Help: 55g tank, rapid breathing fish and dying Rummy nose Tetras

Shauna
Member
We have a 55 gallon tank with 4 mollies, 2 bristle nose plecos, 5 Amano shrimp, 10 Rummy-nose Tetras, and 5 KuhlI Loaches. We recently had our Rummy-nose Tetra develop white spots, we treated the tank with eSHa Exit. We did everything by the book, treated for 3 days, no lights, 50% water exchange on the 4th day. We lost 1 tetra by the end of the treatment. My husband then fertilised the plants we had with Dennerle Plant Elixier and added 2 clown loaches, 2 Yoyo loaches and 3 Zebra loaches that he had to have from a Fish Breeder Expo. Since then we have lost another tetra that stayed at the top of the tank, lost his red colour and wouldn't swim with the group. We have another not that is doing the same thing. All of the fish are noticeably breathing rapidly.
I tested the water,
0 No2
0 No3
Gh hardiness at>7°d
KH 10°d
pH 7,6
CL2 0

I have added Tetra AquaSafe because I think the Ammonia is higher than it should be. I'm going to get an Ammonia test today. Is there anything else I'm doing wrong?
We do regular water changes every weekend, our tank is moderately planted but we are adding as we go. We have a Eheim Classic 2213 canister filter, 2 30w lights that we run about 12 hours during the day.
 
slade
Member
I don't test for chlorine, so I don't know if this is an acceptable amount. I would add prime to counter it, and wonder if it was affecting the cycled BB.
When you say white-spots, do you mean ich? The best treatment for that is raising the temp. Maybe others can give better advice.
 
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Shauna
Member
We already treated for ICH. I think there has been way too much stress on the tetras. We upgraded from a 30 gallon to a 55 gallon about 7 weeks ago. I somehow think they aren't getting enough oxygen. But we have a air stone and a filtration system. Why else would they be breathing so hard all the time?
 
Vyvid
Member
My rummy-nose all died within two weeks I think likely from stress despite great care in acclimation and perfect water conditions. They developed ich near the end (last survivors) but I think it was from the stress.

Everything I've read says they are a very sensitive fish.


 
toosie
Member
Welcome to FishLore!

I would say you don't have enough filtration for a 55G tank. The Eheim Classic 2213 only has a GPH of 116 gallons which is just a little more than twice the volume of your tank, per hour. I see the info for this filter claims it is good for up to a 65 gallon tank, but for the amount of stock we tend to put in tanks, a GPH of a minimum of 5X the tank volume is recommended, and I prefer 10X for my tanks.

I don't believe this little filter will create enough surface movement for good oxygenation even with airstones running. Airstones aren't the best for providing oxygen to a tank, although they help. I'd also say this filter seems too small to hold enough filter media for the size of bacterial colony you will need for your tank.

With the addition of more fish, you are probably right, and are experiencing an ammonia spike. Ammonia can make it difficult for the fish to obtain oxygen. Water changes to dilute the ammonia and add fresh oxygen to the tank will help your fish. If you can get a bottle of Seachem Prime, it will help you detoxify some of the ammonia that is left after the water changes are performed. You may have to do daily water changes until the spike is over.

What is the current temperature of the tank?
 
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Shauna
Member
We figured out it was the filtration system. We went to our local Kolle Zoo here and bought a new pressure side for the output into the tank to create more current, cleaned out the whole filtration including the tubes, replaced all the pads, added amtra procult filterstart XL, a Poly-Filter, and did a 75% water exchange. So far the fish are breathing normally and are a lot more active. I just hope our plants will recover and we don't loose any more fish. I think we are down to 8 or 9 Rummy Nose Tetras, I can't seem to find number 9, hopefully he's just hiding? Thanks for helping!
 
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Shauna
Member
I actually goofed on the size of the tank, it's 180L with I thought was 55 gallon but according to the app on my phone is 47.5g. The temp of the tank is about 26.5 C or 79.7 F.
 
toosie
Member
It's unfortunate you replaced the filter media. You will have lost your main bacterial colony and will need to cycle the tank again. I guess that's why you added the filter start, but I have no idea how well that product works.

The increased flow is good, but the amount of media the filter holds may still not provide enough area for a large enough bacterial colony to handle the waste load in the tank.
 
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Shauna
Member
The whole tank is doing great now. My loaches are swimming around like crazy, just how they are supposed to. Does it help that I vacuum out the waste every other day or so? It's not a water exchange, which we do every weekend, but an aquarium vacuum that sucks up water then filters out the poo and returns the water back into the tank. I'm a bit of a neat freak so I hate seeing all that poo, it's just gross.
 
Jsigmo
Member
That certainly does help. Removing detritus before it can rot will lessen the waste load and help as your new filter media is repopulated with beneficial bacteria. But it will still take a while for the bacteria colony to grow in population and catch up with the bioload. And fish excrete ammonia directly and constantly, so the poo is just one source of toxic ammonia in the tank.

There needs to be a way to constantly remove this ammonia. That's the job of the bacterial colonies in and on your filter's media.

People need to realize what a valuable and vital asset the coating of bacteria on their filter media is. You never want to get rid of it because once it's gone, you have to start over cultivating it again, and in the mean time, you have little or no way for ammonia from the fish's waste to be processed.

This is a good reason for always having more than one filter in any tank. It gives you redundant bacteria colonies.

That yuchhy, slimy old filter media is the cornerstone of your water purification system, as odd as that sounds.
 
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Shauna
Member
When we drained the filter, nothing but green gunk came out. I didn't scrub anything, just rinsed with tank water. The tubes were filled with green gunk so we cleaned them with a brush but again not brand new clean. Our LPS told us that we were basically killing the fish because the active carbon filter pad wasn't removed after 2 weeks. If we knew we would have done it. Then other filter pad was black, brand new it's pristine white. That's why we put the bacteria start up rocks in. The first day the water was cloudy and were told it was from the new bacteria. My father-in-law kept multiple tanks when my DH was a kid so we get a lot of info from him. But so far everyone looks great. I put in some Marimo Moss balls today and a couple of new plants. Trying to fill it in.
 
Jsigmo
Member
Excellent. The way I read the other post, I thought you'd put in all new filter media, but it sounds like you did it all just right, and now you have good water flow and still have your healthy bacteria, too.

It sounds like the filter was choked off with algae, and you got that all fixed. So that's all great!
 
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Shauna
Member
No we didn't put all new filter media in. Thankfully I'm not that blonde. It was just gunked up something fierce! But I'm debating on putting in a SAE for the hair algae or getting more Amano Shrimp. My hubbie says no more fish so I'm leaning towards the Amano but I don't know how well they will eat the hair or BB algae. We now have both in the tank. Any suggestions?
 

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