- Reaction score
- More than 10 years
I haven’t been active in the forums for quite a while.
I have started a 15 gallon planted fish tank about 7 months ago. I haven’t experienced any major issues until now. The tank was cycled very quickly by using eco complete as a substrate, filter media from an established tank and tetra safestart.
I currently have 9 cardinals, 3 albino cories (1 inch), 1 honey gourami and recently added 3 rams.
Everything was fine until about 2 weeks ago. I had 1 ram for 6 months which started getting very thin. (I think some of the frozen bloodworms a fed had parasites). I started dosing seachem paraguard but it died. I couldn’t find the dead fish anywhere! So I assume it was eaten by other fish. Until eventually I found the half eaten dead body. I did a 35% wc and checked my parameters and everything was fine except my nitrates which were about 75ppm (due to the dead fish?). Did another 40% wc and assumed everything was fine. Went ahead and bought a pair of rams just to find a dying cardinal. Removed the fish. I checked it. I squeezed it a bit and omg it was eggbound. A lot of eggs. I knew she was full of eggs for weeks but I didn’t think she could have died from that .
Anw acclimated the rams all good. The female one was breathing very fast. She had her colours etc but was breathing fast and hiding and refusing to eat. She died after 3 days. I I checked my water again and I had 75ppm nitrates. Checked the tap water and it reads 50ppm.
Brought the fish back and they replaced it with another one and bought one more female to spread potential aggression (the male one is a bit dominant but not excessively). One of them is again breathing very fast but is active and eating. I am a bit worried about it.
Long story short I can’t think of anything else that might cause 2 deaths in 2 weeks. I have bought more plants (fast growing ones- hygro and water lettuce) in hope that they will consume some nitrates. But I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to stress the fish too much with WCs. Is there a cheap and SAFE way to lower nitrates? I don’t like adding chemicals. But I can’t have nitrates of 75ppm.
P. S. I use tetra paper test kit. I can’t afford a liquid test at the moment I am afraid.