Deadly Water Change. Im Done.

Iamonslaughtt

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Almost 2 weeks in with Tetra Safe Start and my ammonia is sky high (almost 8.0) which would have rendered the bacteria useless. Decided to do a 75% water change out of fear for my 6 tiger barbs. After pre treating water and matching the temp best i could, they are all currently dying one by one. I thought water changes were good. Ive heard of water shock or ph shock but how does anyone change their water ever without death? Im unbelievably disheartened after all this. Just might hang up the towel. I didnt want to take fish lives in this hobby. I wanted to care for them.
 

Mary765

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A 75% water change is very drastic even for a healthy tank.

75% of 8ppm ammonia (presuming your tap water is near 0) is a sudden change of 6ppm ammonia instantly!! Definately enough to shock your fish.

Don't give up though, with the tiger barbs gone you can tear down your tank and build it back up again to be healthy and happy with our help
 
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Iamonslaughtt

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I appreciate the encouragement. Guess ill go back to trying a fishless ammonia cycle. In the future, how do i minimize stress during water changes? For a task thats pretty much required weekly, im very sketched out by it now.
 

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Letting your tank get to 8ppm ammonia is the issue, anything over 0.25 is a concern without something like prime. It would be like swimming in acid for the poor fish. Start over again and never let ammonia get that out of hand. Use prime and do water changes everytime ammonia reaches 1ppm or better still, do a fishless cycle
 

A. Rozhin

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I appreciate the encouragement. Guess ill go back to trying a fishless ammonia cycle. In the future, how do i minimize stress during water changes? For a task thats pretty much required weekly, im very sketched out by it now.
If you are cycled, you won't need to change that much. Maybe 25% at most. I've never had a die-off because of water change. Keep your temp the same and you'll be ok. Use the same water source everytime.
 

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Once your tank is cycled, there won't BE any appreciable ammonia at any given time. Bacteria will convert your ammonia and nitrites and your water change just reduces nitrates in the water. A regimen of at least 30 percent weekly with a partial vacuuming each time will keep your tank healthy. I routinely change 30-50 percent weekly on my tanks, and 60-80 percent weekly on my goldfish tank.
 
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Iamonslaughtt

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I would never have let the ammonia get that high on my own, Tetra Safe Start directions instruct to not mess with the water for two weeks at least. Finally after reading another post on here i realized that those ammonia levels werent letting the TSS do its job in the first place. Was 6 tiger barbs too much for a 30 gallon tank? Something seemed to be driving the ammonia up like crazy. I was feeding once a day and small doses at that.
 

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I would never have let the ammonia get that high on my own, Tetra Safe Start directions instruct to not mess with the water for two weeks at least. Finally after reading another post on here i realized that those ammonia levels werent letting the TSS do its job in the first place. Was 6 tiger barbs too much for a 30 gallon tank? Something seemed to be driving the ammonia up like crazy. I was feeding once a day and small doses at that.
It's about the minumum size for a school of tiger barbs. What are your dimensions? Tigers are also quite aggressive fish and don't always play nice with other fish, especially in a smaller tank. So by starting again you can choose a more placid species and therefore not limit your options as much with tank mates
 

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Do you still have any tigers left? I went through a similar thing last year when I first set up and trying to use TSS. By recommendations here, I switched to Prime and Stability and was successful in not losing any more.
 
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Iamonslaughtt

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Do you still have any tigers left? I went through a similar thing last year when I first set up and trying to use TSS. By recommendations here, I switched to Prime and Stability and was successful in not losing any more.
No unfortunately the last one just passed. They were doing surprisingly well given their water conditions. Ironic how me trying to help ended up being their demise...lol. I have read about stability and prime, although im going the fishless route 100% from now on. I feel way too bad about my little barbarians.
 

A. Rozhin

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I don't think it was your help of the water change that killed them. That's like someone falling off of a building then dying in the ambulance. They don't say, "Well, putting him on the stretcher killed him..." It was the damage that came before the help. 8ppm ammonia is not just bad water quality, it's literally pure poison. Fish feel .25 ppm. So 8 ppm is off the charts.

Don't blame yourself, regardless. I'm really sorry about your barbs.
 

oldsalt777

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Almost 2 weeks in with Tetra Safe Start and my ammonia is sky high (almost 8.0) which would have rendered the bacteria useless. Decided to do a 75% water change out of fear for my 6 tiger barbs. After pre treating water and matching the temp best i could, they are all currently dying one by one. I thought water changes were good. Ive heard of water shock or ph shock but how does anyone change their water ever without death? Im unbelievably disheartened after all this. Just might hang up the towel. I didnt want to take fish lives in this hobby. I wanted to care for them.
lam...

Just follow this procedure and you'll be up with the best fish keepers in no time at all:

Preferably you’ve selected at least a 30 gallon tank to start. Once the tank is set up and running, add some individual stems of a floating plant like Hornwort, Water sprite and/or Anacharis. Let the tank run for 3 or 4 days to steady the water chemistry. Add 3 to 4 small to medium sized fish for every 10 gallons of water you want to cycle. Guppies, Platys, Sword tails, Danios, Rasboras and White Cloud minnows will easily tolerate the process. Feed the fish just a little every couple of days, they don’t need much during the cycling period. The dissolving fish waste () combines with oxygen from the outside air and begins to grow the bacteria colony. Test the water daily for traces of ammonia and . If you have a positive test, remove a quarter (25 percent) of the tank water and replace it with tap water treated with an additive that removes chlorine and chloramine and detoxifies the three forms of nitrogen. Don’t remove more water, you’ll starve the bacteria and slow the process. Test every day and remove and replace the water when needed. When several daily tests show no traces of ammonia or nitrite, the tank is cycled. Once cycled, in a month or so, you change out half or more of the tank water every few days to maintain good water conditions.

Have fun!

Old
 

A. Rozhin

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lam...

Just follow this procedure and you'll be up with the best fish keepers in no time at all:

Preferably you’ve selected at least a 30 gallon tank to start.
Tanks size is TOTAL preference. If 30 gallons is your preference, great. People have all sorts of reasons for wanting or needing smaller tanks. It's frustrating that "bigger is better" is felt by many to separate the "real" fish keepers from the less accomplished. So to be "up with the best fish keepers of all time," you do not need a 30 gallon tank.

...and what if those aren't the fish he wants. He had tiger barbs, and you've given him swordtails and minnows.

...50 percent water changes every few DAYS, after it's cycled? As regular upkeep?

OP, do a fishless cycle and get the fish you want, and just do a water test every week, and 25 percent water change.
 

DaleM

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Tanks size is TOTAL preference. If 30 gallons is your preference, great. People have all sorts of reasons for wanting or needing smaller tanks. It's frustrating that "bigger is better" is felt by many to separate the "real" fish keepers from the less accomplished. So to be "up with the best fish keepers of all time," you do not need a 30 gallon tank.

...and what if those aren't the fish he wants. He had tiger barbs, and you've given him swordtails and minnows.

...50 percent water changes every few DAYS, after it's cycled? As regular upkeep?

OP, do a fishless cycle and get the fish you want, and just do a water test every week, and 25 percent water change.
I think Old was referring to 30 gallons as that is the tank size of the OP.

I do 50% water change every week and no longer test my water as I knew through testing that I needed to do a 50% wc each week to keep parameters in check. A lot of the experienced fish keepers here recommend 50% wc a week as a minimum for a normal stocked tank
 

A. Rozhin

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I think Old was referring to 30 gallons as that is the tank size of the OP.

I do 50% water change every week and no longer test my water as I knew through testing that I needed to do a 50% wc each week to keep parameters in check. A lot of the experienced fish keepers here recommend 50% wc a week as a minimum for a normal stocked tank
He said every few DAYS.

I still think 50% is excessive unless dosing plants with macros (EI). But, whatever to keep nitrates right. My tanks are heavily planted, and I'd never need a 50% WC
 

DaleM

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He said every few DAYS.

I still think 50% is excessive unless dosing plants with macros (EI). But, whatever to keep nitrates right. My tanks are heavily planted, and I'd never need a 50% WC
Oh definitely with a well planted tank you can do smaller water changes. Most people who start out don't have much in the way of live plants which is why I recommend 50%. Better too much than too little as water parameters can be a bit over the place in young tanks.

My water sprite/wisteria carked it, so I've just put some new plants in as the 50% water changes are starting to get tedious! Hopefully the sword, java fern, Hygrophila, banana lily and anubia can drop the nitrates back!
 

A. Rozhin

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My water sprite/wisteria carked it, so I've just put some new plants in as the 50% water changes are starting to get tedious! Hopefully the sword, java fern, Hygrophila, banana lily and anubia can drop the nitrates back!
The swords are especially awesome for soaking up badness, and are so quick to replicate themselves. Once they start sending their runners out, you can be lazy and do slack WC like me.
 

DaleM

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The swords are especially awesome for soaking up badness, and are so quick to replicate themselves. Once they start sending their runners out, you can be lazy and do slack WC like me.
I'm looking forward to it already, haha!
 
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