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Old 03-12-2005, 01:28 PM   #1
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All Fish Died now there's mold growing in my tank! :(

Last week I had a trauma... All of my fish died within 4 hours. :'( I woke up in the morning to see that my 2 convicts and algae eater had fungal clouds over their eyes. My Ghosdt knife was COVERED in a fungus type blanket that almost looked like a white layer of skin it was so bad! I had no choice I had to go to work in a hurry. I had a four hour day, and I rushed to the pet store, got some fungus and bacteria meds and by the time I got home, they were ALL dead and my water was very cloudy. I also had 2 Jewel Cichlids that had recently hatched fry. I forgot to mention, both parents in the morning looked perfectly healthy and were acting fine. They were victims as well. Now my tank has no fish. I have it circulating with some meds in it to see if i can help it from happening again.

I have always done 20-50% water changes weekly, and my Ammonia is around 1.0, Nitrite and Nitrate levels are both 0. Now I'm noticing fuzzy looking mold type growth on all of my rocks. It looks whitish and it is slimy. What happened to my tank? I am lost and there's no way I'm buying more fish until I know 100% what's going on. Please help! :'(
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29 Gal Glass
1 Penguin 170 with BioWheel
1 Regent filter
Black Trim and Black wooden stand.
5 Cherry Barbs
Black Gravel
1 Amazon Sword
A few dark brown decoritive rocks.
Round air stone within the gravel bed.
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Old 03-12-2005, 01:34 PM   #2
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Sorry, my specs are not correct. I';ve been offline for a long time and it has changed.

Before this incident I had:

29 Gal freshwater
1 Penguin 170 w/ biowheel and a cheapo walmart filter
100W heater
A 24" Flourecent SunGlo
A few Brazilian sword plants
2 Black striped Convicts
2 Neon Jewel Cichlids with fry
1 Pleco
1 Black Ghost Knife

This incident happened probably a little more than a week after the fry hatched, just in case it's relevant. But they have had fry before (although none made it without being lunch) and there were never any issues.
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29 Gal Glass
1 Penguin 170 with BioWheel
1 Regent filter
Black Trim and Black wooden stand.
5 Cherry Barbs
Black Gravel
1 Amazon Sword
A few dark brown decoritive rocks.
Round air stone within the gravel bed.
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Old 03-12-2005, 01:50 PM   #3
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Ever vacuum your gravel? My first thought was "detritus overload."
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Old 03-12-2005, 01:53 PM   #4
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Sorry to hear that! Maybe I'm not noticing something but I would have thought that your water parameters of Ammonia 1.0 and 0 Nitrite and Nitrate wouldn't have been the best conditions for your fish!? But like I said, maybe I'm not noticing something!?
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Old 03-12-2005, 03:24 PM   #5
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How long has this tank been set up? From your parameters description, the tank could not have been cycled (all cycled tanks show a 0 ammonia reading and definite nitrate reading).
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Old 03-12-2005, 05:40 PM   #6
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my tank has been set up since last august about. And my substrate is sand and i keep it very cleaned regularly and i also stir it up a little bit when i clean it off. I've had all the same fish since last year and this is the 1st real problem i've ever had. I still dont know what the white fuzz is all ove rmy rocks though. What am I doing wrong as far as cycling the tank? It's been good for a while, and I've had 0 ammonia up until it got all cloudy after the fish all died. I use regular activated carbon filters and I don't do anything to remove nitrates, except for a little bit ago i was using a water treater that removes ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, chlorine and chlorimine when i did water changes. I have an airstone going all the time. What am I missing? And how can I tell if the disease or fungus is still there?
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29 Gal Glass
1 Penguin 170 with BioWheel
1 Regent filter
Black Trim and Black wooden stand.
5 Cherry Barbs
Black Gravel
1 Amazon Sword
A few dark brown decoritive rocks.
Round air stone within the gravel bed.
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Old 03-12-2005, 05:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
I use regular activated carbon filters and I don't do anything to remove nitrates, except for a little bit ago i was using a water treater that removes ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, chlorine and chlorimine when i did water changes
This could be part of your problem. A cycled tank does not require additives to remove ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. What product did you use and when? Also, have you added any new fish recently? There may have been an infected fish (but you would have observed some signs of distress or symptoms if it were a disease).

As you state, this occurred over the course of @ 4 hours. I'm not an expert on diseases, but this was very quick.
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Old 03-12-2005, 11:04 PM   #8
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I was using AmQuel + to remove chlorine and chloromine from the water during water changes. Although it would remove nitrates, nitrites and ammonia, I was not having any problems with those levels at all. Ammonia was always very low and nitrates and nitrites were as well. The fish I had in the tank that died have all been there since last year and doing well. The only thing I'm thikning of that would have cause the convicts, knife and pleco to show the infection that morning and NOT the parent Jewel Cichlids was maybe because the parent jewels were stressing out the other fish protecting their fry and making the others more susceptible to the infections, but they appeared perfectly fine that morning as opposed to the others who were showing problems. It's weird. Nothing was wrong the night before, and I always check my tank before I shut the lights off.

Still, can anybody tell me what the white fuzzy stuff is yet? A friend was over today and says his tank had it but it never go bad. Is it just an algae that's growing cause there's no fish there to eat it up any more?
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29 Gal Glass
1 Penguin 170 with BioWheel
1 Regent filter
Black Trim and Black wooden stand.
5 Cherry Barbs
Black Gravel
1 Amazon Sword
A few dark brown decoritive rocks.
Round air stone within the gravel bed.
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Old 03-12-2005, 11:22 PM   #9
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Without seeing it, I would not try to guess what it was. Again, you say that this happened very quickly. An algae growth of that propotion would have been noticed, as well as if it were a fungal disease.

I would PM TankGirl. She is probably more informative about this.
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Old 03-13-2005, 01:50 AM   #10
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You say that your Ammonia, Nitrate, and Nitrite levels have always been low. What do you mean by "low"? A weekly water change of anything over 25% is a pretty hefty water change in a tank that size. How often did you change your filter cartridges? I'm just trying to get a feel for what you do on water changes.

I sympathize with you. We are currently going through a period of sickness in the 150 gal tank. Fish are dying at a rate of 1 per day. They all look fine and an hour later one is laying on his back on the bottom of the tank.
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Old 03-13-2005, 04:08 AM   #11
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I have never eard anything exactly like that. So I am not sure, could have been a fungal bloom or a bacterial bloom.

I would start again, bleach everything that gets wet. Rinse thouroughy and let dry in the sun. With everything sterilised put the gravel and heater back in. get rid of all cartriges and use sponges in thier place easier and simpler to deal with. Don't worry about charcoal except when removing meds from water.

Cycle your tank fishless using detergent and fragrence free ammonia. get the NH3 up to 1 ppm and keep it there. Test until the cycle is finished. Then do a 50% water change and add fish. Try a lower bioload, less fish for a while.

I used charcoal for a few years with no major drama, but now that I don't use it there is less hassle and expense replacing it.
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Old 03-13-2005, 08:32 AM   #12
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I'm sorry to hear what you're going through on your 150gal as well. I wish you luck with that.

As far as my water changes, once a week I try to do a 25% change. Don't get me wrong, I get busy sometimes so I wait longer. As far as my cartiges go, I use filter fiber behind them and I usually replace that every 2 weeks, give or take. The actual cartriges I replace whenever I feel they are dirty enough, which is probably once a month, sometimes longer. I don't think I lose any biological filtration because of the biowheel, and I usually don't replace both cartiges at once. I know the water changes seem hefty, but I like to keep it as fresh as I can so the fish are happy. I think it was helping the parents reproduce too, cause this was the 2nd time they laid probably 200 eggs within a month.

But still I don't know about one of my main concerns. Is the white fuzz on my rocks an algae that's ok, or is it bad? Thanks for all of your help!
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"We can't learn unless we make mistakes"
-Old algebra teacher, Mr. Jones

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29 Gal Glass
1 Penguin 170 with BioWheel
1 Regent filter
Black Trim and Black wooden stand.
5 Cherry Barbs
Black Gravel
1 Amazon Sword
A few dark brown decoritive rocks.
Round air stone within the gravel bed.
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Old 03-13-2005, 08:33 AM   #13
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I'm sorry to hear what you're going through on your 150gal as well. I wish you luck with that.

As far as my water changes, once a week I try to do a 25% change. Don't get me wrong, I get busy sometimes so I wait longer. As far as my cartiges go, I use filter fiber behind them and I usually replace that every 2 weeks, give or take. The actual cartriges I replace whenever I feel they are dirty enough, which is probably once a month, sometimes longer. I don't think I lose any biological filtration because of the biowheel, and I usually don't replace both cartiges at once. I know the water changes seem hefty, but I like to keep it as fresh as I can so the fish are happy. I think it was helping the parents reproduce too, cause this was the 2nd time they laid probably 200 eggs within a month.

But still I don't know about one of my main concerns. Is the white fuzz on my rocks an algae that's ok, or is it bad? Thanks for all of your help!

P.S. My water is clearing up again since the incident. I tested my levels last night and I had 1 Amm, 0 nitrate, 0 nitrite. Maybe there's something I'm not getting about the nitrogen cycle, cause it's been steady for a long time now and I would think the cycle is overwith by now. Maybe it's cause I used to use AmQuel+ during water changes?
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"We can't learn unless we make mistakes"
-Old algebra teacher, Mr. Jones

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29 Gal Glass
1 Penguin 170 with BioWheel
1 Regent filter
Black Trim and Black wooden stand.
5 Cherry Barbs
Black Gravel
1 Amazon Sword
A few dark brown decoritive rocks.
Round air stone within the gravel bed.
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Old 03-13-2005, 01:47 PM   #14
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It looks like your tank is re-cycling. This can be caused from using water that wasn't dechlorinated that contains water additives, cleaning the tank too much, or a chemical that was added to the tank that killed the bacterial colonies. I have heard of some chemical products that claim to leave the colonies alone, but in reality, they kill them, causing the tank to completly re-cycle.
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Old 03-13-2005, 02:40 PM   #15
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Well that's no good! I don't want to wait for a recycle. I'll keep an eye on my parameters and keep you posted. If that's the case, then would I get away with using any store-bought bacteria to get a better start? I saw one called Cycle, and it claims(probably like all of them) that you can add fish the same day you use it. Any suggestions on that?

And I still want to make sure the white fuzz is normal. It's not on every rock. It's on a couple smaller ones and it seems to be a little on one of my sword plants.

Thanks again!
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"We can't learn unless we make mistakes"
-Old algebra teacher, Mr. Jones

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29 Gal Glass
1 Penguin 170 with BioWheel
1 Regent filter
Black Trim and Black wooden stand.
5 Cherry Barbs
Black Gravel
1 Amazon Sword
A few dark brown decoritive rocks.
Round air stone within the gravel bed.
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Old 03-13-2005, 05:19 PM   #16
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A tip about the amequel. I worked once at petmart and spoke with an EXTREME fish specialist. He was a head honcho in the everglades restoration, and he told me once that ammonia detoxifiers should only be used in emergencies. Since you remove the ammonia, you remove a link in the nitrogen cycle, therefor killing your fish. He said that using amequel can seem normal for a few months, then suddenly.........BOOM dead!! I dont know if that is what happened, but I strongly urge you not to use it. Also, know that ammonia hides in the gravel, so be sure to get atleast 50% of the water that you remove, from the gravel, so you can lower the ammonia that way. there will be plenty left for the cycle after that.
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Old 03-13-2005, 05:45 PM   #17
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Hi Relic,
It does seem like your tank is going through a mini-cycle. Don't use the Cycle additive. Just keep up with your water changes and testing, and you'll cycle again soon.

How are you dosing the Amquel+ ? I just use the regular Amquel. Only use the amount suggested on the bottle for dechloinating your tap water initially. Don't add more into your tank to try to remove the ammonia in the tank now. You'll just interfere with the cycle.

As for the white fuzzy stuff, I suspect that could be a result of too much Amquel+ interfering with the biological filter. It could also be a result of your filter cartridge changing routine, and the fact that your tank does not have perfect parameters now. By "perfect", I mean 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and 20-40 ppm nitrates. I used to get some white fuzzy stuff in bare bottom QT tanks. I always thought it was a result of not having a good biological filter in the QT tank, since I never had fuzzy stuff in one of my main tanks.

A 25% water change once a week is fine. Most people do a 20-25% change once a week. Do you have 2 cartridges on your filter? Try not to replace them as often. Just swish them in some removed tank water to remove any big pieces of debris. As you do a water change, swish them in the old water, and then put them back. The bio-wheel is your main source of bacteria, and I know you don't change both cartridges at once, but something seems to be throwing your cycle off.

So anyway, hope that helps. When the tank's parameters are back to normal, the white fuzz should go away. In the meantime, keep removing it with your gravel vac.
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Old 03-13-2005, 06:58 PM   #18
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Thanks for all of your help. I checked my levels again just now and they are the same. 1.0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrates and 0 nitrites. I haven't done a water change since yesterday afternoon. Everything's the same. Water is a little hazy, white fuzz growning on a couple rocks. As far as the Amequel I haven't used that in months. I've been using a Jungle brand chlorine, chloromine and ammonia remover. So if I need the tank to recycle, is my best bet now to just getting a chlorine/chloromine remover and maybe Ammo Lock to keep the ammonia detoxified? Or should I just leave the ammonia be altogether so it can cycle. Another thing I'm wondering is why my water is still hazy with only 1.0 Ammonia and everything completely cleaned off. Thanks again for all of your help guys
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29 Gal Glass
1 Penguin 170 with BioWheel
1 Regent filter
Black Trim and Black wooden stand.
5 Cherry Barbs
Black Gravel
1 Amazon Sword
A few dark brown decoritive rocks.
Round air stone within the gravel bed.
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Old 03-13-2005, 07:18 PM   #19
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While the tank is cycling do not add any chemicals. The ammonia of 1 is normal. Do not add any fish until it is cycled but suppliment with an ammonia additive to keep the cycle going. Once you have 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrites, and present Nitrates, do a pwc (do not gravel vac at ALL) and add fish. Do not use an Ammonia Detoxifier. Just let the tank be until it's cycled.
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Old 03-13-2005, 09:40 PM   #20
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Ok. Sounds fine to me. One final question. I'm moving in a little less than 2 months. I'm going to let it cycle and I should be able to keep my biowheels, filters and some rocks in some tank water when I move, and it shouldn't affect the bio-filtration much when I set it up again right?

Another thing. If I did mess up my bio filtration with a product, is there anywhere I can go to find out what it was? I used to use AmeQuel+, but stopped a couple months ago. I've been using Jungle Labs start right to remove ammonia chlorine and chloromine during water changes. Other than that, nothing. I wish I knew what went wrong in the first place
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29 Gal Glass
1 Penguin 170 with BioWheel
1 Regent filter
Black Trim and Black wooden stand.
5 Cherry Barbs
Black Gravel
1 Amazon Sword
A few dark brown decoritive rocks.
Round air stone within the gravel bed.
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