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my fish keep dying HELP

This is a discussion on my fish keep dying HELP within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by lakemalawifish If you put the bio in now and do the water change later, you will just be removing the bio ...

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my fish keep dying HELP
Old 12-10-2012, 01:52 AM   #21
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakemalawifish View Post
If you put the bio in now and do the water change later, you will just be removing the bio you just put in. Not sure when you did you last water change, but if it has been over 24 hours ago, I would do it the other way.... water change then bio, that way you are removing more of the ammonia, etc. that you currently have in your water. When we are cycling tanks, I check the water parameters every day and watch for spikes in ammonia and nitrites and just do water changes. It was hard work and with several tanks running, I was doing water changes every day. You will get there, just takes time.

As far as plants, I love to see planted tanks and I have a green thumb outside, but the type fish we have do not do well with plants so I have not explored it. Having a successful planted tank, or even just a few plants, takes a lot more knowledge than I have because of the necessary substrate, lighting and plant fertilizers involved. There are several people on this forum with awesome planted tanks who I am sure can help you. I checked into the lucky bamboo because I had seen another tank with it planted in specimen containers that were attached to the back wall of the tank with suction cups that allowed the top of the plant to stick out of the back of the tank (above the lid) Thought this might be some way of having a nitrate fighting plant in our african tanks that they would not mess with. I did not further my research except to ask the store clerk if the bamboo was safe and they said yes, but it cannot be totally submerged in the water or it will not live. Please don't take what I say on this as true, someone else said it is not safe for your fish and I am not doubting that, just sharing what little bit I have seen and been told. You are right to do what you think is right for your fish, regardless of what anybody else including myself tells you :

ps... just a thought, but I am wondering if the ammonia is from the death of the fish. Any time we have had a fish not make it, it was in a quarantine tank so I am not knowledgeable about fish deaths in a main tank but I have heard stories where it caused ammonia spikes, especially if they were not found right away. hoping for good news from you soon, hang in there!

african tanks are amazing the people i live with have one and have electric blues pastel blues, electric green, yellow labs, and now 3 babys.. (petsmart gave me them free so i gave them to her(she was so happy) lol) she has 18 fish in a 47 right now and is getting more..
WARNING: that is not over crowding a tank with ciclhids if they have more fish they dont get territorial.. and thats what you want in an african tank.. and NEVER mix south american with africans.. its horrible.
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:43 PM   #22
 
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Originally Posted by Spidykat View Post
i will be doing a water change tomorrow.. and adding bacteria supplement,api stresscoat, api stress zyme, and a pinch of aquarium salt.. after that. and i will not be buying plants there not worth it as i have said before i do not like plants nor do my fish they kill them.....

if i should add something else or something less please let me know.. :)
Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

Now, to your problem. The way to solve this is not to dump more and more chemicals in the tank, but to do massive water changes, as several have already mentioned.

Ammonia and nitrite are toxic at very low levels, anything above zero. This does not mean fish will die in a few minutes, though they might; but the ammonia does affect them permanently. The only way to get rid of ammonia (without live plants) is via a water change, daily if needed, to keep it near zero until the bacteria build up sufficient to handle it.

A good bacterial supplement will speed this along. I've no idea what the product you mentioned earlier is like. Ones that do work are Dr. Tim's One and Only, Seachem's Stability and Tetra's SafeStart.

Using a conditioner that detoxifies ammonia (and nitrite, as that may be next) is advisable during initial cycling. Seachem's Prime or Aquarium Solutions Ultimate are two that handle both. Once the tank is settled and established, you can go back to any water conditioner that handles the issues you may have in your water.

[By the way, have you tested the tap water for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? Worth knowing.]

Live plants would help in this, as they take up a lot of ammonia. But I'll leave that for the present. You have critical issues that need resolution now for the sake of the fish.

And on all these additives. Forget the salt, that will only add stress to these fish and not have any benefit anyway. StressCoat is also not going to help, and again will make things worse. StressZyme I would not use, at least not now at this stage; it actually increases ammonia, notwithstanding their claims. And the more chemicals you add, the more TDS (total dissolved solids) and this too further stresses the fish.

Good luck. Keep us posted so we can help you through this.

Byron.
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Last edited by Byron; 12-10-2012 at 07:45 PM..
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:49 PM   #23
 
ok i did a 25% water change today and added the stuff... ill add the seachems prime soon.. i will do another tomorrow. if the levels arent ok.. i have to add ph down though too
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:00 AM   #24
 
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Originally Posted by Spidykat View Post
ok i did a 25% water change today and added the stuff... ill add the seachems prime soon.. i will do another tomorrow. if the levels arent ok.. i have to add ph down though too
PH chemicals are something you shouldn't add to your tank. It's harmful to your fish and if it works it's only temporary (1-2 days) and your water will go back to what it was. The fish will do better in the water as is than they will in chemicals.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:04 AM   #25
 
I agree with the ph down comment, Angels would be ok with ph at 7.5'ish. Better to have their ph pretty constant than to have it swing back and forth with chemicals and additives. The ph of the water also changes during a water change so you may need to do more frequent, but smaller water changes once you get your tank cycled and running more effectively.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:41 PM   #26
 
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Originally Posted by lakemalawifish View Post
I agree with the ph down comment, Angels would be ok with ph at 7.5'ish. Better to have their ph pretty constant than to have it swing back and forth with chemicals and additives. The ph of the water also changes during a water change so you may need to do more frequent, but smaller water changes once you get your tank cycled and running more effectively.
well i didnt add the ph down i only added the prime. and the tap water has a really high ph. so i dont know what to do about that....
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:58 PM   #27
 
Sorry but I'm starting to get lost in this thread. I can tell you are stressing, I will try my best here but I am no pro so somebody else chime in please.

I have heard but not researched that to test your tap water for anything, whether it be ph, ammonia, etc. that you need to let a sample of your tap water sit out for 24-hours in order for the chlorine to naturally dissipate. So, we need someone else's help on this.

After we find out the correct way to do that, then it would be helpful to me, and others try to help you figure out this delimma, to get an update on all of your water parameters, your stock list, tank size, filtration, tank temperature, whether or not you have plants, I'm probably leaving something out of importance, so ya'll help out.

I am not trying to pass the buck but nobody has all of the answers, that is why we are here :) I know how frustrating these times are when we are doing all we can and things are just not right in our tank. Ok folks, we need you!
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:47 PM   #28
 
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Lakemalawifish is on the right track here. You need to deal with one issue at a time, and right now the most important issue is cycling.

Daily water changes of half the tank volume, using Prime, must continue until ammonia and nitrite are zero. Using a good bacterial supplement will quicken this, as we've already mentioned.

Leave the pH alone. I don't mean to be disrespectful in what I will say next, but I get the impression that you are not fully understanding water chemistry in an aquarium. Most of us, probably all of us, didn't either when we started out. But this is a very complex subject that an aquarist simply has to grasp, at least the essentials, so avoid errors that always affect fish and can kill them.

Read this article for a better background to water chemistry with respect to hardness (GH and KH) and pH (these are inter-connected):
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-73276/

Then, get the GH, KH/Alkalinity and pH numbers of your tap water. The GH and KH/Alkalinity you can ascertain from the water folks, they likely have a website. The pH they may also know, but testing this at home is easy and you should have a pH test kit (liquid) as this is a useful test. And for this you need to either let the tap water sit out overnight, or you can shake it very briskly in a jar for several minutes. Both processes will out-gas the CO2, which if present can affect the test. Once you know these numbers, and have read the article, we can discuss further.

But first the cycling has to be resolved. And back to this, some more information. Prime detoxifies ammonia and nitrite for 24-48 hours, at which time if still present they will revert back to their toxic form. Second, test kits we use for ammonia and nitrite will show the level whether it is toxic or non-toxic. This is why we continue the daily changes until levels are zero.

Byron.
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:58 PM   #29
 
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Agreed. Water changes in De-chlorinated water with Prime is what is needed until the tank cycles.
We are advising you to test your tap water because if your tank is reading Ammonia .25 for example and you test your tap water and find that it contains Ammonia at .25 then you cannot expect that number to drop during a water change. And therefore need a water conditioner/de-chlor that can handle neutralizing the Ammonia/Chlorine/Chloramine.

My PH is 8.2. I do not do anything to it. I have chosen fish that like a higher PH. Live bearers like Mollies, Swords, Rainbowfish. But African Cichlids love it too. There are a lot of options. I however would never consider a fish like Discus that like the PH in the 6's.
I too agree on even a few plants thrown in to float on the surface for now if you don't want to plant them.
We would love to hear of your experiences with plants. It should not have been so negative IMO, and as I am on my first planted tank, would love to know what happened. We all will learn from your experiences too. This is very much a learning Forum.
How are you numbers today??
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:53 PM   #30
 
Hey, I am sitting here on hold with a phone call, so I took time to read this thread again. When you initially started this tank with filter media from another tank you have, what size tank was that? I am thinking if it is a smaller tank than the 50 gal you are having problems with right now, that the seeded media was not sufficient for the larger tank. Also, when using seeded media, once it comes in contact with fresh water in an uncycled tank, it somewhat dilutes the effectiveness of the bio in the seeded media. So, if this is the case, you are basically starting with an uncycled tank from the beginning. This has happened to me before and it is very frustrating. I was so hoping that the filter media I took from another tank (that I had sold) would jump start the new larger tank I was setting up... but it did not... and I had to go through the cycle process anyway. BUT... here is the strange thing to me, that hopefully someone else can figure out... since you are showing Nitrates... that usually means that the tank has cycled. Starting with ammonia, that is converted to nitrites and once the biological filter steps in is converted to nitrates. I am not sure how long you've had this tank up and running, but my gut feeling is telling me that it was in the process of cycling and the ich medicine may have been what killed the fish, and the death of the fish in the tank created the ammonia spike. Whew... this has been a brainstorm indeed and it bugs me when something like this totally stumps my itty bitty brain LOL.... ok, ready for whatever is next.
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