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FAQs on Brackish Environmental Disease

Related Articles: Brackish Disease, Brackish Maintenance

To FAQs on: Brackish Feeding

GSP Problems/Nitrite Poisoning 10/9/07 Hey WWM Crew, <Hi Melissa, Pufferpunk here> I have a 125 gallon tank with about 100 gallons brackish (1.012) water. A mudskipper, mollies like crazy, 3 - 6inch violet gobies and a 2 1/2 inch GSP. <I'm surprised the puffer isn't nipping your other fish.> The tank was doing great until "something" happened and the nitrite spiked (it had cycled with Bio-Spira several months ago). Of course, my quarantine tank had crashed a week earlier and I have to start over cycling with that one, so the fish were stuck. <You need to find the cause for the spike. Generally, uneaten food, a dead body somewhere... > I redosed the big tank with Bio-Spira and the nitrite was back down in a few days. <Did you do a large water change first, cleaning around & under all the decor?> Everyone else seems to have recovered, except of course, the puffer. He stopped eating for about a week. I tried all his favorites: beef heart, bloodworms, mysis shrimp--nothing. <Beef heart is not a natural food for a puffer or any other fish. Puffers are crustacean eaters & need crunchy foods to keep their teeth trimmed. See: http://www.thepufferforum.com/forum/library/category/feeding/ > I started dosing the tank with Pimafix <Does he have a bacteria/fungal problem?> and he ate a little beef heart last Friday. He ate some bloodworms Saturday and beef heart Sunday. He decided not to eat yesterday. Now, I come in to work Tuesday morning and he's floating at the top, not moving, except for his eyes (creepy!). His cheeks (?) looked swollen, so I burped him and 2 sets of air bubbles came out. He swam for a little while, now he's back at the top of the water, with his mouth almost completely out of the water and his cheeks are puffed again. Ammonia and nitrites = 0, nitrates below 20. <There could be some permanent damage done due to the nitrite poisoning. They have no scales or gill covers. Did you find the cause of the spike? How high was it? How do his teeth look? What is the water change schedule--how much, how often? It is difficult to say exactly what the problem is but it doesn't look good. =o{ ~PP> Help! -Melissa

Archer in Freshwater With Lip Fungus 1/25/2006 Hello, my name is Ruben, <<Hello Ruben.>> I've been trying to get back into brackish aquariums, and started by  purchasing a juvenile archer about 12 days ago and placed it in a 29-gallon freshwater (converting to brackish soon) tank. <<Increase SG no more than .002/week to avoid crashing your bio-filtration.  Also keep in mind that you will need a bigger tank in the future, preferably sooner than later.>> The tank has been running for well over a year, but it had a trio of salvini cichlids until I removed them when I brought the archer. My pH is 7.8, ammonia is 0 and nitrite is about 0.<<?>> The water quality seems fine to me. However, I noticed the archer had a slight injury on its lower lip, as if it ran into the aquarium side or something like that. But on 1/25 I noticed that there is a piece of skin or something threadlike hanging from the injury and the appearance of the fungus-like fuzziness. The archer is still eating, it's been eating frozen Hikari ocean plankton (krill?) quite vigorously. <<Good.>> I'm still concerned about how to treat this, because I've done my water changes and kept the water healthy, and I assumed the injury would have healed itself, not gotten worse (unless it re-injured it, which I guess isn't that likely?). I've considered raising the salinity, but I'm not sure if that really would cure the infection. <<This is exactly what I would suggest, as per amount stated above.  Be sure to keep water as pristine as possible.>> I assumed the freshwater disease couldn't tolerate salty water. Do you guys recommend any specific treatment or medication? I really need assistance on this, thank you! Have a great day. <<You too.  Glad to help.  Lisa.>>

Why do my BW Fish Keep Dying?  1/16/06 To whom this may concern, <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I lost half of my fish two week ago in a three day period.  It start out with my shark catfish, then the mono, scat, flounder, and orange Chromide.  They have been in the tank for about four months and then one day die one after another.  I have my water tested at two different places and they say the water is fine. <What are the exact results of your tests?  Ammonia & nitrItes should be 0.  NitrAtes should be <20.  Ph should be around 8 & SG, around 1.015.> The only thing I don't understand is I still have two silver scat, one mono, and a toadfish that is doing fine.  I try adding in new fish but they too die. Can you please help me out? <Results of your tests would be very helpful.  I also need to know how large you tank is.  For the species you have at their adult size, you'd need at least a 75 gallon  tank.  ~PP> Thank you, Mickey N.

Brackish Tank Problems  1/16/06 Hey guys, <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I've had a 30 gallon brackish water tank for a year now.  I have a large green scat, a small green scat, a 3 inch green spotted puffer and a large mono sebae.   <Wow, that sounds like a lot of large, heavy waste-producing fish in there!  Scats are known to be fishy garbage cans, equal to Oscars & goldfish in the BW world.  Your puffer is also a messy eating, high waste-producer.  Scats grow as large as a dinner plate.  Monos are schooling fish that grow to 1'.  So as adults, those fish will need around a 125+g tank.> Several months after I started the tank, the scat developed a white mark on his side.  Since then his gills have turned completely white inside, and white marks appear sometimes under his mouth. <Some kind of fungal/bacterial issue?  Although in your picture, it looks like a scrape on your scat.  Keeping fish in overcrowded conditions (especially without huge weekly water changes to remove waste), can stress fish's immune systems, making them prone to disease.> He has shown a slow decrease in activity.  The salinity has been varying between 0.010 and 0.018.   <Do you mean 1.010-1.008?  Otherwise, that's a huge jump in salinity.> I have done 20% water changes every other week. <Not nearly enough!  Even in a normally stocked tank, I suggest 50% weekly for the kind of fish you have.> There are no detectable traces of ammonia.   <NitrItes, nitrAtes & pH are also important to know.> I have treated the tank with Maracyn 1, Melafix, Jungle Clear, and currently am feeding them anti-parasitic pellets.  Two months ago, the puffer has occasionally sunk to the bottom of the tank and curled in a ball.  The white on his stomach would recede and be replaced with green, with white spots.   <This behaviour can be a sign of sleeping or stress.> His fins also are clamped for the majority of the time while he swims around.  I have picture enclosed of the puffer curling in a ball and the white mark on the scat.  Do you have any suggestions? <Read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BrackishSubWebIndex/gspsart.htm & got to www.thepufferforum.com.  There is lots of info on your puffer & a great BW section there.  I suggest getting your own Master Test Kit to keep a close eye on your water parameters & do water changes accordingly (at least 50% weekly).  I would start planning on a much larger tank.  Try Melafix and/or Pimafix for the scat.  ~PP>

Set Up and Stocking in One Day - 12/07/2005 I set up a brackish water tank and all day the tank was clear the fish were active and eating, nothing unusual. I had 2 Green Scats and a Green Puffer. When I went to feed them this morning the water was extremely cloudy and the fish were dead. <Surprise, surprise.> Could this have been a filter problem. <Well yes in a manner of speaking. Not physical however, but biological. This is what happens when fish are thrown into an uncycled tank.> I had them on a Whisper filter overnight and was going to get a biowheel but I didn't get a chance to. Any ideas? <Study. - Josh> 

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