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I have a 10 gall. freshwater aquarium that holds one angelfish, four small tetras, two colored tetras and one suckerfish (catfish). For the past two weeks or so my water has seemed rusty, or orange in color, but otherwise clear. I chalked it up to the amount of food (tropical flakes) residue at the bottom of the tank and lowered their food intake. Last night I performed a 25% water change and substituted the water with clean distilled water, as I have done several times in the past. The temp in the aquarium is always 80 degrees and after the water change the water dropped to about 76, but not lower than that. I also changed my Aqueon filter.
About one hour after doing this I noticed all of my fish were gasping for air at the top of the tank. I immediately checked my levels and all were normal except for nitrates, which were off the chart. I added a slime coating to the water and hoped for the best (this was 10 p.m. so not much I could do or get at this point).
This morning the water was very cloudy (milky colored) and one of my fish was dead. My angel fish is gasping for air and before I left for work he was laying on the gravel at the bottom of the tank and looked to be near death. My other fish are still at the top gasping for air. All except for my suckerfish who seems to have not noticed any change in the water. He is acting normal. Another test reading this morning shows my nitrate levels are much better (about 40) and my ammonia is still 0. Everything else is fine as well. (I am using an actual kit, not test strips).
Is there any hope for my fish, or should I just wait it out and pluck out the ones that don't make it? I love having fish but the sudden water changes and resulting death makes me think I should just throw in the towel. They have been MUCH more expensive than I ever thought possible and I don't seem to have the talent for keeping them alive. And I hate, hate, hate that they are suffering so much and dying such slow deaths. :icon_sad:
Any advice would be wonderful. I am going to my local fish store at lunchtime for them to test my water more thoroughly and hopefully save my fish.
 

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turn on a bubbler or airstone? Gasping to me means, not enough oxygen? Otherwise, no idea, other than a water test.
Another option is, cloudy water=bacterial bloom, when this happened to me, within 2 days I had a fish die daily until visual signs of Ich ended up on my Blood parrot, she looked like she had little pieces of salt all over her. No one else was affected, but I did have to treat the whole tank, and lost half of my fish over the course of a few days. My BP survived and ended up with circle scarring all over her body but she is healing and doing well after treating the tank.

Look for visual signs of disease or parasites on them, if you see flecks, def ich. Treat asap or you could lose them all.

Water changes can put sensitive fish in shock even with only a 2 degree temp change.

Another suggestion is do not change your filter media at the same time you do a water change.
I alternate. Water change weekly, then if I need to change the media, wait 3 days and change it, then wait another 4 days for the next water change.
You could have eliminated the good bacteria in your tank.


Sorry bout your fish.

Mah
 

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How big is the angel? 10 g is very small for one.

Fish can be hard....sometimes you dont get a clear answer for what happens. If the water was colored from leftover food I am guessing the water quality was pretty rough. Doing a change probably stirred a bunch of icky stuff up.

I had what I assume was a bacterial bloom once. My filter stopped working and I didnt notice right away....then I noticed a cloudy film on the bottom third of the tank. Not thinking I just turned the filter back on and it all stirred together....and every fish in the tank went belly up:(
 

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Make sure you shake up your water testing solutions before you conduct these tests.

Look up "cycling your filter" & "how to clean your filter cartridges".

Sounds like your tank has too many fish & you created a ammonia spike by swapping out the existing filter cartridge with a BRAND new one.

You should NOT use "water clarification" solutions. Your filter should "clear up" cloudy water for you within a day or two.

  • This suckerfish is actually a plecostomus?
  • Are there any LIVE plants in your 10G tank?
 

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You are only added distilled water with no minerals? If so, you are stripping your water of all it's minerals slowly over time. Distilled water should only be used for top off's unless you adding minerals back with a gh/kh booster.

Let's say your water is 200ppm of TDS, water evaps, that goes up to 220ppm, you top off the evap'd water with distilled, it goes back to 200ppm.

You are changing water, and thus diluting it down more and more. That is going to change the kH value, which is going to make the water more prone to pH swings.
 

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Distilled water is two H's and one O, and essentially nothing else. Your fish need the electrolytes and minerals in tapwater for proper osmosis. Without them, they can drown, dehydrate, or have trouble eliminating ammonia from their systems.
 
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