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Old 01-17-2014, 09:33 PM   #1
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Desperate for help after PWC in 120g

Ok so I have a 120g at home. Did a 25% water change on Thursday late afternoon. Thursday evening all the fish were swimming at the top, including my catfish. Water tests as follows.
pH 7
Ammonia .25
NO2 0
NO3 20-40.

My NO3 is surprisingly good. As it recently has been high. Fish aren't darting around like they normally are, and aren't showing signs that they are hungry, even when food is dropped in. Thursday when I did the water change, I did it like I always do, fill a 5 gallon bucket with 78-80 degree water along with some stress coat. Temp originally bumped down to 78, not a big deal, but nitrates had spiked to 160? Haven't done anything since Thursday and as previously stated nitrates are back down to 20-40. One neon has died and my parrots look horrible, hanging on the bottom of the tank now. Everyone has pretty much came back down.

Stocking is as follows:

2 parrot fish
2 kissing gouramis
2 blue gouramis
1 gold gouramis
5 tiger barbs
5 green tiger barbs
5 red glass rosey barbs
5 serpae tetras
4 neons cardinals tetras
Banded leporinus
Striped rapheal cat
2 bumble bee cat
African feather fin cat
Chinese algae eater
Rainbow shark
Fire eel

The fire eel, 5 green tiger barbs, and 5 red glass rosy barbs were added on Friday. I have had one death since Thursday which was a neon tetra. Any suggestions on what I should do? I'm so lost here and don't want to lose my fish. I'm not sure what else to test for.

Thanks,
-Blair
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Old 01-17-2014, 09:36 PM   #2
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By the way I use our well water.
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Old 01-18-2014, 12:57 AM   #3
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Did the new fish come with a parasite maybe? I get so scared adding as I don't have a quarantine tank to put them in first.
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Old 01-18-2014, 12:58 AM   #4
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Did the new fish come with a parasite maybe? I get so scared adding as I don't have a quarantine tank to put them in first.

Yea neither do I, but guess what, my spare 40 is going into service this week.

And I don't think so? No signs of anything.
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Old 01-18-2014, 01:05 AM   #5
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I added new fish last week to my comm tank and water tests same as ever yet my rams been on bottom but eating almost like he can't swim. He scampers on bottom. 5 of 6 I added died and so have 2 neons that were already in there w ram. I've been told likely an internal parasite and have finally found med that treats it but no deaths in 3 days and ram seems to be slightly better. I'm scared to medicate!
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Old 01-18-2014, 01:07 AM   #6
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You didn't medicate yet?
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Old 01-18-2014, 01:16 AM   #7
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No. Been a week. My nitrates are 20. Gonna do pwc tomorrow and go from there if rams still not ok by Tuesday I'm gonna do it. He's my fave fish he eats from my hand and was first fish in that tank. I e been stressing over his health but he seems like himself except that he's not swimming everywhere. He skips along bottom on the tank whereas he used to come to top when I came in waiting to take shrimp from my hand.
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Old 01-18-2014, 01:17 AM   #8
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I know rams are sensitive and he's been fine for 6 months
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Old 01-18-2014, 01:18 AM   #9
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Wish I never added petsmart fish w him!
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Old 01-18-2014, 01:28 AM   #10
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Yea that's exactly how I am. Everything has been fine for months, like 6+, and then added these fish and this happens. So I'm not sure if I over loaded the system and/or the eel is spooking everyone cuz he is basically a bottom dweller too and nocturnal. (Fish started to go to the top last night) but then again I added these 11 fish last Friday.
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Old 01-18-2014, 01:31 AM   #11
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I don't think that seems like too much load. What filtration?
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Old 01-18-2014, 01:37 AM   #12
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Marineland Emperor 400 HOB (not putting out like it should pretty old) Aqueon 75 HOB running great and a Sunsun 4 stage canister filter running great.
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Old 01-18-2014, 01:42 AM   #13
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Seems like plenty. Sorry I'm no help! It stinks when things seem so good fun a wrench gets thrown in. I feel your pain! Hopefully someone chimes in who knows more. I wish you the best of luck and not that I need to say it but keep a good eye on the rest of your guys!
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Old 01-18-2014, 01:51 AM   #14
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Seems like plenty. Sorry I'm no help! It stinks when things seem so good fun a wrench gets thrown in. I feel your pain! Hopefully someone chimes in who knows more. I wish you the best of luck and not that I need to say it but keep a good eye on the rest of your guys!

Hahaha thank you, you helped, honestly didn't think of parasite.
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Old 01-18-2014, 02:23 AM   #15
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I'm thinking of a few possibilities:

1. New water often has high levels of CO2. Changing water can sometimes do this, but unless you're running a planted tank with pressurized CO2 I doubt you had enough in there to begin with for a 25% water change to cause problems.

2. Ammonia in any measurable quantity is a problem. You said the tank has been up and running for months?

3. If you only top off water and rarely change water then the hardness/salinity of your tank will gradually rise since evaporation doesn't remove any solids. That's one reason why the Great Salt Lake is so salty. Then when you change some, the fish get osmotic shock from the rapid change. Still though, 25% isn't all that much.

My money is on a combination of ammonia and possible lack of water changes. That's not a really heavy load for a 120 gallon, so the only way nitrates should have gotten that high would be if the water is rarely changed.
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Old 01-18-2014, 02:34 AM   #16
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I'm thinking of a few possibilities:

1. New water often has high levels of CO2. Changing water can sometimes do this, but unless you're running a planted tank with pressurized CO2 I doubt you had enough in there to begin with for a 25% water change to cause problems.

2. Ammonia in any measurable quantity is a problem. You said the tank has been up and running for months?

3. If you only top off water and rarely change water then the hardness/salinity of your tank will gradually rise since evaporation doesn't remove any solids. That's one reason why the Great Salt Lake is so salty. Then when you change some, the fish get osmotic shock from the rapid change. Still though, 25% isn't all that much.

My money is on a combination of ammonia and possible lack of water changes. That's not a really heavy load for a 120 gallon, so the only way nitrates should have gotten that high would be if the water is rarely changed.

Not running CO2. Yea tank has been up and running for like 7 months if not longer. I hadn't changed it in like a month and my gf topped it off last week because she was annoyed with the splashing sound. But before hand my nitrates were stuck at 80. Then like I said with this WC it dropped to 20-40 then the same night up to 160 and now it's back down to 20-40. Osmotic shock? Never heard of it. I will be researching that.
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Old 01-18-2014, 03:03 AM   #17
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If it's only been a month and one top off, that probably eliminates osmotic shock. It may be a parasite, but I'd be surprised since it seems like it occurred in one day. My money is still on the ammonia. See if you can get a hold of Seachem Prime and dose the tank. It's a water conditioner that helps to temporarily detoxify ammonia. If your tank was really lightly stocked then it's possible that the addition of new fish was enough to cause a small ammonia spike.

I'm at a loss to figure out why your NO3 went down, up, and down again, unless your test kit was a bit off. Most of the LFS bought test kits aren't that accurate.

On a side note, any store bought fish, whether Petsmart or a local mom-n-pop store probably carries the same level of 'bugs'. Commercial tanks nearly always will. The issue is whether or not the fish sold are healthy enough to fight them off.
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Old 01-18-2014, 03:06 AM   #18
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I only added 5 green tiger barbs, 5 red glass rosy barbs and the fire eel. Everything else has been in there for a while. I will try to get some prime. And I'm using the API liquid test kits. And for what it's worth I get my fish from That Fish Place since it's close.

-Blair
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Old 01-18-2014, 03:06 AM   #19
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Check your pH.

I had a pH crash after doing a small water change after not changing the water very often about a week after.

I would do a big pwc. If you don't have a high mineral content I would also try adding a tsp of scraped cuttlebone, used as a buffer, that is how I got my water to stabilize along with a number of pwc.

Still looking for my old thread but here is some info if it might help you!
pH crash!
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Old 01-18-2014, 04:40 AM   #20
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1. How much surface agitation is there in the tank?
2. Is this the first time you've ever seen fish gasping for air?
3. Do you use a dechlorinator?
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