Save the Gourami! Help with the water...

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by natnhat, Jun 4, 2016.

  1. natnhat

    natnhatNew MemberMember


    So I've posted here before & my first issue is that I've had many people tell me to re-home 3 of my 4 Gourami. But mine all seem pretty chill, they even school together! The big ones, with little ones and all of them together I've seen no aggression whatsoever! And I'd hate to part with any one of them. So, anyone out there have a successful gourami tank?
    ***It's a 36 gallon bowfront, FYI
    Here's my fish currently:
    4- Dwarf Gourami (2 I've had since February start up & the other 2 I've had 6 weeks or so)
    7- danios zebra & longfin
    2- black skirt tetras
    3- platy, 2 orange & 1 red

    #2 is my water, after 3 x 20% water changes and my tank is still a mess. It's cloudy & white & and I cannot get the water levels where I want them, the ammonia is high, pH is too low, the nitrites are zero, the the nitrates are high. I've added the appropriate API fixes but it doesn't seem to be getting better.

    I'm thinking of doing a 50% water change, I know it's drastic, but I want my guys swimming in good clean water...

    # Is this a good idea or not?
    # 2 if I can replace with well water, should I use it? I'm just concerned it'll come with it's own list of hassles.

    Really, I just want clean clear water & happy fish before I go replacing my Chinese algae eater or rainbow shark. Or someone said cory cats are good for bottom clean up, but I don't know.

    I'd really appreciate any and all advice!
    Thanks, y'all have been great!

    P.S. on chemicals, do y'all like seachem? I was thinking I'd get a seachem Purigen for the filters?

    How about NLS food? I've tropical fish so figured NLS Flake as opposed to their sinking pellets... I'd love some input there too!
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2016
  2. omordn

    omordnValued MemberMember

    I'll leave the fish questions for the experts. But since it wasn't long ago that I've cycled a 10g and transferred that media to a 20g, I think I can answer your water level questions. :)

    Anyway, can you tell us perhaps exactly what your water levels are? For example, when you say your ammonia is high, what are your readings for ammonia? Also, are you using the API Freshwater Master Test Kit? If you're using strips, these may not be that accurate. I would suggest you get the Master Test Kit as soon as possible.

    So, when dealing with high ammonia levels, it is always good to do a big water change. By "big water change" I mean as much as you need to get your ammonia level as low as possible so that it won't be toxic for your fish.

    Do you have a water conditioner such as Prime? If not, this is another thing I highly suggest you get. The reason for this is because not only does it dechlorinate your water but for up to 24 hours it helps ammonia levels up to 1.0 ppm to not be toxic for your fish. So, it does two great things for your tank.

    In summary, perform water changes until you get your ammonia level as low as possible (preferrably 0 ppm). I would aim for a reading of somewhere between 0 ~ 1.0 ppm. And stay away from unneeded chemicals. What are your API fixes that you mentioned? Can you elaborate on that?

    One last question for your, how long has your tank been running? Has it been cycled? The more information we get on your tank the better we can help you.
  3. TexasDomer

    TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    What size tank is it and what fish do you have in there?

  4. OP

    natnhatNew MemberMember

    I have a couple water conditioners, but I'm using api stress+ for water changes just like it says on the bottle... I just got paid and I'm going to switch everything to prime. Have ya looked at the prime filters I mentioned adding to my 2 filter tank? It comes from a good name so I thought I'd try it now payday has rolled around.

    I'm using the api master test kit, & checking my work with the little strips. As for what I'm using...
    *Imaginarium.. Ammonia reducer
    *API PH+ to add to the pH, just a little at a time.
    *API water clearer, only used 1 time every 24 (and I'm only adding about 5ml at a time) to a 36 gal tank
    And I added a little of the stress+ because I'm sure the water quality is stressful & I'm trying to help save my fish I also added 1 gallon of water bc my tank evaporates quickly.

    I'm always happy to answer any & all questions, thank you for your help!

    *** it's a 36 gallon bowfront ***
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2016
  5. TexasDomer

    TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    What fish do you have in the tank at the moment?

    A 36 gal isn't big enough for a Chinese algae eater or a rainbow shark, so don't replace the ones you lost.

    You can use Purigen if you want - a lot of people really like it to help clear their water. It's definitely not necessary though.
  6. OP

    natnhatNew MemberMember

    Recheck my post now, I've added info. Thanks!
  7. el337

    el337Fishlore LegendMember

    Hi :)

    I really still recommend rehoming your other 3 DG's (if they're all male) as advised in your other thread. I'd hate for you wake up to any dead ones. It really is the best thing you can do for your fish because even if they seem fine now, they probably won't be for long. I'd also up the number of black skirts to at least 6 as they're schooling fish.

    You have mentioned your nitrite is zero but could you provide your other parameters for pH, ammonia and nitrates? And could you also post those numbers from your water source?

    Except for the Stress Coat for water changes, you shouldn't need to add all those chemicals in there. And once you switch to Prime, you won't need the Stress Coat either.

    Depending on what your pH really is, you could safely raise it by adding something like crushed coral to your filter and not with a chemical. Do you have a GH and KH kit?

    If the white cloudiness is a bacterial bloom, it should go away on its own. I would stop using the additive for that. You can use Purigen in your filter as well but as mentioned above, it's not necessary as the bloom should go away on its own.

    Same for the ammonia reducer which again you shouldn't use. You can lower it by doing larger more frequent water changes until you are cycled. A 50% water change is not drastic (I do 60% weekly) and the reason why you are not seeing the ammonia come down is because doing smaller 20% water changes are not enough to be effective. Using a bacteria supplement like Seachem Stability will also help you cycle your tank faster. I also wouldn't add any more fish until you're cycled and you are able to rehome the DG's.

    NLS is a great brand. I've never tried their flakes but the pellets are excellent and my fish love them, namely the Thera A+ pellets. However, I suggest giving your fish a variety of different foods for optimum health - quality flakes, pellets and live/frozen foods.
  8. azbev

    azbevValued MemberMember

    cloudy water is very frustrating. I think the less additives and clarifiers you add, the better. You might consider adding an EcoBio Stone (carried in USA at PetCo or you can buy them online - Google EcoBio Stone aquarium). I also replaced regular carbon with Chemi-pure, carried by LFS or also online. You might add a couple of annubias plants, too. These three things cleared my cloudy water in a day or so, after being cloudy for months (after cutting back on feeding, after water changes, etc. etc. etc. I never used any type of liquid additives, and I never lost a fish .. just had cloudy water.) Just continue regular vacuuming and water changes; (...perhaps not a 50%, just a couple of 20% over a week's time), and I would stop adding any type of chemicals. I only feed flake once-a-day, pellets for the cories at night 5 days a week, brine shrimp Fridays just before main water change on Saturday to pick up all the shrimp that fell below substrate. /// As for "cleaning the tank", remember anything you add to the tank that eats or breathes will add to the oxygen use and/or bioload, including those "cleaner" fish. You still must clean your tank regularly, do regular water changes. keep filters clean and working properly, etc. I can highly recommend False Julii Corycats for eating whatever falls to the bottom; however, for their health you must still feed a good quality protein pellet; for their happiness, you should have a minimum shoal of 6 - the more the better - and several good hiding places. // I'm not so sure about changing water sources all of a sudden (using well water) nor using well water at all. I'd have it professionally tested first to be sure you know it's chemical makeup. Good luck.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2016
  9. jdhef

    jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    I used to have 2 male DG's in my 36 gallon bowfront. They seemed to get along great. They would swim together a lot. Then one day I come home from work to find one beaten to death and the other pretty beat up. It died a few days later. So that's the thing with DG's, they get along fine until they don't.

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice