RE: [RML] Water changes and disease

Julie Zeppieri (bowluvr at
Sat, 02 Jul 2005 19:48:56 -0700

As a long-time hobbyist with over a dozen years in the retail/wholesale end,
I will say that for every case that a person came in and complained to me
that new fish died in his/her tank and the fish they had were ones that had
been in there a long time, I did play 20-questions and do a water test. In
every case the deaths can at least in a large part be traced to a lack of
proper water changes. ph was low in many and nitrates high (like Kool-Aide
color on the tests kinda high!) in every case. Maybe Mycobacteriosis is the
cause of problems with more-established hobbyists who have this problem, but
from the (100 or more?) cases I have dealt with firsthand as a retail clerk,
I have not found this to be true with Joe-Average new hobbyist. I wish it
were so, as then it would indicate most shops were doing a better job than
they are of educating and guiding newbies.

Julie <'><

>From: "blueredorganic" <blueredorganic at>
>Reply-To: r_m_l at
>To: r_m_l at
>Subject: [RML] Water changes and disease
>Date: Sat, 02 Jul 2005 21:49:26 -0000
>"How many time have you heard
>people talk about their tanks that they've had for years, never do water
>changes, have the same fish in they've had all this time but every new
>fish they put in the tank dies? I've heard this story many times. The
>old fish get used to it over time, but the new fish can't take the
>horrible water." --- In r_m_l at, Rhonda Wilson
>Hi Rhonda,
>I'd like to add to what you wrote on adding new fish to an established
>tank and then watching them die.
>My fish with the Mycobacteriosis seem to be doing okay since I added
>the UV sterilizer (they must have developed some immunity.)
>Two months ago I added a very nice, healthy Rainbowfish. Within 6
>weeks he died a tragic and very sudden sudden death (it appeared to be
>an acute bacterial disease).
>I believe that he died from the Mycobacteria in my tanks, because he
>didn't have any immunity.
>In the past, I have added healthy fish to my tanks, and they did fine.
>The difference was that my tanks were not infected with Mycobacteria.
>I'll bet that there are many hobbyists with longterm, established tanks
>that are infected with endemic Mycobacteria to which their fish are
>resistant. Newcomers will definitely have a tough time!
>I would argue that it may not be the hobbyist's tank management that's
>causing the problem, but that his/her fish are carrying a low-grade
>version of the disease. Mycobacteriosis has been around a long time,
>and it so often goes unrecognized.

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