some questions.

chavy85
  • #1
Ok so i'm sure all of you know by now i'm a N00B.
i've had fish tanks in the past buts it's been YEARS.
on with my questions.
so I tried to cycle my new tank. took water samples to my local pets mart, (they test for free), they told me it was safe for me to start adding fish. so I got a few fish. tiger Oscar, 2 different cat fish, sucker (pocostmus) I can't spell it, and something else. that I don't know what it was.

so after adding fish my tank got a white fogy look to it. but this is normal according to pets mart. after about a week it cleared up one night after one of my 25% water changes. wow I thought. huh I thought wrong. that was yesterday.
well today I see little white spots out of NO were. i'm thinking ICK. so I up my temp to the recommended 82-83 F.
go get some super ick cure from pets mart. and take a water sample with me to have them test.
here is a really bad news.
Ammonia 5.0 yes 5.0.
nitrite 0
nitrate 0
ph 7.2
alkalinity 140
hardness 160
chlorine and chloramine 0
so yeah my Ammonia it WAY to hi. so I run home do a 35% water change in hopes or helping them out some.
but one by one I watched my fish die with in like 4-5 hours.
I lose my 2 cats, and that other thing the I don't remember the name of.. ( my wife liked it.)
so I put my filter back in lowered the temp of my tank back do to closer to 77-78, it's still cooling off.
was there a question in all of that??
ok will ick kill my fish? how long can they live with it?
I know I need to get my ammonia levels down. but until then I can't raise the temp to rid the ick.

the oscar only has like 2-3 spots on him. the plcostomus. ( how ever you spell it) has 4-5 spots.
these two seem to be acting "normal" eating good. "i've yet to see the sucker eat" he's always stuck to the side of the tank or somewhere in the tank.
I bought some of those "drop in plant seeds" that should start growing within a week. they have yet to do so.
so should I not give the meds any more and try and get my filter to get my tank fully cycled? then raise the temp to rid the ick?? doing 25% water changes daily,? or am I going to loose these fish too?

Please help.
I really miss having fish to watch.

you're humble reader

HR
 
Wolfgang8810
  • #2
COBettaCouple
  • #3
Welcome to FishLore. Unfortunately, as they often do, the big chain stores have lied to make sales. Your tank is at the beginning of the cycle, not the end. (If you're using strips, try liquid tests like the API master Freshwater kit - much more accurate).

If I read your post correctly, you have 2 fish left - 1 Oscar and 1 Common Pleco? The Pleco is a big waste producer and can grow to around 18" or more sometimes - he needs a 55-75g tank minimum. The Oscar gets to about 12" and needs room to swim - they often bash themselves on the glass even in tanks 75-90g, so 120 gallon is what I'd recommend for a minimum tank size for Oscars.

It does sound like they have Ich. Here's what I'd recommend doing...

1) Look for a water conditioner called PRIME. It will help protect the fish from the effects of the water toxins during cycling.

2) Raise the tank temp. to 82F and keep it at a minimum of 82F for 2 weeks. Ich can't survive in warmer water and most cases can be cleared just by having warmer water for 2 weeks.

3) Water changes of 25% every other day. Try to use hot & cold water to get water close to 82F. A digital thermometer with a probe can help you get the water coming out of the faucet close to 82F. Treat all water with Prime.

The Pleco will like eating Algae Wafers (Be sure to remove any leftover within 24 hours of dropping the wafer in) or slices of zucchinI or cucumber.

Those bulbs didn't fare too well for us. Probably about 10% of them sprouted overall from all the bulbs we bought and some took a month or so to sprout. If they start to get all fungusy, take them out and plant them in a flowerpot. They might grow and be able to be cleaned off later.

The only thing we would use to treat ich is a product called Ich-Attack, which is non-harmful to the fish and to any good bacteria in the tank. Other Ich medicines tend to be harsh and destroy the cycle progress.
 
susitna-flower
  • #4
HI Chavy, WELCOME TO FISHLORE !!

This is the book to throw at that petsmart employee that told you your tank was ready for fish !

I can't believe how cruel that was on you and the fish!

The only thing I would add to CObettaCouples post is to get some

Bio-Spira Bacterial culture, you can check around at different pet stores (I wouldn't go back to petsmart), if not it is available on line at

You can add this with the fish, and it will put the proper bacteria in the tank to help it cycle faster. Hope this all gets sorted out.
 
chavy85
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
I did add some kind of bacteria supplement to help get the tank started. when I first set things up. it was really cloudy for about a week. then one night it cleared up in a matter of a few hours. I did nothing different. my usual 25% water change. then wamo it started getting clearer.

You stated I need to do something to the tank.
uping the water temp is what I did the last time. and lost 4 fish. how do I get rid of the ammonia? at hight water temps the ammonia is more harmful then at lower temps.

well it's not looking good. the placo died last night sometime after 1 am. and the oscar is just sitting there staring at me. his mouth and gills are still moving. but he's not asking for food like he usually does. and he's not swimming to much.
now I'm depressed.
I did know about the cycle process. that is why I kept taking water samples to pets mart then they said it was ready, so I added fish... I don't have the test kit (flame on, I know I should have one.) but I thought they would help steer me in the right direction.

OK well now that we know the tank is the beginning of the cycle. how long till it's ready? the only way to tell is a test kit huh. I've gravel vacuumed it and did another 25% water change this morning. I do know the water is really clear.

thank you again.

HR.
 
jsalemi
  • #6
Double dose of Prime, and/or 50% water changes daily until your ammonia drops down to a manageable level.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #7
Frequent partial water changes will help bring down the ammonia and the Prime will help lower the effects of the ammonia still in the tank. Ich-Attack could be used as treatment without raising the temp until the ammonia is down, but it really needs to be raised asap and a large water change of 75% combined with using Prime could bring the ammonia down to levels that the effects could be minimal on the Oscar with the temp. at 82-84F.

I'm sorry you lost the Pleco. No flames here, most of us were given bad advice from the chain stores when we started. I hope you'll be able to get the Oscar back to good health.

I did add some kind of bacteria supplement to help get the tank started. when I first set things up. it was really cloudy for about a week. then one night it cleared up in a matter of a few hours. I did nothing different. my usual 25% water change. then wamo it started getting clearer.

You stated I need to do something to the tank.
uping the water temp is what I did the last time. and lost 4 fish. how do I get rid of the ammonia? at hight water temps the ammonia is more harmful then at lower temps.

well it's not looking good. the placo died last night sometime after 1 am. and the oscar is just sitting there staring at me. his mouth and gills are still moving. but he's not asking for food like he usually does. and he's not swimming to much.
now I'm depressed.
I did know about the cycle process. that is why I kept taking water samples to pets mart then they said it was ready, so I added fish... I don't have the test kit (flame on, I know I should have one.) but I thought they would help steer me in the right direction.

OK well now that we know the tank is the beginning of the cycle. how long till it's ready? the only way to tell is a test kit huh. I've gravel vacuumed it and did another 25% water change this morning. I do know the water is really clear.

thank you again.

HR.
 
chavy85
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
so i'm down to a choice. up the temp? or add the meds to rid the ick? either way I go i'm scared.
 
susitna-flower
  • #9
Just how did you cycle your tank? Can you explain what you did besides adding a bacterial product and running it for a week.

I'll withhold speculation as to whether the tank was cycled or not, however, when adding fish, the reason it is suggested to add them slowly, over weeks to months, is because each fish added raises the amount of waste that has to be processed. If you just add lots of fish at one time the bacteria that were processing ammonia get overwhelmed. There just aren't enough bacteria to deal with all the ammonia, and you are in a mini-cycle overnight!

So when you get this sorted out, remember the 1" per adult fish size / per gallon of tank. And stock slowly.

You never did say how big your tank is.

The troubling thing about all this is that even when a fish pulls through toxic water conditions, it may not be very healthy afterwards. The gills get "burnt" by the high ammonia...

I don't want to discourage you, just encourage you to get prepared for the next batch of fish. Get your tank healthy, cycled, and follow the guidelines for stocking, so you will have success....That is why we are all here. WE HAVE BEEN THERE!
Most all people on this forum have had to go through the learning curve, have had problems, and learn from each other.

The really good news is that when you get it all figured out, it is one of the most rewarding things you can do. MTS is a pleasant crazy way to live!
 
chavy85
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
Well the tank was running a lot longer then a week. 3 maybe.
I fed the tank fish food. and this supplement I spoke of earlier. I took water to my local pets mart every other day. they kept telling me that everything looks good. I asked about the cycle. they stated that if I used the bacteria then it would only take about 2 weeks. I let it tun for 3 weeks almost 4. do I don't have records of the test, nor did I have my own test kit. although today I went and bought some strips.
i've been doing 25-35% water changes lately, trying to get the ammonia levels down. but i'm still not seeing nitrits or nitrates. both are still reading zero. the ph. is at 7.0
I did get some ammonia remover tablets. those little things are great. now all my reading are with in range except the nitrates are low. and GH is between 75 and 150, but closer to the 150 color. so it's hard water?? if i'm reading this right.
as for tank size. it's BIG. like 4 ft by 2.5 ft and maybe 12-14 inches deep. I have an air pump and a filter the hangs on the back.
when I get more money I'll get back into the canister filter setup.

sorry for my ignorance but that is MTS?
thanks

HR.
 
Coryd55
  • #11
Multiple tank syndrome haha.......pretty much once you get a first taste you crave more and more fish tanks. =)

Also it can be used as Malaysian Trumpet snail( a Freshwater snail). Depends on the context of course.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #12
You'll want to up the temp to get rid of the ich. Adding Ich-Attack to help is optional.
so i'm down to a choice. up the temp? or add the meds to rid the ick? either way I go i'm scared.
 
chavy85
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
yes I know to up the temp. but I need to get the ammonia lower first. right?
now i'm getting a build up on the inner walls. of what I would guess is algae.
looking at my test strips, still no nitrate and nitrites are between .5 and 1. every thing else is ok. but I still have some ammonia. i'm very scared to up the temp to rid the ick.
how long will the oscare live with ick till I an get the ammonia in check?
I plan on doing a 25% water change again tomorrow. maybe I'll up my temp from there.

thoughts?

HR.
 
susitna-flower
  • #14
The Nitrite is also toxic at that level. The best product to help detoxify the ammonia and nitrite is PRIME.

I don't know what tablets you put in, but this is why we make recommendations, because there are products some of us here on fishlore have personal experience with, and recommend....not all products work the same.

That is why we recommend the API Master test kit, not test strips. The API kit gives reliably accurate test results, the strips just don't.

WATERCHANGES - Until the ammonia and nitrite are 0 you need to do 25-50% water changes every day.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #15
yea, water changes and treating all the water with Prime will help and allow you to start with the warm water treatment of the ich.
 
chavy85
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
Well I have good news. i've been treating the water with prime and doing 25-30% water changes daily. and so far so good. the ick looks to be gone but I will keep the temp at 82 for another week or so. all my reading look great. but now i'm getting what looks like algae build up. looks like a white fuz on all the plants and rocks. is that normal? what should be done. how often should I change the filter? is that what's causing this?
will a placo keep the algae down? any other fish you would rec emend for this?
thank you
HR.
 

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