Help Cloudy water - fish struggling!

markyd

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Can someone please help me - I'm desperate!
I have recently moved my fish froma 90L tank to a new 120L (24G) fluval tank.
I followed all the instrctions I was given from my aquarium supplier - use as much of the original water in the new tank as possible, put the filter sponges from old filter into new one.
All seemed well for 3 weeks and then the water started to go cloudy (whitish in colour). This has now gone on for over 4 days, the cloudyness has got worse and even worse is the fact that I had to remove a dead fish from the tank this morning. The rest of the fish seem to be gasping for breath at the top of the tank.
I have been doing daily 10-15% water changes.
I have 1 plec, 4 catfish, 2 loaches, 2 gourami's, 4 cherry barbs, 4 neons, 1 shark.
My current levekls are ammonia 2.0, Nitrite 0 and nitrates 10.
I have been using ammolock to resolve the ammonia problem.
Really not sure what else to do?
Any suggestions, advice or help would be greatly received.
Thanks
Mark
 

jetajockey

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ammolock only detoxifies the ammonia for a 48 hour period, I'm not sure what amount of ammonia it detoxifies in that time period, but your only real remedy at this point is to do some much bigger water changes ASAP. I'd do a 50% change right now.

It sounds like you are having a bacterial bloom, which has various causes, and the possible cause of the ammonia level is amount of stock you have in there. Not sure what kind of pleco, catfish, or shark you have but it likely puts you way overstocked for a 24g tank.

So it's likely that your tank has been going through a minicycle, and the ammonia has been rising over the last few weeks because of the heavy bioload.
 

ryanr

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Hi markyd, welcome to fishlore

Sorry to meet under these circumstances.

I would definitely agree with jeta, your tank is cycling, and as I can't see any aquarium info, if you don't know about the Nitrogen Cycle, I would recommend reading https://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm

Generally the recommended product for de-toxifying ammonia is Seachem Prime, the ammolock will help make it safer for fish, but also locks it away from the beneficial bacteria.

Are you able to move the fish back to the 90L ?? I would recommend doing this as a preferred method, and check out some of the fishless cycling methods available (details in the Nitrogen Cycle link) to cycle up your new tank.

If you can't move them back, then water changes and a product called Tetra Safe Start are great to help kick start the cycle. And if possible, transfer every last piece of filter media possible (as long as it's still wet) along with some of the gravel, (again, if it's still wet), if you don't want to keep the gravel/media, you can place it in brand new, never seen detergent, pantyhose/ stockings, and place it as close as possible to your filter intake. This will aide in seeding your beneficial bacteria colony.

I won't go into too much detail now, but if you need more info, please post back and the community will help you get through this.

Also, just making sure you have used a water conditioner that removes BOTH chlorine and chloramine (Seachem Prime also does this, along with many others on the market)

I hope you enjoy the site.
 
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Aquarist

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Hello MarkyD,

Continue with the water changes daily of 30 to 50% until you have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and under 20 nitrates. Add Prime or Amquel + to detox the ammonia for 24 hours (I don't think I would wait 48 hours) until it's time for the next water change. When you have the readings listed above your tank is cycled. Your tank is very heavily stocked.

The white cloudy water is very common in new tanks up to 1 year. Yes, it sounds like a bacterial bloom. Link below:
http://www.fishforums.net/index.php?/topic/246850-bacterial-blooms-explained/

Best of luck and please keep us posted.

Ken
 

jetajockey

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Generally the recommended product for de-toxifying ammonia is Seachem Prime, the ammolock will help make it safer for fish, but also locks it away from the beneficial bacteria.
the ammo-lock bottle (i have one, dont use it in lieu of prime/amquel+) as well as the api freshwater master test kit claim that ammo-lock does basically the same thing that prime does, as far as just detoxing the ammonia but still allowing it to be available to the BB. As to how true that is, I do not know, but that's what they claim (and was the original reason why i bought it, since they advised it on the api master test kit) Just thought I'd throw that out there. Take care!
 

Prince Powder

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Ammo Lock should be fine for detoxing ammonia which it sounds like may be the problem. The one downside to Ammo Lock is that it does not detoxify nitrite which will be the next stage. If your lucky then the old media contains enough bacteria to avoid a massive nitrite spike, but if your levels of ammonia are very high your levels of nitrite will most likely wind up high as well. Prime and Amquel+ will detox both ammonia and nitrite so they are generally more recommended for cycling. I agree that daily water changes with whatever conditioner/detoxifier you choose will be the best way to get your levels down. I would do a 50% change in the morning followed by a second 50% in the evening the first day since you're losing fish and the others are showing extreme reactions then maintain a 50% daily regime until the cycle is complete. Also be very careful about how much you feed as excess feedings means excess waste production which means excess ammonia. Also any uneaten food will decompose in your tank and also add to the ammonia levels.

As mentioned, depending on the exact species of your fish (loaches, pleco, catfish, shark and gouramis) your tank may be overstocked which will make it very difficult to cycle. I would actually recommend splitting up your stock between the two tanks providing you have heaters and filters for both and doing daily water changes on both until hey cycle. It will be alot of work, but it will help balance the bio load and make cycling easier as the bacteria will be less likely to be overwhelmed.

Good luck!
 
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markyd

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Slight improvement I think

Can someone please help me - I'm desperate!
I have recently moved my fish from a 90L tank to a new 120L (24G) Jewel tank.
I followed all the instructions I was given from my aquarium supplier - use as much of the original water in the new tank as possible, put the filter sponges from old filter into new one.
All seemed well for 3 weeks and then the water started to go cloudy (whitish in colour). This has now gone on for over 4 days, the cloudyness has got worse and even worse is the fact that I had to remove a dead fish from the tank this morning. The rest of the fish seem to be gasping for breath at the top of the tank.
I have been doing daily 10-15% water changes.
I have 1 plec, 4 catfish, 2 loaches, 2 gourami's, 4 cherry barbs, 4 neons, 1 shark.
My current levekls are ammonia 2.0, nitrite 0 and nitrates 10.
I have been using ammolock to resolve the ammonia problem.
Really not sure what else to do?
Any suggestions, advice or help would be greatly received.
Thanks
Mark
I did a 30% water change last night, added an extra pump and stone to increase the oxygen production. This morning ammonia level down to 0.5, nitrite 0 and nitrate 10 ish. Water is still very cloudy but at least the fish aren't gasping for air at the surface. Gave the fish a very small feed. Will do another water change this evening after work.
Thanks all for the advice to date.
 
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