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Discussion Starter #1
sooooo..... i had to go on a business trip and left my tank "unattended" (i say that because no one else was going to clean or check water perameters... only feed the fish).
I was still in the "cycling" zone and made sure i did a little gravel clean, filter element rinse and about 25% water change. Needless to say the day i returned (yesterday, 10days later) , i could see the tank looked like crap.... water was just cloudy looking. Oprah (one of my black mollys) looked to have ick skin a bit.... just not healthy shiny like she had. I didnt even bother to test water.... i started to take tank water out (30%) and clean gravel and rinse filter elements (not the biological basket). This morning Oprah was wedged under an ornament 'dead'.... poor thing.
So, now what? Do i have something in my tank now that will kill the rest? or maybe she was just not healty enough from the get-go to fight off the poor water quality? Do i do anything else at this point? or just continue with the 20%water change every 3-4 days? and little bit of gravel/filter cleaning? advice of all greatly appreciated!!! I really dont want to lose any fish:-(
 

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How old is this tank? I can get away with not touching my tanks for weeks at a time (automatic feeders are nice), aside from topping off the evaporated water. You say it is still cycling? Do any other fish show any signs of illness?
If you haven't completed a cycle yet, and your fish look healthy, I would do a major water change, and add one of the "instant add" formulas to the tank. They don't work nearly as well as an actual cycle, but it does give it a massive jumpstart.
If the cycle was complete, then it has been damaged somehow. Like I said, my tanks require little effort to keep up with. In your sig you talk about a 55gal, is this the one with the issue? If so, a tank of that size should take quite a while to have a problem if it was ever healthy to begin with.
Could the person watching your tank for you have overfed the tank and caused the water quality to go down that way? Again, water changes, and add carbon.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
yes. it is my 55 gallon. and the cycle got disrupted when i cleaned it too well i think.... so just before i left on my trip i was having to closely monitor it. I use the tetra safestart and also a water dechlor.
The other fish seem fine and i am going to do another large water change in a day and add the tetra safestart again......
It is quite possible the "fill in" fed the fish too much, because i wasnt doing it..... but not sure that was the issue. I think it is because the tank is still so new and the good bacterias have not naturally formed yet. The tank has only been running for about a month + now.
 

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Sounds like you have a plan to get it back on track. I really like my automatic feeders for situations like that. I have the one from petco that you can set up to 4 feeding times, and either one or two rotations a minute apart. It keeps my fish on a routine, and they know when it is coming. It is funny to see them all crowd the back of my tank about a minute before it dispenses food. When I go away for a few days, I just make sure it is filled.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
yeah... the feeder is a good idea when you have to go away.... but my problem was that my tank was not stable enough when i went away.... :-( booo
and not too sure if my plan is a sound one to get it back on track.... i hope it is... i just dont want to dumb of crap in the tank (like meds and cleaners and balancers, etc) if i can just do some water changes more often... so, if that sounds like that is the way to go.. then that is what i will do.
I just need to get this thing completely cycled ..... it was almost there too.... until i went a cleaned too aggresivly... oops...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Today I did a 50% water change/clean and added the tetra safe start plus....
I have one concern with my black male Molly... He seems to have some black missing... I would say "white" spots on areas... But not really a "spot"... Anyway... What do I do from this point in hopes the fish doesn't die :-(... His temperament is completely normal... Just that white on him and I know my tank had poor water quality last week... Anyway... How shall I continue?
 

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Where are the white "spots"? What do they look like? I know livebearers are very susceptible to columnaris, and if you have that in your tank, you are in for a nightmare of trying to get it under control.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Definitely white "salt" type spots. They seem to be only on the black Molly at the moment, that now his poor eye looks like crap. Picture?
 photo A6222471-C7F8-401E-A07C-50D71AD1C9AC_zpsrnotooyr.jpg" media="(max-width: 640px)">  photo A6222471-C7F8-401E-A07C-50D71AD1C9AC_zpsrnotooyr.jpg" media="(max-width: 960px)">  photo A6222471-C7F8-401E-A07C-50D71AD1C9AC_zpsrnotooyr.jpg" media="(max-width: 1920px)">
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Finally got my temp up!!! Stupid crapy heaters... I will say I love this new replacment I bought!!! On the mark! And was regulated in about 3 hours... It's an aqueon pro 200w. Easy to read dial and accurate at like 1deg diff. I'm sold!!... And a lifetime gaurentee
 

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Discussion Starter #16
yup! the solid black one. I love it! and even bought 2 of the 50w for my 10 gallon tanks :)
so accurate.
and then i rememberd i did have one just like that on my Oscar tank about 8 years ago as well. I am sure it had to be the same brand.... just more improved now. Thumbs up!!!
 
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