Just Looking For Advice 120 Gallon Tank

Discussion in 'Welcome to FishLore' started by BethKage, Jan 14, 2019.

  1. BethKage

    BethKageNew MemberMember

    So, my husband and I just got a used 125 gallon tank. We cleaned it out with a half vinegar, half water mixture. We rinsed all the gravel, decorations, and fake plants before addding them.

    Now, we also have a 54 gallon and a 10 gallon. Both of those are fully cycled and established at this point and both were established with fish as opposed to doing a fishless cycle. We had great results with both, losing very few or no fish the first month. We haven't been as lucky with our 125...

    We added 2 young Bala Sharks 24 hours after the tank was set up. A few hours later, we added 2 young Albino Tiger Oscars. Everyone seemed to be doing very well until suddenly, we look over and one of our sharks is inverted and caught on a plant, barely breathing. I tried holding him over one of our bubble stones in case he was having trouble that way, but it was clear he was too far gone.

    I immediately tested the water. pH was a tiny bit high at 7.6. Ammonia and nitrite tested negative and nitrate was maybe about 2.5 ppm (perhaps thanks to the bacteria I added at the start??).

    About an hour after that, I suddenly see our other shark dart up towards the surface like a bullet, do like a crazy flip, and suddenly it is drifitng upside down as well. About 20 mins later, he was swimming upright and appeared fine so I left him be. Unsurprisingly, I found him dead this morning.

    Does anyone have any idea what happened? I was hoping Bala Sharks would be a good way to start my aquarium's cycle since they are supposedly so hardy. My 2 Oscars are still in this tank and besides laying around on the bottom for a while this morning, they seem okay...

    What should I do? Should I keep them in this tank? Or should I pop them back into the 54 gal for a few weeks until my 125 is cycled? I've never done a fishless cycle before, but I don't want to lose my Oscars. Would putting them in the 54 be stressful for them since it technically isn't big enough for them? They're only about 3 inches long right now, but I know they can get to be like 14 inches.

    Let me know if I need to post any more info!
  2. CaptainAquatics

    CaptainAquaticsWell Known MemberMember

    This is a tough one.... Maybe do extra water changes or look out for signs of sickness? What do you have in your 55?
  3. OP

    BethKageNew MemberMember

    The 54 has 3 Blood Parrots, a Senegal Bichir (which I am hoping to move to the 125 once it is established), 2 juvenile Green Spotted Puffers, a small Whiptail Pleco and a Pleco (not sure on species. It was just sold as "Plecostomus" at PetSmart) that will be moved to the 125 once there is enough for him to eat in there. Right now, he has PLENTY to eat in the 54 as I swear our Whiptail doesn't do anything in terms of cleaning...

    Since we purchased the fish the same day we picked up the aquarium, I put everyone in the 54. Probably not the BEST thing to have done since some say you need to quarantine new fish, but it was better than keeping them in the bags overnight. And actually, everyone got along SUPER well in the 54 for those few hours.

  4. CaptainAquatics

    CaptainAquaticsWell Known MemberMember

    I would keep the oscars in the 130. The 55 is pretty overstocked. I am glad you will be moving some of them to the 120. Good luck. :)

  5. MnOscar

    MnOscarNew MemberMember

    I’ve read that Balas can be pretty susceptible to stress, but I’m not sure that would be enough to kill them. Both the oscars and balas require fairly warm water as well (between 74-80 F). Is the 125 gal heated? Do you have a picture of the tank setup?
  6. OP

    BethKageNew MemberMember

    Yeah, it's heated. We have a heater on either side and the tank is aroynd 75-76 degrees.

    And here's a pic of the tank. 20190112_214717.jpg
  7. dwightparker

    dwightparkerNew MemberMember

    I may be off base by 180 degrees but I have always been hesitant to buy a used tank for fear of what may be in it or have been in it..... did you know the person you bought it from? I am pretty sure I am off base but thought I would mention as it has been a concern of mine.....Good luck as I am sure you will get it sorted out......
  8. OP

    BethKageNew MemberMember

    It was from a mutual friend of my husband's. I had never met the guy personally, but he was super nice and he had already cleaned the tank pretty thoroughly. We cleaned it when we got home as well, just to be sure.
  9. MnOscar

    MnOscarNew MemberMember

    It’s a really nice setup! I bet the Oscars would be okay staying in there while the tank gets established with beneficial bacteria. Maybe try again with new balas in a few weeks? It looks like a great habitat for that sort of fish, lots of room to swim around, so it’s a shame the ones you brought home didn’t make it. Good luck in the future!
  10. OP

    BethKageNew MemberMember

    Thanks! It's nice to know the problem isn't glaringly obvious at least and I was just making a stupid mistake! I really hope it all turns out.

    On a side note, how often should I be adding the bacteria? I've only done the one dose of it so far when we first got water in the tank. SeaChem Prime was also added when we added water and API StressCoat was added when we put the fish in.
  11. coralbandit

    coralbanditWell Known MemberMember

    I see window cleaner in pic..
    Could some have entered the tank ?
    What is a negative reading? Do you just mean zero ?
    I might try carbon and water changes ?
    How big were the balas? My roselines never pass easy when their time comes .
    All die from seizure like fit in less then a half hour ? This is for fish 5-6 years with me .
    The shark type fish can easily be stressed to death also ? They will run into things and do real damage internally.
  12. OP

    BethKageNew MemberMember

    We only used the Windex on the outside and there was no way it would have gotten inside.

    Yes, I mean zero for ammonia and nitrite.

    The Balas were only like 4 inches long or so. I only saw the one have the weird fit. Never saw what happened to the first one. We just suddenly saw it upside down and caught on a plant.

    The sharks weren't zooming around at all. They were swimming normally from time to time, but they mostly would stay in hiding behind one of our decorations in the corner of the tank.
  13. fissh

    fisshWell Known MemberMember

    Bala sharks don't like new tanks, and are very easy to shock. Stick with Oscars and such until the tank ages.
  14. OP

    BethKageNew MemberMember

    Gotcha! Thanks sooooo much for all the help!!
  15. OP

    BethKageNew MemberMember

    Okay, sorry, one more question....

    What the heck do I feed my Oscars?! They are ignoring and/or spitting out everything I have given them! I thought they were supposed to be rather voracious eaters when they're young.

    I have tried all things in the pic. One of them sort of reluctantly ate the bottom feeder pellets, but the other one isn't interested in any of it.

    I have frozen bloodworms and I'm going to try those again (since the fish I've experienced at least seem to LOVE them). But man, what the heck should I give these picky guys?! Any suggestions?

    Attached Files:

  16. Smalltownfishfriend

    SmalltownfishfriendWell Known MemberMember

  17. scarface

    scarfaceFishlore VIPMember

    Keep trying. Sooner or later, they'll accept it.
  18. GrayRas

    GrayRasValued MemberMember

    Agreed. A tough call to say the least. Are you dosing with prime? Do you have any rocks or decor or filter media from the 55g that you could move to the 125 to give it a bacteria boost
  19. OP

    BethKageNew MemberMember

    I'll order some Fluval Bug Bites and give those a shot. Thanks!

    Sorry for all the nitpicky questions. I just know how touch-and-go a new aquarium can be and I just want to be sure I'm doing everything right to keep these guys happy and healthy.
  20. OP

    BethKageNew MemberMember

    Yeah, I've been using Prime and Stress Coat, as well as a bottle of bacteria I got from the store. I've only done one dose of bacteria so far. Did one dose of Prime then as well. I added one dose of Stress Coat when I added the fish yesterday and just added another half dose of it just in case (since one of my Oscars has just been laying around most of the day).

    Water parameters are the same as above, pretty much. PH is up to 7.8, unfortunately. But at this point, I'm not sure I want to do too much to lower it. I just don't want to be dumping too many chemicals in.

    What would be your recommendation for a water change? When and how much? If I can safely do it soon (like now), I'd like to since I now have a bit of uneaten fish food laying around...

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