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Rummynose Tetras Dying! Help!!!


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Hey all,

so I was at an aquarium store yesterday with a mate, and they had a giant school (150+) of rummynose tetras in a tank that caught my eye. Now I’ve been thinking about getting rummynose since I started in the hobby, and this impressive and beautiful school just pushed me over the edge. I got 10, but didn’t pick them out individually as it would’ve been quite the trouble for the store employee. They all looked happy and healthy in the bag. But by the time I’d got back to my mate’s place I had 2 belly-up in the bag. Still breathing, but lethargic and still. So we slowly acclimated them to his QT tank (assuming it was the water that they didn’t like), using a drip acclimation method. By the time this was finished another fish was belly-up. So we put the 3 bad ones in a breeder box in the QT tank, and let the others swim around. We also had measured pH and ammonia from their bag, which were 7.0 and 0.25. The QT tank was 7.2 and 0. We also medicated their water with blue Planet multi cure, which has malachite green, methylene blue and acriflavine as active ingredients. They stayed in there for a few hours, and we monitored them. When I left I bagged them all up, with the floaters in a seperate bag so I could tell if they got better. Unfortunately I think one was dead by that point. At home I very slowly drop acclimated them to my own QT (which just finished cycling, but I couldn’t risk putting sick fish in with all my healthy ones in another tank). The process took around an hour, then I checked them all to see who was okay and who was not. I had 2 dead, 3 okay and 5 belly-up. I did all I could to make the tank as safe as I could, and medicated the water. I removed the dead ones, and let the ones still breathing stay in the tank in case of a miraculous recovery. This morning I turned the lights on and could only see 2 swimming. I looked all around to find the missing one, and it turned out he was inside my cholla wood! I can’t tell if he’s still respirating or not, so I will get him out of there. I can’t see gill movement from any other fish but the 2 swimming. All (but the swimmers) have lost colour in their noses. I will remove them now, as they do look dead to me. The ones that still live look to have fin rot.
Does anyone know what might have caused this? Was it just bad stock, or did I do something wrong? And how can I save the ones that are still alive? 
Thanks in advance.












Edited by Crabby
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So on a follow-up question to the previous post: what do I use to treat semi-serious fin rot? Will the multi cure I'm already using work for the fin rot, or do I need an erythromycin antibiotic to treat this? And can I use them in conjunction? Or is the multi-cure unnecessary at this stage?

I will hugely appreciate any input or help.


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Sorry to hear about your problem with the new fish. I don't know what meds you have in Australia but we have a few which are supposed to be for 'fin rot' but any aquarium place probably stocks at least 1 fin rot medication I expect. Usually though the medication can be fairly expensive (especially in relation to the cost of the fish)  so whether you consider it worth doing for just a couple of fish when it may not work anyway is a decision only you can make!

I don't wish to be too harsh but I would just quarantine the few that are ok,/left or carry on as you are, and they will either die or survive at this stage. It is quite common in my experience that you will lose a few in the first few days when you get new fish from a shop, it has happened EVERY time with me anyway, though not to your severity! It is stressful for them to be moved and transported and they are simple/fragile creatures anyway! You should probably only get fish from a shop when you plan to then take them straight home and into the (quarantine) tank ASAP, within an hour if possible. The loss of colour is normal when you buy new fish and that is a result of stress as well but usually they colour back up in a day or so if all is well and they are happy! If it is mild and you keep them in a well maintained tank once they settle down and feel calmer it can just clear with a bit of time - it has happened several times to me with betta, including my current one, to the point I just ignore it as a norm now with a newly acquired fish that is stressed and getting used to its new environment! If you have a magnifying glass it is worth taking that when you buy fish so when they are in the bag (before paying for them) you can see better what condition they are in at that point - also saves a lot of time/hassle!

Fish sent through the post are a different subject and one I have never done but very tempted to try, but obviously that can take a lot longer so the packaging is completely different. All my shrimp have been through the post successfully.

If you do go for meds, don't forget to remove any carbon from the filter system (if you have any) whilst doing the treatment! I have heard a lot of good things about this products IF it is available in Australia? I've never tried it myself though as mentioned above.


Hopefully someone from Australia may be able to give you better info about meds in Australia?



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Thanks Simon.

I've decided to just return them to the store as they were sold to me as diseased fish (fin rot has progressed too far for it to have been my fault) and as you said the cost for the medicine is more than that of the fish. The fish really aren't doing well, so I think it'll save a fair bit of work. Hopefully the store can do a better job at keeping them alive now that I can make them aware of the problem. Even though I am sort of giving up on the fish I have certainly learned some lessons through this experience. The whole thing shocked me a bit, as this is a problem I would have expected when I first started out, but not now, just as I'm getting comfortable with the hobby. In hindsight it may have been my being comfortable that caused this mistake. Anyway, thanks for the advice Simon. Hopefully I won't have to ask a question like this again, and I can learn from this unfortunate situation.

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I hope you manage to get your money back without any hassle.

We all suffer from impulse buying, especially with this hobby. I don't think we ever stop learning either with this hobby. Maybe the challenge is part of the appeal?

Ask as many questions as you want!


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