HELP WITH NEWLY TREATED TANK, FISH AFLOAT!

stevieg20

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I recently just treated my 20 gallon tank with Doc Wellfish's Aquarium Treatment. I added salt, ph stabalizer (7.0), stress coat, and two other conditioners.. Now my fish can't seem to stay underwater, always skimming the top. They try to swim down but then they just rise back up as if they are lighter than the water.... what is wrong?! they are panicking...
 

0morrokh

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Is the tank cycled, or is it newly set up?
Either way, you are adding WAY too many chemicals to the water. All you need is one dechlorinator to make the water suitable for fish. Any other chemicals are completely unnecessary (and more than likely harmful, especially the pH adjuster--it is much safer to let the fish acclimate to your water, imo, than to dump in potentially harmful chemicals to adjust it).
Your fish's behaviors could have nothing to do with the chemicals though, they could be signs of poor water quality or disease. What are your Ammonia, Nitrites, and Nitrates? Are there any visible signs or symptoms of disease? Other strange behaviors?
I hope this helps, and I hope your fish get better!
 
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stevieg20

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My tank is four weeks old. I have not tested the water, I have just ordered a new test kit. This morning the fish was somewhat "happily" swimming around (one left!!!). I did a 20 % water change while vaccuming the gravel, rinsing off all tank decorations in the old water. There were A LOT of sediments (white flaky see through hazy things) attatching themselves to the tank heater. NOW they are spread out evenly all over the tank creating a layer of white almost "snow" but not as thick over the bottom. I am using an undergravel filter, which I don't think should have anything to do with it. PLEASE!! Any help? What can I do to overall fix the tank?
 

Isabella

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How large is the tank and how many fish (and what types of fish) are in it? Once you get your test kit, test your water for pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, and post the results here. You are adding way too many chemicals to your water, as Omorrokh has duly noted. Besides, WHY did you treat your tank with Doc Wellfish's Aquarium Treatment and why are you adding salt and so many other chemicals to your tank?
 

chickadee

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I do hate to tell you but undergravel filters are generally not considered to do much good.  Basically all they do is pull the waste down into the gravel and under the filter and leave a lot of toxic waste under your gravel to filter back through the water and eventually poison your fish.  You need a filter that is going to filter the water chemically, mechanically and biologically.  Your tank is probably not cycled.  I do not know how you cycle an undergravel filter.  It is probably going to have to be replaced with another type of filter and recycled.  

I do not know much about some of the chemicals you named, but that many chemicals would be harmful in a fully cycled tank and it does not sound like yours is cycled through.  You also need to let us know what kinds of fish you have.

One word about pH stabilizers.  They are harmful.  It is much better to allow whatever fish you get to become used to the normal pH of the water you have than to try to artificially try to change it.  It is traumatic to change the pH more that 0.2 on a fish and when you are constantly mixing a chemical into the water [which by the way is unstable and wears off] you will not get it exactly the same two times in a row and the fluctuation will stress your fish and could kill them.  Just do the acclimation on your fish to get them used to the water slowly when you bring them home from the store and they will adjust to the pH as it is.  It is too dangerous to use it.

My suggestion would be to do a 75% water change with NO chemicals but a little dechlorinator and see if that helps your fish. Then do please post the test results when you get them. If you think it is going to be a bit before you get your kit, you can take some water to the fish store and have them test it for you.

Rose
 

Isabella

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Your readings are not "all over the place". In fact, your readings indicate that your tank is cycling - which is a good thing because you want to be done with the cycle as soon as possible. In the process of cycling, first ammonia shows up, then as ammonia decreases, nitrite increases. Lastly, as nitrite decreases, nitrate increases. It is the normal order of the cycle. And this is why one day you had high ammonia and low nitrite and the next day 0 ammonia but more nitrite and high nitrate.

When you have ANY traces of ammonia or nitrite whatsoever, you should be performing DAILY water changes of about 50%, UNTIL both ammonia and nitrite = 0. If you perform 25% water changes every other day, you're not removing ammonia and nitrite fast enough, and this is why your fish are dying or getting sick (at best). The 50% daily water changes apply to tanks that are in the process of cycling and that have fish in it. Tanks that are cycling and have yet no fish in them, don't need so many and such frequent water changes. Also, tanks in the process of cycling, will cycle much faster if you don't add any fish to them until they're cycled.

If you rinse/clean your filter in chlorinated tap water, you're killing off the bacteria that are supposed to cycle your tank. If you kill them off, you have to start cycling your tank from the beginning. ALWAYS rinse the filter sponge in your tank water (take some tank water in some bucket, and rinse it there). Other filter media such as bio-cubes and activated carbon pouch should also be well rinsed in tank water. I suppose you can clean the filter box under running tap water, but after you're done, towel dry the filter box so that no chlorine is left on it. Yet it would be even better to clean even the filter box in tank water.

Rose didn't mean to tell you that UG filters "don't work". She rather meant that they're not as effective as power filters or other filters are. UG filters tend to clog up a lot and they are very messy. I personally would never want a UG filter. If you want to start over again, get some good external power filter such as Aqua Clear (it is a great filter - speaking from experience). And next time, WAIT until your tank is cycled BEFORE you add any fish to it. AND even when it's cycled, add only few fish at a time - say - every week, until the tank is stocked to a desired level. BUT remember not to overstock. If you add too many fish at once, ammonia and/or nitrite will rise quickly again, and kill your fish or make them very sick.

Please, trust me on all of the above advice.
 
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stevieg20

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Can I add an external filter along with the UG filter? I will go with the 50% water changes. Any suggestions on a heater? Why can't the fish swim to the bottom? Like I said before its as if he is lighter than the water, he tries to swim down but floats back up. Also his back is sort of starting to arch from all the attempts to go down. THANKS FOR THE PRIOR ADVICE.
 

Isabella

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The fish is certainly sick from ammonia and nitrite. If it cannot swim and loses its balance but, outwardly, his body looks OK (i.e. no spots, scratches, wounds, etc.), he may have a swim bladder disease (not sure though, you'd have to check the Disease Chart).

You certainly CAN add an external filter to the UG filter you already have. When you get an external power filter, get the one that pumps 10 times the volume of your tank per hour. For example, in a 10 gallon tank you should have a filter that pumps 100 gallons per hour. If you get such a filter, after it has been running on your tank for a month or two, you can remove the UG filter. By that time the new external filter will be cycled and nothing will happen even if you remove the messy UG filter.

As for the heater, I don't know the exact wattage that is required per 1 gallon of water. But I'll tell you what I have: a 50W submersible heater in my 10 gallon tank, and a 150W submersible heater in my 30 gallon tank. In a 75 gallon tank that I'll be getting soon, I'll have either two 150W submersible heaters, or one 300W heater.

P.S. How large is your tank? And if it has no heater ... constant temperature increases or decreases can also make your fish sick. What you need is a stable temperature, around 79F at best, in a freshwater aquarium.
 
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stevieg20

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Its a 20 gallon tank. I just hate to see the fish suffer, I thought I'd done enough research and all before I started the tank. I guess I was wrong. I followed the instructions all very carefully.. Oh well, lesson learned, My plan now is to wait until I have the money to buy an external filter, add that on and see if it clears up the water at all. I don't even know where all the white stuff came from in my tank, but there is a TON of it across the bottom. Like everything is covered in about a millimetere thick of the ****. The tank was maintaing a temperature at 80 degrees, but now without the filter I fear that it will drop to about 69, a little lower than room temperature.
 
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