Did I Make A Fatal Mistake? (help!)

Adrian68

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Hi my name is Adrian.
We have two fish tanks, one of 5 gallon and one of 20.
Last Monday I was cleaning the 20 gallon with my daughter (using the proper vacuum thing to remove the organic material from the bottom), and as I was looking into the tank, I found the filter (normal one those that come with your tank) that had too much of a green material (algae?). The rest of the filter looked okay, so to save some money, I rinsed it on the oposite direction of normal filtering (to remove that stuff there)
The next day and the following, one of the fish died, and yesterday another one. We took the other three to the pet store, and they said that they were infected with some kind of fungus.
So I have two questions if you can help me out:
1) Did I make a fatal mistake trying to clean the filter?
2) Is it worth to buy one of those more expensive filters so we don’t have this fungal infection in the tank? (this is not the first time we have this problem with the bigger tank)

Thank you very much for your help!
Adrian
 

mattgirl

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If I am understanding. I think you are saying you just turned the cartridge around and let the water flow through the other side thus allowing the muck on the cartridge run back into the tank.

It would have been better to just clean that stuff off in a bucket of the water you had just taken out of the tank. You can get fairly rough with cleaning the cartridge to get most of it off. That stuff isn't the good bacteria. Most of it is just waste.

I can't say this would have caused your fish loss though. Is this tank cycled? Do you have a test kit to test the water perimeters (PH, ammonia, nitrites and nitrates)
 

Momgoose56

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Hi my name is Adrian.
We have two fish tanks, one of 5 gallon and one of 20.
Last Monday I was cleaning the 20 gallon with my daughter (using the proper vacuum thing to remove the organic material from the bottom), and as I was looking into the tank, I found the filter (normal one those that come with your tank) that had too much of a green material (algae?). The rest of the filter looked okay, so to save some money, I rinsed it on the oposite direction of normal filtering (to remove that stuff there)
The next day and the following, one of the fish died, and yesterday another one. We took the other three to the pet store, and they said that they were infected with some kind of fungus.
So I have two questions if you can help me out:
1) Did I make a fatal mistake trying to clean the filter?
2) Is it worth to buy one of those more expensive filters so we don’t have this fungal infection in the tank? (this is not the first time we have this problem with the bigger tank)

Thank you very much for your help!
Adrian
Pictures of the fish would help. Just rinsing the filter in a cycled tank normally wouldn't have caused the fish to die. You used a dechlorinator in the water you replaced right? What are your ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and pH? How often do you do water changes in the tank? Did you replace any filter media?
 
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Adrian68

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Hi, thank you all for your response. This is my first post but I have been learning a lot from you. Great community thank you very much!!!
I will post some pictures of the fish. Yes I used a product to treat the water Topfin water conditioner
We measure every two weeks the levels of the water, the latest one was:
PH: 7.5, NO2: 0.25, NO3: 10, Ammonia: 0.25, KH: 120, GH: 120

I know the KH and GH have been too high, but not sure how to treat that part (yet) and I don't think that caused the fungal infection (according to Petsmart)

We try to clean the tank (20 gallon) twice a month, and only 10-15% while we vacuum the floor.

On the filter is that carbon one (similar to this Generic Active Carbon External Aquarium Filter Pump Cotton Board Fish Tank Plate Part # HBL-303/HBL-403)

And no I didn't replace any filter media, just tried to clean the 'green stuff' out of the filter.

Thank you all for your help! Feeling really discouraged right now...
 

mattgirl

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I highly recommend you up your water changes. In my humble opinion 10 to 15% twice a month isn't nearly enough. 50% a week wouldn't be too much. Fish thrive in fresh clean water.

How many and what kind of fish do you have in this tank?
 
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Adrian68

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Hello! Here are some pictures of my tank, as well as my only "survivor" (the 3 Mollys are on the Petsmart store trying to be saved). We also had an algae eater and one more white similar to this orange one.
My biggest concern is tap water (the only one we can get here) is too hard and my betta (that is in a different fishtank) might not thrive with so frequent water changes (attaching a picture of him as well)
Thank you for your recommendations!
Adrian
 

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We try to clean the tank (20 gallon) twice a month, and only 10-15% while we vacuum the floor.
most diseases come with new fish, others are usually caused by poor water quality. You should do atleast 50% weekly water changes plus vacuuming. there's dissolved solids, organic compounds, consumed minerals, etc that need to be removed/replaced.
Large Or Small Water Changes (discussion)

that filter is ok, but you should read this GUIDE and upgrade the media within a few weeks b/c that's how long those factory cartridges last.
Diy Media Guide For Top Fin Silenstream, Aquaclear And Other Hob Filters | Filters and Filtration 385506

looks like it might have a severe case of ich.
 

JamieLu

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I also have very hard water and i can assure u that the betta will be fine with frequent water changes. I do 50% a week and my betta is an old man and has never had a problem, honestly, itll only help! I hope ur fishies make it
 

mattgirl

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Your water perimeters really don't look that bad to me. I don't like seeing a reading for any ammonia or nitrites though. Your nitrates look good. Have you run the tests on your tap water? It is always a good Idea to do so. That way you know the perimeters you are using for water changes. If they are close to the same as the tank water even big water changes will never be a problem.

So very many problems can be prevented simply by doing water changes.

How long has this tank been up and running? Did your cycle it before adding fish or were you doing a fish in cycle?
 
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Adrian68

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I also have very hard water and i can assure u that the betta will be fine with frequent water changes. I do 50% a week and my betta is an old man and has never had a problem, honestly, itll only help! I hope ur fishies make it
Thank you!

Your water perimeters really don't look that bad to me. I don't like seeing a reading for any ammonia or nitrites though. Your nitrates look good. Have you run the tests on your tap water? It is always a good Idea to do so. That way you know the perimeters you are using for water changes. If they are close to the same as the tank water even big water changes will never be a problem.

So very many problems can be prevented simply by doing water changes.

How long has this tank been up and running? Did your cycle it before adding fish or were you doing a fish in cycle?
Good idea I'll test tap water before putting in.
This tank has been running since April or so. And thank you for the advice on frequent water changes - I thought the opposite was true, less changes were better... good to learn!
 
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mattgirl

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Good idea I'll test tap water before putting in.
This tank has been running since April or so. And thank you for the advice on frequent water changes - I thought the opposite was true, less changes were better... good to learn!
Some folks can get by with fewer water changes but I am a firm believer in at least weekly water changes. With just one or two fish you might get away with fewer water changes or smaller ones but eventually it will come back to haunt you.

Your one little fish does look like it has ich. Does it look like it has grains of salt on it or is that just bubbles? If it does look like grains of salt you need to investigate how to get rid of it. If it is ich it will kill this little fish.

There are medications to help get rid of it but since I've never had to deal with it I am not well versed on how to get rid of it. There are folks here that can advise you though.

One other thing. With just this one little fish in your 20 gallon tank you may lose your cycle or enough bacteria will die off from lack of ammonia to feed it to where it will seem you have lost your cycle when it comes time to restock.

There will only be enough bacteria to handle the bio-load of just this fish. When you start adding more the bio-load will go up and it will take time to grow enough bacteria to handle more ammonia.

When you are ready to start restock we will help you do it safely.
 
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Adrian68

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Your one little fish does look like it has ich. Does it look like it has grains of salt on it or is that just bubbles? If it does look like grains of salt you need to investigate how to get rid of it. If it is ich it will kill this little fish.

There are medications to help get rid of it but since I've never had to deal with it I am not well versed on how to get rid of it. There are folks here that can advise you though.

One other thing. With just this one little fish in your 20 gallon tank you may lose your cycle or enough bacteria will die off from lack of ammonia to feed it to where it will seem you have lost your cycle when it comes time to restock.

There will only be enough bacteria to handle the bio-load of just this fish. When you start adding more the bio-load will go up and it will take time to grow enough bacteria to handle more ammonia.

When you are ready to start restock we will help you do it safely.
Thank you!
Any help for my little guy? Can I get this to help him? (https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00BS98I1U/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=AEQKV3KCG0JD4&psc=1)
The original plan was to have the following population on this 20 gallon:

Two black mollies, one dalmatian Molly, two guppies, one rubber plecostomus

Please help me save this little guppie! I'm ready to order that product if I can still save him
 

mattgirl

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I am pretty sure I have seen folks here that have used that product with good results.

You may want to start a new thread specifically to get help with getting rid of ich. I truly do wish I could tell you how to get rid of it but since I've never dealt with it I don't feel comfortable giving advice on how to treat it.

I do know it is going to take a lot of vacuuming the gravel to siphon out the ich as it falls off your little guy.

Your future stocking sounds good. Once you get rid of the ich I can help you get this tank ready to start stocking it.
 
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Adrian68

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I am pretty sure I have seen folks here that have used that product with good results.

You may want to start a new thread specifically to get help with getting rid of ich. I truly do wish I could tell you how to get rid of it but since I've never dealt with it I don't feel comfortable giving advice on how to treat it.

I do know it is going to take a lot of vacuuming the gravel to siphon out the ich as it falls off your little guy.

Your future stocking sounds good. Once you get rid of the ich I can help you get this tank ready to start stocking it.
thank you very much!
 

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Good idea I'll test tap water before putting in.
This tank has been running since April or so. And thank you for the advice on frequent water changes - I thought the opposite was true, less changes were better... good to learn!
Hi Adrian,
That was advice that they used to give - so you’re not wrong in thinking that. Back when I had tanks 25 years ago, they told us to only take out %15 every two weeks. My new tanks have been set up for about a year and I’ve had to learn new ways of fishkeeping. (I miss undergravel filters, tho!). My fish are much happier now that I do 50% once a week. You might want to look into Getting a python water changer - this literally changed my life!
Good luck with the ick- that looks pretty severe
 
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Adrian68

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Sadly yesterday the poor guy went to a better life... very sad about this... one thing I didn't mention is they were less than two weeks (from petsmart) - maybe they were sick?
so I have multiple questions... about the future... sometimes feel like giving up on fishtanks...
1) What should I do with the fishtank? Do I need to clean it all and replace the water?
2) If I replace all the water, how long do I need to wait to get my poor guys again going?
3) Any way to know immediately when the little guys are suffering and try to help them out? Never had any luck trying to cure one of those little ones...

Thanks!
 

12Cin12

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Sadly yesterday the poor guy went to a better life... very sad about this... one thing I didn't mention is they were less than two weeks (from petsmart) - maybe they were sick?
so I have multiple questions... about the future... sometimes feel like giving up on fishtanks...
1) What should I do with the fishtank? Do I need to clean it all and replace the water?
2) If I replace all the water, how long do I need to wait to get my poor guys again going?
3) Any way to know immediately when the little guys are suffering and try to help them out? Never had any luck trying to cure one of those little ones...

Thanks!
I’m so sorry. But I don’t think anyone here would be surprised- (though I only speak for myself). They were pretty badly covered in ick- this is not uncommon with fish from pet smart.

I’ll post a pick of the Kordon Ich Attack (herbal meds) I used for my cardinal tetras. The key is to use it AS SOON as you see symptoms. And keep using it. Their website gives more info. (Sorry, but I couldn’t see the link you posted as it’s Canadian - amazon kept wanting me to change my browser to Canada!)

Please don’t give up on fish tanks- you’ve just learned some valuable info to go in your personal experience file.

That being said, last year I lost two dear Betta fish because of my ignorance. I was so sad - I just wanted to give up! The Betta in my profile is one of them. So I just waited a little while until I felt like getting more fish.

And then I gave the tank a good cleaning. I emptied the water and refilled with new, so that i wouldn’t lose my cycle. After about two months I got more fish and stocked up on meds.
 

FeederGuppies

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Hi, thank you all for your response. This is my first post but I have been learning a lot from you. Great community thank you very much!!!
I will post some pictures of the fish. Yes I used a product to treat the water Topfin water conditioner
We measure every two weeks the levels of the water, the latest one was:
PH: 7.5, NO2: 0.25, NO3: 10, Ammonia: 0.25, KH: 120, GH: 120

I know the KH and GH have been too high, but not sure how to treat that part (yet) and I don't think that caused the fungal infection (according to Petsmart)

We try to clean the tank (20 gallon) twice a month, and only 10-15% while we vacuum the floor.

On the filter is that carbon one (similar to this Generic Active Carbon External Aquarium Filter Pump Cotton Board Fish Tank Plate Part # HBL-303/HBL-403)

And no I didn't replace any filter media, just tried to clean the 'green stuff' out of the filter.

Thank you all for your help! Feeling really discouraged right now...
Ammonia and nitrites should be at zero. Bad water quality is usually the cause of sick fish.
Sadly yesterday the poor guy went to a better life... very sad about this... one thing I didn't mention is they were less than two weeks (from petsmart) - maybe they were sick?
so I have multiple questions... about the future... sometimes feel like giving up on fishtanks...
1) What should I do with the fishtank? Do I need to clean it all and replace the water?
2) If I replace all the water, how long do I need to wait to get my poor guys again going?
3) Any way to know immediately when the little guys are suffering and try to help them out? Never had any luck trying to cure one of those little ones...

Thanks!
Sorry about your fish. If he was from petsmart he probably came sick. Guppies are pretty susceptible to disease, and the petcos and petsmarts I've went to always have dead or dying guppies. Do you have a local fish store you could go to in the future?
I'm not really am expert on fish disease, but I would probably clean out the whole tank and dry it out for several weeks. I would also get rid of the media and clean out the filter, then put in new media and put the filter in your other tank to get it cycled again.
When you're ready to add fish, only add one or two at first, since the bacteria will need to catch up.
Sometimes it can be hard to tell what normal behavior is when you've never had those types of fish before. Usually, though, healthy fish will not clamp their fins, hover in place for too long, or stay at the bottom of the tank. They aren't too pale, and don't zip around erratically. Healthy guppy behavior is generally swimming around the tank and not hovering, bright colors, biting at decor and gravel, and the males will often dance for/chase other males or females.
 
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mattgirl

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I am sorry to hear that your little guy didn't make it. I was afraid it was already too late but that doesn't make it any easier.

I think if it were me I would break this tank down at this point. I would put the gravel in a container and either boil it or at least pour boiling water over it.

or..........

I am not sure what all it would take to make sure all the ich is dead You may want to do a bit of research on using Potassium Permanganate
This is a thread with a lot of really good information on its uses.
 

Momgoose56

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Sadly yesterday the poor guy went to a better life... very sad about this... one thing I didn't mention is they were less than two weeks (from petsmart) - maybe they were sick?
so I have multiple questions... about the future... sometimes feel like giving up on fishtanks...
1) What should I do with the fishtank? Do I need to clean it all and replace the water?
2) If I replace all the water, how long do I need to wait to get my poor guys again going?
3) Any way to know immediately when the little guys are suffering and try to help them out? Never had any luck trying to cure one of those little ones...

Thanks!
I would NOT tear down and disinfect a tank just for an ich infection. Ich wil die in a tank without a host if you force the ich through all it's growth stages aand prevent replication at the same time. Get the tank up to 86-90°F and let it run forre 7-10 days. Feed it 1-2 ppm ammonia while it's "cooking" the ich. The ich will die. If you tear the tank down and disinfect everything you will lose all of your nitrifying bacteria you do have and will have to completely cycle the tank over again. Then continue to completely cycle the tank, without fish in it using pure ammonia. AND get a test kit that measures ammonia levels -API Master test kit is my recommendation ;-)
 
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