Need Answers/Help. 4 Year Old 55 Gal Community Tank Falling Apart!

sean75

HI all, I am new to this website but I have came in hopes of finding someone who is able to give me answers as to why my tank-which has been up and running for 4 years-is falling apart. Its 55 gallons, with two filters, two air stones, a heater, and around 7-8 thriving live plants. I have had a variety of different fish in this tank, but for the past 3 years it has been a rather peaceful community tank. I had around 10 assorted cory cats (bronze and skunk), most of which had been in the tank for over two years. I also have a blue dwarf gourami, a hillstream loach, and two glass cats. My nitrites have always been at 0 ppm, nitrates are usually anywhere from 0 to 20 ppm, ammonia is always at 0, and a slightly acidic ph. The temperature is usually always between 74F-78F. Every two weeks I do a 25% water change. The tank has been like this for almost three years. Recently, I wanted something to make it a little more interesting, so I went to PetSmart(as my old fish store has recently gone out of business) and purchased a school of neon tetras. When purchasing them, I noticed some dead neons in the tank, but did not think much of it as this is normal for chain pet stores. Each day, I noticed more and more neons would die. Another day my water was clouded, so I immediately tested for ammonia, but there wasn't any. Then my corys started to die which was very strange as they have been healthy with no problems for two years. I lost the hillstream loach, a glass cat, and my dwarf gourami has a bulging eye and does not look well. There is one neon left, and 5 corys. My water parameters have not changed. Does anyone know why this is happening? Could it be bacteria introduced by the water from PetSmart? I appreciate any responses.
-Sean
 

Donthemon

Sounds like you brought something back from PetSmart. I would do a 75 % water change right away to start with.
 
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sean75

Sounds like you brought something back from PetSmart. I would do a 75 % water change right away to start with.
thanks!
 
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trahana

Check with a flashlight for signs of disease, velvet and ick can hide, and body slime disease is not easily noticed.
I agree you brought something back. I quarantine my new fish because I love how healthy my current fish are. My quarantine tank is a terrible setup, it’s a 20 gallon on a small pallet that blocks a portion of the bathroom door when I have fish to quarantine. But I prefer the inconvenience of that to having my finned friends sick or dead.
 
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jmaldo

What a shame. Many keepers, (veterans and newbies) have made this same mistake. Adding any new fish to an established tank with inhabitants carries a risk. As mentioned "Quarantine" is the key. I even quarantine fish and plants I buy from an LFS/breeders/keepers I trust.
Good Luck!
 
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Islandvic

So why didn't you quarantine new fish before adding them to a fully established tank?

A 5 gallon bucket, a cheap adjustable 50w heater, and a sponge filter is all you need for a temporary quarantine tank.

For now, I advise a large water change, around 75% like Donthemon advised.

Then perform a 50% WC around 2x a week for a couple of weeks.

Look very closely at the fish daily for signs of visible illness.
 
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sean75

Update: Thanks to all who posted. My gourami and hillstream loach have died. I applied some API General Cure and did a 75% water change. Going to do a 50% water change today. My bronze corys seem to be doing fine. I guess not quarantining them was where I went wrong. Like I said, the store I used to go to closed down, and I trusted their stock. In the future, I will always quarantine my fish. I have a 5 gal that I can set up which I will use in the future. To all those who posted, I really appreciate it.
 
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