Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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rochered 10-15-2010 11:46 AM

Problems with High Ammonia Levels - Bacteria Infection?
Hi all,
I'm having major problems with my tanks since 6-8 weeks ago I had a power failure and 2 of the tanks filters didn't come on automatically and not realising they sat for 3-4 days only until i noticed they were cloudy and my livebearers & other fish were not looking very happy. In discovering this I tested the water to find ammonia levels very high so did a 50% water and added ammo lock. Over a week to 2 week period of doing water changes from 25% to 75% I lost all but a few live bearing fish & a few others. I got advice from the fish shop that the ammonia had burnt the fish and had caused a bacterial infection through out the tanks. They advised me to competely empty them out and wash everything with 50% bleach mixed with 50% water and leave in the sun and start all over again using Start Smart Instant Cycle and then treat the tanks with API Furan and Melafix. It has been over 3-4 weeks since doing all of this and haven't had anymore fish deaths but my ammonia levels a still testing 8.0 Nitrite is 0 and Nitrate is 0. I was using Ammo lock every 2nd day until 2 weeks ago along with Melafix daily and have been doing 25-50% water changes weekly. I decided to discontinue the ammo lock and melafix as I i've got to thinking maybe less is better with treating the fish. I've also used Stress zyme when doing water changes. Can anybody answer why the level won't go down. After doing a water change the levels go down but then rise again with in a couple of days. When the fish were sick they had white spots all over them, a white coating, tails were frayed , some swam at the top some sat on the bottom. My tanks were perfect before all of this and now I can't get it right. There has been no spikes in the Nitrite or Nitrate. Another thing i've noticed I can't seem to raise my PH levels which are around 6-6.2. Any suggests in what might be going on? Your advise would be much appreciated. Cheers :roll:

Redknee 10-15-2010 06:43 PM

The tank needs t cycle again. When a filter stops for that long the beneficial bacteria dies and so you need to cycle again.
The white spots on the fish might be ich.
Get a hospital tank, treat any disease the fish might have, cycle your tank once more and you are set.
Remember that bleach is very toxic and if you did not rinse well it might still be on your tank, decor or wherever you used it.
But i am curious how did you not see that the filters were not working? You need to be careful and check them more often if they are not reliable or change them altogether. BTW did you use bleach on the filter/filter media? If so you can forget using the filter that you used bleach on. I know i would not risk using it, not to mention the filter media.
Also to many chemicals(like all those water aditives) can sometimes do more damage than good. Just use a dechlorinator for water changes and about it. Many companies sell products that should work wonders for your tank but they just make things worst.

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