White patch on ember red tetra

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mommy2girls!

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Thanks for your insight jake. Indeed I do think that it was just a scratch. And I was happy that it didn’t spread and she didn’t have a change in behavior. I’m positive the extra water changes that fishorama recommended helped her to heal. Is it possible for them to develop a new fungal or viral or bacterial infection in a tank that they have been in long term and nothing new has been added? No live foods either beyond’s the snails that breed in the tank for the assassin.
 

fishorama

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Some things like some bacteria, algae, some fungal spores etc are a part of the natural environment everywhere. They may be fine at low or usual levels but are waiting for a chance to spread if the right conditions are met. Stressed or weakened fish, a swing in water parameters, it could be anything that allows whatever to get a big foothold.

Fish & live food can often carry a low level parasite load that doesn't necessarily cause trouble but can if a new fish or very different parameters allow for their spread. Some "critters" are harmless & may be a form of live fish food. I have a many years old colony of blackworms in 1 tank. My fish may eat some but after all this time I'm sure they're fine. I also see stylaria worms once in a while, no big deal but I don't know if I have now fish that will eat them.

& of course anytime you introduce new animals or plants there's a chance they come with "something". There isn't a realistic way to prevent all chances of introducing "things". But I strongly suggest a quarantine tank for animals & at least a chlorinated tap water soak plants & "used" decor. I never allow "other" tank water into my tanks as best I can.
 

mommy2girls!

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I am so sad to inform you that mommy ember has passed away. Here is my theory according to all the information I have found:
My tap water runs at about 6.8ph 1-2gh and 0kh super soft. I have also recently found out it has barely a hint of calcium and no magnesium or other nutrients. Seems almost like ro and it’s not even filtered.
I have been using crushed coral to raise gh to 6 and kh to 5
I started noticing potassium deficiencies in my Java ferns and calcium deficiencies in the snail shells. I added seachem potassium to the flourish and researched how could I have a calcium deficiency while feeding calcium veggies and tums and cuttlebone and crushed coral. Seemed like I should have lots. Well google informed me that if there was no magnesium available the calcium is not available for use by plants or animals. I was advised by twotank to add equilibrium which should raise calcium and magnesium in the recommended dose of 3:1. Now I also read that calcium deficiency causes slow to no growth in the skeleton of baby fish but doesn’t stop organ growth. Meaning their organs literally outgrow their bodies. Baby ember remained small without growing any at all and eventually developed a lump on her underside. I’m assuming she suffered from the fate of calcium deficiency. She passed away. 2 weeks later mommy ember passed away and when I pulled her from the tank she had the white spot still and now that she was out of the water I could see that it was possibly an ulcer (not just a scratch as previously thought). And research has now supported ulcers caused by calcium deficiency. I bought a calcium/magnesium test on Amazon. Even with all the added calcium I was still reading at only 40mg/l calcium and zero magnesium. I continued adding more and more equilibrium slowly each week until the calcium was reading 100mg calcium and 12mg magnesium. However the plants are using up all the available magnesium within 24 hrs of adding it and the next day it would be reading zero again. so now I’m on my way to adding a tiny bit of Epsom to raise the magnesium by itself. #twotankadmin I would like your advice on this. Should I just add a small pinch when it read zero or proactively raise it during water changes?
I searched for a calcium test for the longest before I found this oneimage.jpg
 

fishorama

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I'm so sorry! Everyone's water can have different seasonal amounts of, well, everything.

I have never tested for magnesium or potassium so I have no opinion on your tests or conclusions...or on the quality of your tests. I just don't know...Maybe 2tank has insights. I know he's been busy lately, give him some time to answer.

Remind us, in a vague way, where you live please (a state or near a big city, not your exact address, lol). There can be regional & seasonal water issues. We on AC live all over...often in the US but many other places too. Give us a hint :)
 

mommy2girls!

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NYC
“New York water is considered to be "soft," meaning it has low concentrations of calcium and magnesium due to the makeup of the water that flows into the Catskills and Delaware Watershed. According to the American Chemical Society the only American city with "softer" water is Boston. “
 
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fishorama

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I know 2 tank lives outside NYC on very soft well water. I had soft in Boston 'burbs & very hard in DE, so I'm not helping.

I didn't understand your test results. It looked like 120mg calcium (that seems ok) but what was the magnesium?
 

mommy2girls!

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That’s my problem now. Magnesium is zero still. Twotank told me to use equilibrium because that’s what he had been using since his water is soft too. The equilibrium raised the calcium to an acceptable level but my plants ate all the magnesium as soon as it hit the water. I could test at 12mg at adding time but by next day it would drop back to zero
 
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mommy2girls!

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Oh and by the way mommy and baby both passed before I added potassium or calcium or magnesium to the tank. Their passing is what spurred this research into high gear
 

fishorama

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Well, I'm sorry your fish died but that may not be directly related to your mineral levels...you don't want to over corelate data with coincidence, sometimes crap happens. I know 2tank uses Equilibrium in some tanks but maybe not all. It "looks like" (in a casual way) that EQ might help.

If you PM 2tank he'll be more apt to answer. He's been very busy lately. I hope he answers here so we all can see, that's how we all learn.

mommy, did you ever check the water report from your local water co. by looking at the annual report? Or are you on a well too? You may get some good data but it might be seasonal (end of summer dry or spring thaw?). It can change a LOT! Be careful not to jump to conclusions...
 

mommy2girls!

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Jul 31, 2022
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Yeah I know I get on a trail and start running like a hound dog. Thanks for the reminder. My snails shells look much healthier since I started supplementing with equilibrium. I no longer have white chalky pitted snails. All of them have passed on and the new generations look much healthier. I wonder if I should skip the magnesium test results since I have seen some improvement and just continue with the equilibrium. IMG_2251.jpeg
like I said most of our numbers are quite low. Snails need calcium at 70-90mg/l and magnesium at 23-30mg/l. A 3:1 ratio. The water report correlates exactly with my tests. And definitely reinforces the theory of a deficiency and the need for supplementation of some form.
 
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