Aquarium Water Change Issues!

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by swimfan, Aug 20, 2005.

  1. swimfanNew MemberMember

    Now what have i done? Ok, so I checked my water levels again today (its been 1 week since my cycling has been complete), and nitrates are still at 5ppm (ammonia = 0ppm, nitrites = 0ppm). So I guess it isn't time for a water change, but the tank needed some more water cause it was going down quite a bit (its been hot here lately). SO i mixed up 5L with the appropriate amount of water conditioner, aquarium salt, put a dab of cycle in the filter and added the water. I guess it was a little warm cause it raised the temp of the tank 2 degrees. Almost immediately, the fish started acting weird, my big guy is kind of swimming tilted to one side. Is he just a little warm? I turned the light off to take some of the heat away, but before I did that, I noticed his top fin had a tear in it that wasn't there before I added the water. How the heck did that happen? Should I add some more stresscoat to the water to repair his fin? Hope they'll be ok by the AM. I feel awful for them. Poor guys. I worry so much about them!
  2. GunnieWell Known MemberMember

    It's probably shock from the temperature change. I don't know if the tear in the fin had anything to do with the current situation, but I wouldn't add any more stress coat. Now that your tank is cycled, don't add anymore cycle to the tank. If you read on other forums, you will find that most fish folks think cycle is "snake oil" anyway. My opinion is that it is junk, and can increase your nitrates. Also, refresh my memory on what fish you have in the tank and why you are adding salt? For the fin repair, the salt might help, but are you adding the salt routinely?
  3. swimfanNew MemberMember

    hi Gunnie, tx for your response. All seems to be well today (THANK GOODNESS), fish are back to their normal behaviour, hungry, all good.

    Tx for the tip on the cycle, I'll do some more reading on it. DO you even think its unnecessary during the cycling process?

    Re the salt, I put in 1tbsp per 5 gallons of new water routinely (as per the box indicates). I've got 2 black skirt tetras in there. SHould I not be putting any salt in?
  4. GunnieWell Known MemberMember

    The salt isn't necessary IMO. Some fishkeepers swear by salt and add it to their tanks on a regular basis. I prefer not to add anything extra to my tank "just because", and only add it to help wounds heal, or for other medical reasons. Of course brackish water fish do need the salt, and I believe it is mollies which need a little salt in the tank to be their best.
  5. swimfanNew MemberMember

    Gunnie, I agree on keeping things simple as possible, and the less I can add the better. I wanted to swear off the water conditioner, but I learned that the chloramines wouldn't air off like the chlorine would, so I continue to add it.

    The thing that irks me is that the fish store people are setting up newbies to fail! They tell you that all this "stuff" is necessary, and you leave with an armload of supplies thinking you are doing the right thing. Its only after you start to do your own research you learn that they don't seem to know anything. I shouldn't generalize because I"m sure there are wonderful fish stores out there with knowledgeable staff who wouldn't do this to customers, but my experience has been that they are just trying to sell stuff.

    For example, my first tank setup, they sent me home with a few "first fish" and said to come back in a few days to add a few more. THey didn't give a hoot about the hardiness of the fish, never told me a THING about the mysterious "cycle" or water testing. They told me to bring in a sample of water once in a while and they would test it. So I did, and it was always fine, so I began to believe that water testing wasn't important, because my water was always "fine." (or was it? i think not) Well over time everybody died of course. I got a very sick tank out of the situation. Most people wouldn't try again, so they aren't doing their businesses any good IMHO!

    Ok, that's my rant for the day. Getting off my soapbox. Thanks so much for the tips Gunnie, if it weren't for this forum, I'd be lost! No more salt for this cowgirl, unless I have to cure a wound or other illness. THANK YOU!!!! Fishlore is a wonderful community helping fish lovers be better fish keepers!
  6. GunnieWell Known MemberMember

    I was a little more fortunate with my first fish experience. She didn't really explain what a cycle was, but the girl who sold me my first fish, told me to start with 3 danios in a 20 gal. long. I had lots of plants in the tank. It was beautiful! Now that I think back about that first tank, I wonder how all those plants with higher light requirements looked so good! Anyway, She said to wait 2 weeks before adding anymore fish, and to do a water change and gravel vac at that time. At about the end of the cycle is when I learned about the wonderful world of fish forums. I found one I fell in love with, and all my questions were answered, along with learning a lot of stuff I would've asked about later. That was almost 3 years ago, and I'm still a forums junkie! I absolutely love this hobby, and love to help others not make a lot of mistakes I did. I think the best rule on fishkeeping is, there is probably more than one way to do something.
  7. 0morrokhFishlore VIPMember

    Gunnie's right about the temp shock. When doing water changes, take the thermometer out of the tank and put it into the clean-water bucket. If the water is too warm, wait for it to cool down before adding it to the tank. Gunnie, I must say I disagree with you about a few things. First of all, a bit of salt might be just the thing to keep your fish disease-free. It won't hurt your fish at all (unless you have sensitive catfish or loaches) so you might as well add it. Although, you probably don't need a Tbsp per 5 gal for tetras; a Tbsp per 10 gal or 1 tsp per 5 gal is fine. Also, the Aloe in Stress Coat is good for hurt fish. I used Cycle myself, although I am beginning to realize it's probably not worth it--it won't hurt your fish, though. Like Gunnie said, though, there is more than one way to do something. I think fish-keeping is the most controversial hobby there is. It is possible to keep healthy fish in water with nothing in it (though I wouldn't reccommend skipping the dechlorinator!). So, make your own choice, swimfan. As for myself, I prefer to stick to the saying "better safe than sorry."
  8. DurbkatValued MemberMember

    Try not feeding your fish but every other day and very small amounts until the nirites go down.