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Thick Green "slime" on water surface... dying fish

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Thick Green "slime" on water surface... dying fish
Old 08-03-2012, 06:32 PM   #21
 
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I'm back to do what I can to help (at Byron's request) but I'm not sure how much anyone can do at this point. What I am seeing in the photo of the betta doesn't appear to be just a fungal issue. The fins show obvious signs of fin rot, which is bacterial as well as fungal. By the time fin rot is visible to the human eye it is in an advanced stage and treatment can be difficult because when it comes to bettas there are very few medications that are both safe and effective. My guess after looking at the photo of the betta is that the infection took over and that is very likely what killed this fish. The white appearance of the fish doesn't look to me like just fungus, but rather fungus that was feeding on dead tissue... which would be bacteria based. (the bacteria eats away and kills the tissue and the fungus sets in and feeds on the dead tissue, aka fin rot which can affect the entire body of the fish as it advances)

As for the algae on the plants, this type of algae tends to be phosphate fed and can often be battled successfully by adding a phosphate remover to the filter media. If you look at the fertilizer that you are using, check for phosphate content. It is likely that there is phosphate in the water and then more going in via the fertilizer, and the excessive amount of phosphate is thus feeding the algae. Algae eating shrimp (ammano shrimp) tend to do a good job of eating this type of algae. There is no easy way to remove it from live plants, though with anubias, since the leaves are thick and glossy, sometimes a gentle scrubbing with a toothbrush can help. Be careful not to snap the leaves off of the rhizome in the process.

The yellow and brown leaves that were described earlier in this thread can be caused by a few different things... light that is too strong on a shallow tank, excess of a particular nutrient, or depletion of a particular nutrient. It's a matter of water testing and checking light strength vs depth of the tank, and etc. to narrow it down. Every species of plant has it's specific needs and they all differ to some degree. Some plants need more of a specific nutrient while other plants need less. Live aquatic plants are a world of their own and learning to mix/match them properly according to their needs, and learning to place them properly in the tank (those that need less light can be placed lower in a tank and "under" larger leaf plants to accommodate the shade they need from strong light that other plants may need, etc) is usually enough to do the trick. It's also good to understand that all plant fertilizers are not created equal, and watching the list of ingredients on the bottles/packaging is important to find the right balance of what is needed for specific species of plants. In a healthy aquarium with fish, most plants can thrive without the addition of fertilizers. Some people think that if you work with live plants you HAVE to use a fertilizer, but fish waste is, in itself, fertilizer. Fertilizers can be difficult to dose because a prescribed dose on the packaging doesn't take into account the species and number of plants in any given tank. It is quite easy to put more fertilizer/nutrients into a tank than what the plants can utilize, thus causing a variety of problems that once started, can be difficult and time consuming to fix. If you really feel the need to use fertilizer for the plants, you may want to either try a different brand (without phosphate in it) and/or cut down the dose you are currently using.

I'm not sure what else I can do to help here... other than advising you to purchase a phosphate test kit and be sure to test tap and tank water both. The other thing I can suggest is you may want to consider prefiltering your tap water before using it to do water changes in your tanks. If there is something coming in from the tap water (which sounds like a real possibility) that would surely help to remove any toxins that are causing harm to the fish. To do this in your type of situation I would suggest a rubbermaid tub, power filter, and polyfilter for the media (polyfilter will remove the most and do it faster than any other filter media), and give the water 24 - 48 hrs to run through the polyfilter before using it in your tanks. You may also want to add a heater to this set up to ensure that the temp of the clean water matches that of the tanks.

Lastly a word of caution in regards to the tanks where there have been fish losses. Before setting them back up be sure to sterilize them with bleach water, rinse well, and let them completely air dry for a matter of days before attempting to use them again. Substrate should be thrown away and replaced in these tanks as well. You may also want to test the wood in a specific tank so as to be sure it's going to be safe again to use in a main tank. If a fish needs to die to do this, better it is 1 fish instead of an entire tank full of them, though if this were me, I personally, would not be using that wood in another aquarium... ever. I value all life and would not want to risk the chance of killing another animal needlessly.

I'm not sure why you chose eurethromycin to dose your previous tank... but please be aware that all medications are not safe for all fish, nor are they all safe for live plants. I would urge in the future to ask for help in selecting a proper medication before dumping anything into your tanks. Following claims on medication packaging tends to result in a lot of dead fish/wiped out tanks because they do not put all of the needed warnings on those packages. Fish medicine is my specialty, so please feel free to ask for help if you need it. I am always happy to do so. I have been working in the field of fish medicine for 20 yrs now (professionally), and there is no replacement for experience. It takes a deep understanding of the animals, the environments, and the medications and the ingredients in each medication to understand what is both safe and effective in any given situation. It also takes a good understanding of health issues and the process of diagnosis, and I have seen far too much guessing and assumptions online than there should be... which again, tends to result in tragedy instead of recovery.

Good luck to you! Let me know if there is anything else I can do to help.
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Old 08-03-2012, 07:00 PM   #22
 
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Originally Posted by bettababy View Post
I'm back to do what I can to help (at Byron's request) but I'm not sure how much anyone can do at this point. What I am seeing in the photo of the betta doesn't appear to be just a fungal issue. The fins show obvious signs of fin rot, which is bacterial as well as fungal. By the time fin rot is visible to the human eye it is in an advanced stage and treatment can be difficult because when it comes to bettas there are very few medications that are both safe and effective. My guess after looking at the photo of the betta is that the infection took over and that is very likely what killed this fish. The white appearance of the fish doesn't look to me like just fungus, but rather fungus that was feeding on dead tissue... which would be bacteria based. (the bacteria eats away and kills the tissue and the fungus sets in and feeds on the dead tissue, aka fin rot which can affect the entire body of the fish as it advances)

To be honest I did not realize he had fin rot. I assumed thats how crowntails were. He seemed fine in the tank. Was very active and social. I did have issues keeping cherry and ghost shrimp alive in this tank, as well as some plants. But I cleaned it out and cycled again and added this guy. I just dont undestand why he would be fine(even if he had fin rot) but turned white and died within an hour or so of a water change.


As for the algae on the plants, this type of algae tends to be phosphate fed and can often be battled successfully by adding a phosphate remover to the filter media. If you look at the fertilizer that you are using, check for phosphate content. It is likely that there is phosphate in the water and then more going in via the fertilizer, and the excessive amount of phosphate is thus feeding the algae. Algae eating shrimp (ammano shrimp) tend to do a good job of eating this type of algae. There is no easy way to remove it from live plants, though with anubias, since the leaves are thick and glossy, sometimes a gentle scrubbing with a toothbrush can help. Be careful not to snap the leaves off of the rhizome in the process.


I did let this go without jumping in for a week or so, but i noticed now its really bad. I dont think ill add shrimp. I use flourish by dosage once a week. I will try to get a phosphate test, depending on their cost.

The yellow and brown leaves that were described earlier in this thread can be caused by a few different things... light that is too strong on a shallow tank, excess of a particular nutrient, or depletion of a particular nutrient. It's a matter of water testing and checking light strength vs depth of the tank, and etc. to narrow it down. Every species of plant has it's specific needs and they all differ to some degree. Some plants need more of a specific nutrient while other plants need less. Live aquatic plants are a world of their own and learning to mix/match them properly according to their needs, and learning to place them properly in the tank (those that need less light can be placed lower in a tank and "under" larger leaf plants to accommodate the shade they need from strong light that other plants may need, etc) is usually enough to do the trick. It's also good to understand that all plant fertilizers are not created equal, and watching the list of ingredients on the bottles/packaging is important to find the right balance of what is needed for specific species of plants. In a healthy aquarium with fish, most plants can thrive without the addition of fertilizers. Some people think that if you work with live plants you HAVE to use a fertilizer, but fish waste is, in itself, fertilizer. Fertilizers can be difficult to dose because a prescribed dose on the packaging doesn't take into account the species and number of plants in any given tank. It is quite easy to put more fertilizer/nutrients into a tank than what the plants can utilize, thus causing a variety of problems that once started, can be difficult and time consuming to fix. If you really feel the need to use fertilizer for the plants, you may want to either try a different brand (without phosphate in it) and/or cut down the dose you are currently using.

Im still not great at keeping live plants, but they were doing great in my tank for at least 6 months then died within a week with my other fish. This is what is strange to me. Like I said I will get a phosphate test, but like I said, my pygmy chain sword runners were almost 3 feet long, bright green leaves for months, then turned brown within 4 days of my fish dying, shortly after this green slime appeared.


I'm not sure what else I can do to help here... other than advising you to purchase a phosphate test kit and be sure to test tap and tank water both. The other thing I can suggest is you may want to consider prefiltering your tap water before using it to do water changes in your tanks. If there is something coming in from the tap water (which sounds like a real possibility) that would surely help to remove any toxins that are causing harm to the fish. To do this in your type of situation I would suggest a rubbermaid tub, power filter, and polyfilter for the media (polyfilter will remove the most and do it faster than any other filter media), and give the water 24 - 48 hrs to run through the polyfilter before using it in your tanks. You may also want to add a heater to this set up to ensure that the temp of the clean water matches that of the tanks.

I will get the kit somepoint soon and test the tap. I doubt ill be able to prefilter water, ill see what i can think of in the new apartment.


Lastly a word of caution in regards to the tanks where there have been fish losses. Before setting them back up be sure to sterilize them with bleach water, rinse well, and let them completely air dry for a matter of days before attempting to use them again. Substrate should be thrown away and replaced in these tanks as well. You may also want to test the wood in a specific tank so as to be sure it's going to be safe again to use in a main tank. If a fish needs to die to do this, better it is 1 fish instead of an entire tank full of them, though if this were me, I personally, would not be using that wood in another aquarium... ever. I value all life and would not want to risk the chance of killing another animal needlessly.

Im throwing out all the wood except what is currently in my 29 as there is no issues there. Im also throwing out all my nets, and Im going to wash all of my tools (algea scrapper, python etc) and the filters in a bleach/warm water combo. I will also scrub the tanks. Substrate has been tossed already. Ill toss filters as well. This may be crazy but im also tossing my Prime and Flourish, as I would feel better knowing I have something new. I already have an unopened Flourish.

I'm not sure why you chose eurethromycin to dose your previous tank... but please be aware that all medications are not safe for all fish, nor are they all safe for live plants. I would urge in the future to ask for help in selecting a proper medication before dumping anything into your tanks. Following claims on medication packaging tends to result in a lot of dead fish/wiped out tanks because they do not put all of the needed warnings on those packages. Fish medicine is my specialty, so please feel free to ask for help if you need it. I am always happy to do so. I have been working in the field of fish medicine for 20 yrs now (professionally), and there is no replacement for experience. It takes a deep understanding of the animals, the environments, and the medications and the ingredients in each medication to understand what is both safe and effective in any given situation. It also takes a good understanding of health issues and the process of diagnosis, and I have seen far too much guessing and assumptions online than there should be... which again, tends to result in tragedy instead of recovery.

I didnt dose anything, if i said that, then im going crazy. I only own coppersafe and melafix. I used copper safe months ago during an ich outbreak in my 10 and had no losses. I used melafix longer ago on a betta that did have fin rot. I was thinking about using the melafix but everything died before I had a chance too. I thank you for your help. May I ask what you do professionally that is releated to fish medicine?

Good luck to you! Let me know if there is anything else I can do to help.
I thank everyone again. I feel so stupid for everything. I will start fresh soon.

Im just praying that nothing happens to my 29. I have to move it to the new apartment and this will stress them (its only across a courtyard, but still) and I dont want them to get sick. Is there anything I should do to try and prevent issues in my 29? Extra water changes? I have tetra, loaches, rasbora, gourami and a pleco.
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Old 08-03-2012, 08:01 PM   #23
 
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In regards to what I do professionally in way of fish medicine, the list is long and there is no way to offer a full detailed account of 20 yrs of work here, lol. To sum it all up, diagnosis, treatments, research, experimentation, lab work, surgery (yes, fish surgery), etc. on a professional level, which means this is what I do for a living... my paid job. I started out about 20 yrs ago in a very special situation at a pet store unlike any other... formal education and research were part of the job description/requirement. 90% of the staff had college degrees ranging from ichthyology to aquatic/marine biology, botany, veterinary science, etc. (also a very long list) Most of my managers were also teachers, gave seminars (not just to public but also specific within the fish industry), and made education a top priority on the job as well as off. We HAD to attend school in order to keep our jobs. One of my mentors is an aquatic biologist who specialized in the aquatic medical field and he took me under his wing, and yrs later I married him, so now he is my husband. I had the benefit of not only the formal education that was required as part of my job, but also the extended academic education with the use of borrowed books/materials/research from each of my management team and them as personal instructors. It was like getting a full college education using tutors in each specific area.
Added to my teachers/mentors at work, we also worked alongside of and learned from the best in the industry including licensed aquatic vets. The team I was a part of was also the chosen professional consult of all of the local zoos, too.
It's kind of hard to sum up 20+ yrs of education, experience, research, etc. into a post here on the forum, but I hope this gives you a general idea. After about 10 yrs I left the store and started my own private business, doing the same thing, including tank maintenance accounts in private office buildings and etc., consults & help with private aquaria (working with the general public), continued my research in my lab here at home, took in and nursed more fish than I can count before finding them forever homes, and expanded on the amount of breeding I do here at home. I also maintain contact with many of the other professionals that I either worked alongside of or was otherwise acquainted with over the years so my education continues even now to be ongoing, which allows me to keep up with the changes within the industry as well as changes over the yrs in the medical field. This is and has been my full time career for all these yrs and I can't imagine doing anything else.

In my free time I come help at this forum and a few of the other fish groups found online, as time allows, because I know first hand the need for experienced and qualified help in this field.

In regards to moving your fish... if you are simply going across the courtyard, the move shouldn't have to be real difficult. I would opt for covered buckets for the fish, save as much of the aquarium water from your tanks as possible, and use this tank water for moving the fish. Siphon out as much water as possible to fill your buckets before you disturb the substrate. Plants can be put into the buckets with the fish. Once the tanks are placed in their new location slowly begin refilling them with the saved water, add the fish, and top off the tanks to replace any lost water, which will serve as a water change. This means there is no reason for a formal acclimation, the fish can go right back into the tanks. Turn on the filters, turn off the lights, and let everything settle for the next 24 hrs. If you find a lot of solid/organic debris has been brought up during the move, you can begin with slow clean up of 10 - 15% water changes each day, doing a small amount of gravel vac each time. This will keep any changes to a minimum and decrease the amount of stress the fish are dealing with.

Do not change filter media just before the move nor within the first 2 wks after. So if it is due for a change, do this at least 1 - 2 wks before moving the tanks if possible. (that should put you at the 1 month change by the time it needs to be changed again) If it needs to be rinsed during this time, do it in a bucket of dirty tank water rather than under the tap. This will help preserve the bacteria culture within the media.

In case you're wondering I have used this very method myself many times over the yrs and have never lost a single fish or plant in the process. I have also coached many others through the same thing and losses there were also minimal, depending on how closely they followed the instructions.


I hope this helps.
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:59 AM   #24
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bettababy View Post
In regards to what I do professionally in way of fish medicine, the list is long and there is no way to offer a full detailed account of 20 yrs of work here, lol. To sum it all up, diagnosis, treatments, research, experimentation, lab work, surgery (yes, fish surgery), etc. on a professional level, which means this is what I do for a living... my paid job. I started out about 20 yrs ago in a very special situation at a pet store unlike any other... formal education and research were part of the job description/requirement. 90% of the staff had college degrees ranging from ichthyology to aquatic/marine biology, botany, veterinary science, etc. (also a very long list) Most of my managers were also teachers, gave seminars (not just to public but also specific within the fish industry), and made education a top priority on the job as well as off. We HAD to attend school in order to keep our jobs. One of my mentors is an aquatic biologist who specialized in the aquatic medical field and he took me under his wing, and yrs later I married him, so now he is my husband. I had the benefit of not only the formal education that was required as part of my job, but also the extended academic education with the use of borrowed books/materials/research from each of my management team and them as personal instructors. It was like getting a full college education using tutors in each specific area.
Added to my teachers/mentors at work, we also worked alongside of and learned from the best in the industry including licensed aquatic vets. The team I was a part of was also the chosen professional consult of all of the local zoos, too.
It's kind of hard to sum up 20+ yrs of education, experience, research, etc. into a post here on the forum, but I hope this gives you a general idea. After about 10 yrs I left the store and started my own private business, doing the same thing, including tank maintenance accounts in private office buildings and etc., consults & help with private aquaria (working with the general public), continued my research in my lab here at home, took in and nursed more fish than I can count before finding them forever homes, and expanded on the amount of breeding I do here at home. I also maintain contact with many of the other professionals that I either worked alongside of or was otherwise acquainted with over the years so my education continues even now to be ongoing, which allows me to keep up with the changes within the industry as well as changes over the yrs in the medical field. This is and has been my full time career for all these yrs and I can't imagine doing anything else.

In my free time I come help at this forum and a few of the other fish groups found online, as time allows, because I know first hand the need for experienced and qualified help in this field.

In regards to moving your fish... if you are simply going across the courtyard, the move shouldn't have to be real difficult. I would opt for covered buckets for the fish, save as much of the aquarium water from your tanks as possible, and use this tank water for moving the fish. Siphon out as much water as possible to fill your buckets before you disturb the substrate. Plants can be put into the buckets with the fish. Once the tanks are placed in their new location slowly begin refilling them with the saved water, add the fish, and top off the tanks to replace any lost water, which will serve as a water change. This means there is no reason for a formal acclimation, the fish can go right back into the tanks. Turn on the filters, turn off the lights, and let everything settle for the next 24 hrs. If you find a lot of solid/organic debris has been brought up during the move, you can begin with slow clean up of 10 - 15% water changes each day, doing a small amount of gravel vac each time. This will keep any changes to a minimum and decrease the amount of stress the fish are dealing with.

Do not change filter media just before the move nor within the first 2 wks after. So if it is due for a change, do this at least 1 - 2 wks before moving the tanks if possible. (that should put you at the 1 month change by the time it needs to be changed again) If it needs to be rinsed during this time, do it in a bucket of dirty tank water rather than under the tap. This will help preserve the bacteria culture within the media.

In case you're wondering I have used this very method myself many times over the yrs and have never lost a single fish or plant in the process. I have also coached many others through the same thing and losses there were also minimal, depending on how closely they followed the instructions.


I hope this helps.

Well your job sounds great!!! Thanks fo the help.
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Old 09-02-2012, 01:18 AM   #25
 
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Originally Posted by bettababy View Post

In regards to moving your fish... if you are simply going across the courtyard, the move shouldn't have to be real difficult. I would opt for covered buckets for the fish, save as much of the aquarium water from your tanks as possible, and use this tank water for moving the fish. Siphon out as much water as possible to fill your buckets before you disturb the substrate. Plants can be put into the buckets with the fish. Once the tanks are placed in their new location slowly begin refilling them with the saved water, add the fish, and top off the tanks to replace any lost water, which will serve as a water change. This means there is no reason for a formal acclimation, the fish can go right back into the tanks. Turn on the filters, turn off the lights, and let everything settle for the next 24 hrs. If you find a lot of solid/organic debris has been brought up during the move, you can begin with slow clean up of 10 - 15% water changes each day, doing a small amount of gravel vac each time. This will keep any changes to a minimum and decrease the amount of stress the fish are dealing with.

Do not change filter media just before the move nor within the first 2 wks after. So if it is due for a change, do this at least 1 - 2 wks before moving the tanks if possible. (that should put you at the 1 month change by the time it needs to be changed again) If it needs to be rinsed during this time, do it in a bucket of dirty tank water rather than under the tap. This will help preserve the bacteria culture within the media.

In case you're wondering I have used this very method myself many times over the yrs and have never lost a single fish or plant in the process. I have also coached many others through the same thing and losses there were also minimal, depending on how closely they followed the instructions.


I hope this helps.
So i followed this method pretty much, except i had issues with my stand and needed to go out and get a new one. So what i did , was place the fish in a 25 gallon on the floor and hooked up the same filter and heater. I also moved over plants and the wood and rock. They were there for about 1 and 1/2 hrs as i got a new stand, moved over the 29 gallon, and replaced the gravel with sand. I then seperated the fish into buckets and moved them over. (same apartment complex so like a 5 min walk).

Here is the issue. I did not expect them very well as they were in the 25 gallon, however i do know everyone was alive. I got everything into the 29 and turned the lights off. I then found, just a few hours later, that about 15 of my tetra, and 6 rasbora, 1 bamboo shrimp were dead. I did notice some nipped fins. I also noticed my Gourami has some nipped fins. Could my loaches have done something?

Now all i have is 5 Black Neons and 5 Rummy Nose, 1 Pearl Gourami, 1 BN pleco and 5 zebra loaches. They are seem OK other than the nipped fins on the Gourami and the way the tetras are acting.

The tetras stay in their own groups, but before everyone would swim together. The rummynose took a few days to get their colors back, but they are still pretty dull. The day after the move, Everyone was gasping for air, and i added a bubbler. I have yet to remove it, but i dont want to keep it. I assume i just need to raise the numbers of the tetra so they feel more secure, but i dont want to add to many fish too soon.

My water parameters did not change, and they are normal now. I did move as much of the old water as possible but did have to add abpout 25%. I treated with Prime.

What should be my next step? Should I add more fish?
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:41 PM   #26
 
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Originally Posted by bigehugedome View Post
So i followed this method pretty much, except i had issues with my stand and needed to go out and get a new one. So what i did , was place the fish in a 25 gallon on the floor and hooked up the same filter and heater. I also moved over plants and the wood and rock. They were there for about 1 and 1/2 hrs as i got a new stand, moved over the 29 gallon, and replaced the gravel with sand. I then seperated the fish into buckets and moved them over. (same apartment complex so like a 5 min walk).

Here is the issue. I did not expect them very well as they were in the 25 gallon, however i do know everyone was alive. I got everything into the 29 and turned the lights off. I then found, just a few hours later, that about 15 of my tetra, and 6 rasbora, 1 bamboo shrimp were dead. I did notice some nipped fins. I also noticed my Gourami has some nipped fins. Could my loaches have done something?

Now all i have is 5 Black Neons and 5 Rummy Nose, 1 Pearl Gourami, 1 BN pleco and 5 zebra loaches. They are seem OK other than the nipped fins on the Gourami and the way the tetras are acting.

The tetras stay in their own groups, but before everyone would swim together. The rummynose took a few days to get their colors back, but they are still pretty dull. The day after the move, Everyone was gasping for air, and i added a bubbler. I have yet to remove it, but i dont want to keep it. I assume i just need to raise the numbers of the tetra so they feel more secure, but i dont want to add to many fish too soon.

My water parameters did not change, and they are normal now. I did move as much of the old water as possible but did have to add abpout 25%. I treated with Prime.

What should be my next step? Should I add more fish?
There are a couple possibles to account for the fin nipping/deaths. A 25g is not much room for all those fish, but more to the issue, neither is the 29g. Initially there were 31 tetra/rasbora, 5 zebra loach, a pearl gourami, and a Bristlenose pleco.

I would not keep the loach in anything under 3 feet. I have a group of five of this species, in my 4-foot 90g, and they are active. I have not noticed any nipping, but then the other fish are fairly active too and there is more space. A gourami is quite a temptation especially in a small space. It may be that the stress of the move increased their nipping, this happens; fish under stress can respond by being more aggressive (natural traits become stronger) or sometimes the opposite, they sort of withdraw into seclusion.

I assume the gasping is no longer happening; I would suspect this was due to the increase of ammonia/nitrite during the move or decreased oxygen. When I move fish, I never save water into the new tank, since the old water has increased ammonia/nitrite and I see no point dumping this into the new tank. I use the old tank water in the holding tank, and when the new tank is ready I do water changes on the old tank to get it close to the new tank.

I would leave the 29g as is for a couple weeks minimum, making sure everyone is settled. Ich may break out, this is very common when fish are stressed, so watch for it. And carefully observe fish interaction, esp from the loaches.

Byron.
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