Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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sdn40 05-03-2009 10:53 AM

Bio-Cube oxygen isssues
I am at the end of my rope with my new Bio-Cube 14. Everything is set up stock yet I've gone through $200 in fish trying to find the problem. Right now the tank is sitting at the place I got it and even the store owner is a bit stumped.

Running stock, with simple neons and dainos, it takes about 3-4 hours before all the fish are at the intake vent at the water line before they do the drunken spiral of death. You can set your watch to it. Right now the tank is at the aquarium shop with an airstone in the last chamber blowing millions of little bubble out the powerhead and everything is fine.

Putting two airstones in the tank itself doesnt do it either, the airstone has to go into the chamber with the pump in order to get enough oxygen in the tank - or so it seems.

I dont understand why I cant run a simple setup. I've googled my fingers off and still cant find any oxygen issues with the Bio-cube and I'm about ready to tell the aquarium shop to keep the damn thing.

Any help would be much appreciated

Byron 05-03-2009 11:06 AM

I don't think this is an oxygen issue. One can put fish in a glass aquarium with no filter of any kind and they would not act like this so suddenly. I'm inclined to think the tank is not cycled. From your post I assume this is a new tank--did you cycle it, and if so how, and for how long? What size (gallons)? And how many fish did you put in at the same time?

sdn40 05-03-2009 11:15 AM

Well the owner of the fish store gave me cycled bioballs in exchange for my new ones. I have had the tank for about 3 months or so - sometimes empty pulling my hair out and sometimes with fish but never for long. Right now, with the airstone in the last chamber blowing millions of bubbles all the fish are fine. If you take the airstone out, all the fish start gasping and the dainos go right to the surface. The store owner is a bit of a guru so I am at a loss. It is a 14 gallon and never more than 3 neons and 3 dainos at once. Right now there are 3 tiger barbs and 2 dainos and as long as the powerhead is blowing those bubbles, everything is fiine. The store owner even ran an add on surface pump and 'used' filter from another tank to try to jump the tank even more

Byron 05-03-2009 12:34 PM

There are several reasons why fish gasp as you've described. Lack of oxygen obviously, but also an excess of CO2, or something toxic in the water. Ammonia & nitrite do this which is why I started on the cycling angle. I've had this occur when I did a partial water change and fogot the conditioner and it was due to clorine. I've also had it happen when some wood I had in the tank leeched something toxic into the water (took weeks to track this problem down, and no idea what was leeching from the wood so it all went and after a full cleaning everything was fine). It can happen with swings in the pH, or a pH that is too far off the fish's norm. The clean oxygen-rich bubbles would allievate the condition in most of these cases.

I don't know this particular tank so I'm hoping others who do may have some suggestions. If it were me, I would ask them to take it back, perhaps in trade for something different if that is what they require. A reputable fish store will normally exchange or credit for equipment, and if they are trustworthy as you say then they should be willing to do this just to remain trusted.

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