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Arkamaic 05-31-2009 07:31 PM

Fish Not Normal After Water Change & New Plants
 
I have 2 Australian rainbow fish (1m, 1f). Two weeks ago I did a 25-30% water change and then yesterday I added a few plants. The fisrt day after the water change, they seemed a bit stressed and didn't eat, which is usually the norm of the two.

After a few days the female went back to normal but the male simply ate one or two small flakes when I fed them. This morning I woke up to find the female's fins to have been nipped at and she wasn't too active and sitting close to the bottom of the tank along with the male.

I did an ammonia test about 30 min ago, and it read .25 ppm. PH is at 6.9. Tank temp varies from 68-70 which has been the normal the whole tank life.

Any help/suggestions appreciated.

Arkamaic 05-31-2009 08:29 PM

And I am aware the ammonia NEEDs to be at 0 ppm.

Im just wondering if this is the cause of the issues or there is maybe something else.

Twistersmom 05-31-2009 08:54 PM

How long has the tank been up and running? What size tank?
The ammonia could be the cause of the fish not acting right and if you have ammonia, nitrites may be high as well. I would recommend some more water changes to bring the ammonia down. Maybe 25% daily water changes till you get that zero reading.
The fish would be better off if the tank was closer to 78 deg. If the heater will not raise the water to that temp, you may need to invest into a new heater.

Arkamaic 05-31-2009 09:03 PM

Over all about 5 years.. had these two guys since the beginning. Yeah, this is the first time iv had the problem.

The tank is a 16 gal. hmm.. I might go by a nitrite test kit then, old one just ran out. I'll crank the heater up some too, try to keep it around 78. When I get back to my house I'll also do a water change.

Thanks for the reply.

Twistersmom 05-31-2009 09:25 PM

Something is not right if the tank has been set up for 5 yrs and you are getting a reading for ammonia. The tank should be well cycled. Did you add any new fish?
What is your normal tank maintenance routine?
Is it possible you have ammonia in your tap water?

Arkamaic 05-31-2009 10:31 PM

My normal routine is 10-15% weekly/every other week water changes. Before the last water change is was about 3 weeks tho since the last water change. Got busy with work and finals.

No new fish, I'm waiting till these die, then i'l get a new stock of fish for it. The only new things to be added were the plants. prior to these I had fake plants, but these fish have been exposed to real ones before. And I did rinse the plants lightly prior to adding them.

And perhaps there is some in the tap water.. havent checked. Will tonight tho and post what I find.

1077 06-01-2009 01:08 AM

Sometimes water companies will adjust their formula for treating the water that many use in the aquarium. This sometimes happens during spring and or summer. Might be worth a call to the water company to check. It is sometimes helpful to add extra water conditioner during water changes for this reason.Have you switched water conditioners ? Just some thoughts.

Byron 06-01-2009 09:53 AM

1077's advice is good, that happens. But I suspect something else here.

Your tank pH you said is 6.9 which is slightly acidic. What is the pH of the tap water that you used for the water change? If it is above 7, I suspect ammonia poisioning.

You have a small water volume with 16g, so any adverse change will be very stressful on the inhabitants. By neglecting your water changes for 3 or more weeks, the tank water slowly became more acidic. In acidic water, ammonia converts to ammonium which is harmless to fish. If you suddenly change a significant amount of water and add fresh water that is on the alkaline side (above pH 7) the ammonium in the tank converts back to ammonia and the fish suffer. The symptoms you cite could be due to ammonia poisioning, so this seems likely. As I said, in a relatively small volume of water such changes can have much more impact.

Nitrite probably won't be a problem, since ammonia and ammonium are consumed by nitrosomonas bacteria and become nitrite, and the nitrobacter bacteria will continue to handle it. However, it is also true that at an acidic pH the nitrogen cycle does doesn't function as well, although the pH usually has to fall closer to 6. But after three weeks with no partial water changes, that may have happened.

Partial water changes should be done every week without fail to maintain a relatively stable environment.

Arkamaic 06-01-2009 10:38 AM

I did a water change last night. Woke up, the female seems to be more active, not so gloomy/stressed looking. On break at work atm, so I'll do some tests when I get home to see if there has been any change.

I also started adding some chemical yesterday to help bring the pH back to 7 in the tank.

Thanks for the help so far guys!

Byron 06-01-2009 10:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Arkamaic (Post 200421)
I did a water change last night. Woke up, the female seems to be more active, not so gloomy/stressed looking. On break at work atm, so I'll do some tests when I get home to see if there has been any change.

I also started adding some chemical yesterday to help bring the pH back to 7 in the tank.

Thanks for the help so far guys!

It is my opinion that one should never add chemicals to adjust pH in a tank containing live fish. There are reasons why the pH in a tank is what it is, and depending upon the hardness, the water may contain buffers that will cause the ph to swing back within 24 hours. This fluctuating ph is a major cause of stress in the fish and can lead to other internal problems and disease. If as I suspect (and the ammonia reading being above "0" indicates this is certainly the case) the fish are suffering from ammonia poisoning, they don't need more stress.

What was the pH before you added the chemical?

When you get home check things, and we are all here to offer suggestions when we can. What occurred, occurred; no point in aggravating things, as the fish may live through this ammonia spike and the bacteria will re-establish to handle things.


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