Need help with water quality FAST!!

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish' started by cgen042404, Oct 8, 2007.

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  1. bulltrader

    bulltrader Bristle Worm

    Jan 1, 2007
    Burlington, Ontario, Canada
    I know you are in panic mode but stop adding all that stuff!!
    If the Nitrites and Amonia are off the scale then that's what you have to concentrate on. Your older fish may be able to tolerate the high Nitrite but most fish can't. I know you said you cycled your tank but quess what, it either started again or didn't finish.
    Best thing to do is at least a 50-60% water change. Make sure you use RO, get it from the LFS if you can. If you use those water conditoners then make sure it is a good one and airiate the water for 24hrs before using it. You may have to do one tank at a time and move the fish around to accomodate them while you do this work. I don't think you will corect the problem with additives. Your PH won't stabilize because your water quality is bad. It sounds to me like the tanks cycled but didn't have enough nitrafying bacteria to keep-up will the load. You will need good filters and good water flow to keep the tank healthy after that. Just my 2 cents worth.
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  3. mandarin11

    mandarin11 Peppermint Shrimp

    Aug 16, 2007
    From what I can see, your second 10 gal is waaay overloaded. I've bred and raised fancy guppies, trust me they can be messy, and depending on the lines used in breeding, delicate. Also, your 20 gal needs some serious reorganizing when it comes to your fish. Gouramis grow to large sizes and do not tolerate others of their own species very well (even if they are coping, I guarantee you that there is some stress in that tank). That neon tetra needs to be moved to a more peaceful tank ASAP. Trust me, gouramis are somewhat aggresive (both genders) and its only a matter of time before that tetra ends up as someone's dinner or punching bag. By the way, what type of algae eaters are you trying to add, and to what tanks?

    As to your water, I won't bother going into the whole RODI and distilled water discussion. I also use tap water with conditioners (trust me I wish I could use RO:)), but I also have a filter on the faucet that I use for water (I know it's not the best, but I'm sure it helps). If you are using pH up and that doesn't work, try going to a more concentrated form like a powder that you have to mix.

    Remember although there are some products out there that sell for way over what they should be, generally you get what you pay for, and unfortunately in the freshwater trade there are a lot of products that are just money pits and don't actually work.

    One last thing, while plastic caves and decorations are nice, try to get quite a few real live plants in there. They look good, and do a world of wonder for your tank (oxygenate water, help keep nitrates down, clear water up,etc.)

    Sorry for the long post, but I hope this will at least help some with your tanks.;D
  4. aquaboy

    aquaboy Panda Puffer

    Jul 27, 2007
    Tatamy, PA
    Try to get something that will remove ammonia + nitrite, as they are most deadly. I reccomend kordon plus, i use on my saltwater tank as a dechlorinater, and it also can be used to remove ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. it's a good thing to have on hand in emergencies.
  5. clownfish

    clownfish Skunk Shrimp

    Sep 22, 2007
    Fremont, CA
    the second tank on the list has way too many fish in's what I suggest you do...first, to fix the pH quickly, buy a product called "BullsEye", it will take your pH to 7.0 and leave it there. As for your ammonia problem, thing is, you're not supposed to make water changes once a month, you are supposed to do a 20% every two weeks. When you do, syphon your gravel, scrape algae growth, etc, and make sure to change the carbon media in your filter, with these many fish you have, you need to change that cartridge every two weeks at least. When you buy those plastic ornaments, put 'em in hot water and let them soak for about an hour...then rinse, then put them in the tank....get yourself an air pump and some air stones, I recommend something cheap from Walmart, with two intakes, so you can run two lines...the air stones run for about a buck for for the water treatment, use Tetra Aqua's "Aquasafe", this company also sells additives to help with the Ammonia. So to fix this quickly, do a 20-30 percent water change as soon as possible, vacum the gravel, add the bullseye, the ammonia should go down by itself after the change, if not, look for Tetra Aqua's Ammonia Detox, it should fix that. After you've done the water change, like I said before, do water changes every two weeks. Get yourself the Python No Spill Clean 'N Fill, this will not only facilitate water changes, but the system helps water aeration, which will minimize and sometimes help remove some of the tap water heavy metals, this syphon unit, plus the AquaSafe should do the trick when conditioning your water. Make sure your heaters are working. Hope this helps.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2007
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  6. metancute

    metancute Plankton

    Jan 4, 2008

    can you pls help me figure out how to save my fish? i have a 90gallon fish only tank that i started 2 months ago. i read step by step instructions from a website & it told me that i could use play sand instead of live sand & it told me to use south down but i couldn't find it so i bought a brand called sekrete natural play sand. everything seemed fine & after 4 weeks i bought my damsels & they were fine & my water levels were ok.. like week 5 i bought a puffer & a couple days later a tang. i have about 3 inches of sand & i have 2 air bars, a fluval 405 filter & a seaclone skimmer. i have 50lbs of live rock ( i bought it online & was told that it was aquaculterd- ready to be in the tank.) last week i started noticing my puffer was twitching a bit & breathing harder than normal & was a little pale. i tested my water & all of the levels were at their worst. i did a 50% water change & took the water into a fish specialty store yesterday & they said that the nitrites are off the chart. they only suggested that we use stress zyme everyday and do maybe a 10 gallon water change every 3 days. what else can i do?? i really love my puffer & i dont want him to die. i was reading somewhere that maybe he is not getting enough oxygen?? i am going to buy a maxijet powerhead today to see if it helps. do you think the sand could be the problem?? please help if you can
  7. Tangster

    Tangster 3reef Sponsor

    Aug 16, 2006
    It takes several months to totally cycle a system.. And at 8 weeks the system could not handle all the bio demand you added to rapidly.. It takes a few weeks for a new system to grow to proper bacterial colony numbers from the addition of one fish.. As for sand I have read that mess also and I would say I disagree with the information.. I'd never use just any sand.. And the few little tanks I tried to use it in I always had health and water parameters and algae issues.. Experience has taught me differently. And I won't use a method then I won't suggest anyone else to use it.. But bottom line is your system crashed ..I'd just start over.. you are fighting a up hill battle from here on out..IMO maybe someone else can offer a magic bullet ? I know of none..Bottom line you started off wrong and then rushed it through no fault of your own just lots of bad advice and articals and books
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  9. patrice

    patrice 3reef Sponsor

    Feb 21, 2007
    Personnally, the biggest problem I see is that you play with your ph. It's the best thing to kill fish. Your fish will addapt to many ph level but will have hard time to addapt to ph variation.
    Other thing that people said, you have to much fish in there. You did not said what you filter is but I thing there is a problem there. There is no reason to have amonia in your tanks if you have a good and large filter. also, you clean this filter to much. In my tanks, Aquaclear filters are clean once every 2 month and Fluval or any other large filter are clean every 4 to 6 month.
    most of the time, filter cleaning is the problem beacause you flush your bacteria out every time.
  10. djnzlab1

    djnzlab1 Aiptasia Anemone

    Dec 15, 2006
    Va Beach, Va
    carbonate being used causes PH swing.

    Freshwater tanks have their own unique problems that are constantly sliding around just like many saltwater system.
    The one common denominator, is waste.
    IF you have to much waste it will be metabolized by bacteria producing a slurry of nitrogen and other waste products the down to this reaction is that fresh water has a very limited supply of buffers or free carbonate. whe the tank swings to acid this kills many live bearing fish and can result in a release of ammonia another toxic substance.
    Most foods we feed freshies is loaded with protein which when digested goes thru the fish and winds up in the gravel. The gravel bio-load is much greater than a couple fish. most under gravel filter and even external filter swing the tank acid.
    So here a trick I learned in my some 40 years of keeping fish.
    1. dont feed with the filters on, the filters will slurp up food and feed the nitrogen cycle not the fish. I use a simple power strip and power down all pumps for the 10 mins I feed. if there's any floating food ues a small net to remove
    2. try to feed floating food. it dosen't sink into the filters or the susbtrate.
    3. feed a balanced diet of plants and shrimp and meats, the best food products being sold are the Haiki-Koi foods they have shrimp, fish meal, and plant fiber, they are designed to be bio-degreadble and not stress your system. I love the color enhanced foods orange box.
    it floats to ,I pinch the pellets in my finger and it explodes in to a fine easy small food.
    I ve used this for all species of fish and they thrive even you pleco's love it.
    4. A PHD in marine biology told me his secret to keeping fish put a small amount of crushed corals in a bag in a filter this will only relasee carbonate when the tank is swinging acid when it hits 7.4 it stops. This has worked for me in all my tanks over the past 20 years never lost a fish to ph swing.
    hope this helps .
    I ve even kept acid loving fish at 7.6 and they thrive due to the lack of ph swing.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2008