prime to the 20 long. Too late, all six fish are dead. Anyone that has attended CatCon knows how deadly the water is here. No fish can survive in untreated DC water for more than a minute or two.

39 buckets later, a minor flood, and a complete tank wipe out and water changes are done for another week....
cheers Darrel

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Re: Need more help with my columbian sharks please

Post by Bas Pels »

Chlorination is indeed outlawed here. We do heve rules regarding E coli and others, but there is no need for such drastic measures.

What is odd, is that the regulations for potable water in NL are much fiercer than for bottled springwater. So yes, I drink water from the tap, but I like it cool. Refrigitated
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Re: Need more help with my columbian sharks please

Post by Lycosid »

daviem wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 2:27 am
There is no stress or issue with the cycling as there’s no free ammonia thanks to prime and stability my ammonia alert confirms this as does API test kit, eventually the tank will cycle until then the ammonia and nitries are being bound and not toxic.
There's always stress in moving fish. Can't be helped.
I'm sure the ammonia levels aren't toxic, but they also aren't stable, which probably feels weird to the fish. Instead, ammonia and nitrites build up for two days and then are bound. It's probably a bit like the difference between being in a room that's a comfortable temperature and being in a room at an uncomfortable temperature where you step out of the room every once and a while to feel better. It won't actually hurt you, but it will probably annoy you.

You're paying a lot of attention to these fish, which is great, but they may also be acting a bit off as they get used to the new tank/conditions. That may look like a disease when it isn't.

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