Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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fishdad1 08-22-2008 08:43 PM

Organic Cloudiness
This week I have had some big problems with my 10 gallon. Tuesday one of my swordtails gave birth to about 12 fry, which is always a neat thing or so I thought. Apparently, she had complications and died sometime the following day while I was at work and got caught directly under the outflow of the filter and started to decay and spread ammonia throughout the tank, plus the extra waste from the birth came out of her while she was under the filter. Needless to say, my ammonia went up around 7 and my nitrite spiked up a little but everything else stayed the same. So I did a 50% water change on Wednesday, added stress zyme, water conditioner, and an ammonia tablet. This cleared the water up very well but my ammonia was still a little high on Thursday so I did another 50% water change added some more water conditioner and another ammonia tablet, and I also changed the filter media. Today the water reads great, everything is in the green, but now I have a lot of organic cloudiness on the glass and all over the decorations.
I only have a male and female swordtail, plus the eight fry that are left, in the tank but I was wanting to get a pleco or a cory this weekend. So I don't know what to do, with this organic stuff all over, and if I should get more fish or not. What do I do? Is this organic being caused by the stress zyme cycling, if not what is causing it?

iamntbatman 08-22-2008 09:41 PM

I would say the cloudiness is definitely related to the ammonia spike and a subsequent bacterial bloom. I wouldn't add any fish until the water parameters have been in line for about a week or so.

Also, if you get a pleco make sure it is one of the dwarf species, such as a bristlenose or clown pleco. If it's a clown especially, also be sure that you've got some driftwood in the tank for it to hide behind and gnaw on. If you decide to go the cory route instead (which I recommend since they're much more active and don't produce nearly as much waste) you should try to get a small group of them. Three or more is good, six or more is ideal, but that's a bit heavy-handed on the stocking so I would try only three or four.

fishdad1 08-22-2008 09:49 PM

Thanks for the info. This stuff is almost like a stringy cotton and like I said it didn't show up until I after I out the stress zyme in, so I figured it was from that. I just didn't know if it would be okay to put the pleco or the cory's in there to help clean up the tank, if that stuff is actually some kind of algea or bio-matter. Also, do cory's eat algae and bio-matter as well as food on the bottom?

Flashygrrl 08-23-2008 04:38 AM

Don't get cories unless you have really smooth gravel or sand for substrate...other gravel like those colored gravels are too sharp and will quickly wear down their barbels so they can't feel around as well.

Little-Fizz 08-23-2008 09:49 AM

If you are planning on replacing your swordtail, you should really have like 2-3 females per male. Maybe all the stress from the birth and the male trying to do the nasty with her killed her? Just a thought. But cory cats would be nice if you have the right substrate.

fishdad1 08-24-2008 10:22 PM

Okay my "Wal-mart Special" filter, that came with my daughter's tank as a kit, crapped out on me today after two weeks of use what a piece of junk. So I went to Petsmart and bought a Penguin 150 for her ten gallon. I know it is overkill but I just wanted to be safe with the filter in case I end up slightly overstocking it by accident. I also bought a small bag of the aqua clear ammonia reducer, i think for a 10-15 gallon, and put that in the filter after I tried to transfer as much bacteria as I could to the new filter, to try and keep my cycle going strong and keep the ammonia down. The filter works great, it flows the water and filters it very nicely. I also like the fact that it has that mid-level strainer to catch the higher floating poo. I just don't know if that is too much flow for fish to deal with, if so what can I do to help them out?
I still just have the two small green swordtails plus about 6-8 fry, it all depends on what time of day I look, and hopefully after another week on two I will add some more fish. I just don't know what to get. Well, I know I am going to get a clown pleco and put one in there to help me out a little with the algae and gravel cleaning. My wife wants to get her some cardinal tetras, so I was thinking maybe 2 of those since they are small. Do you think I could fit anything else in there comfortably with the overfiltration, or should that be it? Oh, and I think I found someone to take my fry so I can get rid of them soon.

1077 08-25-2008 04:54 AM

How long has the ten gal been up and operating? you changed The filter on aug. 22nd .It is doubtful that there was any beneficial bacteria on the one you attempted to use to keep cycle going after adding the new filter. the old filter you threw away may have had some on it but even it was only two weeks old. I believe your ten gal is still trying to cycle. You could help yourself out by using ONLY dechlorinator with each water change. You must keep ammonia below lethal levels. Don't mess with filter or vaccum the bottom of the tank for the next two weeks. Change out two gal of water any time ammonia reaches lethal levels using only dechlorinator such as PRIME or AMQUEL+. nothing else is needed. Withold food for a couple days. Then feed once per day only tiny amount. Keep the fish that are in the tank. Don't add any more fish. Test the water every other day with liquid test kit. They are more accurate than strips. Beneficial bacteria will develop on filter, on decorations, on the gravel, and on the glass. Keep ammonia levels below 05 and Wait for tank to cycle or mature before adding any more fish.

Little-Fizz 08-25-2008 05:36 AM

a penguin 150 on a ten gallon isn't to over kill. I've got a penguin 200 and a regent 15-20 on my ten gallon and I keep 5 guppies and 5 platies in it. I could probably keep more, but I'm to afraid to.

I also have a topfin 60 running on my cycling 20 gallon... Now thats a bit over kill. And I think I might just over stock a little considering I've got a beast of a filter on my tank.

A clown pleco wouldn't do a great job at cleaning the gravel, You would need some loaches (none would fit in your tank) Or cory cats. Both cory cats and cardinal tetras are shoaling fish and are best kept in groups of 5-6. So you have to keep that in mind too. But I think adding 5-6 fish would be to much. That would be 2 swordtails that max out at 5 inches (maybe a little less). a clown pleco thats another 5 inches of fish. Plus a shoal of 5-6 two inch fish? Sounds like to much if you ask me. If I was you I would probably ditch the clown pleco and get like 5 cory cats. Once your tank is cycled of course.

fishdad1 08-25-2008 04:33 PM

Okay I appreciate all the feedback. Was it a good move for me to put the ammonia reducer in the filter or should i take that out? Because my water is crystal clear right now, I just didn't know if I am doing more harm than good by having the ammonia stuff in it. I am pretty set on the pleco though, they are my favorite of all tropicals, and I plan on doing frequent gravel vacs to clean the gravel. Plus I really don't feed them that much and they eat almost everything before it hits the bottom. The swordtails I have only get 3" at max. I just don't know what else to put in there with them after the tank finishes cycling and I get rid of the babies.

1077 08-26-2008 03:44 AM

All that is needed in the aquarium is dechlorinator added to water Before you pour new water in. It is not uncommon for water to cloud up on new or maturing tanks. Monitor the water as noted. Water changes will not prolong cycling.There is little beneficial bacteria in the water. rather it collects on everything in the aquarium especially the filter and substrate or gravel. That is why you should not vaccum young tanks or change out filters. You may swish the filter around in aquarium water you take out at water changes NOT tap water.As long as fish are in the tank and being fed (sparingly) ammonia is produced . Too many fish added before tank has matured = dead fish. You must allow beneficial bacteria to develop in sufficent quantity to break down the waste produced by the fish. Small tanks are Very unforgiving of poor water quality you will need to be religous with maint. dwarf pleco could work in your tank and oversize filter would help with current that some prefer. Read up on their diets. Were it me ,I would remove swordtails and put a small school of Tetras such as neons or rummynose or possibly bloodfin . GOOD LUCK!

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