Ammonia Spike, 50% Of Stocking Died, Now Fin Rot?

nickb2000

So I have a planted ten gallon tank. Its been setup for about 4 months I think. I had a betta, 2 cherry shrimp, 3 amanos, 4 ember tetras, 2 black neons, 4 cardinal fish and 2 ottos. Yesterday night I came home to 3 dead cardinal fish, and the all the other fish in bad shape, and the cherry shrimp almost brownish/black in color. I checked the water and my ammonia read .5 ppm. So I did a 50% water change and added in and doubled the prime I add into new water. This seemed strange to me because I haven't done anything different with the tank in 2 months. But anyway lets get back to the real issue.
I got home tonight and I found my smallest 2 embers and the last cardinal fish dead, and the embers looking flushed in color and their fins were clampled, whiteish tips, and falling apart, like parts of the fins were hanging on by a thread. My betta even had clamped fins, but they were not white. The ottos and shrimp looked fine though. So I did a 25% water change with double prime and I added in some metroplex.
So does anyone know what this is?? My best guess is Excel killed my bacteria because I dose it in the morning before school 3 hours before the lights turn on. This then led to the spike which killed the fish. And the spike lowered their immune system which led to them getting sick. But if anyone has a guess id love to know because I'm desperate here.
 

75g Discus Tank

Your tank was badly stocked. You should have rehomed all of the fish besides the betta and the shrimp. All of the other fish need schools and a 10 is too little for them. I recommend rehoming the remaining fish. Now with the betta and shrimp left, do a large 75% WC daily to keep the ammonia down.
 

Ed1957

You have to be careful with Excel. Killed 7 of my prized wild caught Tetras.

You were overstocked and your tank could not keep up with the ammonia. With a stocking like that you should be doing water changes every 2 to 3 days.
 

nickb2000

Well I did have 5 cardinals but 1 jumped out about 2 weeks ago, and the green neons I was gonna move into another tank the (same day of the ammonia spike) so my ten gallon wouldnt be so packed. But I do 2 25% water changes and I keep a close eye on my fish and the fish have been coloring up really well the last 2 months. As for the stocking also, all the fish other than the neons were gonna be moved into a 20 gallon long I had planned to be setup within the next 2 months. But I did realize I would need more soon and rehomed into a larger tank. I was already gonna do a WC everyday to stop the spike from coming back.

The tank has been setup with these fish since the tank was cycled (about 2 weeks after setup) and I never had my ammonia go up to a detected able level. I suspect it was the Excel that killed my filter bacteria which then led to the spike killing my fish.
 

Ed1957

I hate Excel but it did not kill your bacteria. You say you were cycled. What are all your water parameters.
 

nickb2000

Ph: 7.6
ammonia: less than .25 ppm (there has to still be a little but my apI kit isn't as yellow as it has to be)
Nitrite:0
nitrate:0
These were all from today
Waterchanges are done with tape water treated with prime, my town tap water is also hard

Last weeks water change:
Ph:7.8 (ive been slowly lowering it0
ammonia:0
Nitrite:0
Nitrate: 10ppm
The tanks been setup for 4 months now so id expect to be setup, after a 2 week wait period before adding fish. I waited for the ammonia and nitrite to disappear. I also cycled it with Seachem Stability.

But maybe it was the chlorine that killed my fish. My town tends to add extra chlorine into the water in the winter so maybe I didn't compensate enough when I added in prime. And ive been adjusting my ph slowly with Seachems neutral reg.
 

Ed1957

You are not cycled. You should have nitrates if you were cycled. This is why you have an ammonia problem. But the higher PH will make the ammonia more toxic.
 

nickb2000

I had nitrates last week when I did a water test. After the incident I checked my levels and I had no nitrates and no nitrite, but I had ammonia. I made sure my tank was cycled when I set it up 4 months ago. I'm positive something in the water killed my BB which led to a spike. Ive never detected any ammonia except my most recent test and when I set up the tank and started to cycle it.
 

Ed1957

Did you clean your filter or the element.
 

nickb2000

The reason I posted my thread was to get some opinions on what is wrong with my fishs fins and id really like to get back to the real reason I created this thread, not debate if the tank is cycled or not because as of today it is not, and that's proven by todays water test results. I don't mean any disrespect but I have an issue that's hurting my fish that I can't decide on what is the issue, I know I must do water changes pretty much everyday until it is cycled again. But please and try to see my frustration here. Ive lost most of my fish and I don't want to lose any more because of a infection or a disease. And yes I cleaned the filter once a month, the last time was 2 weeks ago.
 

david1978

.5 ammonia shouldn't of killed your fish. Extra chlorine will. I have heard nothing but bad things about excel. So its basically either chlorine or excel is the culprit.
 

nickb2000

Would that be for killing the BB or the fin rottish issue I'm having? But I have made up my mind on cuting the amount of excel I dose in half or just stopping it for a week and cutting it in half after that week. Ill also do 25% water change everyday and add in some extra prime and some Seachem Stability with it to try and get my cycle started again. When I first noticed the spike tho I had a reading of 1ppm on ammonia, it went down to .25ppm after a 50% water change and a 25% water change. But still thanks for the help. But could I still use some advice on my fin rot/fungal issue with my fishs fins.
 

david1978

You didn't happen to refill your filter with unconditioned water? As far as fin rot or fungal a pic would be very helpful.
 

nickb2000

I only refill the filter with tank water, I never add conditioned or unconditioned into the filter just to be safe. I can't really put a pic in the thread, I don't really know how and the only time I did do it, I forgot how to do it after. But the fishes fines were clear and white tipped, and at the ends the pointy tip was gone, like ripped off, and a small piece of the fin was hanging on by a thread. The fins were also closed up a little like the fish was pulling them closer to its body. The fishes fins are a nice bright orange with a small amount off black at the tips
 

david1978

Clear is usually new growth. Black could be minor fin fot from the spike. I would stop the excel and just try to keep the water safe and see what happens in a few days.
 

nickb2000

Ok I will do. But I just feel like some sort of fin rot was set in from the fishes immune system being weakend by the spike, which made them vulnerable to whatever is happening to their fins. Ill try to keep it the water clean, but if that doesn't work ill try something like kanaplex.
 

Ed1957

I am trying to figure out why your not cycled because fin rot if that is what it is is sometimes caused by bad water parameters.
 

nickb2000

So today I got up a little late (11 am) went to check on my fish and their all alive. I came back at 2pm a few hours after the lights came on to let the fish wake up. I checked on them and they have their color almost completely back, but there is still some white coloration on the ember tetras and the green neons fins, and they are still clamped but not as bad as yesterday. The ottos and shrimp are fine, nothing appears to look wrong with them. The ottos also have round bellies so it looks like they have eaten some algae which is good. I did a water test, the ammonia was lower than yesterday but the test still had the slightest bit if green coloration. I did a 25% water change (2.5g) with gallon of that water being distilled water to lower the chlorine content in it, the ph of the WC water was 7.65 . I added double the dose of prime I normally , I added some stability also into the tank. The ph also happened to drop down even more to 7.45 from yesterdays 7.60 before I did the WC.
 

alexbeal1117

I am trying to figure out why your not cycled because fin rot if that is what it is is sometimes caused by bad water parameters.

After 4 months of the tank being setup and having fish in it, it'd be cycled by now. Some people just put fish into tanks unknowingly that their fish could be at risk, because they don't know about cycling their tank. Which is the case with some beginners. But by now it would be cycled to some degree.
 

Ed1957

It is obvious it is not cycled. Something stopped the cycle or caused a minI cycle. Slightest bit of green will be okay as you added Prime. What are you nitrites and nitrates. Sounds promising.
 

alexbeal1117

There's a load of things that can kill your fish and possibly even the bacteria in your filter. Such as hydrogen sulfide (Which is highly unlikely though), some heavy metals can too (If it was copper, your inverts would have been affected by now), chlorine, and other chlorinates (I.E. Chloramines; newer chlorinate that isn't taken out by prime), any new additions to your tank could have brought diseases with them if they were not quarantined. But the new addition part wouldn't explain the loss of bacteria.

Some fungal disease do look like fin rot from what I understand. If it is fungal then you'll see a cotton-ish looking spot on the fins of the fish.

It is obvious it is not cycled. Something stopped the cycle or caused a minI cycle. Slightest bit of green will be okay as you added Prime. What are you nitrites and nitrates. Sounds promising.

Simple way to know if it was cycled properly is to ask him how he supposedly cycled his tank. A minI cycle could be a possibility, but if he keeps up with water changes then that wouldn't be truly a problem.
 

Ed1957

If you read all the posts his nitrates are 0. Sorry but there are not many tanks cycled with 0 nitrates. Not trying to be argumentative but that is just a fact.
 

alexbeal1117

If you read all the posts his nitrates are 0. Sorry but there are not many tanks cycled with 0 nitrates. Not trying to be argumentative but that is just a fact.

If the color of the tests show that it is between 0 and the next lowest value than some people assume it's 0, due to the fact it doesn't match the other value. If he claims he truly cycled his tank, then he most likely has, cause that he means he knows of and knows how to cycle an aquarium. The best way to help him is give advice on how to correct/ fix this problem he has.

He says he's checked his parameters every few hours. Not a significant amount of nitrite or nitrate will build up from that anyways and the waterchanges his doing every few hours will pull out whatever nitrite and nitrate is present. Especially if he's adding in prime, which "lowers" ammonia, but for only about 24 hrs. Prime converts it to a none dangerous form sort of really. In that time, the ammonia can't be converted to nitrite, if there isn't a presence of nitrite then nitrate can't be formed. Which explains his 0 for both parameters. If you read all of the posts you would realize this.

When using prime, the person should be careful cause it can make it appear that there was really a spike in ammonia. But really the ammonia was just bonded into a state that it wouldn't be detected by the test kits or be able to be converted to nitrite by the bacteria.
 

Ed1957

Prime does not lower ammonia. It only makes ammonia less toxic. Where do you come up with this stuff. It does not lower nitrites. It just detoxifies it. He stated his nitrites and nitrates were 0. HE IS NOT CYCLED. I gave him help but I am not going to tell him he is cycled when he isn't.

When a member tells me it is 0 I don't automatically say he is wrong. You are putting words in his mouth that he never stated.
 

alexbeal1117

Prime does not lower ammonia. It only makes ammonia less toxic. Where do you come up with this stuff. It does not lower nitrites. It just detoxifies it. He stated his nitrites and nitrates were 0. HE IS NOT CYCLED. I gave him help but I am not going to tell him he is cycled when he isn't.

When a member tells me it is 0 I don't automatically say he is wrong. You are putting words in his mouth that he never stated.

He says he cycled his tank... You claim he hasn't or that it isn't. You can ask him how he did it to verify that it is not cycled, but after a year in the hobby which his account bio claims, majority of people would know by now.

Telling him it isn't cycled and then nothing else isn't gonna help him. If you gave him advice on what to do would be helpful. Such as getting a beneficial bacteria additive, or what meds would be the most effective. Or when he said that his tests read 0 for nitrite and nitrate, he was asked about pictures. He said he didn't know how, telling him how would be more helpful so you can see for yourself.
 

alexbeal1117

To add a picture (If you're using your phone)
1. Click on the write a reply bar
2. Click on the circle with a + symbol in it
3. look for a square with what looks like a mountain and that'll bring you to your picture library. Or you click on the camera icon and that'll allow you to take a picture.
 

alexbeal1117

Prime does not lower ammonia. It only makes ammonia less toxic. Where do you come up with this stuff. It does not lower nitrites. It just detoxifies it. He stated his nitrites and nitrates were 0. HE IS NOT CYCLED. I gave him help but I am not going to tell him he is cycled when he isn't.

When a member tells me it is 0 I don't automatically say he is wrong. You are putting words in his mouth that he never stated.

He says he found 10ppm of nitrate last week. It’s in his post. His recent water changes are reading 0. He said he’s doing 25-75% waterchange every few hours. That’s why he’s getting 0.


2e9596118ab98aa600a228bbead9088a.jpg
 

Ed1957

If he had 10 nitrates and now has 0 nitrates he is not cycled any more. His fish would produce ammonia that would show up as nitrates if he was cycled.

You can argue about it all you want.
Ammonia over zero.
Nitrates equal zero.
Your not cycled.
 

alexbeal1117

If he had 10 nitrates and now has 0 nitrates he is not cycled any more. His fish would produce ammonia that would show up as nitrates if he was cycled.

You can argue about it all you want.
Ammonia over zero.
Nitrates equal zero.
Your not cycled.

Alright. He can take a picture of his test results and he can post them to show what they were.
 

Ed1957

I am done. Goodbye.
 

nickb2000

If he had 10 nitrates and now has 0 nitrates he is not cycled any more. His fish would produce ammonia that would show up as nitrates if he was cycled.

You can argue about it all you want.
Ammonia over zero.
Nitrates equal zero.
Your not cycled.
I said that they were "0" ammonia, and "0" nitrite because the amounts were not high enough to be considered .25ppm ammonia and .25ppm nitrite, the amounts were more closer to "0" on both. On the ApI master test kit there is no between 0 and .25ppm so I can't just say .1 or .2 ppm because that's not a value on the included chart in the kit. THERE is something there in ammonia and nitrite, but not high enough to be considered more than "0" when I check before a WC. As for nitrates my value for it every week would be between 5-10ppm.
But the day after my ammonia spike, I still had .25ppm ammonia after a 50% WC and a 25% WC, the nitrites were between 0-.25ppm like the week before. The nitrates were at 0-5ppm, but the color was more closely to 0ppm than 5ppm. So the only changes in those three parameters were in ammonia( which risen) and the nitrates( which lowered)
You can say it was not cycled but if it was not cycled then I wouldnt have even been able to keep half as many fish in that tank with 2x 25% WC every week.

For let alone 4 months, even when I had to skip my mid week WC because I wasn't home that day. I have had aquariums for over 6 months , and I did research for almost a year before buying and setting up my first planted tank.

The tank WAS cycled as of LAST WEEKS WC, but NOT ANYMORE as of the day after the ammonia spike.
 

Ed1957

Just continue to do water changes around 40% whenever your ammonia is at .25 or .50. If it is higher than that do 2 back to back 40% WC. Add prime to the new water your putting in and add prime to the rest of the take for the amount of water in the tank. Add Seachem stability and that should help with your bacteria. Since you have fish in the water they will produce the ammonia needed to get you cycled. You have ammonia, nitrites and nitrates so you are starting to cycle and it may be close. Post your numbers tomorrow and we can have a better idea.
 

nickb2000

So update time. 1/14/18
I got home a little late today (8:00pm) so its been about 29 hours since my last WC, a little longer than id like but a few hours won't hurt. I tested my water right before the WC. Then did a 25% WC (1.5g conditioned tap, 1 gal distilled) treated with a double dose of prime and I dosed some stability.
PH: 7.8 ( up .2 from yesterday)
Ammonia:0-.25ppm( closer to .25ppm, which means its higher than yesterday but barely.)
Nitrite:0-.25ppm( closer to .25ppm, higher than yesterday but barely)
Nitrate:0-5ppm (closer to 0, lower than yesterday by just a little)
Fish: Nothing has changed with the shrimp or ottos, still looking just as good as yesterday. The green neons and ember tetras have gained some more color in their bodies and fins, and some of the white coloration on the tips of their fins has reduced but still present. I also got them to eat a little bit of food last night.

So from this it looks like I'm gonna do 2x 25% WC tomorrow after noon back to back since my ammonia was a little higher today so ill try to get it a little lower/ keep it lower. I can't do a 50% WC because if I do I have to turn of the filter and when it gets turned back on a bunch of particles come out of the filter.
 

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