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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I recently upgraded from a 35 gallon tank to a 60 gallon tank. In my 35 gallon tank I had a Pleco, 7 platys, 3 upside down catfish and 5 male guppies.

I drained the water from the old tank into buckets and put between 25 and 30 gallons of the water into my new tank. I used the same pebbles in the bottom as well as the same rocks and wood. I moved my filter to the new tank without cleaning it.

Once my new tank was set up I bought more fish (I realize I added to many at one time). My new tank had a Pleco, 8 platys, 3 upside down catfish and 8 male guppies, 6 Serpae Tetras, 4 black and 2 dalmatian mollys, 8 Lemon tetras and a mystery snail.

Since I upgraded I have lost 4 of my platys, all 8 guppies, both dalmatian mollys, 2 black mollys and a serpae tetra. This loss has been over a 2-4 week period.

Here are some numbers on water quality: pH 7.4, Ammonia 0.25, NitrITE 0, NitrATE 5, GH 11 (196.9 PPM), KH 3 (53.7 PPM).

I'm no sure why my fish are dying. From what I have read these numbers aren't too bad. I know my Mollys would prefer a higher GH, but everything else seems OK.

Any advice anyone can give would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Hi everyone,

I recently upgraded from a 35 gallon tank to a 60 gallon tank. In my 35 gallon tank I had a Pleco, 7 platys, 3 upside down catfish and 5 male guppies.

I drained the water from the old tank into buckets and put between 25 and 30 gallons of the water into my new tank. I used the same pebbles in the bottom as well as the same rocks and wood. I moved my filter to the new tank without cleaning it.

Once my new tank was set up I bought more fish (I realize I added to many at one time). My new tank had a Pleco, 8 platys, 3 upside down catfish and 8 male guppies, 6 Serpae Tetras, 4 black and 2 dalmatian mollys, 8 Lemon tetras and a mystery snail.

Since I upgraded I have lost 4 of my platys, all 8 guppies, both dalmatian mollys, 2 black mollys and a serpae tetra. This loss has been over a 2-4 week period.

Here are some numbers on water quality: pH 7.4, Ammonia 0.25, NitrITE 0, NitrATE 5, GH 11 (196.9 PPM), KH 3 (53.7 PPM).

I'm no sure why my fish are dying. From what I have read these numbers aren't too bad. I know my Mollys would prefer a higher GH, but everything else seems OK.

Any advice anyone can give would be greatly appreciated.
How big is the filter you moved? It sure looks like the new tank is going through cycling the filter isn't keeping up with. The ammonia should be 0, you can soon expect a rise in the nitrites. Use Prime to condition your water if you aren't yet and you may want to beef up your filtration.
 

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First off, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

To your issue. Did you notice any abnormal behaviours from the fish that died? If it was ammonia or nitrite poisoning, I would expect to see the fish respirating very fast, gasping or "breathing" in air at the surface, listless, fins clamped. Were any of these signs present on any of the fish?

Second thought, you did use dechlorinator in the new tank, correct? And has anything that was not in the old tank been added to the new tank in the way of decor, rock, wood, etc?

Do you have live plants?

Byron.
 
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
First off, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

To your issue. Did you notice any abnormal behaviours from the fish that died? If it was ammonia or nitrite poisoning, I would expect to see the fish respirating very fast, gasping or "breathing" in air at the surface, listless, fins clamped. Were any of these signs present on any of the fish?

Second thought, you did use dechlorinator in the new tank, correct? And has anything that was not in the old tank been added to the new tank in the way of decor, rock, wood, etc?

Do you have live plants?

Byron.
Hi Byron,

Thanks for your input. The fish all seemed to be acting OK. I did notice that one of my fishes tail became translucent. One of my Mollys did get a white spot on her nose, but it didn't look like Ick. I didn't notice any other really abnormal behavior. No fish at the surface except those that usually swim up there.

Actually I did have one male Molly that used to show his dorsal fin and I didn't see it for a day or two before he died.

I did use a dechlorinator in the new tank. I did not add anything to the new tank that was not in the old tank except water and fish.

I do have live plants. Is that bad?

Thanks again for any thoughts.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
How big is the filter you moved? It sure looks like the new tank is going through cycling the filter isn't keeping up with. The ammonia should be 0, you can soon expect a rise in the nitrites. Use Prime to condition your water if you aren't yet and you may want to beef up your filtration.
Hi OscarLover,

Thank you for your reply. My filter is an AquaClear 300 which is supposedly rated to 300 GPH (which I understand should work for a 100 gallon tank). However, I hear they are over-ratted on what they actually do.

I did use Prime water conditioner when I started the tank and when I do my water changes. I am using one cap full per gallon. Should I be using more?

Would you recommend a new larger filter, a second filter or more water changes?

Thanks again for the advice.
 

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Did you say one cap full for EACH gallon. Or one Cap full for the entire water change?

If you have lightly clorinated water it's 2 drops of prime per gallon of water a cap full will do about 50-60 gallons of water. It says on the bottle how much chlorine it will remove. If you have heavy percentage it says I believe to use 50% more. But unless your in Southern California, I don't think you would have heavy cholorine.


I think your filter is okay as you have live plants. What types of plants? Also are you using a bio media in your filter?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Did you say one cap full for EACH gallon. Or one Cap full for the entire water change?
Hi TwinDad,

Thank you for your response.
You read that correct, but I entered it incorrectly. I used one capful for the entire thing (I read the directions every time and do what it says. My old brand was a cap for 10 gallons).


I think your filter is okay as you have live plants. What types of plants? Also are you using a bio media in your filter?
My plants are: Lilaeopsis novae-zelandiae "Micro Sword",Onion Plant (bulb with minimal growth), and a few others that I don't know what they are, but I have attached pictures if that will help.
One of my plats has some white growth that I have not seen before today (There is a picture of that too).

I also retested my water today. The numbers are exactly the same as they were two days ago.

Thanks again for your advice.
 

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Hi TwinDad,You read that correct, but I entered it incorrectly. I used one capful for the entire thing (I read the directions every time and do what it says. My old brand was a cap for 10 gallons).
Whew that's good, I was going to ask the same question.

Even if the new tank is going through a mini cycle the Prime should convert the resulting ammonia from breaking the chloramine bond into fairly safer ammonium but that still will register as ammonia on your testing.

My guess is your local water is treated with chloramine but it still should turn out OK.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Should I be doing more frequent water changes at this point?
 

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On the ammonia, have you tested your tap water on its own? Woudl be good to know if that is the source.

Nitrite at zero is good; nitrate at 5 is good (anything under 20 ppm for nitrate is fine, the lower the better).

The white spots on that plant look like some sort of fungus such as occurs on a bit of uneaten food.

Live plants benefit, which is why I asked. They use ammonia (as ammonium) so this always helps. Are you using any plant fertilizer?
 

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On the ammonia, have you tested your tap water on its own? Woudl be good to know if that is the source.
Based on your recommendation I checked the ammonia level of my tap water. The ammonia level of the tap water is 0.25

The white spots on that plant look like some sort of fungus such as occurs on a bit of uneaten food.
?
Should I remove that plant? Should I wash it and put it back, get rid of it or just leave it alone?


Live plants benefit, which is why I asked. They use ammonia (as ammonium) so this always helps. Are you using any plant fertilizer?
I am not using any fertilizers.

I really do appreciate all the feedback on this.
Good news is I haven't had any fish die in about a week :)
 

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Sorry for your loss.

So you set up a new tank with bio-seed from your previous tank, but in addition to the dozen fish you already had, you immediately added two dozen more?!

It would be a likely conclusion that there was a significant ammonia spike. I'm surprised that the fish didn't show signs of severe stress as Byron pointed out.
I think all tanks have their own personality the result of fresh water chemistry, temperature, substrate type/depth, decor, plant/stock life, filtration (type, media and flow rate), lighting (type, intensity, duration)....so very many variables that even if we tried, no two tanks would be identical - similar but not the same.
I'm prolly overstating the obvious, but your tank likely did not have the maturity to handle the additional bio-load of 24~ new fish on top of the 12 you had...which might very well have been a challenge for a more mature, stable tank.
Lesson learned - with the losses you have seen, the tank will likely stabilize without much effort on your part short of routine water changes.
 
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Based on your recommendation I checked the ammonia level of my tap water. The ammonia level of the tap water is 0.25



Should I remove that plant? Should I wash it and put it back, get rid of it or just leave it alone?




I am not using any fertilizers.

I really do appreciate all the feedback on this.
Good news is I haven't had any fish die in about a week :)
Now we're getting somewhere. The ammonia in the tank is due to the ammonia in the tap water. Easily solved. At a water change, use a conditioner that detoxifies ammonia as well as chlorine/chloramine. Not all will, but it will say on the label; you have Prime I think, that will handle ammonia. It does this by changing the ammonia to less harmful ammonium, and the plants will use this. Test kits read ammonia/ammonium as "ammonia" so don't be scared by this.

That is a stem plant, so yes, I would take it out and wash off those white spots. Aside from fungus, I can't imagine what they are. Then stick it back.

Live plants will handle the ammonium, that is their preferred source of nitrogen. However, they need other nutrients too, most of which occur naturally from organics (fish waste, uneaten food, decaying plant matter, dead bacteria, etc) but in a new tank it can take a while to build this up but it should occur naturally not fast or the organics will overwhelm the biological system. I would suggest a small bottle of Flourish Comprehensive Supplement. You use very little, so long-term it is not expensive. For a 60g, a teaspoon once a week will do it. This will get your plants going.

Byron.
 

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Sorry for your loss.

I'm prolly overstating the obvious, but your tank likely did not have the maturity to handle the additional bio-load of 24~ new fish on top of the 12 you had...which might very well have been a challenge for a more mature, stable tank.
Lesson learned - with the losses you have seen, the tank will likely stabilize without much effort on your part short of routine water changes.
Hi AbbeysDad,

Thanks for the comment and condolences,

I figured that my tank was well established and could handle the increase in fish. My mistake. Although I have had tanks for many years, I never did much research into how quickly you could add fish. My LFS didn't say anything either (and they are fairly well respected in the area). I added schooling fish so I wanted to make sure I had enough to not stress them out.

I will begin slowly adding more fish in the future, once I am sure that everything is stable.

Thanks again for the comment.
 

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That is a stem plant, so yes, I would take it out and wash off those white spots. Aside from fungus, I can't imagine what they are. Then stick it back.
Thanks, will do.


I would suggest a small bottle of Flourish Comprehensive Supplement. You use very little, so long-term it is not expensive. For a 60g, a teaspoon once a week will do it. This will get your plants going.

Byron.
I'm not too worried about the cost. I just want my tank to thrive and have less dead fish.


Thanks again :)
 

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Good to see you're still under control. Just keep up with the water changes. I like the look of you tank with the wood and rocks.

Good luck.
 

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Hey TwinDad,

Thanks for the kind words. It's nice to be part of a site that has caring knowledgeable people.
 
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