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Please help!!

Discussion in 'New Aquarium Advice' started by Becs07, Apr 5, 2019.


  1. Becs07

    Becs07 PetForums Newbie

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    We've kept temperate fish in a 57L tank for about a year, slowly adding more fish, shrimp and snails, and tried to upgrade to a 120L tank this week. We carefully stored water for weeks/days (which is reverse osmosis from our drinking tap, and added some 'replenish' - or called something like that). We used all the old tank water, and really slowly moved everything out - plants, ornaments, extra filter medium that we'd placed to habour more bacteria. We'd allowed the old tank to become really dirty (embarrassed!) so tried to rinse some things but not most as we knew to keep the bacteria. We just got our first cat a couple of weeks ago, which hurried the move as the old tank wasn't very safe from her. We had completely new gravel, as didn't have enough old and some extra ornaments (is this the problem?) , which was carefully rinsed many times. We used more new water than originally planned as the pump needs the tank to be full to work (stupid design!). We added some bacteria solution to the filter. So all was fine for about 24 hours, and then suddenly first the only ghost shrimp died, then the first zebra snail, stupidly didn't twig. Then eating dinner hours later and suddenly all the fish were on the surface gasping. Two dead. 6 out of 8 armano shrimp dead, all snails dead. Quickly got some fresh RO water from the tap and fished out two, who immediately revived. Waited few minutes and they were definitely better so got the rest out. Some still suffering a bit, but before getting them out, thought more were dead as they were still. The ones left are:
    Leopard danios x3
    Zebra danios x3
    penguin tetra x1 (still suffering)
    red eye tetra x1
    white cloud minnow (seem the least affected) x5
    Think the others are glowlight danios x4 (not sure on this one)
    Did have other red eye and penguin but lost them slowly months ago.

    Took some test water (straight after we removed the fish) to the local store and they said nitrite and ammonia were fine, only thing was slightly low bacteria and slightly low pH (which they said would be linked??). Left the filter running, and used our testing kit (only three parameters) about 2 hours later and pH was 7, ammonia 0, and maybe slight nitrite. We haven't plugged in the heater, and the light is LED, but it felt warmer in the new tank (will get a thermometer!).

    Questions:
    So the fish are currently going back in the old tank (in bucket till it fills up as out water is slow), no plants, all ornaments BUT do I add some of the new water or leave them in entirely RO water? Or do I use our softened tap water? What did we do so wrong? If it's not nitrite or ammonia, what's the problem? Was it the new gravel? New plastic ornaments - all rinsed very carefully. We did add a few new fish and two new plants at the same time. Feel gutted and little daughter is distraught by any death in the tank.
     
  2. NaomiM

    NaomiM Love my furry, feathered and finned family

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    Sorry about your fish :(

    You say you moved some filter media across - how much? And how long was it in the (empty) new tank for before you moved the fish across?

    What did you do with the rest of the filter media from the old tank?

    Did you treat tap water with dechlorinator before adding it? Did you rinse the filter media in untreated tap water? The chlorine in tap water kills the good bacteria.

    Do you have your own test kit? I wouldn't trust getting water samples tested in a shop - far better to get your own kit and test it at the source. Liquid test kits such as the API master kit are the best as they're much more accurate than the cardboard strips.

    Were the new plants rinsed well before adding to remove any potential pesticide residue?
     
    Wild With Roxi and Becs07 like this.
  3. Becs07

    Becs07 PetForums Newbie

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    Surprisingly the rest of the fish now seem fine. We did lose the other two armano shrimp though, and found a live zebra snail. I understand a lot more now about the nitrogen cycle, and it seems that was the issue. My test kit didn't pick up on much, just some very slight nitrite. We only use RO water so no chlorine.

    They'll now stay in the old tank - which will possibly cycle as well, and hopefully the new tank will cycle faster, or be further ahead so we can transfer them at the exact right time.

    My next question is, we'll have to move a few fish first, and test again. Out of the ones we have, are the zebra danios the best starter fish, or have I understood wrong?

    Thanks!
     
  4. NaomiM

    NaomiM Love my furry, feathered and finned family

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    Sorry, I missed the bit about the RO :)

    I'm not sure what you're asking TBH. Are you planning on moving the zebra danios to be "starter fish" in the new tank? If so, that results in a fish-in cycle, which is harmful to the fish and also means that you are still liable to ammonia spikes each time you add new fish. It would be much better to keep all the fish in the old tank while you do a fishless cycle on the new tank - see the sticky thread on fishless cycling for more info.

    Meanwhile, if you think the old tank may not be fully cycled, you'll have to keep a close eye on the water parameters, testing daily and doing a water change whenever the ammonia or nitrite levels rise above 0.25. Adding a daily dose of Seachem Prime will also help to protect the fish during the process.
     
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