I have a newly created 2.5 gallon aquarium that has been running for about a week, but yesterday the tank suddenly took a turn for the worse. My snail went into his shell and played dead, all the fish were hiding and the few that were visible seemed stressed.
The things I did prior to this change were to add about 7 tiny guppy fry into an existing population of 5 guppy fry. The day before that I added a lot of floating wisteria and replaced the lighting from a weak halogen desk lamp to a brighter GE reveal bulb using a old-school light hood.
Could the additional bio-load from the 7 fry have caused such a drastic change? I thought plants were supposed to prevent ammonia toxicity in new tanks? I was really counting on this as I added a LOT of wisteria to go along with the handful of java fern already in the tank. The place looked like a miniature jungle so I thought I would be covered as far as ammonia goes. I have a hard time believing ammonia is the culprit because prior to being introduced to my aquarium, these 7 fry were kept for a week in a gallon sized container with no water changes and they were doing fine.
Or is there something else going on? Too many plants? Bad stuff leaching out of the new relatively new lace rock? I wish I took a photo of my aquarium when this happened, because I had a serious amount of plant foliage.
BTW, I do not have a water-test kit.
After doing two water changes and removing the lace rock, and about 75% of the wisteria, the inhabitants are doing much better and the snail has resumed its foraging. In hindsight, removing all that stuff that seems counter-intuitive, but I was truly baffled by what was going on.
My set up is:
Lighting: GE Reveal 10 watt
Filter: Small Whisper HOB. Power reduced by shoving sponge into intake strainer.
approx 12 guppy fry
handful of free floating java fern and water wisteria
Any help would be highly appreciated....
Here's what my tank looks like after removing most of what was previously in there...