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We have fairly new 20 gallon tank (set up the end of December). We woke up yesterday to 3 dead glow fish. Now, the other fish are all acting lethargic and are either at the top of the tank or on the bottom. Our one snail is floating at the top but still seems to be alive and the other is just below the surface not really moving. The water temp is about 79 degrees & the water tests all come out pretty normal. We did have an algae problem & the nitrite was high so we put in new gravel, changed the filter, & did a 25% water change & it seems to be clearing up. We’ve also been replacing fake plants with real ones. This is my first time having a fish tank so I’m not sure what to do.
 

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well for one you lost a lot benificail bacteria that is KEY for the tank when you changed the filter and changed the gravel aslo since they be so unfamiler with this new water peramters and such they could have one into shock and aslo what species are the glowfish?
 

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well for one you lost a lot benificail bacteria that is KEY for the tank when you changed the filter and changed the gravel aslo since they be so unfamiler with this new water peramters and such they could have one into shock and aslo what species are the glowfish?
So I’m a little confused about the filter. In the manual, it says to replace it every 3-4 weeks. But if that’s causing the tank to lose beneficial bacteria, how often should I be replacing it? Is there anything I can/should do to prevent all the other fish & snails from dying? And I’m not sure what kind of glow fish they were but maybe you can from this picture. Thank you so much for the help!
844213
 

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When you change out your filter media, change some at a time, not all of it. I haven't changed my sponges for ages, I squeeze them out in tank water in a bucket and put them back. I only change filter floss which I have in a separate internal filter that I use to filter out fine particles. My external only has media I can "clean and return."
You may want to get yourself some bottled bacteria to kickstart the cycling process. (y)
You glofish are tetra's and while they look pretty are not a natural species. I won't go into telling you how they're made to glow. As pretty as they look many hobbyists are trying to have them removed from the trade.
I'm sorry if that sounds like I'm being nasty, I'm really not. Many people buy them not knowing their background.
If you have high readings in your tank, do a part water change every day or two until the readings drop. Make sure and use a good dechlorinator at the correct dosage.
I hope you get it sorted soon. (y)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Aslo dont do water changes when you change the filter youre already taking enough away with the filter
Thank you! We’re not getting any more glofish! But we just had 2 Cory catfish die & the last 2 snails seem to be dying as well. The levels all look normal so I had them run a phosphate test which came back extremely high. I did a 30% water change plus added a phos pad to the filter & it’s finally starting to look good again. Hopefully the rest of the fish pull through
 

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High phosphates are caused by rotting matter such as plant decay, fish food, dead fish, even from carbon in the filter media. Keep your gravel (or whichever substrate you use) clean and well vacuumed and the aquarium glass clean.
You can remove rocks, wood etc and scrape off any algae and give the substrate a good hoover but as your tank is fairly new it shouldn't really need it.
Phosphate is used in flake foods as a preservative so if you always feed flake, and / or overfeed, this can cause high levels. Feed other foods now and again, this keeps your fish healthy and a varied diet is good for them.
High levels of phosphate doesn't directly cause any problems for the inhabitants of your tank, but the algae bloom that can develop may deplete some of the oxygen in the water. It's never really a major problem though. I don't think the phosphate level is killing the fish.

Keep up with your water changes and general maintenance and all should be fine. And regarding water changes, its not just about a percentage each week. It's dependent on your bio load. 3 small fish in a 100 gallon tank may require a small water change each week or two whereas the same tank fully stocked would require a larger volume of new water.

Sorry if I'm telling you what you already know :ROFLMAO: (y)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
High phosphates are caused by rotting matter such as plant decay, fish food, dead fish, even from carbon in the filter media. Keep your gravel (or whichever substrate you use) clean and well vacuumed and the aquarium glass clean.
You can remove rocks, wood etc and scrape off any algae and give the substrate a good hoover but as your tank is fairly new it shouldn't really need it.
Phosphate is used in flake foods as a preservative so if you always feed flake, and / or overfeed, this can cause high levels. Feed other foods now and again, this keeps your fish healthy and a varied diet is good for them.
High levels of phosphate doesn't directly cause any problems for the inhabitants of your tank, but the algae bloom that can develop may deplete some of the oxygen in the water. It's never really a major problem though. I don't think the phosphate level is killing the fish.

Keep up with your water changes and general maintenance and all should be fine. And regarding water changes, its not just about a percentage each week. It's dependent on your bio load. 3 small fish in a 100 gallon tank may require a small water change each week or two whereas the same tank fully stocked would require a larger volume of new water.

Sorry if I'm telling you what you already know :ROFLMAO: (y)
Actually, I did not know any of this so I really appreciate the info. It’s a 20 gallon tank with I think 6 fish left (I haven’t seen the eels or the last cory catfish since I did the water change 3 days ago). We did have an algae problem but it seems to be under control. 3 weeks ago, the fish seemed happy all swimming around, the snails were moving around the tank, and the water was crystal clear. Then all of a sudden, algae started growing on everything, the water turned green & cloudy, & the fish started dying. But if that’s not what’s killing them, do you have idea what could be? & just to be sure I understood correctly, you don’t change your filter cartridge? I just looked at mine & the one side is black & covered in debris.
 

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Actually, I did not know any of this so I really appreciate the info. It’s a 20 gallon tank with I think 6 fish left (I haven’t seen the eels or the last cory catfish since I did the water change 3 days ago). We did have an algae problem but it seems to be under control. 3 weeks ago, the fish seemed happy all swimming around, the snails were moving around the tank, and the water was crystal clear. Then all of a sudden, algae started growing on everything, the water turned green & cloudy, & the fish started dying. But if that’s not what’s killing them, do you have idea what could be? & just to be sure I understood correctly, you don’t change your filter cartridge? I just looked at mine & the one side is black & covered in debris.
Actually, I did not know any of this so I really appreciate the info. It’s a 20 gallon tank with I think 6 fish left (I haven’t seen the eels or the last cory catfish since I did the water change 3 days ago). We did have an algae problem but it seems to be under control. 3 weeks ago, the fish seemed happy all swimming around, the snails were moving around the tank, and the water was crystal clear. Then all of a sudden, algae started growing on everything, the water turned green & cloudy, & the fish started dying. But if that’s not what’s killing them, do you have idea what could be? & just to be sure I understood correctly, you don’t change your filter cartridge? I just looked at mine & the one side is black & covered in debris.
High phosphates are caused by rotting matter such as plant decay, fish food, dead fish, even from carbon in the filter media. Keep your gravel (or whichever substrate you use) clean and well vacuumed and the aquarium glass clean.
You can remove rocks, wood etc and scrape off any algae and give the substrate a good hoover but as your tank is fairly new it shouldn't really need it.
Phosphate is used in flake foods as a preservative so if you always feed flake, and / or overfeed, this can cause high levels. Feed other foods now and again, this keeps your fish healthy and a varied diet is good for them.
High levels of phosphate doesn't directly cause any problems for the inhabitants of your tank, but the algae bloom that can develop may deplete some of the oxygen in the water. It's never really a major problem though. I don't think the phosphate level is killing the fish.

Keep up with your water changes and general maintenance and all should be fine. And regarding water changes, its not just about a percentage each week. It's dependent on your bio load. 3 small fish in a 100 gallon tank may require a small water change each week or two whereas the same tank fully stocked would require a larger volume of new water.

Sorry if I'm telling you what you already know :ROFLMAO: (y)
Also, I just replaced the Phos Pad & it’s pretty nasty on the bottom. Should I, or can I, clean out the bottom of the filter but leave the filter pad the way it is? The pad has only been in there for 2 days & for it to be this dirty makes me think this is a problem.
844217
 

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There isn't much to worry about on there, that's where the beneficial bacteria will start to colonize. Put it back in the filter and leave it for a while.
Wait until a sponge gets 50% or more clogged or you can see the water flow is slowing a little. Then, when you carry out your part water change, drop the sponge in a bucket with the tank water, give them a squeeze, (don't get them spotlessly clean, leave some of the "mulm" on them) and return them to your filter. The only filter media I replace is floss as it collects all the fine debris and is a bit mushy when squeezed out. Just replace it if you have it, sponges are rinsed and kept to keep the bacteria your tanks needs. Beneficial bacteria lives on pretty much everything in your tank, but very little to none, in the water itself. Hence you can carry out large water changes and as long as you use a good dechlorinator, all will be well.
When my only filter was an internal, I filled it with (from the bottom) coarse sponge, medium sponge, fine sponge, and top it off with floss. In my current tank I have an old Fluval 4 plus internal filled with only floss which I replace when required. My external filter was last checked and rinsed about two months ago. Once your tank is in "balance" your filters need less maintenance.
As to what's killing your fish, well it could be anything. I wouldn't want to give you a completely wrong diagnosis and you lose more fish. An aquarium is such a complex part of nature in your living room and it is a very rewarding hobby. But at the same time it can be infuriating. Parasitic worms such as Callamanus are an absolute nightmare. By the time you see the worms the fish are already close to the end as the worms have already damaged the internal organs. It can be very difficult to treat successfully. Bring in an infected fish, it can be curtains for the rest. Columnaris is another nightmare disease. However, being in the US you have better access to the required treatments than I here in the UK.
With regards to your fish I'm not saying they have these diseases, I'm merely saying diagnosis of anything can be difficult. Keep an eye on water parameters with a good test kit, not just the strips. Water changes are one of the best medicines for a fish. Sounds daft, but it's true.
You could add a little epsom salts (or aquarium salts) to your tank, diluted fully in a separate container before adding it. When a person is admitted to hospital, the first thing in their arm is a saline drip. It replaces electrolytes etc. I use it in my tank very occasionally but only in very small amounts, nowhere near the full dosage. It just acts as a "tonic" or "pick me up" if I've had to medicate my tanks. (Which is always a last resort for me.) Once I've finished medication, carried out a water change and given some activated carbon a few days to leach out the remaining treatment, I add a very weak saline mix to the tank. After a few part water changes it gradually gets diluted to nothing.
Oh, and some carbons can contribute to high phosphates. Worth noting if you have carbon in your filter all the time.
Sorry for such a long winded post. I hope you haven't nodded off. ;) Obviously these are only my opinions and someone else may tell you different, I don't want to come across as a "know all" because there are far more experienced fish keepers than me out there.
If you have the time, YouTube has some great fish keeping channels. I like..
Prime Time aquatics
Father Fish
KG Tropicals
Aquarium CoOp
Rachael O'Leary

All the best,
Steve.
Steve.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
There isn't much to worry about on there, that's where the beneficial bacteria will start to colonize. Put it back in the filter and leave it for a while.
Wait until a sponge gets 50% or more clogged or you can see the water flow is slowing a little. Then, when you carry out your part water change, drop the sponge in a bucket with the tank water, give them a squeeze, (don't get them spotlessly clean, leave some of the "mulm" on them) and return them to your filter. The only filter media I replace is floss as it collects all the fine debris and is a bit mushy when squeezed out. Just replace it if you have it, sponges are rinsed and kept to keep the bacteria your tanks needs. Beneficial bacteria lives on pretty much everything in your tank, but very little to none, in the water itself. Hence you can carry out large water changes and as long as you use a good dechlorinator, all will be well.
When my only filter was an internal, I filled it with (from the bottom) coarse sponge, medium sponge, fine sponge, and top it off with floss. In my current tank I have an old Fluval 4 plus internal filled with only floss which I replace when required. My external filter was last checked and rinsed about two months ago. Once your tank is in "balance" your filters need less maintenance.
As to what's killing your fish, well it could be anything. I wouldn't want to give you a completely wrong diagnosis and you lose more fish. An aquarium is such a complex part of nature in your living room and it is a very rewarding hobby. But at the same time it can be infuriating. Parasitic worms such as Callamanus are an absolute nightmare. By the time you see the worms the fish are already close to the end as the worms have already damaged the internal organs. It can be very difficult to treat successfully. Bring in an infected fish, it can be curtains for the rest. Columnaris is another nightmare disease. However, being in the US you have better access to the required treatments than I here in the UK.
With regards to your fish I'm not saying they have these diseases, I'm merely saying diagnosis of anything can be difficult. Keep an eye on water parameters with a good test kit, not just the strips. Water changes are one of the best medicines for a fish. Sounds daft, but it's true.
You could add a little epsom salts (or aquarium salts) to your tank, diluted fully in a separate container before adding it. When a person is admitted to hospital, the first thing in their arm is a saline drip. It replaces electrolytes etc. I use it in my tank very occasionally but only in very small amounts, nowhere near the full dosage. It just acts as a "tonic" or "pick me up" if I've had to medicate my tanks. (Which is always a last resort for me.) Once I've finished medication, carried out a water change and given some activated carbon a few days to leach out the remaining treatment, I add a very weak saline mix to the tank. After a few part water changes it gradually gets diluted to nothing.
Oh, and some carbons can contribute to high phosphates. Worth noting if you have carbon in your filter all the time.
Sorry for such a long winded post. I hope you haven't nodded off. ;) Obviously these are only my opinions and someone else may tell you different, I don't want to come across as a "know all" because there are far more experienced fish keepers than me out there.
If you have the time, YouTube has some great fish keeping channels. I like..
Prime Time aquatics
Father Fish
KG Tropicals
Aquarium CoOp
Rachael O'Leary

All the best,
Steve.
Steve.
This is WAY more work then I ever imagined! & it’s actually my sons tank!! I think the fish might have a disease & that’s why everything is dying. A week ago, our eels were both fine. Now, this is what the one looks like...
844241

Its not dead yet... but morning I’m sure it will be.
 

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Dude I’m having a similar problem to you, I’ve lost 6 fish this week they were perfectly fine last week and now they are lying down just like your fish , and mine that have done that ended up dying. I don’t know what’s going on , sorry it’s happening to you to man. Here’s one of my fish:
 

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Dude I’m having a similar problem to you, I’ve lost 6 fish this week they were perfectly fine last week and now they are lying down just like your fish , and mine that have done that ended up dying. I don’t know what’s going on , sorry it’s happening to you to man. Here’s one of my fish:
I didn’t see your picture but you have to be just as frustrated as I am! I don’t know what’s wrong or how to fix it. & nobody at any of the pet stores have a clue wtf they’re talking about & all tell me something different or that “everything looks good.” 8 (soon to be 9) dead fish later... there’s something wrong!! Ugh
 

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I'm not sure if it's my monitor but your loach looks like it has slime on it???
You have some leaves in your tank, have you made sure they are OK to be in there? Not all natural leaves are good for tanks, and if they're something you picked up outside they MAY have something on them that's spread to the tank perhaps? As I said without physically standing next to your tank it's very difficult to diagnose.
I think I'd strip the tank down and start again. Clean everything well and carry out a fishless cycle.
 

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I didn’t see your picture but you have to be just as frustrated as I am! I don’t know what’s wrong or how to fix it. & nobody at any of the pet stores have a clue wtf they’re talking about & all tell me something different or that “everything looks good.” 8 (soon to be 9) dead fish later... there’s something wrong!! Ugh
i might have a solution, I’ve started changing about40% of my water for 4 days now and my 2 fish that are acting similar to your fish are actually swimming around a little bit so I’m hoping I can solve the issue, my suggestion is change about 40% of the water daily for about a week dude best of luck I’m hoping it’ll work for the both of us 👍
 

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i might have a solution, I’ve started changing about40% of my water for 4 days now and my 2 fish that are acting similar to your fish are actually swimming around a little bit so I’m hoping I can solve the issue, my suggestion is change about 40% of the water daily for about a week dude best of luck I’m hoping it’ll work for the both of us 👍
It sounds as if you have water parameter issues if that amount of water changes are helping. Have you tested the water with a kit and not the strips? Also make sure your test kit is well in date as sometimes and old test kit can give false readings. Hopefully your issues will get sorted soon.
 

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It sounds as if you have water parameter issues if that amount of water changes are helping. Have you tested the water with a kit and not the strips? Also make sure your test kit is well in date as sometimes and old test kit can give false readings. Hopefully your issues will get sorted soon.
Yes I do in fact, I have a nitrate level of about 100 ppm everything else on the test kit is good, 👍
 

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I'm not sure if it's my monitor but your loach looks like it has slime on it???
You have some leaves in your tank, have you made sure they are OK to be in there? Not all natural leaves are good for tanks, and if they're something you picked up outside they MAY have something on them that's spread to the tank perhaps? As I said without physically standing next to your tank it's very difficult to diagnose.
I think I'd strip the tank down and start again. Clean everything well and carry out a fishless cycle.
Everything in the tank is from the pet store or aquarium specifically for fish tanks... including all the plants. I asked the dude at the pet store if one of the plants could be causing my problems. He said no that all plants are good for tanks. The loach did die. Im not 100% sure but I don’t think there’s any slime. To me, it looks more like abrasions that are spreading. I don’t know how else to explain it. But whatever it is, our other loach is starting to get sick. If I don't do something quick it’s probably going to suffer the same fate. I tried to get a better picture but this is yesterday & today.
844245

844246
 

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Discussion Starter #19
i might have a solution, I’ve started changing about40% of my water for 4 days now and my 2 fish that are acting similar to your fish are actually swimming around a little bit so I’m hoping I can solve the issue, my suggestion is change about 40% of the water daily for about a week dude best of luck I’m hoping it’ll work for the both of us 👍
[/QUOTE
i might have a solution, I’ve started changing about40% of my water for 4 days now and my 2 fish that are acting similar to your fish are actually swimming around a little bit so I’m hoping I can solve the issue, my suggestion is change about 40% of the water daily for about a week dude best of luck I’m hoping it’ll work for the both of us 👍
I’m willing to do anything I can so I’m gonna try it. Thank you so much & good luck on saving the fish you have left!!
 

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If I had to diagnose anything by the photo alone I'd say Columnaris. I lost all my fish a few years ago to Columnaris and I had to start again. I had a break from the hobby because of it, it's devastating. Again, please don't take my diagnosis as gospel, but the speed you're losing fish and the cotton like growths are similar to the symptoms of my fish. Columnaris can wipe out a tank in anything from 24 hours to a few weeks.
Have a look here... Identify and Treat Columnaris (Saddle Back Disease)
 
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