Absolutely gutted! Juwel 180 Tank

  • #1
It started saturday with my juwel 180 tank. I came into the lounge to see the light hadn't started (its on a timer). I was receiving a second hand tank that morning so was going to the petshop anyway for odds and ends.

Got back, replaced the bulb nothing. Tried the light unit for the second tank on each individual bulb they both worked. The electronic ballast in the so called "sealed" unit had gone (the sealed unit was never a perfect seal, and tipping it always got a small amount fo water from it).

I google fixing the thing, and taking it apart, but it "sealed for life", and nobody seems to have been able to fix one. I googled a new unit, and found it came with new bulbs! great, that would be 5 bulbs and £70 worse off.

I took an angle grinder to the top, and found it runs a high frequency t8 ballast, and got one on order.

I wanted to move the juwel across the lounge, to accommodate my new (second hand actually) 4ft tank.

So I had a great idea (here's where I was so bloody stupid!). I siphoned off the existing tank into the new tank, so as to keep all the bateria.

The old tank was in a bit of a state (just general dirt, but known to be healthy, as I had had the fish from the tank two weeks ago all fine).

I cleaned the tank inside with fresh water, and tissue. And the outside with with acquarium glass cleaner. pt new sand in, heater (set to 26c) etc etc.

transfered the water, and had to add a decent amount as well (stress coat added).

temperature brought up almost inline with the juwel tank.

I cleaned the filter out totally in boiling water, dried it out, and installed totally new media in in (juwel 304).

plastic plants transfered, and not cleaned (nice amount of algae on them).

I started catching the existing fish in the juwel. I used a plastic biscuit tin.

Caught about half of them initially. I went to transfer the fish into the new tank and couldnt settle the biscuit box into the tank. I searched high and low for a bag or something to use, and couldnt (and was running out of time with fish stressing and not in the tank).

I cross checked the temperature withthe existing tank and they were the same temperature.

I thought that I could just put the fish from one tank to the new one as the water was from an existing tank, and the temperature was the same.

Over the next 30 mins this is what I did.
about 25 in all.

Within thrity minutes paul noticed the "albino's (sucker fish?) were all on top of one another at one end of the tank.

all three of us (myself, partner, and her son) all wathing the tank now. seeing the odd fish listing etc.

then a dead neon.

I thought it over. and did a full water test. by this time, many fish were showing issues.

the only thing that pocked out was nitrite at 0.5ppm. I didnt have time to fully investigate, so I did the following.
added acquarium salt,
added more stress coat (not overdoing it)
checked the temperature.

the temperature was saying 31c! the thermostat on the unit was set at 26 still! I hadn't noticed this as for a really odd reason that I still don't know the tank felt cold!

I got another thermometer, so now had a "lcd" type, and a traditional type. they bot said the same.

I took the thermometer from the juwel (known to be good), and changed it over with the current one. it light up for about 30 seconds, then went out (as I would expect, being the tank temp was high, and the internals of the juwel one was cold from sitting in the old tank.

whilst this has been happening the rest of the fish had already been put in before we noticed anythign wrong.

I read up now more on nitrite. Mentioning things like poor respiration, and its produced by the new filters?

we put our heads together, and took the filter media from the established tank, and sqeezed it into the new tank, making the water mirky, but hopefully helping this issue a little.

I then added a second twin tube setup to aerate the water. so I ahd the original (weak) air pump powering a stone in the middle, and an air stone either end of the tank going nuts with airation.

Most of the neons had did byu this point. the sucker fish (and the massive black and white 7" sucker fish) started going mad every 5 minutes for about 5 seconds a time.

The corydoras were swimming verticle about every 3>4 minutes.

they all started dying!. my partner who had taken the time (bless her) to name them all, was really really upset, with the little kid in her truly coming out.

water temperature now at the 25>26c and stable, the filter runnning smooth, we sat until 1am trying to help, or think of other things, running frequent nitrite tests.

by this time the angelfish was showing a clear sign of weakness, clown loaches were jsut about hanging on but freefalling often, the sucker fish were still there.

This morning>
Angel fish is on side, but not totally dead, 1 sucker remvoed from tank, then 30 seonds later decides to move jsut before it goes down the toilet. I placed him back in the tank.

basically everything is dead. the only two things showing a fighting chance of surviving are the Crayfish who seem's blissfully unaware of what is going on, and is too busy stealing anything that looks like food, and running around the caves, and "malawi" the big sucker fish that is dormant at the back, but looking fine, and moving occassionaly as normal.

There were the odd other fish that had sporadick movement, but I expect to be gone by end of day.

All in all what a messup, and am totally kicking myself, for the upset, and the fact she named all the bloody fish! Up unitl this point as a new started (6 months ago) I had only lost around 10 fish (5 neons, and a douse of ich for some others). even the crayfish survived full ich treatment.

to make matters worse, I was just walking out the door this morning to go to work, and I saw one kohlI loach in the existing tank, no heater, the morning after, swimming around fine! (we had emptied, and searched the tank, so no idea where he hid).

My partner is at home (in bed, not wanting to go into the lounge, very very upset)!

There's naturally so much I can learn from this, but what can I do to icnrease the chances of the existing fish making it, and any other advice welcome.

Thanks for reading.

  • #2
Sorry to hear about what has happened. :'(

Is the new tank cycled?
What fish do you have left?
How big is the new tank?
What are the levels for Ammonia, NitrIte, NitrAte etc?

Sorry about all the questions.

  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Sorry to hear about what has happened.  :'(

Is the new tank cycled?
What fish do you have left?
How big is the new tank?
What are the levels for Ammonia, NitrIte, NitrAte etc?

Sorry about all the questions.

HI Gwenz.

New tank was cleaned, and exisitng water, and plants added, sponge squeeze's from existing filter (6 month established tank very stable to date). it wasn't cycled (I know also totally stupid).
fish left are; -
"Pterygoplichthys (Liposarcus) multuradiatus" (well this picture looks the same). this is about 7" long. hasnt had the crazy outbirsts the smaller fish have had.
the Crayfish. Seems blisfully unaware of what is going on, no obvious signs of distress.

Angell fish, was totally listedon side when I left fo work this morning though still alive,
Albino pleco's? 2 of. look the same as above, but much smaller. one was nearly dead, the other was still ok (ish).

other fish unknown. most have not been seen all night, and I didnt want to go chasing around the tank stressing them even more?
Tank is a 4ft standard type.
ammonnia was low (can't remember exact, but has alwasys been fine at this level).
ph was about 7.4 I think.
nitrite varied over the evening between 0.25ppm and 0.5ppm. when we did the sponge squeezes it appeard to make it closer to 0.5ppm (we thought it would possibly make it go the other way?).
Nitrate can't remember, but it didnt cause me concern.

I will run a full test this evening, and report all results again.

I am thinkning a waterchange may be needed, but is this jsut going to stress them even more?.
  • #4
If you're NitrIte is at that lvl you are probably having a minI cycle.

Is you're ammonia at 0?
If it isn't you should probably do a water change to keep it down. Water changes shouldn't stress you're fish. The fish will like the clean water.

  • Thread Starter
  • #5
It seemed last night, that everything I touched was going wrong, so I avoided a water change. what % would you recommend. I was thinking 30>50%. a big one to get the levels as low as possible? on my previous tank I would do a 25% each week.
  • #6
Do about 30% daily to keep the lvls down. I think that should be ok.

  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Partner is attempting a small water change now. She hasnt done one before, but whatever we can get changed before I get home is a bonus.

I will find out how much (she is doing up to 25%) she can do, and I will test and make decision from there.

thanks for advice gwenz.
  • #8
No problem!!

Let us know what happens.

  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Got home did a large waterchange (30>40%). running a fluval 304 (nothing like as good as the integrated juwel one). I moved the outlet pipe to point down the tank so as to get a bit of tank circulation going. tank temp now at 27c stable.

only fish now left are the large pleco (no energy just enough to breah, and no movement in over 2 hours. and the crayfish who is still going nuts.

I still have no idea why its all happened. nothing is standing out at all.
  • #10
I have just had 2 guppies killed and I thought I had problems!!! I feel for you, poor you......
Sorry I have no advise but wish you much luck x Michelle
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
2 hours after the major water change:-
ammonia 0.25
nitrite more than before. between 0.5 and 1.
nitrate at 10 (but if they had 13 it would probably be there.

is the tank going through a minI cycle?
why is the crayfish still alive?
what is the quickest method to get it back on track?

thanks, craig.

it had the large sponge squeezes so has at minimum a head start. if I withdraw the fish, or don't keep something in there, I fear it will uncycle.

such a mess!
  • #12
What a sad state of affairs. I hope it all works out for you, in the meantime all you can do is your best. If it does work out you have to start all over again, so be it. You will obviously learn from this experience...who knows why these strange things happen from time to time. Good luck, I do hope it all goes well.
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Ok, this is really odd now.

yesterday morning on the way to work there was only malibu (not malawI as I though she had named it!) left. and the crayfish. on passing the tank I didnt see the crayfish. he has a few good hiding spots, so didnt think anything of it.

That evening nobody had still seen him, Rach my partner had cleaned the whole flat etc, (you know where this is going). the large pleco malibu passed away during the day. I decided to search the tank. I moved everything, and flattened the sand out as the crayfish had aranged everything how he liked it. I found another dead cory, the white molly sailfin, and the last kohlI loach (all dead).

I had to keep the tank cycling so I bought two gourami's and some other large neon types. The tank had been tested that day and still nothing unusual showing. I didnt wat to risk taking the tank down again and re-cycling it.

here's what happened!.

just as I was moving the ornaments back, rach bursts my eardrum with a sound like the lockness monster had just come through the front window on a third floor flat. she dissapeared outside, and down the stairs!

I nearly ripped the front of the tank off, not knowing what I should or shouldnt be scared of!

the crayfish, was waltzing across the lounge floor, with dust in toe (she obviously missed a decent chunk when cleaning!).

he was very dried out, and weak.

I got him back in the tank, and luckily he is still there this morning.

During all this other things happened.

I hadn't removed the plastic bags from the filter media on the fluval 304! no wonder I though it was really bad!

I sorted this. I also extended the filter pipe so that it took water in next to the heater one end, and put it back in at the other end, thereby getting some circulation!

The two gourami's are still there this morning, and three of the other fish. no signs of stress, or issues with the water. its just a bad run of cockups!

We moved the juwel tank into the bedroom, and as I had bought a new heater for the 4ft tank, we put the juwel heater back in the juwel tank.

We put all the old filter media back in it. The tank had been unheated, unfiltered, and unlit for 2>3 days now.

I stress coated some water, and topped up the half full tank. as I poured the first lot in, the evasive kohlI loach that we kept seeing but could never find went nuts! can't believe its still alive!.

we took extra care to get the tank running, I aerated the water massivley, and topped the water up with luke warm water.

The tank is now setup, 26c like the other tank, and the kohlI loach seemed very active and happy still this morning!

I am waiting on the t8 ballast to get the lighting going again, but he should survive another few days.

Then the roof started leaking, but that's another story!.

all in all, getting there!

totally mad hey!
  • #14
bristol after that buddy I think you could conquer the world and that would seem effortless as opposed to what you have just been through. I wish you the best of luck with the next tank. the water gets poured in mine tomorrow and I start a fishless cycle thanks to the knowledge of these people here. stick with them mate they will help you through almost everything

regards darren
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
Thanks everyone for the replies! when you say to your mates etc that you've "had such a bad weekend, and the fish died" it doesn't quite cut it does it!

i'll be getting thr crayfish back into the juwel tank asap as its secure, and my ears still hurt!
  • #16
  What a time you have had!!!!!!! Pls let us know the crayfishes name!! He/she is famous now!!! What a little star! Keep us up to date with your news and I hope your ears recover soon!!!
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
Crayfish is called Russell, after one of my mates, small (well the crayfish used to be small), and a little fiery! (she named them not me! lol).

current setup:-
4ft tank. seems established. all five "peanuts" I didnt get the type, like large tetra's that are a "penaut" colour, are alive, as well as 1 gourami are all fine.

The crayfish ws left to settle back into his tank for a day, and then last night I transfered him to the juwel tank. He didnt stress or flick his tail once. Not bad. we took his cave with him.

In the juwel tank:-
The remaining KohlI laoch !!!! still alive! I am sure there is a name, but I can't remember it!And four gourami honey dwarfs? Small orange sweet things. They like hiding at the moment.
I've added extra plants, and a little aeration etc.

Both tanks should now continue to re-establish, and over the coming months we intend to re-stock them.

I am still waiting on the t8 ballast for the juwel tank, as soon as that gets here the lighting will be back on in the jiuwel tank.
The crayfish had to go to the juwel tank as its a lot more secure than the other one.

The 4ft tank was supposed to be partitioned for a quarantine tank. The plan has now changed to getting one of those small plastic brightly coloured desk acquairums, and using that in an emergency, with a small sponge squeeze, and transfered water.

So, finally getting there!

I can post pick's. I used to run emy car website, but am in the process of setting the site to run from home, and probably taking out a new name). anywhere quick and simple to host the pics?

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