Losing Kuhli Loaches like crazy

tyguy7760

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So my tank has been set up for about 2 months and been cycled for about a month. I have been slowly stocking my tank for that past month. Usually 1 species a week. About 2 weeks ago I bought 3 Kuhli Loaches (LFS only had 3 and these were large healthy ones). Last week, I went back because they had gotten a new shipment in. I bought 5 (accidentally got 6). Acclimated them slowly, tested water before putting in. Readings were good (0,0,5-10).

The next day (Saturday) I found one dead. He had been in there probably about 4-5 hours by the time I found him. Pulled him out and tested the water. Ammonia was nearly 2 ppm and nitrites were starting to show. Did a 30% water change.

Next day (Sunday) I test again. This time ammonia is about .5 ppm but nitrites were around 1 ppm. No dead kuhlis. Did a 50% water change. Everything back to 0,0, <5 ppm.

Monday I didn't test nor were there any dead kuhlis. I didn't search around very well (I have a large cave that you can only see everything in there by picking it up and that's where most of the kuhli's stay) to see if there were any dead ones.

Yesterday (Tuesday) I come home from work and there is another dead one in the tank. I scoop him out. Do a water test Ammonia 0.25, Nitrites 2-3 ppm (WHA????) Nitrates 5-10 ppm. I begin to do the water change and pick up the cave and there are 3 more small loaches dead. They were stiff and looked like they had been in there for quite some time. I do another 40% water change last night.

This morning nothing is dead. The 3 larger loaches plus one small one are alive. Ammonia still around .25. Nitrite about 1ppm.

No other fish seem to be struggling. WHat do you think is going on?
 

jdhef

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My guess would be that you added to many fish at once and your bioload increased beyond what the existing bacteria could process causing an ammonia and nitrite spike. I would recommend daily partial water changes until your bacteria colony grows large enough to handle the increased bioload. It shouldn't take too long.
 
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tyguy7760

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6 kuhli loaches would have increased it that much? 5 of them are gone now so the bioload should be pretty much back to normal.
 

Bluestreakfl

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I agree with jdhef on the cause of the spikes. I make it a point anytime im setting up a new tank, even with established media, to keep some Tetra Safestart Plus (the plus version is super concentrated) handy, and pour a good amount in each time im adding fish. This helps add more bacteria in with the new fish, and has prevented mini cycles for me.
 
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tyguy7760

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So should i poor a full 8.45 ounce bottle in? That's what i did to cycle my tank. 36 gallon bow front. Then should I keep some on hand everytime I introduce new fish?
 

Dom90

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Yes very much so. I just cycled a 40B in 4 days by super dosing Stability... Double dosing everyday lol.. I cycle all my tanks with Stability.

Just make sure to shake the bottle well, you want the liquid to be full of bubbles when you pour it in, that's how I like to know bacteria are actually going in.
 
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tyguy7760

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Considering I'm not starting a cycle from scratch and just trying to get my nitrites and ammonia back down, would you suggest going by the bottle instructions or doing more?
 

Geoff

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I hope stability works. Tomorrow is the last day and I haven't seen any evidence of cycling yet.
 

Dom90

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Just follow the instructions on the bottle and I would just keep dosing till your cycle re established itself.


 
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tyguy7760

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So I just noticed on the Q&A on here with TSS forum that they say not to use a water conditioner with TSS. But during water changes to get the chlorine out, you have to use a water conditioner. So should i just use a water conditioner during water changes and TSS/Stability when I add fish?
 

Dom90

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You can use Stability with Prime, doesn't matter. I've done it before and Stability still works, haven't had much experience with TSS before though so can't say.


 

Dom90

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I see. When water conditioners neutralize chlorine, it effectively converts the chlorine to ammonia so if you were to test your water right after a water change, it would show some ammonia. The advantage of Prime is that it takes the water conditioner one step further and detoxifies this ammonia till your bacteria can metabolize it. But anyway, Stability should still work if you dose about 30 minutes after using water conditioner.


 

MtnTiger

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Agree with most of these posts. I use TSS+ when starting up a new tank but after it has cycled I use Stability when adding new fish.
I also think the additions caused the spikes you saw but not their demise. That was just bad luck.
 
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