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Recently, everytime I do a water change, or every time I do anything which kicks up any detritus my fish (especially the mollies) end up at the surface gasping. I do 40% PWC weekly and all params are good (0 amm, 0 trites, 10 trates) so it's not that.

I wonder if it's low oxygen due to glut usage? I have a 60g and dose 15ml metricide daily (have been increasing by .5ml daily).

I have a HOB filter that splashes into the tank all the time making lots of bubbles so not sure why I'd have low oxgen but just can't think what else it could be.

When I see them gasping I get a cup and pour water (from the tank of course...) into the tank making lots of bubbles but it doesn't seem to help.

Do you think it could be oxygen issue even though I have an hob? Maybe too much glut too quickly? Do I need an airstone?

Any other ideas? Please help. Thx
 

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Nosey This One Is!

How long to they continue to “gasp?”

Could it be an “eating” motion?

Do you attempt to remove the detritus and mulm during the water change?

What is your source water (for the change)?
:)Joe
 

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Sounds like plenty of gas exchange which should not be a problem when new water is added. I might think about how closely the new water is matched to the old. Rapid changes in GH/KH can also make fish act strange.
 

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Back in the day...a shop owner told me that if you want a healthy tank(this was before test kits were available) thatyou should add fish just a couple at a time. Air pumps were common then also because all filters used one. And with the air pump off, when
you get to where the fish come up to breath...that is enough fish for that tank.
A very antique/outdated idea which I follow today which has seem me through power outages etc because I don't overstock my tank. That was how "they" determined if you were overstocked.
If you turn off your filter for 30 min or so and they come up tothe top, then you may need an air pump because you have more fish than can live in there without assistance
of Oxygen being added by the filter and it gets harder for them to breath when you stir
it up. But Mollies are a top water feeder to begin/w so that may just be a defensive action against dirty water that they are doing by instinct. If all the fish don't come up when you turn off the filter likely you don't need an air pump.
 

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I have an air pump that I got because it was on clearance. I have barely ever turned it on...but the few times I have turned it on it was priceless.

I have it for emergencies when I do something wrong or my needle valve decides to act up. I've walked in on the fish gasping, was able to unplug co2 and stick the airstone in all right away.

Fish were back to normal within 5 to 10 minutes each time.

The peace of mind it gives me is very worth it for me personally even though I have barely ever used it.
 

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Which % metracide are you using? It is much more concentrated than gluteraldehyde and could be irritating the fish's gills which make mucous to protect the gill tissue which blocks oxygen getting into their blood.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
How long to they continue to “gasp?”

Could it be an “eating” motion?

Do you attempt to remove the detritus and mulm during the water change?

What is your source water (for the change)?
:)Joe
They gasp for around 15-20 mins or so. Don't think it's eating as the molly which does it the most has never done it before and I've had her about 2 years now. I do try to remove as much detritus as possible. I vacuum the gravel and the java moss as there's a ton there. But water params are all good so don't think it's too much detritus as wouldn't I then have ammonia and nitrite problems? I use a water changer straight from the faucet for changes (using Prime for the whole tank first).

Sounds like plenty of gas exchange which should not be a problem when new water is added. I might think about how closely the new water is matched to the old. Rapid changes in GH/KH can also make fish act strange.
Back in the day...a shop owner told me that if you want a healthy tank(this was before test kits were available) thatyou should add fish just a couple at a time. Air pumps were common then also because all filters used one. And with the air pump off, when
you get to where the fish come up to breath...that is enough fish for that tank.
A very antique/outdated idea which I follow today which has seem me through power outages etc because I don't overstock my tank. That was how "they" determined if you were overstocked.
If you turn off your filter for 30 min or so and they come up tothe top, then you may need an air pump because you have more fish than can live in there without assistance
of Oxygen being added by the filter and it gets harder for them to breath when you stir
it up. But Mollies are a top water feeder to begin/w so that may just be a defensive action against dirty water that they are doing by instinct. If all the fish don't come up when you turn off the filter likely you don't need an air pump.
Thanks - my tank is actually understocked currently (60g with 4 cories, 6 guppies, 2 mollies, 2 sword tails, 1 gourami) so I don't think it's that. Could be a defensive mechanism but then not sure why I've not seen it before? The molly doing it the most I've had for 2 years......

I have an air pump that I got because it was on clearance. I have barely ever turned it on...but the few times I have turned it on it was priceless.

I have it for emergencies when I do something wrong or my needle valve decides to act up. I've walked in on the fish gasping, was able to unplug co2 and stick the airstone in all right away.

Fish were back to normal within 5 to 10 minutes each time.

The peace of mind it gives me is very worth it for me personally even though I have barely ever used it.
Good idea! I have a spare filter and heater on hand in case of emergency, wouldn't hurt to have an airstone also.

Which % metracide are you using? It is much more concentrated than gluteraldehyde and could be irritating the fish's gills which make mucous to protect the gill tissue which blocks oxygen getting into their blood.
It's 2.6% Metricide 14. I am using 15ml a day right now and was planning to keep increasing to around 20ml per day. I had major algae issues (too much light not enough co2 or ferts). So I started PPS Pro and liquid carbon. It's MUCH better now though I still have nasty algae on my slow growing plants.
 

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Your Tank

Hello Lud...

Mollies are the most sensitive of the livebearing fish to anything foreign that goes into their tank water. 40 percent water changes aren't nearly enough for Mollies. 60 percent changed weekly is average. This will help keep a high O2 level in the water.

You could consider adding a bit of standard aquarium salt to the new, treated tap water. Mollies would appreciate a couple of teaspoons added to every 5 gallons of replacement water.

Gluteraldehyde is heavy duty stuff. If you're keeping the standard aquatic plants and have a decent fish load and decent lighting, you don't need to use fertilizer supplements. Feed the fish a variety of flaked, freeze dried and frozen and they'll provide enough fertilizer. I'm not a fan of commercial ferts, they tend to mess up the water chemistry. Most aquarium fish will tolerate a little mistake here and there in tank management, but not Mollies.

Floating plants help Mollies feel comfortable in the water and the plants help maintain a steady water chemistry between those large water changes. Hornwort is about the best.

Just a couple of suggestions from a fellow Livebearing fish keeper.

B
 

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It's 2.6% Metricide 14. I am using 15ml a day right now and was planning to keep increasing to around 20ml per day. I had major algae issues (too much light not enough co2 or ferts). So I started PPS Pro and liquid carbon.
Does this mean you are using glut AND liquid carbon?

Liquid carbon IS glut- you are overdosing.

Per Seachem site:
Loading dose of Excel (1.5% active ingredient) is 5ml / 10 gallons, but only once, right after a water change.
Daily dose is only 5 ml / 50 gallons.

Your product is stronger. To match Seachem Excel dosing:
Loading dose is 2.9 ml / 10 gallons (for 60 gallon tank this is 17.4 ml, but ONLY on water change day)
Daily dose is 2.9 ml/ 50 gallons

I am sure you are WAY over dosing.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hello Lud...

Mollies are the most sensitive of the livebearing fish to anything foreign that goes into their tank water. 40 percent water changes aren't nearly enough for Mollies. 60 percent changed weekly is average. This will help keep a high O2 level in the water.

You could consider adding a bit of standard aquarium salt to the new, treated tap water. Mollies would appreciate a couple of teaspoons added to every 5 gallons of replacement water.

Gluteraldehyde is heavy duty stuff. If you're keeping the standard aquatic plants and have a decent fish load and decent lighting, you don't need to use fertilizer supplements. Feed the fish a variety of flaked, freeze dried and frozen and they'll provide enough fertilizer. I'm not a fan of commercial ferts, they tend to mess up the water chemistry. Most aquarium fish will tolerate a little mistake here and there in tank management, but not Mollies.

Floating plants help Mollies feel comfortable in the water and the plants help maintain a steady water chemistry between those large water changes. Hornwort is about the best.

Just a couple of suggestions from a fellow Livebearing fish keeper.

B
Hi. I will try the salt and floating plants thanks!

Re ferts/glut - I wasn't using any initially (or only a little) but things were not working out well at all. Everything got covered in algae (all kinds including staghorn, BBA, hair algae, the green/blue kind). I was told by others that I needed to use it because of how much light I had. I know that in low light tanks you don't need ferts/c02 (liquid or pressurized) but I have T5HO lighting giving me 40-45 PAR at substrate level. I can't have less lighting as several of the plants I have need at least medium lights. Do you agree that with that level of light I need ferts and co2?

Bump:
Does this mean you are using glut AND liquid carbon?

Liquid carbon IS glut- you are overdosing.

Per Seachem site:
Loading dose of Excel (1.5% active ingredient) is 5ml / 10 gallons, but only once, right after a water change.
Daily dose is only 5 ml / 50 gallons.

Your product is stronger. To match Seachem Excel dosing:
Loading dose is 2.9 ml / 10 gallons (for 60 gallon tank this is 17.4 ml, but ONLY on water change day)
Daily dose is 2.9 ml/ 50 gallons

I am sure you are WAY over dosing.
Hi Diana. Thanks for the input. Sorry for the confusion but no I don't mean I'm double dosing - I just referred to it as glut in one sentence and liquid carbon later. I was meaning the same thing - metricide 14.

Re the dosing - I know where you're coming from however I got advice on dosing from many others who are much more experienced than I am. I was originally dosing per the instructions on bottle but had a terrible algae problem. Upon asking others for help I was told I needed way more glut for the level of light that I have. Many other people dose as much as me if not much more. I thought it sounded like a lot at first, but there was a post recently which was a poll asking how much glut people use and there were lots of people using a lot more than me all saying with no issues.
 

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Glut. is not Co2. It is a very inferior source of carbon for the fish. It is also very toxic, since it is designed to be used to kill all forms of microscopic life. If you double the daily dose of Exce,l recommended by Seachem, and don't use the "starting dose" that Seachem recommends, you should get the maximum effectiveness of it for the plants. More than that and I think you are approaching a toxic level. If you use Metricide, at a stronger concentration than Excel you need to reduce the dosages accordingly.

Adding a lot more glut will not prevent having lots of algae when you have lots of light. Which manufacturer made your T5HO light? How did you determine that you have 40-45 PAR light intensity?
 

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For What It Is Or Is Not Worth

I cannot conceive of low oxygen as a result of a water change being the problem;
· assuming you are not using water set aside for some organometallic reaction.

  • · Or distilled water from a jug, or
o reverse osmosis water left in a container for days.

I will agree that the glut and liquid carbon (both buffered glutaraldehyde) are dangerous,
· I do not care what you have read on the internet.
o I have been using MetriCide® or one of its competitors for years in several tanks,
o works well when dosed conservatively and treated with respect.
· The fact remains it is dangerous stuff;
o both to your tank,
o to you and
o any living or working in close proximity.

The first bit of advice from my unworthy and ever-humble-self;
· stop the buffered glutaraldehyde, MetriCide®, Liquid Carbon, for now.
· Too many things happening at once.

My next unworthy and ever-humble-suggestion is a series of major water changes;
· Two (2) 50% water changes, two (2) days in a row.
· A 50% water change every three (3) days for two (2) weeks.
o During these water changes clean everything as thoroughly as you can.
o Remove as much algae as you can.
o A toothbrush is extremely useful (do not let a significant other catch you using theirs).
o Get a bottle of Fleet® Enema, moisten a paper towel and wipe down all of the glass and any smooth surfaces.
o Replace the water with water about the same temperature, I try to stay within a 1°C, warmer is better than colder (I will bore you with more on this later)

As unworthy and ever-humble as I may be, I next recommend fertilizing routine I am partial to EI (estimative index), but any routine that provides excess nutrients is great, as long as you are changing water once a week.

The suspicion I have is that the Mollies (assuming Poecilia latipinna, or some variation) are not starved for oxygen, but are feeding.
· Mollies love pond scum, biofilm (term the gentry use),
· though most hobbyists hate it, it is actually a protein packed treat for many critters and
· oddly enough your tanks way of trying to establish all those cultures we claim we want,
· breaking down wastes, turning otherwise disgusting organic compounds into lovely nitrates.

The other distinct possibility is the Mollies are cold, when changing large amounts water we not only have to concern ourselves with water chemistry but temperature as well. Mollies and many in the overbred Poecilia family are quite sensitive to water temperature. Generally speaking a little warmer is better than colder.

Adding a bit of salt is a good recommendation actually for the Poecilia spp. in general. Not too much at a time, but they can handle well into brackish conditions. Your plants generally cannot however, so limit your upper ranges of sodium to 250-ppm.

Well I have been running off at the keyboard once again, so pardons all.

Joe
FBTB
 

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I agree with Diana, I think you are adding way too much metricide. 20 mL is extremely high especially for a daily dose.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Glut. is not Co2. It is a very inferior source of carbon for the fish. It is also very toxic, since it is designed to be used to kill all forms of microscopic life. If you double the daily dose of Exce,l recommended by Seachem, and don't use the "starting dose" that Seachem recommends, you should get the maximum effectiveness of it for the plants. More than that and I think you are approaching a toxic level. If you use Metricide, at a stronger concentration than Excel you need to reduce the dosages accordingly.

Adding a lot more glut will not prevent having lots of algae when you have lots of light. Which manufacturer made your T5HO light? How did you determine that you have 40-45 PAR light intensity?
Hi Hoppy. I wouldn't say I have LOTS of light - just too much (or so I was told) for how much glut I was using.

I have the Odyssea T5HOs 2x54w fixture 48", plus I have 2x15w bulbs that are a spectrum for plants (aqua glo I think?). To determine PAR I actually used the chart you created on this site! From recollection you said with 36" it's about 40 PAR, mine are 48" plus I have the other 2 bulbs so I was guessing around 40-45.

For this lighting with in a 60g long (so 24" high) with gravel 2.5 inches to about 3.5 at the back - how much glut would you use?

I'd like to get pressurized c02 at some point but just don't have the $$ right now.

I really appreciate your help.

Bump:
I cannot conceive of low oxygen as a result of a water change being the problem;
· assuming you are not using water set aside for some organometallic reaction.

  • · Or distilled water from a jug, or
o reverse osmosis water left in a container for days.

I will agree that the glut and liquid carbon (both buffered glutaraldehyde) are dangerous,
· I do not care what you have read on the internet.
o I have been using MetriCide® or one of its competitors for years in several tanks,
o works well when dosed conservatively and treated with respect.
· The fact remains it is dangerous stuff;
o both to your tank,
o to you and
o any living or working in close proximity.

The first bit of advice from my unworthy and ever-humble-self;
· stop the buffered glutaraldehyde, MetriCide®, Liquid Carbon, for now.
· Too many things happening at once.

My next unworthy and ever-humble-suggestion is a series of major water changes;
· Two (2) 50% water changes, two (2) days in a row.
· A 50% water change every three (3) days for two (2) weeks.
o During these water changes clean everything as thoroughly as you can.
o Remove as much algae as you can.
o A toothbrush is extremely useful (do not let a significant other catch you using theirs).
o Get a bottle of Fleet® Enema, moisten a paper towel and wipe down all of the glass and any smooth surfaces.
o Replace the water with water about the same temperature, I try to stay within a 1°C, warmer is better than colder (I will bore you with more on this later)

As unworthy and ever-humble as I may be, I next recommend fertilizing routine I am partial to EI (estimative index), but any routine that provides excess nutrients is great, as long as you are changing water once a week.

The suspicion I have is that the Mollies (assuming Poecilia latipinna, or some variation) are not starved for oxygen, but are feeding.
· Mollies love pond scum, biofilm (term the gentry use),
· though most hobbyists hate it, it is actually a protein packed treat for many critters and
· oddly enough your tanks way of trying to establish all those cultures we claim we want,
· breaking down wastes, turning otherwise disgusting organic compounds into lovely nitrates.

The other distinct possibility is the Mollies are cold, when changing large amounts water we not only have to concern ourselves with water chemistry but temperature as well. Mollies and many in the overbred Poecilia family are quite sensitive to water temperature. Generally speaking a little warmer is better than colder.

Adding a bit of salt is a good recommendation actually for the Poecilia spp. in general. Not too much at a time, but they can handle well into brackish conditions. Your plants generally cannot however, so limit your upper ranges of sodium to 250-ppm.

Well I have been running off at the keyboard once again, so pardons all.

Joe
FBTB
Thank you so much for your input. I hope you're right the mollies are just trying to feed on biofilm! BUT the fact remains I had another death today - that's now 3 in 3 weeks so clearly something is wrong.

I will do the water changes you suggest. Thank you.

You said you use metricide 14 yourself but just smaller amounts - how much would you use?
 

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Like Diana said, you are overdosing glut and killing your fish as a result. She already provided the calculation for Metrocide 14. 20ml/daily is a LOT of glut, especially Metro14.
 

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Way Too Much

I had not considered the possibility you were dosing Metricide™ 14 directly for Excel.

This may be the problem. Discontinue use immediately and do the water changes.

If you resume the Metricide™ 14, this is the way to calculate the amount.

Since Metricide™ 14 contains 2.6% glutaraldehyde, when in doubt check the label.

The glutaraldehyde is the “magic” ingredient in this case the active ingredient and is fairly close to the 5-carbon chains that make up the photosynthetic intermediates that plants use CO2 to produce. When Hoppy says that glutaraldehyde is not as effective as CO2, this is why. In fact some plants do not like it at all. Since you are keeping Mollies you may wish to consider a couple of plants that are wonderful, but simply will not get along with glutaraldehyde at all.

Now that we have checked the label of the Metricide™ 14 and found that it contains 2.6% glutaraldehyde and “we know” that Flourish Excel contains 1.5% glutaraldehyde therefor every unit of Flourish Excel™ contains 0.58 times as much glutaraldehyde as Metricide™ 14.

Right away we can see the recommended dosage is in 5-ml increments Flourish Excel™, we calculate the equivalent Metricide™ 14 dose as 2.89-ml.

After large water changes (40% or more) Flourish Excel™ is dosed at 5-ml per 10 gallons of water, obviously you are going to dose at a rate 2.89-ml for each 10-gallons of water. Likewise the daily dose of Metricide™ 14 will be 2.89-ml for each 40 gallons of water (I will bore you later with the details of how we make the dosing reasonably accurate).

The question then becomes, how much water are you dosing? Sixty gallon tank, is there really 60-gallons of water there? You could drain it all and measure, I suppose, but a handy rule-of-thumb is that there is usually 15% less water than the tank volume, so in your case. We estimate the volume as 50-gallons (yes, I know it is 51, but life is too short, 50 is fine).

Now you see the danger of asking me anything,:hihi: you are kind of lucky arithmetic doesn’t show up well in this forum. :icon_smil

I would dose 3.6-ml Metricide™ 14 on water change day and 2.89-ml every other day.

To make my dosing more realistic and accurate, each month I would mix 58-ml of Metricide™ 14 with 42-ml of distilled water and store it in a dark bottle.

This concoction I would dose at the same rate as Flourish Excel™, 6.25-ml each water change day and 5-ml every other day.

Joe
FBTB

 

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It is too bad there aren't reputation points on TPT or I'd be giving you +1 for that response JoeRoun. A very well written answer to the OP's problem.
 

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It is a bad idea to follow Seachem's recommendation for a 5X dose off Excel/Metricide the at water changes. That can harm sensitive plants, and isn't good for the fish. Just dose twice the recommended daily dose every day. I found that to be very effective, where the normal daily dose wasn't.
 

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I am dosing just the Seachem daily dose using glut according to my calculations on page 1, but sometimes dose it twice in one day, and the fish do not seem to mind. I would not go over that much, though. I do not dose double every day. I never use the loading dose.

Some tanks have some algae, but the one I wish would go away is blanket weed, more of a pond (full sun) algae. My tanks are in a greenhouse with WAY more light than any aquarium normally has.
 

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It is too bad there aren't reputation points on TPT or I'd be giving you +1 for that response JoeRoun. A very well written answer to the OP's problem.
If JoeRoun is who I think, he deserves more than reputation points. Welcome to TPT JoeRoun. I look forward to reading your posts.
 
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