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Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11512
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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My catfish is at the bottom of the tank and only his gills

Customer Question

My catfish is at the bottom of the tank and only his gills are moving he has stopped eating and swimming. He's not doing well. We have done several water changes and he's gotten worse. Also the feeders in the tank have started to die. And my two twin orange parrots have black ash like patches on them. We did leave a piece of decomposing sausage on accident in the tank but got it out yesterday. We've treated the water will conditioner clarifier and ick remedy. Please help. We love our catfish we've had him for over five years.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Anna replied 8 months ago.
Hello and welcome. My name is***** a biologist with a special interest in fish. I'm sorry to hear of this problem. It sounds like something has gone terribly wrong with the water in your tank. When various species of fish start getting sick and dying, with a variety of symptoms, there is almost always something wrong with the water. Adding more chemicals only makes the situation worse. None of your fish have symptoms of Ick, so please stop that medication. The conditioner is good, but the clarifier serves only cosmetic purposes, so I would also discontinue that. The black on the parrots often indicates ammonia toxicity.You need to test the water. Use a test kit with test tubes and chemicals you add to water samples. The type with paper strips you dip in the water are inaccurate. Ammonia and nitrites must be at zero. Nitrites should be no higher than 40 ppm. I realize you probably can't do this until tomorrow since the pet stores are likely to be closed now. After you get your results, let me know the numbers for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates.For tonight, I would at least do a 30% water change to dilute whatever is in the tank. Put fresh charcoal (or whatever filter media you use) in the filter. If you can, move your catfish to a hospital tank with clean water in it. You can use spring water or conditioned tap water, but make sure it is the same temperature as the tank water.This will be all you can do tonight. I'll watch for your test results tomorrow, and we'll proceed from there. The test results will help me determine what additional steps you should take. Let me know if you have more questions.Anna
Expert:  Anna replied 8 months ago.

How are the fish doing today? Have you been able to get a water test?