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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm having some severe problems with my 10 gallon community tank. I've had the tank in operation for about a year and a half. It is my first fish tank. The occupants used to be 5 neon tetra, three peppered cory catfish, 1 ADF, one betta male betta fish.

The tank is heated and filtered, I know all about cycling the tank...weekly water changes, that sort of thing. Any how, three weeks ago I lost my first fish ever. One of the neon tetra was gasping, lethargic, pale, and floating near the surface.

About a week from the first fish dying one of my catfish showed symptoms similar to a swim bladder disorder, he died and with the help of some of the members hear, determined the CoD to be some sort of internal injury.

Anyway two weeks later, today, one of my neons was resing on the bottom, pale...he died about three hours later. I have no idea what is going on...all my fish are systematically dying...one of my catfish is resting on the bottom, lethargic... Is my tank tanking? Should I completly break down the tank then re start it? I'm probably going to return the three neons to the store I bought them from and if one of the catfish dies, I will return the survivor as well. Someone please help, sorry for the long post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Come on... someone please help me out. My one catfish is now leaning resting on the gravel, I'm afraid not too much time left for him.
 

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Hi there,
have you tested the tank for Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate and pH. Sometimes a tank can lose its cycle (happened to me, and I sadly lost my female Betta to this), so that's why I'm asking.

Gasping at the surface means the fish can't get enough oxygen. There could be different reasons. Nitrite poisoning could be one, ich infection that settled in the gills? Do your fish have any white spots, like grains of salt? Are your fish looking bloated, do any of your fish have cloudy eyes?

It is quite possible that the neons brought something with them and infected your tank. It is always best to quarantine new fish for about 5-6 weeks. Most diseases show up during that period of time and you can then treat the new fish in the QT.
Sorry that I don't have much help to offer,
Netti
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I mis described the symptoms, no gasping at the surface...gasping lungs near the surface. No white spots...I don't have a test kit but I did a immediate water change but that is one thing it could be... thanks
 

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1) What's the water temp?
2) How much (what percentage) of the water do you change each week?
3) What BRAND of conditioner do you use?
4) How long have you had these fish? Were they quarantined prior to being put into the tank?
5) Was there any "fuzzy" stuff on them? Any bloating?
6) Any chance of getting a new test kit, so you can test the water quality? If not, you can bring a sample to a petstore. Make them tell you the actual results though. (Often, they'll just say "It's ok." But that's not enough info.)

I would start by doing a series of four 25% water changes, 15 min (or more) apart. Use 2x the normal amount of conditioner.

This can help remove any toxins, waste or bacteria from the water. Water changes never hurt, and often help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
1) What's the water temp?
2) How much (what percentage) of the water do you change each week?
3) What BRAND of conditioner do you use?
4) How long have you had these fish? Were they quarantined prior to being put into the tank?
5) Was there any "fuzzy" stuff on them? Any bloating?
6) Any chance of getting a new test kit, so you can test the water quality? If not, you can bring a sample to a petstore. Make them tell you the actual results though. (Often, they'll just say "It's ok." But that's not enough info.)

I would start by doing a series of four 25% water changes, 15 min (or more) apart. Use 2x the normal amount of conditioner.

This can help remove any toxins, waste or bacteria from the water. Water changes never hurt, and often help.
Right, temp is 80 degrees, I change 20 percent weekly and the brand of conditioner is NovAqua Plus. All the fish in the tank have been there for 1 anda half years, at the beginning they were not quarantined because they were gateway species. No fungus or bloating that I can see. I will do the water changes though, Ty.
 

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OK, if all the fish have been there that long, it's not something that came in with a new fish.....

How are they doing after the series of water changes?

Since everyone is getting sick in succession (but not all at the same time), I'm wondering if there's some sort of environmental stress going on. This would make them more susceptible to developing illnesses..... You said you know about cycling, so I'll assume that your cycle is still OK, and that the water parameters are all OK too. (If they're not, I suggest asking in the Habitats forum, unless someone more knowledgeable about cycling answers here.)

Do you know the pH of your tap water, and the pH of your tank? (Let the tap water stand for a day before testing it.) Over time, organic wastes can build up. Some of these (but not all) are slightly acidic, so they can pull the pH down. These organic wastes can be toxic, which is why I recommended the series of 4 partial water changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I was only able to do one water change today, however over the past few weeks I have seriously ramped up the water changes/vacuuming to control the organic waste/algae. It could possibly be the stress...I'll see what I can do. Right now the only fish that is ill would be one of my corydoras, limped over on his side, been like that all day. Some sort of swim bladder problems.

I just had a thought though...as far as stress goes, the shoaling species have been the only ones affected by illness. I had five neon tetra right, one gets a mystery illness and dies. Two weeks later, another bites it, with diffent symptoms. The stress from the reduced shoal size could have caused the illness indirectly. Not to mention of the catfish also died due to some sort of internal injury...reduced shoal size...stressed other catfish, some sort of paristic or bacterial infection could have set in...what is your experience witth bacteria/parisites affecting swim bladders so I could possibly start qt/treatment.

What are your thoughts on the shoal theory?
 

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What type of internal injury did your catfish have? And how did you know he had this?

However, you look at it, it goes back to environmental stress. If a fish is healthy and unstressed, its immune system can often control the spread of disease. When a fish becomes stressed, it's more susceptible to illness.

Fish often harbor internal parasites, and there is always bacteria in the tank. If there is also environmental stress, this can affect the immune system, and allow the pathogen to gain a foothold, causing an infection to take hold. And as it spreads, it reproduces, creating more of the pathogen in the tank. Etc.

I don't have shoaling fish, but it makes sense to me that shoaling and schooling fish would suffer stress if they didn't have a large enough group. That's why it's recommended to have a certain group size. Without enough group members, the fish can feel vulnerable. This in turns leads to stress. And as said previously, stress can eventually lead to illness.

I think the thing to do is to determine whether there is a stressor (group numbers, tank size, water parameters, etc). Eliminate that stress, and perhaps the problem will straighten itself out.

Both bacterial and parasitical infections can affect the swim bladder and cause buoyancy issues.

If you think there is a bacterial or parasitical outbreak, you can treat with metronidazole/praziquantel. This is a relatively mild treatment, and will control most of the common parasites, as well as anaerobic bacterial infections. However, be sure the species are all OK with these medications before using them. (It's fine for Bettas, which is what I have.)

You may also want to quarantine any fish that's acting sick. That way, you can isolate any bacteria, parasites or viruses that it could be shedding.

I don't have tetras, but I've heard there is a disease that affects them, called neon tetra disease. It affects other species as well....

I just did a search on it, and found this excellent article: Neon Tetra Disease. Interestingly, now that I've typed all that info above, the article says this: "neon tetra disease seems to be most common when aquarium fish are stressed or otherwise weakened."
 
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