Struggling To Get The Tank To Cycle And Losing Fish - Page 2

stultus

Nerite snails are amazing algae eaters.
They don't reproduce in fresh water correct? I would only need 1 or two of them? Thanks for the info.
 

Momgoose56

You did see my posts going back months about the water metrics being right on? This tank is nearly 4 months old. According to every metric I am aware of this tank is cycled. The measurements have been the same for quite a while. Is 30% water change once a week the recommended amount?

MomGoose- You were the one that told me I could try them again. I figured they were ok to try again, that something went wrong last time even though the water quality stayed the same. I probably do 3 water changes a month. Sometimes its a week, sometimes its 2 weeks. With only the 2 fish in there and feeding once a day in small amounts it was never very dirty in the substrate. As soon as I put the Otos in there I noticed a difference though. I did a 50% water change after they were in there for 2-3 days. I used seachem to treat the water and let it get to room temperature before adding it.

Is there a better type of fish I can use to help control the algae in a 10 gallon tank. I am fine with having two fish and some kind of algae eater.

From what I have read I think these fish are starving and not having issues with the water. I read something about trying to feed them a piece of boiled zucchini. Is that a good idea?

Thank you all for your responses and help along the way.
Exactly. Sorry, at the time I told you it was probably okay to try the oto's again, your platy and sword had been doing fine for several weeks and your tank was cycled. Then a fish dies (a sign something is not right in the tank or with the fish) and you went and got the oto's. Unless the oto's were malnourished when you got them, I wouldn't think they would starve to death in a week or even 2. They can starve to death over time though if they're not acquainted with algae disks and don't eat them. There are other forms of algae you can get if you're fish won't eat the disks i.e. Dried algae/kelp/seaweed sheets, spirulina flakes and pellets etc. Keep that in mind if you ever decide to get Otos again. I'd forget about them for a few months though, they obviously aren't working out at least for the otos you've been getting (they may have been unhealthy when you got them). You can control algae just fine by decreasing artificial or bright natural light in the tank, doing weekly water changes, and wiping down the walls of your tank with every water change. There are magnetic algae scrapers that you can clean tank walls with, without ever getting your hands wet.

They don't reproduce in fresh water correct? I would only need 1 or two of them? Thanks for the info.
One would be enough to maintain a tank.
 

stultus

Exactly. Sorry, at the time I told you it was probably okay to try the oto's again, your platy and sword had been doing fine for several weeks and your tank was cycled. Then a fish dies (a sign something is not right in the tank or with the fish) and you went and got the oto's. Unless the oto's were malnourished when you got them, I wouldn't think they would starve to death in a week or even 2. They can starve to death over time though if they're not acquainted with algae disks and don't eat them. There are other forms of algae you can get if you're fish won't eat the disks i.e. Dried algae/kelp/seaweed sheets, spirulina flakes and pellets etc. Keep that in mind if you ever decide to get Otos again. I'd forget about them for a few months though, they obviously aren't working out at least for the otos you've been getting (they may have been unhealthy when you got them). You can control algae just fine by decreasing artificial or bright natural light in the tank, doing weekly water changes, and wiping down the walls of your tank with every water change. There are magnetic algae scrapers that you can clean tank walls with, without ever getting your hands wet.


One would be enough to maintain a tank.

I did wait almost 2 weeks before getting the Otos. They actually seem to be doing better today than they were 2 days ago. They still seem very lethargic, but are moving around a little more. I have been keeping the LED lights on more and that is making the algae grow faster. I have noticed some areas along the bottom of the tank where I can see they have eaten some algae. I may try and get some of the other types of food for them. I have also done another 50% water change so that makes 2 50% changes in just over a week to try and keep it extra clean. I do have a magnetic algae scraper that I use, but I was letting the algae build up a little. Those little guys eat a lot very quickly though.

Thanks
 

Momgoose56

I did wait almost 2 weeks before getting the Otos. They actually seem to be doing better today than they were 2 days ago. They still seem very lethargic, but are moving around a little more. I have been keeping the LED lights on more and that is making the algae grow faster. I have noticed some areas along the bottom of the tank where I can see they have eaten some algae. I may try and get some of the other types of food for them. I have also done another 50% water change so that makes 2 50% changes in just over a week to try and keep it extra clean. I do have a magnetic algae scraper that I use, but I was letting the algae build up a little. Those little guys eat a lot very quickly though.

Thanks
Aah, I thought you meant they all died. Glad the other two are hanging in there!
Oh, the other thing, many bottom feeder disks (algae disks/pellets) contain fish or shrimp. Otocinclus are vegetarian and will absolutely not eat those. See if your algae disks have fish in them. Also, you can pull gravel away from the edge around the entire tank to expose additional algae below the substrate level. NYOS true algae fishfood is one good pellet Otos wil usually eat.
 

stultus

Another update and a some questions.

PH is ~7.2
Ammonia is between the 0-.25ppm
Nitrites are 0
Nitrates have always seemed to be between 0 and the first reading. I am changing the water out a lot though. I also shake the out of the chemical and the water in the tube once mixed.

I went through 3 different types of algae tabs, but found one the otos seem to eat. Thanks for the suggestion about ones without shrimp in them. They seem to be doing very well now and are pretty active in the tank again. I added 2 small moss balls to the tank and they really like to perch on those.

I have a friend who has some live plants in his aquarium and said he had an offshoot of an anubia that he says has an offshoot he can give me. Currently I have 4 plastic plants in there. 2 are a more spiky type plant that I have never seen the otos near, and 2 are flatter leaved ones that they hang on all the time. Is it worth switching out those two spiky plants for an anubia and getting it started? Its only a 10 gallon tank.

Also, I have been doing 2 water changes a week because the tank seems clean, but there is something hazy in it. It's not the milky hazy color that I got when I had the first bacterial bloom. It almost looks like when there is a light mist outside and you can see the mist in the air. Is it possible some of the brown algae?

I really cleaned the substrate the last time and realized I wasn't getting down into it far enough. I really stirred it around and did a nearly 75% water change as it was really dirty. The substrate looks clean, but there is still this small haze of things in the water. Any idea what this is?
 

Momgoose56

Another update and a some questions.

PH is ~7.2
Ammonia is between the 0-.25ppm
Nitrites are 0
Nitrates have always seemed to be between 0 and the first reading. I am changing the water out a lot though. I also shake the **** out of the chemical and the water in the tube once mixed.

I went through 3 different types of algae tabs, but found one the otos seem to eat. Thanks for the suggestion about ones without shrimp in them. They seem to be doing very well now and are pretty active in the tank again. I added 2 small moss balls to the tank and they really like to perch on those.

I have a friend who has some live plants in his aquarium and said he had an offshoot of an anubia that he says has an offshoot he can give me. Currently I have 4 plastic plants in there. 2 are a more spiky type plant that I have never seen the otos near, and 2 are flatter leaved ones that they hang on all the time. Is it worth switching out those two spiky plants for an anubia and getting it started? Its only a 10 gallon tank.

Also, I have been doing 2 water changes a week because the tank seems clean, but there is something hazy in it. It's not the milky hazy color that I got when I had the first bacterial bloom. It almost looks like when there is a light mist outside and you can see the mist in the air. Is it possible some of the brown algae?

I really cleaned the substrate the last time and realized I wasn't getting down into it far enough. I really stirred it around and did a nearly 75% water change as it was really dirty. The substrate looks clean, but there is still this small haze of things in the water. Any idea what this is?
Live plants are always good. Anubias will grow in low light and like lots of circulation around their roots. I just anchor mine down by piling lava rock over the roots or tying them in crevasses in driftwood. I have no idea what the haze is but most hazyness goes away over time. If it doesn't in a couple weeks you can add some carbon to your filter for 24-48 hours and that may remove it. It could be a bit of algae floating around. If so, it should settle eventually. I tend to sit back and wait when something weird and fluffy is going on with my water as long as my parameters are okay and I know I'm not having any circulation problems. Stuff tends to 'repair' itself in cycled, well maintained tanks.
 

stultus

Man.. Just when I thought I had this all worked out. I added an anubia and glued it to a rock they had at the store. I took out one of the prickly plastic plants. Every fish looked good. The water continues to test almost exactly where it should be(PH 7.4, Ammonia between 0 and .25 PPM, nitrite a 0 ppm, nitrate somewhere between 0 and 5 PPM, and temperature at 75 deg) There is some algae on the sides but not a lot. The otos seem to be eating that and the algae discs. There is a slight film on top and the top has some bubbles on it. The hazy particulate is still there. It doesn't seem to go away or change. Even after larger water changes (75%) it is still there.

So everything has been fine since friday night and tonight when I walked past the aquarium the largest oto was swimming to the top, dropping down a little, then swimming back to the top. All of the other fish seem fine and are going about their business. I checked the water and everything looks fine. an hour later he is dead. Everyone else seems fine still. When I pull him out of the tank he has a brown belly. This is the second time I have seen this. The swordtail koi died and had a brown colored belly. I can't find anything on it online.

I uploaded 3 pictures of the fish.
 

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Momgoose56

Man.. Just when I thought I had this all worked out. I added an anubia and glued it to a rock they had at the store. I took out one of the prickly plastic plants. Every fish looked good. The water continues to test almost exactly where it should be(PH 7.4, Ammonia between 0 and .25 PPM, nitrite a 0 ppm, nitrate somewhere between 0 and 5 PPM, and temperature at 75 deg) There is some algae on the sides but not a lot. The otos seem to be eating that and the algae discs. There is a slight film on top and the top has some bubbles on it. The hazy particulate is still there. It doesn't seem to go away or change. Even after larger water changes (75%) it is still there.

So everything has been fine since friday night and tonight when I walked past the aquarium the largest oto was swimming to the top, dropping down a little, then swimming back to the top. All of the other fish seem fine and are going about their business. I checked the water and everything looks fine. an hour later he is dead. Everyone else seems fine still. When I pull him out of the tank he has a brown belly. This is the second time I have seen this. The swordtail koi died and had a brown colored belly. I can't find anything on it online.

I uploaded 3 pictures of the fish.
Had you done a water change within a few hours before you noticed this? What test kit do you use?
 

stultus

No. I had not done a water change since before I put the anubia plant in. I use the API Freshwater Master test kit. All the others still seem fine this morning. they aren't being erratic or anything and seem to be just moving around eating.
 

Momgoose56

No. I had not done a water change since before I put the anubia plant in. I use the API Freshwater Master test kit. All the others still seem fine this morning. they aren't being erratic or anything and seem to be just moving around eating.
Well, keep an eye on the rest of them. The glue you used.. have you used it in the tank before? Was it dry before you put it back in the tank? What was it?
 

stultus

The glue is fish tank specific by seachem Seachem Flourish Glue - 0.28 oz - 2 pk
I have not used it before. It is basically a super glue. It was dry before I put it in the tank and anything that wasn't would have dried immediately upon touching water.

Has anybody seen anything like those pictures before?
 

stultus

This forum has helped me get through a lot of issues that would have caused me to probably give up. Much appreciated!

Update: I have 2 Otos that seem to be doing really well. I have 2 Platys that turned out to be both male and all they do is bother each other, but they have lived together now for months. I have a couple of small anubias attached to a divers helmet, a java fern attached to a rock, and a java moss attached to a small rock. I added 3 cherry shrimp which cleaned the tank really well (those things are amazing). The water seems to be very stable and I am doing 25% water changes every week. There is a lot of detritus each week that I clean. I try to add teh algae tablets to the same area so I can get to the leftovers better. I don't have a lot of algae buildup anymore. Especially since adding the shrimp. I only feed once a day and very little, BUT about 2 weeks ago I noticed there are baby shrimp in the tank and cleaning the tank has become much more difficult. This has lead to me not getting to certain areas as well. I also have been adding some shrimp food and algae tablets for the Otos. This morning I noticed there are a couple of very small worms on the sides. I just recently put the Java moss in so I thought they may have come from that, but from what I read they just appear if the tank gets dirty. This morning I removed everything from the tank and very carefully thoroughly deep cleaned the tank with the vac. It was very dirty. I need these little shrimp to get bigger so I can get this thing cleaned better. I found two of them in the filter media still alive after I cleaned it.

Questions: What can I do to get rid of these worms other than keeping the tank cleaner? What can I do with some of these shrimp? I have a friend that will take a few, but I don't need 15 shrimp in a 10 gallon tank.
 

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