5 days on fish seem sluggish

  1. j

    jeebo Valued Member Member

    Hi guys

    So 5 days on in our little aquarium, the fish seem to be having moments they are sluggish. Laying around almost at the bottom of the tank...

    Levels are good nitrates around. 15 and ammonia at . 25 whilst the cycle is kicking in (or at least it should be).

    Problem is, our fish have been laying around a little tonight, 2 guppies and 6 tetra, they have been in the dark most the night, but when we turned the light on, they were all lounging around. That said, the missus fed them and they all came back to life.

    The guidance I have read and been told varies. Such that you should feed them every other day, and they have been fine, but we fed them a little this morning (after 2 days) and a bit more tonight.

    They seem to have been fine otherwise.

    Is this normal? Am I messing this up? I have tried so hard to have this tank ready for them, it's been running two months, done a fishless cycle and been adding the good bacteria in a bottle and daily or every other day water tests throughout this time.

    Am I doing things right or if I am doing this wrong please shout at me... I don't want to be responsible for the loss of more fish...
     
  2. Aquaphobia

    Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    Are the fish lounging around when the lights are on or only in the dark?

    Do you have the results for the nitrite test?
     
  3. BamBamSorg

    BamBamSorg Well Known Member Member

    Do you know the nitrogen cycle? It is most likely that your tank is not fully cycled
     
  4. o

    oldsalt777 Well Known Member Member

    Hello jee...

    You have a trace of ammonia in the tank water. Even a trace is enough to severely injure even the hardiest fish and kill the other species. If you have a small tank, then the ammonia is even more of a problem. If you're cycling this tank with fish you must test the tank water daily and if your test shows a trace of ammonia or nitrite, you should remove 25 percent of the water and replace it with pure, treated tap water. Review the nitrogen cycle right away. Your fish don't have long to live with ammonia in the water.

    Old
     
  5. OP
    OP
    j

    jeebo Valued Member Member

    Primarily they seem to be lagging in the dark, which I would expect anyway! though on occasion they do in the light as well.

    I am aware of the nitrogen cycle, though am confused, as I thought you had to have even a fraction of ammonia to start the cycle? Nitrite is 0, and nitrate is 10-20. Ammonia is still presently around 0.25

    Each time I do a change (every couple of days or so) the nitrate levels drop sharply, I was under the impression this needed to be maintained to a small level and needed to always be present.

    What I dont understand though is why.

    Why, when I have cycled the tank using raw ammonia, and had the cycle completed before hand, is it now lagging?
    Why when I could put ammonia in raw, did the cycle complete within a day and clear out, but now, its constantly being maintained at 0.25. Why is the used media I have, not working effectively?
    I feel like I am doing everything correctly, following the guidance, the daily tests, at least every other day water changes, feeding infrequently (once every other day). treating the water with tap conditioner on replacement, using the filter aids to remove ammonia's toxicity with one in three water changes, that none of it is working?

    I am finding myself incredibly frustrated! I have all the products I can find to reduce ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels to the correct levels, I am completing the changes, and it all keeps going wrong! I understand I am new to this, but I dont feel like I am doing it wrong, but it isnt working as it should.

    Is there any possibility, the old media I have been provided could be hindering the correct running of my tank?
     
  6. Aquaphobia

    Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    I think the chief difference between the fishless cycle with ammonia and what's happening now is that you would add a discrete amount of ammonia which the bacteria would eat. Now that you have fish, they don't produce a set amount of ammonia. Instead they are constantly producing it! A reading of 0.25ppm ammonia is not at all unusual, especially in a relatively new tank.

    Nitrates do not need to be present and sometimes aren't in certain tanks. Live plants and some kinds of anaerobic bacteria will take care of them and it is entirely possible to have a fully cycled tank with zero nitrates! I have one in fact:)

    How high are your nitrates getting? If your tank is not terribly overstocked then I would slow down on the water changes. Once a week is probably fine.

    Don't worry! From the looks of things you are doing everything right:)
     
  7. OP
    OP
    j

    jeebo Valued Member Member

    The readings prior to (and just after) putting the fish in last Thursday, where 0.40 nitrates, 0 Ammonia and 0 nitrites. I then received guidance to have it down below 20 (nitrates that is) and duly changed the water and brought it down in place to 0.10, Since then, its been "maintaining" itself at 0.25 Ammonia, 0 Nitrites and .10 - .20 nitrates.

    Currently just done a bucket change (around 8 litres) which is my common practice these days. Put in the tap safe, and some more filter aid.

    Also removed all the filter media and cleaned it off in the old water, what was clear on leaving the tank, was absolutely dirty, muddy and "sandy"... so cleaned that all up, replaced the carbon cartridge with a home made kit.

    I have now got two active pumps, a top feed (if thats the right term for a suck it up to the top, filter it and dump it back in?) and I also have a below water level filter (suck in, through the sponge, and spit out under the water). This is now sitting on the gravel level, and I disturbed all the gravel a few times, in order to pull out the cack and let the bottom filter pick it up.

    It also seems to serve a benefit, in that it is recirculating the water below, and so on feeding the fish, the flakes are now being pushed around and spend longer in the mid section, and dont just drop to the bottom.

    If only I had a bigger tank.. perhaps the levels wouldnt fly up so high...
     
  8. Aquaphobia

    Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    What size is your tank? And did you add all the fish at once?
     
  9. OP
    OP
    j

    jeebo Valued Member Member

    Its a 34 litre tank, and yes, the 6 tetra and 2 guppies were added at the same time, though I worked out the appropriate ammonia online and was adding that amount before hand in "raw ammonia", which was 1.2ml per day. Then when it was clearing it out in the day, I thought it would be fine, knowing I would have to monitor it...

    I am beginning to think there is an unwritten rule of 2... 2 fish every 2 weeks max... or at least thats the rule I plan going forward!
     
  10. Aquaphobia

    Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    Do you have any decor in the tank?

    BTW, the appropriate term, around here at least, for the type of filter you called a "top feed" is HOB, which stands for Hang On Back;)
     
  11. OP
    OP
    j

    jeebo Valued Member Member

    Yeah got a silk flower, a ceramic barrel, and a small ceramic 'sunken ship'

    Oh and thanks for the correct term :)
     
  12. Aquaphobia

    Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    Have the fish changed their behaviour at all?
     
  13. OP
    OP
    j

    jeebo Valued Member Member

    I don't think so, maybe just got a little more lively at points. Otherwise still swimming the tank, guppies mostly keep to themselves but do interact with the tetras. They are all swimming around most the time.
     
  14. Aquaphobia

    Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    They might benefit from the addition of more hiding spots, like tall plants that reach all the way to the top and some shorter ones mixed in. If they feel more secure and feel they can hide at a moment's notice you're more likely to see activity;)
     
  15. OP
    OP
    j

    jeebo Valued Member Member

    Worth looking at, thank you
     
  16. Dayna Ann

    Dayna Ann Valued Member Member

    I had an odd nitrate issue myself and bought some nitrate reducing filter, rinsed in my tank water before adding, and it resolved the issue within a few hours.
    Not sure if you have that already, but it eliminated my nitrate issue very fast.
    I use it in my HOB filter, you just cut it to size.
    Hope you get it under control. I was very frustrated myself. Good luck.

    Sent from my SM-N920T using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
     
  17. Bithimala

    Bithimala Fishlore VIP Member

    Out of curiosity, have you tested your tap water for ammonia? Mine has a ton in it, so if I were to do a water change and test within a few hours of the change, I would always show an ammonia level.
     
  18. Dayna Ann

    Dayna Ann Valued Member Member

    Very good point!!!

    Sent from my SM-N920T using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
     
  19. OP
    OP
    j

    jeebo Valued Member Member

    Still haven't tested it that said, I always test before water change.