• #1
so, to start, the tank I posted pictures of is not the one I'm asking about. I have since upgraded to a 28g bow front with a new under gravel filtration system, as the old one was custom cut and couldn't be used. We'd also added new fish and 2 new potted plants.

Everything started out fine with the tank transfer. Kept some of the old water to help with bacteria growth since it was "good water" so to speak. All the fish survived the whole ordeal. And then the particles started showing up.

They stuck to everything and just would go through the filter system. We even bought this nifty gravel vac the siphoned water back into the tank so no buckets were needed. Then the water got cloudy once the particles started to finally go away with rinsing off the permanent mesh filter in the canister filter. And after another water change, the PH spiked, possibly my fault as I may have added too much baking soda since the PH was always low and alkalinity zeroed out. And the water is cloudy green.

Then, my fish started getting sick. But not from the PH spike. 1 platy was wavering and when my husband caught it to get a better look at the red spot on it, he touched it and this slimy layer came off and the red spot hemorrhaged. It died instantly. Then 2 guppies suddenly died. Then the new female betta...she had this white spot near her mouth. Then the male...within 24 hours of actually seeing him swimming just fine..I'd actually pet his fins...gone the next morning. He looked bad. The the last female betta started out with her dorsal fin looking ragged. By morning, it spread on her the end of the day all over her back progressively. My husband read the it seemed to be a particular betta disease that happens suddenly and spreads too rapidly to treat effectively. He was right. She died right in front of me as we tried to do a salt water dip. During that, her scales were flaking off. My bala shark up and died. My ID wonderful ID shark...has/had a whole in his side!! By his gill..that air bubbles came out of. This morning, that hole had white fluffy stuff in it. I left for work, my husband came home and thought he was dead and was wrong. I can't find him in the tank now. Oh and my dojo loach is gone.'s what i've tried. Water changes...every other day. Meds..first Melafix.. then I asked Petsmart what they recommended. They said they only use Pimafix when they have problems and are successful. I also got antibiotic pellets, that they wouldn't eat. I should have trusted my gut and gotten the Maracyn. The remaining 2 platys and guppies hang out at the top back corner of the tank. Everything is aerated well, I think, with the 6 inch long air stone and 2 towers from the undergravel filter. The PH finally went back down ( 6.2, 6.6 depending on who judges the color) with the water changes. I did nothing else to change that. No ammonia. I use 6 in 1 test strips and everything else is great. Temo is a constant 74*F

And I found my ID shark. I'm not happy about it. He was my favorite. I'm back down to my kids' angelfish and silver dollar (those 2 are some tough little ones), 4 or 5 neon they're hard to find and aren't always together, 2 snails that are playing peak a boo, 2 salt and pepper cory cats and the aforementioned platys and guppies. I don't **** get it. We added the new fish to the old tank when it was stable..beautifully crystal clear as you see in my pics. Then upgraded to the bigger tank. Rinsed off all the new ornaments, wiped off the dust on new tank since it was the sellable display model. Still great. Then this sudden crash. And it all started with white floating fuzzy looking particles. Where did I go wrong?

The tank is by a window, but it's the only place in my living room we can put it and direct sun is only through that window until 10...even still..the tank is to the side of the window, the back is mirrored so light can't get through there. I was doing my water change every week, adding Stress coat plus to the water and letting it sit for about 30 minutes before putting it in the tank. I'm ready to give up. Again. I never had issues before when I first worked with a 10 gallon aquarium years ago...until my daughter decided to help mommy feed the fish while she was at work (stupid ex-husband). I always thought, bigger tank meant better as far as maintenance. Pleas help.

And if I sound whiny, I'm going through a tough personal time and seeing all my wonderful fish die off is depressing me more.
  • #2
your tank was overstocked! Plus putting two bettas, one male and female in the same tank! Bettas will kill eachother! Did you just add some water from the old tank and nothing else? Did you test the water? A test kit is very important.
  • #3
Welcome to Fishlore whitetiger_0603! Sorry under such circumstances.

When you upgraded your tank, did you transfer the filter media, gravel, all decor, etc. as is....or did you scrub everything down and start a new filter? The reason I ask is because having a sterilized tank will have removed all the beneficial bacteria, so your tank would be cycling from scratch with no beneficial bacteria to begin with. Unfortunately, water does not hold bacteria.

Test strips are notorious for giving invalid results. Further, IME after the package has been opened for more than 30-days, they are worthless. I would suggest purchasing a liquid test kit to properly monitor waste levels.

I'm sorry to say that you had much too much in your tank. The ID shark alone grows to 48 inches and should be housed in at 250G tank minimum. Check the floor around your tank as you may find some of your missing fish.

I would suggest you begin daily water changes with a high quality water conditioner. Seachem Prime or Kordon AmQuel+ are both great products as they not only remove chlorine/chloramine and heavy metals, but they also detox ammonia and nitrites.

Good luck recycling your tank.
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
I appreciate the help, but I'm so over hearing the typical answer being " the tank is overstocked". I know how big and ID shark gets and a 75 gallon tank is not warranted for a 5 inch shark. I've owned them before. And they never got big enough to be a growth issue. And don't get me started on bettas cause that was the very first fish I owned in the very beginning years ago. So long as they're not in close confines, you can put females together, and even throw in a male or 2. I chose a 2:1 female/ male ratio. And the male was happier when I added the second female, since the first did nothing but hang at the bottom of the tank all the time. All in all, the size of a tank isn't the only determination on how much to stock. It also depends on the type of filtration and aeration. And for my tank, I use both types of filters, the canister being for a 30-40 gal tank and my air pump is for up to 60 gal. With all that, the water pull throughout the tank is a visible current, being pushed at the top by the canister filter and other media, then pulled under again by the intake tubing. And rule of thumb for fish stocking is about 1 inch of fish for every gallon, for a simple basic setup. So considering my cory cats are 1 inch together, that's saying a lot. Oh, and water does hold beneficial bacteria, how else do fish survive in the water if it's not there? And Stress Coat plus is as good as anything else on the market.

No I didn't scrub anything. We just thoroughly rinsed off all the new things before adding them, as I said before. All the old gravel was salvaged from the old tank, didn't clean the canister or anything. Just added the new filters since it was time for a change. And as I said, my canister filter is dual filtered, it has a permanent mesh filter that store bacteria and isn't supposed to be washed. Though I had to rinse it off this go round because it seemed the source of the floating particles came from that.

I wanted to do daily changes but the girl at Pet Smart said that disturbs the amount of bacteria in the tank.

So, can anyone actually give me better answers than water changes and over stocked? Or have I already figured this out with thinking that maybe there's TOO MUCH bacteria in the tank and it's picking at my fish one by one, like an over growth of E. ColI in a person's intestinal tract causes stomach upset?
  • #5
We gave you the correct recommendations for improving your tank conditions and to stop all disease and fish deaths. I'm sorry that you are not open to accepting advice that will help your situation.

Store clerks have no idea how ignorant they are when giving advice to their customers. That girl at PetSmart has no idea how harmful her advice is. Daily water changes are what can save your fish and can help to keep a tank clean, even when overstocked.

You have your answers. Too bad it isn't what you wanted to hear.
  • #6
Most of the bacteria is in the filter, not actually in the water so it's safe to do water changes.
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Ok, well I'll got back to the water changes again. Guess that's about all I can do. Thanks anyways.
  • #8
So, can anyone actually give me better answers than water changes and over stocked?

It's obvious that you're looking to hear some particular response. But the information you've been given is the correct response. I hope you can put your personal feelings aside and do the right thing for your fish.

If your sharks have not grown before, it's because they have suffered from stunted growth. It's not because they were miniature sharks or some special small tank species.

If you're interested in rehoming some of your fish due to both size and compatibility issues, and ending up with a healthy and happy tank, please let us know. Because truly, we are only here to help you achieve that goal.

I'm sure someone asked above, but what are your exact readings for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate?
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
I can't remember exact readings as in numbers, but they were always low to null. Those 2 never had the chance to build up, though at one point I started suspecting them after I ran out of testing supplies. All the fish that I mentioned above, had died by the time this post was made. Left over are the tetras, snails, angelfigh silver dollar, platy(s), as the red one hides really well so I don't know what's going on there, and a guppy. Oh and 2 little cory cats.

I never had comparability issues. And the number of fish I had at the beginning were no issue as I did water changes every week and vacuumed the gravel as thoroughly as possible. The water was green, like like the algae bloom that most people refer to with green water,; I do have several live plants. And the fish that died were mostly sick. Anyways, I buckled down and spent over an hour doing a water change and a vacuuming last night. The water is gorgeous! Lost one guppy in the process.

Like I said in the beginning and I stand by it, the number of fish is determined not just by the size of your tank but filtration and aeration, among other things. And the size fish get depends on the size of their environment and quality of food. And this I based on my own research. Again, rule of thumb 1 inch of fish per gallon. I think my problem was over feeding though, as I'm still digging up brine shrimp from the gravel.when we haven't fed them that in weeks. Hindsight being 20/20. Thanks for the advice, but when fish have holes in their sides and slimy layers peeling off scales and hemorrhaging, it's more than just an over stocked thank. I still do believe the ph spike was a factor too, as I know changes like that stress fish out and leave them vulnerable to illness. What illnesses they had, is what I wanted to know. Not how to make the water better, though I was starting to get frustrated with that too. But thanks anyways.
  • #10
the 1 inch per gallon rule isn't always going to work. It gives you a general idea of how many fish to put in a tank. for example, I won't put three albino cories in a 10 gallon tank because cories are rather active little fish and 10 just simply isn't enough space. You also have to take in consideration the space your fish needs, how active they are and if they'll get along. But you're right about stress causing certain diseases, poor water quality also causes stress.I think overfeeding is only a part of your issues, Others include the Ph spike and overstocked tank which also causes stress. You might wonder why overstocking causes that, it's all about how much waste your fish is producing. If you have too many fish in a single tank, it simply might just get too difficult to handle unless you do daily water changes.
  • #11
the one inch per gallon rule is out dated, ID sharks need a pretty big tank since they are extremely active and possibly could be aggressive to other tank mates... male and female bettas shouldn't be put together unless they are being breed... two male bettas shouldn't be together unless their is a divider... do your researchbefore you buy your fish, if you ask for advice, we will give you the best advice we can... it's your choice to take it or not, the advice above is the correct advice.
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
Le'sigh. I know the 1 inch per gallon rule is a small basis for a tropical tank setup. Again, as I said, the number of fish is based on MORE THAN your tank size, where I mentioned filter media..but did not limit it to that.

We did go a bit too fast in stocking the tank. We added too many at one time. We're also going to try something else when we do add more later on when it comes to acclimating them.

So at this point I'm going to refrain from "defending " myself in this because obviously people are reading each post thoroughly before responding. Obviously I figured out on my own better than any of the universal advice given here. But thanks anyways.
  • #13
Good morning,

Please note, being rude is not acceptable and some posts have been edited.

Play nice!

If a member decides to use advice given ,fine. If not, that's fine too. The best we can do is offer solutions and let the tank owner make the decision for themselves.

There is absolutely no reason to be rude!

Thank you,

  • #14
Like I said in the beginning and I stand by it, the number of fish is determined not just by the size of your tank but filtration and aeration, among other things.

Yes and no. In the end, tank size is the ultimate limiter. No amount of filtration will stop nitrogen buildup in your tank. It allows your tank to convert ammonia to nitrites to nitrates, but the nitrates will still build very rapidly in an overstocked tank. This, of course, can be mitigated by larger and more frequent water changes.

In the majority of tanks, aeration has no impact on stocking. Only in narrow, tall tanks are you going to run into oxygenation issues.

Swimming space and territory can be somewhat alleviated by providing cover (plants and the like), as well as picking fish that inhabit different levels of the aquarium, but in the end, there's only so much space in a tank. To use an example that you have, iridescent sharks are very active fish, and need a lot of swimming space. A juvenile under 6" still wants three or so feet of of swimming space. Without that space, it is liable to eventually ram against the walls or attempt to jump out of the tank. The majority of iridescent shark deaths I've heard of on the forum have not been due to nitrogen poisoning or illness, but head injuries from hitting the walls/hood of the tank. No amount of filtration or water changes can protect a fish from this kind of problem.
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
Sirdarksol, you listen to Cruxshadows. Super Awesome!! Anyways, I can see what you mean about the ID sharks habits and activity. Mine wasn't really that active..hyper anyways. And his favorite hiding place was a log ornament that none of the other fish really bothered him in. And however this happened, it died from the hole that slowly went through to his swim bladder. I never had issues with nitrates/nitrites. Ammonia levels never went up. What I'm dealing with now is an algae bloom of green water.

And I definitely agree with getting fish that inhabited different levels. My sharks and the loaches all stayed at the bottom with the cory-cats. The angelfish and silver dollar stay in the middle level still and the guppies always at the top. The platy and tetras are the roamers, as were the bettas before they died. So it all worked out that way. I just wish this algae bloom would go away. So more water changes...
  • #16
Good that you're doing water changes. Remember if you use the one inch per gallon rule, think about the adult size of the fish you want.
  • #17
Is you PH really 5? I think that may have contributed to the fish deaths.

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