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Discussion Starter #1
I have very little spare time, and I suffer from anxiety and stress, exams and coursework prevented me from doing a water change for a while, totally my fault and i feel so stupid right now. Anyway, i finally tested my water , and realised the nirate levels were awful, a danio was missing, so i presumed she died under a rock, or wedged herself somewhere, and he decomposing body made the nitrates spike.

Whatever the reason, i had an amateur moment, and panicked, doing a mass water change, at least 50%.
Which, of course, changed the nitrate levels dramatically , and gave my softwater cichlids nitrate shock . By now i'm freaking out big time, getting pretty stressed, because as i said earlier, i have a problem.
I transfer the cichlid showing signs of shock into a hospital tank, which changed the nitrate levels once again, far too much, im surprised he didn't die immediatley.
I treated him for swimbladder, stupidly, in my stressy chaotic mind i thought it might help, and dosed the tank with aquarium salt.
A few days later, school getting even more stressful. My German blue ram shows signs of being sick too, totally a late reaction, fishy, thanks a lot.
anyway, this fish is honestly beautiful, and by far my favourite, sorry, other fish.

So i freak out big time, and transfer him straight away into the hospital tank, the nitrates going from 40-80ppm, to 0-10ppm in ten seconds, he died within two days.

Honestly, i feel so stupid for doing that to him, i hate how my stress smothers my intelligence and experience- if i'd been a little patient, and lowered the nitrates in the community tank slowly, he could have been saved.

Well, it's too late for him, as beautiful as he was, GBR's are sensitive to changes in water parameters, and i should have been more careful.

the point is, i still have that first little guy in the hospital tank, fighting for his life. He's a really pretty looking triple red cockatoo, and I'd hate for him to go too, but it's very likely, he could be gone in the time it takes me to write this.

I've done everything to the best of my knowledge for him, and as far as i know, that's not much, nitrate poisoning is cruel after all. He can hardly swim, the poor little guy, but i don't want to give up on him, as stubborn and selfish as that is.

He isn't curling very much, which i'm finding a little hopeful, but that can mean anything. i'm feeding him bloodworm by hand, because he can't get to it himself.
There's salt in the water, and it's oxygenated with an air pump, there's also a small filter and a heater at around 25 degrees.

there's plants, and the substrate is sand, i don't know if any of this matters, but still. I've put him in a breeder box near the surface to try and relieve the pressure from the water, and i've put a catappa/almond leaf in he water to condition it a bit.

The question is, is there anything i can do for him?
I tried to get chlorophyll for him, i can't even remember where i got that advice from, but they don't sell it in my area.

I really wish he could pull through, i've had my sister's guppies survive this kind of thing before, can cichlids?

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Sadly in this hobby we all make some major mistakes at one time or another. Sorry for the loss of your fish.

Have you ever tested the nitrates coming from your tap water? This can be a problem sometimes if you have high nitrates coming from the source, then you will always be fighting a battle with them.

If you have no fish in the main tank at the moment, do a near 100% water change but leave enough so that the substrate stays slightly wet. Disturbing the substrate too much might cause a mini cycle.

Sadly though there isnt a lot you can do to help the fish, if they are hardy enough to pull through then you have done all you can effectively.

What filtration do you have on the tank? What size is it and what is your stock, or what do you plan on getting to replace lost fish (DONT buy anything at the moment), you need to find out what is going on with the tank first.
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thank you, yes I have tested the tap water,(annoyingly, it's very alkaline, so I use catappa leaves to condition the water and lower the PH) the nitrate in the tap water is about 10 parts per million, so it's not much of a problem for me.

I'm aware of the problem, it was more like my inefficient water change schedule than any water source problem. It was most likely the missing danios decay, and the fact that I had to change the filter media due to an ich breakout. this ich breakout also caused many plants to die and rot, because i completely shut off all of the lights for a few days, all of these little issues built up and caused a spike in nitrates, one thing i am determined on is that, it won't happen again

I have a filter for tanks 100l bigger than mine, because i used to keep goldfish in there, and they're rather messy. This does cause a current a little too powerful occasionally, but it prevents debris from settling on the floor.

In my opinion, the tank isn't overstocked, but i do plan on selling two of the hoplo catfish have in there; they eat too much food too fast, and don't leave anything for anyone else. I think two is a much more manageable number.

I don't intend on replacing the fish anytime soon, but I will be getting two of the same fish, mainly because the boys left their mates behind; and it's more likely they'll get along if i get more of the same species.

The nitrate will have to stay in the range of 20-40 for a long while before i'll risk getting new fish.

Thank you for replying, i suppose it's as i thought; there's nothing more I can do for him, just hope he pulls through.

One thing is though, shall i leave him in the breeder box, where i can access him more easily to keep an eye on him, and feed him by hand.
Or let him free in the tank , where he can hide better, but i'll have to find him when food time comes and put him in the box, which could cause a lot of stress.

At the moment, he can't swim at all, and he would just float around in the current of the filter if i let him go, but in the box, there's little space for him to try swimming if he recovers a little.
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