Gasping fish and shrimp deaths, help! COVID-19 - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-24-2020, 11:25 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Gasping fish and shrimp deaths, help! COVID-19

Hello,

I hope this is the right place to ask for advice.

I have a planted 40L tank, with CO2 and a Aquael Multikani. A rubbish LED light, which is far too powerful. I am diligent in maintenance and testing, with no problems for at least a year.

I have a mix of livestock, 6 ember tetras, 1 glass catfish, 1 pygmy cordy, 1 loach, 1 cardinal, 1 green fire tetra, syndontis polli - a real mix from a rang of tanks and aged between 3 - 5 years of age. I have a number of tiger shrimp (though all my pregnant females have now passed away) and a number of a ghost shrimp (mainly darwin algae eater, with my oldest having past away over the last two days).

With COVID-19 my tank has had far too much attention from me. 2 days ago I decided (stupidly) to pullout a number of old stem plants. I did a 50% water change, and went to bed. The following morning everyone was gasping at the top of the tank and most of my shrimp were at the waterline.

I did a 50% water change, 1 hour later no change. Did another 30%, with no change.
I added a charcoal to my spare filter.

This morning, still gasping.

Testing:
Ammonia - 0ppm
Nitrite - 0ppm
Nitrate 5.0ppm
pH - 6.0


Any advice, I have some elderly fish who I really don't want to lose and my poor shrimp are struggling.

Help!

Adore my planted tanks and their denizens.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-25-2020, 04:52 PM
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Welcome to the forums. My first thought would be to back your CO2 down a bit and provide surface agitation for better gas exchange. You'll lose some of your CO2 but it's a trade off we have to make sometimes. I run powerful airstones in my high tech tanks with shrimp for 10 minutes each hour during the day to mitigate O2 depletion.

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-27-2020, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you, it ended up being a hydrogen sulfide spike (my over enthusiastic aquascaping)!

The addition of polyfilter, carbon and increased oxygen exchange has settled things down but it is a bit touch and go.

Adore my planted tanks and their denizens.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-27-2020, 12:44 AM
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Next step is to figure out why your substrate is developing noxious anoxic pockets and how to prevent it from happening again.

Usually its to deep a substrate layer, especially if you use soil based substrate and/or poor circulation patterns across substrate layer.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-27-2020, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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I have one area that is about 1.5 inches deep, which I've been compressing it with my hardscape piece, trying to reposition it. Adding to that I removed a more than 50% of my plants (roots and all). Just stupid!

I've aerated the soil as part of this process which I am hoping will help.

Is there a way of testing when the tank is no longer toxic? My fish are no longer gasping but I still have high filtration, added o2, carbon and polyfilter.

I've also stopped Co2, limited lighting and I think nutrients are being sucked dry.

Adore my planted tanks and their denizens.
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