Helping A Friend


New Member
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Pittsburgh, PA
Just started
I have a friend who I THOUGHT was pretty informed. Yeah... Not so much. She came to me today after the fish store told her he wouldn't sell her more fish until her nitrates went down. Apparently, she's been having issues lately. Another store sold her 7 fish, including 3 angels, for her already crowded 30 gallon tank. She put them in all at once. Her angels died, and she lost one of the carcasses. It stayed in there for about 3 days, which ended up causing a bacterial bloom. She asked me to test her water.... Dear God... Ammonia was around .5, nitrite was 0, nitrate literally went off the scale. The API test kit colors stops at 160. Apparently, she hasn't siphoned her gravel or cleaned her filter in over a year because, "all my fish seem fine."

So, last night, we cleaned the filter, siphoned about half the gravel, and did a 40% water change. I got her levels down to between 80-160. I'm going back over tonight to do another water change and finish siphoning the gravel. I figure her fish were getting used to the toxic environment and didn't want to shock them.

She was telling me yesterday before I found all of this out that she wanted to upgrade to a 90g+ tank. I told her that I would help get her tank squared away, but she wasn't allowed to get a bigger tank, or any new fish, until she showed me that she can properly take care of this one.

I'm new to the fish world myself, but I'm the type that, once I'm interested in something, I research the **** out of it and learn everything I can .I'm hoping I can her squared away with no fish loss.


Fishlore VIP
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Florida, USA
3 years
I think you are doing the right thing, maybe point her towards the forums here if she has questions.

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