Frustrated and Angry Important

Discussion in 'Aquarium Water' started by meanddoxie, Aug 8, 2014.

  1. meanddoxie

    meanddoxieValued MemberMember

    I have asked in like 3 posts on here what to do about my water parameters and only had about three responses which were mostly questions that I answered. So after several days of water changes, Prime, doing multiple tests throughout the day and trying everything I could find to help the numbers I still ended up losing an albino corydora and my favorite apple snail, Goldilocks.

    I don't think I have ever cried so hard before and it was all over frustration and the loss of my snail. I tried so hard to do everything right and I still failed her and she died as a result.

    I did yet ANOTHER water change today and once again the numbers are good for now. I have done so many water changes in the past week just to have my water turn to ammonia and nitrites by the end of the day that I am at a complete loss at this point. I am so frustrated. I have no clue if I should continue using Prime, if I should only use Prime when I do water changes or if it can be used without a water change and the bottle really doesnt say anything about it.

    My tank is moderately planted, regularly vacuumed and there are no bodies in it. I don't over feed, if anything I under feed because I have so many scavengers. Some things say to turn the heat up some say turn it down for the ammonia...

    Why is my tank doing this after nearly two years? How do i prevent more deaths? The fish do NOT enjoy the water changes and i am more than sure that is what weaken'd the corydora... sigh....
  2. hollie1505

    hollie1505Well Known MemberMember

    I'm sorry for your losses. You're doing great, don't be down hearted! Sometimes bad things happen and it's awful but if you're doing your best, don't beat yourself up. You are doing all you can so don't be frustrated :)

    Keep up your water changes, performing them regularly is a good thing to do so I'd be doing them every day/other day 50+% depending on your readings. Dosing with Prime will detoxify the nasties to make them non toxic to the fish.

    Prime can be used without a water change up to 5 x the standard dose but it can reduce oxygen in the water so be sure to add an air stone if you're dosing regularly or move your filter so it agitates the surface of the water more.

    I haven't seen any of your other posts, sorry, what is the story? What are your parameters, tank size and residents? Do the fish have any symptoms?

    Hope you're feeling better soon, thinking of
  3. MamajinWell Known MemberMember

    I'm sorry you are going through this and I know it can be frustrating.

    Reading over your other threads, I can't tell what tank you're talking about and even looking at your tank profile it's extremely confusing. You have all of your tanks under one profile heading with all of the fish from all of the tanks all lumped into one big paragraph. Pretty please redo your profiles so that we can tell what fish and how many are in what tanks. Separate each tank with its very own profile and fill out every piece of profile information without leaving a single thing out. Remember to be extremely specific.

    The more information you give, the easier and faster we can help you.

    Note: Prime does not reduce oxygen in the water unless it is repeatedly overdosed at 5x the normal amount. (reiterating what was stated above)

    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014
  4. Rivieraneo

    RivieraneoModeratorModerator Member

    Hi meanddoxie, sorry about your tank troubles, I'll tell you that having multiple threads on the same issue will only confuse members and provide less of a response.

    Reading your other threads, how long did you allow for your new filters to seed before you removed your establishes ones?
  5. OP

    meanddoxieValued MemberMember

    I waited just under a month for them to reseed, i placed them into the HOB with the others because there was room, then i removed the wrecked old one first, then about a week later the other one. The reasons I decided it was time to change was because the water was fluctuating a lot and the pumps were running slowly, and of course the damage to the one... I rinsed the new ones out with the water i was using for a water change first (the clean water) then i rinsed them again in the removed water, then placed them into the HOB...

    I am wondering now if the high dose of Prime is what caused my snail and one fish to die, after all that time battling ammonia and nitrites they thought the water was good and stopped going up for air, i thought it was good too, but maybe the Prime made it harder for them to breathe?

    From the tap my water is
    0 ammonia
    0 Nitrites
    6.4-7 pH
    with a hardness that is either really soft or really hard depending on the day because we have a well with a water softener that runs only on certain nights, the following day the water is softer and then before it cleans the water is a lot harder but it seems to buffer my pH well and my snails all have great shells with great color. It doesnt add chlorine or chloramide to the water and we have no copper piping.

  6. Adam55

    Adam55Well Known MemberMember

    I'm sorry for what's happening in the tank, but please understand that questions are asked so answers can be given to you. It sounds as if you're doing water changes and bringing ammonia and nitrite to 0 and 0 daily. Is that right? It then sounds like they spike up again in the same day. What do they go to? Have you recently added a lot of new stock, lost a lot of plants, or done anything to the filter media?
  7. OP

    meanddoxieValued MemberMember

    My main tank is the 30G. I updated the information though it wouldn't save that I have driftwood
  8. OP

    meanddoxieValued MemberMember

    Thanks Hollie
    None of the fish seem to have any symptoms. The snail that died was showing signed that the ammonia was bothering her, but after I used the Prime she went back into the water on her own and was back to her active self, munching down my plants and walking around, she had been sick from ammonia back in March so I knew the signs right away and kept an eye on her. I don't know what killed her because the ammonia was at 0 when she died.... I am thinking it was a lack of oxygen from the Prime :( The other snails are all seemingly doing well but she was the largest and the others all all diffusa apple snails and she was a cana apple snail. I am so heartbroken, i spent so much time with her and watching her play and grow. She was small when I got her and she was larger than a golfball and was rather heavy for a snail!
  9. Thai Aquarium ownerWell Known MemberMember

    Hi Meanddoxie,
    Firstly, please do not get angry and disheartened / frustrated, it will solve nothing at all.
    Keeping fish is a pastime that is so different from keeping another kind of pet like a dog, and requires patience in abundance .
    We have all experienced some ( if not all ) of the bad stuff you are going through with our tanks, but with clear, and precise thinking, and an analitic approach, the problems can be over come, sometimes quite easily.
    As others have posted, the more info you give to the guys here, the more chance there is of finding the problem, and resolving it for you.
    The issue here could be that you tank has what is called " old tank syndrome ", as you say this is happening in a tank that has been established for 2 years.
    Waste material in the tank can get lodged into the corners of the tank, or can accumilate under decor Etc over a long period of time, and will cause an explosion of bacteria and Ammonia when first disturbed.
    There are various things available to you, which are specificaly designed, that will " lock up " the Ammonia for short periods of time, and it may mean you " lock up " some Ammonia and then replace the product, and lock more and so on until you can drastically reduce the Ammonia level in the tank.
    Please dont get down, things have a way of getting sorted.
    " Badmans Tropical Fish" have an excellent article about OTS
  10. hollie1505

    hollie1505Well Known MemberMember

    The Prime would only deplete the oxygen so much that it would cause problems if you were using a lot, regularly without changing the water so I don't think that will have been the cause however I cannot be certain. Adding an air stone may help though.

    What are your parameters and what fish are in the 30G currently? Have you changed anything recently (conditioner, decor, anything!)?

    Do the swings in the hardness affect the pH? This can be stressful for fish, I'm not saying it is what's causing the problems but it may be a factor.

    The snail may have died as a result of long term effects of the ammonia poisoning from March, but this seems unlikely as snails can be quite sensitive to these things.

    I'm so sorry about your snail. I have some large apple snails too and you really get to know them. It's so sad when anything goes wrong. But you shouldn't feel alone. I am going through fish loss at the moment and it is extremely frustrating when you don't know what's causing it or how to stop it. We can only do our best, the fact you are trying to figure it all out and it hurts shows a lot about you as a person and fish keeper.

    I am with you, stay strong love :)
  11. OP

    meanddoxieValued MemberMember

    thanks :)
    I updated my tank contents in my profile so you can see everything i have and i also have three medium sized pieces of drift wood. The pH is NOT swinging thank goodness!

    So yesterday after my water change i filled a container with water to see what it would do... this morning when I woke up my tank water was no longer clear, it looked like tannins had leaked and the ammonia had went from 0 to 0.25
    I then checked the water I had said aside and the ammonia in it had spiked to 0.5

    So I am now wondering what on earth the waters issue is that it is doing that swing on its own and I am wondering how to stop this. 95% water changes every day has GOT to be stressing out the fish. Today the Pleco had a tantrum while I was draining water. I don't blame him.

    If my water is doing this swing on its own will the Prime help prevent that or will it only mask it and prevent me from knowing what the water parameters really are?

    I am also concerned that because of all of the MASSIVE water changes that I am going to end up tossing my tank into one of those never ending cycles. Like how can beneficial latch onto anything, or be present in the water when i am draining it out every day?

    I am so lost....
  12. Thai Aquarium ownerWell Known MemberMember

    If you are doing 95% water changes every day, your filtration system will be loosing the BB inside of it and the tank will be continually trying to start a cycle.
    What are your water parameters in the affected tank ?
    IE Ammonia reading, Nitrite reading, and Nitrate reading
    These are the most important readings to supply to the forum guys for them to help you, but there is nothing in your profile.
  13. OP

    meanddoxieValued MemberMember

    My NORMAL reading are
    0 ammonia
    0 Nitrite
    0-20 nitrate

    my readings the past week or so have been all over the map from
    0-8 ammonia
    0-5 nitrite
    and a steady ph and fairly steady hardness
    I don't have nitrate right now and none of the 4 stores we have in town have the nitrate test in stock.

    My water that was changed yesterday with a 90% change needed that much of a change because of the ammonia level... normally i do 5 gallons two or three times a week because i don't like the temperature changes, so i vacuum my gravel into a five gallon bucket then dump it, spray it out, refill... etc...

    Today i did another 95% change because the ammonia had jumped so quickly AND the water color had went from clear to a reddish color like it had tanins in it.

    My readings right now are
    0 ammonia
    0 Nitrites
    Unknown Nitrates because of the stores not having the test available.
    ph 6.8 (its normal)

    The tank has been established for about 19 months and the only recent changes has been adding some serpae tetras (8 over a period of two weeks with regular testing) and 4 (now 3) albino corydoras.

    I get ALL of my plants from the same source and i rinse everything in tank water before placing it in my tank....

    The water i left out yesterday in a clean bucket tested at .5 ammonia today which means that the tank actually buffered out a .25 change since it only read at .25

    We have well water with a water softener.I have been keeping fish on this well since I was 13 and I am 29 now. This is the first time I have had ammonia outside of when a 5 gallon back in march had apple snails i QT and 5 clutches hatched and contaminated the water, 50% water changes over a few days helped that and everything went to normal. I had no die off.

    On monday I am getting a couple of water hyacinth shipped as well as some salvinia (floating) because they are good oxignators and i am hoping they do the job. Everywhere that i have looked is out of duck weed or I would have used it but I hear the salvinia is good and much easier to control then duck week because it grows on shoots.
  14. OP

    meanddoxieValued MemberMember

    Oh and i know i cant "see" bacteria per se but i have done the major water changes without vacuuming the gravel in hopes of leaving any BB in and food for my corydoras, snail and pleco in the gravel. Today when I checked the filters to be sure there was nothing dead in there (which their wasn't) there was a nice coating of gunk etc stuck in the flossy part and everything seems to be dirty in a good way, I a definitely not one to be fond of doing massive changes, it is too traumatic for the fish (and my back). At this point I am done thinking it is the tank and i am thinking it is the water itself because of the way the clean bucket tested this morning. The question is what do I do to prevent that in my tank? How much water should I change out each day? How often can I add Prime? etc etc etc...
  15. MamajinWell Known MemberMember

    Unfortunately that is a common misconception. Nitrifying Bacteria on Bio-Media cannot be rinsed away. It just doesn't work like that. You can kill it with untreated tap water, but not with dechlorinated water.

    I perform routine maintenance on all of my tank canisters and all of the media inside to ensure they remain unclogged and stay in good working condition. Not once has it ever caused a lost cycle or a mini cycle, and doing large water changes isn't going to harm the Nitrogen Cycle either.

    Nitrifying Bacteria live, reproduce, and thrive on and in the bio-media of your filter, so never forgo good gravel cleanings. The only time you do not want to do good gravel cleanings is when you've just dosed the tank with bottled bacteria... and the gravel should be very clean beforehand. If you do not keep the gravel clean and free of uneaten food and mulm you risk allowing deadly anaerobic air pickets to form, population explosions of detritus worms, and an unbalanced tank with toxic water chemistry (high levels of ammonia is one of the first signs).

    There's no such thing as good dirty gunk in filter material. The filter is intended to do two things; house nitrifying bacteria and filter nasties from the water. If you do not properly maintain (ie: keep them free of "gunk") then you reduce the function of the filter itself (makes the motor work harder), risk an unbalanced tank with toxic water chemistry (high levels of ammonia are the first sign), and reduce the life of the filter itself. You have to keep the filter clean and clear of debris and gunk in order to maintain a healthy nitrogen cycle and a well balanced tank.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2014
  16. OP

    meanddoxieValued MemberMember

    What I meant by not vacuuming right now is that i haven't been vacuuming beyond normal, the substrate is clean looking and i am grabbing up any pleco poops etc but I am not digging in like crazy every single day, i am trying to keep that schedule as normal as possible. The filter media is relatively new and I just give it a gentle rinse and toss it back in. It doesn't have chunks etc (i rinse those off, though they tend to be plant matter from the water changes the past week) while leaving them so they aren't pristine either. The water flow is great and I definitely know what you mean by slowing it down as my last filter media that broke on me had barely a trickle going on...
  17. MamajinWell Known MemberMember

    Sounds like you've got things covered. :)
  18. OP

    meanddoxieValued MemberMember

    Thanks, I am trying! So today i did another near full water change and i used a normal dose of Prime. I also have added in the oxyenator plants that I ordered last week and they look great and from what I read are nitrite/nitrate lovers.

    After the water change and everyone settling down and what not the tank has got a little bit cloudy, again I trust the plant guy as he is my only plant dealer and everything arrives healthy etc and I always swish everything of in tank water. I have seen his setups and his candid ways and I feel no need to QT the plants because I know what fish he keeps in his tanks and other species and all that

    Anyway, is this a mini bloom because of all the almost complete changes over the past 10 or so days? I lost count but I think it has been about 8 full changes, I was actually expecting bloom several days back. So should I leave this and see if it clears up as long as my water stays good? Should i do partial changes? or should i continue with the full changes if i have ammonia in my water? The last time I had a bloom was when i changed my substrate because it removed too much BB and that was at least a year ago so I honestly can't recall what I did. Should I continue the prime every day?
  19. hollie1505

    hollie1505Well Known MemberMember

    I would always perform.water changes when you see a spike in ammonia. The health of the fish should come before the aesthetics of the tank.

    Performing big water changes shouldn't cause the bloom. Some of my tanks have huge water changes daily and always have but once the tank is established any bloom should clear up. You just have to give the tank time to find its balance.xx
  20. OP

    meanddoxieValued MemberMember

    i wasn't referring to asthetics, i was simply asking if I should continue to use the prime and if i should traumatize my fish with full changes like I have been or if the nitrite and nitrate eating plants would allow for only partial changes.
    If you don't think large changes stress the fish out then you haven't done a change as big as i am doing. The last two times I have done 90% changes my pleco's natural instinct kicked in and he began hopping around the tank, knocking over things and causing himself some obvious bruising. in an attempt to fulfill his natural desire to hop over to a larger body of water during a drought. I used to scoop fish into a buck to do the changes but the chase would stress them out and i have had fish jump from the bucket so I no longer remove them, especially since I have some live bearers and never know my population.

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