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cold water tank problem

Discussion in 'Coldwater Aquarium Advice' started by moffgirl72, Apr 29, 2011.


  1. moffgirl72

    moffgirl72 PetForums Newbie

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    I need some advice about my cold water fish tank - I bought the 60L tank to upgrade from a starter tank. I had 5 leopard Danio's after loosing a number of fancy gold fish. i evenually introduced 2 fancy goldfish with the danios after getting advice from the pet shop. My tank was great for a few months, but i got up one morning to find both goldfish dead. I took a sample of my tank water to be tested and was told it was perfect to keep goldfish in and the guy couldnt help on why the fish had died. I did change the bulb a short time before this happened, when i bought the bulb the package said it was a tropical bulb but the lady in the shop said that it would be ok for a cold water tank ( it has a slight pink glo). In the following months i had a number of fancy gold fish and within a week or so they all died. I noticed that the danios seemed to be bullying the fancies so i took the danios out of the tank. I bought 2 fancy goldfish and after 2 weeks they seemed to be doing well so i bought 2 more. It is now about 2 weeks since getting the last 2 fish and they have all died one by one.I part change the water in the tank about once a fortnight and also change or clean the filters. Can anyone please let me know what i am doing wrong.
     
    #1 moffgirl72, Apr 29, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2011
  2. Chillinator

    Chillinator Guest

    I'll keep it short and sweet in my diagnosis: the pet shop owner is either a) lying, or b) a complete idiot. :rolleyes:

    Most fish deaths are caused by poor water quality, and in this case I would attribute this to overstocking due to the fact goldfish aren't really ideal for a 2ft tank; especially with the danios. I would only keep one fancy goldfish in a 2ft aquarium, but even then this is pushing it since these fish can grow to 15cm/6" in length.

    Did you actually see the water being tested and the results? I've seen pet shops tell fishkeepers that their aquarium water conditions are 'absolutely fine' in an attempt to cover their own backs when fish start to push up daisies.

    The deaths have nothing to do with the lighting, or anything else but the water conditions. Poor water conditions also cause disease, which may have resulted in the sudden onset of a bacterial infection. Sometimes fish don't always show symptoms that something is wrong, hence the need to test the water yourself on a weekly basis.

    Buy your own liquid test kit and post the test results. We need the results for pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

    I'll also ask a moderator to move this thread to the fish forum.
     
  3. Amy-manycats

    Amy-manycats PetForums Senior

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    Also what do you mean by clean or change the filters? Haven't got long now but basically do not ever change the filter unless the foams disintergrate (assuming it will be a foam and an internal filter in this size tank)

    The foam (or other media) in the filter do not just trap the dirt from the water they provide a place for vital bacteria to grow. This bacteria cleans the water by dealing with the waste products/chemical secretions the fish produces (a little bit like urine) It breaks down these substances including any rotting food and solid waste from ammonia HIGHLY TOXIC to (burns the fish and starves them of oxygen carrying capability) to Nitrite STILL TOXIC to Nitrate OK in lower values say under 50ppm. Nitrate is what you then dilute by changing the water. Hopefully your tap water will be lower in Nitrate than 50 ppm as this is the highest leagally allowed in this country. Google the nitrogen cycle or cycling a fishtank for more indepth info.

    If you change the sponges you get rid of all this bacteria. If you wash it in tap water you kill/ wash away most of the bacteria (might as well say all for the few that are left TBH). Only ever swill cloged sponges in the tank water you are romoving at a water change as this is the safest way of preserving the bacteria.

    Keeping fish is in a large part about keeping bacteria happy ;). I would say you would be best to ask the shop to take the goldies back if you can, and still have any. Then you can either add a heater and go tropical. This is not harder than coldwater and if you pick your species wisely (ask for help here not that fish shop!) you will have a greater variety of more suitable fish. Alternatively stay cold water but go for a larger shoal of Danios or White Cloud Mountain Minnows.

    HTH.

    Feel free to ask any more questions but in all honesty I would ditch the shop!
     
  4. Chillinator

    Chillinator Guest

    I think I must need my eyes testing, I'm missing complete lines of text in these posts... :lol:

    As said, replacing the filter media or cleaning it in chlorinated tapwater will completely wipe out any trace of a bacterial population. If the filter can't cope with the waste, ammonia and nitrite rise and the result is dead fish.
     
  5. moffgirl72

    moffgirl72 PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for your help and advice. I have been and bought a water testing kit and the results are - PH - 6.6, High range PH - 7.8, Ammonia - 0.25, Nitrite - 0, Nitrate - 20ppm
     
  6. Chillinator

    Chillinator Guest

    There's your problem: the ammonia is above 0ppm. Any concentration of ammonia above 0ppm indicates something is seriously wrong in your tank and ammonia is lethal to fish. As we said above it's due to overstocking and replacing/excessively cleaning the filter media.
     
  7. moffgirl72

    moffgirl72 PetForums Newbie

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    what do you suggest that i do now,the tank is still running minus any fish. Also which and how many fish should i get.
    When i said clean the filter i was doing it in the water that i took out of the tank not tap water. Thanks again
     
    #7 moffgirl72, May 2, 2011
    Last edited: May 2, 2011
  8. Chillinator

    Chillinator Guest

    You need to remove the ammonia by carrying out several large water changes, and then test the water again. Add a small amount of fish food and allow it to decompose, within 24 hours test the water again for ammonia. If it reads 0ppm, the tank is ready for re-stocking; if it's above 0ppm, carry out more water changes and monitor the water quality until the ammonia is undetectable.

    As for fish, you have a large selection of tropicals to choose from with the addition of an aquarium heater. Most small tetras, barbs, danios and rasboras should be fine, along with smaller Anabantoids and Corydoras catfish.
     
  9. moffgirl72

    moffgirl72 PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks again for your help and advice :001_smile:
     
  10. Sussexplumber

    Sussexplumber Banned

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    I`ve been squeezing out the foam filter sponges from my orfe tank under a running cold tap. I take it that this isn`t good then?
     
  11. hawksport

    hawksport Banned

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    Not good at all. Tap water has chlorine added to kill bacteria
     
  12. Sussexplumber

    Sussexplumber Banned

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    I shall improve my husbandry! Good to learn new things though! Still have the two power filters running so its not a problem. :)
     
    #12 Sussexplumber, Nov 29, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
  13. NaomiM

    NaomiM Love my furry, feathered and finned family

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    Best to clean the sponges during a water change, when you have a nice bucket full of waste tank water to use for the purpose. Don't squeeze them too vigorously either!
     
  14. Fishyfins

    Fishyfins PetForums Member

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    Put it this way. the filter works by having a load of bacteria in there that eats the chemical waste of fish, breaking it down in stages from toxic ammonia, into toxic nitrite, into harmless nitrate, which is removed through water changes.

    Tap water contains chlorine (if not much worse cholaramines), which is a powerful antibacterial (put in there to make it safe for us to consume). the effect of washing filter media under the tap is that you are effectivly killing off all your filter bacteria each time you do it, thus meaning you never have a properly cycled aquarium (very very dangerous). having working in the trade for 6 years, i have seen many MANY times when this has been the root cause of problems in an aquarium.

    its far far safer/better practice to wash the filter media in the water you remove from the tank after a water change. its the reason we add dechlorinator when we put water into a tank, to stop it killing the filter bacteria XD
     
  15. Sussexplumber

    Sussexplumber Banned

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    You did read the above post about this only being re the internal filter sponges? I`ve still got two hoooge Eheim external power filters running. ;) Good advice though, thanks!
     
    #15 Sussexplumber, Nov 29, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
  16. Tropical Fish Delivered

    Tropical Fish Delivered PetForums Junior

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    Ammonia is the problem, water change and cycle your filter.
     
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