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About spillie

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  1. I have assassin snails (they are actually whelks) and they completely eradicated the huge and fast producing pond snail/ramshorn populations in my trop tank. Completely. I had a huge infestation of those pests despite always inspecting, rinsing, and PPing my plants before adding them to the tank. It took about 3 months to get rid of them completely as I recall--I put 8-10 assassins in my 100 G tank. They themselves reproduce, but much more slowly. Once the snails are gone, they just eat fishfood. Now, a year or more later, I have a heap of assassins, but I rarely see them as they dig into the sand and tend to come out only at night. When I leave Korea, I have no doubt that my LFS will be happy to take them all and resell them, as they are real problem solvers in planted tanks and hard to find. The only downside is that I had to remove my beloved nerites, which kept my tank crystal clear, to keep them safe from gangs of assassins. (They just went in the goldfish tank.) That said, doing it over, I'd remove the fish if I could and try a puffer for a month first next time. (Of course, I guess I'd then have a puffer that would need to be set up its own tank and the end of this, unless I could find a "loaner puffer".) Prior to turning to assassins, btw, I broke down the tank and PPed it and plants again, but snails came back anyway. Frankly, I have my doubts about the full effectiveness of PP when it comes to snails/eggs (not sure which are surviving the PP treatment, my guess is the latter), but moved to PP from bleach some time ago as bleach treatments caused too much damage (killed) the less hardy plants. I tried alum, too, on new plants prior to putting in the aquarium, but haven't enough experience with it to really speak to its effectiveness in killing snails/eggs--it doesn't seems to hurt the plants, though.
  2. What horrible thing to have happen. I am so very sorry to hear your lost your fish like this, really, I am. To me, too, it sounds like a water issue, especially since no new fish have been added. Normally, the first thing you do when you suspect a water quality issue is water changes, but what do you do when you are not sure you can trust your water? Could there be anything tied to the specific room? A few years ago a member lost healthy fish when febreeze or something similar was sprayed there. I have bookmarked a link to an article on non-disease causes of fish illness, covers chloramine poisoning and others. You can find it if you google "are you fish really suffering from disease sympatico". Maybe that will help with some answers if it was environmental. RE R/O water, the water parameters are probably different than what your tap water, so maybe a good idea to test first and, if quite different, post back here to see if members can advise on how to handle to minimize stress on your fish. In this case, you may want to get some Buff it Up or similar to try to normalize conditions for them if it is indeed quite different. Do you have some extra pumps and bubblers? Some extra O2 would be a good idea, I think. I personally might hold back on meds at the moment, at least until a MOD can advise. I have had fish with septicemia, but I have never had fish hemorrhage blood in the water. It seems they were bleeding internally from some cause. I had one fish that had got sick and had blood pooling that I could see in her abdomen, but it was all internal, and no other fish were affected. The fact that most of your fish were hit so quickly, and no new fish in the tank, seems to me to point to an environmental factor, but that fact that your other tanks are fine makes me less sure. I hope your remaining fish will be OK.
  3. Saw this article on BBC news yesterday--an Australian vet in Melbourne did surgery to remove a large tumour from a 10 year old goldfish. Lucky to find a vet skilled and willing to do it! (And a resource to note for all the Aussie folks!) http://www.bbc.com/news/29210991
  4. Just to follow-up on this, in case anyone else has the same problem, the slimy stuff definitely is coming from the new (soft) rubber items in the tank (the suction cup and the rubber on the heater probe cap and holder). Over the course of 48 hours or so, I can see it begin to develop, but now I am wiping it off every 2-3 days, so that "mulm" is no longer breaking off and littering the substrate, accumulating in the filter, or floating about the water. The betta has showed some interest in nibbling the bit that develops, but it doesn't seem to hurt him (and since I am wiping it away so frequently, not much accumulates in any event). I expect this will just go away once whatever is leaching from the new rubber bits has diminished. (And, I have the pothos in there now to help with the nitrates or any nutrient buildup.)
  5. Is the ceramic rod inside the impeller broken, by chance? I've had to replace my impeller on my eheim canister in the past. You can get a replacement impeller and/or shaft. There are two types for your model as it was redesigned at some point. Also, as a first step, try soaking the impeller and inside of the impeller chamber with a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water for about 20 minutes and then wipe to get off any additional gunk. (And then rinse well before starting everything up again/connection back to the tank.) I had issues with a pump that stopped. After getting a new impeller and wiping it out, it ran again, but not smoothly--and the vinegar/water solution solved the problem.
  6. I did a partial water change today and found little bits of filmy stuff floating all over the tank, so ended up doing a 100% change again, wiping all the ornaments as well as the rubber and the silicone seams of the tank. There was the most slimy stuff on the silicone and rubber, a bit on the ornaments, but more like it settled there than grew there. I guess it will come back again, if it is something in the new rubber/silicone (this is a pretty new tank) that creates the condition for this moldy/slimy stuff to grow, but hopefully will go away after awhile. I think it is what was caused that mysterious "mulm" stuff, too. Anyway, at the moment, tanks looks good, pothos roots are dangling in from the top, and I put a bit of salt in the water to help with the ragged tail. Still no idea what this stuff actually is, but everything I read says it goes away eventually! I am going to do some daily wiping for awhile to try to keep it from developing to the point that these bits of it end up everywhere. (I am also going to hold off on the betta spa/Indian Almond leaf for while, in case that adds to the nutrients for this fungus somehow)
  7. Interesting--I have been googling and found many references to this kind of fungus/mold on new rubber suction cups. Something in the rubber seems to feed it somehow. No clear answer on what it is exactly, however, at least not this far...
  8. Hmm.. don't think it is over feeding. He gets three little betta pellets twice a day, and eats all of them. Plus, everything was disinfected with PP a week ago and then when I set the tank up again, it was 100% new water of course. (I haven't yet skipped a cleaning--tomorrow is my day to do it and is just a week since the complete re-start of the tank last weekend. ) Pothos is a great idea. I have it in my goldie tank and can easily move some over to the betta tank. And with pothos, I do not need to worry about aquarium lights because they'll be fine with room light--which would be great as the top of this tank is plastic that warps easily with heat. Pothos goes in tomorrow! Here's a better pic of the moldy looking stuff--can you see that it is fuzzy a bit better? Whatever it is, it likes growing on the rubber cap and probe holder, but not on the hard plastic of the probe itself. All that is grey in the pic is this weird moldy stuff-the rubber itself of the cap, holder and suction cup is in fact black.
  9. I know, it's strange, right? I have no idea why it has such high nitrates after just one week--esp. in such a big tank with just one small betta. I even checked the expiration date on my API test kit (it's good through 2018). It is possible that the water last week had higher nitrates, I suppose. There seems to be no way to account for it. He gets fed twice a day, but just three pellets each time. The mold is the light grey/whitish stuff completely covering the cap of the temp probe and the square plastic piece that holds the probe to the suction cup. All these pieces are actually black (when there is no mold on it). The camera doesn't capture it, but it is fuzzy, like cotton sort of. I do have a filter on there (an azoo palm filter)--it is small and has a light flow. Maybe I should put carbon in there? I change about 40% once a week. In this case, all was 100% new last Sunday and I will change the water (and vacuum up the mulm stuff/wipe off the mold stuff) tomorrow. Hmm.. maybe I need to make this a planted tank to get things sorted..
  10. I have one betta in a 10 G tank with a heater at 79F, a palm filter (with small bag of media and a sponge, but no carbon), and a small air stone. Décor is Caribsea instant aquarium sand as the substrate, silk plants, and a betta log. About a week ago I broke the tank down and gave it, filter, and all ornaments a long PP treatment as I had hydra all over (must have been transferred from my planted tank--still puzzling over that, as I can't think of anything I shared, but I must have done). Set the tank up again with all new water, new sand from the bag, and a new titanium heater. Prime and betta spa in the water. I used Safe Start 48 hours I set the tank up again to restore the cycle. So here we are, a week in with this completely newly sterilized tank, and I have a whitish fungus growing on the cap of the temperature probe, a small amount on the ornaments and on the silk leaves, and what looks like plant mulm on the sand surface--even though I have no live plants. I am perplexed. Ph is 7.6 Ammonia is 0 Nitrites are 0 Nitrates are 80 (!) and from tap 40 (!)--but though high, this is the same water my other tanks have, none of which have fungus! The closest of my others in setup to the betta tank is a 20G tank with a golden gourami that also has silk plants, a heater, and an air stone (though no sand on the bottom--it has a different substrate and a larger filter). No mold in there, though. What could be causing this and what do you think I can do about it? Could it be the water that came in the bag of sand--which I opened last year some time? Something from the betta spa? I am really perplexed as the tank was just sterilized, as I said, and it had 100% new water a week ago. The betta himself is fine, though his tail is a little ragged. I do have nitraban, fungus guard, etc. mold on top cap of temperature probe and also growing on square part: "mulm" stuff on base of plant and sand in corner The tank (have not done the weekly cleaning)
  11. I came across this article on BBC yesterday on making a 200x microscope from a webcam. 200x should enable you to see flukes, costia, ich, and other parasites from what I understand. There are very clear step by step pictures on how to make this in the slide show for anyone who wants to give it a try! http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/0/22600308
  12. I put the poor little guy to sleep this morning. He was on his side almost continuously the last day or so and finding it harder and harder to swim, and was getting red streaks in his body and tail again. I felt so sad, as he was true fighter, and just kept hanging on, but I felt that he was suffering....
  13. I am happy to say that his red marks are almost completely gone. Since they appeared while he was on MMs and went away while he treated with Rid Ich, and since his poo has been normal, I fear it may well have been costia and now wondering what to do about my big 150 g tank. The bad news is that he is lying on his side and weak. He swims, but quickly rests again. Not sure what to do next. I leave tomorrow. Continue MMs, and..?
  14. Today, the good news is that the popeye is much diminished and her poo strangely looks normal again and I think she is eating MMs. However, she is still terrible swollen and pineconing. Am just doing a 100 percent water change. I leave tomorrow, until then, will just keep doing what I am doing, unless there is new guidance, and hope for the best.
  15. It is so true..why is that? She is much the same this morning, except that she is losing lots of slime coat? Why would that be? I tested the ph, but it is the same as usual, 7.6, and the water was all new last night. I definitely added prime, so it it's not that. The epsom did not seem to help her much. She is horribly swollen and both eyes are popping out now. It is much worse than the photo I posted above. As you predicted, Alex, this "behind the gills" dropsy is very aggressive. I have never had this happen before like this--my previous dropsy cases started at the back and the pineconing got bad, but this terrible swelling to this extent is new to me. If she is not better by this evening, I may consider euthanizing her as she must be suffering so...