I need some help FAST! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-10-2005, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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I need some help FAST!

Ok I did the complete transformation last night, taking all of my fish out, removing UGF, removing gravel--- to then put in eco complete, adding all the new live plants, and putting the fish back. SOMEWHERE SOMETHING HAS GONE WRONG.... I took 33 gallon barrel and filled it with about 20g of my tank water, caught my fish and put them in the 33g with the heater and powerhead to keep things oxygenated for them. After this I lifted up the UGF plates. There was LOT of gunk underneath, but I got the idea that Leaving the mulm from the gravel and that from under the UGF would be the best idea....(instant aging the substrate). Well while this was all settling I brought out the eco-complete. As I poured it into the tank It was nothing but a big white cloud. As the cloud settled..(TOOK A LONG TIME) I have what looks like a White layer of silt ontop of the eco. Is this just the mulm or something in the eco? Everytime a fish moves it kicks it up all over the tank. It is also coating the fish and the walls of the tank!!!!! I added all of my fish back into the tank last night after being in the barrel for around 3hrs. It was not as bad, but still rather cloudy at that time.IS THIS NORMAL?
This morning the layer is still there. Most fish seem to be doing well, EXCEPT MY DISCUS!!!!!! Though I used all of the same water in the transaction, I chose to add 5 capfuls of START RIGHT declor to the tank. It says you may add when adding new fish, and that it stimulates slime coat.
My Discus look like they have been in a war!!! Their slime is literally covering them and falling off in sheets... they are very timmid and hardly move, some sitting close to the substrate some hovering in the high corners.
WHAT DO I DO!!! Do I do a water change to suck the junk off of the gravel? I want to be able to get the planting OVER WITH as to let everyone settle in, but dont want to over stress them in the process???

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-10-2005, 01:38 PM
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Without disturbing the substrate anymore then it already is, change out 25% water everyday for the next 3 days. This, hopefully will bring water condition back to normal.

Forget about fert dosing for now, just concentrate on getting water right.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-10-2005, 02:43 PM
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I have heard that eco complete has a buffering effect on the water and so I'm thinking it's possible that it could have changed the PH. If that were the case and especially if your PH were to jump considerably higher, that might have some deleterious effect on your discus. I hear that they don't respond so well to less than perfect water conditions.
Plus, I'm sure it goes without saying, but I would have already busted out the test kits to make sure there isn't a little ammonia spike during the new cycling period. If you threw the eco complete over the mulm and didn't set your UGF back up, you may have anaerobic pockets, which could be a big problem. Personally, I think you would have been better off just mixing in a little mulm in with the very top layer of eco complete if that's not what you did. Better to keep the aerobic bacteria happy that way.
I would check PH, ammonia, and nitrite right off the bat and then work from there.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-10-2005, 03:11 PM
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White stuff is probably mulm unless you got a bad bag of eco-complete (which I've never heard of). Have you used any plant fertilizer sticks in the past (like Jobes)?

As for the change...well, it sounds like you've changed your tank drastically. Such a change will stress the fish (especially discus) no matter how much old tank water you save.

Have you tested water parameters at all?


EDIT: Does Start Right act as a buffer in addition to a dechlorinator?
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-10-2005, 04:57 PM
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I did the same thing last week. Take out the old substrate and add eco-complete. To get rid of the white film (more like Grey) I just kept stirring up the substrates top layer (very gently) and put some poly fiber in my HOB.

Make sure you rinse out the fiber every hour. In few hours I had nothing but dark black susbstrate.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-10-2005, 05:19 PM
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Yeah, when I added another bag of eco-complete to my tank it clouded my water for a day or two. I didn't have fish yet so I wasn't worried.

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How comes shoppings so stupid, looks at all this stuff I haves, what do I do's with it.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-11-2005, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
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well I think I found the problem... my ph droped from 7.6 to 6.5. I didnt find this out until 4:30. I ran to grab some seachem 7.0 neutralizer. I hope this helps. One discus is already floating aimlessly with a couple of leisions on his back side,(I think from the 2 little plecos) The others are still huddled in the top corner. One of them has holes burned in his right fin... I am TOTALLY distraught. I cant believe I m probably going to lose most if not all of my discus. I feel so irresponsible and kinda helpless. I thought that eco wouldnt tinker with the Ph??? It is the only thing I can link it to......... pretty much sucks.......... Should I use baking soda to raise it to its origional ph of 7.6 after it reaches 7.0? If so EXACTLY HOW MUCH?
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-11-2005, 01:36 AM
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IMHO, I don't think the eco-complete is the problem. Ideally, you'll want the pH to be in the 6.8 range, especially if you're keeping discus. I would follow danmhippo's advice if I were you and do several 25% water changes to sort things out. What are the ammonia and nitrite readings in your tank? I'm guessing the large disruption to your system has caused a spike, which your discus would not appreciate. Good luck with it.


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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-11-2005, 02:29 AM Thread Starter
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Wild Discus definately appreciate a low Ph, but my discus have been born and raised in 7.5 Ph. You might have something on the amonia spike though. I just did a HUGE water change. I know this is dangerous, but it honestly could not get any worse. My fish are dying so I figure why not try it... nothing to lose....
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-11-2005, 01:27 PM
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I'm not a discus owner, but I can imagine that a pH drop, followed by an increase, followed by another increase over the course of several days...well, it smells like a disaster to me. If I were you, I'd take things slow and rely on small (25% or less) water changes (once or twice a day) to up the pH.

And have you tested ammonia/nitrite??!?!?!?!

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-11-2005, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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yes : amonia: 0
Nitrite: 0

Bad news & Good news (for now anyway). I lost my smallest discus over night . But the Ph seems to have stabalized to 7.0 . The other 4 discus have color back and are exploring the tank a little I hope the worst is over
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