180 Gallon Tank New tank upgrade from year and a half old 65 gallon

  • #1
Hey just started maintaining my roomates freshwater tank because he upgraded it, put too many fish in too quick and they all died except the ones that were in the 65 gallon for almost 2 years.

In the 180 we have 2 Erradecent sharks, 3 red tail sharks, 2 bala sharks, 2 blue groumaiis, 3 yellow chiclids, 2 tiger barbs, 1 giant catfish, 2 plecothemusus, 4 parrot fish. The parrot fish and the yellow chiclids and the tiger barbs are the newcomers to the tank, they survived the new tank syndrome.

The other ones my roomate added were a black ghost knife fish and 4 other bala sharks, and 3 columbian sharks. Unfortunately the ghost knife fish died in one of the bubbler decorations got lost and I think poisined the water because then all the bala sharks and the columbians contracted ich and the ammonia levels shot through the roof.

Also a dragon eel died in one of my live rocks and I don't know how long he was there bcuz he was stiff and oozing green junk out his gills.

Anyway I took over this circus and ressurected his 65 gallon tank in hopes I could use it to quarantine the ich fish but before I finished 4 balas and 3 columbians died of ich I quickly took them out the tank and seperated 1 last bala that had ich into the 65 gallon. He held on a long while before croaking. All the while I was doing a 25% water change on the 180 gallon and treating the fish with ammonia clear by tank buddies.

I read online that salt and higher temp in water could help treat ich so during the 25% wtr change on the 180 I added bout two teaspoons of sea salt. Ich cleared on remaining balas and returned tank to almost normal but after ammonia went down nitrite spiked and fish began to gasp for air.

On the idea I already introduced too many chemicals into the water trying to rid ammonia and balance ph I decided to do a 50% water change on the 180 gallon. Add stress zyme and bacterial stress zyme start and clean and also stress zyme water conditioner with aloe, also conditioned my tap water with aqua safe by tetra and amquel ammonia, nitrite and nitrate remover and also balanced the ph of every bucket of water I used to refill.

All fish doing great now, except worried still about stressful levels of ammonia almost at harmful levels but can't test accurately with my dip stick tester. Got a liquid precision tester for my ph but only test up to 7.6 but that's ok because that's what id like the ph to be under which now it is around 7.5 still hovering next to 7.6.

Fully set up the 65 gallon again and began populating with new fish. Picked up 4 pictus catfish and 4 blue groumaiis and put to tiger plecothumus from the 180 gallon in the 65 gallon to maintain healthy enviroment and to take away some of the waste being produced in the 180 gallon tank. Because I think two giant plecothoumus no matter if their still small and two more tiger plecothoumuss is too much waste producers in one tank even though the eat algae I heard they poop a lot.

I understand now that over waste production in a tank that hasnt properly had the time to cycle the water and produce bacteria to convert the waste into Co2 for the fish to breath.

I also have a 35 gallon hex tank that I set up with no fish but conditioned the water so that I might use it as a quarantine tank in the future.

Unfortunately I see a couple yellow spots on my Blue Groumaiis in the 180 gallon tank they are a year and a half old. I think its velvet but I can't quite tell if its just yellow spots or if its a gold dust covering the fish.

One of the parrot fish who is blue is a little dingy looking almost like he really may have velvet being covered in dust or something or maybe its the bacterial stress zyme I use because it clouded the water in the tank just a little.

Ph in 180 gallon still around 7.5, 7.6 but round 7.9-8 in my 65 gallon. Tried to treat it with lots of ph correct by jungle but didn't quite work, got home today and ph stays the same. No ammonia in that tank tho. Nitrite levels rising tho.

Fish have healthy appetite, the pictus stay to the left of the tank fighting their reflections in the wall of the tank and my 4 blue groumaiis hide in my skulls or the big one flys around real fast and messes with the catfish, and the pictus mess with the smallers groumaiis scaring them almost to death. My little one sits in my skull rocking back and forth, didnt want him to die bcuz before 2nite the groumaiis were outnumered 4 to 2 so I evenend the odds 2nite by buying to more groumaiis.

So now my frightend little groumaiI has frightend company. Think maybe I got 3 female groumaiis and 1 male bcuz the 1 I think is male is the biggest and bravest and dark in color and lotsa spots.

So if my older groumaiis in the 180 gallon tank hav Velvet what should I do. PLEASE HELP>
  • #2
Good morning maverick and Welcome to Fish Lore!

To help you to receive more responses, I'm going to break down the wall of text into paragraphs. It will be much easier for other members to read.

When you post a wall of text without the proper phrasing, paragraphs, punctuation, your post may go unanswered.

Thanks and I hope you enjoy the site.

  • #3

Your blue Bloody Parrots are dyed and the dye will fade. The fish will eventually turn almost white and then start turning orange which is the fishes true color, if indeed it is a true Bloody Parrot.

There is nothing you can do to prevent the fish from reverting back to its original colors. Without photos, I can't say if your fish have velvet or not.

Please don't use any chemicals to alter your pH levels. Most fish can adapt to the pH levels we have to offer right from the tap.

If one fish has ICH the entire tank is infected and should be treated. There is no need to move fish to Quarantine, the entire tank should be Quarantined until the ICH has passed.

My Ich Treatment method below:

Increase the tanks temperature to 86 degrees and leave it there for a full two week period. Even if the fish appear to be free of the parasite, leave the temperature increased for the full two weeks. Raise the temperature slowly throughout the day. 2 degrees per hour should be fine.

Warmer water requires more oxygen so adding an air stone/supply line may help.

Do two gravel vacuums each week to remove the spores that fall off the fish and into the substrate. Make sure the new water is the same (86) temperature as what is in the tank.

Adding Garlic Guard or garlic juice onto the fish food 2 or 3 times each week will help to boost the fishes immune system. (link below for garlic juice):
minced garlic in a jar..just an example for those needing it
Garlic Guard:

Vita Chem (for additional vitamins) added to the fish food and directly into the tank will help the fishes overall health. Follow the directions on the bottle.

It's been my experience that salt isn't necessary with the heat treatment.

I highly recommend Quarantine for all new fish:
Quick and dirty quarantine setup

The nitrogen cycle is crucial to fish keeping. Link below:
https://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm Until you have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and under 20 nitrates your tanks are not cycled. I would suggest daily water changes of 30 to 50%, add the Amquel + so these levels are detoxed for 24 hours until it's time for the next water change.

Keep up with the daily water changes until you have the readings I posted in the paragraph above. 0,0 under 20.

Test Kit...
I recommend the API (liquid) Master Test Kit. It will test for everything mentioned in the nitrogen cycle link. Note: paper test strips can be inaccurate and difficult to read.

Best wishes for your fish and hold on for more responses.

  • Thread Starter
  • #4
you were the most awesome at answering all the questions I had and really wanted to know faqs that no one else on any other site could give. Thanks for the straight forward faqs you taught me a thing or two, now I know what not to do. Trying to post a video off a smart phone of my tank and all my chemicals on hand. Will keep in touch u rock Ken.
  • #5
Good morning Maverick,

Glad to help!

  • Thread Starter
  • #6
All your advice was of excellent help and I used it wisely. But I use another fish forum called Aquarium Central and I was told using amquel wasn't necessary if I had a chemical like Prime which detoxifies nitrite and nitrates and removes ammonia and chloramine and chlorine.

I was also told I was using too many chemical and I don't want too be too crucial in my steps and end up making bigger mistakes so I cut back on all the chemical I was using and went from using Aqua Safe by tetra with Amquel to using just Prime to detoxify and dechlorinate my water.

I also stopped using ph tabs to balance the water that I have been putting in the tank and just trying to acclimate my fish to my taps ph. I'm thinking the ph was changed too rapidly since I acctually lowered it with my 50% water change two nights ago. Last night must have been too much of a rapid swing because I went from having 1.0ppm of ammonia to 2.0ppm and having almost 0ppm nitrites to almost 5.0ppm nitrites as well as nitrates, ph stays at around 7.4-7.6. Took about 30% water tonight added some amquel and watched fish closely.

One of my Erradecent sharks has a mark on his side, possibly a scratch from the aquarium decor. I'm hoping its only that. I'd hate to think he was sick. On the idea it may have been a scratch I put some Melafix with my water change its antibacterial fish remedy, all natural extracted from tea trees rapidly repairs damaged fins, ulcers and open wounds. (Is this a good idea and or product to be using?)

Actually may have read my high ph testing kit wrong looks like ph is more steady around 8.0 which actually kinda scares me but hard to get around without trying to actually lower the ph with the correct ph tabs. What other natrual safe means do I have of lowering ph in my tank, should I even try to lower ph in my tank, do my fish just thrive in high ph or what. Do note these are almost two and a half year old fish, most of them except the bloody parrots and the and some of the new yellow chiclid damsels or whatever you call them. They aren't really my fish though, I'm just a caretaker. I'm just learning this with already established aquarium fish although the owner recently upgraded the tank I just don't think he took enough care when he added his fish and he didnt let his tank cycle properly in fact I don't know that he knew he should. Anyway now I have an overpopulated in the process of cyclying tank, we already lost ten hoping the rest can survive me and my foolheartyness. I don't know how they made it thus far but I'm trying to help them along their way. Please help.

Merged back to back posts.
  • #7
Good morning,

You are correct, if you are using Prime you do not need Amquel + too. Many members here do use Prime but I never have. I use Amquel + and Nova Aqua+ in combination. The choice is yours.

I have used Melafix and Pimafix in the past with great success. However, I've also learned that keeping the water as pristine as possible goes a long way in helping a fish to heal without the use of any treatments. The fewer chemicals you use in your tank the better off your tank and fish will be.

Too, I'm glad that you have stopped using chemicals to alter your pH levels. They are unstable and can lead to a pH crash resulting in fish loss. Most fish for the home aquarium can adapt to the pH levels that we have to offer right from the tap.

If you do feel you need to alter your pH levels, there are natural ways of doing it listed in the link below:


I think 8.0 pH should be fine for your fish.

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