Hi guys =(
My America the Beautiful is usually the most hyper fish ever. So I noticed it was weird two days ago when he was laying around a bit.
Yesterday morning he was sleeping at the top of the tank in the floating water sprite, as he usually does. When the light turned on (it's on a timer), he swam down under the driftwood and went back to sleep. He wouldn't come up for breakfast.
Last night he was still staying down at the bottom of the tank, so I did a 50% water change. He ate one bloodworm but he wouldn't eat more.
Today I've got him in quarantine (pic). His belly seems to be going slightly white - I think it's slightly swollen. If he does have an infection, it is probably in early stages (I hope!)
I'm going to go to 1tsp/gal aquarium salt until I can think of something better. I have Maracyn I and II, and medicated flakes, but I would rather not go there if it's not needed.
There've been a number of water parameter changes in his tank lately. I've been dosing fertilizers for the plants, trying to get the water hardness and KH up, but I didn't want the pH swinging so I added IAL. Maybe too much??
My theory now is that adding KNO3 (Nitrate up about 10ppm) caused some un-nitrifying bacteria to spring up and convert NO3 -> NO2. Will do water change + aq. salt + IAL and observe. Any other ideas are appreciated!
Tank size: 5g
Substrate: 2mm black gravel
Decor: 1 piece of Malaysian driftwood, live plants (Anubias nana, Water sprite (floating), Echinodorus (indian red sword), Brazilian pennywort, water wisteria, Ludwigia repens (which I have since removed). The sword has been making new leaves every few days for the last week, but the Brazilian pennywort and water wisteria have been stagnant and the ludwigia I moved to another tank with actual substrate.
Heater: Eheim Jager 50w (overkill for this size)
Filter: Red Sea Nano (so it is underpowered for this size)
Water change schedule: 50%, 1x/week, with gravel vacuuming. The last change I did was Saturday. I add Prime (always), and this week I put an Indian almond leaf in. Last week, I started dosing for the plants: Seachem Equilibrium for GH, baking soda for KH, Seachem Flourish for micros, KNO3 for nitrate, KH2PO4 for phosphate (just a tiny pinch).
Temperature: In QT now that I've turned the temp up: 78.1, in main: has been ~76-78 lately. It used to be consistently 80-81, but the plants didn't like it... so I wanted to bring it down to 77-78. But I care about America more than the plants.
pH: 7.4-7.6. My tap water comes out at 8.4 and ages overnight to 8.0. The pH in the tank is lower because.... IAL? More time? Bacteria?
NitrIte: It's a very pale pink, which on the slider is between 0 and 0.1ppm