Office Fish Tank

Zabulon

Member
We have a fish tank at our office that's stumping me. And before anyone asks, yes. I've explained all the things that are wrong with this tank. I don't really have a say in it, but I may at least try to start doing water changes for the poor fish. I bet they replace 20% a month currently.

Can someone please explain how these fish are alive?

38G Marineland Bow Front Tank w/ Biowheel 200
75 degrees
1 Oscar - about 8 inches
1 Blood Parrot - about 4 inches

Readings:
Ammonia = 8.0ppm+
Nitrite = 0ppm
Nitrate = 160ppm+

From everything I've learned from the 5 tanks I currently have, they shouldn't have survived this long.
 

tetratetris

Member
Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeepers!

Some sorta super fish, I don't know more than to just do large water changes
and hope for the best.

Hope this helps!

[Even though it won't )
 

Smalltownfishfriend

Member
Wow!! May be they adapted to the bad water conditions??? I had goldfish in a tiny tank before I knew better and they should not have lived but they did and now they are in a pond growing nicely!!
 

Rtessy

Member
What's the pH? At a lower pH, the ammonia turns into ammonium which isn't as harmful, but still shows up on the test.
Ok but really, who runs that death circus?
 

Fashooga

Member
It's likely that the fish has adjusted to the conditions. I'm sure the fish have some sort of problems, but if they are doing well...I guess kudos?

If you decide to take on this task I would suggest that you start slowly. If you do a major water change you will stress them out and they could die. I would do maybe a small water change about 20% one week and the following week do another...you need to slow play this. Clean maybe 10-15% of the gravel. I wouldn't clean the filter.

With that said...you need to clear this with your bosses first, because the reason is, this isn't your job. If your job is typing TPS reports that's what you need to do. You need to get permission from your bosses first so they can clear this with HR. This is for insurance purposes.

If they say no thanks, you walk away.
 

bitseriously

Member
Have you made repeated tests? It seems odd that there would be ammonia and nitrates, but no nitrites. If the ammonia is not being metabolized by nitrosomonas (ammonia is high, nitrite is 0), then what's feeding the nitrobacter?
If you get involved, recommend a few days of testing both tank and source water to confirm what you're dealing with.
 
  • Thread Starter

Zabulon

Member
Fashooga said:
It's likely that the fish has adjusted to the conditions. I'm sure the fish have some sort of problems, but if they are doing well...I guess kudos?

If you decide to take on this task I would suggest that you start slowly. If you do a major water change you will stress them out and they could die. I would do maybe a small water change about 20% one week and the following week do another...you need to slow play this. Clean maybe 10-15% of the gravel. I wouldn't clean the filter.

With that said...you need to clear this with your bosses first, because the reason is, this isn't your job. If your job is typing TPS reports that's what you need to do. You need to get permission from your bosses first so they can clear this with HR. This is for insurance purposes.

If they say no thanks, you walk away.
No issues there. It's a small company and they'd have no problem if I were to do it, I'm just not sure if I want to take on the responsibility. I already have a 5 gallon on my desk that I clean weekly, plus all the others at home. I was just interested in how they were surviving. The scarier part is that they initially had 2 Oscars in a 5 gallon (before I started getting into the hobby), one didn't make it but the other did. One of our clients actually donated the 38 Gallon they are in now.

bitseriously said:
Have you made repeated tests? It seems odd that there would be ammonia and nitrates, but no nitrites. If the ammonia is not being metabolized by nitrosomonas (ammonia is high, nitrite is 0), then what's feeding the nitrobacter?
If you get involved, recommend a few days of testing both tank and source water to confirm what you're dealing with.
I found that very odd too. I re-ran the nitrite test and got the same result. Just before I ran the tests on that tank, I tested the water in the betta tank on my desk and it read 0-0-20. I'd never seen those colors on the Ammonia and Nitrate test until today.

Here's what it looks like:

 

jack22

Member
Interesting work place.

Are you new there? (It sounds like you are new from your post). If you are, then just don't mess with this office tank until you've been there for a few months. You've got a lot of other things to take care of.

Otherwise (if you've been there a while)...

Who bought it? and who's taking care them right now? I think you should coordinate with that person and DO NOT take up this responsibility. Jut let him/her know that you are an aquarist.

Or was it just left behind by an ex-employee? In this case, you can ask if you can take it home.

The only living thing I keep in my office is a plant... and I don't even own that plant (the company puts a plant in every office and contracts their maintenance). I would (personally) never get involved with keeping things alive in an office environment.
 

Mom2some

Member
Read up on “Old Tank Syndrome “ because that is what is going on here. I think the solution is very small water changes daily for quite a while. Another vote to test the pH. If it is low & you raise it will water changes the ammonium will convert to ammonia. I will see if I can find a link.
 

wodesorel

Member
You will find amazing outliers when it comes to animals. These individuals can withstand conditons that would have left many others dead months or years ago.

So sorry that you are working at a place where this is seen as okay. I hope you can find a way to make their lives a little better! That tank looks too clean for anyone to complain about it though, so you may meet a lot of resistance unless your job has anything to do with animal welfare. This is one of those cases were you should be hoping for gross algae and bad smells!
 

snowballPLECO

Member
tanks too small for those two let alone the oscar my god
 

Hipsterkipster

Member
Not sure about the Oscar, but BP's are super mega hardy fish.

I came home to find a new common pleco in the tank and forgot that plecos in an algae ridden tank practically double-triple the bioload overnight. The day before the usual water change, the pleco was showing subtle signs of nitrate poisoning, so I made a water change (more like three) and checked nitrate level- it was darker than the highest ppm!

Of course, the BPs showed absolutely no signs of discomfort. Not even a single black stress spot. What are they made of!?

How long have they been in those conditions? The nitrate problems will eventually show up...
 

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