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RIP "the Little Guy"

Author Topic: RIP "the little guy"  (Read 7357 times)

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Offline Matt

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RIP "the little guy"
« on: November 24, 2016, 07:45:27 PM »
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I've titled this encouraging a fish to eat as this is what my brain is telling me I need to do...

Basically one of my sparkling gourami has a bit of fin damage so I'm not sure what may have started this, but he is looking very thin and is swimming lethargically resting on the horizontal anubias leaves 'sulking'. I have done a little water change and cleaned the filter but I think the chances of little guy surviving the night would be vastly improved if he would just eat something... any tips??

Edited to add: he'll come to the surface but doesn't seem to be that interested in the food other than looking at it...

Offline Sue

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Re: Encouraging a fish to eat
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2016, 07:53:10 PM »
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What kind of food have you tried him with? Most fish will eat live or frozen food unless they are in a very bad way. Other people report success in soaking flakes or pellets in garlic juice - though I have read that garlic isn't terribly good for fish. But a one off to tempt your gourami won't do any harm.

Though I have to say that going off their food is a symptom there is something wrong, and especially if the fish is also skinny as it shows it hasn't been eating properly for some time. The damaged fin also suggests something is not right with the gourami  :-\

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Re: Encouraging a fish to eat
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2016, 07:56:14 PM »
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Thanks Sue, I'm preparing for the worst as I agree that the outlook isn't good... you have reminded me that in have some of that gel based food in the little sachets which I'm going to try now, also using dimmed light to try and encourage him a little...

Offline Matt

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Re: Encouraging a fish to eat
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2016, 08:05:06 PM »
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Update: I've managed to drop a couple of blobs of the gel food (brine shrimp) onto 'his leaf' in the hope this might tempt him..

Offline Sue

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Re: Encouraging a fish to eat
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2016, 08:09:18 PM »
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Fingers crossed.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Encouraging a fish to eat
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2016, 08:44:40 PM »
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Keeping my fingers crossed for you and your gourami.
Best of luck.

Offline fcmf

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Re: Encouraging a fish to eat
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2016, 09:29:07 PM »
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Sue has suggested what I would have suggested ie live/frozen food (but your gel version should also be suitable) or garlic (although I've never tried that one as I only learned of it in the last couple of years since using the forum). I've also read of people feeding Repashy Soilent Green to fish with loss of appetite or with swimbladder problems, to good effect - however, I've no experience of using it myself and I can't comment on whether it's any better than what you're already trying.

With goldfish, I might have recommended a dose of aquarium salt in such a situation, but it seems that many tropical fish don't respond well to that, so probably best avoided.

Fingers tightly crossed for you both.

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Re: Encouraging a fish to eat
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2016, 10:38:30 PM »
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No news is good news at present, no change in condition although possibly more lethargic tonight.  Tried my best again to feed him but cannot tell either way if I've been successful (didn't want to be stood over the tank potentially stressing it out...)

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Re: Encouraging a fish to eat
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2016, 07:14:21 PM »
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Nope I'm afraid to report that having just returned home after being out all day, the little guy is looking to be on a definite downwards spiral.  If he makes the night there will have to be some serious thought tomorrow as to what course of action would be most in his interest...  :'(

Offline fcmf

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Re: Encouraging a fish to eat
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2016, 09:38:08 AM »
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Thinking of you and the little guy. Hope either that he's had a miraculous overnight recovery (ideally) or that nature has taken its course peacefully, sparing you a difficult decision.

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Re: Encouraging a fish to eat
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2016, 01:00:33 PM »
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Well decision made...

A massive water change completed as peacefully as possible with maximum gravel  cleaning, removal of any plant matter which didnt look in absolutely perfect health and the creation of some hiding places.  With a bit of luck I'll be nursing this guy back to health.

Extra effort to be made tonight to feed him.

Off to research what meds might help and will probably do a mini dose in the main community tank.

Wish me luck!!

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Re: Encouraging a fish to eat
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2016, 01:57:31 PM »
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I just managed to hand feed him  O:-)

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Encouraging a fish to eat
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2016, 03:18:00 PM »
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So glad to hear that he has eaten.  :)

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Re: Encouraging a fish to eat
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2016, 04:29:38 PM »
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Oooooh, I'm pleased to read this.

I agree that a mini dose of whatever medication you opt for is probably the best plan.

Fingers very tightly crossed that you'll be able to nurse him back to health. "Good luck" vibes being sent across as I type.

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Re: Encouraging a fish to eat
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2016, 07:11:39 PM »
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Today has been designated a feeding up day and tomorrow will probably also be.  Once, hopefully, the little guy has regained some strength, he'll be put into a salt dip... have done 3 feedings today, can't be sure how much was eaten but anything is better than nothing, and being such a tiny fish a little goes a long way I suppose!  :-\

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Re: Encouraging a fish to eat
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2016, 07:55:30 AM »
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No new recruits into fishy heaven overnight.  He'll have to look after himself though whilst I'm at work.  :-[

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Re: Encouraging a fish to eat
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2016, 07:35:00 PM »
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the little guy

"the little guy" passed peacefully just now. :'(

He had a happy life  :fishy1:

My attention now turns to his friends in the hope that they will not meet the same fate.
It can be so easy to find abnormal behaviour when your looking for it, but the others are eating well so I am hoping whatever it was, is not infectious.

Offline fcmf

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Re: Encouraging a fish to eat
« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2016, 07:54:10 PM »
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"the little guy" passed peacefully just now. :'(

:'( indeed. I was just looking at the clock and realised it was exactly 10 years ago today, at this very hour, since my beautiful veiltail goldfish died, and thinking with a heavy heart how much I missed her. I then decided to check how your "little guy" was doing and hoping for a different outcome - so I'm very sorry to read about this. :'( My sincere condolences.

Best wishes for the other fish, and hopefully it's of some consolation that you did your best / all that could have been done with the "little guy".



Offline Littlefish

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Re: RIP "the little guy"
« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2016, 09:21:37 PM »
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@Matt so sorry to hear that the little guy has passed away.  :(
I was hoping that things would be more positive after you managed to feed him.
My thoughts are with you and the rest of your gang.

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Re: RIP "the little guy"
« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2016, 09:34:43 PM »
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swimming lethargically resting ... 'sulking'. I have done a little water change

Unfortunately I seem to be having a repeat... with one of my German blue rams.

Only other symptom I can identify is that she seems to be breathing a little more heavily than normal... any ideas what medication might be effective from anyone out there?

 :'(

Is it even possible for something like this to reoccurring a full month later?

Offline MarquisMirage

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Re: RIP "the little guy"
« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2016, 09:54:56 PM »
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Sounds like stress to me.  Can you do water tests and let us know the results?  Usually if it's water problems the neons would be the first to go though.  I would recommend antibiotics for treatment but without finding what's causing the issue it'll fix the symptoms but not the cause.

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Re: RIP "the little guy"
« Reply #21 on: December 22, 2016, 10:08:49 PM »
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Hmmm my conclusion too... Ill keep up with regular water changes and reduce feeding.

Starting to regret not having a testing kit...  :vcross:  they are just so expensive!

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Re: RIP "the little guy"
« Reply #22 on: December 22, 2016, 10:56:26 PM »
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As mad as it might sound, I've just done another water change - couldn't sleep for thinking "what if"... though I'm not sure the fish really appreciated me interrupting nap time.

Now should be on 60% ish water change in least 2 days, did a normal water change on Saturday of about 20% ish then too.  So that side of things *should* be OK.  I've removed some decaying plant matter I found lodged behaving the filter and permanently have the air stone switched on now. Also raised the temperature slightly and moved heater into better flow... looks ugly but that doesn't matter right now...

Any other suggestions out there? Do you think increasing temperature is the right move?

I'm glad @marquismirage that you were also of the view that medication wasn't the right call at the moment, to be honest I was too but just feeling guilty about things...  thanks for your swift reply

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Re: RIP "the little guy"
« Reply #23 on: December 22, 2016, 11:02:44 PM »
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Sorry to read about this. I think anything is possible but whether it's related to the sparkling gourami is difficult to tell.

I would also definitely recommend regular water changes - even just 10-15%, "non-invasive" water changes (just scooped out from the top of the tank in a jug rather than using a syphon and disturbing decor and thereby potentially stressing the fish) can be beneficial and sometimes make a huge difference.
 
PS. Sorry - just realised our messages overlapped. Trying to type this from phone while lying in bed - takes ages!

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Re: RIP "the little guy"
« Reply #24 on: December 22, 2016, 11:15:52 PM »
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Thanks @fcmf .  Again my views are same as yours -ill continue to do 10-15% "non-invasive" water changes...

Offline Littlefish

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Re: RIP "the little guy"
« Reply #25 on: December 23, 2016, 06:58:41 AM »
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How are things this morning?
I agree with the water changes, they are very important. I also tend to run air stones in these circumstances. I don't know if it does any good, but I figure that it can't do any harm.
Keeping my fingers crossed for you.

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Re: RIP "the little guy"
« Reply #26 on: December 23, 2016, 07:15:00 AM »
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I think it is stress... I found her lying on some wood near the filter outlet breathing heavily.  Ill do another water change tonight... a big one...

If I take water to MA will they test it reliably for me?

(The temperature seemed low in there this morning so I've ramped up the heater.)

 :vcross:

Offline Littlefish

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Re: RIP "the little guy"
« Reply #27 on: December 23, 2016, 07:28:54 AM »
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MA will test the water, no problem. They are usually more than happy to do this and offer advice.

I know it's easier said than done, but try not to beat yourself up over this. It is difficult when you see your littles ones unwell and can't do anything to immediately fix the problem - I went through it when I had a spate of tiger barbs dying off one every day regardless of my best efforts with water changes, etc. I didn't get to the bottom of the problem, so have no idea what it was. Spoke to the manager at MA and he suggested some medication they give to all new arrivals during quarantine (for internal bacteria), and the problem resolved itself eventually. However, looking at which fish fell ill and which didn't, it was very possible (not easy to tell with standard and green tiger barbs) that the fish that fell ill were the ones I'd had previously, and the ones that survived were the newer ones. No actual proof, just something I thought when looking at the numbers/mix of fish.

Be careful that you don't stress the fish with a very large water change. Again I say this because I know that my water changes pH over 48 hours after coming out of the tap, so I have to be careful with large changes.

Offline fcmf

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Re: RIP "the little guy"
« Reply #28 on: December 23, 2016, 08:31:52 AM »
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If you get your water tested at MA, watch to see if they use the paper-based test strips (like mine does) or liquid-based tests. The former doesn't test for ammonia. Ask specifically if they can test for ammonia, nitrite and nitrates, and ask for the actual results plus the name of the test kit. That way, we can interpret the results for you more if need be. :)

The results will only be valid at the date and time they're done, though, so I do hope Santa brings you a test kit on his visit tomorrow night.  :D

Offline Sue

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Re: RIP "the little guy"
« Reply #29 on: December 23, 2016, 09:01:44 AM »
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Having the temp a bit higher is not a bad thing with rams as they do prefer their water on the warm side.

Fingers crossed for your ram.

Offline MarquisMirage

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Re: RIP "the little guy"
« Reply #30 on: December 23, 2016, 04:38:48 PM »
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I also tend to run air stones in these circumstances.

Although not a necessity in a quarantine/hospital tank many people will use one as extra oxygen in the water can help if the cause of the illness was low oxygen amounts in the water column.  In a planted tank it'll reduce CO2 in the water column so be aware that an air stone will not be good for them.  But fish first is my opinion.

GBR's are so sensitive to water conditions.  Given that you removed some decaying plant matter I'm willing to bet that it caused an ammonia spike.  Hopefully we're getting closer to the root cause.  :)

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Re: RIP "the little guy"
« Reply #31 on: December 23, 2016, 07:50:24 PM »
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She didn't make it  :'(

I've since changed half the filter sponge (there's a load of bio balls in there too) and it looks to have made quite a difference to the filter flow pattern (open filter) so I'm wondering if this might have been a factor.. at the same time this water quality/stress theory makes absolutely no sense at all because all the other fish seem to be absolutely unaffected.

I'm going to try and take Littlefish's advice and try not to beat myself up about it over Christmas.

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Re: RIP "the little guy"
« Reply #32 on: December 23, 2016, 08:35:06 PM »
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Sorry to hear the sad news @Matt. You tried so hard to keep her going.
Unfortunately things don't seem to make sense when one fish is so ill and the others seem fine, and I'm afraid I can't offer any explanation.
Sometimes I think it would be easier to just keep fish and admire them, but it's impossible not to get attached to them. We are not industrial fish breeders, they are our pets, and feel a bond with them, and responsible for them...and that makes it difficult when one is seriously ill and doesn't make it.
My thoughts are with you and your gang.

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Re: RIP "the little guy"
« Reply #33 on: December 23, 2016, 11:12:13 PM »
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Very sorry to read about this, @Matt - when they get to the stage of breathing heavily/fast, it's not usually a good sign, unfortunately. Glad that the other fish seem fine, though.

I really would advise having your own test kit for peace of mind, at least, though. Sometimes, if there's a problem, the weakest / most sensitive fish succumbs first, then the others follow suit. Testing / having your water tested regularly would at least confirm/eliminate that as a potential factor.

As for the filter, there's an interesting thread here that might be of interest: http://forums.thinkfish.co.uk/tank-equipment-reviews/eheim-pick-up-filters/msg31501/?topicseen#new

All the very best for trying not to beat yourself up about this - very, very difficult, if not impossible, as I know from plentiful experience. Take care.



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Re: RIP "the little guy"
« Reply #34 on: December 24, 2016, 02:35:41 AM »
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Damn, sorry about your GBR.  :(

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Re: RIP "the little guy"
« Reply #35 on: December 24, 2016, 07:23:44 AM »
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I've got one of these on the way https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B003DHEWQA/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&p;sc=1
Hopefully it's accurate enough just to highlight any major problems...

Also had an idea about redesigning the filter... photo below (ok I mean terrible sketch done on tablet) tries to explain.

Basically the water enters at the bottom of an open top box (in black) and currently flows from back to front through:
Yellow = my added bio balls
Blue = carbon within filter floss pad
Red = "algaway pad"

I'm thinking of changing it to flow bottom to top:
Yellow = bio balls
Red = sponge (algaway pad seems to degrade over time)

Just in case that makes no sense at all (quite likely  :yikes: ) its this filter https://www.amazon.co.uk/Interpet-Internal-Cartridge-Filter-CF2/dp/B00ITQKZIE/ref=sr_1_2?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1482564299&sr=1-2&keywords=Cf2 (second image)

Offline Littlefish

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Re: RIP "the little guy"
« Reply #36 on: December 24, 2016, 08:44:48 AM »
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The test strips are accurate enough to keep track of what is happening with your tank. I strated out with the API test strips, but as I got more tanks I found it more cost effective to moce to the API master test kit. Buying from Amazon is cheaper than buying from LFS, and it lasts for ages.
Test strips are very quick and easy to use though, so there are times that I wish I could still use them on my tanks, as it takes me quite a long time to test them all.

I have a couple of the filters you mention. I think they originally came with some of the tanks when I bought them. I was worried that some of my more acrobatic fish my jump into the top, so those filters now reside in my axolotl tanks, and are still going strong.  :)

I don't have enough experience to comment on changing the filter, but I'm sure that the others will be able to give advice.  :)

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Re: RIP "the little guy"
« Reply #37 on: December 24, 2016, 09:06:49 AM »
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@Littlefish do you use the normal replacement cartridges in yours?

I have had fish jump into the filter in the past, when I first got my harlequins... they soon learnt not to do that again!!

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Re: RIP "the little guy"
« Reply #38 on: December 24, 2016, 05:01:43 PM »
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Hi Matt,

This filter looks very similar to the Marina i110 which I have. (I may replace it shortly but put those plans on hold when it decided to start functioning well, typically just after I'd made the decision to replace it!)

The Marina filter which I have contains/contained a plastic grid and a filter cartridge comprising filter wool 'packets' filled with carbon and zeolite. Once the filter wool cartridges became saturated, the flow reduced and the advice on the packaging was that these required replaced at this stage - but that the plastic grid would contain the beneficial bacteria. In essence, the filter cartridges would have required replacing every few weeks.

Following advice on here, I kept the plastic grid part of the filter but dismantled the filter wool cartridges by cutting the filter wool as close to the plastic casing surrounding it (quite tough to do), scraping away all the carbon and zeolite pieces (very messy), and then wrapping the filter wool round some new filter sponge which I cut to size to fit in the space which had previously housed the filter cartridge, so that the filter wool would transfer/multiply the beneficial bacteria on it across/onto to the sponge.

The advantage of this is that the filter cartridges don't need replaced when they become clogged, and, more importantly, they don't need removed if I have to dose medication (due to the carbon being in them). It also means that, theoretically, if I had to set up a quarantine tank, I could just remove some of the sponge from the filter into another filter rather than having to use new, uncycled filter media - as it happens, though, I have two filters in my tank, so would remove one of those filters if I had to set up a QT.

Hope that helps, if indeed your filter is as similar to mine as I think it is.

Offline Andy The Minion

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Re: RIP "the little guy"
« Reply #39 on: December 24, 2016, 11:43:45 PM »
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Matt, I don't know this filter but it looks like the bottom section is an open box which then feeds water up the front and then into three sections of media from front to back? If this is true then the intake box could be filled with an open structured media like bio balls.
Once the water has travel up the front (is it possible to put a thin-ish sheet of very coarse foam in there? passed through a fine foam and then maybe a floss in the second slot. The majority of the suspended solids will have been removed (and the floss replaced weekly) I would have thought ceramic media would be a good final stage either skipping the carbon or a small bag at the top so its easy to replace without disturbing the ceramic media.

Offline Matt

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Re: RIP "the little guy"
« Reply #40 on: December 25, 2016, 08:21:54 AM »
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I can see now that my diagram was misleading... the bottom section is an open box which feeds water into the bottom of the upper chamber. The water is directed initially towards the back/upwards but then flows back to front. I could easily change the flow direction so it just points up so my idea is to use loose media in the bottom half with sponge on top to stop the loose media overflowing the top with the water.  This is where im unsure... changing the flow direction.... it always seemed like you wouldn't get an even flow of water through the filter but perhaps this is me trying to overcritique it... I currently have loose media then carbon pad then sponge in the direction the filter was designed for... perhaps I should just loose the carbon and sponge and replace with better sponge?

Another dodgy diagram below looking top down on the filter.
Yellow = bio balls
Red = new sponge
Blue =water

Offline Littlefish

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Re: RIP "the little guy"
« Reply #41 on: December 26, 2016, 09:27:34 AM »
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@Matt I've never replaced anything on those filters, I just rinse everything in old tank water when doing the weekly clean.  :)

Offline Matt

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Re: RIP "the little guy"
« Reply #42 on: February 12, 2017, 09:39:39 PM »
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I lost another gourami last night and if I'd like to describe what I saw and see if it sparks any thoughts for anyone...

The fish was absolutely fine until I saw it literally go absolutely crazy flying round the tank like a mad thing then swim around slowly but uncontrollably, also curving round it's body very heavily... eventually funding a hidy hole to pass away in more peacefully, it was found the next morning in a stiff S shape.  Ive had three fish pass in the same number of months, the two previous to this seemed to pass more slowly not eating for a period first, but it's possible I didn't see the final throws of life with these.

Any ideas?

Offline MarquisMirage

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Re: RIP "the little guy"
« Reply #43 on: February 12, 2017, 11:26:17 PM »
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Poor fishy.  :(  Have you tested the water yet?  What were the results?  Also, do you dose CO2?  Everything points at gas issues to me (either fluctuations in the nitrogen cycle or CO2 dosing).  The hardier fish will survive longer until an organ fails.  Sadly your fish will keep dying until the root cause is found.

Offline fcmf

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Re: RIP "the little guy"
« Reply #44 on: February 13, 2017, 10:35:16 PM »
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Very sorry indeed to read about this - that must have been alarming and traumatic to witness. I'm unable to help re a definitive diagnosis at the moment but it does ring a bell in something I've read before which I will try to dig out - but unsure if it will add anything to what's already been suggested.



Offline Matt

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Re: RIP "the little guy"
« Reply #45 on: February 13, 2017, 10:45:43 PM »
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Water tests were a ok, but you might be onto something with the Co2 side of things as my dosing has been more erratic recently as I dose liquid co2 but this has been done more heavily at the weekends and a LOT less regularly in the week.  Basically my workload at work has doubled... I was thinking some kind of internal parasite but couldn't match up the symptoms to anything... This makes sense now. Horrible feeling that I might have led to their demise, feel better knowing that I may have found the answer though...

Offline Sue

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Re: RIP "the little guy"
« Reply #46 on: February 14, 2017, 09:27:55 AM »
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Is it just gouramis that are dying?
If it is, the reason is either some disease specific to gouramis or the ones you bought were particularly weak.

I wonder if it does have something to do with your liquid CO2? I know that there are reports of them affecting some shrimps and otos.

Offline MarquisMirage

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Re: RIP "the little guy"
« Reply #47 on: February 14, 2017, 11:21:28 AM »
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@Sue if I remember rightly Matt unfortunately lost a ram too.  @Matt Have you been using a CO2 drop checker?  They're not too expensive and take the guesswork out of how much CO2 to add to the tank.

Offline Sue

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Re: RIP "the little guy"
« Reply #48 on: February 14, 2017, 11:36:43 AM »
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Matt says he's using liquid CO2 (eg Seachem Flourish Excel, Easylife EasyCarbo) not a gas from a cylinder/home made generator. Would a drop checker work with those, the active ingredient is glutaraldehyde?

Offline MarquisMirage

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Re: RIP "the little guy"
« Reply #49 on: February 14, 2017, 02:29:28 PM »
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Drop checkers work off the amount of dissolved CO2 in the water so it won't matter how it got in there.  :) 

I'm using the EasyCarbo myself but I purposefully under dose against what it suggests.  1-2 ml per 50 l per day is recommended depending on the amount of plants you have.  So in my 90 l I should go around 1.8 ml following the guide.  However, I have low CO2 requirement plants and believe the Fluval Aquasky lights have (very) low lighting at the bottom of this deep aquarium so extra CO2 is not needed .   On top of that I'm not adding large amounts of ferts right now either.  So I only dose 1 ml a day.

That being said Matts lights may be brighter, and fert additions may be greater, than mine so he may need to add more.  The drop checker will let him know when he hits that sweet spot of 30 ppm.

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