Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Rurso01 02-22-2011 05:55 PM

Please help!
 
For my girlfriend's birthday, I purchased her a 10 gallon tank and a couple glofish and African Dward Frogs from my friend's pet store. After adding the appropriate addititves (conditioner, supplement), washing the rocks, and acclimating the fish to the new temperature (77 degrees with heater submerged) the fish have started dying 1 by 1. We bought test strips to keep an eye no the nitrogen cycle and the nitrite level has increased from the low end of the stress level to near the danger level. She is getting very upset needless to say from the fish dying and I've gone to every source I can find and keep obtaining different information.

We purchased from Petsmart (only pet store local enough to run to ATM) a bottle to help lower the ammonia and nitrite levels but to no avail. My friend says to not do a partial water change because it will disrupt the nitrogen cycle but many sites online say to do so. What to do guys?! New to the site but have a feeling I will be a frequent poster with the luck we've had.

Hoping to hear from someone, anyone, soon! Thanks in advance...

Rurso01 02-22-2011 05:58 PM

In addition, we had noticed many fish bullying one another (we had a dwarf gourami and returned it because it kept biting the guppy tails and charging at the others) also the one glofish that we had kept attacking his fellow schoolmates after a week or so. Could this be from the stress levels?!

Lupin 02-22-2011 06:11 PM

I disagree with your friend. The beneficial bacteria reside mostly in your filter and other hard surfaces such as substrate and decorations, not the water column so you should absolutely do a water change. Do series of it until you are able to get back both ammonia and nitrite back to zero since you are keeping fish and any trace of both substances is absolutely dangerous.

The only chemical you need to add is Prime.

Please switch to API liquid kit so you can ACCURATELY determine your ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH. Test strips are inaccurate most of the time. Not something to be relied on.

Dwarf gouramis are absolutely incompatible with anything sporting flashy fins as they tend to bully them as rivals. All anabantids tend to act like this. I remember my sparkling gourami beat one fancy guppy to death. I mistook the danios for culprits until I saw him finish off my guppy.:sad:

What other fish do you have? Please list them down so we can comment the compatibility.


Welcome to TFK by the way!

iamgray 02-22-2011 06:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lupin (Post 598636)
I disagree with your friend. The beneficial bacteria reside mostly in your filter and other hard surfaces such as substrate and decorations, not the water column so you should absolutely do a water change. Do series of it until you are able to get back both ammonia and nitrite back to zero since you are keeping fish and any trace of both substances is absolutely dangerous.

The only chemical you need to add is Prime.

Please switch to API liquid kit so you can ACCURATELY determine your ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH. Test strips are inaccurate most of the time. Not something to be relied on.

Dwarf gouramis are absolutely incompatible with anything sporting flashy fins as they tend to bully them as rivals. All anabantids tend to act like this. I remember my sparkling gourami beat one fancy guppy to death. I mistook the danios for culprits until I saw him finish off my guppy.:sad:

What other fish do you have? Please list them down so we can comment the compatibility.

Welcome to TFK by the way!

+1.

It is better to do water changes rather than adding more chemicals to bring levels down. I have used products to bring ammonia levels down in an emergency when I just didn't have the time to do a water change, but ideally, fresh new water is better.

Rurso01 02-22-2011 06:27 PM

Hi :-). This is the stressed out girlfriend now. Thank you so much for your advice! I'm about to do a water change. Is 25% sufficient? Also, should I clean the filter or let it finish running its course with the nitrogen cycle? What is prime? I've been adding Stress Zyme+ (which contains live bateria to eliminate ammonia and nitrites) and supplement to the water on a regular basis.

The only fish I have left is a glo-fish plus 2 dwarf frogs.

Thanks again for your advice...we really appreciate it!

Lupin 02-22-2011 06:33 PM

Yep. 25% is fine but you may need more if ammonia and nitrite don't drop to zero yet. Ammonia is also more toxic at higher pH (alkaline side; more than 7) and higher temp so you may need to monitor the ammonia. No need to fiddle with your pH though as stable pH is much better than changing pH.

Check out this ammonia toxicity table.
Ammonia Toxicity

No! Don't clean the filter! What filter media are in it currently? No need to carbon if you already are using one. It's disposable anyway so there's no point with that and carbon is more useful just to remove medicines, tannins, odors and other contaminants. You need the likes of ceramic rings, lava rocks, sponges, filter flosses in your filter. These can allow your beneficial bacteria to colonize to stabilize nitrogen cycle.

If you have a friend who has a healthy established tank, ask him for a portion of his established filter media to instantly cycle the tank. Clean the filter only when it starts clogging or the output flow slowing down. And the filter media need not be replaced until they're completely worn out and it takes years for that to happen. Use dechlorinated tank water when cleaning the filter media. Hot water, chlorinated water, and detergents can kill your beneficial bacteria so avoid those.

And Prime is a dechlorinator by Seachem that binds chlorine and chloramine, detoxify heavy metals, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. It may exhibit sulfuric smell but that's normal for Prime. It's better than most dechlorinators sold. And I don't like aloe-vera based conditioners. They can force your fish to produce excessive slime coat which can suffocate them if trapped in their gills.

Rurso01 02-22-2011 07:02 PM

I changed the water...hopefully it helps! Are the odds fairly good? How long should I wait to recheck the levels?

I will definitely take your advice about not cleaning the filter.

Sounds like Prime is a good product, I'll have to look into finding it. Thanks for filling me in on the aloe-vera conditioners. I definitely don't need anymore fish dying.

Rurso01 02-22-2011 07:24 PM

I checked the nitrite level and so far nothing has changed. Maybe it's too soon...

I'm just very anxious and desperate to get the levels corrected.

Lupin 02-22-2011 08:02 PM

Still not zero? With test strips, it's like groping around in the dark.:?

Rurso01 02-22-2011 08:09 PM

Nope..not zero yet :(. The test strip still reads between 1.0-3.0 for nitrite.


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