Forgot The Water Conditioner For 4 Hours!

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Fishraptor

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Oh no! I did a 50-60% water change on one of my 13g and forgot to add water conditioner/! I was tipped off by my pictus catfish heavy breathing and odd behavior. I added a 2-3x dose but is it too late? It was about 4 hours ago that I did the water change. How long does the last in tapwater that hasn’t been conditioned? I’m not sure how much or is in the water in this area, central valley California. Not sure what to do. The 2 pictus fish are breathing heavily/rapidly and lying on floor (usually they are in their hides). 4 giant danios also breathing rapidly but swimming around.

I have a 75 gallon that I’ve been cycling for only one week. I was planning on moving the catfish and the danios into this tank once it is ready. I used API Quickstart and let some food decay in there. API quickstart claims that fish can be put in immediately. Last few days the water parameters have consistently been 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 5.0ppm nitrates, 7.4ph. Even though it seems like it is ready, I was still planning on letting it build some more bacteria for another couple weeks at least before I move the fish over. But now I’m thinking I should just go ahead and move them over? Not sure which is the better option?? I don’t want to lose any fish.

I’ve never forgotten the conditioner before and I do about 40 to 50% water change in the 13 gallon weekly. Should I do another water change and make sure to add the conditioner immediately? I ran out of prime so I used API tap water conditioner, which should do the same thing.

Will try to upload video via YouTube.
 

Skavatar

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I would think your bb is toast in the 13g. its going to have to start all over.

move your fish to the 75gal. test it daily for and increase in ammonia or nitrites. Prime will help your fish in cycle.
 

AquaBaby

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How many tanks to you have? You said "one of my 13g" .... Do you have one you can seed this tank from?

The only way to know if you lost your cycle is to check the water parameters for a few days. Pending the filter flow, I'd bet the cycle is at a minimum compromised if not completely lost.

I'm wondering if the chlorine/chloramines have already caused a chemical burn to their gills. Just moving them won't fix this.

The bad thing is, the chem burns stress the fish, and moving them will cause more stress. So, if we can get your water "safe" it is probably best to just leave them in their own tank.

The good thing is, 13g isn't a huge volume if water for the dechlorinator to work in. So, I'm assuming that by now, it's done its job.

If I didn't have anything to seed the tank with, I'd get some TSS. If you didn't lose your BB, adding it won't hurt. If you did lose your BB, and can't seed the tank, you can dose the BB. So, if it were me, I'd either seed the tank or add TSS. I'd also monitor fish closely and watch for gill necrosis.

You can always move them, but just be sure to continue to watch them.

EDIT
Forgot to mention airstone!!

No matter where you decide to put them, make sure you have PLENTY of aeration until you can determine if their gills have been damaged. If so, keep air flow high to assist their breathing.
 
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Fishraptor

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Water parameters in 13g are so far still normal: 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 10 nitrate. This morning before the water change they were 0/0/30. Nitrates are typically 30-40 every week, so I do 30-50% water change weekly.

I’m worried moving them to the 75 will stress them out further. All 6 fish are still gasping, though maybe a smidgen slower than before...

I have another 13g that has tiger barbs and glofish tetra. Also forgot to add conditioner to their tank but so far they seem normal.

How do I add more aeration? With the airstone?
 
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AquaBaby

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If your air pump is adjustable, turn it up. If not, do you have an additional pump and stone you can add?

Keep testing your water for at least a few days. You probably won't see the ammonia that fast and you probably still have nitrate levels in the tank from prior to the water change.
 
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