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having trouble with 90 gallong tank

This is a discussion on having trouble with 90 gallong tank within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by Byron Just a caution on the water changes. And a couple other comments. Your test kit is showing ammonia at zero, ...

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having trouble with 90 gallong tank
Old 10-06-2009, 06:13 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Just a caution on the water changes. And a couple other comments.

Your test kit is showing ammonia at zero, so there may not be an issue. Odd though, since you have no plants, and you replaced much of the filter media. But the bacteria may be sufficient to multiply and handle the ammonia and nitrite.

At an acidic pH, ammonia is largely ammonium which is basically non-toxic to fish. If you perform substantial water changes with water than is basic/alkaline (above pH 7.0) and the tank pH rises above 7 as a result, the ammonium immediately changes back into ammonia which is toxic. Better to do small changes as 1077 said, being careful to not raise the pH more than .2 or .3 in any 24-hour period. On top of whatever else is wrong, significant pH shifts can be lethal. They are certainly highly stressful for fish. Won't go into the why now.

Copper is a bad medication for fish (and plants) since it is lethal at relatively low levels. I have used it, but it always stresses out some of the fish, though not to the extent you describe. But worth knowing, to keep such meds minimal in future. The copper probably had the greatest impact on your biological equilibrium. The red stuff I think is biological in origin.

On the water conditioner, I won't argue against Prime. But I have used Kordon for 15+ years with never an issue so I feel confident in stating that this is not the source of any pH drop or fish problems. To my knowledge it does not have a limited shelf life either; I am using the jug I bought years ago, and I have heavily chlorinated water and with 50% changes every week my fish would be dead in minutes if the Kordon wasn't working. It doesn't detoxify ammonia as 1077 said, but I don't have that problem.

No need to be using "Cycle" at all, I would cease immediately. I have used it (back in the 1980's) to assist bacteria in new tanks, but never past the first day or two. While it claims to assist bacteria, it is chemical compounds, not live bacteria (such as Stability and some others are) and it may or may not have some effect (cumulative) on this issue. No point in wasting money, and possibly risking the fish.


Byron.
Thanks for the advice --

I've stopped using copper and am just water changing
I've dropped the amount of change down to 30%
still using kordon until it's done with. -- As far as the water conditioner, it says that it removes or treats ammonia, *shrugs*.

i'll keep doing water changes probably for the next week and check if there's any improvement. no more meds -- though another question comes ups -- oxytetracycline -- anyone know if this is safe?

anyway, thank you all so far. i'll be posting progress.
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Old 10-06-2009, 06:50 PM   #12
 
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Originally Posted by CamryDS View Post
Thanks for the advice --

I've stopped using copper and am just water changing
I've dropped the amount of change down to 30%
still using kordon until it's done with. -- As far as the water conditioner, it says that it removes or treats ammonia, *shrugs*.

i'll keep doing water changes probably for the next week and check if there's any improvement. no more meds -- though another question comes ups -- oxytetracycline -- anyone know if this is safe?

anyway, thank you all so far. i'll be posting progress.
Silly me, I went back in this thread to find the reason for the meds, and noticed you have several sword plants. So, that partly explains the lack of ammonia and nitrite in spite of your filter media replacement, etc. Plants consume a fair bit of ammonium (in acidic water this is ammonia, otherwise plants have the ability to convert ammonia to ammonium) and nitrite (same process), far more than the bacteria in a well-planted tank. Anyway, just wanted to clear that up, no mystery.

Why would you want to use oxytetracycline? Tetracycline is a suggested antibiotic for some problems; I've never come aqcross oxytetracycline being suggested respecting fish. As this is an antibiotic one can expect it to have an effect on bacteria, and that means the biiological equilibrium may be upset.

Byron.

P.S. If your Kordon also detoxifies ammonia, it must be a newer formula; mine does not. Most conditioners do this by changing the ammonia to ammonium which as I mentioned before is basically non-toxic. But again the plants are using all this anyway. B.
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Old 10-06-2009, 08:35 PM   #13
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Silly me, I went back in this thread to find the reason for the meds, and noticed you have several sword plants. So, that partly explains the lack of ammonia and nitrite in spite of your filter media replacement, etc. Plants consume a fair bit of ammonium (in acidic water this is ammonia, otherwise plants have the ability to convert ammonia to ammonium) and nitrite (same process), far more than the bacteria in a well-planted tank. Anyway, just wanted to clear that up, no mystery.

Why would you want to use oxytetracycline? Tetracycline is a suggested antibiotic for some problems; I've never come aqcross oxytetracycline being suggested respecting fish. As this is an antibiotic one can expect it to have an effect on bacteria, and that means the biiological equilibrium may be upset.

Byron.

P.S. If your Kordon also detoxifies ammonia, it must be a newer formula; mine does not. Most conditioners do this by changing the ammonia to ammonium which as I mentioned before is basically non-toxic. But again the plants are using all this anyway. B.
Thanks for the information no that, yeah amazon swords -- they are growing like crazy, I cannot believe that I only started with 3 and it spawned up to 10.

anyway, since everything messes with the biological filter i'm going to keep away from that until it's really needed -- since then I can just wait for the water to clear up after doing daily water changes and slowing bring the ph back to normal. Someone informed to to invest in a UV sterilizer but I'm not going to opt for it unless it's actually necessary.

i'll wait for tomorrow's ph level and see.
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Old 10-07-2009, 10:56 AM   #14
 
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Thanks for the information no that, yeah amazon swords -- they are growing like crazy, I cannot believe that I only started with 3 and it spawned up to 10.

anyway, since everything messes with the biological filter i'm going to keep away from that until it's really needed -- since then I can just wait for the water to clear up after doing daily water changes and slowing bring the ph back to normal. Someone informed to to invest in a UV sterilizer but I'm not going to opt for it unless it's actually necessary.

i'll wait for tomorrow's ph level and see.
I certainly wouldn't consider money on a UV sterilizer. This is a (basically) simple problem, the biological equilibrium in the aquarium has been upset. You get it right again and things will be fine. Don't rush it.

You didn't answer why the antibiotics are needed, so let me make a general comment that I know many on this forum agree with. Never put anything in an aquarium (in the way of meds, chemicals) unless it is absolutely essential. Regular tank maintenance (weekly partial water change), good plant growth, not overfeeding, not overstocking--these are simple preventatives for almost anything. Sometimes a fish will die, from an internal problem. Only when there is an obvious sign of a major issue should consideration be given to "treatments". Fish that are healthy--and that means free of stress by being in water that they prefer (pH, hardness, temperature), in an environment they feel comfortable with (refuge, plants, wood, whatever), and with suitable tankmates--will usually fight off any number of things. Putting any chemical/med in the water immediately stresses the fish, always--and that means making them more susceptible to whatever "problem' the stuff is being added to counter; and if it is not the best preparation (and who among us can diagnose all fish ailments accurately?) it will not solve the problem but make things worse.

Byron.
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Old 10-08-2009, 12:12 AM   #15
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
I certainly wouldn't consider money on a UV sterilizer. This is a (basically) simple problem, the biological equilibrium in the aquarium has been upset. You get it right again and things will be fine. Don't rush it.

You didn't answer why the antibiotics are needed, so let me make a general comment that I know many on this forum agree with. Never put anything in an aquarium (in the way of meds, chemicals) unless it is absolutely essential. Regular tank maintenance (weekly partial water change), good plant growth, not overfeeding, not overstocking--these are simple preventatives for almost anything. Sometimes a fish will die, from an internal problem. Only when there is an obvious sign of a major issue should consideration be given to "treatments". Fish that are healthy--and that means free of stress by being in water that they prefer (pH, hardness, temperature), in an environment they feel comfortable with (refuge, plants, wood, whatever), and with suitable tankmates--will usually fight off any number of things. Putting any chemical/med in the water immediately stresses the fish, always--and that means making them more susceptible to whatever "problem' the stuff is being added to counter; and if it is not the best preparation (and who among us can diagnose all fish ailments accurately?) it will not solve the problem but make things worse.

Byron.
Sorry about not answering that -- totally skipped over it by mistake. the antibiotics was put in due to the fish having fungal issues and also I had a large golden algae eater that was beautiful, except that he had some blood disease (red streaks on the body that broke out)

As far as ph so far, it's at 6.4 and that was after the water change, before it was 6.0 again -- going to water change again once each day until I get it up a bit further, not perfect 7, but a bit higher up.

definitely thanks for the advice -- the loaches I have are a bit better and most of them are around and about swimming happily. currently not stocking more than in my sig -- let me know your opinions.

As far as fungus, I was pretty sure it was -- white cottony stuff on the body, not strands, and certainly not slime coat that was produced more than normal.

I'm hoping tomorrow the PH will bounce up more to 6.4-6.5 or even better than just 6 -- but I'm relieved that the fish are doing better. the one rasbora with the torn like tail is recovering though the tail isn't growing back, the burning isn't there anymore. water is smelling more and more neutral rather than sour -- part of the airing out.

will update again tomorrow -- thanks again guys!

Here's my Current Tank




Last edited by CamryDS; 10-08-2009 at 12:21 AM..
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Old 10-08-2009, 05:48 PM   #16
 
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Originally Posted by CamryDS View Post
Sorry about not answering that -- totally skipped over it by mistake. the antibiotics was put in due to the fish having fungal issues and also I had a large golden algae eater that was beautiful, except that he had some blood disease (red streaks on the body that broke out)

As far as ph so far, it's at 6.4 and that was after the water change, before it was 6.0 again -- going to water change again once each day until I get it up a bit further, not perfect 7, but a bit higher up.

definitely thanks for the advice -- the loaches I have are a bit better and most of them are around and about swimming happily. currently not stocking more than in my sig -- let me know your opinions.

As far as fungus, I was pretty sure it was -- white cottony stuff on the body, not strands, and certainly not slime coat that was produced more than normal.

I'm hoping tomorrow the PH will bounce up more to 6.4-6.5 or even better than just 6 -- but I'm relieved that the fish are doing better. the one rasbora with the torn like tail is recovering though the tail isn't growing back, the burning isn't there anymore. water is smelling more and more neutral rather than sour -- part of the airing out.

will update again tomorrow -- thanks again guys!

Here's my Current Tank



If I may suggest something...put the heater next to the filter outflow into the tank, where there is a steady movement of water and the heated water moves throughout the tank. As this is a 90g, I would also add a second heater, next to the inflow to the filter. In tanks of 4-feet or longer, two heaters positioned as indicated are always best, in my view. Two heaters also offer less chance of disaster should one fail. And with two, they are not having to "work" as much.

I would not be too hasty on those water changes. A pH of 6 is ideal for your plants and the fish listed. Rather than keep it bouncing even if minimally, let it work itself out. My three tanks are all at 6.0; the tap water is 6.8 so the biological actions in the tanks are responsible; I also have very soft water, 0-1 ppm GH and KH, so no carbonate buffering in the water, and I have dolomite in the filter chambers to add some calcium and stabilize the pH. This has worked for years.

Red (blood) streaks could be septicemia, or columnaris, or ... I lost a cory to this symptom only this week, first one I've ever seen. I spotted him with a sort of growth and the next morning I fished him out, he had red streaks, but he died that evening. I'm keeping a close eye on the others in the tank before putting Maracyn or some similar antibiotic in the whole tank. Maracyn 2 is a very good anti-bacteria med, I used it several months back for columnaris, but it will decimate some of the plants. The fish didn't seem adversely affected last time. But again, unless it is absolutely certain...

The best thing for straight fungus is to net the fish and dip it in a strong solution of malachite green or methelene blue. This will kill the fungus on contact. Knowing the stress trying to net a single fish can cause in a tank, I only do this if it looks bad and hasn't gone away after a few days (which it often does). Here again, fungus only attacks weakened fish at some lesion in the skin, and otherwise healthy fish in good water can often fight it off naturally. And tail (caudal) fins usually grow back.

Byron.
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Old 10-08-2009, 08:30 PM   #17
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
If I may suggest something...put the heater next to the filter outflow into the tank, where there is a steady movement of water and the heated water moves throughout the tank. As this is a 90g, I would also add a second heater, next to the inflow to the filter. In tanks of 4-feet or longer, two heaters positioned as indicated are always best, in my view. Two heaters also offer less chance of disaster should one fail. And with two, they are not having to "work" as much.

I would not be too hasty on those water changes. A pH of 6 is ideal for your plants and the fish listed. Rather than keep it bouncing even if minimally, let it work itself out. My three tanks are all at 6.0; the tap water is 6.8 so the biological actions in the tanks are responsible; I also have very soft water, 0-1 ppm GH and KH, so no carbonate buffering in the water, and I have dolomite in the filter chambers to add some calcium and stabilize the pH. This has worked for years.

Red (blood) streaks could be septicemia, or columnaris, or ... I lost a cory to this symptom only this week, first one I've ever seen. I spotted him with a sort of growth and the next morning I fished him out, he had red streaks, but he died that evening. I'm keeping a close eye on the others in the tank before putting Maracyn or some similar antibiotic in the whole tank. Maracyn 2 is a very good anti-bacteria med, I used it several months back for columnaris, but it will decimate some of the plants. The fish didn't seem adversely affected last time. But again, unless it is absolutely certain...

The best thing for straight fungus is to net the fish and dip it in a strong solution of malachite green or methelene blue. This will kill the fungus on contact. Knowing the stress trying to net a single fish can cause in a tank, I only do this if it looks bad and hasn't gone away after a few days (which it often does). Here again, fungus only attacks weakened fish at some lesion in the skin, and otherwise healthy fish in good water can often fight it off naturally. And tail (caudal) fins usually grow back.

Byron.
Thanks for the info, unfortunately I don't know what happened and the tank has turned for the worse -- I came home this afternoon finding that all the fish has some white type of growth on their eyes and bodies. it's not cloudy, it's just streaks everywhere. mostly on the head and eyes. their eyes don't seem cloudy, but there's a white growth on it. then the tails and the rest of the body just began to have some type of white growth. they don't see very well and I'm not sure what to do. I stopped waterchanging since it's like new water in the tank and I looked at the ammonia level again and it was 0, 0 , 20ppm, ph dropped back down to 6. i'm kind of on my witts end. I don't know what else I can do about it at the moment.

I've turned off the light and fed the fish for the 1st time in 3 days. fairly light, small pinch of garlic anti-biotic food - non medicated new life spectrum stuff and also a small pinch of tetra color max crisps.

not all the fish went to eat, but i'm not sure anymore. I'm thinking of calling a friend over at the LFS to drop by and check it out.
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Old 10-09-2009, 05:07 AM   #18
 
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Ask your friend to bring KH test if possible. It is this test that will help determine what your waters buffering capacity is which may better explain the vastly different ph value between the tank and your tapwater. Medication could have been another factor by depleteing biological bacteria.
With ph of 6.0 or below, the bacteria cannot continue to develop and begins to die off but at the same time,, the low pH keeps ammonia at less harmful form (anmmonium). Your plants will also help keep the ammonia levels from becoming dangerous.
As mentioned,, I would want second opinion on test results for this tank especially with regards to the KH. I fear I am at a loss considering info provided ,,as to why the tank is expieriencing this trouble. Your maint practices as described ,sound good, Test readings are within range. Is there a possibilty that anything could have been spilled into the tank or meds used that you are unaware of ? Are you the one who maintains the tank or do others have access to it?
I am still of a mind that every other day small water changes,using dechlorinators mentioned previously, will eventually stabilize this tank.
If for some reason, and in the interest of your fish I wouldn't blame you,,, you decide to use medications, I would run some fresh activated carbon in this tank before and after the treatment period. I would also follow directions on meds to the letter. More is not better when medicating fish.
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Old 10-10-2009, 10:29 AM   #19
 
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I will second 1077's advice. Something seems to have happened in connection with the former treatment. At the same time, there may be a bacteria in the tank. If things were this bad for me, I would use a general antibiotic like Maracyn Plus. Getting a knowledgeable hobbyist to see it first hand is good.

Byron.
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Old 10-11-2009, 11:32 PM   #20
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
I will second 1077's advice. Something seems to have happened in connection with the former treatment. At the same time, there may be a bacteria in the tank. If things were this bad for me, I would use a general antibiotic like Maracyn Plus. Getting a knowledgeable hobbyist to see it first hand is good.

Byron.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1077 View Post
Ask your friend to bring KH test if possible. It is this test that will help determine what your waters buffering capacity is which may better explain the vastly different ph value between the tank and your tapwater. Medication could have been another factor by depleteing biological bacteria.
With ph of 6.0 or below, the bacteria cannot continue to develop and begins to die off but at the same time,, the low pH keeps ammonia at less harmful form (anmmonium). Your plants will also help keep the ammonia levels from becoming dangerous.
As mentioned,, I would want second opinion on test results for this tank especially with regards to the KH. I fear I am at a loss considering info provided ,,as to why the tank is expieriencing this trouble. Your maint practices as described ,sound good, Test readings are within range. Is there a possibilty that anything could have been spilled into the tank or meds used that you are unaware of ? Are you the one who maintains the tank or do others have access to it?
I am still of a mind that every other day small water changes,using dechlorinators mentioned previously, will eventually stabilize this tank.
If for some reason, and in the interest of your fish I wouldn't blame you,,, you decide to use medications, I would run some fresh activated carbon in this tank before and after the treatment period. I would also follow directions on meds to the letter. More is not better when medicating fish.

Thanks for all the info -- saddly my tank wiped -- I was left with just gourami's surviving. I think i might change over to just 1-2 species in my tank. or more of a concentration of gourami in the tank.

I have 2 adults, 3 juveniles left.

I have 1 lonely killie.

I'm going to restock after this all blows over. I think one thing I didn't put in was activated carbon. I know a lot of hobbyist, don't have it but i'm going to put it back in. I use to have just the prefilter + biomax, but that may be the cause of this issue -- I cannot be certain. Ever since I put it back in within the last 2 days, my ph has been back to 7+ and my fish are swimming around not so skittish. No more clown loaches for me, or small schools -- I think i'm going to just do gouramis and maybe dward ciclids like rams, etc. now -- just to find the right selections.
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