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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok firstly hello all, this is my first post. I don't usually post on forums just read, but I fear my tank is dying and I am kinda desperate for some knowledge and input from some peoples who's wisdom is much greater than my own.
Ok here it goes......
I had a 100L planted tank running a low tech co2 system for about a year, it's spent about 3 years as a unplanted tank so it's well established. I decided to go up a size ( or two hehe) and went for the Roma 240 by fluval, got it 20 days ago today sent it up and put about 100L of fresh water in the tank, treated the water with the API stress zyme and API stress coat, started the heater up and dropped a air stone or two in to help circulate the water. Left the water for aprox 3 hours then washed one part of my filter media in the new tank ( API buffer floss) an put a new 15 pound filter I'd bought in just to help the fresh water along a bit. I then started emptying the wood, rocks, plants ect into a quarantine tank, did the same with the fish (seperate tank from decor) I then put the sand/substrate into jugs. Removed filter and air pump and then I cooked and ate. From when I first put water in the tank to adding my old water was about ten hours so my first question is did I kill my Eco system??( I didn't add the last 40/50L for another 3 days)
Secondly, since going in my new tank, my pandas barely move apart from feeding time, and Iv had two lemon tetras die in four days( I can't remember the last time I lost a fish before that) and one of my whiptails has lost most of its colour :'( there's more golden sand in the tank now an I'm hoping some one will say he's trying to blend in with his background?? But the other hasn't??
Basically I'm tearing my hear out thinking my tank is about to die an I don't know what to do :s
All the normal water parameters have stayed the same, I was cautious from the start I might have a NH3/4 no2/3 spikes, no change at all, no change in ph, no new fish.

Can any one give me any ideas???

Many thanks in advance

492 Posts
Hi Pete, welcome. Not sure why you haven't had any answers yet but I'll try and maybe some others will chip in too.
I'm not sure I fully understand what you've said but what it sounds like is that you've put your new tank into an ammonia cycle. I understand you to say that you added treated water to the new tank then after 3 hours you washed some of your filter media in it and within another 7 hours added most of your old water. You don't actually say when you added your fish, rocks, & substrate but I take it it was some time in the next 3 days when you finally added the last of your old water. You also added a new filter shortly after washing the filter media in the tank.
I'm guessing that you have played havoc with the cycling because while washing the filter media and using some of the old water would have helped seed bacteria into the new tank you didn't give it time to establish itself and you didn't give it anything to feed on. When you disturbed the old substrate you would have released a toxic mess into the old tank and by putting the substrate into jugs you let this mess further rot. The longer it sat in jugs the worse it would have gotten. You don't mention having rinsed it so I'm assuming you didn't before putting it into the new tank and foiling its water.
You say your parameters didn't change at all and there were no spikes. That is hard to believe but I suppose it is possible that during these 3 days with no ammonia entering the tank and no bacteria working that nothing did change, at least up until you added the fish. Did you monitor the parameters after that?
There is also something called old tank syndrome. You don't give much detail on the old tank so I can only speculate. When a well established tank is neglected its water parameters will go awry badly but the fish having been acclimated to it will not show any immediate problems. However when exposed to new water they can exhibit health problems and will sometimes die.
I'm not sure what to advise at this point since I'm not sure what condition the new tank is in. Standard advice is to do water changes which in this case probably shouldn't be too large if the fish don't now look too stressed. If the fish are still stressed and dying it may be best to get them out of that tank ASAP until you get it cleaned up and a proper cycle established which means seeing your ammonia, nitrates, and nitrate spike. You don't have any old water or tank set up so I assume moving the fish means putting them into new water so that will also stress them, it's a case of which will be less stress. You could always use some of the old water which might help.

5,934 Posts
Was the filter in the new tank also new ?
Usually there are at least two types of media in one filter.
You will have bio-media and some kind of pad which often contains charcoal.
Sometimes there is a third which is just a pad.
Which one did you wash and did you wash it in tank water or under a fauccet ?
If you didn't wash the bio-media, it should be all right if you used a dechloranator
in the water you put into the tank (the new not the old). This is if the filter in the new tank has media from the old filter.
If you have put the old filter in there or the media from the old filter and did not wash the bio-media, it shoud catch up. But it would be a great idea to do a 50% water change. Like Steve said when you stirred up the substrate and then used that water
you put a mess into the new tank that needs to be thinned out.
If all of the new filter is new with no old media in it you might get some Tetra Safe Start to put in there. If everything is new you have no Beneficial Bacteria and it takes at least two weeks to form on it's own. By then the fish will be dead. So adding some is
what needs to be done. That is why the Tetra Safe Start. Turn off the filter and pour it into the filter. Leave it off for 30 min. and turn back on. Or you can just pour itnear the filter up-take while it is running.
This is not necessary if old filter media was put into the new filter and you didn't wash it all. But considering what is going on in there it will help either way.
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