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This is a discussion on Help!! within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Hi all, I have a 48 gallon bowfront aquarium, bought it used with a fluval 303 that has missing parts, so I had to ...

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Old 03-08-2010, 12:02 PM   #1
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Hi all,
I have a 48 gallon bowfront aquarium, bought it used with a fluval 303 that has missing parts, so I had to buy a new filter, went to the petstore and was talked into buying a aquaclear 110...
Well I introduced my guppies(4) who previously lived in a small tank, which my boyfriend called sea monkeys in the ocean as they look so tiny, as the week went on I bought 5 more larger guppies, beautiful beautiful as the scenario goes...lights out the next morning 4 of the 5 new guppies are dead and stuck to the filter I call the petstore and tell them this filter is TOO STRONG for my tank, only to be told no it isn't, if the fish are getting sucked up it is because they are sick and weak. Sigh..ok so days go by and now 2 of my original guppies are dead and stuck!! fast forward a week goes by and last night lights out...wake up this morning and two of my tetras are dead and stuck!!
Is it my filter??? or an agressive fish? If it is my filter is there anything I can do to make it more little fish safe? I really can't afford to spend another $100 on a new filter...
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Old 03-08-2010, 12:31 PM   #2
The filter is definitely not too strong. I have that exact filter and my tiny angelfish swim right past the intake tube. Did you cycle the tank? you said you bought it used, did it come with gravel that was previously used or did you put all new gravel? Did you wash the tank before utilizing it? With or without cleaning agents? If it came with gravel did you wash it? You NEVER want to clean a tank with any chemicals. You only rinse it with water if anything. Also, if it came used with gravel and you cleaned it, you probably took a lot of the beneficial bacteria out that fish need to survive. I would assume that the fish died because the ecology of the tank is not established yet and the tank needs to cycle, which takes about 4-6 weeks at the minimum. When I bought my tank, I bought goldfish and an albino rainbow shark. They're hardy and help cycle the tank faster. Then when it's cycled you can buy more of the delicate fancy fish.
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Old 03-08-2010, 02:14 PM   #3
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thanks Louie! i bought a sponge thing to go over the intake anyway..but I cleaned the tank with water and alittle vinager. Purchaed all new gravel and rinsed before adding..bought live plants. I guess I will have to wait til it gets it's ecology right to get more fish. The ph is at 7.8 right now, is that too high? Thanks again
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Old 03-08-2010, 04:18 PM   #4
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sounds like you need to cycle your new filter. as louie said some seeding from an established filter would be you along the way, as would the plants you bought!

I would read up on a fishless cycle, thats your best bet and you won't harm anymore fish along the way. I'd read up on fishless cycle and see if that helps you out at all.

Last edited by JohnnyD44; 03-08-2010 at 04:22 PM..
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Old 03-08-2010, 04:55 PM   #5
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how often are you changing your water and how much? can you test for ammonia?

if your fish all died or you want to rehome them, you can buy some pure ammonia and do a fishless cycle, but if you still have fish that are alive and you want to cycle with fish, you will have to keep an eye on ammonia levels and do large water changes often. in this case, the best thing you could do would be to find somebody you know that keeps fish and beg them to let you cut off a piece of their filter media place it next to yours, and that will kickstart your cycle, or give you an almost instant cycle if you get enough. that would be the best option if you can find seeded media, i think

the first thing i would do is a 50% water change and buy a liquid test kit for ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites.

Last edited by Bacchus; 03-08-2010 at 05:02 PM..
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Old 03-08-2010, 11:14 PM   #6
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the tank has only been set up for 3 weeks, has 5 fish...the filter has an amonia remover in it..added a galllon of filtered conditioned water tonight..will do a 20% water change this week if it will help? My ph is only 7.35 now, last night it was 7.8? I don't have anyone who can house my fish, could I use the media from my 10 gallon betta tank to jumpstart my filter? I used stress coat and stress zyme when I set it up. Thanks again from the novice who thought she investegated enough!! I researched a couple of months before setting up..sigh. I even bought an expensive digital ph meter.
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Old 03-09-2010, 03:28 AM   #7
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It's pretty normal for pH to drop like that. Let us know if it continues to drop, though.

Do you have a test kit for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? I suspect that your fish are dying from an ammonia spike that came about when you switched filters. Or, if that's the wrong interpretation and you got the HOB filter before ever setting the tank up, then the tank was never cycled in the first place but the end result is still fish death from ammonia and/or nitrite poisoning.

Have a look at this article:

If you've got fish in the tank, you're essentially in the midst of a fish-in cycle and should proceed accordingly. A good liquid test kit and lots of water changes are likely going to be your best friends.
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:21 AM   #8
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great article! Thanks Batman. I will buy the test kit today. I just never thought that 5 fish in a 48 gallon tank could make enough amonia to kill them all! (Well it was actually 11 fish to begin)..seeing ignorance is not bliss
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:39 AM   #9
i agree with everyone, also, if you want, i heard that dropping some food in the tank to decompose will speed up the cycling process. leaving the light on for extra hours during the day will also add some algae growth which is a good sign of a healthy tank, this way you can have visual evidence of the progress along with the testing. usually they say to leave the lights on for 10-12 hrs a day to control the algae growth so if you leave them on for 12-14 hrs a day, you will have some extra algae....and if you get a hardy pleco like a clown pleco or a common, you won't have to see a fishless tank and they will enjoy the snack!
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:19 AM   #10
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As already said your tank isn't cycled...

I'll add my 2 cents though. (:

I'm quite suprised they died overnight... a few guppies in a 48 gallon tank shouldn't create much ammonia but 11 might... still quite suprised.

Anyways, about the live plants... do you have a proper light for plants? 6500-6700k and decent wattage and lumens? If not your plants will likely die slowly and rot polluting the tank further.

Your intake shouldn't be too strong with that filter, and I think the pet store is (suprisingly) right on what they said.

I read somewhere it's normal for the PH to go up and down in a planted tank... CO2 levels affect PH and the plants don't produce oxygen at night while both the plants and fish consume it, so there is more CO2 in the morning. Which causes a lower PH. I doubt this is your problem... probably irrelevant to mention it. But the PH is probably fine for your fishies. :)

If you have any fish alive you're going to need to do a lot of water changes! I'm getting that you have about 4 alive? 4 guppies in a 48 g tank won't pollute it too quick, so I doubt the ammonia will go up too quick unless you over feed them. Still do lots of W/C, but since you don't got a ton of fish you won't have to do as much as 50% a day as some people do I wouldn't think.

Also I disagree with LOUIE ACES... on almost everything they said...
Don't drop food into the tank if you have fish in there. This will only create more ammonia/waste which you don't want. If you have no fish and are cycling this would maybe help.

Algae growth is not a good sign of a healthy tank. :X Algae means something is out of balance from lighting to water nutrients that plants/algae use. Algae is common in a new tank... algae still isn't good...

Don't get a pleco as well especially if you have fish in your tank already. Plecos are poop machines and will pollute your tank further which you do not want. It's also somewhat cruel to put a fish in a tank to help the cycling along since the ammonia they produce is harmful to them.

Also plecos should not eat regular fish food idk if s/he is refering to the algae or the fish food s/he recommends dropping in the tank...

Now, im getting tired and my heads hurting so idk if I left anything out. If I did I'll come back and post some more. :) Just read that link batman provided and you should be mostly set for now!
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