Extremely Frustrated...starting Over

bluewaterpig

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Ive been trying to maintain an aquarium for about two months now. I made some stupid beginner mistakes as I was starting, but I learned a good amount (mostly from you guys) and was making progress. I had a period of probably 10 days where everything was great...crystal clear water, lively fish, etc. About a week ago, my water started getting cloudy. I did water changes but it seemed to always go back to its cloudy state. My pH was low (6.0) so I started adding pH regulator. My 18 gallon tank needed 3 tablespoons of the white powder regulator, so I figured the cloudiness was coming from that.

In any case, I found my Bala shark dead yesterday. I was extremely surprised because he was the liveliest one. Now tonight, one of the guppies died, and I’m noticing some other fish just staying at the bottom of the tank. Something is obviously up, so I did a 50% water change, added Prime, Stability, Stress Guard, aquarium salt, and Kanaplex just in case there’s a bacterial thing happening.

My point here is that I’m extremely frustrated and thinking I should just start over. I was going to set up a temporary tank to keep my fish in, empty out my aquarium and start all over from scratch.

What do you guys think? Is starting over my best bet? Or should I stick with my tank and try to fix it since it has already cycled?
 

AquaticJ

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The PH regulators are very bad for your fish. Also, what was your stocking before the two fish lost? And your water parameters?
 

Lorekeeper

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List your stocking and parameters as asked above, if you don't mind.

Any product that claims to change your PH will cause more harm than good. Most will cause PH swings, which are way worse than a PH that is too low or too high. Plus, most fish can adapt to pretty much any PH between 6.0-9.0, given a good acclimation. I'll also recommend against using Stress Guard, salt, and antibiotics unless you have something specific you're treating for. Stress Guard is kinda snake oil IMO, and so is salt, to a point. Antibiotics are fine, but again, I wouldn't dose those unless you're seeing symptoms or doing something pre-emptive in quarantine.

Why start over? There's no point - I'd run some carbon and do a few water changes to get all of the meds and chemicals out of the water. Watch your parameters for a few weeks, and see if you have any other deaths. If so, look for signs of disease, and ID it to the best of your ability, or post on here and ask.

I'm making an assumption here, but since you had a Bala Shark in an 18 gallon, I'm going to question the rest of your stocking as well. Bala Sharks get HUGE. If you're overstocked or have a massive stocking incompatibility, that could be adding to your issue.
 

NavyChief20

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Lorekeeper said:
List your stocking and parameters as asked above, if you don't mind.

Any product that claims to change your PH will cause more harm than good. Most will cause PH swings, which are way worse than a PH that is too low or too high. Plus, most fish can adapt to pretty much any PH between 6.0-9.0, given a good acclimation. I'll also recommend against using Stress Guard, salt, and antibiotics unless you have something specific you're treating for. Stress Guard is kinda snake oil IMO, and so is salt, to a point. Antibiotics are fine, but again, I wouldn't dose those unless you're seeing symptoms or doing something pre-emptive in quarantine.

Why start over? There's no point - I'd run some carbon and do a few water changes to get all of the meds and chemicals out of the water. Watch your parameters for a few weeks, and see if you have any other deaths. If so, look for signs of disease, and ID it to the best of your ability, or post on here and ask.

I'm making an assumption here, but since you had a Bala Shark in an 18 gallon, I'm going to question the rest of your stocking as well. Bala Sharks get HUGE. If you're overstocked or have a massive stocking incompatibility, that could be adding to your issue.
I gotta be honest Lorekeeper and I are in complete agreement on this. Bala sharks shouldn't even be sold to people with less than a 125 gallon tank in my opinion.

Is your tank cycled at all because based on the time frame it sounds like the cloudiness is a bacterial bloom which btw is good. Most of the chemicals you can buy to stabilize pH are just god awful for your fish. If you want to raise pH do it naturally with some shells or crushed coral.
 

Lorekeeper

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NavyChief20 said:
I gotta be honest Lorekeeper and I are in complete agreement on this. Bala sharks shouldn't even be sold to people with less than a 125 gallon tank in my opinion.

Is your tank cycled at all because based on the time frame it sounds like the cloudiness is a bacterial bloom which btw is good. Most of the chemicals you can buy to stabilize pH are just god awful for your fish. If you want to raise pH do it naturally with some shells or crushed coral.
They're one of the fish that I think should be by request only. If a customer asks to order it, sure. But I wouldn't carry it just everyday, due to how many people buy them without realizing how big they get. I group them in with Red-Tail Cats, Arowana, Oscars, Tangs (saltwater), Clown Loaches, and even stuff like Bumblebee Gobies and Dragon Gobies. I always see them in stores here, and I don't think anyone knows that they either get huge, need a lot of room, or need brackish.
 

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