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Old 03-27-2013, 05:35 PM   #1
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Strange Tank Goings-on

Hello,
I was hoping that someone could give me answers as to the condition of my tank. It's a 20gal and has been set up for probably three years. I stocked it about a week ago with four blue ram cichlids and a pleco, after the previous inhabitant (a black convict) died from a very bad case of parasitic and possibly fungal issues. I scrubbed the tank and siphoned half of the water out, treated the water with medicine and conditioner, and let it run with a carbon filter for a week. At the moment, the fish seem healthy enough, if not very active, but there's a lot of tank issues that I've never had before. There's a film on the top of the water, with bubbles trapped. bubbles are now on the rock that's growing algae, and there are small white dot-stringy things on the side of the tank that I believe is more of the parasite/fungus problem. I also believe that my pH is too high, but what could be causing the bubbles and fungus, and any ideas on how I can fix it?
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:43 PM   #2
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Welcome to AA!!! Ok, lets try and figure out whats going on here. Do you have liquid tests for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate & ph? What do these read? What type of meds/other products have you added to the tank (specifically)? What type of water change schedule do you have? Can you post a pic of what you are seeing so we may be able to help ID it? Thanks!
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Old 03-28-2013, 01:10 AM   #3
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JLK:

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlk View Post
Welcome to AA!!! Ok, lets try and figure out whats going on here. Do you have liquid tests for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate & ph? What do these read? What type of meds/other products have you added to the tank (specifically)? What type of water change schedule do you have? Can you post a pic of what you are seeing so we may be able to help ID it? Thanks!
I don't have any tips handy but I can bring some water into work tomorrow to test. I tested the water before I added the new fish and everything was reading good, with the exception of a highish pH (I've read that Blue Rams prefer a lower pH). I'll let you know tomorrow what everything's reading. I added all I could find when I discovered that my convict was ill - I used it up and threw away the bottle, but I know that it was an ich-specific but was also supposed to help with other parisitic issues. It was a month expired, I think, but it was all I had and it was too late to get anything else. After my fish died and I removed him and the pleco, I scrubbed the filter out and the tank as well, and changed fifty percent of the water. I added new water, API StressZyme, and waited a couple of days to put the pleco back in. I tested a water sample a few days later and everything was reading pretty normal, and when everything in the tank was looking good a few days after that I brought home the four Blue Rams. I live in an area with hard water, and I've never treated the tank with StressZyme before because my fish have never had a problem with it. If I can figure out how to include pictures, I will.

Okay, I tried uploading them to this website in an album after Photobucket didn't work, but it still said that i was using a 'remote location.' How can I upload pics to a post? I'll keep the ones in a the album up still with explanations, but I would like to know...


I don't think that the illness that was in my tank is quite eliminated, but knowing what I should be treating for would be nice. My convict had thick cottony growth, and cloudy eyes. (The female Ram from above has spots of cottony white on her tail and all the fish are a weird colour right now.)
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:24 AM   #4
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Uploading pics here is pretty easy!

From your computer: Hit the 'go advanced' reply button below. A new screen will pop up. At the top of the msg box are a bunch of icons. Click the 'paperclip' icon and you can 'browse' your computers files for pics you want to upload (click browse button).

From a cell/app: Hit the reply button. On the top of the screen on the right side is a '+' sign. Click this and you can upload pics from your cell library or take a new pic and upload it. You will not see the pics in your reply after uploading but they will appear when you post it.

Ok, we really need to know your water parameters for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and ph. I suspect most of your issues stem from a water quality problem. I would invest in a good liquid test kit such as the API fw master test kit and a bottle of Prime to start. Healthy water does wonders for fish and this may be all you need at the moment to get them on the path to recovery. Hard water is really not a concern here.

What type of water conditioner do you have? Stress zyme is not a water conditioner but a bacteria product.
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:27 PM   #5
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Urrgh. I was trying the 'insert image' button.

So the first is my full tank set-up. I typically have live plants in there as well, but I don't want to put them back in until I see what's going on.

The second is a better shot of the bubbles and film on the top, as well as a photobombing Ram. She's seems to have spots of white cottony growth on her, so I'll have to watch that.

The third is a rock with bubbles on the algae growth. It's the only spot in the tank with so much growth, as well as so many bubbles.

I also tested my water at work today. The nitrate, nitrite, and chlorine levels are safe, my water is very hard, I have a high alkalinity as well as 7.8 pH. The ammonia level is in between stressful and harmful, so I'll need to bring that down.
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:48 PM   #6
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What type of water conditioner are you using? Some can cause bubbles/foaminess. Whatever med you used may be responsible as well. Not quite sure what is on your rock but I would remove it and give a good scrub in plain dechlorinated water (no soap). What type of lights do you have?

Amzaon sells the API fw master test kits very reasonably. I would not trust the strips you are using at all. Any amount of ammonia is harmful and strips tend to underestimate amounts by quite a large amount. Theres also no such thing as a 'safe' level of nitrite or chlorine. Nitrates should be under 20ppm. I would do a 50% wc with temperature matched, properly conditioned water right now. Wait an hour or two then do another. Repeat again tomorrow. Cloudy eyes are a classic symptom of high levels of ammonia in a tank.

Lets start with getting your tank in order before addressing anything else. Heres a link on fish-in cycling- worth reading as you are presently in the midst of a fish-in cycle with ammonia in your tank.

I just learned about cycling but I already have fish. What now?! - Aquarium Advice
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Old 03-29-2013, 02:52 PM   #7
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By "safe," I mean that there is not any. The tests came back clear. I do not use a water conditioner, which could very well be my problem, which I can address. However, is it a fungal or bacterial problem in my tank as well?
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:54 PM   #8
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Do you have public water or a private well?
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Old 03-30-2013, 02:36 AM   #9
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Public water
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Old 03-30-2013, 03:49 AM   #10
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You realize they put clorine and chlorimine in the water right. Tou must neutralize it first
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Old 03-30-2013, 04:00 AM   #11
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Matt,

My water tests have come up negative for those chemicals. I understand that they can end up in the waters but I've usually kept hardy fish. The Rams are new for me, and I just want to know what's in my tank.
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:28 AM   #12
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If you have public water, you must use a good dechlorinator/conditioner. Your tank is also not cycled and likely will not properly cycle with it being disinfected by your tap water on a regular basis. The disinfectant in your water is likely making your fish sick in addition to the high levels of ammonia. Chlorine/chloramine burns the eyes, slime coat and gills of fish making it difficult for them to breath (ammonia does the same thing). Combined with high ammonia, this is a very deadly combo.

The strips you are using are NOT accurate. The supposed 'chlorine' indicator does not even register unless you dump a bottle of bleach on it. And thats only for chlorine and does not measure chloramine. Your ammonia levels are likely much higher that what the strips claim. Until you can get your water situation straightened out, your going to continue to fish health and tank problems. Please invest in a bottle of Prime or Amquel Plus and a good liquid test kit so you can accurately test your water and act appropriately with frequent water changes using temperature matched, properly conditioned water. Please ask if you have any questions!
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:15 AM   #13
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If you have public water, you must use a good dechlorinator/conditioner. Your tank is also not cycled and likely will not properly cycle with it being disinfected by your tap water on a regular basis. The disinfectant in your water is likely making your fish sick in addition to the high levels of ammonia. Chlorine/chloramine burns the eyes, slime coat and gills of fish making it difficult for them to breath (ammonia does the same thing). Combined with high ammonia, this is a very deadly combo.

The strips you are using are NOT accurate. The supposed 'chlorine' indicator does not even register unless you dump a bottle of bleach on it. And thats only for chlorine and does not measure chloramine. Your ammonia levels are likely much higher that what the strips claim. Until you can get your water situation straightened out, your going to continue to fish health and tank problems. Please invest in a bottle of Prime or Amquel Plus and a good liquid test kit so you can accurately test your water and act appropriately with frequent water changes using temperature matched, properly conditioned water. Please ask if you have any questions!
X2 on this. The fish don't have a fungus you are seeing the slime coat being destroyed by the choline and ammonia making it appear to be flaking off. That would be my guess.
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