So I skipped a few days of logging. I’ve been battling a constant ammonia reading of 0.25ppm. I lost one of the minnows on Monday. I’m baffled as to the cause though. See, the shrimp are doing great, as are the other five fish, so I feel like it can’t be ammonia poisoning, but she had red spots by her gills and several red spots that developed along her body before she died. She had acted strange all day, and I finally netted her out. I was fighting with some biofilm, and by the end of monday I felt like all the fish were a little sluggish, but she had started sticking her mouth out the top. Clearly, she couldn’t breath. The others had started hanging closer to the top as well, but none of them were exhibiting gasping behavior. I had been skimming the biofilm with a paper towel, but I went and skimmed it with a cup, wiped the sides, and basically did another 10% or so water change by the time I’d finished skimming all the oily spots I could see.
Tuesday morning the ammonia readings were the same, but all the fish had resumed normal behavior and I’ve been closely watching and haven’t seen any strange behavior or redness at the gills from any of the rest. And the shrimp are still both fine, very translucent, and active.
The only other thing I could find that talked about red spots on the body was a weird virus which sounded fairly rare. Combine that with the fact that no other fish seem sick, and the LFS I got them at is the best one in town, I doubt it was that. Might have to chalk it up to a mystery death.
I have ordered a filter since I don’t want to hand skim for biofilm every day and I’m adding some bottled bacteria to try to help the tank finish this mini-cycle and drop the ammonia. I hope the filter doesn’t cause a CO2 depletion, but I need a little surface movement. I’m not using the media that comes with it, I’m putting Seachem Matrix Bio Media in it, and if it’ll fit, the roots of my Pothos vine. I decided on the Marina S10, because of its size and because it’s supposed to be silent and easily customizable. Plus it’s sort of a cross between an internal filter and a HOB (hang on back) from what I can tell, though the water flow is like a HOB in that it will break the surface, but I think that’s what I need to prevent the biofilm that was starving out the oxygen.