Help, persistent tank problem.
I have a ten gallon tank and I had five serpae tetras and 3 albino cories. A little over 2 weeks ago, I did a water change of about half the water. Then I went out of town, and the day after I left, my husband reported that all of the cories and 1 of the tetras had died. Then the next morning two more of the tetras were dead. The last 2 tetras were still alive when I got back into town, but the next day, one of them was laying on the bottom and he looked like he had a film over his eyes and skin. Based on pictures on the internet, I thought it looked like a fungus, so I bought some stuff to treat fungus, but both of the remaining fish died anyways.
So I emptied the tank, threw away the gravel and cleaned all of the decor. I probably didn't scrub everything perfectly clean, but I filled the tank with new treated water and let it run empty for a week. This morning, I bought 3 mollies. A few hours later one of them was laying on his side and then died. Now, the remaining 2 are hanging out at the bottom of the tank and one of them has a weird coating on her scales.
According to my test strips, there is no ammonia, nitrates or nitrites. The ph is pretty low, but my water always tends fairly acidic, and I've never had a problem with it before.
Does this sound like a fungus or is there something else I've done wrong?
Hard to say... Are you using test strips or a liquid kit?
Are you using a good dechlorinator to treat your water first?
Sound's as though the original fishes were placed in un-cycled aquarium for them to all die so quickly, or as was mentioned ,perhap's dechlorinator was not up to the job.Dechlorinator's such as PRIME,or AMQUEL Plus will detoxify most of what we need de-toxified, and cycling requires more than just letting the tank run for a week.
Test strip's while maybe can give ball park figures,,are notoriously inaccurate, and test's that use liquid regent's are more reliable.
I use Prime to dechlorinate my water. I've been keeping fish for about 10 years now and never had this problem before.
The 8 original fish had been living in the tank for several months, so for those it was not a cycling problem unless I somehow managed to kill off all my bacteria. For the second set of fish (which are all dead now, btw), it's possible that I failed to cycle properly. I did clean the tank and replace the gravel and water between sets of fish. However, the symptoms of the second set of fish were so similar to the first set that it's hard to believe it had a different cause.
It's all kind of a moot point now since they are all dead. I guess I will clean the whole tank thoroughly and start a new cycle without any fish. I'd like to understand what happened because I'm not feeling kind of gun shy about getting more fish.
Stop using prime
Set up a planted tank with no filter no circulation.
let it set for a week and make sure the plants are growing.
add 1 male platty or guppy. (I do noterecommend-- molly they do better is salt tanks).
Wait 1 week with no food being added.
Add a couple of females and start feeding 1 flake per day.
report back on how it went.
For plants i recommend 4-6 bunches of anacharis, 4 vals, 4 small potted and a single amazon sword.
Works for me anyway.
And just a thought.
Worth at most .02
Sounds like it could be something in your water, it is common to find ammonia, nitrites and nitrates present in tap water, my tap water contains around 40pp nitrate for example. I would spend the money on a set of decent liquid tests, the API FW master test kit is what I have and lots of others on here also.
Strange suggestion from beaslbob, not sure many other folk would suggest his methods, but hey what works for some does or doesn't work for others, so who knows?
I would thoroughly recommend Prime, it works, Seachem are a trusted company, and its handy to have as you can dose a treatment dose in an emergency which will detoxify to safe levels if there is a spike in ammonia or nitrite etc. this usually last for 24/36 hours.
the other possibility is that some kind of disease was introduced, did you add any new fish before this problem started? or some new plants or anything out of the ordinary?
you say that your water is soft/acidic? then I wouldn't try keeping mollies as they need to be in hard water, although this wouldn't cause them to just die straight away i wouldn't think, if they where to be in soft water for a little while, but I am no expert so not entirely sure.
I would say the second round of issues where caused by a massive spike in ammonia from adding the fish to an un cycled tank, a week is not long enough.
just my thoughts.
I just bought an master kit and tested the water in my now unpopulated tank. According to the kit, there is no ammonia, no nitrites and no nitrates. This may not be too surprising given that there were only live fish in the tank for less than 12 hours. The water is quite acidic 6.0, but the water in my other tank is the same and the fish there seems to be quite happy. I don't really understand why, but my tap water reads neutral at first, but after a couple days, my aquariums are always acidic.
What do you guys think? Is the ph the problem or did my tank indeed have a disease that I did not succeed in killing after the first round? If the ph is the problem, what should I do?
That's because you have a cycling tank which produces h+, sucks out oxygen, increases co2, decreases carbonates causing the pH to drop. Removing the bioload will help but the prime and left over bioload will remain active for awhile.
Once the bacteria catch up you will see the pH rise.
Although "my" methods above seem extreme I 1) thought with an empty tank you could give it a try, and 2) the plants totally break up all those things by consuming the ammonia directly and carbon dioxide as well. Which lowers co2, increases pH, oxygenates the water and prevents the ammonia spikes. Then as the aerobic bacteri spread in the now well oxygenated system (plus the plants also added bacteria as well), more and more ammonia is consumed by bacteria and the plants finally get their nitrogen from the resulting nitrates.
But that's just my .02
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