Ready to give up

Irisheyzs
  • #1
I apologize in advance for the length of the post. We need help!

This is my first post but my husband has posted a few times and put up a video about the batch of convict fry we found about 3 weeks ago.

As a newbie to the wonderful world of cichlids, I'm at my wits end. No matter what we do the tank just gets worse!

A little history about the tank may help. The tank has been running for about 7 years. Started as a peaceful community tank with neons, gouramis, corys, etc...until we bought two leoporanis (spelling?) which the lfs told us were peaceful. NOT

Slowly our community tank disappeared and more advice from the lfs told us to put cichlids in with the leoporanis which did work out. That was about 6 years ago. We still have the jack dempsey which was one of the original cichlids we bought.

Forward to the past maybe 12 months...the tank was neglected for several months. Life took over and the tank suffered. The JD was the only fish in a 55 g tank for quite a while.

About 3 months ago we started getting it back on track, cleaned it up, bought new filters...1 Aquaclear 50 gallon filter on each side, a few new small cichlids which the JD is fine with.

We have made mistakes with our fish choices: 2 red top zebras, 2 convicts with about 20 babies that are starting to look like real fish, 2 firemouths, and a small pleco and don't forget the 8 inch JD.

Since we started the clean-up process, nitrates have been a huge problem. We have been able to get them down to 40 but can't get below that. Ammonia is 0 and the ph is fine. We have been doing 30% water changes 1 - 2 times a week, vac the gravel every week, changed about half of the gravel which the lfs suggested, added the second filter, started cleaning the sponges in the filter with the tank water about every 4 weeks.

What I think are Diatoms just take over within 2 or 3 days, brown dusty stuff on the glass, different types of algae...threads on plastic plants and plain ol green algae on the glass, tiny particles floating through the water, and the last disaster was an ick outbreak last week. Even the little babies had it! We have had the water at 84 degrees for a week now with no sign of any ick on the fish. Funny thing was that the only fish that did not have ick was the red topped zebra. Makes ya stop and go...hmmmm!

What are we doing wrong? Please help!
 
susitna-flower
  • #2
HI, WELCOME TO FISHLORE!

I am going to take time to read your post, but just so you know someone is out there, I wanted to say hi, and hope we will be able to help.......I'll be back........
 
susitna-flower
  • #3
OK, gotcha! First, we need a reading for nitrites...you gave it for ammonia and nitrates but to know if the tank is still cycled we need the nitrite reading.

ICK - Turn up your heater.....slowly to 83.....just raise the temp about a degree every hour. If your heater can't handle that, you may need to add another heater for awhile. HOLD the temp at 83 for at least two weeks. This will kill all the ick. While you are doing this you will need to be doing 25-50 % water changes every other day MINIMUM...I put it that way, because of your second problem....HIGH nitrates.

40 is twice the safe limit on nitrates. You know this and I can see you are concerned, but you have to up the number of water changes and the amount to get them down, and keep them down in this tank. After the ick is gone you should continue with 50% changes twice a week or how ever many it takes to get the nitrate under 20.

Algae is a normal state of affairs with high nitrates. The two things you can do is to cut the nitrates in the tank and limit light exposure. If you have lighting, only have it on 8-10 hours a day. If your tank is near a window, move it, or pull the shades during the day. The diatoms are due to the severe filtration and gravel changes.

The rule of thumb for HOB filtration is 10 X the gallons of tank turn over....so if you have a 55 gallon tank your filter has to process 550 gallons per hour. The Aquaclear processes 200 gph. Two of them will only do 400 gph. Your new filters are not processing the water fast enough.

A JD can be in a 55 gallon tank MINIMUM, but with the load you currently have you need a much larger tank. Without the pleco your adult fish need a tank bigger than 55 gallons. If your pleco is a common, which is usually the only kind that would be sold for an aggressive tank, it has to be counted for up to 18 ". The babies another 100 inches.

At this point you need to do several things besides the water changes. You need to get a bigger tank, with adequate filtration. To start you could get a Aquaclear 110 use it in your current tank WITH the filters you have running, then look for a tank that is 100 gallons, and use the 110 in that once you get it set up.....instant cycle! You would also want another filter in a bigger tank, like a Eheim 2028 or bigger. Then the filters you are currently using could stay with the 55, with a less heavily stocked tank.

The nature of the fish you have causes more tank mess than the normal community tank, they are messy eaters. This adds to the problems of nitrate buildup with less than optimal filtration.

I wouldn't "change" filter media or gravel, the bacteria needed for the cycle are in the filter and gravel. If you do anything with that gravel it should be to vacuum it every week. With each water change you can vacuum 1/2 of the tank. This gives the fish places to go away from where you are working. As long as the tank has been set up, I'm sure it could use special attention to this chore.....Good Luck, and keep us posted.
 
Irisheyzs
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Thanks susitna-flower for your help.

For the ick...the tank has been stable at 84 degrees for one week now. One more week to go and then I will slowly lower it.

We will do more water changes. We just did a 30% water change today and vacuumed the gravel. Actually, I vacuum the gravel at least once a week sometimes twice. Within an hour if you move a plant or rock, all kinds of dirt start floating again. Is that normal? I'm wondering about the aquaclear filter...the tube in the water seems to short for the depth of the tank. The old Whisper filter that we had went almost all the way to the bottom. Could that cause a problem?

Unfortunately a bigger tank is not in the cards right now but we could possible get a better filter. Also the babies will be going to a friend of mine soon.

I don't have a nitrite tester at home but from what the lfs told us, it was fine. Nitrates are what we have been battling for about 3 months now.

Thanks for your help...I appreciate it!
 
Wolfgang8810
  • #5
with adding the new filters you shouldnt be washing the bio sponge out. With a tank that is 7+ years old I'm sure you already know most of the things were saying. One thing that makes me wonder is how fast you added the rest of the fish. if it was just the JD for a while then you added a lot at once the bacteria in the gravel and filters needs to catch up causing another cycle whick could bump your nitrates even more if they werent 0 to begin with. My personal vote is to give back some..... only some of the fish.

The brown algae is diatoms and it is common with any new gravel or filter if you start from scratch. Dont worry they WILL go away on their own.

another test that you may want to pick up is a phosphate test. the higher your PO4 the more algae will grow and high PO4 and notrate would make an algae nightmare. If possable try to do a few small Water changes in one day totaling a little more than 50% of the tank. If you are really bored you chould try to change even more than that, just make sure the temp is close between the tanks water and new water. It seams like a lot of work and it is but in the end you will like the way your tank looks and your fish will thank you.

hope this helps
MArk
 
Irisheyzs
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Thanks Mark...what I like about this site is that nobody gives judgmental answers...just helpful answers. We have made a lot of mistakes along the way but hopefully we learn and get this tank running better.

The sponges get really gross so I have been squeezing them out in tank water about every 4 weeks.

When we started adding new fish we had the JD, then added 2 small convicts and 2 small firemouths. Two weeks later we added the red tops. Then the babies came. I thought the convicts were to small but so much for what I think! Last week we added the pleco to help with the algae. So this all has been over the last 3 months.

We will do a lot of water changes this week!

Thanks again!
 
Shawnie
  • #7
HI irisheyzs..this site is amazing for help...lots of ppl that aren't judgemental...seems you are gettin the help needed and I hope it gets better soon! I have two convicts with fry and I had to move every fish out of their tank as they slowly killed them off...goodluck
 
COBettaCouple
  • #8
Welcome to Fishlore.

Looks like you've gotten good advice to help out and hope to hear that things are running smoother for you very soon.
 
Irisheyzs
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Thanks everyone for your help...this is a great place to come for advice!
 
Shawnie
  • #10
hows the fishies doing today?? any better?
 
susitna-flower
  • #11
Thanks susitna-flower for your help.

For the ick...the tank has been stable at 84 degrees for one week now. One more week to go and then I will slowly lower it.

We will do more water changes. We just did a 30% water change today and vacuumed the gravel. If you can't do 50% all at once, do 25% then another 25%.
Actually, I vacuum the gravel at least once a week sometimes twice. I run the end of the gravel vac slowly through the gravel, pushing gravel along, this seems to get more. If you are running stronger filtration though it is a fine time to stir some of it up and have the filter pick it up, then rinse the filter material in some discarded tank water.
Within an hour if you move a plant or rock, all kinds of dirt start floating again. Is that normal? Yes it is quite normal. In fact you do need to move those rocks or other decorations to be sure the bacteria under them is not in an "anaerobic" state....without oxygen, as this causes nitrogen pockets to build up.
I'm wondering about the aquaclear filter...the tube in the water seems to short for the depth of the tank. The old Whisper filter that we had went almost all the way to the bottom. Could that cause a problem? I am sure in addition to the filters you currently have it will not be a problem. If you get just one 110, you would have to use the filters already in use as well. The intention is to up the filtration significantly.

Unfortunately a bigger tank is not in the cards right now but we could possible get a better filter. Also the babies will be going to a friend of mine soon. What about the pleco. I agree you probably need a fish to help eat algae, but as I said if it is a common this poses problems with the size tank you have.

I don't have a nitrite tester at home but from what the lfs told us, it was fine. Nitrates are what we have been battling for about 3 months now. Most folks here recommend the API Master test kit for freshwater (liquid) which has all three major tests...Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. It is cost effective as it does hundreds of tests. You would have to buy an individual test for phosphates, but try to keep it an API if you can find it.

Thanks for your help...I appreciate it!

GOOD LUCK!
 
Rosie211
  • #12
Guppies...
I'm starting to hate them.
considering just letting them die off, honestly. I don't know what else to do. Out of nowhere, two have a fungus. One has scales pushed UP on her head for whatever reason and a big white blotch. I'm 40% sure my male fancy is starting to show signs of dropsy, and no matter what I do I can't control the various illnesses. I keep trying, only to keep failing.
is the tank cursed?! First, a little algae eater dies. Then kain. Now, one by one, these guppies. =(

I don't know what to do. Nothing I do seems to work! Not salt baths, not medicine, not clean water has saved the dropsy victims, now I have a mystery illness and fungus. Both of which, I can only assume, are gonna end up being highly contagious and will soon wreak havoc on the other fish. What more can I do? Would it even be safe to put the remaining healthy guppies in the big tank (25g) considering it's already overstocked with 5 goldfish? I don't know. And frankly? I'm at the point where pretty soon, I won't care..I don't want to reach that level, but I'm tired of getting upset as I've lost 3 fish in the last two weeks along, and to me it looks like I may be losing two or three more within the month. Maybe sooner..
 
Peacefantasy
  • #13
First and foremost, I highly recommend not putting your guppies in with your goldies. You don't want your goldfish being infected with something.
What are your parameters and temp?
Dont give up. Just keep soaking in information and learn from mistakes.
We've all been there. We all learn something new. Every day.
 
fishnewbie33
  • #14
Quarantine the ones that appear sick. If nothing else, you may be able to stop the problem from spreading.

Do not put the "exposed" fish in with any "unexposed" (to possible disease) fish.

Make sure both tanks have water changes daily (unless contraindicated by any meds you may be using).

Did you follow all directions completely?
Did you remove the carbon from the filter before medicating?
Did you turn off the tank lights? Some meds don't work well under light.
Make sure to add oxygen to the water (lower water level or add aerator to disturb water surface). Meds and higher temps can lower oxygen levels in the water, causing more stress.

Sorry for your losses and good luck with the others.
 
Rosie211
  • #15
I don't have any other filtered or heated tanks aside from the one their in now and my goldfish tank. Just plastic peices of junk. Not to mention I KNOW what the mystery illness LIKELY is and I can't do jack about it because I don't have gram negitive Anything. My grandma won't take me to the LPS anymore because I go so often now.
 
fishnewbie33
  • #16
I don't have any other filtered or heated tanks aside from the one their in now and my goldfish tank. Just plastic peices of junk. Not to mention I KNOW what the mystery illness LIKELY is and I can't do jack about it because I don't have gram negitive Anything. My grandma won't take me to the LPS anymore because I go so often now.

What do you think it is?
You could use a plastic container (i.e. Sterilite, etc.) for a QT.
I think guppies are ok at room temp (could be wrong on this).
Can you order meds online?
Could you convince your grandmother to drive you if you show her all these posts? Maybe if she sees how hard your working and others agree with you, she might change her mind...
 
Rosie211
  • #17
I've shown her the fish, the posts, my work, everything, she just yells that "'they're just freaking fish, let them die! I'm not going anywhere today! Ask again and I'll just flush them!"
=\
 
NinjaTetra
  • #18
My main suggestion would be to hold off from buying new fish from where you got those guppies, at least for awhile.
Secondly, try make do with what you have if you can't get to your lfs, and if you think you can't help them... As sad as it is, maybe consider euthanasia? Theres some really helpful threads when it comes to that. Don't just flush them!
Sorry about your predicament and good luck!

~
 
Rosie211
  • #19
I have 3 guppies quarentend, but they're all female. That leaves three males with two females! That's a bad idea, I can just feel it. But two have fungus and one...I don't even know, but she has a big white blotch. I don't think it's a fungus?... Anyway, what should I do?
 
Aster
  • #20
Can you describe the 'big white blotch'? Picture?
 
delta5
  • #21
You need to get down to one fancy or two fancy goldfish. I believe any other normal goldfish will get too big for your tank.
 
Rosie211
  • #22
She's darting around like crazy.

image.jpg She's too close to the top trying to get away from me for me to get a proper picture from above =\

image.jpg

image.jpg
image.jpg
She don't really ACT sick but neither did the fish that died =\ until they where really far in that is.
 

Attachments

  • image.jpg
    image.jpg
    102.8 KB · Views: 71
Rosie211
  • #23
As I've stated I WILL not be giving away ANY of my goldfish, people. Stop telling me to get rid of them. I'm not going to sell, kill or give away my Goldie's. I only have three fancies, not all five are. Two are comets =\ or so I've been told on here.
 
delta5
  • #24
Well, the best advice I can give you then is massive water changes everyday until the illness subsides. Then massive water changes 2 times a week with very lite feedings. If you can fit it into your filter, add a bag of the stuff that soaks up nitrates.
 
Aster
  • #25
The guppy has hole in the head disease...

Couldn't help but notice what @ said about your goldfish tank. Refusing to to give away your goldies is only making them suffer. Your tanks are overstocked and not cycled, on top of that. I know you want the best for your fish -- so you need to figure out a way to fix your tanks. If your tank is fully cycled with the 5 goldfish, I have no problem with it. But it's not, and that's where the problem is.

EDIT:
Even Aqadvisor puts you at 295% stocked.
 
Rosie211
  • #26
HOLE IN THE WHAT?!!?!
is it contagious?
will it kill her?
Is it treatable?!
HOLY POOP ._.
 
Aster
  • #27
The pictures are blurry, so I'm not sure. It could be a fungus or columnaris as well.

 
Sarcasm Included
  • #28
I wouldn't suggest giving up, just start over correctly. No matter what additives you put in the tank, or medication, your going to keep having problems. The tank isn't going to be cycled with that bioload and filter, it just can't keep up. This means you will always have elevated levels of ammonia, nitrite, and large amounts of nitrates. This is what is making your fish sick and will continue to kill them off, until it reaches a point that it isn't overstocked. Return the goldfish and stick with male guppies, till your more knowledgable and have a better way to get the supploes you need. The female guppies have columnaris and will die if you don't get kanamycin to them, they will also infect everyone around them and they will die off. If you can't treat the guppies or quaratine them, euthanize them before your entire stock is wiped out.
Sorry to be so blunt but you need to take appropriate action for you living situationfor both your own health(stress) and that of your fish.

The picture shows a lesion, not hole in the head disease.
 
Rosie211
  • #29
Two of her scales-as shown- are almost pushed backwards from it. But she still acts fine =\ it came so quick I was sure it was Just a fungus and put the correct meds in, until I saw her head was a little deformed. That's when I started to worry. Is there still a chance it's fungus?
 
delta5
  • #30
Honestly, we can't solve your problem if are not willing to properly stock your tank. Look at it this way. You're either going to lose all 5 goldies, or you can save one of the fancies. So it is up to you. Let all 5 die, or put down 4 and save one.
 
Sarcasm Included
  • #31
Not fungus, much worse, columnaris. Though methylene blue baths can help heal the lesions and keep fungus from forming on the lesions caused by columnaris. Fungus is always secondary and you need to worry about the primary infection first and foremost. Either way you need to deal with the bioload or no one will get better.
 
Aster
  • #32
I don't know what the disease is. There's probably a chance it's still fungus, it's just too difficult to say for sure through a picture.

I wouldn't suggest giving up, just start over correctly. No matter what additives you put in the tank, or medication, your going to keep having problems. The tank isn't going to be cycled with that bioload and filter, it just can't keep up. This means you will always have elevated levels of ammonia, nitrite, and large amounts of nitrates. This is what is making your fish sick and will continue to kill them off, until it reaches a point that it isn't overstocked. Return the goldfish and stick with male guppies, till your more knowledgable and have a better way to get the supploes you need. The female guppies have columnaris and will die if you don't get kanamycin to them, they will also infect everyone around them and they will die off. If you can't treat the guppies or quaratine them, euthanize them before your entire stock is wiped out.
Sorry to be so blunt but you need to take appropriate action for you living situationfor both your own health(stress) and that of your fish.
Well said, well said.
Rosie211 Every time people try to tell you about your overstocking, you keep skipping right over what we say. I've tried telling you nicely numerous times, now I'll tell you candidly -- overstocking and bad water quality is the root cause of all these problems. If you truly, truly love your fish you will realize what's best for them.
 
Rosie211
  • #33
I'm not talking about the goldfish tank guys!! Sheesh..this is a guppy not a goldfish. Entirely different tank. She IS Quarantined, as are the two with the fungus. I test my water DAILY. There is NO. Ammonia. NO nitrites but no nitrates either. Zeros. None. Zip. The water is fine. But, fine. You guys know everything. I'll take all my fish back Tommowro, even though that means CERTAIN death. My LPS dosnt take returns and resell. They flush them. Regardless of health. I've asked.
my cousin wanted a fish tank anyway.. I'll sell the 25g to her. I'll probably just throw the 5 gallon away.
thanks for helping, I guess.
 
Aster
  • #34
Chill, you need to calm down. A lot. Understand that we're trying to help you.

The guppy tank is overstocked as well. You mentioned in many other threads that you had ammonia. No nitrates proves my point exactly, it means the tank isn't cycled.

Nobody said you had to give away all your fish. Only until you had a reasonable stocking. There are also more options to rehoming than just returning to the LFS. You could give them away on craigslist, friends, relatives...
 
Jamieb284
  • #35
People here are trying to help. Take their advice or don't, no need to lash out at them.

Guppies are certainly not the best fish, they can come with all sorts and I've personally never had a pleasant experience with them either. They're so popular now that they're interbred and all sorts!

If I was you, I'd start again and get different fish. I got Harlequin Rasboras today and I adore them, would recommend


 
Sarcasm Included
  • #36
You can rehome the goldfish via the internet, if they are still small they should be fine. If they are small it isn't overstocked yet, the guppy tank with 8 in it is very much so.
As for your readings, I would say that your either changing the water completely, or the readings are false. This happens frequently with test strips. Thefish will produce ammonia, toxic levels within two days easily with that bioload. Your tank will begin to cycle unless the ammonia levels get too high, so nitrites and nitrates will slowly begin appearing, whether you add something or not. Only with a lot of live plants will a tank show all zeros and you have it listed as fish only. The reason I suggested doing only male guppies is because they won't breed and overstock your tank and they are easier to care for than high waste producers like goldfish. This way you can learn how to take care of them best and save yourself much headache when you set up the next tank. Oh and I would use the 25 gallon for the guppies, a 5 gallon is only good for a few at best.
 
Rosie211
  • #37
Then someone tell me how four huge goldfish survived in that five gallon tank JUST fine for a full year. Over a year! Two fancies and two commons. No issues, no smells no ammonia no nitrites no nitrates, no cloudy water. Nothing. At all.

Either way

its obvious fish keeping is not for me. I tried, I failed. Horribly. At this point, I just resent the fact that they're even there. I don't want to give them over to the stupid LPS but I don't have any other choice. No one in my neighborhood keeps fish nor wants them. My grandparents threw a fit and I'm grounded because I even ASKED about selling or giving away online, and my family don't want them either. So I guess it's life in the sewers. I'm sorry, but I can't do it. I tried. I did. But I keep failing and at this point I don't see any end objective.

There's only five healthy guppies left. Three males and two females. Three females are in quarantine. How do I euthanize fish. Bigger fish, like the Goldie's. Molly is about the size of my palm, but that's including fins. Is there a way to do it painlessly?
 
swomley
  • #38
I had this exact same thing happen in my tanks, it's all about your water quality and where you get them from make sure they are from a healthy tank when you get the and make sure that your water peramiters are good, everyone may say they are hardy but they arent.. lol like I said it's all about your water and do a 50 percent water change and pick up some new ones cuz your old tank water might be a little nasty cuz of all the bad things going on, I'd let the ones with fungus and bad things go and make sure the tank is healthy before you have more, live plants really help I have like 25 living in a 10 gallon planted tank and they are all thriving

 
delta5
  • #39
Then someone tell me how four huge goldfish survived in that five gallon tank JUST fine for a full year. Over a year! Two fancies and two commons. No issues, no smells no ammonia no nitrites no nitrates, no cloudy water. Nothing. At all.

Either way

its obvious fish keeping is not for me. I tried, I failed. Horribly. At this point, I just resent the fact that they're even there. I don't want to give them over to the stupid LPS but I don't have any other choice. No one in my neighborhood keeps fish nor wants them. My grandparents threw a fit and I'm grounded because I even ASKED about selling or giving away online, and my family don't want them either. So I guess it's life in the sewers. I'm sorry, but I can't do it. I tried. I did. But I keep failing and at this point I don't see any end objective.

There's only five healthy guppies left. Three males and two females. Three females are in quarantine. How do I euthanize fish. Bigger fish, like the Goldie's. Molly is about the size of my palm, but that's including fins. Is there a way to do it painlessly?

Yes there is. I use permafix. Add a little at a time. The fish will turn on their side, but they're not dead. just very sleepy. Add some more until the gills stop. Again, they're not offically dead yet, but they will feel no pain. Now you just dip each one in pure alcohol for a minute. No pain and they're now dead.

edit: Or you could put them in the garbage disposal. Just don't flush them if you only used permafix. They could very well wake up.
 
Betta Splendid 1
  • #40
Please don't flush them that's the worst possible way you could put your fish to death! And to euthanize a fish painlessly there's some way with clove oil but I don't know the details you should search it up for more details.
 

Similar Aquarium Threads

  • Locked
Replies
16
Views
751
GrayGray4231
  • Locked
  • CaptainAquatics
  • Cichlid
Replies
24
Views
2K
CaptainAquatics
Top Bottom