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Old 08-20-2011, 05:17 PM   #101 
SVC
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Good afternoon tlyons and Sakura,

Glad everyone is good and fishies holding their own. tlyons, I'm happy Shimmer is more active today and I'm really glad Sakura is sure it's not velvet. Based on her description, I don't think my tetras had it either because they had an overall gold haze to them and not individual specs like ich. I think they probably got irreversible damage to their gills when the ammonia shot up in my tank and while some gave in really quick, the remaining two are eventually succumbing to it. It is unpleasant, even when you are expecting it. That said, I don't think I had the same attachment to my tetras as I do to PTG. I think bettas just have more personality and really bond with you as opposed to some other fish that just swim around and don't interact. I also didn't like how they bit my guy every chance they got. I won't be putting new tetras in my tank, at least not with PTG!

Also, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to make it sound like you were going to dump Shimmer in an uncycled tank. I thought it was almost done cycling and you were going to put him in. I was just thinking if he's already compromised, even a tiny bit cycling might be stressful but I misunderstood. I think it will be fine to go back in when the tank is cycled and as long as you're sure he has nothing that can contaminate the tank.

As for me, I wish I knew about fishless cycling before I stocked my tank. Actually, Sakura PM'd me a great article about the nitrogen cycle earlier when I first joined the forum and it was great and very easy to understand. That said, since I bought a wall aquarium recently, I will definitely be referring back and asking about cycling. I think this time I want to do a fishless cycle and make sure my readings are all good before adding fish because due to it's narrow space, that tank will be harder to have to treat all the time so I want something that will give me enjoyment and no drama! lol I have done some research on Fishless Cycling, but any tips you have I would love to know! I have heard you can cycle a tank much faster this way, and you are using pure ammonia powder as opposed to fish food?

As for me, I have no clue where I am on my cycle! It seems to be a never ending process. I did recently get the API Master Test Kit, as well as the KH and GH test kit of the same brand. Before that I was always taking my water into the LFS for testing. When I went in today to my LFS, my regular guy was off and a girl I hadn't seen before was there. She was awesome though and really had a lot of knowledge. Still, her head was spinning by the time I told her what my tank problems were. She too had no idea why everything was so off kilter. Anyway, according to her test strips, my ammonia was 1.0ppm (my test kit only shows between 0.25-0.5) and nitrate nitrite was 0 as always. I don't get why I am not getting any nitrites by now. The KH and GH (that I tested at home) in my tank are 4 and 12 respectively. My tank KH is always low for some reason! Anyway, she asked what kind of filter I had and when I said tetra whisper she made a face. She said they weren't very good which I figured since it came with my tank when I bought it. They never give you the good stuff as a set. So I am thinking I might upgrade in the future. She showed me the filter she has, which is called AquaClear and she said it has these ceramic discs that really absorb a lot of bacteria. So I bought a small pack of the cermic discs and will put them in my filter as an added source of bacteria. Hopefully that will help make more bacteria to eat up the ammonia.

Sakura, yes PTG is being a stinker alright! I have started seeing a pattern that whenever I walk in and see him swimming normally, there are usually some new poops at the bottom of the tank. However, it is always short lived and then he's back to floating. This is day 3 of the medicated pellets and yes, he's eating them! He has even started eating them when they disintegrate and fall to the floor. I guess he has figured out that if he doesn't eat, he stays hungry. lol Sometimes the floating is random too. I think it might be a combination of constipation and parasites. I've noticed that that fuzzy, diarrhea like poop has now stopped and what is coming out it solid and formed, but light colour. Actually, not to be gross, but once I dissected it with a toothpick (I know, ew) it seems like there is regular brown stuff inside of a slimy whitish casing. Weird.

Btw, DarkMoon actually PM'd me back and she seemed to think it was parasites too. She said that parasites can cause bloating to come and go because when the fish expels them, he will deflate, and when they build up inside of him, he will bloat again so probably, the best thing is to continue the medicated food for about 14 days to make sure anything in him gets knocked out. She also mentioned that maybe there was a light dusting on PTG looking like velvet in one of my first pictures but when I said I can't see anything like that on him with a flash light, she said not to treat with anything other than the pellets for now, and to go from there if they didn't work. I don't know either what keeps building up in him every time but hopefully it is not something bad. Fingers crossed that after a week or two with these pellets that he will get over this problem.

Oh, DarkMoon also said that my tank is probably having so many issues because I stocked it so quickly when it wasn't cycled. Basically, I had no proper bacteria to eat up nitrites and nitrates and just put all this waste producing fish all of a sudden and my tank has never been able to keep up. It's so simple, but makes so much sense.

Well, that is about it, I am going to go make a partial change of my main tank now and do some more readings later on. You guys have a great weekend too, and I had to lol about a weekend not just spent with fish! It seems like that is all I do these days, though I did take my human kids out for a bit this afternoon. LOL
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:36 PM   #102 
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HAHA yes, I too took my human kids out today. Actually spent 3 hours in the Mall, not my favorite. I am currently using liquid ammonia, it took me forever to find the right kind of ammonia too. After buying 2 different bottles and realizing that they were not the right stuff, I called around. Lucky for me we have a mom and pop hardware store and when I called, they were willing to look at the ingredients as well as shake the bottle for me so I knew it was what I was looking for. I'm sure they thought I was a crazy person, but O-well. I got the stuff I was looking for and they were the only ones that had 1 big jug of it. Now I can probably cycle my neighborhoods tanks too! It might be easier to use the fish food method. Just be sure to grind it up so it doesn't just float around for days... Do you think there is a way that you could cycle your wall tank prior to putting it up? I mean, maybe setting it up, but then taking it down and putting it somewhere that you have easier access to it. Cause once you get it going, you will need to be able to get water for testing almost daily and be able to change out water if your ammonia levels are too high or if the cycle stalls, things of that nature. I sure would hate seeing anything bad happen to that wall tank. I do recall seeing the pic you posted of it, it is VERY nice. It sounds as though you have all your bases covered but I will certainly add a thing or two when its something I am familiar with or have read about.. Time for me to get some movie time in with my oldest, looking forward to some popcorn.. Nighty night ya'll!!
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:51 PM   #103 
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Has your pH stabilized yet? Bacteria won't grow if it's too low. I read somewhere recently that low KH can be mildly harmful to osmotic pressure of cells.

I'm not sure how much to add, some people say add 1 tablespoon per 10 gallons of water. Just add a little bit and see what happens to your KH
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Old 08-21-2011, 11:33 AM   #104 
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Hi everyone. SVC, I'm glad DarkMoon PMed you, I feel a little better with her on the case. PTG is just confusing me, throwing so many conflicting symptoms everywhere. I'm glad he's eating though, eating is always a good sign. And I'm sorry about your tetra, I missed that the first time around. But at least it is at peace now. I agree, although I love my tetras, I know I will never bond with them the way I have with my bettas. The tetras are pretty to look at but that's it.

tlyons, how is Shimmer doing? Any changes in his behavior, for better or worse? (hopefully not worse)

I'll be popping in and out throughout the day, so I'll check back.
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Old 08-21-2011, 12:12 PM   #105 
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HAHA yes, I too took my human kids out today. Well, I'm ashamed to say, I took mine to the pet store with me where they promptly whined while I had a lengthy convo with the girl there, BUT, I did then make up for it by taking them to lunch and letting them have dessert!
Actually spent 3 hours in the Mall, not my favorite. Tell me about it! How did I love going to the mall as a teenager? Now it's just so much work!!!
I am currently using liquid ammonia, it took me forever to find the right kind of ammonia too. After buying 2 different bottles and realizing that they were not the right stuff, I called around. Lucky for me we have a mom and pop hardware store and when I called, they were willing to look at the ingredients as well as shake the bottle for me so I knew it was what I was looking for. I'm sure they thought I was a crazy person, but O-well. I got the stuff I was looking for and they were the only ones that had 1 big jug of it. Now I can probably cycle my neighborhoods tanks too! It might be easier to use the fish food method. Just be sure to grind it up so it doesn't just float around for days... Do you think there is a way that you could cycle your wall tank prior to putting it up? I mean, maybe setting it up, but then taking it down and putting it somewhere that you have easier access to it. Cause once you get it going, you will need to be able to get water for testing almost daily and be able to change out water if your ammonia levels are too high or if the cycle stalls, things of that nature. Well, I think I will have to cycle it fully installed. As you can imagine, it is very heavy. I think without water it weighs more than a plasma tv, especially with the thick glass used on it. With water, the size I got is going to end up weighing up to 300 pounds. It needs to be mounted right into the studs so once water is in it, I don't think it can be taken down. I t does have a lid that goes along the top though so I don't think it will be a problem to get water out of it for testing purposes. I'll have to stand on a chair to do it but I'll have to get used to doing water changes anyway later on. It came with this little hand siphon but I'm hoping I can use my automatic siphon (one that attaches right to the sink).
I sure would hate seeing anything bad happen to that wall tank. Me too! I do recall seeing the pic you posted of it, it is VERY nice. Thank You! Actually, Sakura told me another member here has one too. I think it is Sunnydawnie. I might PM her and see how she did with setting it up.
It sounds as though you have all your bases covered but I will certainly add a thing or two when its something I am familiar with or have read about.. Yes, I have been doing a lot of research since starting this hobby, but I always have even more to learn! I will be asking I am sure when I start cycling that tank. Let's hope it doesn't sit there forever like everything else in my house that never gets done!!!
Time for me to get some movie time in with my oldest, looking forward to some popcorn.. Nighty night ya'll!! Hope you enjoyed your movie! My daughter wanted to go to the movies too last night but by the time hubby got back from fishing and took the boat back to the marina, it was too late. Usually Saturday night is date night for us but last night's date consisted of me going with him to park the boat. You gotta take what you can get... sigh
Have a great Sunday!! How's Shimmer today? Is he active? PTG has, as of last night, been swimming normally. He had a few poops yesterday and so far hasn't gone buoyant again. Hopefully the medicated food is doing something!
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Old 08-21-2011, 12:32 PM   #106 
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Hi Bahamut, hope you're having a nice weekend!

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Has your pH stabilized yet? Seems to have. It is holding steady around now. I did a water change yesterday and tested this morning and it is still 7.8. What's better I think, is that it is not decreasing anymore as the water gets older. It had been a week since my last water change. Bacteria won't grow if it's too low. I read somewhere recently that low KH can be mildly harmful to osmotic pressure of cells. My problem is still the KH. It is consistently 3 (GH was 10). I thought since I just changed water, that it would be higher but nope!

I'm not sure how much to add, some people say add 1 tablespoon per 10 gallons of water. Just add a little bit and see what happens to your KH. I might end up going the baking soda route if nothing changes. It was also suggested to put a piece of driftwood in the tank or seashells. I know that is more for pH but would it help with KH too? Btw, my ammonia seems to be rising again too (.5 today) so maybe the tank is trying to cycle again. Still no nitrate/ites.
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Old 08-21-2011, 12:45 PM   #107 
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Hey, happy Sunday to you Sakura!

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Hi everyone. SVC, I'm glad DarkMoon PMed you, I feel a little better with her on the case. PTG is just confusing me, throwing so many conflicting symptoms everywhere. I'm glad he's eating though, eating is always a good sign. Yes, PTG is definitely confusing but maybe we are making headway. Yesterday he had quite a few poops. They were still light coloured but it almost looked like a sausage in its casing - the casing was whitish but the insides were brown. Whatever the case may be, hopefully the medicated food is helping. As I mentioned to tlyons, last night he was swimming normally and this morning he still is! That might be the longest period yet. Still not holding my breath but it looks to at least be moving in the right direction. Oh, and you should see him when he's swimming is good. He gets all aggressive and starts flaring at the danios swimming outside of his little container and he's banging into the wall trying to get at them. lol It's like he's saying, hey, that's my tank get outta there!. lol
And I'm sorry about your tetra, I missed that the first time around. No worries! But at least it is at peace now. I agree, although I love my tetras, I know I will never bond with them the way I have with my bettas. The tetras are pretty to look at but that's it. Yeah, I felt bad for not feeling worse but I guess part of it was the fact that I knew they wouldn't make it in the long run. The last one is still hanging on and actually eating a bit too.

tlyons, how is Shimmer doing? Any changes in his behavior, for better or worse? (hopefully not worse)

I'll be popping in and out throughout the day, so I'll check back. Have a great day, I will be going out this evening too (niece's birthday) so I will probably be back on in the wee hours as usual. lol Btw, changed water yesterday in my tank and ammonia is starting to climb again. It was a clear 0.5 today. Nitrates/ites still 0. Maybe this is a good thing and means the tank is finally cycling again. Should I put in ammonia detox at this level though?
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Old 08-21-2011, 02:44 PM   #108 
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Thanks for asking about Shimmer again. Today he seems to be just as inactive as the last few days. He hangs mid water alot, all I can see are his Pectoral fins flapping. He has his fins clamped most of the day. I took him out of the big tank where he was floating in his tank, and have him on my desk next to my HM and when I removed the book I keep between them, he had no interest at even flaring. He looks as though he is having difficulty turning around in the corner walls of the tank. Once he gets to a corner he sorta has to wag his head area, like he is sorta stiff or something and cannot bend as fluently as they should. I think maybe that is due to the cramped quarters, but can't say for sure. Today is the day that I fast my fish, up through the last 2 weeks he has had a pretty good appetite, always eating what I give him. I just took a few pics, he is back to hiding behind the sticker, though he really has nothing else to hide behind. Just put a heater in, his neighbor was using it so I can see how he acts with a few degree warmer water and compare notes. I am holding out hope. Let me ask, those that are familiar. My HM is a deep blue, but this last week his head seems to be turning grey/black, its over his face and seems to be moving back along his body. Is this normal? I have had him for about a month and a half now, and other than getting lighter in color when he is stressed I haven't seen him like this. Seems like maybe it started last week when I started using stress coat in his water. Could that be why? I know its aloe vera and I wondered if the synthetic slime coat could be causing it... Any thoughts would be appreciated.

SVC, I understand about taking the time you get, my husband works night shift and after making his breakfast when he gets home in the morning, I don't see him until he gets up to get ready for work. Sure does make having a relationship hard... Well, well, looks like nap time out here for me and the tots. I will check back in later, happy Sunday everyone..
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Old 08-21-2011, 06:31 PM   #109 
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tlyons, it's possible he is just changing colors normally. The Stress Coat might actually be making him feel good so he's darkening up. I'd have to see a pic of the black to know for sure.

Not sure what to tell you about Shimmer. What's your water change schedule? Also, you said he doesn't really have anything to hide in? One thing you can do is take a clean coffee cup and tip it on its side. Or even a plastic cup if you can find some clean rocks or something to weight it down with. This is strange but the more hiding spots a fish has, the safer they feel and the more they will swim in the open. I'm not sure if that's Shimmer's problem but it couldn't hurt to try.
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Old 08-21-2011, 08:54 PM   #110 
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Hiya, yeah the more pictures I was just taking the more that tonight it looks like a blue green coloring of his scales, and that is not the same as what I thought I was seeing. So for now, I have no other questions. For the night anyway!! I am sure that something will come up and I will look to you for your precious opinions. I am sure that I am not alone in saying this, but it is so very nice to have other that take caring for these guys as serious as we do. If not for this forum, and especially Sakura and SVC as well as darkmoon, I would not have anyone to talk to about my boys. My kids are not old enough, my oldest is but she doesn't pay attention and my hubby has no time for such things... LOL I guess I am just trying to say how grateful I am that I have this group to talk to and feel comfortable enough to ask questions with reliable responses, that I don't have to wait weeks for. Thanks you all, your the bestest!!!
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