Jump to content





Posted Image

PCS & Stuart M. Grant - Cichlid Preservation Fund - Details here

September Fish of the Month - Uaru amphiacanthoides "Triangle Cichlid" - Details soon

September PCS Meeting - Quiz Night - Details here

PCS Auction Night - Tuesday 5th November - Details soon

International Guest Rusty Wessel - Tuesday 10th December - Details soon


Photo

Warning For People Keeping South Americans


  • Please log in to reply
23 replies to this topic

#1 Den

Den
  • Forum Member
  • Joined: 15-January 05
  • Location: Warnbro W.A.

Posted 06 December 2008 - 10:04 PM

Hi Guys

A while ago I posted up some warnings in relation to plant fertilisers and Earth eaters.

About 2-3years ago I lost about 10 very beautiful and very healthy young adult Red head Topago's after I added a liquid plant fertilizer that contained chelated iron, looks like rusty water (and Im told thats what it basically is), the dose I added to the tank was small, in fact from memory I added less than 50% of the recommended dose on bottle.

I added the fertilser to the tank and then left the room and came back an hour later to find every single one of my perfectly healthy Topagos stone cold dead, the other geos in the tank iI think were Leucos, Hecks & Rio Pindares which were gasping with breathing problems and I immediately did a water change and managed to save them(I think I may have also added some airstones), but it was close, other species of fish in the tank such as tetras appeared unaffected, except a paki loach which also died. The Leucos never seemed to completely recover, they continually seemed to sulk for years.

I have used this fertiliser without incident from same bottle with other types of fish in other tanks and in the same tank before the geos were added.

Perhaps some fish species are sensitive to iron or one of the other minerals in the fertilizer? Cant imagine much iron in the Amazon river? Or it could be some kind of reaction between the fertilizer and phosphates or high nitrates present in the water, but why did other species in the tank seem uneffected, whatever the cause is I just want to make sure people are aware and careful about using plant fertilisers.

I bring this up again because of the new popularity of geos and I just had a call from a fellow Geo keeper whom I strongly suspect has just experienced the same/similar problem.

If you've experienced a similar problem or you are using fertilisers without problems it would be good if you can post up your experiences.

Cheers
Den

#2 LC60

LC60
  • Forum Member
  • Joined: 28-December 07
  • Location: Clarkson

Posted 07 December 2008 - 04:48 PM

Thanks den, good helpful information. Do you know if discus or rams are similarly affected?

Cheers
Larry

#3 keleherr

keleherr
  • Forum Member
  • Joined: 03-October 04
  • Location:Spearwood
  • Location: spearwood

Posted 07 December 2008 - 07:41 PM

i added a pot with some substrate fertilizer and my red heads didnt take to well to it. it was a tiny amount of laterite and clay with a bit of blood and bone aswell as chelated iron. i lost a few and since i removed the pot they seem to be recovering.
chelated iron is iron in an organic form for plants to take it up so in theory it shouldnt be toxic like rust/oxide. my theory is the chelated iron interacts with a physiological pathway unique to geos.
symptoms included the development of hole in head and "sulking". some that died also showed no external symptoms. water quality was as normal with routine water changes and water treatment, so i suspect it was the addition of the pot

#4 Mr_docfish

Mr_docfish
  • PCS Club Member
  • Joined: 29-July 07
  • Location: Canning Vale WA

Posted 07 December 2008 - 08:37 PM

chelated iron is Iron attached to a chelating agent (normally EDTA)

We have moderate amounts of Iron in our tap water, and most water conditioners contain EDTA... so I would like to know what else or what level or what form of Iron (Fe++ or Fe+++) is involved or is there a combination of problems here.
Once metals are attached to EDTA, it cannot be absorbed into the blood stream of the fish, so in its chelated form, the iron could not affect the fish. But plants can break the bond and some bacteria will break down the EDTA eventually.....

maybe Sydad can shed some light on this one??

#5 Den

Den
  • Forum Member
  • Joined: 15-January 05
  • Location: Warnbro W.A.

Posted 07 December 2008 - 10:45 PM

Hi Larry

Im not sure if it effects other species other than what I have mentioned.

Cheers
Den


#6 Gavin

Gavin
  • Forum Member
  • Joined: 03-July 05
  • Location: Mandurah

Posted 08 December 2008 - 06:21 PM

What fertilizer was it and what other ingredients does it contain?

#7 Cicolid

Cicolid
  • Forum Member
  • Joined: 29-April 06
  • Location: Bouvard, Mandurah WA

Posted 08 December 2008 - 07:10 PM

I don't know which product Den used, but I used Seachem Flourish.
I added 8ml to a 680 lt tank, recommended dosage is 5ml per 250lt.
For the complete analysis of product see below link.

http://www.seachem.c...s/Flourish.html

The fish effected are G.abalios & G.altifron Rio Tocatins, these stressed out so much that most developed severe White spot.

To date I have made several W/C, pushed temp up to 30C, treated with medication, dropped water level by 7cm to get more water agitation and have added 5 airstones.. Have lost 1 fish to date but others not looking too good.

There are 3 x 20cm S.eupterus, 4 x 5cm Gold Sev's, 6 x 12 cm C.erythrurus & 3 x 12 cm A.heckelii which don't seem to be effected.

Col

#8 Den

Den
  • Forum Member
  • Joined: 15-January 05
  • Location: Warnbro W.A.

Posted 08 December 2008 - 11:09 PM

It was aquasonic chelated iron fertiliser that definitely caused my redheads to die. I added it and about an hour later all the perfectly healthy fish were stone cold dead.


#9 Cicolid

Cicolid
  • Forum Member
  • Joined: 29-April 06
  • Location: Bouvard, Mandurah WA

Posted 09 December 2008 - 06:24 AM

Woke up at 3.30am so thought I would check on the Geo's.

Now 3 dead (out of 6) and all G.abalios. Now letting temp drop to 29 C. Checked water yet again.

Nitrate 10,
Nitrite nil
Ammonia nil
pH 6.7

Update 7am...No more dead fish and the others all seem better in as much as they are not flashing or sitting in the stream of bubbles.

Lets hope it keeps good.

Col



#10 Sazabi

Sazabi
  • Forum Member
  • Joined: 22-August 08

Posted 09 December 2008 - 08:27 AM

Sorry to hear that Col and Den

Really beautiful fish, hope they get well soon

#11 Cicolid

Cicolid
  • Forum Member
  • Joined: 29-April 06
  • Location: Bouvard, Mandurah WA

Posted 09 December 2008 - 09:03 AM

Couldn't see many fish so I stripped the tank. Now have 7 dead, 1 is not too good, but the other 4 look OK apart from the whitespot.

Col

#12 ozarowana

ozarowana
  • Forum Member
  • Joined: 29-July 08
  • Location: Brisbane QLD

Posted 11 December 2008 - 07:47 AM

http://www.discusfor...flourish#134864


#13 Cicolid

Cicolid
  • Forum Member
  • Joined: 29-April 06
  • Location: Bouvard, Mandurah WA

Posted 11 December 2008 - 09:10 AM

Update..

I have now lost all 6 x 9cm G.altifrons Rio Tocatins, all 6x 8cm G.abalios & 1 of 3 A.heckelii.
The remaining fish are all ok. Including 2 x 12cm A.heckelii, 3 x 20cm S.eupterus, 4 x 5cm Gold severums & 6 x 11cm Chalceus erythrurus.

I haven't done a W/C or added anything for the past 3 days & all is back to normal....I hope.

After discussion with a couple of members (who I really respect) I have come to the conclusion that the altifrons & abalios are allergic to one or more of the ingredients in Seachem Flourish.

Yet another expensive lesson learned... angry.gif

Col

#14 Den

Den
  • Forum Member
  • Joined: 15-January 05
  • Location: Warnbro W.A.

Posted 11 December 2008 - 03:40 PM

Very sorry to hear of your loss Col, I'll send you a PM and see if we can work something out.

I recommend keeping most geo tanks warm around 29-30C, by doing this you prevent whitespot taking hold if they get stressed by other factors, although they are a reasonably hardy fish, white spot seems to wipe them out. If you do get whitespot with these fish crank the tank to 30C-32C ASAP and get those airstones cranking (but avoid too much current) for me its been more important in saving these guys than any medication.

Cheers
Den

#15 Mr_docfish

Mr_docfish
  • PCS Club Member
  • Joined: 29-July 07
  • Location: Canning Vale WA

Posted 11 December 2008 - 08:48 PM

The hard part is noticing the whitespot early enough, if you leave it for a day or two too long, it will take hold very quickly. After some discussions with Col, I have to say that there must have been something stressing the fish... larger Geos should handle whitespot well, maybe lose the odd weaker one in a bad case, but in Col's case, there was something else not quite right...
It is possible that the fertiliser could have contributed, after seeing the posts by others here in this thread. I had a quick discussion with Sydad, and I would agree that Iron levels could be a problem. Not necessarily the chelated form, but Iron in general. The waters of the Amazon region are Iron poor, though the substrate my contain sufficient Iron to sustain plant growth, there is a definite lack of soluble Iron in the water. Depending on a number of factors (pH, other salts in the water etc) the Iron could reach levels and/or forms that are toxic to some south American fish. More research needs to be done to determine exactly what chemistry is going on here, and what physiological differences are in such susceptible fish.
In the meantime, there are a couple of options that could be placed here to prevent this occurring again:
Only use fertilisers that are tablet based, and placed deep within the substrate.
Test the iron levels of the tank regularly, do not go above 0.1ppm for such fish species.
Dose the tank with smaller doses more regularly..... rather than large doses weekly for example.
Maintain a slightly alkaline pH, Iron is more soluble in lower pH, particularly in the presence of phosphoric acid (pH down Powder / some pH buffers).
Maintain a high dissolved oxygen level.

Hope this info will help.

Oliver

#16 Graeme

Graeme
  • Forum Member
  • Joined: 11-November 04
  • Location: Kingsley

Posted 14 December 2008 - 07:26 AM

QUOTE (ozarowana @ Dec 11 2008, 08:47 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
a little note here
the link is for Flourish Excel being used for something off label.
Not the Iron being discussed.

Graeme


#17 Heiko Bleher

Heiko Bleher
  • Forum Member
  • Joined: 15-March 09

Posted 16 March 2009 - 06:25 AM

QUOTE (Graeme @ Dec 14 2008, 07:26 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
a little note here
the link is for Flourish Excel being used for something off label.
Not the Iron being discussed.

Graeme


Hi,

this is Heiko Bleher and I just saw this thread.

I am amazed simply because eartheater, Geophagus, Stanoperca Biotodoma and the sorts are EARTHEATERS as the name sais it (as well as discus, which some do not know) and therefore should NOT be placed in aquariums with plants. No place where they live in nature they have aquatic vegetation (except for some floating ones in some areas).

Have a look on my biotopes Bleher's Biotopes and see how I decorate the aquariums for those - and they love it and spawn almost immediately (as they feel at home).

Try to think fish and give your fishes what they are used to to. Fish are not much different than Man and if you give them the environment they know (and the mates they know), you will see and have a complete different aquarium.

Just give it some thought, a suggestion from one who should know...

Heiko Bleher
www.aquapres-bleher.com
www.aqua-aquapress.com




#18 Den

Den
  • Forum Member
  • Joined: 15-January 05
  • Location: Warnbro W.A.

Posted 20 April 2009 - 05:51 PM

Hi Heiko

Thanks for the info, biotype aquariums are still catching on here, I think part of the problem is that we dont get alot of information on habitats so there is a lack of guidance and inspiration within the hobby to lead us. Writers usually describe water parameters but in many cases fail to provide details or photos of the environment where the fish are found, I guess this is because many articles are written by hobbiests describing their artificial environments as they are not getting out into the field.

We are lucky to have a few people like you who get out into the field and share the vital information we need in order to improve the ways we keep and house our fish, hopefully the number of people who bring field experience and knowledge into the hobby continues to grow.

Weidners Eartheater book provides some great info on species distribution and habitat, thats part of the reason why I say his book is a must for Geo enthusiasts, additionally Im sure we would all appreciate if have any other recommendations where hobbiests can source this kind of info.

Perhaps a biotype aquariums section is worthy of its own topic on the forum? an area where hobbiests can share info on creating biotype aquariums, maybe it will help to reduce the number of aquariums with pink flourecent gravel full of stressed and confused fish?

Cheers
Den smile.gif

#19 Ronny

Ronny
  • Forum Member
  • Joined: 24-October 08
  • Location: Sydney, NSW

Posted 20 April 2009 - 06:06 PM

QUOTE (Den @ Apr 20 2009, 06:51 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Perhaps a biotype aquariums section is worthy of its own topic on the forum? an area where hobbiests can share info on creating biotype aquariums, maybe it will help to reduce the number of aquariums with pink flourecent gravel full of stressed and confused fish?

Cheers
Den smile.gif



Great idea Den, I can honestly say, I know what it's like to try and replicate an environment with minimal knowledge and guidance.
There really isn't too much info on the net on specific regions where certain fish come from.

The only thing that concerns me about a topic like that is the number of members who could actually contribute valuable info.
I don't think many of us have actually gone to the areas where our fish are from to give first hand advice on a biotope.
But then, I could be totally wrong...

Anyways, I definately support the idea. there are quite a few posts requesting info on how to set up a tank according to the conditions fish are from, it could be very handy and aid alot of the noobs when setting up and selecting fish for their tank.

#20 japes

japes
  • Forum Member
  • Joined: 15-April 09

Posted 20 April 2009 - 06:08 PM

Nothing to do with aquariums is strictly natural, you're keeping fish in an artificially lit and filtered glass box.

Plants however, are documented by Weidner as being part of some Eartheaters habitat. South American Eartheaters discusses under many species that the juveniles can be found closer to shore in amongst heavily vegetated areas which they use as cover. As I'm sure you're aware many species also prefer dimly lit conditions as they live in heavily tanned waters or shaded waters, lillies and long flowing plants such as Valisneria can provide this shade from your aquarium light (although some could suggest not running lighting at all to achieve this).

Fully planted aquariums are obviously not ideal as Eartheaters require large open surfaces of substrate, but condemning plants as unnatural is taking it a little too far. I keep an Orange Head tank that is lightly planted with a couple of swords and mostly Valisneria for surface coverage while still maintaining large surfaces of sand for sifting, however my Satanoperca setup is purely sand with a few small unobtrusive tangles of driftwood.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users