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Re: Why do SAE's die so easly

> Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2001 16:44:32 -0700
> From: "David Berryman" <dberryman7479 at mediaone_net>
> Subject: Why do SAE's die so easly 
> I have owned about 20 SAE's in the year and a half my tank has been up, and
> all of them die with in about 2 months.  I do not know what I am doing wrong
> if anything.  Has any one else had this problem?  Are they hard to keep
> alive?

They have been very easy for me, and extremely hardy. Like most streamlined
barbs, they are originally from swift, clear streams, and do seem to need
plenty of oxygen/aeration.

Things that can interfere with respiration run the gamut of fish problems,
from chemicals to parasites to mechanical stuff.

Chlorine and ammonia (e.g., chloramines) are the first things to suspect.
Both should always test at zero in any water you add to your tank. Don't try
to use dechlorinators (hypo, sodium thiosulphate) if your supplier has
switched to chloramine. You *must* remove the burst of ammonium/ammonia if
your pH ever goes much above 7.5 or they will get severe gill burns.
Likewise, high ammonia from fish loads (uncycled tank problems) can be
deadly to high-respiration-rate fish like SAEs and Rainbows. [That's an
unlikely source in a really well-planted tank with good photosynthesis going

Gill flukes and flagellates like Oodimium (Velvet), Costia, and Ich can
attack gills first and kill the fish before external symptoms are obvious.
Necropsy with a microscope or strong magnifier and a good book with photos,
Like Untergasser's _Handbook of Fish Diseases_, TFH, may be needed, to know
for sure. [Lingering bacteria, like Fish TB, can selectively wipe out one
species, and stay resident on others in the tank.]

Smothering fish by too-tight covers on a tank with the CO2 displacing much
of the surface air can kill the heavy breathers, too. That seems all too
common among folks who are trying to get more dissolved CO2 without the
proper injection methods, and inadequate circulation at the surface.

Last, but not least, change sources of your fish. Some wholesalers and
retailers can OD the fish on dye-type antibacterials, and do great kidney
damage. The results often don't show for a couple of months. Malachite green
and acriflavin have been suspect in this area, so most of us use them
gingerly or for very short dunks, as a result.

It probably doesn't need repeating, but they, and any other fish that sleeps
at night, cannot survive long in any tank containing a Chinese Algae (sic)
Eater (aka Asiatic Scale Sucker).


Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679  wright at killi dot net


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