power outage caused problems, what can I do now?


Right now I am suffering the consequences of power outages. 2 days in a row with power out for approx 8hrs (oxygen blocks were added for the duration) and then last Friday the power went on & off repeatedly until eventually it went off for 5 hours and again I added an oxygen block. The power going on & off Friday was stressing the fish so I turned the tank lights off to help reduce stress.
By Sunday morning one of my dwarf gouramis had developed what looked like a wart on it's lip. Tank was treated with Aqua Septic (after discussions with my FLS). By Monday morning, my 2 peppered corys were showing what appeared to be white spot, so in went a dose of Ickonex & Melafix. On Saturday I had completed my weekly water change & testing & noticed that my ammonia levels were high and my nitrate levels zero. I was instantly worried as this was a cycled tank. Again, the LFS said it was likely that during all the power outages my bacteria colnies possibly died off. So, between the combination of power outages, stress & bacteria loss, my tank is now in trouble. This morning (Tuesday here in Western Australia) I woke to find both my peppered corys and one albino cory deceased. Water tests told me to do an immediate water change - during this one bristlenose pleco appeared to have seizures & died and within the last hour my remaining bristlenose has passed, the same way, seizures & death. I am heartbroken and want to try to save the rest of my tank. I still have 2 juvenile angelfish, 2 male DG, one albino cory & 2 bronze corys. I do not have another cycled tank that I can place them in or I would have done that already. I have started using shield @ triple dose to alleviate the stress on fish from ammonia & added stress zyme to help build my bacteria again. Apart from daily water changes, is there anything else I can do? I have not used Ichonex today as I am concerned it contributed to the plec & cory deaths.
*Also, when I removed the first plec from the tank (partway throught the water change) I placed the body on some paper towel until I had finished - when I came back I noticed what appeared to be blood on the paper towel - I don;t know if this information helps in any way??

I am still crying over my plecos and really do not want to lose any more of my babies.

Tank - 160 litres
Ammonia (after water change) - 0.25ppm
Nitrite - 0ppm
Nitrate - less than 5 (but higher than 0)
ph 6.0
temp - presently @ 27C
No carbon filtration
plants in tank (real not fake)

Sorry this was so long winded but I wanted to include as much relevant info as possible.

Thank you for you time & any help suggested.


I'd add bottled bacteria right away. Get some Tetra Safestart or API quickstart to repopulate your bacterial colony.

24 hours before adding TSS, do a large water change and add Prime, to help take care of that ammonia issue. I've used API Quickstart at the same time as Prime without issues, but apparently TSS and Prime aren't compatible, and Prime is active in your tank for approximately 24 hours after addition.

I'm so sorry you lost your babies I hate losing fish like that.


Thank you so much for your advice and especially your condolences *hugs* I still keep bursting into tears every time I think of my Pleekly (bristlenose that died just before I made my original post) - she was the only survivor of the 'guppy incident' (a diff problem caused by not quarantining - I know, I know - VERY hard lesson learned ) so watching her have seizures & know there was nothing I could do was heartbreaking

The products I have added to the tank in the last few days are pretty much the best supplies I can get over here (Western Australia - strictest quarantine laws on the planet!) - if I need antibiotics I have to go to my local vet as my LFS is not allowed to sell them (one example) - so here is what I used & why::

AquaSeptic: - used Sunday midday to treat suspected growth on Dwarf Gourami (looks like a wart or something similar on his lip - he is now showing other signs of illness like some slightly raised scales, white spot on eye - I am so saddened by how he now looks)

Ichonex: https://www.mammothpetsupplies.com....-remedy-for-aquarium-fish-tank-aquasonic/1939 used yesterday morning as I suspected the peppered corys had white spot

Shield: - used at every water change to remove contaminants & reduce fish stress (triple dose used Sunday and today as stated on bottle for ammonia conversion into less toxic product for fish, apparently) - LFS advised using every second day at triple strength while ammonia is high

StressZyme: - added today for bacteria - I used this product when I originally got my BiOrb tank which at the time I had 3 guppies in & (because I did not know better) they were in the tank while it cycled & I used StressZyme religiously every day until my water tests were good (after I wised up & googled stuff & purchased a test kit) but as I had been using shield for stress reduction (and now ammonia conversion) & this tank was previously cycled, it never accured to me to use it until today (another rookie error)

Prime is not available here - nor the other 2 products - so I am hoping that something from the list I have used will be doing the same/similar job sufficiently??

Also, should I dose the tank with the second dose of Ichonex? (as per label)? or is the Ichonex likely to have cuased/contributed to the deaths I have had so far?

Finally, when both bristlenoses died, they had what appeared to be blood on them (I placed them on paper towel after death & noticed the red) - would this be purely from ammonia or something else? bearing in mind the suspected white spot & the unknown problem with the gourami? (both gouramis are sitting at top of tank, sick one has lost interest in food - other one is either developing illness or is stressed or something, he doesn't look sick but he is not happy) - angelfish appear to be business as usual chasing their reflections up & down the tank & eating as normal (athough I offered only a tiny amount of food & directly at them as they still were keen to eat)


As of this morning I have now also lost both my dwarf gouramis and both bronze corys the remaining albino cory appeared dead but as I went to retrieve the body from floating plants it darted away - but I do not think he will survive either at this stage

My black marbled angel has a cloudy/white area over one eye this morning (that was not there yesterday) so now I really do not know what else to do is there ANY advice I can follow here? any suggestions for a diff course of action should the cory not make it? (for example, could salt be added if the cory is no longer in the tank??) I really do not wanna lose the angels - I've had them the longest (after the bristlenoses that passed yesterday) and I am at the end of my wits worrying about them

Please, anyone?

**Note - as I had no answer to the Ichonex question, I went ahead as per instructions and dosed with the recommended amount for day2 of treatment - should I continue with this or not?


Did you increase the temperature? It does sound like they are stressed. Try minimizing the amount of time you have the lights on so they can settle down. Also be sure they are eating, try giving them something really yummy that they can't resist.

I haven't used any medications so I can't comment on that. I hope you get things sorted out!


Wait... do the fish actually have ICH? If not, treating the water with ICH medicine is only going to stress them out more. The cloudy area over the angel's eye sounds fungal.

If it were me, regardless of having another cycled tank, I'd move him immediately to get him in some pristine water. TSS or quickstart will cycle a tank in as little as a few days, so you could use that to get some BB going.

ICH is pretty distinctive: small white dots on the fins, later spreading to the body. If the spots are fuzzy or cloudy, it's probably not ICH and ICH treatment should not be used. I'd suggest an anti-fungal medication at this point. And a quarantine tank for the sick fish.

That way, while you treat them, you can dose your main tank with more medicine and kill whatever is in it without having to worry about it further hurting your fish.


To shelley:
I did initially raise the temp (was aiming for 30C) but the cories were getting more stressed with every degree is went up, so in the end I decided to take the temp back to the usual tank temp (around 26C). I have not had the light on as usual for a few days now - the first day I kept only my red/white light on (for plants), but the last 3 days the lights have been off. As of this morning, no-one is interested in food at all so I dropped only 3 tiny crumbs in to see if anyone came up like normal to feed - no interest so I shut the lid I could try bloodworms? the angels adore those & may even be sulking cause they haven't had any for almost a week now - could they be sulking in protest??

To junebug:
Ich was suspected in one of the peppered corys (now deceased) but I currently have 2 angels & one albino still in the main tank. The black marbled angel is the one with the cloudy eye - the other may(?) have some fungus on a fin (it is hard to tell with the lights off & using only a torch to see). The albino cory is simply not happy, and being albino & tank lights off I really can't tell if he has white spots or fungus - all I know is he is NOT happy At this stage I don't know who has what & which fish is the best candidate for the QT - the QT is only small & won't fit all 3 fish in it (not tall enough for the healthier looking angel - he has very long fins) so he may be stressed due to that if I move him, the other angel is a larger body but shorter fins so he may fit better, but then that would leave the not healthy looking cory in with the less sick looking angel As for TSS or quickstart - I simply cannot get those products here - the best I can do is StressZyme+ which I am adding to the QT this morning whether fish go in or not - I will try to get a cycle on this tank asap but in the meantime, I want to try to save my remaining fish. I will stop Ich treatment as the ones left look more fungusy than spotty (if that makes sense). (The LFS told me to do nothing, just sit & wait and see how many die )

IF I am better off moving all 3 to the QT while I strip down the main tank entirely (it is cycling no matter what at this stage) should I do that? empty the main tank & re set it up - leave out all gravel & plants for now & start over?? I know when I cycled with the guppies (I now know I shouldn't have, but hindsight is a wonderful thing) I used very large doses of StressZyme+ and did not do daily water changes (again, I know, I know) - however I did not lose one guppy and they were doing just fine until I added a non QT fish that did in fact carry disease The QT tank has only just been set up in the last 24hrs as I had broken it down after using it as a QT tank but had not thoroughly sterilized it yet for use (I use white vinegar to sterilize -- I was advised this would kill everything but not harm fish if some did make it into the tank water - if this information is wrong please, please, correct me asap - thank you) The QT is only 15litres, but would that be enough if it was used only to house the fish until I redid the main?? Am I just clutching at straws? Thank you for any and all suggestions & help


Another thing, I do have a large plastic 'tub' on wheels (it is 48litres - could go 40litres of water in it) - what about setting that up for them - gets them out of the water they are in now - is larger than the QT (I could move the filter & heater from the QT if QT is not being used) - just trying to find the best solution for all 3 of the little guys ......


I think that would stress them out more. I came back because I remembered that I didn't mention garlic. Do a search on here for more info, but you can use garlic 'juice' to entice them to eat. It also helps boost their immune systems.


Sadly, the cory has now also passed - all that is left is the 2 angels I will search for garlic information & as it is only the angels left, I may attempt a bloodworm each & see how that goes - thank you for the suggestion

Also - I would rather not separate the 2 angels as they are side by side almost 24/7 - I wonder if separating them would only add to their stress?? (they could be a male & female but they are young & not sexually mature yet so I really do not know if they are a 'pair' or just good friends)


Good call on stopping ICH treatment.

Too bad you can't get TSS in Aus Is there another bottled bacteria product available there? Something is better than nothing :/


StressZyme+ claims to contain live bacteria - I just completed a 25% water change, and added half a bottle of it in the tank. I did call the LFS first before doing that and as it is all natural & only bacteria, they said I could dump the whole bottle in & it wouldn't hurt the tank or the fish (good lord I hope they are correct). (As an FYI - yes I added conditioner - BluePlanet Shield @ 3x dose for ammonia - and to assist healing, I also included Melafix with this change - the angels are used to Melafix as it is something I add to the tank weekly anyway, under normal circumstances, at each water change.

Test results from pre water change:
ammonia .50ppm
nitrite 0ppm
nitrate 0ppm (I had only a tiny amount yesterday so I think water change has elimated the rest)

Post water change:
ammonia - less than 0.25ppm but more than 0ppm (too green to be yellow & too yellow to show as green - was the tiniest smidge of green to it)
I did not retest nitrite & nitrate as the water change would not lower a 0 reading anyway
ph 6 (or less - the comparison sheet only goes down to 6 but my colour is paler than that shown - so ph could in fact be lower)
KH - 1dKH (17.9)
GH - 4dKH (71.6)

Testing kit used: API master kit and separately purchased API GH & KH kits - no strips used on my tanks.

Also - the angels eagerly ate bloodworm ONLY after I turned on a tank light. This is our normal routine (I have had them for a few months now) - I usually turn on the office light (the room they are in) - go put the kettle on & make a coffee - then turn on the red/white light & feed them. Once that light went on, the angels perked up & when I offered food they were keen as mustard! Should I at least keep that one light on as they seem to be a lot happier with the light on than off?? (go figure hey - my angels are odd) My tank has 3 lights - all are white but 2 appear to be 'colour' based, one greenish, one reddish - I was informed (correctly or not I do not know) that plants grow better with the red so if I ever need to lower lights it is the red I leave on & it is the first to go on & last to go off each day - the tank is an AquaStyle 850 and it came with filter, lights, etc all built into the unit so all I know atm is they are 'colour' based - if I find out more information I will add that. Thank you for helping me on this issue


Most fish are less stressed with the lights off. If they weren't perky, were they asleep? I'm so glad to hear that they ate; that's a great sign


No - not sleeping, just not really being their usual active selves - they are normally chasing their reflections up & down the side of the tank like maniacs - but they have been just chilling, slowly meandering around the tank as opposed to swimming around the tank. I think they have noticed the dramatic loss of activity with 10 tank mates dead in just over 24hrs
The smaller one is developing small patches of white on the pectoral fins now also. The larger angel's eye appears like there is a distinct 'ring' where the pupil is, then is lighter & cloudy over the rest of the eye, but not totally covering it yet. Neither angel looks like they have white spots as such, more like either cluster of spots or patches of something - definitely not singular defined edged spots. I could not see a lot of that clearly with the lights off, even using a torch, so turning that one on at least let me see a bit better.
As for the light, I have to go out in an hour or so, so I will turn the light off while I am gone and let them rest again. I will get some more StressZyme+ while I am out also, so that I don't run out of the product while the tank cycles.
I am unsure if fungus medication is a good idea yet or not - with everything else that's been added to the tank I wonder if I am better to wait & see if the improved water helps at all before attempting more meds. I have put a carbon filter back in so the copper & Ick meds can start being removed, I would prefer to leave that in if that is the best option for now? I understand it should be removed when adding Melafix, but I'd rather add it with carbon than not add it at all - even if it only helps a little.

Thank so much for your help & advice & support - I truly do appreciate it


I personally don't remove filter media when treating my fish. Overexposure to meds can be just as lethal as what the meds are supposed to kill. If it's something really severe, I'll take it out, but I try to avoid that, and I use natural treatments whenever possible.

As for Melafix, go ahead and dose that. It's natural and won't have bad effects on your fish. Hopefully that and clean water will kill any fungus at this early stage


@Ken - thank you for those links that's information I feel I should have already known & now feel pretty guilty for the losses I have had my poor fishies Sometimes, ignorance feels so darned horrible. However, at least I have the knowledge for the next time I lose power - I have no doubt it will happen again in my lifetime I have to find something positive to take from this experience.

@ junebug - I am also hoping that the Melafix & water changes will be enough. Filter media still in place - going to clean off some cermic noodles I had in a QT tank (they have been sitting a while so need a scrub) - so hopefully that will help in the long run

Now, this mornings update:

2 angels swimming they survived the night & symptoms are lessening - the black marbled's eye that was starting to cloud yesterday has completely cleared - the eye that had the ring & was very clouded is looking better - I can't really see the ring as much this morning & the cloudiness is lessening. No spotty patches on pectorals that I can see this morning on either fish. Marbled had stringyish looking poop that I worried about - but after giving them a small feed of bloodworms, the poop is now becoming normal looking in colour & shape, if somewhat a lil larger than normal. I plan to feed a small amount of garlic juice soaked shelled pea this evening - hoping that might help internally. Thanks for the garlic hint junebug (My plan is to shell 2 peas - one to chop into smaller pieces to offer first - the other to mash into slurry & feed from a syringe if they won't eat the pieces - crushed fresh garlic, not from jar or anything - uneaten pieces I can suck back out with turkey baster if they don't eat it)

Water test - pre water change:
ammonia - above 0.25ppm but below 0.50ppm (colour is not as dark as the higher reading but darker than the lower - at a guess I'd say about 0.30-0.35ppm)
nitrite - 0ppm
nitrate - 0ppm

I figure that the ammonia would be lower anyway as the load has dropped due to deaths so at least now the angels have a better chance - I just feel so horrible about not knowing more before the power issues so I could have avoided this. This is where the BabyBiOrb didn't suffer the same problem - all the filter media is submerged in the bottom of the tank, so snails & rosy barbs that freeloaded their way into an uncared for tank & survived are doing just fine, while my lovingly cared for babies have perished - sometimes life is cruel!

Going to do a water change, add Shield, StressZyme+ & Melafix & see how the next 24hrs go *fingers crossed*


I do have a question regarding preparing for power outages though, where I live, we do not draw water from the local municipal supply - we have water tanks (above ground) and when the power goes out we have no water either as the pump is powered also. If I cannot do a water change in that situation, should I try a different water source? as ph, gh & kh would all be different to the water they are used to, would changing the water supply do more harm than good? Sorry to be so full of questions, but I like to learn so that I can avoid problems - I think too much!

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