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Old 06-26-2013, 04:34 PM   #1
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Hello...and Help

Before and since setting up our family aquarium I have been doing a lot of research online and more often found all the best tips and advice on your forum, so have decided for the sake of my Aquarium plants and fish I should join.

I set up an Aquael aquarium Econline Oval - 45 liters tank for my children back at the end of April. Luckily for the fish I went and sought the advice from the local store, that I was told have the healthiest fish.

The tank was set up with filter, heater, plants and left to cycle for three weeks. I then got the store to test the water for me on the 23rd May, they said the nitrite (0.1 mg/l) and nitrate (10 mg/l) were still too high so I got Söll biobooster and by the 29th we were able to introduce our first fish, 3 Platys. Next came 6 neon tetras on the 1st June then 3 guppies on the 4th. All settled in very well and when the guppies arrived the tank really came alive which also gave me 2 very happy children. TV? what tv?...we have fish!

I am also using Söll Eisenmix FE and mineralmix for the plants (1 Egeria densa, 1 Echinodorus grisebachil "Bleherae", 1 Cryptocoryne wendtil "Gruen", 1 Pogostemon helferi, 3 (1 split into 3) Anubias barteri var. nana and 1 Echinodorus Dschungelstar Nr2. "Kleiner Baer").

All was good and weekly changes were being done, daily counting of neons took place as they never seemed to swim together, and then on Saturday 22nd June the neon count = 1. I must say the week prior to this we had sore temps of high 30's here in Germany so not sure if that had anything to do with things.

We started hunting and finally found 4 carcasses of the 5 missing fish, one we never found. I did a 20% water change that day and took water off to be tested. (results PH 8.5 too high, KH 7, NO3 0, NO2 0, NH3 0, PO4 0,25 and GE 14) .

I have been told to go back next week to get the water check again, as I took water in after the water change which could explain the high PH. I then bought a Sera water testing kit for future use.

My BIG problem now is I have no idea why they died and why 1 survived and even worse the platys look like they have very red gills but not sure if I am imagining things or if they always did? Also the yellow male guppy looks like he has a red back which I am sure he never did.

I did a quick check of the water myself today with the kit and PH is now 8 NH4 0, KH 10 and PO4 0.5.

I am hoping to find some guidance on here as to what I should do next. Having lost 5 fish so quickly I am so worried about the others and of course the poor lonely neon is a really worry but I do not want to get any new tetras until I know all is okay.

Re the neons we got them all from the same tank at the store but as soon as we got them in the tank they split into a group of 5 and 1. The kids have decided that "red" the name they gave the single one is the one that has survived.

Apologies for so much information on an introductory message. I look forward to becoming more informed and able to help others one day.

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Old 06-27-2013, 02:54 PM   #2
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With all of the fish dying soo rapidly it shows that there was a huge spike in something. Two of the main culprits imho could be either Ammonia or pH.

What I am worried about is your new measurement of 0 nitrates. Are you sure the test is being done correctly? In a cycled tank there should almost never be a 0 nitrate reading although I have had this happen to my planted tanks before.

Have you tested the difference in ph between your day / night cycles? In unbuffered water the pH can swing rapidly after the lights go out, especially when plants are involved. A large enough pH swing could have potentially killed your fish.

Did you move around anything in the tank before the fish died? Disturbing the gravel / sand can release stagnant pockets of ammonia in the tank potentially causing an ammonia spike.

You might have also overdosed some of your fertilizers. I can't read german so I am not sure about the specifics of those ferts, but it is generally accepted that a weekly 50% water change is a necessity in a fertilized tank to prevent large buildups of unutilized fertilizer in the tank.

Overall a 20% water change isn't going to do a whole lot to refresh things in a tank. You are only removing 20% of the contaminants in a tank when you do that much of a water change. I don't even bother with less than a 50% change anymore.
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:45 PM   #3
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Old 06-27-2013, 06:02 PM   #4
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Old 06-27-2013, 06:21 PM   #5
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If you only have a 45 liter tank (just under 12 US gallons) you did way too many fish way to fast IMO. I would think you should slow down a bit
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:38 PM   #6
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Mebbid - Thanks fror your advice, I re tested the PH during lights off cycle and still 8. I also checked the Nitrates today and it was 10mg/l. checked with the store and they use the same make of kit as I have so not sure what was going on. I stocked the tank as told to by the store but will know better in future (Try-na). They are also the ones that said nitrite and nitrate should be 0.

Nothing was moved in the tank, but I checking the filter hose and was rather kalked up (we have really hard water over here) so not sure if that means not enough O2 was getting into tank. It has all been clean out now.

I think like you say maybe it was the fertilisers. Now not sure what to do about them. I was doing both every week, I'll try them on alternate weeks. I'd rather lose some plants than anymore fish. And this weekend I'll start doing 50% changes.

It is so good to talk to people that know what they are talking about...and speak the same language.

I am worried about my single neon do they cope okay on their own? All the other fish seem fine at the moment.

Should I do water tests before or after a water change and how long does the water take to settle after a water change. I understand the Nitrogen cycle but not how quick the cycle is.

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