My 75 gallon nightmare!

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Jafogopher, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. JafogopherNew MemberMember

    I made a rookie move about five years ago and bought a common pleco. He outgrew the 40gallon tank (which I had no problems with other than struggling with high pH) then bumped him up to a 75 gallon tank 8 months ago by himself. The tank was a hard cycle. Obvious ammonia spikes, but everything settled. I then had a large algae bloom to the point it was impossible to see more than two inches into the tank. After many water changes, I bought a uv filter that cleaned things up well. I was out of town with someone else performing water changes and when I got back after three months, I realized the gravel was causing the pH to be so high (about 7.8-8). I removed some of it, then headed out of town again. When I got back, my 13" pleco had a terrible case of tail rot. The ammonia was very high. I treated with amquel, stress coat, and maracin 1&2. A few days later the filter was full of Cyanobacteria to the point it was no longer working. I had to rinse the media, so added cycle hoping the bacteria would survive. I am now having huge ammonia spikes every 3-5 days. Is the tank recycling after the antibiotics? Is the uv filter making things worse? Did removing and stirring up the gravel cause the initial spike? Please help!!
    pH 7.2(during ammonia spike, but is usually about 7.6) tap water 6.8-7.0
    Ammonia 1
    Nitrite 0
    Nitrate 5
    Temp 77
    Inhabitants:a stressed 13" pleco
  2. AlyeskaGirlFishlore VIPMember

    Sorry you are having issues.

    Ditch the bacterial additive. It won't help as its not a true aquatic bacteria.

    What exactly is the substrate you are using? Depending how dirty the substrate was when you stirred things up could of contributed to the poor water quality. Plecos are just poo machines anyways and you have a big guy.

    Fish can adapt to a wide range of pH. The most important thing is consistency.

    Meds can have an affect on the good bacteria, yes. Sending tank into a mini-cycle.

    You need to be doing large daily water changes with Amquel+ and NovAqua+ together. Even doing 2 50% water changes back to back would be a good idea for your first round. Then 50% daily until tank cycles. Dont add anymore bacterial additives.

    Is he eating? If not make sure you vacuum the substrate to remove uneaten food as it contributes to poor water quality.
  3. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    Hi, welcome to the forums :;hi2

    Good advice above, I'll also add that the UV steriliser may not be helping. UV is known to kill both good and bad bacteria, so I would suggest turning it off while the tank cycles.
  4. JafogopherNew MemberMember

    Thanks guys! Pleco is still munching away creating a plethora of ammonia causing protein leaks. I am ontop of the water changes and additives. I was questioning the Cycle, but figured it was worth a shot. Beware of quick fixes...
    Uv filter off

    The gravel is ordinary pea sized stuff from many years ago. I am not worried about pleco with the higher ph, but was hoping to add some tank mates at some point. I was hoping removing the gravel bit by bit and replacing it would be a slow enough change towards neutral. Although I am told gravel is mostly unnecessary with the current filters, I hope replacing it with a better quality will keep some good bacteria in the mix. (although I do indeed realize if my filter clogs again, I am hooped)

    Thanks again!
  5. can haz catfishies?Valued MemberMember

    Any chance of more info on your tank? What lighting you have? How many hours it is on for, the type of filter and do you have any live plants bog wood etc, you need to deal with each issue one at a time, algae can be sorted by the right lighting and water changes, the cyano can be caused by many things one being the level of flow, as strange as it sounds it you have a lot of cyano you can actually clear it up by using a nitrate fertiliser (you over feed the tank with the nitrate fret and it makes the cyano over feed and burn out) also if you have access to a spare tank for your plec you may find a strip down new gravel then refill the tank with old water (you would need containers to hold the old tank water so your not putting him into water with a different ph) that will allow you to change the gravel and clean the tank really well but using the old water means the ph will change slowly again.
    I would bin adding the cycle and just stick to doing regular water changes for now, you will find high water quality will do wonders for your plec and help him heal/avoid extra infections

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