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Old 11-09-2009, 02:03 PM   #1
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Unhappy I think my tank is sick.. Tried a lot of things not sure what to do now..

I have a 14gal Biocube. With a modified filter, Floss, charcol bag, bioballs.

I have 1 fish, it is a mini Albino Bristlenose Pleco. Its fins seem to twitch now and it doesnt really sucktion onto the side of the tank as much as it used to. It will semi attach but not fully. Its fins are back which means its stressed right?

So my tank exploded with nitrites. It was up to 40 on the test chart. I did water changes, and it didnt bring it down at all so I put him in my quarintine tank and emptyed out the entire tank making sure to refill it 3 times with hot water trying to flush out anything in the tank that was causing the build up. I took out all ornaments and wood. Refilled the tank and let it run for a week with the water treated. I used Amquel Plus, Aquarium salt, nutrafin cycle and tap water conditioner. Followed the directions for all dosages pertaning to my tank and followed the instructions for the cycle treatment daily. The tank now tests at .5 Nitrite and smells like a rainforest.. quite earthy smelling. Not sure how else to describe it. I did a 2 inch water change and added 5ml cycle.

I havent put anything back in the tank ornament wise. my pleco eats algae wafers by hikari. but I break them in half and he really only eats half of one.

Why does my tank smell like rainforest/earth, how come it blew up? My pleco almost died from a regular water change that I did. The water was testing fine and then suddenly when I did a water change it stopped breathing and nearly died. I had my tap water tested and it came out fine! - Everytime I change the water it seems to explode with Nitrites.

I need help this has NEVER happend before in my time of having fish tanks..
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Old 11-09-2009, 07:02 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by plecolover4 View Post
So my tank exploded with nitrites. It was up to 40 on the test chart. I did water changes, and it didnt bring it down at all so I put him in my quarintine tank and emptyed out the entire tank making sure to refill it 3 times with hot water trying to flush out anything in the tank that was causing the build up. I took out all ornaments and wood. Refilled the tank and let it run for a week with the water treated. I used Amquel Plus, Aquarium salt, nutrafin cycle and tap water conditioner. Followed the directions for all dosages pertaning to my tank and followed the instructions for the cycle treatment daily. The tank now tests at .5 Nitrite and smells like a rainforest.. quite earthy smelling. Not sure how else to describe it. I did a 2 inch water change and added 5ml cycle.
a few problems i see that could contribute... salt is not good for scaleless fish such as plecos and catfish, and is only "needed" when treating a disease... also doesnt sound like the tank is cycled, especially since you have a "rainforest smell"... are you using a liquid test kit or strips? what are the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate readings? any nitrate over 0 is bad, above .25 will slowly kill the fish if not addressed.
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Old 11-09-2009, 07:33 PM   #3
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a few problems i see that could contribute... salt is not good for scaleless fish such as plecos and catfish, and is only "needed" when treating a disease... also doesnt sound like the tank is cycled, especially since you have a "rainforest smell"... are you using a liquid test kit or strips? what are the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate readings? any nitrate over 0 is bad, above .25 will slowly kill the fish if not addressed.

I just restarted my tank because of the huge nitrite spike that nearly killed my fish.

I use strips bcause the liquid test kids are 50$ at the local shop which is way to expencive.

nitrite is at .5 right now and the nitrate is at 0 acording to the strips.

Before it was at 40+, when the tank went nuts. I followed directions and did water changes to lower it but it was not lowering at all. I ended up having to redo the entire tank the Amquel plus is for nitrite nitrate and amonia removal.


edit - my tank has been running over a month when I did the water change and the nitrite blow up happend instantly.

1 teaspoon of aquarium salt to prmote healthy gills and breathing by the store which is why i have it
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Old 11-10-2009, 10:16 PM   #4
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You may want to test your tap water for ammonia.
Test your tank water as well.
When you took everything out and scrubbed it down you likely killed off everything that made your tank cycled before....so you may have to start over with cycling.

I am sorry for your struggles. I would suggest testing that tap water to make sure there are no ammonia, nitrite and or nitrate in your tap water and if not then start doing daily 50% water changes for a month or so until things have had a chance to settle down again and your cycle gets going again.

I would suggest not adding any more fish and feeding every other day.
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Old 11-10-2009, 10:27 PM   #5
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You may want to test your tap water for ammonia.
Test your tank water as well.
When you took everything out and scrubbed it down you likely killed off everything that made your tank cycled before....so you may have to start over with cycling.

I am sorry for your struggles. I would suggest testing that tap water to make sure there are no ammonia, nitrite and or nitrate in your tap water and if not then start doing daily 50% water changes for a month or so until things have had a chance to settle down again and your cycle gets going again.

I would suggest not adding any more fish and feeding every other day.
Didn't scrub anything just used hot water and rinsed it out quite a few times.

I did a liquid ammonia test on tap and tank water and both came out in the " ideal " circle. Which has me confused.

Water change without disturbing the gravel? Or do disturb it.. im getting conflicting answers on that one with my research.

Also the fish only eats once a week. its quite small and doesnt have a large apetite. If I put a whole algea tab in he just lets it disolve and only eats half of it, so I break the tab in half and only give him half.
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Old 11-10-2009, 10:46 PM   #6
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Hot water will kill the beneficial bacteria. Your feeding schedule sounds fine. At this point I would do water changes without disturbing the gravel because you want to get the beneficial bacteria growing and dont need to disturb them right now. After a month or two you can start vacuuming the gravel with your water changes.
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