Cichlid and Tropical Fish dying within hours
I bought my 20 gallon (tall) tank in 2003. I cycled it for two weeks and bought a Red Tiger Oscar, a female Jack Dempsey, and a Blue Peacock. They lived in this tank for two and a half years before going through two moves and finally dying from what I assume were two frequent moves and different water qualities. I then re-cycled the tank and added new fish to it, these next being tropical fish. A Brown Knife, and a Midas. After a few weeks, what I can only describe as "worms" were present actually coming out of the fish. I could actually agitate the water and they would dislodge from the fish themselves. After euthanizing those fish I sterilized the tank with clorox and put it into storage. That being in 2007. In late 2009, I took the tank out of storage, discarded the old gravel, the old filtering system, and purchased new gravel and a new filtration system. I thoroughly cleaned the tank with sterile water and cycled it for 2 months. I tested the water everyday and affter 2 months the ammonia was 0, the nitrite was 0, and the nitrate level was .005ppm. Any and all fish I put in the tank died. After a few more months I abandoned the aquarium, cleaned it thoroughly and put it back in storage. A few weeks ago I pulled it out, to add some ambiance to the apartment. Again I have changed the gravel, and the filtration system. Again I have thoroughly cleaned it and the pattern is starting again. I refuse to believe this is because of a cap of clorox 4 years ago. There are no aerosols near the tank, and the temperature of the water holds at 83 degrees. Any insight would be appreciated.
The point being, whenever I put new fish in this tank the average lifespan is about 2 hours. I realize this is not normal, and would rather not waste money doing this as I have my own water testing equipment and the pet stores have verified my water tests. The only way I can really see to test this is to get another tank, and if a new one keeps the fish alive then there is something definitely wrong with m original.
Simply adding a filter, water,and heater and letting the tank run for a week,two weeks,or two years,would not mean that the tank has cycled ,Read up on cycling a new aquarium.
If tank is not properly cycled which can take from six to eight weeks,all fish placed in the tank will die without daily, perhaps twice daily 50 percent water changes with new water treated with dechlorinator. In my view,
You are attempting to keep too large of fish in too small a tank without properly cycling the tank.
Oscars,Jack Dempsey's, if you kept them for two years as stated ,would each be nearly 10 inches long assuming they were properly cared for and would need a tank of at least 75 gallons with 125 gallons being ideal.
Otherwise,, I am doubtful they would live for more than two months in a 20 gallon tank cycled,,or otherweise.
Read up on the fish that interest you while the tank is cycling and provide proper sized tank for the fishes you wish to keep.
all of the fish you have mentioned thus far,require very large aquariums and any book or reputable website would indicate as much.
I think what you have failed to realize is that the cichlids have been gone for a long time (I bought them in 2003).... They thrived in the tank until the frequent moves (in 2005). Now, in 2010, any fish I put in the tank die with in hours, these are tropical fish (mollys). Again all water tests have shown optimal conditions.
I'm looking for an answer that explains why any fish that is put in the aquarium dies within hours, or with a large fish, dies within days. I don't want to trash this aquarium because all water tests come back clean, and it would be wasted money.
You mention the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate results, but how about pH and hardness? Is there any potential issue there?
Where do you get your fish? If their tanks have substantially different pH to yours at home or if they are softening their water and yours is harder, your fish might be getting shocked when moved from the store's tank.
Also, 83 is the high level for temperature for mollys on the profile - maybe a bit cooler water would be better? Or if the store is keeping them at a lower temperature or it's cold outside, they might not be adjusting to the changes in temperature involved in getting them home and then going into your warm tank.
Just throwing out some ideas. Good luck figuring it out.
Fish produce ammonia each day through respiration and waste(poop) along with foods that go uneaten.
If the tank does not yet have a biological filter (see cycling a new aquarium) established ,,which as mentioned,can take from six to eight weeks,,then the ammonia created in the aquarium will kill the fish quickly. Some fishes are extremely sensitive to ammonia and or nitrites and die quickly while others may manage to survive for a week or two.
I did not miss anything with regards to the cichlids you mentioned. It is you that do not understand that large cichlids grow at a rate of around one inch per month if properly cared for,I doubt that the fish you mentioned ever lasted two years in 20 gal tank given your limited grasp of what is needed for ANY fish to survive for long.
Do read up on the cycling of new aquariums and you will perhaps ,be able to enjoy the hobby as opposed to killing fish.
Thank you all for your knowledge. However, I have yet received an answer pertaining to my actual question. And to solve that I'll just ask it. What does clorox do to an aquarium system, how long is it present, and how, if ever, can you get rid of it?
A capful of chlorox to clean the tank four years ago, or yesterday assuming everything was rinsed well and allowed to dry for 24 hours afterwards ,would be non issue after 24 hours.
It should have dissipated in that long of a timeframe. However, to rule it out completely, rinse the tank with dechlorinated conditioned water a few times then let it air dry.
Same thing with the gravel, if it was rinsed with bleach, rinse a bunch of times with dechlorinated water.
Assuming that none of the filter media was saved and rinsed with bleach right??
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