Redone planted tank not doing well - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-03-2015, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Redone planted tank not doing well

Hi,

I am an experienced planted tank keeper with years of experience. But this one's got me stumped:

I had a lush low tech jungle going on for more than a year. I had to tear down the tank because it got some infection. i dried the substrate in the sun for 2 weeks, threw away all the plants, dried the tank for 2 weeks in doors. The substrate is a mix of natural river gold sand and a high Cec substrate similar to Eco complete. This sub has given me great results what with my swords growing more than a foot tall and some others doing 3 ft.

All my fish were in a different secondary tank during this time, all doing great. I managed to salvage the filter from the old tank and so the cycle was preserved. Then I put back the dried, sun baked sub back into the primary tank, submerged.it overnite and rinsed and did an almost 100% water change. The sub did contain old fish poop. Within a day or two filled the tank up, and the fish with filter were transferred back. For 5 or 6 days things were going normal. Last Saturday something changed and my prize rainbow fish are distressed. They sit on the floor, then get up suddenly, swim a round in the tank with jerky motion and are stationary again. Fins clamped all the time. They are eating good.

Temp is 28 deg celcius. Been doing 10 % water change every 2 days. Other fish including angelfish and swordtails r doing fine. Pearl gouramis are also affected a bit. There seems to be some "mild" white spot on them but it's not increased in 4 days.

Do you think it's just the white spot and nothing else. I've had these fish for a long time and seen them grow, really feeling concerned about them.

Help! Thanks a lot.


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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-03-2015, 02:39 PM
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First question anyone is going to ask you is what the water parameters are? Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, gh/kh. Did you add any plants back in? White spots usually indicate ich

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-04-2015, 01:22 AM Thread Starter
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I don't know those parameters, never needed to. Have successfully kept and grown the same fish for years.

Yes I bought new plants, rinsed, potassium permanganated, rinsed them before adding to the tank.


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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-04-2015, 09:56 AM
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As Red Cloud mentioned, having water parameters would be much more helpful as a diagnostic tool. Without them, all that can be made are broad generalizations.

It sounds like there is something off about your water. The presence of white spots also indicates Ich, as mentioned.

Anthony


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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-04-2015, 10:32 AM
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Using the nutrient rich substrate could be the problem. The plants aren't established yet and can't use up all the accumulated fish waste. If you can't test parameters, I'd try a more significant water change.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-04-2015, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone.

I detected one more thing: my heater had a slight electrical leakage. So I got a new one and that too is leaking current. I will be getting an electrician to take a look at this problem very soon in the whole house but until then there wont be any heating. Luckily the weather's turned slightly warmer around here but the nights get cold.

Bump: I've cured ich in the past in a planted tank without using any medicines what so ever but I did use a heater to bump up the temp.


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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-04-2015, 12:40 PM
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You may have preserved the ich in the filter. You mentioned preserving the cycle, perhaps the ich hitched a ride in the filter media. Agree with others the tank may be cycling since beneficial bacteria hang out in the substrate and glass. An ammonia spike is possible.
If you can afford it i would try some meds and steady water changes
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-04-2015, 01:37 PM
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Get a water test kit, try frequent water changes and ich meds would be my suggestions also. Then keep us updated on this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by adive View Post
I detected one more thing: my heater had a slight electrical leakage. So I got a new one and that too is leaking current. I will be getting an electrician to take a look at this problem very soon in the whole house but until then there wont be any heating. . .
This caught my attention because I've had nonaquatic livestock fail to thrive because of faulty electrical equipment. It would seem that a wee bit of stray amperage couldn't hurt the fish. It would zap you if you reach into the water, because you would be grounded. But swimming fish aren't grounded so can't be zapped. . .can they?

How did you notice this anyway? And is the whole house problem severe or mild? I doubt this is the main problem with your tank, but it intrigues me.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-04-2015, 06:56 PM
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Oh man. I had a heater that was shorting in my tank. The fish were stressed, and I was trying to find out why.

The first day when I was poking around in the tank I noticed a slight tingling on my skin when I put it underwater.

Between day 1 and day 2, I had a hangnail.

The second day I go to put my hand in the water, and I feel this super intense electrical shock. Heater was shorted out. Swapped it with a new one and things were fine.

Do you have a properly grounded outlet you can try plugging into?
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-05-2015, 12:06 AM
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It may be true that you have been successful in the past without testing your water, but it is like Russian Roulette: nobody wins, some just get to play longer. Ammonia is the number 1 killer of fish, but you can not smell, taste, feel or see it in your water. Essentially you are blind without testing

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-05-2015, 04:34 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayjay2C View Post
Get a water test kit, try frequent water changes and ich meds would be my suggestions also.
I already got an ich med call Rid-All which has proven effective in the past. Here are links to it:
http://www.hongtai.com.sg/aid.htm
http://www.petshop18.com/rid-all-gen...FQsnjgod_SYAmQ

I am up with the frequent water changes, making sure to vac the floor. I gave the fish a dip in Rid-All but I dont think thats the way to treat ich. The whole tank needs to be treated. I am afraid of adding the med to the tank for fear of permanently damaging the substrate so that I will never be able to use it again for growing plants. I guess that can possibly happen depending on the chemicals that are there in the medicine isnt it? Am i right? Will such meds also kill off the beneficial bacteria?

Theres a lot of natural sand in the substrate and I wont be able to get it again, its just not available in shops any more.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kayjay2C View Post
Then keep us updated on this:

This caught my attention because I've had nonaquatic livestock fail to thrive because of faulty electrical equipment. It would seem that a wee bit of stray amperage couldn't hurt the fish. It would zap you if you reach into the water, because you would be grounded. But swimming fish aren't grounded so can't be zapped. . .can they?
I had the same thoughts when I was discussing this with an electrical engineer and I think you are right. A person standing on ground gives direct passage to current so that person would get an electrical shock. However fish are "floating in water" and cannot give a passage to the current to reach ground, they wont/cant get a shock. Seems angel fish are completely immune to this as well as rams and swordtails. Rainbow fish are very sensitive to it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kayjay2C View Post
How did you notice this anyway? And is the whole house problem severe or mild? I doubt this is the main problem with your tank, but it intrigues me.
Last week I got a slight nick/very small cut in my finger while I was cutting my nails Later I dipped my hand into the tank while the heater was on and got a mild shock. Thats how I found out something was wrong and then I unplugged the various aquarium devices one by one to find out the culprit. I also used a line tester to check the current later. You know the screwdriver that comes with an LED, the LED lit. The overall "bigger house problem" does not even really exist. I only noticed it because of the tank. Otherwise we wouldnt have cared.

Last night I mounted the heater vertically such that the part of it where the wire goes into it and the connecting plastic is above water. Then there is no shock and things are fine. The part of it that holds the heating coil which can be seen through its transparent glass is submerged. ~95% of it is submerged. Previously the whole heater used to be submerged. But thats how I have used it for so long and seen people use it in their tanks...
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-05-2015, 04:47 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Cloud View Post
It may be true that you have been successful in the past without testing your water, but it is like Russian Roulette: nobody wins, some just get to play longer. Ammonia is the number 1 killer of fish, but you can not smell, taste, feel or see it in your water. Essentially you are blind without testing

Obsession is a matter of opinion

I am not denying that, Red Cloud.

Ammonia related problems would show some symptoms wouldnt they? I know one is ammonia burns which I saw more than a year ago, the fish getting dark spots all of a sudden. Fish colors looking washed out could be another. But of course the definitive way to tell is using a kit.

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by alcimedes View Post
Oh man. I had a heater that was shorting in my tank. The fish were stressed, and I was trying to find out why.

The first day when I was poking around in the tank I noticed a slight tingling on my skin when I put it underwater.

Between day 1 and day 2, I had a hangnail.

The second day I go to put my hand in the water, and I feel this super intense electrical shock. Heater was shorted out. Swapped it with a new one and things were fine.

Do you have a properly grounded outlet you can try plugging into?

My heater's electrical cord is 2 pin so I cant try that out. The 3 pin ones have a ground wire in them. I am still waiting for the electrical technician to pay me a visit and check things out. During the weekdays I am just locked into regular, other life things...

Thanks everyone, anyways.


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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-05-2015, 05:08 AM
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For what it's worth, you're not grounded while swimming either. Want to go swimming during a lightning storm? I don't think so. Water is not like air. Water is a conductor and whatever is in it is part of that conductor. Have you ever seen the scientist's boats where they shock the water to collect the fish? In my opinion the fish are indeed affected. GFCI outlets. For your safety, and your livestock!
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-05-2015, 05:26 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fish jihad View Post
You may have preserved the ich in the filter. You mentioned preserving the cycle, perhaps the ich hitched a ride in the filter media. Agree with others the tank may be cycling since beneficial bacteria hang out in the substrate and glass. An ammonia spike is possible.
If you can afford it i would try some meds and steady water changes
For several weeks the fish were in a different backup tank with a filter. The fish couldnt have been healthier there. The filter running in the redone tank got moved to the redone tank along with the fish.


I need to negotiate with my wife to see if I can get the backup tank up again, get all the fish in their, do the treatment there. During this time just starve the ich demons in the main tank to death with no hosts. That make sense? I need to refresh my knowledge of the ich lifecycle.


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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-05-2015, 05:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adive View Post
For several weeks the fish were in a different backup tank with a filter. The fish couldnt have been healthier there. The filter running in the redone tank got moved to the redone tank along with the fish.


I need to negotiate with my wife to see if I can get the backup tank up again, get all the fish in their, do the treatment there. During this time just starve the ich demons in the main tank to death with no hosts. That make sense? I need to refresh my knowledge of the ich lifecycle.
If you toss them in a non-running tank you'll most likely have ammonia issues. You'd have to do daily water changes religiously which will probably stress them out even more.
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