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Ammonia burns?

Miss ATV

Member
Hi all,

So yesterday morning I woke up to a pretty big ammonia spike in the tank. Needless to say the 2 week old fry from about 60 they have been reduced to about 10 and I am not surprised. I overfed and turns out my filter which is relatively new (4 months) and was rated quite highly as internal filter (Fluval U2) has been malfunctioning and randomly stops... I've moved the spare filter I had in a bucket with old dirty water hopefully I can cycle it urgently and throw it in as additional filter.

Yesterday the main indicator of something being wrong besides the fry who were extremely lethargic and dying was the male. He was sitting on the bottom under a piece of driftwood like he was sleeping. I changed 50% of the water yesterday and he started getting more active, not eating though just swimming around.

Today I changed another 50% of the water and he finally is acting like before this stupid incident swimming up to the glass and engaging with us when we look at them. I have noticed he has reddish patches on his body and I'm worried about him having suffered ammonia burns? If this is so do they heal or is there anything I can dose to help healing?
 

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Larry Rogers

Member
5 Year Member
Overfeeding is a far too common problem in fry tanks. It is the result of not having a clear understanding of the biology of your fish fry. So here are some facts for you to chew on. Properly fed your fry ar going to double their size three times in th first two weeks. To double their size they need to consume ten times their body weight. So let us assume that your 60 fry weighed 1.1 grams. In the first three days they are going to require 11 grams of food. If your tank is "old" and not overcleaned they will get at least half of that grazing the tank. So in four days you need to feed fry 5.5 grams or about 1.4 grams a day. Most people feed four or five times as much and then wonder why their tanks sour.
 

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
Ammonia burns generally occur on the gills and not the body of the fish, which is mostly protected by a mucus coating. Ammonial-burned gills show as rapid breathing. Does he show this? I don't see the reddish patches you mention in your photo. With quality water (and strange as it sounds, less food; you overfeed for a newish tank) most fish heal.
 

Miss ATV

Member
Ammonia burns generally occur on the gills and not the body of the fish, which is mostly protected by a mucus coating. Ammonial-burned gills show as rapid breathing. Does he show this? I don't see the reddish patches you mention in your photo. With quality water (and strange as it sounds, less food; you overfeed for a newish tank) most fish heal.

There was some rapid breathing and since then I have been keeping him with an air pump which seems to have helped him as he breathes normally now. I never used an air pump until now as I was relying on the water movement caused by the filter. I was asking as I saw some people reporting about fishes getting ammonia burns on the outside the bodies (I think it was goldfish though)
 

Miss ATV

Member
Overfeeding is a far too common problem in fry tanks. It is the result of not having a clear understanding of the biology of your fish fry. So here are some facts for you to chew on. Properly fed your fry ar going to double their size three times in th first two weeks. To double their size they need to consume ten times their body weight. So let us assume that your 60 fry weighed 1.1 grams. In the first three days they are going to require 11 grams of food. If your tank is "old" and not overcleaned they will get at least half of that grazing the tank. So in four days you need to feed fry 5.5 grams or about 1.4 grams a day. Most people feed four or five times as much and then wonder why their tanks sour.

Thanks Larry, this is very useful I never found a clear description of the rate of fry growth. My fry are 5 weeks today and they are just over 1cm but then if I do a google search of 5 week old fry I can see people posting some huge fry at the same age...so I hope you can see how for a beginner apisto owner it can become confusing and why I thought maybe I am not feeding enough.

I definitely learnt my lesson to never follow the dumping of bbs freely like so many videos show online. I was feeding about 3ml per day, which is more than double of the 1.4gr which you mention. :eek:
 

Larry Rogers

Member
5 Year Member
Thanks Larry, this is very useful I never found a clear description of the rate of fry growth. My fry are 5 weeks today and they are just over 1cm but then if I do a google search of 5 week old fry I can see people posting some huge fry at the same age...so I hope you can see how for a beginner apisto owner it can become confusing and why I thought maybe I am not feeding enough.

I definitely learnt my lesson to never follow the dumping of bbs freely like so many videos show online. I was feeding about 3ml per day, which is more than double of the 1.4gr which you mention. :eek:
Do not put too much stock in the size of fry in pictures unless they are fry from the same strain of the same species and parents of like size to yours. Some fish, including apistos, will breed young. Young breeders tend to produce smaller eggs which in turn produce smaller fry. Smaller fry tend to produce smaller adults and generate the size disparity in adult fish. If you want more standard size fish it is a good idea not to breed them until completely grown.



Larry
 

Miss ATV

Member
Do not put too much stock in the size of fry in pictures unless they are fry from the same strain of the same species and parents of like size to yours. Some fish, including apistos, will breed young. Young breeders tend to produce smaller eggs which in turn produce smaller fry. Smaller fry tend to produce smaller adults and generate the size disparity in adult fish. If you want more standard size fish it is a good idea not to breed them until completely grown.



Larry

Larry my female was about 3.4-4cm and around 7 months I think she could have been stunted as I had her for about 3 months before she passed away and she never grew. The male I have is 7.5cm I just measured him and he grew about 1.5cm more in the last 2.5 months.

It makes sense the eggs must have been small from her, that puts my mind at ease on why the fry are not as big as some other peoples at 5 weeks old. Well saying that, we had a head wave in UK and the tanks temperature went up to 29° and I think the fry grew a lot more this past week as they're all swimming around covering the whole area of the tank while a week ago they always covered the bottom.
 
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