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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello there planted tank people! I recently set up and got an old 29gal planted tank going. had it up for about 2 months now and just got ferts and lighting right, when I woke up to see my danios laying on the bottom and a few at the top gasping, looking like they had been poisoned as there bodies where very stiff looking, if this makes sense! One also died during the day, swiming all over looking very twitchy and disoriented before he died.

I dose the following:

1/2 cap Excell once daily
Flourish iron every other day, dosed according to directions
Flourish comprehensive once a week with water change
API algaefix, last week and today at water change. I DO NOT usually use this junk, I have nasty brown diatomes that I wanted to get rid of with a few treatments of this stuff.

My plants:
-Water wisteria
-Amazon sword
-Red Ludwigia
-Aponogeton ulvaceus
with a Eco-complete substrate, on about 1.6w/gal of T5NO
Thanks alot in advance!
 

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Algaefix can produce those symptoms, seemingly at random. Sometimes it won't have any bad effects at all. Sometimes a fish or two will quietly pass away a few days later. And others times nearly every fish in the tank will be gasping and half paralyzed soon after adding it. Symptoms can sometimes even appear upon removing it with a large water change!

From what little I could find out about the active ingredient, it changes the surface tension of water; which affects fluid exchange across algae cell walls, and causes the cells to take on excessive water and burst. Although the cell membranes in fish gills are more flexible and won't burst so easily, they still must perform gas exchange; and I can imagine how suddenly changing the surface tension of water, by either adding or removing Algaefix, could cause respiratory distress.

Furthermore, I had problems with Glofish (genetically modified zebra danios) when performing changes over 33%. Interestingly, the symptoms were virtually identical to those produced by Algaefix, with the speed of onset and lethality proportional to the water change amount. I did find a small number of reports that people have had the same problems with normal zebra danios. They may just be slightly more prone to respiratory distress than most fish.

To sum up, Algaefix is bad. Speculative as all this may be, Algaefix plus water changes plus danios may be far worse.

Don't throw it out though. You can use it as a three-day plant dip in a bucket, at recommended dosage, with great results. Just don't use it in your tank!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That is awesome info cobra, very much appreciated! I will be reading up on it when I have time. Algaefix was the only thing that made sense as I thought through what I had changed in the tank. Going to do a BIG water change now that they are all dead, and restart with otos to keep the algae under control while adding an interesting looking fish. I always feel a bit weird when adding serious chemicals such as algaefix, so no more! Curious about keeping it for plants dips. Do it to remove algae from leaves I take it? thanks again cobra!
 
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