URGENT fish/fertilizer help - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-11-2015, 02:55 AM Thread Starter
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URGENT fish/fertilizer help

Plant newby here.
So.....I moved some plants around today and I'm pretty sure I dug up at least two root tabs. When I was all done, I went to the store with my husband. We were gone for about 90 minutes.
Now all my angelfish are gasping for air!
I am doing a 50% water change as we speak.

I didn't add anything else, so I am guess it was the root tabs?

Will doing a 50% wc be enough? It's just the angelfish. The cories, tetras and rasboras are all fine.

I have Prime, Purigen and a freshwater master test kit coming from Big Al's early next week.

Should I run some activated carbon through the filter?

HELP

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flora -- vals, swords, crinum, anubias, crypts, red ludwigia, java fern, java moss, red tiger lotus, and some red purplish plant.
fauna -- angels, tetras, rasboras, zebra loaches, cories, danios
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Last edited by crazy4fids; 01-11-2015 at 03:18 AM. Reason: add info
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-11-2015, 04:07 AM Thread Starter
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Just going over my day here....I did at three new plants. A red tiger lotus, a red ludwigia and some purpley red plant. I also added a small piece of Malaysian driftwood, but I boiled that for 2 hours.

They don't look like they are breathing any better; however they aren't gasping at the surface anymore and after watching everyone else, the others do look a little stressed too.

After the water change, I did leave the water level down so there is more surface agitation.

I did add the Emperor 400 with the activated carbon. I used a double dose of Jungle Start Right with aloe.

Maybe I should pull my juvenile angels in with my pair of angels? It's only a 29 gallon. The juveniles I have are from the first every clutch of angels I have raised so I am a little attached to them.

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flora -- vals, swords, crinum, anubias, crypts, red ludwigia, java fern, java moss, red tiger lotus, and some red purplish plant.
fauna -- angels, tetras, rasboras, zebra loaches, cories, danios
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-11-2015, 04:23 AM
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likely that you dug up some trapped toxins from deep in the substrate that was otherwise trapped.

All you can do is add some prime and keep doing water changes. big is better in this situation.

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-11-2015, 05:05 AM Thread Starter
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I have grave substrate...and a spot of pool filter sand that is maybe 2 inched deep. I didn't think I was at risk for trapping toxins

90 gallon low tech community
flora -- vals, swords, crinum, anubias, crypts, red ludwigia, java fern, java moss, red tiger lotus, and some red purplish plant.
fauna -- angels, tetras, rasboras, zebra loaches, cories, danios
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-11-2015, 11:09 AM
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Gravel has much bigger spaces between grains than, say, sand, and junk can get down in there. If you haven't already done so, test for ammonia and nitrite.

What kind of filter output do you have - you said you lowered the water level so maybe a HOB?

MY TANK: Planted 10g; 2 x 10W CFL; Fluval U2 internal filter; MGOCPM/black sand cap

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-11-2015, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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My ammonia and nitrite were both zero. I have two eheim canisters; a pro2 2028 and a pro3 2075. I typicall don't run carbon, so to help, I threw an old emperor 400 on the front of it and loaded it full of charcoal.

Update: I am happy to say, eveeyone is still alive and looking well this morning! I think I will let the emperor run till after church and football. It sure woyld be nice to figure out what happened so I can avoid it next time!

Thanks for the replies peeps!

90 gallon low tech community
flora -- vals, swords, crinum, anubias, crypts, red ludwigia, java fern, java moss, red tiger lotus, and some red purplish plant.
fauna -- angels, tetras, rasboras, zebra loaches, cories, danios
eheim 2028 Pro II
Eheim Pro 3 2075
Aquatic Life 48" Edge LED

Last edited by Darkblade48; 01-12-2015 at 07:08 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-11-2015, 01:38 PM
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Well look at it cause and effects to determine cause.
Cause of gasping for air
*ammonia burning gills and nitrite reducing ability for blood to carry oxygen, you ruled out these possibilities if your test results were accurate.
*Low oxygen levels, if you have a hang on back power filter then this is highly unlikely.
*Disturbing the substrate led to extremely high nitrate levels causing fish stress. Only putting in 3 plants this is highly unlikely.
*You disturbed something toxic in the substrate leading to toxic water-very possible
*Disease effect gills(gill flukes, ich, columnaris, many others).
Take your pick of these and rule out what you can and you should have your answer.

If in doubt, add more plants!

My not-enough-plants-but-not-enough-space-to-put-anymore-so-will-start-going-up-box-of-water.

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-11-2015, 02:01 PM
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Did you throw an airstone in? If it happened that quickly likely was low on oxygen anyways.


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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-11-2015, 03:31 PM
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Could just be stress. With everything you were doing in the tank, the fish may have been overly scared or excited. Think of it like an adrenaline rush. Some fish are more easily stressed than others. It's not always a problem with the tank that causes fish stress. Think about everything that led up to the condition, including a monsters hands and tools in the tank, before jumping to conclusions.


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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-11-2015, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepguy View Post
Well look at it cause and effects to determine cause.
Cause of gasping for air
*ammonia burning gills and nitrite reducing ability for blood to carry oxygen, you ruled out these possibilities if your test results were accurate.
*Low oxygen levels, if you have a hang on back power filter then this is highly unlikely.
*Disturbing the substrate led to extremely high nitrate levels causing fish stress. Only putting in 3 plants this is highly unlikely.
*You disturbed something toxic in the substrate leading to toxic water-very possible
*Disease effect gills(gill flukes, ich, columnaris, many others).
Take your pick of these and rule out what you can and you should have your answer.
This is good logic. Thsnks for walking me through it!

90 gallon low tech community
flora -- vals, swords, crinum, anubias, crypts, red ludwigia, java fern, java moss, red tiger lotus, and some red purplish plant.
fauna -- angels, tetras, rasboras, zebra loaches, cories, danios
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-21-2015, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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I did a water change again today and had the exact same problem! This is really freaking me!
I did move a few plants around again. I also shffled about maybe a cup of sand. I'm beginning to think that maybe the problem is with the pf sand, however it is only avout 2 inches deep. As much as I like the way it looks, I'm contemplating taking it out

90 gallon low tech community
flora -- vals, swords, crinum, anubias, crypts, red ludwigia, java fern, java moss, red tiger lotus, and some red purplish plant.
fauna -- angels, tetras, rasboras, zebra loaches, cories, danios
eheim 2028 Pro II
Eheim Pro 3 2075
Aquatic Life 48" Edge LED
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-21-2015, 12:43 PM
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Hey crazy. Im just spit balling here, but of all the substrates sand is the most likely to trap harmful gases. For a test, disturb some of the gravel then wait. If nothing happens, disturb some of the sand.
I hate to stress your fish any more but this is the surest way to see if its trapped gasses causing your problem.

By the way, if it is trapped gas, you have to get rid of the sand. If its in the gravel you either have to use less gravel or mix in some larger pebbles or pea gravel, something to ensure water is flowing through the upper levels of the substrate.
Havinf said all that, its rare this occurs. But never hurts to rule things out
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-21-2015, 04:22 PM
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Were you using a water conditioner? You mentioned you are getting Prime, does that mean you haven't been using any conditioner? If you are using conditioner does it neutralize both chlorine and chloramine? What does your water company use to sterilize water? Have they changed the amount or type used lately?

I've had upset fish when I did a small water change and didn't think I needed to add SAFE. I did need it, added some and fish felt better right away.

You changed at least three things. Dug in the tank, changed water and disturbed root tabs.


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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-21-2015, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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I am using a water conditioner. Its the Jungle brand. It removes both clorine and chloramine.
I think the next time I do a wc, I will do just that and not mess with anything else and see if I have the same reaction.
Last night I ended up taking two gallons of water out to give the tank more water surface circulation and added in my Emperor 400 and loaded it with carbon. Everything was fine this morning.
I'd just really like to figure it out so I can prevent it from happening again.

90 gallon low tech community
flora -- vals, swords, crinum, anubias, crypts, red ludwigia, java fern, java moss, red tiger lotus, and some red purplish plant.
fauna -- angels, tetras, rasboras, zebra loaches, cories, danios
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-21-2015, 05:09 PM
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I have never had the trapped gas problems that I read about and tend to downgrade that idea. Could happen but I expect other more obvious things first. One big thing may be how the new water compares with the old. Temperature, PH, GH, And KH. More the GH/KH than PH but I would want to look at the water matching very close.
Some things can be ruled out pretty sure due to what you see. Ammonia? Burns causes stress and burns the gills, that is true but it also doesn't go away once the gills are burned so I don't see ammonia as the problem.
But a sudden change in the water and they may struggle for a few hours or days until they get used to it.
Maybe give that some thought as water changes when the season changes in some cases. Depending on how the water change is done, if you continue to have the problem, it may help to run the water into a container and let it come to temp and settle for a bit before adding to the tank.
Water in the pipe can be quite different than water a few hours later. You may notice this even when you get up and get a drink in the night. Not a really big thing but it tastes just a bit different? Possible new winter water is quite different than new summer water?
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