Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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duallram03 05-23-2013 07:10 AM

New need help ASAP
 
New here and new to aquariums. I will give what information I do know.

I have a 30 gallon freshwater tank. It is has been up for 6 weeks. I have a top fin filter 75. It has a gravel bottom, there are 11 fish, 3 species of grommies (2) each, 2 iridescent sharks, 2 Molly's and 1 Angel

Monday my water started looking cloudy. Tuesday I cleaned the gravel, cut down on feeding, and did a partial water change. I also replaced 1 filter cartridge and rinsed the other and put it back in as I was told by local pet store to do. I was also asked to bring in a water sample. I did and was told my ammonia level was high and I believe she said my nitrate level was high too. She told me to put 3 cap full of Stress Zyme+ that day and then 1 1/2 caps in 1 week. Also to add 1 1/2 caps of Ammo Lock Tuesday then every 2 days. Not due for that until Friday. Water is still cloudy and milky looking. Now this morning (Thursday) I have a grommie dying.

Is there something else I should be doing, not doing? Or do I need to do something else?

fish monger 05-23-2013 07:58 AM

Water changes are the best thing you can do (50% twice a week until you get ammonia under control). I'd just use the Ammo Lock according to instructions. Leave the filter alone unless it is collecting a lot of gunk. If it is, just rinse it off and put it back in filter and reduce feeding. If you don't already have them, adding a few bunches of fast growing stem / floating plants will really help with the ammonia. Don't know how big your fish are, but all except the mollies will require a larger tank. You could be fighting a losing battle if the fish are good size.

The water changes and addition of the plants are probably the two most important things you should do in the short term. In the long term, take a look at the fish profiles provided here on the site and try to adjust your stocking with fish that are appropriate for a 30 gallon and share similar water and condition requirements.

Best of luck.

JDM 05-23-2013 09:08 AM

Ditto FM.

Prime is a better overall product as it also treats the nitrites and nitrates for up to 48 hours in addition to the chlorine and ammonia.

Water change and prime treatments until the toxins settle. The issue is that your tank has not established a cycle to handle the fish load that you introduced. StressZyme is not going to help much as doing the WC and prime will handle everything.

You will need to look into your fish compatibility and tank size needs. Even just plug them into aqadvisor.com to get a quick idea, it's a very good starting guideline.

Jeff.

duallram03 05-23-2013 11:33 AM

Thank you both, I was thinking water change. I also do have some stemmed grass in the tank, right now all the fish are small. I will also add more live plants. I will also find the Prime product.

What are the risk or benefits when it comes to my water source for water changes? I have well water, but have access to regular tap water. Right now I have a concern with our well water as we just purchased an older home, and with in the last week have been dealing with a grey water drain problem. We have had this back up under our home, and have corrected it but with our well being so close to the back up my concern is if any of that has got into our well.

I have huge containers with tap water that I filled Tuesday evening should I get the Prime stuff and use with the tap water?

JDM 05-23-2013 11:49 AM

First, if you have a concern of contamination of the well you should really get it professionally tested to see if it is potable. This you cannot test yourself... E.coli and other nasties should be checked for.

Add to your shopping list:

API master test kit. That will let you test your own ammonia, nitrite and nitrate in addition to the pH.

API GH/KH test kit as that will let you test for the two types of hardness, this will be important to see if your well water will be OK for your fish.

Get the liquid test kit if you can instead of the strips as they are more consistent. As much as the strips are reported to be inaccurate or accurate depending upon the source they are known to be tough to read based on user issues I have read here in the last few months. The strips for hardness have been just off.

If you can use the well water then you normally wouldn't need Prime to treat the water except in cases like you have now where the ammonia and nitrites are high.

When you start testing for nitrates you will want to aim to keep them below 20ppm, and the lower the better. This is controlled by water changes which should be a minimum of 25% or more each week.

BTW, a little late but welcome to the forum!

Jeff.

fish monger 05-23-2013 12:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by duallram03 (Post 2128553)
Thank you both, I was thinking water change. I also do have some stemmed grass in the tank, right now all the fish are small. I will also add more live plants. I will also find the Prime product.

What are the risk or benefits when it comes to my water source for water changes? I have well water, but have access to regular tap water. Right now I have a concern with our well water as we just purchased an older home, and with in the last week have been dealing with a grey water drain problem. We have had this back up under our home, and have corrected it but with our well being so close to the back up my concern is if any of that has got into our well.

I have huge containers with tap water that I filled Tuesday evening should I get the Prime stuff and use with the tap water?

I'd test both water sources for ammonia and nitrates and go with the best quality. Also, IMO it's not necessary to store water for changes. A good water conditioner will take care of most water and you can add water from the tap at a closer temperature to the tank water. Fresh, clean, right temperature, properly conditioned water is what we need.

duallram03 05-23-2013 12:07 PM

Thanks again Jeff, I have sent a water sample off of the well, this is why until I get the results of that testing we are using tap water. My tap water source is just next door, so I can get anytime...Already ordered the master API test kit...did that yesterday.

I really appreciate the help and thank you for welcoming me...I have a feeling I will really need this forum a lot. I had a tank when I was a child but the care was mostly done by my parents. That was a long time ago lol. I have 2 grandsons that are just enthralled with fish so this is why we are taking on this venture. Thank you again for all the help

duallram03 05-23-2013 12:30 PM

Thank you...the water I have stored right now is also for drinking and cooking until I can get an answer on the condition of our well water. It's just what I have on hand at the moment. I have stuck my thermometer in this water and right now it is a little too cool to use. And until I hear back on the well test I really don't want to use my water out of my faucet for much. All week the temps here have been near 80 but today....go figure it isn't even getting above 65 so room temp is a little cooler. Like I said our home is an older one and it has base board heating so right now I have the water I am going to use in a separate containers so it is easier for me to move around and have the heat on in that room with doors shut to try to get it to a temp I can use it in the tank. I do have a water conditioner, should I use it? I had read that if you left tap water for 24 hrs that chlorine should not be an issue??

JDM 05-23-2013 12:40 PM

Chlorine is not but chloramine is, it doesn't dissipate like chlorine does.

If the tap water next door is also from a well then it doesn't need to be conditioned, that is only for chlorine/chloramine or if you have high ammonia or nitrites to deal with. If they are on "city" water... How come you are on a well? Curious.

The only other issue will be the water hardness. I am on a well and my water is 23dGh from the tap which limits me in what fish can live in that water and thrive. City water is often under 10dGh and allows a much wider variety of fish to be kept... Some are even in the 1dGH range and have to bring up the water hardness for plants. If you have sent the water for testing then you will know the hardness from that and don't really need to test for that yourself.

Jeff.

AbbeysDad 05-23-2013 12:46 PM

Welcome to TFK!

Chlorine will readily dissipate in 24 hours. However, many municipalities have, or are the process of, switching to chloramine (a chlorine/ammonia substance) that does not readily dissipate. When in doubt, use a conditioner.

Also, be sure to test all your source water, especially for nitrates as it's not uncommon to have high nitrates in home water wells and small rural towns where there is agriculture.

I agree that Seachem Prime not only neutralizes chlorine and chloramine, but also detoxifies ammonia, nitrites and nitrates for 24 to 48 hours, giving tank biology a chance to process.


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