I tested my water and my nitrates are at 1, the test kit said it should be at .2 How bad is this and what can I do to fix it?
I've done 2 30% water changes and it hasn't helped much.
Also I have white spots on a couple of my neons. They are on the body and fins is this Ich? I've put salt in the tank but what else can I do?
I really need help I feel like the tank haates me :cry: [/img]
Re: High nitrates!!
1. How big is the tank?
2. What fish are in it? How many of each?
3. How long has the tank been set up?
4. What are the water params for ammonia, nitrite, and pH?
5. What is the water temp?
6. What kind of filter are you using?
7. How long have the fish been in the tank?
8. What kind of test kit are you using?
A low nitrate level is not a bad thing, and if it's reading at 1, I'm curious to know what the scale range is on your test kit? Typically nitrate test kits will read in increments of 5 - 10. A nitrate reading of below 40 is desirable, 20 is a good place to be. Your nitrate reading will say much more if it's accompanied by ammonia, nitrite, and pH readings, too. Nitrate is the end product of waste breakdown, the last phase of the nitrogen cycle. The first 2 phases are ammonia and nitrite. If those readings are both at zero, pH is where it should be (for neons anywhere from 6.5 -7.8 is usually safe provided it is stable) and nitrates are low, then there is nothing obvious wrong with your water quality waste levels. A nitrate level that is very high for a long time will cause pH to drop, usually rapidly and to an extreme, which can be fatal to all fish. Knowing the pH of the water you are using for water changes and comparing it to that in the tank will tell you how much water can safely be changed at a time. If too much change takes place and a low pH is raised too quickly, this also can be fatal.
Can you post any photos of your fish? There are a number of illnesses that appear as white spots, if it's ich it should look as if someone sprinkled salt on your fish. There are medications to treat this, but until we know the entire range of water params and what other fish are in the tank, etc, there is no way we can offer you a safe choice. Water quality problems can contribute to ich, and can also cause medications to have an adverse effect which can cause a lot more harm than good. Not all medications are safe for all fish, and some need lesser dosing amounts. Most ich medications will also deplete the water of oxygen, so running an air stone during the course of treatment is always suggested.
Please be careful with the salt. Too much salt is dangerous for neons and many of the other tetras who are sensitive to it. Salt is a good medication if it's a fish that can tolerate it... neons are not in this category of fish. Again, too much salt can cause more harm.
We'll help all we can if you can please answer the questions above.
My tank is 10g and the fish are
2 Neon tetras
1 black neon tetra
1 Ghost shrimp
2 Cherry Shrimp
1 Snail (not sure what kind shell looks like @)
1 Dwarf Gourami
1 Hillstream loach (stingray pleco)
1 Zebra Danio
2 Serpae Tetras
The tank has been set up since Dec 26
The ammonia is at 0 or close enough to not read
I didn't get a nitrite test with my kit
The pH is at 7.2
The water temp is at 78. I have a whisper carbon filter. The fish have been in the tank for about a week. I'm using a droplet testing kit. The nitrate test runs in .1, .2, .4 increments the pamplet with the kit says it should be at .2 I assumed .2 was 20 .4 was 40 and so on.. and mine is at .8 now which would be 80, by my assumption. Our tap water is at 7.4 pH. I had read that one tbsp of salt per 5 gallons was a good treatment so i put in 2 tbsp.
If I can get a good picture then I'll put one up but the tetras do look like they were sprinkled with salt. They aren't big spots, just small ones. And most of the fish are still really active except for my black neon tetra who I don't think will even make it through the night. :(
Another issue I see is the mixture of ghost shrimp with cherry shrimp. Don't be surprised if you discover the ghost shrimp has eaten the cherry shrimp at some point. These 2 types of shrimp are not compatible with each other, and cherry shrimp seldom mix with any other type of shrimp even in a large tank.
Water changes will typically control nitrate issues. In an over crowded (and/or overfed) tank it gets to a point of being impossible to control water quality even if doing daily changes. Too many fish, fish that are too big for the tank or uneaten food in the tank will all begin to produce too much waste too fast for you to keep up with it.
As for what to suggest you do to fix your situation: these fish need to be seperated asap. A quarantine tank for the neons would give them at least a chance, lots of decorations, heater, and filter on their tank. Just relieving the stresses of water quality and aggressive tank mates will help them tremendously. If you choose to do this I will suggest a safe med for them at that time.
You really need to thin out the rest of your population or get them into a much larger tank. Serpae tetras are not a good mix with most peaceful fish or anything with long or fancy fins. Serpaes are known for their nippy behavior, and often will chew each other to bits in a species only tank. A dwarf gourami has long thin fins up front, these are a fav of the serpaes to chew. The gourami itself is going to be aggressive and territorial, and 1 zebra danio by itself will both stress the other fish with its fast movements and pacing, and nip a lot of fins because it lacks others of its own kind to chase around with.
Each of your fish and shrimps have very specific needs, and I would strongly suggest you do some research into these needs and then decide what to keep where. These fish cannot stay together in your 10 gallon tank and survive.
How often are you feeding them? Do you see food hit the bottom when you feed? This will contribute a lot to your water quality issues. Fish should be able to completely finish their food within 1 - 2 minutes of it hitting the water. Another concern with your water quality is your nitrite level. If this is elevated, this is highly toxic to the fish. A new tank such as this is still going to be cycling. If ammonia is at zero, that tells me nitrite is likely still breaking down. The heavy nitrate is from the original heavy ammonia that has been broken down. This is only going to get worse the longer those fish stay like that.
We'll help you sort this out as much as we can, but you have some big decisions to make. Let us know what you wish to do and we will help talk you through it one step at a time.
What can I do with the fish with them being all sick?
I was planning on getting rid of the stingray, gourami, and the 2 serpaes but then I realised that some of the fish had white spots.
I realised my error shortly after getting the fish. I was researching how to clear up our tank and trying to figure out what was wrong with our puffer, which is now dead. :(
The guy at our pet store really sounded like he knew what he was talking about when we got the fish so we left thinking most of these fish were safe together. We already had the puffer, snail, and danio. The rest he said would be fine together becuase none were aggresive. He told me that 10 fish was a good number and the bottom dwellers (shrimp, stingray pleco, and snail)didn't count becuase they didn't need the swimming space. We got off to a really bad start due to really bad info :( I feel bad for the fish now and I plan on coming here and researching first from now on. I thought I'd let you know my story so you at least don't think I'm some idiot. Just really badly informed.
I have a 5g cycling the right way (2 days in), now that I know it can take more then a month, that I had planned on making a puffer only tank. Can I use this for some fish. I can syphon some of the sick water if that will help, the puffer isn't a huge priority right now. The danio and black neon are now dead :( so we scratch them off.
If you can give me some tips on how and where to move some fish, I can start in the morning before work. I really appreciate any help you can give me with this mess I've created.
Yes, definitely move some fish into the 5 gallon. I'm glad you realize what a bad mix you have, and care enough to change it! Most aquarium workers are terribly misinformed, which completely stinks, but hopefully we can help you salvage this situation as much as possible!
Which fish have white spot? You might want to use that to separate your fish. I would treat both fish tanks, but hopefully we can help stop the spread. Also, I'd recommend jacking up your temperature to 82-83. Ick can't live in higher temperatures.
the neons have them kinda bad. One of the serpaes may have a spot but I think that may be a discoloration of his own, it doesn't really look like the other fishes spots. I really can't tell with the gourami, he's blue and white. All of the fish are really active, so they aren't acting like they are sick. Losing 2 fish in the matter of hours kinda tells me they are really sick. Is it normal for them to not show symptoms other then spots. The only one that acted sick was the black neon, which is dead now.
Now that you are better informed and are understanding what is wrong, have you considered calling the LFS that sold you the fish and asking to speak with a manager or owner? The biggest reason pet stores get away with this kind of thing is because too many people let them. If you call up complaining about the expensive mess their employee made for you, the money its going to cost to fix it, and the money spent on fish that have died or are now sick due to their mistakes, you might stand a chance of taking the fish back sick or not, for a refund.
Without customers a pet store makes no money, without making money they don't stay in business. Another suggestion I have for you is to find somewhere else to buy your supplies at this point if possible. Don't let them win by taking all of your money... Why let them make their money off of mistakes they caused/created? This applies for anyone/everyone... it doesn't matter how old you are or where you live.... you're a customer, you're their meal ticket... demand that they know what they are doing or take your business somewhere else, and tell others what they've done.
I am noted for going to pet stores where they give bad advice, asking them a lot of questions I already know the answers to, and then pointing out to other customers in the store that the employees don't know what they're talking about. I openly warn people not to ltrust the info they are given there, and it chases business away.
Ok, with that said... the 10 fish in a 10 gallon tank idea is simply a misinformed person... the actual "rule" reads 1 inch of adult fish per gallon, but this does not apply in all cases. (example, a 10 inch jack dempsy isn't going to fit into a 10 galllon tank) Your situation isn't simply one of overcrowding but of incompatibility... which is likely where the ick started even before the water quality got bad. Stress is a killer in the fish world, and mixing something nasty like a gourmai or serpaes in with peaceful fishes like neons just can't work. Its for this reason that those fish need to be seperated asap. The longer the stress goes on the sicker they're going to get in spite of the water quality.
I feel bad for you, this is a difficult situation. We have no idea what your budget will allow here, so you are going to have to guide us on possibilities that are practical for you (this is why I mentioned calling the shop and insisting they take the fish back, sick or not, and refund your money for their mistake). A 5 gallon would hold your neons, but I wouldn't put any of the others in that small of a tank. Your inverts are not going to be able to handle most meds that will be needed to treat these fish, so you will actually need a 3rd or 4th tank to seperate the 2 types of shrimp and to keep them out of the tanks with fish & meds. Your shirmps aren't going to get ick, you may want to at least return those so they don't die and leave you without a place for them during treatment. If you decide to treat these fish, it will make a difference on how you seperate them as to what is a safe med to use. The hillstream loach is going to be extremely sensitive to any meds... so maybe they will take that back too.
Raising the temp in the tank will speed up the life cycle of the ich parasite. The heat alone isn't going to kill it, and these are not fish that can handle a salt treatment, either. I truly feel sorry for you and the animals here, this is a really difficult situation. Were I in your shoes I'd be on the phone with the LFS immediately trying to get some kind of help & satisfaction. If you say nothing they will continue to do this to anyone who walks through their door without getting proper info first. Please don't show them that this is ok but ignoring their part in it. They did you wrong, they did these animals wrong, and someone other than you should have to pay for that!
I put the neons in the 5g with some plants, the danio is dead :( , would the shrimp be ok with a betta in a 1g? the ghost shrimp is about 1.5in the cherries like .5in The gourami shows no sickness at all, so I'm going to see what I can do there. I will go out tommorow to the pet store with the gourami and serpaes and demand the manager :wink: what would be the next step? Oh and I have a bowl I can put shrimp in for like a week.
The shrimp will do ok in a small tank if they have a heater and a filter running. These are tropical shrimp, so they must stay at a stable temp of about 76 - 78 just like the fish. The highest temp I would go with either of those species of shrimp is about 80 degrees. A betta shouldn't bother them, especially if the shrimp have plants and/or rocks to hide under.
Best of luck with the LFS, let us know if there's anything more we can do to help!
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