Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Need some help quickly, so fish have been lost. (

CathyJ 12-02-2008 05:03 PM

Need some help quickly, so fish have been lost.
We inherited a 135 gallon fresh water tank. It was full of water so green you couldn't see the fish. We cleaned the two emperor 400 filters and did about a 35% water change, and the water looked some better. With in about two days, it was already starting to get greener again. We did this about 3 more times, and the same thing occured.

We decided to empty the tank, sterilize and clean every thing very well. We moved the fish and the green water into a 75 gallon tank. The tank was throughly cleand and filled with nearly 50% RO water and another 50% cycled tank water from other healthy tanks.

We waited about 2 weeks and started adding the fish back to the tank, about 2 small fish (rosey barbs) every 2 or three days. We rinsed the fish in the clean tank water before adding them to the tank.

The water was looking good for quite a while. Shortly after we added the last fish, the water started looking cloudy, and now some have started to die. I think we may have created an amonia spike by adding to many on the last batch we put back into the tank. The water was so green, we had to empty the tank to find the fish, and after we emptied the tank, we found many more fish than we anticipated.

I had added Prime to help with the amonia, but the water is still cloudy. We don't know what to try now, and don't want to loose any more fish.

Does the prime help, how often can we add more? Will it help to add any more AquaSafe?

There are probably about 30 small fish in the 135 gallon tank. If we can't get the water cleared up, the tank will have to come down. I really don't want that to happen.

Sorry for being long winded and thank you for any help!


Kim 12-02-2008 07:32 PM

Sounds like the tank is cycling again. Adding water from an established tank will not do anything really, as the "good bacteria" lives on surfaces, not the water column. I would just monitor your levels and do water changes as necessary to keep levels no higher than .25 during the time it takes the tank to cycle. It will take some work, but your tank will cycle. If you find that you can not keep ammonia at acceptable levels, then you may have to temporarily take some of the fish out.

In the future, I have heard that UV sterilizers kill free floating algae and if another outbreak occurs it may be worth investing in.

Good luck!

CathyJ 12-02-2008 08:28 PM

Thank you Kim. I did not know that the bacteria only lived on surfaces, that will be good to know for the future. I guess it is at least helpful that we put filter pads form a different tank in this tank.

Do you know, will the Prime help with the ammonia?

I will keep daily checks on the ammonia and keep up with the regular water changes to help keep ammonia down.

SinCrisis 12-03-2008 01:53 AM

after u cycle, if u still get green water, a blackout would help. If you have no real plants it would be even easier, just wrap ur tank in black paper and turn the light off for a 2 days, and uncover and see if its any better.

1077 12-03-2008 03:48 AM

Prime will detoxify ammonia,chlorine, and chloramine all of which are harmful if not lethal to fish. Thousands of people use it, myself included .

CathyJ 12-03-2008 08:22 AM


Originally Posted by SinCrisis (Post 155581)
after u cycle, if u still get green water, a blackout would help. If you have no real plants it would be even easier, just wrap ur tank in black paper and turn the light off for a 2 days, and uncover and see if its any better.

I forgot to mention that I also tried the blackout. But I didn't wrap it in plastic, I turned the lights off for 3 days with no change, so I tried 3 more days and it still didn't make a noticeable difference? I don't know what this green stuff was, I had never seen any thing like it. It sure didn't want to go away!

1077 with the prime, is it only supposed to be used once with the new volume of water that you have? The bottle says that if you have a problem you can use up to 5 times the normal amount, but is that a one time thing gaged on your water volume? Or can you use some every day or two if the ammonia continues to spike?

When the tank cycles and you get the cloudy water, what would be a ball park lenght of time to expect it to clear?

Thanks every one for the information.

SinCrisis 12-03-2008 12:05 PM

A full blackout requires u to wrap it to prevent ANY light from reaching the tank. The time for cloudy water to settle can range from a week to weeks, i think it all depends on gravel type, water parameters and filter

willow 12-03-2008 04:46 PM

hello :)
make sure that your lights are not turned on for too long
during the day.8-10 hours should be enough.
keep the feeding to once perhaps twice a day,and no more
than a couple of pinches,if there is any food floating down in
the water you're feeding them too much.
where in the house is the tank ?

CathyJ 12-03-2008 05:09 PM

I adjusted the lighting to 8 hours. The tank is in the living room. It is not near a window. It is far enough away that it doesn't get any sunlight.

The fish are being feed Omega Food. So far there have been no more losses.

When the water turned cloudy, I was afraid it was the start of the green stuff again, because from the end of the tank it looked some what green, so I added API Algaefix. That is when I lost some fish. I think probably it wasn't the Algaefix, but an ammonia spike that got the fish.

When I started losing fish, I checked the ammonia. It did show the first stage of green on the test strip. That is when I added some Prime. Since adding the Prime, I have not seen green on the test strip.

The fish I lost were a clown loach and 4 may have been zebra danios, I am not sure about the zebra identification. If I figure out how to post a picture of the fish, I can add it to the post.

After the responses and more reading, I think may be the cloudy water was just ammonia, and not necessarily the green coming back? The water has been cloudy around a week, would be my guess.

I have not added 5 times the emergency dose suggested for emergencies on the Prime. But I have doubled it. The first day when fish started showing signs of stress, I added the regular dose. Then later added half a dose, then a day or so later, I added another half dose.

On the Prime, is the 5 times regular dose a one time thing, or an every few days to a week or so thing? Can the Prime be over dosed?

Thank you!

iamntbatman 12-04-2008 01:21 AM

I believe Prime can be overdosed. From the instructions on the bottle, it sounds like the five times dosage thing is somewhat risky, so I really wouldn't try it. Prime is primarily a water conditioner used to remove chlorine, chloramine and heavy metals. The detoxification of ammonia and nitrite is only a side benefit. Really, you should only look at it as something that removes these harmful chemicals from the water you add to the tank during water changes. However, it's not a solution to an ammonia problem in your tank. If you're having ammonia problems because the tank is cycling again, just keep up with water changes and eventually the bacteria will become established again.

You say the water is cloudy - is it still just green water, or is it milky white? Green water is an algae bloom. They can come about when your ammonia is high, but other than being ugly they aren't a huge concern (other than that they can be indicators of other problems). The milky white water is a different animal; it is the result of a bacterial bloom. Bacterial blooms also happen when you've got ammonia spikes, but the problem with bacterial blooms is that all of those bacteria can use up the oxygen in your water rather quickly and suffocate the fish.

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