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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; --> Nice tank set up Canadian Fish! Your plants are looking great and I really like your ideas on how to bio up the tank. ...

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my fish keep dying HELP
Old 12-12-2012, 12:42 PM   #51
Nice tank set up Canadian Fish! Your plants are looking great and I really like your ideas on how to bio up the tank. I am very surprised your plants are doing so well (not intended in a bad way) just noticing that the lighting is not extremely bright. They actually look like they are about to outgrow the tank! Thanks for sharing the vid and ideas :) :)
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:20 PM   #52
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As mentioned above, bacteria live on surfaces- not the water.

I have used "gunk" to cycle a tank. (I vacuumed my tanks lightly, and rinsed all my old filters in a bucket of tank water. After it settled, I poured off the clear water and dumped the gunk into the new tank along with a tbsp of raw sugar. Once the gunk settled, I added fish.)

However, the clear water contains no significant bacteria. When we (members of this site) come across people who need help, all we can do is mention things that we would do (and have done) in similiar situations. When people say "Well X told me to do Y, and I did it." its hard for us to not hear "I trust person X's advice more than yours. You must be wrong.", even though its not what was meant.

I feel like we've offered all the advice we can, hence I don't have much to offer (other than waterchanges, add plants, dose bacteria/sugar etc)

Adding bacteria won't do much with such a large starting fish load. Water changesis all I can advise, but I would do much larger ones (50% daily, or enough to bring ammonia to 0. Adding a double dose of prime and bacterial supplement after each waterchange. Adding a tablespoon of sugar directly to the filter can help, but "bacterial supplements" already have sugar. No reason to dose both.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:36 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by lakemalawifish View Post
Something that may be of interest. I ran across this video last night and even though we put sponge filters in established tanks and let them run for several weeks so whenever we need to set up a quick tank in our fish room for fry, sick fish, etc., this has really caught my attention. In a round about way, I think this is what the author of this thread did to start her tank. She soaked a filter in the water in her canister from a tank in her home that was running successfully with no issues. I would say that is not much different from squeezing a used sponge filter into a cup of tank water and pouring that tank water into the newly set up tank. Only thing that sparks a light bulb in my head is if the canister is very dirty and is highly saturated with nitrates. But, many times I have cleaned out our canisters and poured this water down the toilet thinking... "wonder if this is where bio in a bottle comes from"

This is interesting enough for me to take note, what do you guys think?

Cycle a fish tank in 3 minutes - YouTube
I watched the video--this is not good advice. All bacteria live on surfaces, not in the water. They adhere to surfaces with a sticky film we call the biofilm. It is not that easy to dislodge them. For example, holding a surface under running water will not dislodge the bacteria.

I may try to dig around later and find some specific data on this method of squeezing water from a sponge filter. I have certainly never come across any that suggests this works. And I would doubt it very much. The bacteria on the sponge filter are going to remain adhered to the sponge filter unless some much more drastic measure is taken to remove them. For example, on a surface such as a flat piece of slate, you would have to use a scraper to dislodge the biofilm with the bacteria.

Even fish cannot get this off. Mbuna love to graze rocks for algae and aufwuchs but they do not remove all of the biofilm.

All this fellow did was pour polluted water into a clean tank.

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Last edited by Byron; 12-12-2012 at 01:39 PM..
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:19 PM   #54
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I don't know if there has been any research, but I seem to recall 'detritus' being held together with biofilm, and this being the reason it seems to clump together and often feels 'slimy'. Diatoms may make up a part of the sludge along with other algaes, but all algaes are pretty much conglomerates of algae and bacteria anyway. (We id algae by the growth form, but the growth is usually decided by the 'primary' algae..)
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:28 PM   #55

Originally Posted by lakemalawifish View Post
Spidykat, your issue right now is ammonia so your tank is just going to have to take time to cycle and the water changes and Prime like you are doing are emergency treatments while this is going on. There are some other more complicated factors with ammonia that I am not real up on, but here's an article regarding Chloramines. I would advise you to contact your local water company and ask if they use Chloramines to disinfect the water at your tap. Chloramines are even more toxic to fish than Chlorine, and not all water conditioners treat and remove Chloramines. We could not get a definite answer from our water company so we have to assume that they use Chloramines whenever they feel they need to. That is why we are so dead set on using Prime because we trust that the Chloramines are being dealt with.

Let's get your ammonia down, keep it down and when things settle down a bit, we can move on to the next step. Bless your heart, I can tell you are at your wits end (HUGS)
Spidykat, just look up Chloramines and give your water company a call. Please continue to give us updates. We really are nice people here, who have good intentions to help others. Sometimes things just get a little messy because we are humans
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:46 PM   #56
i have done the filter soaking before and its worked with every tank i have owned. and also my ammonia went down to .25 so im happy with what i have done.. i did a 25% water change then added bio supp and ammonia nutrifier then, the next day just added the nutrifier , bio supp, and a piece of bamboo in my filter. and then today i did a 50% water change added bio supp and the nutrifier again. and it is down to .25 so its going down. and just to let you know i do feel pressured from almost everyone but lakemawifish! you guys are being very rude if i say something dont try to change my opinion..
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:53 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Spidykat View Post
if i say something dont try to change my opinion..
OK then.
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:55 PM   #58
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Alrighty, I won't mention that .25 ammonia can be lethal, and your fish are in danger still. Nonetheless, glad your problems were solved.

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Last edited by redchigh; 12-12-2012 at 11:57 PM..
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