So close to giving up on this one...

Dark_Rider2k3

So let me give you the full back story on this insane tank:

Last year (actually it's been a little over a year to the date) I found through facebook marketplace someone selling their tank as they themselves got a larger tank. At that time it came with the tank, stand, lighting, heater, and some decorations. I got myself a new HOB filter, some gravel (and some more decorations) and good to go! Went through the cycle, and then added fish. All seemed well, but then I started losing fish around Christmas time. Lost my rainbow shark to dropsy, lost all my tetras to ick (I made a post about the ick as well). In fact the only ones that seemed to have survived were my guppies.

Fast forward a few months after trying to let the tank "settle" and I added more fish in... seemed fine for a little bit but then I lost more. At that point someone on here suggested it could be due to the heater, so I replaced the heater out of caution. Added a couple of panda gaara (not many), but lost one of the panda gaara almost immediately Within a week-ish. Eventually I was back down to just 1 panda gaara and the guppies. I didn't want to add more fish as well... this was incredibly frustrating and sad...

Now at this point IDK if this next part was my fault or not.. I started to have an algae bloom, and since I wasn't too keen on getting any more at this point, I decided to get some Algae fix and on Sunday (after doing my w/c) I did my first dose of it (following instructions it came with). Hours later after I came home from picking the wife up I noticed one of the guppies was dead. Figuring it could have been age or something (They were the first we got for the tank) I didn't think a whole lot about it, but today.... they are all dead. I had no signs of stress on any of them, and they ate fine yesterday before I went to bed...

So now the only thing left in my tank is my mystery snail... so idk.

Any thoughts???

I put the tank specs in my profile.. but just so you guys know some basic details on it:

40 gal
New heater as of a few months ago. Set to 78F
Using API master test kit, all parameters are good. Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate between 5/10.
Using Penguin 200 HOB filter. 2x filters (swapping one out each week).
Water changes are ~25% of the water.
Food is a mixture of flakes and frozen bloodworms.
 

JeremyW

You said your guppies were doing well, and only died shortly after adding the Algae fix. Unfortunately that was most likely what killed them. A quick google search shows me it has a bad reputation, even when used as directed. So I'd feel comfortable pointing the finger at that, and not assume that there is a problem with your tank

Since your guppies did well before the algae treatment I would bet they would thrive again. And probably other common livebearers as well. A 40 gallon tank would be a great size for a guppy colony tank, or a livebearer community. Livebearers of all kinds make for a striking display in larger numbers.
 

devsi

A 40 gallon tank would be a great size for a guppy colony tank, or a livebearer community. Livebearers of all kinds make for a striking display in larger numbers.

It's worth noting that they'll keep breeding and breeding, so you'd need somewhere to put them/someone to give them to when they start outgrowing the tank because of their numbers :)
 

Dark_Rider2k3

You said your guppies were doing well, and only died shortly after adding the Algae fix. Unfortunately that was most likely what killed them. A quick google search shows me it has a bad reputation, even when used as directed. So I'd feel comfortable pointing the finger at that, and not assume that there is a problem with your tank

Since your guppies did well before the algae treatment I would bet they would thrive again. And probably other common livebearers as well. A 40 gallon tank would be a great size for a guppy colony tank, or a livebearer community. Livebearers of all kinds make for a striking display in larger numbers.

That's a good thought. I'm just frustrated I've lost my last remaining guppies and panda catfish. It's basically like I'm resetting the entire fish tank now... which sucks lol
 

ruud

Many people keep very clean-looking tanks and rely on technology and all sorts of liquids and additives to create a fragile balance. Typically it is these tanks that seem to suffer the most from parasites and algae. Other people go for a more natural looking tank with lots of live plants; typically these tank require less maintenance and experience less issues. Fill 50% of your tank with java fern (don't attach it, don't plant it, just put it in), and your tank will transform to a healthier, much more forgiving, setup within weeks.

Stick to guppies or stick to tetras. Why do both? They require different water conditions and don't become "happier" because they can enjoy the company of another species.
 

mattgirl

Using Penguin 200 HOB filter. 2x filters (swapping one out each week)
I can understand your frustration. I agree with JeremyW The timing leads us to think the algae fix caused the deaths.

I do have to ask why you are changing out your filters so often though. You have to be spending a small fortune on filters by changing them out so often. Not only that, each time you change them you are throwing out good bacteria.

If you replace those cartridges with foam cut to size and add some permanent bio-media such as matrix you can stop replacing media. Simply rinse the sponge as needed and it won't have to be replaced for a very long time. Possibly even years.

There is such a thing as keeping a tank too clean. It is the one thing in your home you don't want to keep spotless. We can keep them looking clean without removing the very important bacteria and microscopic life living in our tank. Both are necessary to the health of our tanks thus the health of our fish.
 

Dark_Rider2k3

So as far as the cartridges go, I was told by my LFS that the bio wheel you keep permanently and don't replace unless there's an issue, but the cartridges (which have carbon) should be changed out bi-weekly. Since there's 2 of 'em, I have been replacing the front one, moving the back to the front, and putting a new one in the back... if that makes sense.

The algae fix was used because I have a pretty nasty outbreak of algae in the tank. It was becoming hard to control and all over the walls. I did scrape the front and sides off gently but the back and some of the decorations were the issue. Never thought of java fern but I could always give that a try. As for maintaining the water that's the only thing I've used aside from testing it.

The incredible news was that I do have one surviving guppy that I'm hoping will bounce back. And my snail is lively as ever lol.
Now I'm wondering if I should take one of the mechanical/chemical filters (the "rite size C" filter) out, and in replace of it at the front create my own sponge filter...
 

mattgirl

The bio-wheel is supposed to hold a lot of bacteria but only as long as it continues to spin. Since carbon really isn't needed you can get away from the money pit of disposable cartridges simply by replacing them with a piece of foam that will last for years so your thoughts are very good. I have to wonder if you are purchasing the cartridges from the person that recommended you change them so often.

I am happy to hear that at least one of your little guys is still alive. Hopefully it will thrive.

Live plants my help with the algae situation. They may use up the food that is feeding the algae. You may need to adjust the amount of time your lights are on. How long do you run them each day? If more than 8 hours that may be adding to your algae issue.
 

Dark_Rider2k3

The bio-wheel is supposed to hold a lot of bacteria but only as long as it continues to spin. Since carbon really isn't needed you can get away from the money pit of disposable cartridges simply by replacing them with a piece of foam that will last for years so your thoughts are very good. I have to wonder if you are purchasing the cartridges from the person that recommended you change them so often.

I am happy to hear that at least one of your little guys is still alive. Hopefully it will thrive.

Live plants my help with the algae situation. They may use up the food that is feeding the algae. You may need to adjust the amount of time your lights are on. How long do you run them each day? If more than 8 hours that may be adding to your algae issue.
I was actually buying them off Amazon lol. They sell pretty large packs. I'll look into foam to put in there in replace of the cartridges I've been using.

And it could be the lighting. It's typically on from ~8:30 AM until 7PM. Though again it's just basic lighting and nothing special (not even LED)
 

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