What's wrong? Help

Discussion in 'Angelfish' started by Fishsure, Dec 20, 2009.

  1. FishsureNew MemberMember

    Hi. I have a 55 gallon tank that I completedly tore down, cleaned and set up again. It was set up for over a month before I started introducing fish. I started with 3 med. size parrot fish. Then angelfish. There are 4 med. size koi angels that are doing great. Every time I add smaller angels, they do great for a few days, then they stop eating, then they die. I've been through 13 angels now. I take care to acclimate them slowly. I've thoroughly checked all the water parameters and it is fine. I did initially have hard water causing the PH to rebound but have started using a water softner pillow with my buffer and it has helped. Considering an RO unit as we have well water. Your thoughts?
  2. Shawnie

    ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    welcome to fishlore
    im sorry its because of sick or passing fish :(

    how did you cycle your tank when you reset it up? what ammonia source did you use for the few weeks of it running? are you still using stress zyme?( its not an aquatic bacteria and will die off as soon as you stop using it) ph isnt usually an issue if acclimated slowly to a new tank and the ph is stable....its when it changes constantly that kills them..which ph up and down will do....buffers work too fast and arent stable so that could be it also..I have well water and my angels adapt to the different ph's i keep my tanks at...but they never change ......do you know your ammonia/nitrite/nitrates right now?
  3. OP

    FishsureNew MemberMember

    Hi Shawnie. Thanks for your response. I'm a bit embarassed because I've had thriving tanks for over 15 years and have never "cycled" them. Can you please explain that as well as "ammonia source"? I ran out of test strips so I don't know current parameters right now. My Ph has been up and down due to rebound and correction. It's currently back up to 7.5 (or more). So much for the water softner pillow and buffer!
  4. Lucy

    LucyModeratorModerator Member

    Hi welcome to FishLore :)
    Here's a basic explanation of the nitrogen cycle:
    First your ammonia (from fish waste and left over food) will rise.
    In a few weeks bacteria will start to develop and you'll see the nitrite levels rise and the ammonia levels start to drop.
    After a few more weeks a different kind of bacteria begins to develop and you'll see the nitrate levels rise and the nitrite levels drop.
    When you having readings of 0 on both ammonia and nitrites with some nitrates showing, your cycle is done.

    Here's a link to a more thorough explanation: Nitrogen Cycle

    Cycling with out fish is preferable, imo, since ammonia and nitrites are toxic.
    Alternates sources of ammonia could be a peice of raw shrimp, fish food or pure ammonia.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
  5. OP

    FishsureNew MemberMember

    Hi Lucy. Thanks for explanation. I'm good, as far as "cycle" goes. Any idea why small angels keep dying? Larger ones doing great.
  6. Lucy

    LucyModeratorModerator Member

    No, I'm sorry. That really stinks.
    Losing 13 Angels is rough.
    A couple of things to mull over....
    Was this during the pH rebound and correction? Could be they were just too young/stressed to handle the pH swings.
    Are they all from the same store? Possibly bad stock?
    Any chance the older Angels just aren't going to accept any more company and are picking on the little ones.
  7. Shawnie

    ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    sorry I was offline for a bit and didnt get to answer but lucy gave a superb explanation :) dont be embarrassed though, ALLOT of us have been where you are and even after keeping fish for many years(speaking for myself) I never knew about the nitrogen cycle process....I can say the test strips are not a reliable source to detect ammonia/nitrites/nitrates as they most always give a false reading ...an api liquid master test kit is much more reliable and you can get 100's of tests from one kit....your ph will go up and down with the tank cycling..its very normal..with using buffers and additives, that messes with the ph even more...as i mentioned in my post above...its better to have a stable ph than one that moves allot...but once a tank fully cycles, its much more stable.....
    I still think it has something to do with the water and having a better test kit might give an exact reason...as well as angels are ph sensitive ...they need a stable ph and longer acclimation from one tank to another, more than a certain ph...

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