OK... I am lost...

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by uncclewis, Jul 1, 2016.

  1. uncclewisWell Known MemberMember

    Ok. I am lost, I do not know what is killing my fish. I did some water changes and I had a .5PPM ammonia, and 1PPM nitrite spike (for one day), but I no longer have any. I lost a clown loach, a few cardinal tetras and my beautiful dwarf honey gourami. Also, my clown loaches have very red gills still despite my levels being unmeasurable. I am at a loss as to what is wrong. My clown loach had a big belly when he died. So did my gourami.

    My nitrate is <5PPM; currently ammonia and nitrite are unmeasurable. I removed one of my canister filters, it was my cascade 1500, it had so much bypass, so it wasn't that useful. I have since learned that it was what was really stinking. I dont know why. Either way, I removed it and now my whole house stinks.

    Advice? I am overdosing excel slightly (2x dosage), and it is killing my stag horn algae but I am not overdosing it by much.


    Last edited: Jul 1, 2016
  2. TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    Don't overdose excel. You can target treatment the algae every day, but don't add more than recommended.

    Clean your filter media more often to prevent it from stinking.

    Hopefully they're not dying from some unknown disease brought in by your other fish.

    What are your current water parameters?

    I would start with cleaning your filter media (all of it - you won't lose your cycle if you use old tank water) and doing 30-50% water changes every day or every other day to get some clean water in there.

    Remind me of your current stock (species and numbers).

  3. uncclewisWell Known MemberMember

    I cleaned my other filter media- I removed that canister because it had so much bypass and it was often completely stopping flow completely and I would have to reinstate it- after pumping the machine... That happened 2 days ago. I was overdosing excel by twice the recommended dosage.

    78-79 degrees, 5-10 PPM Nitrate, no measurable Nitrite, or Ammonia;

    about 13 Clown loaches, 12 Siamese algae eaters, 6 cardinal tetras, 3 zebra danios, 2 mollies, 1 guppy (Male), a few shrimp, 3 otocinculus V, 2-3 cory catfish, oh and an angel ram...

  4. TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    Only 3 otos left? I thought you added a lot.

    You have some stocking issues, but you're not as severely overstocked as you were.

    I would do the water change routine for a few weeks to see if that helps.
  5. uncclewisWell Known MemberMember

    Yeah, the otos are now being outcompeted by shrimp some and seem very fragile. Like I can almost lose one doing a water change, ha. I am no longer buying any because they must not be cared for or something. I did read they catch them with cyanide. If I get anything, it will be rubber nose plecos and bristle nose pleco. I rehomed a lot of my fish to other tanks of mine, they are doing fine there.

    Do you think that it was from my canister filter or was my overdosing excel? I read online that a lot of people had success OD excel and it was killing the stag horn. :)

    I also removed my UV filter from there which was taking up space for them (I wasn't using it), and some rocks that were making caves.

    Also I lost a couple of shrimp, and 3 zebras that were caught in my plants during a water change and were out of the water for a bit. So, it wasn't my intention to do that, but I know those died there. I am making sure to remove any dead bodies to prevent a spike for when I leave tomorrow. My forest is very thick!

    Last edited: Jul 1, 2016
  6. slayer5590Well Known MemberMember

    What media are you using in the 1500. I quit using excel a long time ago because of fish loses at the recommended dose. Another thing to take into consideration is the fact that your 75 dose NOT have the same surface area that a normal 75 has.
  7. uncclewisWell Known MemberMember

    I was using my 1 thin 50 micron sheet, 1.5 with polyfill, and, 1 sponge; matrix in the rest. Right now that filter is siting in my bathtub and I can't stand the smell of it so I ran out of the bathroom.

    It had stopped running yesterday and I noticed it when I was half way asleep and got it to start working again, but it must have stopped again.
  8. slayer5590Well Known MemberMember

    How dirty is the media?
  9. uncclewisWell Known MemberMember

    I modified the design to have less bypass, which included putting 50 micron across all sides. It still had bypass, but those filled with biomatter. Let me go look at it. I ran out because I couldn't stand to look at it, it smells really rancid, like one of the worst smells ever. I do know the water that came out was extremely hot.
    Like the water felt like hot water from the faucet.

    I am strongly considering just trashing it because it I still have the fluval fx6, my 2 denitrate reactors, and my hydor 600. My hydor has only stopped flowing once. Never the fluval, but its gotten slow before.
  10. slayer5590Well Known MemberMember

    The 50 micron isn't porous enough to stuff in there like that. I'm surprised the motor hasn't burned up on it. Instead of bypassing it had no flow and became septic which explains the smell. I would replace everything but the matrix and start it back up. You'll need all the filtration you can get to keep your clowns growing and healthy.
  11. uncclewisWell Known MemberMember

    Ok, I looked at the media, part of it was dirty, but largely it wasn't all that dirty. I could tell that my bypass avoidance worked, because the media was substantially! dirtier on the bottom. It took me like 2 hours to setup that bypass avoidance because it was difficult to get everything set just right, haha... The thing is my nitrate is maintained by my denitrate usually below 5PPM... So, aside from a water smell I get, which I now think was from that canister, my water chemistry seemed like fresh water. But I would still do water changes when TDS got off because I knew that there was something I couldn't measure being off.

    May be- it couldn't handle the bypass avoidance restriction. Septic? I am outgassing the lethal fumes in the bathroom, lol. I am exaggerating, it just stinks.

    What canister should I get to replace it? It can't handle my fish and plants
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2016
  12. TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    You should be doing weekly water changes in your tank with the stocking, growing fish, and sick fish. Don't wait until nitrates or TDS is high.
  13. uncclewisWell Known MemberMember

    so, should I continue dosing excel? or should I stop completely?

    Alright, so I just measured my nitrate- I did have 10PPM but that came from my tap, my denitrifying bacteria and plants have since used that. I do not have any measurable nitrates right now.


    Also, forgot to say my TDS is 375PPM. My kh is 200 PPM. GH is 75PPM. The rest of the PPM are other ions, I assume. ph= 7.8*

    Another loach is dying. Going for yet another water change!!! I assume it is the excel overdose but I dont know for sure.


    He has massive internal bleeding? I am also going to use my purigen again, it said it should reduce the effect of that .

    OK! I have stopped using excel for now. They were all getting better. If when I return there are not a lot of dead fish, I will no longer be using excel, especially not 2x the dosage.

    I read up on excel, it contains this... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glutaraldehyde

    It says it is toxic, a fixative/sterilizer.

    Therefore, I didn't realize what I was overdosing. Ek...
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018

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