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Need help wit sum fish deiseses (guppies)

Discussion in 'Fish and Aquarium - all types' started by Guppie-Bala, Dec 23, 2005.

  1. Guppie-Bala

    Guppie-Bala New Member

    hello i have read sum of the otehr post and stuff about the disese called ammonia and tail rott but im not sure wat causes it, my fish dont have it I would just like to know before hand so that if they do ill know wat to do to help them. wat does rotten food in the tank cause cause my mom said it can cause a disease but she couldnt think of wat it was called. Water Ph wat is that, cause i change out my fish water wen there is a lot of not eaten food on the bottom or if the water is cloudy, i have a filter. since i started my 2 flake feeding pattern my water hardley ever get cloudy and there is no exas food on the bottom of the tank. I use well ( in the country water not tap water) water to put in my tank that wont do any thing to my fish will it cause if so ill change the water the best i can .
  2. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    Fin/tail rot is a bacterial infections generally brought about by poor water quality. Things like high levels of ammonia &/or nitrIte weaken the fish's immune system so it can't fight off infection very well so the fin rot develops.

    As for ammonia poisoning, fish produce ammonia which is very toxic. An established filter has 2 types of bacteria. The first kind converts ammonia into nitrIte (which is also toxic). The second converts nitrIte into nitrAte (not toxic at low levels).

    If you just throw fish into a tank with a brand new filter, there are no bacteria to convert the ammonia. While the bacteria colonies are developing, the ammonia will increase and start to poison the fish (burns the gills and other sensitive tissue) and weakens the fish making it more susceptible to illnesses.

    Eventually, enough of the 1st type of bacteria will grow so that all the ammonia produced by the fish is converted to nitrIte (assuming the tank isn't overstocked and there's enough filtration). And of course, with a new filter, it's going to take a while for that second type of bacteria to develop colonies and in the mean time the nitrIte levels will get high and start to poison the fish causing the fish to have difficulty utilizing the oxygen in the water.

    After the filter has plenty of both kinds of bacteria, the tank is said to be established or cycled. All the ammonia will be converted to nitrIte and all the nitrIte will be converted to nitrAte. Unfortunately, the bacteria that converts nitrAte into nitrogen (gas) doesn't normally exist in aquariums or filters (it needs an oxygen-free environment). The only way to get rid of nitrAtes is through water changes and plants. So in a cycled tank, there should always be 0 ammonia, 0 nitrIte, and the nitrAtes will steadily increase, but once they start getting around 20, you should do a water change to bring them back down.

    If it tank was already cycled, you might seen an increase in ammonia or nitrIte. That generally happens when either a) something happens and kills off some of the bacteria (like using some kinds of antibiotic, or if you replace some of the filter media) or b) if there's a sudden increase in bioload (like if you suddenly add more fish - they'll be producing more ammonia than there was before and there won't be enough bacteria to compensate).

    Here's a really good article on the nitrogen cycle and the different ways to cycle tanks:

  3. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    Oh, and any uneaten food left in the tank will create more ammonia so it's best to remove it.

    pH has to do with the acidity or alkalinity of the water. Most fish do well with a pH somewhere between 6 and 8. Most of the time stability is more important than it being exactly what most people recommend for that fish. For example, most people say oscars prefer slightly acidic water (which would be in the 6 - 7 range). But really, osars are pretty adaptable and can do just fine in slightly alkaline water. So unless it's really extreme (<6, >8 ), it's best to just leave the pH alone since most adjusters can cause some pretty major swings in pH that will send fish into shock.

    And I have well water too. Most of the time well water is fine. In some cases it might have heavy metals in it or nitrAtes, though. But in general, it should be okay.

    I highly recommend you get tests for ammonia, nitrIte, and nitrAte. Just because the water is clear, doesn't mean everything is at safe levels (not saying there's necessarily anythign wrong with your water, but that's a common misconception and it's better to have the test kits so you know for sure what's going on in your tank).

  4. Guppie-Bala

    Guppie-Bala New Member

    were can i get these kits at ( the test kits)
  5. grnlemonade

    grnlemonade New Member

    you can get the test kits at basically any LFS (local fish store)

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