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Old 12-14-2010, 05:54 PM   #1
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Question Foggy/Slimy/Something-ey glass

Hey Everybody

I'm new to the site and hoping for some good advice. I've had my 55 gal tank set up for a few weeks now and in the last few have had horrible ammonia problems (Tiger barbs, turquoise gourami, black ghost knife, 4 line cat all died) but my three parrot fish seem to be coming back, and my others (Golden gourami, electric blue johanni, zebra cichlid, pleco, and blue lobster) weren't really affected by the whole ordeal at all. My levels have since gone down and I think I'm over the hump.

Seems the problem I'm having now is there's some strange white buildup on the interior walls of all four side on my tank, and I haven't a clue what it is. The tank has an air pump, filter, heater, the whole deal, but I don't know what's causing this. We do have hard water where I live and I also have live plants in the tank. Don't know if this info helps at all but I just want to make sure this isn't too big a problem so I can get life back to normal for my fish.
Any and all help is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

-TPM
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Old 12-14-2010, 06:20 PM   #2
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Welcome to AA!

Before you proceed any further, read up on the nitrogen cycle. It sounds like you didn't cycle your tank before adding fish.

Tell us more about your tank. A list of fish, specific equipment models, lighting, etc. will help us give the best answers to your questions. Always, always, ALWAYS list your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels when you post a question. These water parameters are the key indicators of tank health. If you don't have a test kit, get a liquid reagent kit like the API Freshwater Master. The strips are junk.

The white stuff is probably a bacteria bloom caused by poor water conditions. I'd advise you to do a 50% partial water change (PWC) and see if it helps.

You've got an eclectic mix of critters in your tank. Most cichlids don't mix well with anything but other cichlids. Cichlids also tend to tear up plants. It may work for your tank, but consider yourself informed.
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:53 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick response Jim. Let me give you as much info as I can.
Ammonia: 0.25
Ph: 7.6
Tank size: 55gl
Aqua-Tech Power Filter (30-60)
Tetra Whisper air pump (30-60)
Tetra Submersible Heater (30-60)
Aqueon fluorescent lighting (48')

And my current fish roster is as follows:
Golden Gourami
Electric Blue Johanni
Red Top Zebra Cichlid
Pleco
Blue Lobster
Green Parrot
Red Parrot
Yellow Parrot

I know my Ph is high. It spiked recently for some reason. I'm trying to treat it with discus buffer so hopefully it's closer to 7.0 come morning. Also, it looks like I've got an ich problem with my yellow parrot so I'm treating the water for that too. I've left my carbon filters in though because I don't want my ammonia to rise back up.

And you're right about not cycling it. All the pet store folks told me I was ready after I let it run for two weeks. The tank's been running for a little over a month now and it was only in the last week everything went to heck. This info help at all?
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:56 PM   #4
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Oh! I also thought I'd mention the fish are small right now. The biggest is the red parrot (about three inches long), and the Johanni (maybe 2 & 1/2). All the rest are less than 2 inches long.
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Old 12-15-2010, 10:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePrinceMagus View Post
Thanks for the quick response Jim. Let me give you as much info as I can.
Ammonia: 0.25 - This is the absolute highest ammonia level you want to see in your tank. You'll have to do PWCs to keep it below this level. Read on cycling with fish for more information.
Ph: 7.6
Tank size: 55gl
Aqua-Tech Power Filter (30-60) - Consider adding a second filter of this capacity. Manufacturers like to overrate their filters. Take the manufacturer's rating and cut it in half for a practical rating.
Tetra Whisper air pump (30-60) - This isn't really necessary, but it won't hurt to keep it if you like the bubbles.
Tetra Submersible Heater (30-60)
Aqueon fluorescent lighting (48')

And my current fish roster is as follows:
Golden Gourami - This is the odd fish in the mix.
Electric Blue Johanni
Red Top Zebra Cichlid
Pleco- If this is a common pleco, it'll outgrow your tank eventually. This fish is also the main reason to add a second filter. Plecos are messy.
Blue Lobster
Green Parrot
Red Parrot
Yellow Parrot

I know my Ph is high. It spiked recently for some reason. I'm trying to treat it with discus buffer so hopefully it's closer to 7.0 come morning. - Don't mess with your pH. Fish will adapt to the pH and it's not a good idea to use chemicals besides dechlorinator to treat any water conditions.


Also, it looks like I've got an ich problem with my yellow parrot so I'm treating the water for that too. I've left my carbon filters in though because I don't want my ammonia to rise back up. - The ich is due to the fish being stressed by poor water conditions. Keeping the ammonia and nitrites down by doing PWCs will help. I don't believe carbon will remove ammonia.

And you're right about not cycling it. All the pet store folks told me I was ready after I let it run for two weeks. The tank's been running for a little over a month now and it was only in the last week everything went to heck. This info help at all? - LFS people will tell you this because they don't know any better or it's the easy way out for them and they may sell some stuff in the process. You're definitely not the first person to have these kind of problems here. This is good info.
The fish are small now, but they'll grow. It's best to plan for when the fish reach adult size, especially when selecting fish for your tank.
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Old 12-16-2010, 11:54 AM   #6
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Thanks Jim. I did about a 20% PWC and everyone but my red parrot seems to be a lot more energetic today. The Red's giving me trouble because he hasn't eaten in about a week and I don't know what to do.

As far as the white stuff on the side, I took a steel wool to it and got a lot of it off. there's still some in the corners but I'm thinking it could be a type of alge because the Pleco likes to hang out by it. Any other ideas what it might be?
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Old 12-16-2010, 12:12 PM   #7
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Glad to hear your fish are doing better. You may need to do PWCs daily until the tank is fully cycled.

Keeping good water quality is the best way to help your red parrot. You can try offering a variety of foods, but don't overfeed. Overfeeding will degrade your water quality.

I'd still bet on the white stuff being bacteria or fungus. I've never heard of white algae. The pleco may actually be eating the white stuff, but that doesn't make it algae. Plecos will actually eat a variety of foods and some are strictly carnivorous.
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