tail fraying

#1
HI
ON Pat's about very last page of her long multiple post,she shows a picture of her altums which she would describe as " a little rough" and I am sure she is refering to frayed tail fins. Lately,that is exactly how mine are...tail streamers are history THis is not typical of the last year as they have grown but neither can I get rid of it. A few things:
1.Yes ,they beat on each others fins all day long and #s1,2 and 3 may be said to be almost clean. #s10,11 and 12 are pretty rough..so it is peck order related. They are very ,very active,and eat like crazy and Grow well ( I think).

2. They are in Kent remineralised RO water to a TDS of 100 ( I do not have to go to 100 and that is higher than most of the year.. and a PH of 5 ish and maybe to 6 at times but not to 6 now or in the immediate past. Temp is 86F .12 of them in a 120 gal growout with some light pool sand gravel..no plants and one rock..just a "stock yard" . 40% water change every second day, with very necessary gravel wash... but I have been known to miss a turn..but not two turns. A 25 watt UV on 24 /7.. bulb not new anymore. Ehiem Pro filter and a simple, probably not too effective 40 gallon sump with bioballs which is hard to balance. I do have an issue with all of the hoses which do scum up fairly quickly and are hard to take apart and clean.. The fish were babies last October when I got them from HAW.

Cetainly, it does seem that the fish are subject to fraying when:
1.Something goes wrong..like my return RIO pump on the sump burned out.
2.I perform anything but basic maintenance..as in clean the sump,it's hoses etc

I did clean the ehiem pro but it was perfectly clean..filters at a ph of 5 never seem to look like they have ever done anything. That was not positive or negative. I added 20 cattappa leaves, some to tank and some to sump..that might help but don't know.

I could use some "been down this road before" advice.

Thanks Al

Re: tail fraying

#3
HI
Though,for me,it is a big learning curve... and I better get it learned, I will get pictures. I have had them 9 months and they began at about a "small quarter". Growth has been all over the place..biggest is 3 inches from nose tip to base of tail,next 7 are a bit smaller and the last 4 are stragglers and they exhibit the greatest tail fraying.

For what it is worth , I would not be surprised to realize that it is the relatively new sump and it's hoses that is a contributing factor. For example , every water change I have to shut down the pump or it will run close to dry and overheat. It has happened that there was a delay in the refill of the tank while I got the water in my storage tank "just right"..even two hours. THen I top up the tank and turn the sump on and however that water is in the sump..it goes into the tank . There are bioballs and two foam blocks in that sump..one going in ( not under water) and one going out (under water).......
THis last round of fraying seems to have to do with the RIO pump that pumps out the sump burning out ( running dry). The sump sat full of water for 2-3 days, then the sump and lines were flushed out,the blocks rinsed and it was restarted. Ordinarily that is OK to do..maybe not with these guys though.
Regards Al

Re: tail fraying

#5
Hi Al. Your remineralization and catappa should help to heal the fraying if it is not because of continuous fighting. You can use the UV 12/7 instead of 24/7, so as to allow the catappa to be more effective.

What are you feeding them?
God listens. He may not always give you everything you want, when you want it; but he always gives you what you really need, when you need it most!
E.R.

Re: tail fraying

#6
Hello All A bit of an update on fraying fins:

I was wary that it was not really caused by chasing ( they have always chased but I have had occaisional fraying) and I was suspicious of my sump which always moves in the direction of "not as clean as the tank". I improved too many things in the same general time frame to make a definitive conclusion but one thing did stand out as I did these improvements/cleaning over a few days.
First thing I did was remove the filter sock at the entry of the sump which dribbles onto the bioballs below it. I replaced it with a 1 inch filter foam ( for aquarium use). The sock was pretty stained and hard to clean and I threw it out. After I did this, the improvement was immediate. You could practically watch them regrow the tailfins. Just after that, I gave a good rinseout to the sump, cleaned and shortened the sump hoses which get grotty really fast as the hoses are clear, exposed to light and really only 1/2 full of water on the entryside.
Needless to say, I am going with tailfraying having a root cause lying in husbandry..... but not general husbandry but as in tricky point source problems that could lie unnoticed. FYI I never touched the tank itself at all though I mean to very soon give it a major rather than the standard minor wipedown that I always do.

By the way re feeding: I am afraid that I have taught them to eschew all pellet food so I cannot feed it. Daily they get Angel PLus flake ( the only one they will eat), frozen Mysis reticulate (big hit with them ), frozen blood worms and live black worms which I now seem to be able to store in a tank OK.
THey will eat freeze dried blood worms and freeze dried brine shrimp if I soak it with the frozen food before feeding..I don't usually bother. They eat spirolina brine but it is getting awfully small for them now.
When I feed my discus I will maybe add some (they are super beggars) of my home made beefheart food with 9 million other ingredients. About 1/2 of the altums eat this greedily, the other half just eyeball it. They all learned to eat it from one bold fish. I do not feed this very much at all, partly because not all eat it and mostly because, though it is the possibly best food I have,it is polluting..and I have experienced that fin fraying.
regards Al
THis could help other keepers
regards Al

Re: tail fraying

#11
Hey Al... master photo work compared to mine, don't think they are bad at all. If you say sorry one more time I will draw mustaches on your fish!

BTW, is this the same group where some were down to stubs?

Agree that the heavy bioload produced by excess food may affect fin quality.
God listens. He may not always give you everything you want, when you want it; but he always gives you what you really need, when you need it most!
E.R.

Re: tail fraying

#13
HI To reply to both previous posts:
1.Re stubs: If one means "are these the group of fish where the tail streamers were getting scarce"..then yes. And the streamer grew back instantly. If you mean were these were the fish whose tails were stubs...then no. None of these fish, but one, ever had any significant tail damage. That one was the only fish I ever cured of columnaris last november.

2. to Mike..all of the damage I am talking about is on the tail fin...you can see it if you look close. Unless you have spotted something I was unaware of, the ones with some splitting of the dorsal fin, I have always just considered to be the developement of poor quality looking altums. The ones with the damage on the tail fins (pictured) are essentially my smaller ones and they really are culls and have the dorsal fin damage/poor developement . If that's incorrect, and it is environmental, I would try to fix it. I have 7 of 12 which have quite good dorsals etc and little to no tail fin damage.
When I have raised these fish "successfully" before (twice over time dating from 1998) I always got some real nice ones, some OK ones and some real clunkers. I just always felt that this uneven growout was normal.
Btw ,I raised them not to 3 years old but to 2 or so years old and I never really got a trace of breeding behavior. They outgrew my 180 and I donated them to the Cleveland Zoo.
regards Al

Re: tail fraying

#15
Since we are talking about fin frying, let me contribute here as well (nothing to be proud of considering what I'm going to show.)
Just like everyone else and if you have followed couple of posts of my angels you know that they are doing pretty good.
That was all good till I about couple of weeks ago when they started looking like this

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So, what have I changed you ask...
Started aerating mix of RO and Tap water and dropped TDS to about 50ppm from 80-100ppm.
That's it. I even noticed that when I would do water change water in aquarium would look cloudy.
I'm not really sure what's going on. It definitely doesn't look like culmnaris but something is eating on their fins.
Now, aggression is there, no doubt but last time I saw fins like this was when I originally got them and they pretty much were loosing every single fin.
Any suggestions are more then welcome.
By the way, pretty much every single one has some fin missing and they are all eating fine and don't show any signs of sickness.. You can see filaments are still there, intact..

Thanks,
Slobodan
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