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In trouble

This is a discussion on In trouble within the Cichlids forums, part of the Freshwater and Tropical Fish category; --> Now, people might hate me for this, but I'm convinced its not my fault.... Anyway I bouth 3 angels and 5 tetras from Petco ...

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Old 10-06-2009, 11:51 AM   #1
 
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In trouble

Now, people might hate me for this, but I'm convinced its not my fault.... Anyway I bouth 3 angels and 5 tetras from Petco which probably wasnt the best idea to begin with. Two of them were already very slow and by the morning were dead. One of them was still alive but died today, about 2-3 days after I bought them. My pH is about 7.2, temp is 81, 0pm ammonia, nitrAtes are somewhere aroun 5ppm, nitrite is 0ppm. I'm going towards the fact that I might have stressed them during the move...
Anyway I got 4 new angels, even smaller in size.... Three of them seem to be active, but its the second day in this tank and one of them isnt really moving around... or eating... it just sits in a corner on the bottom.
I hate to see them like this, my water seems to be ok... Is there anything I can do to try saving this fella? If anyone can help I'd appreciate very very much.

PS, I do not know my water hardness, my old testing kit doesnt seem to be doing its job, and the new one doesnt test hardness. I also have test strips which at a certain color mean the hardness is bet 50-150ppm, but the color i get is lighter than the color on the chart.

Super quick update.... right after I finished this email and went to my tank he showed some activity... and ate!!! I will do a 25% water change in two days... my tap water has a pH about .2-.3 lower, this shouldnt stress the fish right? I will add it with stress coat and nutrafin cycle

Last edited by mrdemin; 10-06-2009 at 11:57 AM..
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Old 10-06-2009, 12:04 PM   #2
 
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before we're able to diagnose the probelm, we need some more information from you:

is your tank cycled? IF so, how long?
size of tank?
filter?
feeding amount?

more importantly....ditch the test strips....get an API Liquid master test kit and get a reading off of that, or take it to PetCo....test strips are unreliable and can give false readings....

If you 're starting out fresh, you are going to go through a cycle.......let us know

Johnny
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Old 10-06-2009, 12:05 PM   #3
 
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What size tank is this and how long have you had it set up? Your tap PH reads less then the tank? Did you use something other than tap water to set it up? Is this a planted tank??

Johnny- we posted at the same time! :)
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Old 10-06-2009, 12:23 PM   #4
 
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Its a 29 or 30 gallon tank, I set it up about a week ago... it only ran for about 3-4 days before I got the fish... all the tests seemed normal except the hardness which I couldnt test. I do have 2 small live plants in there which I planted with the fish... I later learned that I shouldnt have planted them and that they require care as well. I didnt know about adding the cycle stuff, today is day 2 of a 3 day cycle, I hope this isnt one of my biggest mistakes. I also have tetras in there, and they are all fine since day one, but I guess they are that much less sensitive.
I have an Eclipse 3 lid covering the tank, so whatevery filter that is... I also have a canister HOT magnum filter which I plan to use every so often to get what the other one cant accomplish, unless that is pointless.
I fed them yesterday with a frozen cube of blood worms, most of which the tetras grabbed and the angels almost didnt even bother to eat. Today I fed flakes, and all of them ate, even the one that is sitting at the bottom. After eating he went back... and his buddy is keeping him company (hopefully). The two in the corner are striped black, and the 2 white ones are swimming around. This set of 4 came from the same tank in the same store.. one of them joining a day later.
If I have done something terribly wrong I'd like to fix it if possible... I dont want to keep digging these guys out the tank, not a good way to start the day.
Thanks, Igor

Oh I used an API Freshwater master test kit.

Last edited by mrdemin; 10-06-2009 at 12:33 PM..
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Old 10-06-2009, 06:03 PM   #5
 
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The tank is not cycled. It takes 2-8 weeks to cycle a new tank, unless bacteria is added ("seeding") and/or you have plants. The two plants you have may be your fish's lifesaver, although a few more would be more of a guarantee. Plants need ammonium which they can convert from ammonia, and it is now believed they also use nitrite. So while the bacteria are slowly colonizing the surfaces, the plants are immediatly consuming the ammonia and nitrite.

Don't add any more fish. And add some more plants. At this stage, I wold also get a small bottle of "Stability" which is live bacteria to jumpstart the nitrification cycle. Allow the tank to become biologically established over a few weeks before more fish are added.

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Old 10-06-2009, 06:30 PM   #6
 
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Well this cycle stuff I added says that it is bacteria... I just gave them some food... Looks like all the fish in there are active, probably the longest I've seen that one angel out of the corner and all of them more eager than before for food. I'm thinking I either stressed the Petco bunch, or they were already week and my new tank finished them.
Is there any special way to keeping the plants alive? Someone told me its hard to keep them alive and that I shouldnt have added them to a new tank. I also read somewhere that they lower the pH level? I think mine is at about 7.2 which is kind of high for angels? By the way, I put tap water in this tank initially, and it now somehow has a higher pH then the tap water.
Oh man, I just hope they are all happy in there.
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Old 10-06-2009, 07:03 PM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrdemin View Post
Well this cycle stuff I added says that it is bacteria... I just gave them some food... Looks like all the fish in there are active, probably the longest I've seen that one angel out of the corner and all of them more eager than before for food. I'm thinking I either stressed the Petco bunch, or they were already week and my new tank finished them.
Is there any special way to keeping the plants alive? Someone told me its hard to keep them alive and that I shouldnt have added them to a new tank. I also read somewhere that they lower the pH level? I think mine is at about 7.2 which is kind of high for angels? By the way, I put tap water in this tank initially, and it now somehow has a higher pH then the tap water.
Oh man, I just hope they are all happy in there.
1. If the cycle stuff is Nutrafin's "Cycle" then it should (according to the manufacturer) help establish the bacteria. It is not live bacteria, it is a chemical compound, but I have used it myself many years ago. I now prefer Stability.

2. Plants should go into a new tank from the start; they are nature's filters, they remove more ammonia and nitrite than the bacteria in a well-planted tank. But you need more than one or two to do a good job, and obviously they have to be growing (healthy). They use CO2 (carbon dioxide) from the fish respiration, plus the light (what light do you have--type, wattage, name on the tube/bulb?) and nutrients that come partly from the fish and biological processes and partly through liquid fertilizer you add weekly after the partial water change. As plants need a wide spectrum of nutrients, and in specific porportions, the best single fertilizer is a comprehensive. Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium is good (several of us here use it) and I've had good luck previously with the Kent Freshwater Plant Supplement.

3. A pH of 7.2 is fine for plants (most of them) and tank-raised angels should have no problem. However, if the tank pH is higher than the tap water, there is probably something in the tank adding mineral to the water. Usually this is calcareous rock (limestone) or gravel (dolomite, coral, marble...). Any of this in your tank? I would not recommend raising the pH and hardness higher in a planted tank with angels and tetras. Plants won't lower the pH, but the normal biological processes can cause the pH to lower depending upon the buffering capacity of the tap water. If the water is moderately hard, the degree of carbonate hardness (expressed as degrees KH) is the clue to the buffering capacity. General hardness (d GH) is simply the dissolved calcium and magnesium in the water. Adding these minerals, as from the gravel or rock I mentioned above, will raise the hardness and pH subject to the KH. With partial water changes every week of 30-40% with your tap water this should not be a problem. But I would suggest removing the calcareous material if present. The tap water alone will buffer the pH and prevent a drop. And a stable pH is critically important for fish.

Byron.

Last edited by Byron; 10-06-2009 at 07:07 PM..
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:50 AM   #8
 
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It is Nutrafins "Cycle", today is my last day of adding it. Ive also been told to add API stress coat, which I did. It is recommended on the bottles to add some when doing water changes, is it ok if I keep adding it? Or should I forget the chemicals?
The lights are 24" Marine Glow 20w (blue..ish) and a 24" Eclipse Natural Daylight (prob 20/18w).
I do have gravel, not sure what type it is, and it doesnt specify on the bag... It does say it doesnt affect water chem. I also have a few bigger rocks, could be the possible culprit as there is nothing else in there to be raising the pH. Overall I think theyre doing ok, considering these angels are younger than the first Petco trio I had, and have lasted past 2 days already and are all swimming and eating like little monsters. I'm going to post some pics in the picture thread, you can check them out :)
Hopefully this water change doesnt stress them too much, since I'll be vacuming the gravel.
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Old 10-07-2009, 12:24 PM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrdemin View Post
It is Nutrafins "Cycle", today is my last day of adding it. Ive also been told to add API stress coat, which I did. It is recommended on the bottles to add some when doing water changes, is it ok if I keep adding it? Or should I forget the chemicals?
The lights are 24" Marine Glow 20w (blue..ish) and a 24" Eclipse Natural Daylight (prob 20/18w).
I do have gravel, not sure what type it is, and it doesnt specify on the bag... It does say it doesnt affect water chem. I also have a few bigger rocks, could be the possible culprit as there is nothing else in there to be raising the pH. Overall I think theyre doing ok, considering these angels are younger than the first Petco trio I had, and have lasted past 2 days already and are all swimming and eating like little monsters. I'm going to post some pics in the picture thread, you can check them out :)
Hopefully this water change doesnt stress them too much, since I'll be vacuming the gravel.
I never like recommending changes to hard aquascaping because this is your tank and you should have it as you want it. I only comment when the aquascaping is affecting something that is in my view nagative. As in this case, the rising pH which is something I recommend rectifying. You might want to remove the rocks, do a partial water change, leave it for a few days, and see if the pH remains close (or slightly lower) than the tap water. A pwc every 2-3 days may be needed--pwc will not hurt fish provided a good water cnditioner is used. That would tell whether or not it is the rock, and if so, alternatives such as inert rock (avoid limestone, marble, lava, coral types) or wood (other benefits for planted tanks from wood) suggest themselves.

On the light, my only question is the Marine Glo. I checked the spectrum graph and it is high in the blue but plants need blue, although there is no red to match because this tube is intended as actinic light for reefs in marine tanks. It doesn't give the kelvin rating either. You may want to replace this tube with something like a balanced full spectrum with high blue and red, say Zoo Med's Ultra Sun or Nutrafin's Life-Glo. The Eclipse seems to be around 5000K so that's fine; balancing with one of the ones I mentioned which are 6700K gives a bit of blue but not near as much as what you're experiencing with the Marine-Glo, lusa bit more red.

Generally speaking, and I know many on this forum will agree with me on this, the fewer chemicals that go into the aquarium the better and healthier the fish, plants and bacteria will be. And that equates to much fewer problems. Having said that, a good water conditioner is an absolute for most of us (to remove chlorine, chloramine, and sometimes detoxify ammonia and heavy metals). Stress Coat is a water conditioner that also produces a synthetic coating on the fish; I've never used this, and I suspect others here may recomend against it. A water conditioner like Prime may be preferable.

Byron.
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Old 10-08-2009, 12:25 AM   #10
 
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Oh boy, I just watched the two black ones die. I'm pretty sure at least one of the white ones are headed in the same direction.... This is not pretty, I'm quiet upset. I was sure they were fine, they seemed fine. My mom said they were fine all day. When I got home from work one of the black ones was still at the bottom like before and the other one was spazzing around the aquarium, until I realized he barely had any strength left in him. I won't describe the whole scene ;(
No more angels for me for a while, the tetras are fine and will be my only fish for now until hopefully I can figure out whats wrong.
Byron, thank you for your help, I dont even know what to think now, my water conditions arent that bad are they? I'm scared to get new fish, I cant tolerate fishing them out this often
By the way, esepcially this time, it happened to suddenly, I can't even imagine what the problem is

Last edited by mrdemin; 10-08-2009 at 12:34 AM..
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