Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 08-11-2022, 04:32 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2022
Posts: 3
Need Help

So I’m relatively new to the hobby and I keep running into problems.
First 2 of my Guppies have completely disappeared from my tank and i have no idea where they went, no bodies. Than my fish got the ich (I believe it was after i introduced my pleco to the tank, bought it from a fish store).
The past 2 days my bristlenose pleco was bloated and not eating and today it sunk to the bottom of the tank, went stomach up and rip
Not sure what I am doing wrong but it’s very discouraging. I do water changes monthly, did it daily for a small period after i medicated for the ich. I feed the guppies daily and the pleco would be fed a blanched zucchini twice a week. I’m constantly checking water parameters and everything looks fine.
Could somebody help with what i’m doing wrong

Edit: attached are pics of my pleco before he died
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	0866DCC8-6592-4B66-A14A-AF545FAC18CE.jpg
Views:	13
Size:	188.2 KB
ID:	323836   Click image for larger version

Name:	85C87BAD-A1D4-4945-9965-4E8D64C5EE52.jpg
Views:	12
Size:	212.8 KB
ID:	323837  


__________________
Carpy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2022, 04:39 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 4,206
Can you give some more details on the tank please.

- Size of tank. Numbers types of fish. How long has the tank been set up.
- Water parameters. pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate. Actual numbers, not everything looks fine. What test kit are you using?
- Typical water change schedule. How much, how often.
- How did you treat for ich?
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2022, 05:23 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2022
Posts: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aiken Drum View Post
Can you give some more details on the tank please.

- Size of tank. Numbers types of fish. How long has the tank been set up.
- Water parameters. pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate. Actual numbers, not everything looks fine. What test kit are you using?
- Typical water change schedule. How much, how often.
- How did you treat for ich?
20Gal, initially 8 guppies and 1 pleco, now 6 guppies. Tank has been set up for 3 months.

I use this test kit- https://www.amazon.ca/EASYTEST-Aquarium-Freshwater-Accurate-Carbonate/dp/B09MYP96GT
It reads nitrate, nitrite & chlorine are 0, hardness 75, carbonate 80 & PH 6.8

Normally i do a 25% change every month

For ich I used ICH guard-https://www.petsmart.ca/fish/food-and-care/disease-treatment/tetra-aquarium-ick-guard-5016501.html?gbraid=0AAAAAC2gTWIvfSgDlwdXaHgvpYbNk fyHs&gclid=CjwKCAjw0dKXBhBPEiwA2bmObYnYJIcKoCKaTuN oozaSJMst6gUJHsVxA0mtzcXCUTTRBMy3RjhmYxoCp7UQAvD_B wE&gclsrc=aw.ds

I followed the instructions on the box, removing carbon filter, dropping 2 tablets in, and did a 25% water change, daily for 3 days
__________________
Carpy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2022, 05:41 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 4,206
You arent cycled.

You need a proper test kit. A liquid test kit that covers pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate would be best. I would suggest API Freshwater Master Testkit. If not that you need something that at least tests for ammonia.

Until you are able to test for ammonia i would change at least 30% of the water daily. Once you get an ammonia test you need to get the tank cycled.

All of your issues stem from not being cycled. This causes poor water conditions. Not being able to test for ammonia means its gone unnoticed. Poor water quality causes all sorts of health issues. 25% monthly water changes isnt enough to properly manage water quality when you are cycled. It is nowhere near enough to manage water quality when you arent cycled.

What do you understand about the nitrogen cycle?

Do you know how to cycle a tank?
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2022, 02:17 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2022
Posts: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aiken Drum View Post
You arent cycled.

You need a proper test kit. A liquid test kit that covers pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate would be best. I would suggest API Freshwater Master Testkit. If not that you need something that at least tests for ammonia.

Until you are able to test for ammonia i would change at least 30% of the water daily. Once you get an ammonia test you need to get the tank cycled.

All of your issues stem from not being cycled. This causes poor water conditions. Not being able to test for ammonia means its gone unnoticed. Poor water quality causes all sorts of health issues. 25% monthly water changes isnt enough to properly manage water quality when you are cycled. It is nowhere near enough to manage water quality when you arent cycled.

What do you understand about the nitrogen cycle?

Do you know how to cycle a tank?
Hey! Thanks for the help!
I ended up getting the API master kit for freshwater. It seems my nitrite, nitrate and ammonia were all 0ppm but my pH was an 8.2. I think this would explain the ich outbreak that i had.
I bought some of the API pH down bottle to help with this.

Could you explain what you mean by cycling a tank?
__________________
Carpy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2022, 03:51 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 4,206
The nitrogen cycle is the natural processes that go on in your tank that convert ammonia into less harmful substances.

Ammonia gets into your tank through various pathways. Fish waste, decaying uneaten food, and dead, decaying plants are common ammonia sources in an aquarium. Its also possible your tap water is an ammonia source. Chloramine is a common water treatment and when treated with most water conditioners the bond in the chloramine breaks and releases ammonia into the water.

Ammonia can be toxic to fish, depending on how much there is, and what the pH and temperature of your tank water is.

The first stage of the nitrogen cycle is the removal of ammonia. If you have real plants in your tank some of this ammonia will be absorbed as part of their natural growth. Generally though ammonia is consumed by denitrifying bacteria that lives mostly on your filter media. These bacteria consume the ammonia and produce nitrite. Unfortunately nitrite is pretty much as toxic to fish as ammonia.

The second stage of the nitrogen cycle is the removal of nitrite. A different denitrifying bacteria will consume the nitrite and produce nitrate. Nitrate is much less harmful than ammonia and nitrite, and for most aquariums the nitrogen cycle ends there. Excess nitrate is removed through your regular water changes.

A further stage of the nitrogen cycle can also happen, but its difficult to remove all the nitrate from a typical freshwater aquarium. Plants will absorb some nitrate in a similar manner to how it absorbs ammonia to grow. There are also nitrifying bacteria that consumes nitrate and gives off nitrogen gas which will simply offgas from your aquarium. This nitrifying bacteria is difficult to grow in freshwater aquarium.

“Cycling” a tank is the process you go through to grow denitrifying bacteria in your aquarium to consume ammonia and nitrite. You are said to be “cycled” when you have enough bacteria to consume all the ammonia and nitrite that your tank produces and turns all of it into nitrate. If you test the water of a cycled tank you should see 0 ammonia and nitrite and some nitrate.
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2022, 03:57 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 4,206
The TLDR version. Cycling a tank is the process you go through to grow enough beneficial bacteria to consume all the ammonia your tank produces and turn it into less toxic nitrate.

Your water test results are a little odd, but could be explained if you have been doing the recommended water changes and you have been artificially reducing the waste in the water. If you havent been doing these water changes i would check you did the tests properly as they would be impossible. The nitrogen cycle produces nitrate. In a cycled tank you would see some nitrate. In an uncycled tank you would see ammonia and/ or nitrite depending on how far progressed your cycle is.

Ill follow this up with a method of cycling a tank when you already have fish.
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2022, 03:58 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 4,206
To cycle a tank you need to grow denitrifying bacteria to consume ammonia and nitrite that your tank produces. The bacteria needs an ammonia source to grow colonies sufficient in size to consume all the ammonia and resultant nitrite and turn it into nitrate which typically you remove through your regular water changes.

A fish in cycle uses fish waste as an ammonia source and regular water changes are undertaken to ensure that water parameters are maintained at relatively non toxic levels.

Set up your tank. Make sure everything is running smoothly. Make sure you have used a water conditioner product with any tap water you have put in your tank. Seachem Prime is a water conditioner that will also detoxify some ammonia for a day or two, so is a good choice for a water conditioner while cycling a tank with fish.

You should have a test kit. Preferably a liquid test kit. It should test for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.

In ideal circumstances you should be starting a fishless cycle with a low bioload (number of fish). 1 small fish per 10 gallons/40 litres is a good number of fish, but this can be tweaked a little for fish that are social and don’t do well on their own. Ideally a hardy type of fish. You may have fully stocked (or overstocked) your tank before you knew about cycling. In these circumstances, if its not possible to return fish, you will have to make the best of it.

If you haven’t already done so, add your fish. Acclimate them to the water in your tank before doing so.

Feed lightly to start with. Daily as much as is eaten in 2 minutes, or as much as is eaten in 3 minutes every 2 days. You can increase to full feedings if you are confident your parameters aren’t getting too elevated too quickly and water changes don’t become a daily thing.

Start to regularly test the water for ammonia and nitrite. At least daily. Depending on your bioload you could start to see ammonia quite quickly. Nitrite will likely take a little longer to appear.

Your target should be to keep ammonia + nitrite combined no higher than 0.5ppm by changing water whenever your water parameters exceed this target. 0.5ppm combined is a level of waste that is sufficient for your cycle to establish but relatively safe for your fish.

If you see 0.5ppm ammonia and 0.0ppm nitrite (0.5ppm combined) then leave things be. If you see 0.5ppm ammonia and 0.25ppm nitrite (0.75ppm combined) then change 1/3 of the water. If you see 0.25ppm ammonia and 0.75ppm nitrite (1.0ppm combined) then change 1/2 the water. If water parameters get worse than these levels it may require multiple daily 50% water changes to maintain safe water conditions. This is more likely to happen with a fully stocked tank.

Remember to add water conditioner whenever you put tap water in the tank.

Over time the frequency of water changes and amount you need to change to maintain your ammonia + nitrite combined target will reduce. You can also start testing for nitrate and should see this rising. If you are finding the ammonia and nitrite in your tests are consistently low, and you aren’t already fully stocked, you can add a few more fish. It may take a few weeks to get to this point.

Once you add a few more fish, continue to regularly test the water and continue to change water if you exceed the 0.5ppm combined ammonia + nitrite target. With added bioload the frequency of water changes and amount you need to change may increase again until your cycle has caught up. Again once you are consistently seeing low ammonia and nitrite you can add some more fish. Rinse and repeat with testing, water changes, and adding fish when safe to do so until you are fully stocked.

You can then cut back on water changes to control nitrate only. Typically you want to keep nitrate no higher than 40ppm, but I would recommend changing some water every 2 weeks even if your water test says you don’t need to.

A fish in cycle from an empty tank to fully stocked can take several months.

A good way to speed up this process would be to put a small amount of filter media from an established filter into your filter, or get a sponge from an established filter and squeeze it into your tank water. Perhaps you have a friend who keeps fish who could let you have some? This will seed your filter with the bacteria you are trying to grow and speed up the process.

Another option is bottled bacteria like Dr Tims One + Only or Tetra Safestart. These products wont instantly cycle a tank as they claim but in a similar manner to adding established filter media they can seed your filter with the bacteria you are trying to grow to establish your cycle. These products are hit and miss as to whether they work at all, but are an option if established filter media isnt obtainable and may speed up the process from several months to several weeks.
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
HELP!!!! NEED REAL HELP!!!! Guppy help!!!! sholi Freshwater & Brackish - Unhealthy Fish 15 10-10-2011 11:34 PM
Help help help parisites need ergent help Tetra98 Freshwater & Brackish - Unhealthy Fish 6 06-17-2011 05:30 PM
Help help help help help!!!!! FishCrazyBenBOMB Freshwater & Brackish - Unhealthy Fish 6 11-21-2008 08:03 PM
need help ASAP PLZ!!! Need to know if i need water change Jonathan G. Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 8 02-28-2005 09:10 PM
help help help need to know what is the best set up for me fishand jeeps Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 3 09-17-2003 08:24 PM







» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:47 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.