Originally Posted by Fishsticks.com.au
Hi, so im in the midst of shock. After a water change one day the next morning i woke up to 5+ dead shrimp, brown murky stuff on the surface of the water and my neon tetras gasping for air. I did an entire clean of my tank while the other guys were in a separate tank. I cycled it for 2 days and put in that instant cycling. Things were all good for a whole week my fish were very happy. But it started to get green and cloudy. Now my fish are gasping for air again and my shrimp are all at the surface. please i need help and advice immediately I've had this tank for 2 years and never had problems, im very scared. I don't have any test kits to test the parameters.
It sounds like you are dealing with "old tank syndrome." You had not been doing water changes very often, the tank became full of decomposed organics, and when you did the water change you "shocked" the livestock with the pH discrepancy between tap and tank.
Next, by cleaning the tank heavily, you went through a mini-cycle as the bio-filter was temporarily effected. When you put the livestock back in, it took a week for the ammonia to build from them. The biofilter could not keep up with organic load because it was in the process of reestablishing itself.
The aquarium became cloudy from the heterotrophic bacteria as it began to build. The free ammonia caused an algael bloom. These two things together lowered the oxygen in aquarium. Fish gasping at surface.
First thing first: You must get some basic water testing products: ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH. If you would have had these basic tests you would have noticed immediately when you woke up to dead shrimp that your pH difference between tap and tank had caused an issue. Or, that when you had further issues after a week that ammonia levels were rising.
I hate the fact that advertisers have got people to think that they should grab "instant cycling" in a bottle before a test kit. Its not your fault, its the whole idea of all I have to do is drop in the contents of this bottle and all will be okay. Or that "instant cycling" even exists-- it doesn't.
Go get the water testing equipment as soon as possible.
Dont rely on any products that say "insta-cycle" until you are familiar with the processes of nitrification in the aquarium. After you know these processes, Im sure that you will rely more heavily on water changes and testing.
You need to do water changes, but you need to do the testing of pH to see the difference between your tap and tank.