Unusual Goings On

JaqJudge

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Hey all,

I'm hoping someone out there has been through this before because I'm at my wits end. I have a fairly well established tank of a year an a half, it's 27lts and used to house 4 rainbow fish, two small plectra and 3shrimp in the space of 72hrs I've lost all but 1 rainbow and one little plectra my happy little tank has turned into a ghost town!!

My filter is good enough for a 50ltr tank and the temp is a moderate 25degrees. The only change I made was that I added a plant to the tank, the following morning the tank was thick cloud and 1 dead fish, over the following days the cloud has persisted and I've lost alot of fish, there's a bubbly scum on the water surface which smells and looks like fermenting yeast.... I've done water changes, lifter the filter out of the water to make more bubbles, regularly cleaned the surface scum with the paper towel method and nothings working! And to top it off I have no clue how it happened so don't know how to prevent it in the future...

I also removed the plant from the tank even though I can't find a single thread that says it might be the cause. I thought it was a bacterial bloom at first but many threads say this won't harm the fish. If anyone has any ideas please let me know I have no idea what to do next an it smells terrible!
 

mattgirl

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Oh my, I am sorry for your loss Welcome to fishlore. It is always sad when something like this brings someone to us. Hopefully we can figure out what is happening.

I've never experienced this but from some of my reading I am wondering if it is possible that you had a pocket of bad bacteria trapped in your substrate and when you planted the plant you disturbed it and released it to pollute your tank.

What kind of substrate do you have?
 
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JaqJudge

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It must have been really bad! I have to admit Im devastated, this is my second go at fish keeping and it was all going so well.

I have a gravel substrate.
 

mattgirl

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JaqJudge said:
It must have been really bad! I have to admit Im devastated, this is my second go at fish keeping and it was all going so well.

I have a gravel substrate.
I can only imagine how devastated you are

Is your tank heavily planted? How deep is the gravel and how often do you give it a good gravel vac? Hopefully we can get to the bottom of this and get you back on track.

I am sure we can at least save your cycle.
 
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JaqJudge

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No now that i've taken the new plant out I don't have any plants in there.

I do a really good gravel vac about once a month and little ones in between when things are looking grubby.

I've been trying to get the balance right in my tank and I haven't had any problems with misty water since the initial start up cycle.

I've got my fingers crossed we can fix it :)
 

Fashooga

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That's a reach on the dead pocket...I know that it can happen with sand but with gravel, I'm not sure.

The plant that you planted, what kind was it and did you treat it? If so what did you treat it with? What did you do to the tank after you planted or before you planted?
 

mattgirl

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JaqJudge said:
No now that i've taken the new plant out I don't have any plants in there.

I do a really good gravel vac about once a month and little ones in between when things are looking grubby.

I've been trying to get the balance right in my tank and I haven't had any problems with misty water since the initial start up cycle.

I've got my fingers crossed we can fix it
It sounds like my original thought was most likely wrong then.

The next question then is the one @Fashooga asked. It stands to reason that there was something wrong with the plant you added since that is the only thing you added and it happened immediately after adding it. I can't imagine what it did but have to assume it did in fact cause the issue.

Can you clarify what you mean by trying to get the balance right in the tank.
 

bitseriously

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What type and size were the rainbows? And can u clarify if u mean pleco (where u wrote plectra)? What size fish?
Also, 28 liters is what, 7.5 gallons? Seems awfully small for that number of fish. I know u said it’s been running for 1.5 yrs, but presumably they’ve grown in that time?
 
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JaqJudge

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The plant that you planted, what kind was it and did you treat it? If so what did you treat it with? What did you do to the tank after you planted or before you planted?


It was a fern type plant nothing special, I didn't treat it? I haven't heard anything about treating plants can you clarify that a bit further please?
 
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JaqJudge

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Can you clarify what you mean by trying to get the balance right in the tank

I was attempting to get my tank to the point where it was nearly looking after its self, I'm aware this is most likely a futile effort but I wanted it to be as natural an environment as possible.

bitseriously said:
What type and size were the rainbows? And can u clarify if u mean pleco (where u wrote plectra)? What size fish?
Also, 28 liters is what, 7.5 gallons? Seems awfully small for that number of fish. I know u said it’s been running for 1.5 yrs, but presumably they’ve grown in that time?
They were miniature rainbows, about an 1" an a half in length, and yes I did mean pleco and again they were about an 1" in length. I know I was running the tank at full capacity but I had no plans to increase the population and they had been living happily together up till now and the pH and ammonia was constantly in a healthy range.
 

Sergeant Pepper

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It says in your profile you know of the Nitrogen Cycle. Do you have the tanks exact parameters? Do you have a Freshwater Master Test Kit? pH should never be an issue unless it's swinging. Fish will acclimate to a pH but if it's being altered for no reason it can cause issues. What are your numbers? Ammonia, Nitrate, Nitrite?
 

Fashooga

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Lets talk about this cloud...what color was this cloud? What did you do prior to planting? Was there a water change?
 

mattgirl

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JaqJudge said:
Can you clarify what you mean by trying to get the balance right in the tank

I was attempting to get my tank to the point where it was nearly looking after its self, I'm aware this is most likely a futile effort but I wanted it to be as natural an environment as possible.
Actually it really isn't a futile effort. Once a tank is cycled the only thing one needs to do is water changes, a bit of filter media maintenance like occasionally rinsing it out in tank water removed during a water change and an occasional gravel/substrate vacuuming.

I could get by with spending about an hour a week doing routine maintenance on my 55 gallon tank. the rest of the time the cycle (bacteria) is working to keep my tank healthy.
 

sfsamm

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I'm also wondering if you treated the plant before adding it to the tank? If so what process did you use? I know that some plants are treated for snails and often heavily copper based treatments are used to rid them of the snails. A small tank and a big dose of copper would have nuked your cycle and your fish. There's been quite a rash of this from large suppliers that I keep hearing about especially in the shrimp world as of late. Couldn't say it's your particular issue but something to consider.
 
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