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Old 02-29-2004, 11:16 AM   #1
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Very Milky water for over 25 days, losing fish. Newbe

I set up a 75 gal over 6 weeks ago. All was well until 3 weeks ago. Water was turning milky white. Pet store said normal bateria cycle and gave me a batcteria growing solution, said would clear up in a few days. Got worse...lost 10 fish ! So was advised move them to smaller tank until can fix problem. Did a 50/50 water switch as instructed to new tank waited a day, moved fish. 24 hours later this tank is the same as the old...worried will lose more fish. They had me add a J"clear water" solution to reduced the milkly condition yesterday...15 hours later much worse. They tested the water and said a slightly elevated ammonia level...but all else looked fine. HELP !
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Old 02-29-2004, 11:30 AM   #2
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First read about the nitrogen cycle here - http://www.aquariumadvice.com/showqu...q=2&fldAuto=21

Your fish are probably dying because of the ammonia, your best bet would be to get bio-spira and add the whole bioload of fish right after. The bacteria growing solution is more or less useless, and the clear water stuff probably is too. To save the fish you have in there right now, do a big water change (50%) every second day to reduce ammonia levels. You'll also need a test kit for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates.
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Old 02-29-2004, 11:38 AM   #3
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Thanks ! I'll go out an buy some right away.

If I remember correctly...this is another of the things they had me add.

It was a liquid in small packetsand I added it to the big tank and all got worse over the next few days.

Do I need to continue to add this as I change water ?

Thanks
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Old 02-29-2004, 12:04 PM   #4
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Oh and make sure you add dechlorinator and dechloraminer (one product that gets rid of both) when you change the water, tap water has chlorine and chloramine in it and it kills fish. If the packet you have is called stress coat - it's a dechlorinator and you must add it to the water before it's added to the tank.
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Old 02-29-2004, 12:28 PM   #5
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Just wanted to add some thoughts - not meant to hijack Endgames thread

Are you using Town water or well water?

Also - just to add to Endgames xlnt advice so far - Basically, it seems that your tank is still cycling - do you know what this means? Excuse me for asking a silly question but I want to be sure we are on the same page so that the information we provide is aimed at the correct level. There are some other reasons for milky hazes other than cycling (for example Calcium parcipating from your tap water when it reacts to tank additives like a PH adjuster or a water softner) but let's leave those out for the time being.

I, for one, am not happy with your LFS's approach so far and largely agree with Endgame on every point above. First off they seem to be selling you snake oils as quick fixes rather then helping you find and understand the problem(s) at hand.

What fish do you have in the tank right now? Some are very capable at handling the checmical spikes and troughs in DOC during cycling and others are not. Also, some expensive fish are very sensetive and you might be better returning them temporarily to the LFS until you have things stable.

What kind of filteration system do you have and what kind of media are you using?

What kind of substrate are you using?

What was in the liquid packets - if ther is no label call the LFS and ask what it is - it is important to know this.

Tom
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Old 02-29-2004, 12:44 PM   #6
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Also...
Most "water be clear" solutions are made to KILL bacterial blooms or algae bloom. What that means to you is that it may kill your good bacteria as well AND cause Ammonia spikes because all the dead material.
And the closer to dutch (naturally filterated) your system..the worse is recovery.
If you have UGF or deep gravel for plants; the dead material can allow snot algae and some nasty types of bacterias to develop below and release toxins and gasses at random to kill your fish.
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Old 02-29-2004, 12:47 PM   #7
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hi there lamcon - one of the things that helps you know what is happening in your tank is if you can get a testkit of your own to test ammonia/nitrite........it eliminates the variables you get with other people doing the tests and you can keep a tank log of the results.

sue
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Old 02-29-2004, 12:54 PM   #8
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And just to add to all the great info so far LOL

Generally, bacterial blooms occur when there is not enough nitrifying bacteria (the good stuff) to compete with the heterotrophic bacteria (not bad stuff, but only eats ammonia when there is no detritus/DOCs). Heterotrophs multiply rapidly when there is lots of crud for them to eat as well as not enough nitrifying bacteria. This is why they are often seen during the initial cycling process. Most "cycling" products don't contain nitrifying bacteria; mostly they contain heterotrophics which might also explain the bloom. The only product which contains the right bacteria is BioSpira, as Endgame suggested.

Since the cycle takes in average from 2-6 weeks, its not unusual for you to have ammonia in the tank. The best way to deal with this is water changes; daily if necessary. Here we suggest keeping ammonia and nitrite levels below .5ppm; any higher tends to really stress fish, which opens the door to disease as well as the ammonia and nitrites being deadly in their own rights. No need to continue adding anything; the water changes are whats really needed. Yes, it may prolong the initial cycle, but the point of having nitrifying bacteria in the tank is to remove ammonia and nitrites. Until they are at a level which can handle the amounts of nitrogenous waste, its up to you to keep the fish safe. Heh, and its better to have a long cycle then dead fish.

Lastly, how many fish/what types? Were they all added together? Keep in mind there is also a chance one or more of the fish was carrying disease and that may even be the cause of death.
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Old 03-03-2004, 06:38 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the great info

The milky water is clearing in the 20 gal...and my fish are still surviving.

I bought a testing kit and the water was at 3.0 (not good). I treated the water with an ammonia neutralizer to bring it down and am doing a 3 gal distilled, 24 hour old treated water change every 2 days.

The water being added is store bought distilled water and treated with a metal, chlorine, etc remover before being added for 24 hours.

I stripped the 75 down completely, cleaned and treated the plastic plants, gavel, etc. and started over (it smelled like a sewer; is that normal)...I'll add the biospira to the 75 this weekend and continue to build it up over the next several weeks and add fish and plants given your direction.

I have a 440 Flo Vue on the 75 and a Whisper 20 on the 20 (sorry not sure of spelling as I'm in Chicago during the week and my mother-in-law
is changing the water)

My game plan is to add biospria to the 75 this weekend.

I also swapped one of the four carbon packs for an ammonia cleaning pack on the 75 and the water after a week it is crystal clear.

So now how do I proceed ?

I have live 6 bunches of plants in the and want to move some to the 75
sometime before the fish also in the 75 I have 10 plastic plants, big rocks from the pet store and a plastic ornament. I have 2 air stones and 2 8" air strips to aerate the water.

In the 20 I have 2 Gold Gromies
2 Glue Gromies
2 Gray Platays
2 Gray Catfish
1 brown/black speckled cat
2 Algae Eaters
...I'm sure you are laughing at my spellings, but what do you expect from a compter consultant.
(I'll get the spellings right going forward when time permits.)

Would a "7-day" feeder be Ok to use off and on when family isn't available or should l have the 17 year old neighbor feed them ? (we’ve got cats that need fed anyway)

How much do you feed ? I've read that no more that what they can eat in 2-3 minutes. How much is that ?

Again thanks for this great medium. Your support and knowledge is gratifying and helps me make it through.
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Old 03-03-2004, 09:23 AM   #10
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I'm assuming "Flo Vue 440" means Fluval 404, which means that your tank might need a little more filtrations, try maybe an aquaclear 500, or a larger penguin model. And your 20 is way overstocked for a cycling tank, so you must be good with your water changes untill the cycle finishes. I would get the teenager to look after your fish but make sure you have the food ready in little piles so he doesnt overfeed them. And some test kits are fooled by the ammonia nuetralizer because it reads the harmless ammonium as ammonia. Bio-spira is a good idea for the 75, but make sure you add enough fish after you add teh bio-spira so there is enough food for the bacteria. Have you thought about what fish you are going to get? Its best to do some reasearch and not just go to the store and buy what you like, fish have different requirements and different compatibilites with other fish. And don't rush things.
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