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goldfish-that-weren-t-so-lucky

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 4 months ago

From: "Xiaoqian Helene Shen"

To: ; "Elisabeth Crigler" ; ; ; ;

Sent: Friday, April 01, 2005 4:29 PM

Subject: re: fish

 

Hi all,

 

What caused the fish to die this time wasn't bacteria. The goldfish had Ich, which is a parasitic organism almost always present in tanks and ponds and which periodically prove deadly to goldfish. The reasons for these outbreaks are not totally clear, but they can generally be linked to immunodeficiency in the fish themselves. In other words, ich is an opportunistic disease. Ich is a big problem for commercial fish farms and most of the research available for it originates in the industry. That said, ALMOST ALL diseases that manifest themselves in tank fish can be described as opportunistic.

 

To avoid these, the huge emphasis lies on providing good water. A major waste product of fish respiration is NH3. A little bit of rotting plant matter, food, build up waste, unwashed filter pads produces huge amounts of NH3 also. When in a small enclosed environment such as a 20 gallon tank like ours, this ammonia build up both alters the pH of the water and is very poisonous to the fish because it causes devastating damage to their gills. As little as 1 part per million proves to be stressful to more delicate breeds of goldfish. 8 ppm for more is certain death if unremedied (and it's very easy to get to 8 ppm - trust me). Stressed fish are immunodeficient, and the two are directly proportional.

 

Vlad, killing bacteria in the tank and in the filter is exactly what we DON'T want. Recall the nitrogen cycle. Bacteria and plants are the nitrogen fixers of nature. Bacteria on the tank surfaces, in the gravel, and particularly in the filter are the tank's nitrogen consuming mechanism. The new plants I brought in last week now contributes to this. Green algae are unicellular plants and so too are beneficial. If anyone is curious to examing the filter, lifting the top will reveal the rotating wheel, originally snow white but now a dull shade of gray. This is the bacteria pad. The accordian-folded medium ensures maximum surface area for growth, the rotation ensures maximum oxygen (these are aerobic bacteria) provision, and the constant moisturization provides constant NH3 nutrition. This Penguin brand filter is the best "biological filter" on the market for non commercial hobbyists. So yes, the point is, we want the bacteria.

 

I have brought in new fish today and will do a major water change before i put them into the tank. I really don't know why our two fish died. I bought 4 fish total when I got them. 2 were for CSL, 2 were for my own tank at home. Mine are doing perfectly fine. The death of the loach is tragic. This is the first loach that's ever conked on me, so there definately IS something wrong with our tank. Loaches are caught from the wild from shallow, murky places like ditches and rice paddies. They can breathe air because they have what is called a "labyrinth" in addition to gills. Because of their ability to breath without water, loaches have been known to jump out of tank and survive overnight on carpets. I can't believe our loach died...

 

I wrote this based on hazy recollections of what I've read on keeping fish and aquarium plants. Not a lot of literature exists on this subject short of being a professional agriculturalist, which requires rural NC community college. Please feel free to ask me for books if you have further questions or doubts about this.

 

Thanks,

Helene

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