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I've noticed the last few days that my fish seem to be very still, some of them namely the Alpha fish a blue glo fish tetra and the 2 black skirt tetras prefer to gather around the heater, I need a new thermometer(getting 2 internal thermometers in a few hours), its an external digital strip, it reads 27°C (80°f) but when I turn it down they all stay next to the heater all the time.

A few things have changed recently a week ago I moved them to my new home and a few days ago I lost a glo fish due to swim bladder disorder RIP Apollo :( and I a new added a new glo fish, an Inca snail, 2 live plants, and a few bulbs, 2 nights ago I added a DIY CO2 Reactor and a room air aerorator, last night it started bubling and it adding a spurt of bubbles every other second.


I run the RA aerorator in the evening after the timer shuts off the lights, but turn it off before I sleep, and I run periodically during the day.

I am wondering if the fish are afraid of being moved again, at my old place they where in the lounge and would come up to the front of the tank when I sat next to it, and when they saw grab a can of food they got excited and looked right at me, now they are next to my bed and when I get close to them they scurry into the corner or side with the heater.

Since the swim bladder issue I've been soaking the food in a test vial before feeding and now they don't always leave the corner to eat when I feed them just now showed them can, no response, then I fed them a bit of non flake omega food and a bit of flake food that was soaking now they have left the side and are eating.

Here are my chemical balances before adding the co2 reactor two days ago
NO-3. 30
NO-2. 0.3
dGH. 300
Cl. 0.1
KH. 20
pH. 7.0
NH-3. 0.5

Also I'm using test strips and a damaged color chart not sure how accurate these readings are.

Here are my full Aquarium Specs:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/yourtanks.php?do=view&id=27762


Here are some relevant tank SPECS with current chemical balances

TANK CAPACITY:
75.708 Liters (20G)


CHEMICAL BALANCE:

(as of 22-02-16)
NO-3 : 40
NO-2 : 0.5
dGH : 200
Cl : 0.1
KH : 120
pH : 8.0

NH-3 : 0.5 - as of 20-02-16 (I ran out of ammonia test strips)


26°C. Is what I usually keep it around but.... I think my thermometer is inaccurate, its an external strip, & almost 1 yr old, the fish where huddled by the heater when the pad read 27°c(80f) I'm getting 2 internal thermometers later today, 1 for each side of the tank.]


I have 1 Neon Tetra 5 Skirt Tetras 3 Cory Cat Fish and 1 Inca Snail

I have a dai dwindling Water Lilly and dying Aponogeton ulvaceous, a small hardy Anubius, some new Amazon sword and some new mini red plant, see my tank profile.

I used to have very full and flowering Aponogeton and very full Nymphea but they have dwindled to near death.
However I just MAcGyvered a CO2 reactor, and got some new bulbs for Crinum thaianum and Nymphaea sp. which are now germinating so hopefully soon this Aquarium will be a well Planted Tank again, if the Aponogeton doesn't recover I will get more bulbs, it was beautiful when it was full and flowering.



Bump: Update appx 3-5 mins after eating they are more active and dispersed.

It is also possible that I am just noticing more of their normal behaviours since they are in my bed room and I see them allot more often than when they where in the lounge.

According to a chart I found comparing KH to pH, my co2 levels should be safe for fish but low for plants, so at least my fish are not suffering from hypoxia, hypoxemia, or any hypo-perfusion, plus they don't show any signs of gasping for breath that I know of, but I'm a medic for humans not a fish veterinarian and I'm still a novice aquarist.
 

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Sorry I don't have time to fully read over the whole thread right now, but just skimming over it, I see your ammonia (NH3) and nitrite (NO2) are at toxic levels.

Do water changes to bring down the levels.
Haven't read so I am unsure of all the contributing factors at play in your tank, but reduce feeding and maybe reduce fertilizers if they give off ammonia/ammonium (if they give off nitrate/NO3, it's not as big of a deal).

Will come back and read the thread once I have some free time.
 

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Agree with the above

Get the API master liquid tests. The test strips are not reliable.

But from the looks of the results it seems like your tank is not cycled or is going through a mini cycle.

Do a 50% water change and dose prime to help with the raised ammonia and nitrites.

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
 

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Ditto the ditto...

Ammonia, especially when the pH is over 7.0:
Do enough water changes, frequency and volume, to keep the ammonia under .25ppm. Use a dechlorinator that locks up ammonia (Prime is one that does).

Nitrite:
Do enough water changes, frequency and volume, to keep the nitrite under 1 ppm.
Use a dechlorinator that locks up nitrite (Prime is one that does).
Add salt (sodium chloride) to the tank at the rate of 1 teaspoon per 20 gallons. This is a low level, well tolerated by plants and fish that do not care for salt. It will greatly reduce the amount of nitrite that crosses the gills to enter the blood.

Add a bottle of nitrifying bacteria. Read the label and make sure you get Nitrospira species of bacteria. Do not waste money on anything 'just the same'. Follow label directions.

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Your test results seem to indicate that you have hard, alkaline water, high pH.
Most Tetras and Cories are soft water fish. Some can handle slightly higher GH than others.

Please test the tap water for:
GH, KH,
pH twice: right out of the tap, then let some stand out, open to the air, and test at 24 hours and 48 hours.

I would do 2 x 50% water changes back to back, then check the tank again, for all the tests you have.

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Units:
Aquarium parameters may be measured in several units. Some are interchangeable with the right math, but it is best to always include the units.

GH and KH are measured in German degrees of hardness, may be abbreviated dGH, dKH.
GH and KH are also measured in parts per million, abbreviated ppm. This is the same as milligrams per liter, abbreviated mg/l.
1 German degree of hardness = 17.9 ppm
Most test strips report GH and KH in ppm (same as mg/l, could be labeled either way)

If you read 200 for the GH, it was almost surely not dGH, but ppm.
Similarly, 120 for the KH is almost surly ppm.
Just to be sure, though, always include the units.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies!
I'll see which of those I can get my hands on tonight and report back.
I'll include the units too.
Most but not all are ppm.

In the mean time, where can I find reliable info on water parameters/ chemical balances, I've been googling and can't find anything that tells the ideal nitrite and ammonia levels for black skirt tetras.
All the care sheets I found just talk basics like temp pH and hardness
 

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There was an article in the news yesterday about the study into fish emotions and feelings....
Turns out, when fish were stressed their internal temperature increases by a few degrees. In turn they seek out hotter places to hide in...( they had chambers with different temperatures the fishes could choose from)....
 

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Ok so I went to Wal-Mart and got aquarium salt, 2 internal glass thermometers, a new set of filter cartridges(my current one is old), and some other stuff.

My roommates are sleeping now though so it's too late to do a water change and I also don't have a key yet so I'm staying at my parents tonight.

I'll do a water change tomorrow morning and post before and after water parameter with units this time too, though it will be with the strips...

I'll have to wait till Wednesday to get the liquid test kit and this Prime stuff.
This time I'm going to our local professional Aquarium store.... instead of the usual PetCo.
I'm excited I've never been there before! : )
I'll have to try not to spend all of my money.. Lol
Seriously though it's a good thing I don't have room to set up my 70 gallon tank, or I might just spend every time I have there, I'm waiting till I know more about this stuff, and cycling and all that and have space, and a legally binding 5 year property lease as the sole lease holder or a mortgage so I don't have to move for awhile before I set that up.

There was an article in the news yesterday about the study into fish emotions and feelings....
Turns out, when fish were stressed their internal temperature increases by a few degrees. In turn they seek out hotter places to hide in...( they had chambers with different temperatures the fishes could choose from)....
That is fascinating!
It makes sense that they would be stressed, if my nitrites and ammonia is at an unhealthy level for them, plus the recent move, and the aquascaping, and adding of aeroration unfamiliar to them recently.
And that is exactly what they are doing, hanging out in the heat.
My fish are just like me when I'm depressed I take a long hot bath. Lol.

I know my fish aren't dumb, or emotionless, I don't have any proof but I swear
I've seen my fish react to me when I speak to them, and I'd bet money they hate moving just as much as I do and that why they scurry away now when I open the tank lid.

Before the last move I used to smoke shisha hookah in the lounge with them(ok next to them obviously) and they would swim right next to the front of the tank, especially Apollo(RIP). I'd swear they loved the attention of my friends and I when we sat with them and watched them.

Seriously I'm going to get these parameters right asap, and get the plants lush again so my fish can be in optimal health and happy.

Sorry I don't have time to fully read over the whole thread right now, but just skimming over it, I see your ammonia (NH3) and nitrite (NO2) are at toxic levels.

Do water changes to bring down the levels.
Haven't read so I am unsure of all the contributing factors at play in your tank, but reduce feeding and maybe reduce fertilizers if they give off ammonia/ammonium (if they give off nitrate/NO3, it's not as big of a deal).

Will come back and read the thread once I have some free time.
Thank you for the info I had no idea those levels where toxic, I've been going off what it says is ok in the test strip color chart.
I'll be doing a WC first thing tomorrow.

Also I'm not using any fertilizers. I won't do that unless absolutely necessary.
I assumed the fish emulsion would be enough for them, since it is the reason that aquaponics works for horticulture.
Though the aquatic plants poor health is the reason I rigged up the co2 reactor.

Though yes I should cut back on the amount of food I give. I just need to be more careful when I dish it out.

Bump: I posted with some quotes and it posted out of order.
Also thanks Diana and N25Philly for the info.
:)

I just discovered the tank profile feature and filled one out for this tank
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/yo...=view&id=27762
And then I edited the OP and removed allot of not so relevant tank specs.
So it's a little less lengthy to read.
 

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Ok so I went to Wal-Mart and got aquarium salt, 2 internal glass thermometers, a new set of filter cartridges(my current one is old), and some other stuff.
Careful when you're changing out the filter cartridge. If there is no other bio-media in the filter it can cause even more problems because most of the beneficial bacteria lives on the media in the filter.

I'm not familiar with your filter, so maybe someone else can chime in on it.

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
 

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Careful when you're changing out the filter cartridge. If there is no other bio-media in the filter it can cause even more problems because most of the beneficial bacteria lives on the media in the filter.

I'm not familiar with your filter, so maybe someone else can chime in on it.

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
Ahh, wish I read that before I changed it.
That filter was honestly and shamingly almost a year old i think. No good reason why either.

2 days or so ago I added a bio fiber filter behind it that was probably used by the person I bought the tank from. That filter is still present, behind my new filter cartridge.

Another probably dumb move on my part. But I did rinse it thoroughly. Perhaps at least some of the bacteria took residence there.

Bump: So I got called into work for an earlier shift today.
I only had time to test with the strips and do a quick 2 gallon water change with minor gravel filtration, now I've to do a 4 gallon water change really quick before some guests come over for dinner.
My tank is 20 gallons.
I'll post a pic of the test results before the change.

Bump:

Can't figure out how to post pic in reply

No3. 30
No2 0-0.1. - I realsised that it is hard to discern with precision from the color chart.
NH3. ? I didn't pay attention and bought a test strip kit with only safe, stress, and harm categories for the color chart
*My ammonia reading is between stress and harm.

These where from before my 2 gallon WC this morning before work

I'm taking Another test strip reading before my 4 gallon WC

Then when the tank settles I'm using the liquid master test kit I just bought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
After getting the liquid master test kit, I checked the water parameters and my NO2, NO3, & NH3 levels where safe, however pH was high, this was several days ago, pH has since lowered)though still high)I assume from the added CO2 from my reactor, pH comparison to KH shows CO2 now at 9.5 it was around 2 before, I believe.

Sorry everyone for not updating with a reply sooner, I got swamped with temp work and interviewed, got a new job, and had more bureaucratic hoops to jump through, alas my new career in medicine awaits! Then I helped some friends move too... Wow. Lol.
With all the rushing about I forgot all about this thread until I checked my water just now.

I don't have time to post details, gotta get up early and get things squared away then might have time before work.

I really appreciate everyones advice, thank you for helping me help my Fish!!!!
They are much more active and seem much happier now!!! :D.

I will post details with chemical ratios and units of measurement as soon as I can.
 
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