Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Wifes tank driving me nuts!!! (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/wifes-tank-driving-me-nuts-90928/)

bearwithfish 01-18-2012 10:34 AM

Wifes tank driving me nuts!!!
 
let be begin by stating i have been here for a few years now and even after all the threads and typical things to try i can not get to the bottom of this issue here is the back ground..

55 gallon tank generally run at 77-80 f it was up and running with 0 losses for 9 months with Cichlids in it. i gave these to a friend and after a heavy water change my wife decided to do a guppy Paradise...

i got her 12 guppies (mix of male and female)

2 males are left after 4 weeks

decided there may be a larger issue and restarted the tank .. put the guppies in a 5 gallon and cleaned the tank 100% and started fresh... used media to cycle from another tank we have set up next door and has been up for over a year with no issues..

she decides to get a few more fish... 8 feeders (to grow out and trade later long story and not relevant i think).

5 days later and there is the 2 guppies and 1 feeder left and he is not doing well..

no other creatures no signs of infection, ick etc.... getting ready to change out the whole thing and start the cycle 100% fresh with new sand, decor , everything.. any idea why this may be happening? never had such heavy losses before and certainly not on a tank i have had running for so long.

Geomancer 01-18-2012 11:15 AM

Just throwing ideas out that come to mind. You've probably ruled them out already.

12 guppies in a 55g sounds rather lightly stocked.

How big were the feeders? Similar size? Assuming so, adding 8 feeders is a 67% increase in the number of fish (12 guppies). Perhaps the biological filtration was not sufficient to handle that and you got a high ammonia/nitrite spike?

How long was the tank running with the second tank's media before adding the feeders?

bearwithfish 01-18-2012 11:24 AM

let me clarify the 12 guppies were in after just heavy wc and dropped down to 2 in 4 weeks... after the big clean and restart with the media the guppies were in there alone for 2 weeks and then the addition of the feeders.. i tested water every 2 days looking for a spike and never got one.. i thought this was odd to say the least but the filter media was not discolored or looking other wise different... testing last night showed no spikes either and 3 of them dies yesterday...

total stump

SeaHorse 01-18-2012 11:33 AM

I agree... there is a balance between the amount of output the fish make and the amount of bacteria that is alive to eat what it needs. Remove a bunch of fish and doesn't the bacteria die off or die down since there is less to eat. The reverse is the same, increase by 12 fish and the bacteria has to catch up. I really don't know the scientific part of it but that is my understanding. So the perfectly clean tank with NO bacteria on stones, rocks, plants gravel, did you rinse all in the sink? Under chlorinated water? So the only good bacteria would have been in the filter from the borrowed media. not much to balance 12 new fish. And feeder goldfish. Goldfish are mega poopers.
Are you testing your water? Can you post your numbers?
Also here is a Byron post/thread on Bacteria... I think I better read it too!! Good luck.

http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-74891/

bearwithfish 01-18-2012 11:51 AM

thank you jackie yes i have been testing right along and while i dont recall the numbers just now i know they are within the safe range.. (BTW i use liquid kits not the dips)

and thank you for the link Byron is a great person with lots of information i will read this link when i am not at work .. thank you

Byron 01-18-2012 01:10 PM

I would not expect this to be related to nitrifying bacteria. Fish create ammonia, yes; but this dissipates into the water. The more water volume, the more it dissipates. 12 guppies in a 10g could easily die from ammonia poisoning fairly quickly; but in a 55g I would say never. The nitrifying bacteria only takes 24 hours max to multiply by binary division, once it is present, and in that large a volume of water this would easily handle the ammonia from 12 guppies. Bearwithfish knows about seeding, and he mentions that he did, so I would rely on this working as I've indicated. And in these circumstances, our tests might well show zero ammonia/nitrite.

So that leaves us with some other explanation, and here we need more data. What are the water parameters (hardness, pH) of tap and tank (assuming these will be the same, but if not...)? Are there any live plants? Any wood or rock, and if yes, were these in the former tank with cichlids? What were the cichlids (rift lake, Central American, South American is all I need here)? You've tested ammonia/nitrite/nitrate and found them zero so we can eliminate these from being in the tap water.

Comment on feeder fish; these very often carry disease. I know this problem started prior to the feeders being added, so I am not really suggesting this as the culprit, but just a general comment that they do often bring trouble with them. I would get rid of them however, before introducing any good fish, once this is resolved.

Byron.

MinaMinaMina 01-18-2012 01:56 PM

Could any chemicals have been introduced, even in small amounts? Could the heater/s be in the process of shorting and sending out periodic small amounts of stray voltage?

bearwithfish 01-18-2012 02:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Byron (Post 954960)
I would not expect this to be related to nitrifying bacteria. Fish create ammonia, yes; but this dissipates into the water. The more water volume, the more it dissipates. 12 guppies in a 10g could easily die from ammonia poisoning fairly quickly; but in a 55g I would say never. The nitrifying bacteria only takes 24 hours max to multiply by binary division, once it is present, and in that large a volume of water this would easily handle the ammonia from 12 guppies. Bearwithfish knows about seeding, and he mentions that he did, so I would rely on this working as I've indicated. And in these circumstances, our tests might well show zero ammonia/nitrite.

So that leaves us with some other explanation, and here we need more data. What are the water parameters (hardness, pH) of tap and tank (assuming these will be the same, but if not...)? Are there any live plants? Any wood or rock, and if yes, were these in the former tank with cichlids? What were the cichlids (rift lake, Central American, South American is all I need here)? You've tested ammonia/nitrite/nitrate and found them zero so we can eliminate these from being in the tap water.

Comment on feeder fish; these very often carry disease. I know this problem started prior to the feeders being added, so I am not really suggesting this as the culprit, but just a general comment that they do often bring trouble with them. I would get rid of them however, before introducing any good fish, once this is resolved.

Byron.

Byron thank you for chiming in and i wil address each part in turn..
yes the tank was seeded as i have done on the other 20+ tanks with out isse so i too eliminated this.
hardness and such i will have to test for tonight as i have not tested these in quite some time and forget the base numbers which generally are the same in my fresh water tanks as my tap. i will post more on this later this evening when i am home to test it.
the cichlids were red jewels from west Africa (though i had a few labs and red tops in there until the jewels evicted them).. the plants are all artificial and made for tanks (no home made ones this time around LOL) i do have a few rocks in there and as stated they were all cleaned the last time around so i would imagine that these would be of no issue as well (by the way my cleaning consisted of a vinegar and hot water scrub and fresh water soak to remove the vinegar and then air dry until smell was gone ... re soak and smell again until gone as needed)
yes i agree about feeders and we are getting rid of the final survivor tomorrow if he makes it until then..
as of the last conversation with my wife (an hour or so ago) the new plan is to start fresh ...
we are going to remove EVERYTHING and if it cannot be bleached we are throwing it out. the gravel is going out and we are going to start with sand again (she liked the look and care better as do i).. we are not going to seed this time but rather do a fresh fish-less cycle (wow talk about starting at the beginning again LOL) and move into a new stocking list with some fish she really wants instead of what we have tried here.
my main concern is not being able to identify what would make such a successful tank crash like this with out influence. no additives, no new decor, no kids washing the glass.. its very odd

bearwithfish 01-18-2012 02:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MinaMinaMina (Post 955004)
Could any chemicals have been introduced, even in small amounts? Could the heater/s be in the process of shorting and sending out periodic small amounts of stray voltage?

no chemicals.. as for voltage i am not sure how to test for this .... but i will look into it for sure.. i have 4 back up heaters so changing it out will not be an issue at all.

Byron 01-18-2012 02:19 PM

My query on parameters was wondering if the water is soft or medium hard, and pH below or above 7. I will assume probably on the medium hard and basic (above 7 pH) side. If not, then that could be an issue, as livebearers can have trouble in soft water, though I would not expect so sudden a demise of so many fish if that were the only issue.

Rocks can leech out toxins many years later, obviously depending where they came from. Wood too; I was losing fish all over the place back in 1997 and it all finally came down to something in one large chuck of wood (which had been purchased from a fish store), still no idea what it was, but that was the source.

Starting over with new substrate; perhaps chuck the rock out too, at least for the present; let it completely dry and if the tanks is fine after rebuilding, you can try the rock again perhaps in a small tank and see if any reaction.

Another possible for cases like this is something changing in the source water. More chlorine, chloramine than before, shift in pH...these two have caused me fish and plant losses. Kym had a sudden nitrite spike from zero in her tap water that killed fish.

Byron.


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