Angelfish sitting (right-side up) on the bottom of the tank

92Hughes92
  • #1
Hey guys,

Been browsing the boards for the last couple of years whenever I've had a fish question. Couldn't really find an answer for the issue I'm having now, so figured it was time to sign up.

I've had my angelfish roughly two years now. She's a darling. Went away for the weekend, and when I came back I found her sitting (right-side up) on the bottom of the tank. All the other fish in the tank seem to be acting normal, she's just floating near the bottom. Not upside down or doing any weird turns like I've seen others post about ... just sitting down there.

I know it's normal for fish to "rest" later at night, which is how I found her yesterday. Woke up this AM, though, and she was still hovering around the bottom. She's still eating, and is active when need be. She'll occasionally swim around, or chase some of the other fish, but she's spending most of her time just floating on the bottom. She's always been one to float around the mid/top level, so I figure this is a bit weird.

Some background on tank:
Size: 40 gallons
Other fish: Rainbow shark, three corys, bolivian ram, dwarf gourami, three tetras, three small schooling fish (forget their name)
Levels: Between 7.0-7.2 PH, 1.0 ppm ammonia, 0 nitrate, 77-78 degrees
Care: 15-20% water change every Saturday. Vacuum every other week.

The tank is relatively new. I upgraded from my 20 gallon about a month ago. Fish have been in the tank for ~two/three weeks.

I just did a 20% water change a few minutes ago to see if that helps out.

Below are a couple pictures. I took a video, but not sure I can upload to the board.
 

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BottomDweller
  • #2
Welcome to fishlore!

That 1ppm ammonia isn't good. That could be stressing her out. Have you tested since doing the water change? I would test the ammonia again and do a large water change to get the ammonia as close to 0 as possible.

Do you know what the nitrite levels are?

Sounds like something has upset your cycle. Did anyone feed the tank while you were away? Overfeeding could have caused the ammonia.

Btw unrelated but in the pictures I can see an electric blue ram and glo skirt tetras.
 
mattgirl
  • #3
If you are seeing ammonia but no nitrates I think your cycle has crashed. How did you handle the move from the 20 to this tank?
 
92Hughes92
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Welcome to fishlore!

That 1ppm ammonia isn't good. That could be stressing her out. Have you tested since doing the water change? I would test the ammonia again and do a large water change to get the ammonia as close to 0 as possible.

Do you know what the nitrite levels are?

Sounds like something has upset your cycle. Did anyone feed the tank while you were away? Overfeeding could have caused the ammonia.

Btw unrelated but in the pictures I can see an electric blue ram and glo skirt tetras.

I put two of the API weekend pyramid fish feeders in there before we left on Friday, then scooped them out when we got home Sunday night.

Just ran all tests again. I have the API freshwater master test kit, so it's a little hard to get specifics going off the color. The PH is down to ~6.6-6.8. Ammonia is at 0.5 PPM now, down from 1.0. Nitrates each at zero. Would it be best to do a second larger water change?

Yup! Hit nail on the head with both. It's the blue ram & glo tetras. Turned around as I'm typing this & most of the fish are out & about. Took a picture for you to see tank in its entirety. The dwarf gourmaI not as visible.
 

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92Hughes92
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
If you are seeing ammonia but no nitrates I think your cycle has crashed. How did you handle the move from the 20 to this tank?

Set up new tank on stand. Added 10 gallons of the old fish tank water, then the rest from tap. Put a capful of prime, per fish store's recommendation. Waited 4-5 days, then took water sample to Petsmart (they do the free tests). Water was a little hard, so they suggested a 10% water change and return the next day. I did that, and they said it was good to go.

I moved the fish from my old tank over: Two glow tetras, third striped tetra (don't know specific name), angel, two cory. Waited five days, then added additional fish: Rainbow, ram, dwarf gourami, third cory, three small schooling fish.

Set up new tank on stand. Added 10 gallons of the old fish tank water, then the rest from tap. Put a capful of prime, per fish store's recommendation. Waited 4-5 days, then took water sample to Petsmart (they do the free tests). Water was a little hard, so they suggested a 10% water change and return the next day. I did that, and they said it was good to go.

I moved the fish from my old tank over: Two glow tetras, third striped tetra (don't know specific name), angel, two cory. Waited five days, then added additional fish: Rainbow, ram, dwarf gourami, third cory, three small schooling fish.

Before I went on vacation Friday I did a light vacuum of the gravel and a 15% water change *

If you are seeing ammonia but no nitrates I think your cycle has crashed. How did you handle the move from the 20 to this tank?

"Crashed" sounds not good ... This a huge problem to fix?
 
bizaliz3
  • #6
Did you use the previous filter on the new tank too? or the media from the filter? Or is the small amount of water all you used from the previous tank?

If you did not use any of the previous filter media, you just started all over from scratch with your cycle. :-(
 
mattgirl
  • #7
Set up new tank on stand. Added 10 gallons of the old fish tank water, then the rest from tap. Put a capful of prime, per fish store's recommendation. Waited 4-5 days, then took water sample to Petsmart (they do the free tests). Water was a little hard, so they suggested a 10% water change and return the next day. I did that, and they said it was good to go.

I moved the fish from my old tank over: Two glow tetras, third striped tetra (don't know specific name), angel, two cory. Waited five days, then added additional fish: Rainbow, ram, dwarf gourami, third cory, three small schooling fish.
ouch. It isn't the end of the world but sadly doing it the way you did I feel sure you are now doing a fish in cycle. I really wish the folks at petdumb would educate themselves
I was hoping you were going to say you moved everything including water, filter , decorations and fish over to the bigger tank and then finished filling it up with water treated with prime. Had you done it this way you would have just been moving the cycle from one tank to another and it would have continued to do its job.

As it is you need to be doing water changes and lots of them or as some suggest get the ammonia down as low as possible. The next day after doing your water change add an appropriate size bottle of Tetra Safe Start plus to the tank. Do nothing to the tank other than feeding your fish very lightly for 14 days. If it worked as it should your tank should be cycled.

Personally I have never cycled a tank with bottled bacteria but there are those that it has worked for.
 
92Hughes92
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
ouch. It isn't the end of the world but sadly doing it the way you did I feel sure you are now doing a fish in cycle. I really wish the folks at petdumb would educate themselves
I was hoping you were going to say you moved everything including water, filter , decorations and fish over to the bigger tank and then finished filling it up with water treated with prime. Had you done it this way you would have just been moving the cycle from one tank to another and it would have continued to do its job.

As it is you need to be doing water changes and lots of them or as some suggest get the ammonia down as low as possible. The next day after doing your water change add an appropriate size bottle of Tetra Safe Start plus to the tank. Do nothing to the tank other than feeding your fish very lightly for 14 days. If it worked as it should your tank should be cycled.

Personally I have never cycled a tank with bottled bacteria but there are those that it has worked for.


UPDATE: Took a sample of the water over to the fish store to get more accurate readings.

Here are the readings:
Ammonia: .5
Nitrate Reading 1: Between 0-20 (but it's there)
Nitrate Reading 2: Between 0-.5 (but it's there)
Hardness: 150
Chlorine: 0
Total Alkalinity: 20-40
PH: Between 6.8 & 7.2.

I did actually do a brand new cycle, it sounds like. Didn't realize I could move everything over to speed up the process. After setting up the tank, I waited 4-5 days before testing it. That's when Petsmart said I was good to add fish based on the (then) readings.

I assume if I had done as you said -- moved everything over, then just added more water -- I wouldn't have had to wait the 4-5 days? Good to know for the future!

Did you use the previous filter on the new tank too? or the media from the filter? Or is the small amount of water all you used from the previous tank?

If you did not use any of the previous filter media, you just started all over from scratch with your cycle. :-(

I didn't use the old filter, no. It was designed for a 20-gallon tank. It came as part of a start-up petsmart kit. I upgraded to the Marineland 200.
 
bizaliz3
  • #9
I didn't use the old filter, no. It was designed for a 20-gallon tank. It came as part of a start-up petsmart kit. I upgraded to the Marineland 200.


Even if you had moved the filter to the new tank, if you let the new tank sit for several days with no fish.... You would have lost the cycle anyway. The beneficial bacteria in the filter needs an ammonia source to survive. (The fish) just for the record....

Also just because the filter is designed for a 20 does not mean it can't be used as a second filter on the new tank.


If it were me I would have moved the fish over with the 100% new water. And I would have let the current filter run alongside the new filter for at least a month. In fact I'd leave it on permanently because I like having multiple filters on a tank.

Obviously it's too late for that now but in the future if you ever switch tanks again that's the way to go about it.
 
mattgirl
  • #10
UPDATE: Took a sample of the water over to the fish store to get more accurate readings.

Here are the readings:
Ammonia: .5
Nitrate Reading 1: Between 0-20 (but it's there)
Nitrate Reading 2: Between 0-.5 (but it's there)
Hardness: 150
Chlorine: 0
Total Alkalinity: 20-40
PH: Between 6.8 & 7.2.

I did actually do a brand new cycle, it sounds like. Didn't realize I could move everything over to speed up the process. After setting up the tank, I waited 4-5 days before testing it. That's when Petsmart said I was good to add fish based on the (then) readings.

I assume if I had done as you said -- moved everything over, then just added more water -- I wouldn't have had to wait the 4-5 days? Good to know for the future!

Yes, one can move their cycle from one tank to another tank. sadly, adding water from your original tank and then waiting 4-5 days did nothing toward cycling the tank. I really don't know why some of the big box fish places have folks doing that. The reason they said you were good to go is because the water you took in wouldn't have had any ammonia, nitrites or nitrates in it unless you have them in your tap water.

I agree with bizaliz except I would have kept most of the water. The bacteria doesn't live in the water but it is the water both fish and bacteria have been acclimated to. By filling the new tank with half old water and half new water both fish and bacteria will just feel like they have had a 50% water change. If the nitrates are super high in the original tank I would of course keep less of that water but would still want to keep at least 25%-30% of it.

You ALWAYS want to transfer either the filter media or the whole filter unit if at all possible since that is where most of the bacteria lives. Some of it lives on every surface of the tank so the more one can move from the cycled tank to the new tank the better it is.

We now have to deal with what you can do now. If you don't have it already I suggest you get a bottle of Seachem Prime. It will neutralize low amounts of ammonia and nitrites. If they measure 1 or less (yours is there right now) add enough for the full volume of this tank. If they go above a combined total of 1 do a water change to get them back down adding enough Prime for the full volume of the tank in the water you are replacing. Doing it this way you will be able to protect your fish from the affects of ammonia while this tank cycles.

If you don't have it yet I also recommend you get your own API freshwater test kit. With your own you can keep a very close eye on what is happening in the tank and can head off a rise in ammonia and/or nitrites before they get out of hand and kill your fish.
 
bizaliz3
  • #11
Agreed .... I usually keep some of the old water as well. I guess my point was that The water column itself carries so little beneficial bacteria that there is no need to keep any of it for cycling purposes.

But for other reasons like minimizing the shock on the fish, it's definitely beneficial to keep some of the old water!
 
92Hughes92
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
Yes, one can move their cycle from one tank to another tank. sadly, adding water from your original tank and then waiting 4-5 days did nothing toward cycling the tank. I really don't know why some of the big box fish places have folks doing that. The reason they said you were good to go is because the water you took in wouldn't have had any ammonia, nitrites or nitrates in it unless you have them in your tap water.

I agree with bizaliz except I would have kept most of the water. The bacteria doesn't live in the water but it is the water both fish and bacteria have been acclimated to. By filling the new tank with half old water and half new water both fish and bacteria will just feel like they have had a 50% water change. If the nitrates are super high in the original tank I would of course keep less of that water but would still want to keep at least 25%-30% of it.

You ALWAYS want to transfer either the filter media or the whole filter unit if at all possible since that is where most of the bacteria lives. Some of it lives on every surface of the tank so the more one can move from the cycled tank to the new tank the better it is.

We now have to deal with what you can do now. If you don't have it already I suggest you get a bottle of Seachem Prime. It will neutralize low amounts of ammonia and nitrites. If they measure 1 or less (yours is there right now) add enough for the full volume of this tank. If they go above a combined total of 1 do a water change to get them back down adding enough Prime for the full volume of the tank in the water you are replacing. Doing it this way you will be able to protect your fish from the affects of ammonia while this tank cycles.

If you don't have it yet I also recommend you get your own API freshwater test kit. With your own you can keep a very close eye on what is happening in the tank and can head off a rise in ammonia and/or nitrites before they get out of hand and kill your fish.

OK. Just to clarify: I'm adding the prime amount for the amount of water I'm replacing, not the total amount of water in the tank? So, for example, I'm just priming the 12 gallons I'm replacing. Not the 40 gallons total?
 
bizaliz3
  • #13
OK. Just to clarify: I'm adding the prime amount for the amount of water I'm replacing, not the total amount of water in the tank? So, for example, I'm just priming the 12 gallons I'm replacing. Not the 40 gallons total?

If you're treating the water before you add it then you only need to treat what you're adding.
 
mattgirl
  • #14
OK. Just to clarify: I'm adding the prime amount for the amount of water I'm replacing, not the total amount of water in the tank? So, for example, I'm just priming the 12 gallons I'm replacing. Not the 40 gallons total?
As long as you are still registering ammonia and/or nitrites you need to add enough to treat the full amount of water in the tank. If you are using buckets you can add enough to treat the whole tank to the water in the bucket. If you are using a python type system just add the full amount to the tank before adding the new water.

Once the cycle is complete and you are no longer seeing the ammonia/and/or nitrites you just have to add enough to treat the water your are replacing.

edited to add: as long as you are registering ammonia you need to add a full tank dose of Prime every 24 hours even on the days that you aren't doing a water change. Some folks say it continues to neutralize the ammonia up to 48 hours but I would do it every day just to keep your fish safe. It neutralizes the ammonia present when you add the prime but your fish are constantly adding more ammonia so I just feel more comfortable recommending every 24 hours.
 
bizaliz3
  • #15
As long as you are still registering ammonia and/or nitrites you need to add enough to treat the full amount of water in the tank. Once the cycle is complete and you are no longer seeing the ammonia/and/or nitrites you just have to add enough to treat the water your are replacing.

Oh yes. I forgot that element! Thank you!
 
poppinpinto
  • #16
Hey guys,

Been browsing the boards for the last couple of years whenever I've had a fish question. Couldn't really find an answer for the issue I'm having now, so figured it was time to sign up.

I've had my angelfish roughly two years now. She's a darling. Went away for the weekend, and when I came back I found her sitting (right-side up) on the bottom of the tank. All the other fish in the tank seem to be acting normal, she's just floating near the bottom. Not upside down or doing any weird turns like I've seen others post about ... just sitting down there.

I know it's normal for fish to "rest" later at night, which is how I found her yesterday. Woke up this AM, though, and she was still hovering around the bottom. She's still eating, and is active when need be. She'll occasionally swim around, or chase some of the other fish, but she's spending most of her time just floating on the bottom. She's always been one to float around the mid/top level, so I figure this is a bit weird.

Some background on tank:
Size: 40 gallons
Other fish: Rainbow shark, three corys, bolivian ram, dwarf gourami, three tetras, three small schooling fish (forget their name)
Levels: Between 7.0-7.2 PH, 1.0 ppm ammonia, 0 nitrate, 77-78 degrees
Care: 15-20% water change every Saturday. Vacuum every other week.

The tank is relatively new. I upgraded from my 20 gallon about a month ago. Fish have been in the tank for ~two/three weeks.

I just did a 20% water change a few minutes ago to see if that helps out.

Below are a couple pictures. I took a video, but not sure I can upload to the board.
Hope you get it resolved. I would also suggest the size of the decor. U loose lot of area. Also it can cause injury to fish especially angel that can lead to bacterial infections.
 

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