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Weird Problems / fish dying / acting strange

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Weird Problems / fish dying / acting strange
Old 03-13-2011, 11:08 PM   #11
 
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So I re-tested my water and have the following results:

PH ~ 6.6
Ammonia ~ 8.0 [very dark green]
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate ~ 5


Ammonia spike... is this good??? should I be adding something in there?

Last edited by neocharles; 03-13-2011 at 11:15 PM..
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:20 PM   #12
 
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Originally Posted by neocharles View Post
a ton of useful information, I love it.

So in the end, would my tank be able to support:

3-4 Cories (the albino ones kinda creep me out, so maybe mix and match types)
3-5 neon tetra
2-3 octos
and the guppies? [those two, or maybe a few more] (assuming I don't have the red minor tetra in there) ?

With quality filtration, regular water changes, and keeping water parameters in check, I think your tank could safely house that many fish as they are all fairly low on bio loads. I would not do less than 4 cory if you can, and I also wouldnt do less than 5 on the neons. The otos you can do 2 or 3 its up to you, as their bio output is low compared to their benefits. And for the guppies, 3 guppies are fine, as they arent your typical shoaling fish, but do appreciate the fellow company. For instance my fancy guppies dont pay attention to each other and are always out around on their own. But my larger tequila sunrise guppies, always travel together in their little trio and are unseperatable. But for your tank size, I advice the small type, fancy guppies. The special ones like tux, sunrise tequila, and such are larger, like twice the size of standard fancy guppies.

Cories can get large, some species getting up to 4 and 5 inches, and others stay very small, like habrosus, but require strict water parameters and dont act like typical cory. So I would advice doing some further research on different kinds of corydoras and seeing which ones are within a small size range and that will fit your tank's water parameters.

Try this, there is a site called AqAdvisor - Intelligent Freshwater Tropical Fish Aquarium Stocking Calculator and Aquarium Tank/Filter Advisor and it can assist in the calculation of fish in your tank. Keep in mind it is not 100% accurate as it does base on minimums. But it can give you a good idea of what you can house and also what can and cant get along.

Another thing worth mentioning is your pH. Not all fish can live in the same pH range. Research what pH levels the fish you wish to keep require, and see if they match up with your pH that your tank has...it is always easier to match fish to your pH than it is to match your pH to your fish. A few points off on pH isnt a biggy, but I wouldnt make a fish that prefers 6.0-6.5 pH live in a tank with a 7.5-8.0 pH, and vice versa. There is the tropical fish profiles on here that can give you a good idea of what you are looking at.

I hope that helped, anything else just let me know! Good luck, and keep us posted!
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:25 PM   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neocharles View Post
So I re-tested my water and have the following results:

PH ~ 6.6
Ammonia ~ 8.0 [very dark green]
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate ~ 5


Ammonia spike... is this good??? should I be adding something in there?

Ammonia spike is good, as it generally means that nitrite should show up, followed by nitrates.

At that high of a spike I advice an immediate water change, like maybe a 50%, as that is deadly very fast to your fish.

I get baffled at times with the chemisty of tank water...and am confused by the high ammonia, no nitrite, and low nitrate.

Anyone following this thread with more advice for water chemisty to help here???
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:27 PM   #14
 
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Originally Posted by LasColinasCichlids View Post
Ammonia spike is good, as it generally means that nitrite should show up, followed by nitrates.

At that high of a spike I advice an immediate water change, like maybe a 50%, as that is deadly very fast to your fish.

I get baffled at times with the chemisty of tank water...and am confused by the high ammonia, no nitrite, and low nitrate.

Anyone following this thread with more advice for water chemisty to help here???
Please someone let me know :)

These results are ~2 hours after a 20% water change. See the OP for the numbers prior the 20% change...

Just worried for the fish. They're all quite active in there, but I hope it isn't because they're all stressed out / in pain from the spike!
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:31 PM   #15
 
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Neocharles, with an 8ppm ammonia reading, I think a large water change is definately needed for the safety of the fish...if it stays that high too long you could start losing fish quick.

And after the water change, add some more of the ammo lock you said you had...make sure to put the full dose in there as I have heard this product does work. (Although not everyone believes in using additonal chemicals to their tanks)
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Old 03-14-2011, 03:28 AM   #16
 
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I agree a larger water change is needed, say 50% rather than 20%. I am a bit confused on the Ammo-Lock though. Isn't this a water conditioner that also detoxifies ammonia like Prime does? I don't see any advantage to using both. But, maybe it can't hurt either. Anyone else have thoughts on this?

I also agree on the final stocking once your tank is fully cycled and stable. 4 cories, 5 neons, 3 otos and a couple guppies will fully stock the tank although the cories, neons and otos will appreciate the 6.6 Ph more than the guppies will (which prefer a bit harder water).
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Old 03-14-2011, 09:28 PM   #17
 
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Tonight I performed ~40% water change. I also took the filter and stirred it about in a container of the water I was taking out. The left over water in the container after rinsing the filter was very dirty looking, so maybe that's good?

Anyways, at this point, the tank is very cloudy - cloudier than it was before the change (and it was cloudy then). At the top of the water there seems to be this film floating around.


I am going to let it filter a little before I check the levels, unless someone else says now is okay?
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:00 PM   #18
 
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Re-Tested Ammonia tonight, even after that water change, it's even a higher % of ammonia than the night before.... well off the charts >8ppm.

Nitrites are low at 0

Nitrates appear to be closer to 10ppm now....

Last edited by neocharles; 03-14-2011 at 10:02 PM..
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:21 AM   #19
 
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Originally Posted by neocharles View Post
Re-Tested Ammonia tonight, even after that water change, it's even a higher % of ammonia than the night before.... well off the charts >8ppm.

Nitrites are low at 0

Nitrates appear to be closer to 10ppm now....

The cloudiness could just be from the debris moving around during the water change...did it settle afterwards?

There is only 2 things I know to help with high ammonia levels, and yours are very very high which is very dangerous for the fish. 1-water changes, water changes, water changes. 2-Chemical ammonia remover available in a variety or brands in liquids or dissolving tablets from a pet store, lfs, or walmart for varying price ranges.

There is Ammo-Lock by API, there is dissolving tablets by Jungle Tank Buddies, and many more to help in the removal of ammonia...each has their own opinion on how well they work and if they should be used. I for one and not against the idea of using chemicals in my tank that are available on the market. But this is up to you.

If the ammonia is still reading high at this point, I would do another water change, every day if needed until the ammonia is under control.

There is also filter media available to aid in the removal of additional ammonia that can come from various reasons including but not limited to overfeeding, overcrowding, and over bioloads. Even if your filter doesnt have a special media for additonal ammonia removal, there is Fluval filter media that comes in bags that can be added to almost any filter (they were made for the Fluval canister filter but can also be used in power filters...I use it myself in my marineland biowheel, and will use them in my new AquaClear when I get it in the coming weeks). There is also biobags you can buy and fill with loose filter media that is sold by various brands.

But for the safety of the fish, that ammonia level must come down, and fast.

Good Luck, and keep us posted!!!

Last edited by LasColinasCichlids; 03-15-2011 at 12:22 AM.. Reason: Correcting grammical error
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