My glofish are dying after water change

ely

my glofish are dying! help! I don't know what I did wrong. I have a 10 gallon tank with aquatech filter, heated to 76, lighted hood, silk plants, bubbler and gravel. the tank has been up for 5 weeks with a total of 9 baby glofish. they are fed flake food twice a day and they finished it in under 2 minutes every time. in the beginning I added some bio stuff (dont remember exactly) to the water to help with the cycling. I did 2 gallon water changes every week with a gravel vacuum and added aquasafe water conditioner with each change. the water has been crystal clear the whole time.

this past week the tank developed what I assume are diatom (brownish redish fuzzyish looking stuff) in patches on the gravel, plants, filter intake and heater - but not on the glass. so, today, not knowing any better, I did a partial water change (I always leave the water out for 24 hours and heat it to 76 first) and I took out the plants and cleaned them in the water that I had just taken out with a paper towel. I also changed the filter for the first time. within 10 minutes of this, 2 fish died. then within another 10 minutes 2 more died. it looks like 3 more are almost dead. HELP! what did I do wrong?! why are my fish all dying?! I feel soooo guilty. I thought I was doing so well....

please help me figure out what I did wrong. if I decide to try this again, I want to do it right.
thank you,
-ely
 

susitna-flower

First, Ely, let me say, WELCOME TO FISHLORE! :;z


OM, what a shock! Looking over your information, I can't see anything that really stands out, except that you haven't posted readings for ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate. We recommend you test your water with the API Master test kit. This liquid test will give reliable readings. Once you have those readings, you will be able to know just what is going on in your tank.

Usually if you have sudden death like that, you have changed something quickly, that throws the fish into SHOCK.

Even though you have been changing out 25% of the tank water every week, that may not be enough for an uncycled tank. One or more of your tests must be high. A 10 gallon tank is very small for keeping that many fish, even small ones....the water parameters are hard to keep in the safe range. Sudden change of any kind can kill fish.

When you "change the filter", you threw out most of the good bacteria that have been growing in your filter, so you are basically back to the start of your nitrogen cycle. This cycle is described fully in a link titled "Nitrogen cycle", up at the top of this page under "ARTICLES", you can read more to help you understand all of this....
 

ely

well I haven't lost any more. tho three of them are not looking good at all. they're right up at the top and kind of panting and just not acting anything like normal - very drifty. like the others did before they died. i'm so afraid that I'll wake up tomorrow and they'll all be dead.

last time I tested the water was two weeks ago 2/7 and here's what I got:
ph 7.0
alkalinity 80
hardness 120
nitrite 0-0.5
nitrate 15-20
and the ammonia test was on 2/9 at 0.25

I just added some bio boost to the water. when should I have changed the filter for a 5 week old tank? and is there a best way to do it? now that i've got a new filter in there, how long should I wait before changing it? and what should I do if the brown diatom come back? (if the fish don't all die first.)

thank you for your help - I just feel awful. is the apI master test kit something I will find at my local pet store? I'll go look tomorrow.
-ely
 

AggieYen

Your fish sounds like they are reacting to the nitrite/ammonia in your water. The first thing to do when any of your fish don't look well or act abnormally is test the water. Yes, you can find the API Master Test Kit in your local pet store. That's the most reliable. Test immediately because it sounds like your fish are suffering from ammonia poisoning. Also just to make sure you are adding the conditioner into the NEW water BEFORE adding it to tank?

You don't have to change the filter - all you have to do is wash the filter media in a bucket of tank water (the water you have just taken out of the tank). Most of us recommend only changing the filter when it truly gets gunky and disgusting.
 

susitna-flower

well I haven't lost any more. tho three of them are not looking good at all. they're right up at the top and kind of panting and just not acting anything like normal - very drifty. like the others did before they died. i'm so afraid that I'll wake up tomorrow and they'll all be dead.

last time I tested the water was two weeks ago 2/7 and here's what I got:
ph 7.0
alkalinity 80
hardness 120
nitrite 0-0.5
nitrate 15-20
and the ammonia test was on 2/9 at 0.25

I just added some bio boost to the water. when should I have changed the filter for a 5 week old tank? and is there a best way to do it? now that i've got a new filter in there, how long should I wait before changing it? and what should I do if the brown diatom come back? (if the fish don't all die first.)

thank you for your help - I just feel awful. is the apI master test kit something I will find at my local pet store? I'll go look tomorrow.
-ely

With ammonia and nitrite over 0 you need to be doing 25-50% water changes every day. Both of these are extremely toxic to fish.

The fact that you didn't notice any problems before the filter change is baffeling, but I agree with AggieYen, it sounds like ammonia poisening.

I Never change out filter material, unless the filter is in RAGGS, I also try to have many times more biological filtration than suggested. Main thing is to learn, that is what we are ALL here for, so don't give up.....
 

ely

okay. the remaing fish are all still alive today. so far. one of the green ones is still gasping at the top of the water and listing to one side, he looks bad. the others are hyper, which is more their norm, but still not quite right. can I save them?

I did a test this morning with my test strip kit (will go to pet store as soon as it opens for apI master test kit) here's what it looks like right now:
ammonia 3.0
ph 7.0
alkalinity 80
hardness 120
nitrite 0.5
nitrate 15

so, you guys are right. the ammonia must be killing them. if only I hadn't followed the filter directions! why do they tell you to change it every 2-4 weeks if that's going to harm the fish?

what do I do now? the test strip kit says I should go buy something called marplex to add to the water to reduce the ammonia levels. is this a good idea? or should I just do partial water changes everyday? should I add the aquasafe to the water each time? and the bioboost? is prime better than aquasafe? can I get my tap water to temp and add it without letting it sit for a say if I add the aquasafe or the prime?

i'm very confused.
have I drastically shortened their lifespan?

thank you all so much. when I called the pet store yesterday and explained this to them, they just said 'huh' - no help. you guys are great!
-ely
 

AggieYen

HI Ely, it's been a few days since your last post, I hope your fish are doing okay. If you add Prime to your water, you don't have to let the water sit. As long as you get it to the right temp, and add the prime to the new water before you pour it into the tank, you'll be fine. If you have access to Prime, and I would use that instead of Aquasafe, because it binds the ammonia, making it less toxic to fish. You will still need to do partial water changes, every day - ammonia levels of 3 is very, very, very high.
 

ely

thank you for asking - so far, so good for the little guys who have survived.

I have been doing a 2 gallon water change every day. the first time with apI ammonia lock and the other times with prime. is there an better way to dose the prime for a 2 gallon change? the bottle says to use 5ml for 50 gallons of new water. (that's a big tank!)... i'm only changing 2 gallons in a 10 gallon tank. i'm just using a tiny bit in the cap, but i'm thinking there's got to be a better way.

thank you all so much!
 

FL CommunityFans

That conversion is 1 ml per 10 gallons. You need to be using .2ml then, so if you have a syringe or something similar like that - medicine dropper (thoroughly cleaned of course) it would be easier to measure.
 

AggieYen

I got a little syringe from the pet shop - you'll need to ask them because I think they have that behind the counter, for obvious reasons. I got mine for 90 cents!
 

COBettaCouple

1-2 drops from a dropper bottle (like the ones you find in the travel section meant for putting shampoo and stuff in) of Prime is how we measure it.
 

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