Help Needed Please, new tank & new fish acting erratically then die. - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 11-12-2018, 06:43 AM Thread Starter
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Help Needed Please, new tank & new fish acting erratically then die.


54 litres 60cm x 30cm x 30cm
HOB filter 450lph and sponge filter (20 gal rated) small power head for surface agitation
Co2 via bell type reactor
Heavily Planted: Anubis, Hydro Poly, Hair Grass, Crypts and various others
Eco Complete substrate
Air stone & pump
Dragon rock (from an existing tank)
RODI water with Equilibrium and Prime
Fluval Cycle and AQ salt

I recently decided to change to a RODI set up because of bad tap water in my area of the UK. Thanks to Seachem's techs for the advice and formula for the Equilibrium for the batch sizes.

Mid tank cycle I swapped out the substrate having decided the original substrate (in the tank for 7 weeks) was sub standard. It was, I believe causing all the live plants to die and rot really quickly, and cause really bad sulfurous smells. I put in Eco Complete to a depth of 1 1\2" (front) to 3" at the rear of the tank. I realised that this would break the cycle of the tank, but thought it was worth it. I reused most of the live plants, filter media etc, and dosed with Cycle to get the good bacteria going again. I have also added media and rock from a well matured tank.

After waiting 5 weeks (plus the 7 weeks previous) I took the plunge and added 4 Silver Tip Tetra and 2 Cory's and 2 Neritite snails. Within hours of adding them to the tank 1 had died. I then saw a further 2 of the Silver Tips swimming very erratically, mostly into the flow of my surface agitation pump. Both snails still alive as I write this. Did a 20% water change.

Within hours they both had died, and the Cory's were dead by morning.

I tested everything with my api kit, and the results were as follows:

Ammonia 0 ppm
Nitrites less than .25 ppm
Nitrates 10 ppm
PH 6.83
Temp 79.1 f
GH 10 drops
Kh 10 drops
TDS 291

So, please could anyone give me so advice to where to go next. Do I add more fish? Do I try something different to Fluval Cycle? Give up on RODI Water? Or anything I have done wrong. This is the first new tank I have set up in many years, and have never had this issue before.

Sorry for the long message, but any advice/help will be gratefully received. Thanks.
Rushfreek is offline  
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post #2 of 3 Old 11-20-2018, 06:23 PM
I would stop using prime and even the rodi water. And just let the plants condition the water and provide a good environment.

I would concentrate on getting the plants thriving. Then add a single male platy and not add food for a week. After that add a couple of female platys and start feeding a single flake per day. Stop doing water changes and just replace water that evaporates.

The idea is to get the plants in control to establish a balanced, stable environment for the fish.

The link in my signature tells how to setup such a tank from the beginning.

Hope you have a thriving healthy tank.

still this is just my .02

maintain Fw and marine system with a strong emphasis on balanced, stabilized system that as much as possible are self substaning.

have maintained FW systems for up to 9 years with descendants from original fish and marine aquariums for up to 8 years.

With no water changes, untreated tap water, inexpensive lighting by first starting the tank with live plants (FW) or macro algae( marine)

beaslbob is offline  
post #3 of 3 Old 11-22-2018, 12:33 PM
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agree with beaslbob. i have 2 planted tanks and i keep it very simple. lights on timers for about 12 hours a day. water changes when needed straight from tap and just use a water conditioner for the chlorine etc. i rarely add fertilizer though my plans can use it they are growing very very well.even moved several times and everything was fine minus a couple losses in my mollies from stress.the plants is whats keeping my tanks thriving like they are.i let nature take its course with minimal disturbance by me.

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