Fish keep dying don't know why - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-19-2014, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Fish keep dying don't know why

My buddy has a 75 gallon for a few weeks now. He set it up let it cycle for a week then added fish. Ever since he will lose at least a fish a week sometimes 2. I checked his water and everything seems fine. Nitrates are good. I will check again today but nothing is jumping out at me. Will take water to LFS today and have them test it. I'm thinking it's something g with his well water. Cause his ten gallon has lost fish too. Both of them been up about a month
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-19-2014, 04:37 PM
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I am thinking the tank isn't fully cycled if it's only been setup for a week. How did you friend cycle it? What are your water paremeters?

Did you friend add a water conditioner (chlorine remover)? You said it's well water, but water conditioners can also remove heavy metals from the water.

You need to tell us more about the tanks. Filtration? Substrate? What fish are in there?

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-19-2014, 06:03 PM
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Yeah, a week is kind of shortchanging the cycling process.

Maybe they're fracking near your buddy's house.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-19-2014, 06:25 PM
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Take a sample of the water that you are using just as is without treating it in any way.
If the water comes through a limestone bed it could be just plain bad for the fish.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-19-2014, 06:27 PM
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A week is not long enough for a proper cycle. Unless he was transferring over some existing substrate from a well cycled, similarly sized aquarium, and probably filter floss (or the entire filter itself, like a Canister), that's just not enough time.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-19-2014, 07:29 PM
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I am cycling a 75 gallon tank right now. I am dosing ammonia and microbarcter daily. It's been 6 days and I haven't even registered nitrites yet. These tanks are no where near being ready for fish. Since the fish have already been purchased, and I assume there isn't an existing tank they can go into, I suggest doing 50% water changes every-other day until the cycle is complete. Try adding cycled water from an established tank if at all possible.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-19-2014, 09:27 PM
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You can instant cycle tanks with large plant loads or by using filter media from other large Tanks.

I doubt the water parameters are in check. Probably over stocking and likely buying poor stock from chain pet stores.

All of this equals dead fish friends.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-19-2014, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Ok he bought the tank from my brother who had the tank set up for a good two years, we emptied the tank out, cleaned it out and moved it to his place. Used the same gravel that was in it and rinsed it before putting it in. The gravel is just playground rock from a landscaping place. The filter is an ehiem canister. Chlorine is good. All the stuff on/in the tank were in the tank previously for two years like I said so the filter and all that is cycled. All we did was fill it up with water from his house. But the filter media would have been good for cycling. I don't see anything wrong except his well water has something wrong that the test strips aren't picking up and possibly the filter media in te ehiem needs replaced cause I know it's been a while
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-20-2014, 12:39 AM
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Moving an established tank and just giving things a quick rinse is usually safe for the nitrifying bacteria, though there may be some loss. If the things dried out, or got too hot that would be bad.

In your first post you said he cycled it for a week. Exactly what did he do?
Run it without feeding the bacteria? That would greatly reduce the population.
Did he add ammonia to feed the bacteria? That would enhance the population.

Were there fish in the tank when you took it from your brother's place?
If there were no fish for a while, then the bacteria population was way down.
If there were fish, how many, and what sizes?
Other livestock?

Do you also have test strips for ammonia?
Here is what I would test for:
Ammonia
Nitrite
Nitrate
GH
KH
pH
TDS
and any other tests you might have.
Run these tests on the tanks and the tap water. Run the pH test twice on the tap water. Once, right out of the faucet, and a second time on some water that has sat out on the counter overnight, 24-48 hours.

Post all the answers, and the correct units in a way that is easy to read.

List everything that is being added to the water, include brand names, and dosages.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-20-2014, 01:06 AM Thread Starter
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I took the sample to a LFS an they found nothing wrong with the water. Everything looked good. They said they recommend doing small water changes and letting the water cycle longer
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-20-2014, 01:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsack12 View Post
I took the sample to a LFS an they found nothing wrong with the water. Everything looked good. They said they recommend doing small water changes and letting the water cycle longer
"Everything looked good" is meaningless when it comes to figuring out if a tank is cycled or not. As to completing the cycle process--if you're doing fish-in then you should be doing *large* water changes, not small ones, and if there aren't any remaining fish, you need to be adding ammonia to the tank to feed and build the existing bacteria population in preparation for adding fish.

You also haven't said how many fish he added at once. Upping the bioload faster than the bacteria can up their handling capacity may not kill the fish immediately if there's some handling capacity, but it can lead to periodic toxicity that damages the stock and results in deaths over time.

If you just wanted to vent at the tank problems, fine. Sorry to hear your buddy lost fish. If you want to figure out what's gone wrong and how to fix it, you might try actually listening to folks.

Last edited by Knotyoureality; 09-20-2014 at 01:24 AM. Reason: ghr
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-20-2014, 01:52 AM Thread Starter
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we set the tank up, filled it with water, and ran it with the filter with the exsisting filter media in it. did that for ahout a week, then he went out and bought 5 tiger barbs and pleco. and from then on added a few fish a week. the LFS tested ammonia and it was good. they could seem to see anything wrong and not really sure what to do except try some water changes.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-20-2014, 03:29 AM
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Maybe it's not the water, but it's the fish? Where are you buying the fish from? If your getting them from a big box store that might be part of the problem.

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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-20-2014, 04:22 AM Thread Starter
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well alot of the fish came from the same store, some of them died some are still alive and also some fish came from the tank when it was set up previously and from my tank and they died and some lived
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-20-2014, 04:37 AM
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If he ran the tank empty for a week then he wasn't cycling it - in fact he was doing the opposite by starving whatever bacteria remained in the filter, the substrate, etc. The bacteria that cycle the tank need food to survive, and their food is ammonia. If there was no livestock in the tank for a week producing ammonia, and he wasn't dosing another source of ammonia, then he killed off much of the bacteria. Add fish to a tank with little or no bacteria and they will get sick and/or die.

If the petstore didn't give an exact numeric reading then I wouldn't in any way trust their results. Typically they will use old, unreliable test strips rather than a drop test kit and will only test for ammonia. If your friend really wants to know what's going on in the tank then he needs to buy a master drop test kit and test the tank water himself and go from there.
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