Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Little-Fizz 11-07-2007 11:55 AM

... A little confused.
 
Alright so lately for whatever reason I keep having ammonia traces showing up in my water. So I have been doing almost daily water changes, I just tested and it's pH 7.6, nitrites 0ppm, ammonia 0 - .25ppm, nitrates are 10ppm (maybe closer to 20) my tank has been up and running for a few months now. And I have 5 swordtails and 7 of their fry. 3 shrimp and one snail. I've just noticed that some of my fishes eyes are clouded and their fins are white and like frayed looking. I saw them this morning and I don't recall them looking like this. Ah someone have any advice? Last time this happened all my fish died. But this is so weird because ammonia levels are not even that high, they were actually a solid green colour a week ago and the fish looked healthier than this. Whats causing this poor water quality? Or is it ich because I did see a little white dot on a fishes dorsal fin. Something tells me it's not ich because my snail is full of air floating around the top, and it did this last time there was poor water quality.

herefishy 11-07-2007 02:18 PM

Ammonia is probably the greatest threat to aquarium fish. The levels do not have to be that high to due irrepaairable damage to your fish and even cause death. Symptoms include, but are not restricted to, heavy breathing, breathing at the surface, clouded eyes, damage/torn(burnt) fins, white slime on the fishes body, and other unusual non-descript symptoms. An immediate water change will help. You may have to do this several times in the next few days. Look for any dead or decaying bodies or plants in the tank as this will help raise ammonia levels. A gravel sweep may also be needed if you are using an undergravel filter plate. The gravel sometimes becomes compacted restricting water flow through the gravel. It may also be a problem with your air pump on you ugf. Insufficient air flow can cause a multitude of problems. If at all possible, change to powerheads to power your undergravel filter.

Little-Fizz 11-07-2007 02:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by herefishy
Ammonia is probably the greatest threat to aquarium fish. The levels do not have to be that high to due irrepaairable damage to your fish and even cause death. Symptoms include, but are not restricted to, heavy breathing, breathing at the surface, clouded eyes, damage/torn(burnt) fins, white slime on the fishes body, and other unusual non-descript symptoms. An immediate water change will help. You may have to do this several times in the next few days. Look for any dead or decaying bodies or plants in the tank as this will help raise ammonia levels. A gravel sweep may also be needed if you are using an undergravel filter plate. The gravel sometimes becomes compacted restricting water flow through the gravel. It may also be a problem with your air pump on you ugf. Insufficient air flow can cause a multitude of problems. If at all possible, change to powerheads to power your undergravel filter.

My filter hangs on the outside and I did do a water change and they seemed to pick up but now they are resting one the bottom :( Two fish in there are from my last batch of fish and they were the only two to survive. Even after one spent two days on the gravel with clamped fins! I vaccumed the gavel also, any ideas on what keeps happening in there? Theres nobody missing so nothing could be rotting. Thanks for the advice, one question though. Is an air pump really important because I don't have one... Funds are kinda tight but if it's going to help me out then I suppose its worth the money.

herefishy 11-07-2007 07:55 PM

Your filtration may not be heavy enough. Myself, I'm like "Toolman Tim", I believe in and use mega-filtration. I try to filter my water a minimum of 10-15 times per hour. Most times I am able to accomplish this, as long as it doesn't plaster my fish to the aquarium glass.

You Did not say how large you tank is nor did you post the gallons per hour filtering capacity of your filter.

Little-Fizz 11-08-2007 10:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by herefishy
Your filtration may not be heavy enough. Myself, I'm like "Toolman Tim", I believe in and use mega-filtration. I try to filter my water a minimum of 10-15 times per hour. Most times I am able to accomplish this, as long as it doesn't plaster my fish to the aquarium glass.

You Did not say how large you tank is nor did you post the gallons per hour filtering capacity of your filter.

Yeah sorry, it's a ten gallon and to be honest I have no idea what filter it even is. My aunt gave it to me, I will try and find out what kind of filter it is. I've been meaning to do this for a while, sorry.

Little-Fizz 11-08-2007 02:19 PM

Ok, so I'm still not 100% sure what kind of filter I have. It says regent on the top and on the bottom aqua tech 10 - 20. It looks like a pretty old school filter. But my situation is getting out of control. I did a water change this morning and I just tested the ammonia and it's a .25ppm again! But I was thinking, and a few days ago I threw my sponges out because they were really nasty and I had these weird wormy things in it. I had already rinsed and re used them a few times and I was told to throw them out every couple of months. So yeah that was me throwing them out, could this be why my ammonia levels are out of control? Is it possible this is because of the fry? I hate the thought of feeding them to my fish but... I don't really know what else to do at this point. And should I do another water change? Is havn't even been 12 hours since my last one. Thanks.

JouteiMike 11-08-2007 06:34 PM

Sure, without proper filter maintenance, that could easily throw your water parameters off, especially ammonia. Especially in a newly established tank, such as yours.

Also, overfeeding could be an issue too. How much and how often are you feeding?

Yes, do more frequent small (5-10%) water changes...I know it is a hassle, but it's a good way to slowly dilute the toxic components in your water and put less strain on your fish.

Little-Fizz 11-08-2007 10:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JouteiMike
Also, overfeeding could be an issue too. How much and how often are you feeding?

I only feed once a day and like a little pinch, and sometimes I break off little pieces of algae wafers for my shrimp and snail. Thanks! I will do the water changes and hope things start to look up.

jeaninel 11-09-2007 11:10 AM

You could probably do with a better filter. I believe the Aqua-Tech (made by Regent) just has one blue pad in it with carbon inside. They are usually sold at Wal-Mart. When you change out the pad you lose most of your bacterial colony and that probably created a mini-cycle. If you get a better filter (get one rated for larger than your 10 gallon tank) that offers more room in the filter to put more media in it should help alot. I used to have a 20 gallon tank that had the Aqua-Tech 10-20. I bought a Whisper 30/60 (rated for 30-60 gallons) and that greatly improved the water quality. There are other filters better than the Whisper but even the Whisper offers an additional slot for a biosponge as well as the slot for a carbon pad or whatever else you want to put there. It also has a flow control knob which is great for feeding time.

Hope this made sense!

bettababy 11-09-2007 02:32 PM

Re: ... A little confused.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Little-Fizz
I have 5 swordtails and 7 of their fry. 3 shrimp and one snail. I've just noticed that some of my fishes eyes are clouded and their fins are white and like frayed looking. I saw them this morning and I don't recall them looking like this. Ah someone have any advice? Last time this happened all my fish died. But this is so weird because ammonia levels are not even that high, they were actually a solid green colour a week ago and the fish looked healthier than this. Whats causing this poor water quality? Or is it ich because I did see a little white dot on a fishes dorsal fin. Something tells me it's not ich because my snail is full of air floating around the top, and it did this last time there was poor water quality.

The first problem I noticed in reading this thread is the number of fish in a 10 gallon tank. Swordtails get fairly large... up to 5 inches each. Even though 7 of the 12 fish in this 10 gallon tank are fry, this tank is simply too small even for just the adults. Any time fry are born there will be a jump in water quality, also any growth spurts the fish may experience. What is slight in growth can be huge in affecting the water quality. If you choose to continue breeding the original 5 swordtails, I would suggest a minimum of 40 - 55 gallons for tank size. If content with just the adults and no fry, 30 - 40 gallons for the 5 adults and their tank mates will be needed.

The 2nd problem I noticed was an obvious issue with a fungal infection that hasn't been treated yet. A safe medication to use to treat these fish would be fungus eliminator, made by Jungle. http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...15&pcatid=4815
This won't harm the inverts in the tank. When using this medication, do not use aquarium salt alongside of it because it has a heavy salt content to it. You can treat the 10 gallon tank while making arrangements to thin out your population or move the fish to a larger tank once they are well. In a 10 gallon tank, no more than 2 swordtails (same sex to prevent breeding) should be a long term situation.

Hope this helps!


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