Recovering Aquarium 75 Gallon Tank 

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Elodea

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Well, I've done it. I'm officially helping take care of a teacher's aquarium in the classroom. On Tuesdays after school, I fix it up. I'm pretty sure it's 75 gallons, and there's a problem. Actually, more than one:

The tank is stocked with 3 fish: 2 JDs and a common pleco. The first JD is 7inches long and a big enough bully to keep the smaller one (5 inches) cowering behind a large rock at all times. I mean it. Like, if the little one ever poked his head out behind the rock, the big one will chase him back to his hiding spot. Apparently, the big JD is too large to fit behind the rock to get at the little one. Also, there's a common pleco (6 inches) in the tank. Bad.

The tank's last water change was almost half a year ago. I want to start small, like a 5 gallon water change as not to stress the fish. Any suggestions?

The fish are in very, VERY bad shape. Both cichlid's fins are mutilated and torn apart and both move sluggishly. I can't get the readings until my teacher gets a test kit next week. Does anyone know how to help recover their fins?

Thanks!
 

Meenu

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Can you bring your kit from home to test the water?

I agree that smaller water changes is the way to go. If your teacher is open to it, maybe talk to him/her about possibly rehoming?
 
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Elodea

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Do you know any way to speed the healing of the frayed fins? Like Kordon Polyaqua or something?
 

Meenu

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Nitro Junkie

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Well, well, well, its tuesday again and I'm back with a very wet jacket. I've learned a few things, and not all of them are good.

1. The tank is 55 gallons, not 75 gallons, which renders it horribly overstocked.

2. My teacher is great, he bought every single thing I put on the list. Battery powered gravel vacuum, stress coat, but no dechlorinator. The LFS guy said that stress coat dechlorinates the water. Is that right?

3. Now I have the test kit, it tested the water. The readings are as follows:

Ammonia: 1

Nitrite: 0.5

Nitrate: 10

Uh-oh. For some reason the nitrate is only 10, when I expected it to be sky-high due to the old tank syndrome. I told him to buy some Prime. Wish the tank luck.
 

Nitro Junkie

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Elodea said:
The LFS guy said that stress coat dechlorinates the water. Is that right?
Yes it does.
 

Shawnie

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stress coat+ does chlorine/chlorimides(sp)...stress coat just does chlorine..but MOST city water supplies, need chlorimides(sp) detoxed too
 
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Elodea

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Oh, yeah, he also bought some low-light plants so I aquascaped the tank all nicely. The next day, all the plants were ripped up by the JDs. so much for the hard work!
 

harpua2002

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Chloramine.

And yeah, lol. That sounds a lot like typical JD behavior!!!
 
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New week, new WC, new water test...WHAT!? Ammonia levels at 4.0 ppm!?

Apparently, the filter somehow shut down and stopped working. One it was reassembled and plugged back in, it started working again. I'll expect ammonia to start dropping in about three weeks or so. So far, everything is going fluidly (no pun intended).
 

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