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Old 03-06-2013, 03:22 AM   #1
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How long til airstone helps?

I've a planted 60 litre in a fish in cycle for the past 4 weeks, prior to that it was going fishless with ammonia but due to issues with nitrite and pH I had to switch to fish in.

The cycle is pretty much complete, 0 Amm, 0 nitrItes pH 7.6 and nitrAtes 10

I lost 4 fish very quickly yesterday with no apparent warning, fitted an airstone figuring it must be an oxygen issue as the rest kept swimming to the top, but today 2 more have died and the rest are looking pretty delicate.

Does this mean its something else that's the issue or does it take time for the airstone to make a difference?

The fish are alternating between staying at the bottom and the top, not really swimming round.
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:53 AM   #2
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I've a planted 60 litre in a fish in cycle for the past 4 weeks, prior to that it was going fishless with ammonia but due to issues with nitrite and pH I had to switch to fish in.

The cycle is pretty much complete, 0 Amm, 0 nitrItes pH 7.6 and nitrAtes 10

I lost 4 fish very quickly yesterday with no apparent warning, fitted an airstone figuring it must be an oxygen issue as the rest kept swimming to the top, but today 2 more have died and the rest are looking pretty delicate.

Does this mean its something else that's the issue or does it take time for the airstone to make a difference?

The fish are alternating between staying at the bottom and the top, not really swimming round.
I would guess you either have a disease or a water issue. I would lean more towards the water. I know you posted the results but what kind of test kit are you using. If they are strips, strips are very inaccurate.
An airstone stone won't make any difference, it's more for gas exchange and water surface movement. A lot of people don't use them and the benefits are debatable. I would do at least a 50% water change as soon as possible.... Ian
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:12 AM   #3
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Sounds to me like the tank is still in it's cycle, and there's ammonia and nitrite. Might have a faulty test kit, and strips aren't very accurate. I'd agree, do at least a 50% PWC.
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:28 AM   #4
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I'm using api liquid tests, this tank went for 3 months with 4ppm ammonia dosing before the pH and nitrites issues, and then the fish were added just to finish the cycle off.

I've done the water change, but I'm confused why you're both sure it's not an oxygen issue, the symptoms match what I've read about oxygen starvation and since I didn't have an airstone and the filter doesn't agitate the water at all I figured it was that, what have I missed?
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:37 AM   #5
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Leave the air stone in. Depending on how high the ammonia and nitrites were when you added fish maybe they had damage you couldn't see and are just now succumbing from it? Though I assume you did a really big water change to get the ammonia as low as possible before adding the fish... Any weird poo? Maybe worms or something else you can't see easily? Just throwing out possibilities.
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:43 AM   #6
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I did do a massive change, more to drop the nitrates and clear the trites than ammonia as that part of the cycle was pretty much complete. There's nothing that I can see, they look completely healthy apart from being lethargic.

They don't seem to be at the top so much now as they were this morning so hopefully the airstone is making a difference, albeit a lot slower than I'd like.
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:53 AM   #7
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Spoke too soon, another one just died. I'm at a loss, totally gutted. 12 fish down to 3 :-(
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:31 PM   #8
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What is your current stock? Most recent water parameters?
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:33 PM   #9
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What is your current stock? Most recent water parameters?
Current- just 3 tiger barbs, all that's left of my stock of 12.

Params Amm 0, trItes 0, trAtes 10 pH 7.6. That was this morning, done a 50% change since then.
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:39 PM   #10
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Well it's not your water parameters that are killing your stock. It could be that the barbs are harassing each other to death, as the tank is pretty small to house all of them. It could also be a disease they came in with. Do the dead fish have any markings on them?
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:55 PM   #11
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There's nothing that I can see at all. My sister had tigers and they bullied each other to death so I did watch then closely, but saw no signs of any harassment. They all swum together, none hid and I didn't notice any chasing.
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:18 PM   #12
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12 was a lot to add at once. Could be it spiked the ammonia and that is what killed them. Tests can be faulty from time to time. Did you acclimate them slowly?
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:41 PM   #13
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I'm using api liquid tests, this tank went for 3 months with 4ppm ammonia dosing before the pH and nitrites issues, and then the fish were added just to finish the cycle off.

I've done the water change, but I'm confused why you're both sure it's not an oxygen issue, the symptoms match what I've read about oxygen starvation and since I didn't have an airstone and the filter doesn't agitate the water at all I figured it was that, what have I missed?
Don't get me wrong, the airstone will do no harm but if your doing a decent water change, anything from 25-50% a week, oxygen would not be an issue..
With respect, are you using the test kit correctly. Your Nitrates seem very low. Make sure you give those bottles a good shake, especially the Nitrate ones....
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:57 AM   #14
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I am sure I'm using the tests correctly, I shake and shake and shake the nitrate bottles til my arms feel like they're falling off. It is a planted tank so I'd expect the plants to take some of the nitrates.

I added 6 at first with drip acclimation, tested every day for a week and only had 1 day- (day 3) with an ammonia reading, and that was just 0.25. After the week added 6 more, again with drip acclimation and tested every day, this time days 4&6 gave me readings of 0.25 ammonia. Water changed 50% each time I got a positive reading, since then I have had no more ammonia readings, nitrites has always been 0 and I've never let my nitrates go over 20.

The reason for 12 fish was because I'm trying to set up for a dwarf puffer and they have a high bioload.

This is all by the by now anyway, 2 more dead and it's not looking good for the 1 I have left. I have no clue what is killing them and I'm guessing that I'm gonna have to kill the filter and start all over again with the tank. Been trying to set this bugger up since September, I'm thinking its just not meant to happen :-(

Edit- just to add, water changes of 50% weekly, only thing that was different was last Friday when I trimmed some plants back down. Still a 50% w/c but this is my first planted aquarium so maybe I did something wrong in trimming them?
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:35 AM   #15
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I am sure I'm using the tests correctly, I shake and shake and shake the nitrate bottles til my arms feel like they're falling off. It is a planted tank so I'd expect the plants to take some of the nitrates.

I added 6 at first with drip acclimation, tested every day for a week and only had 1 day- (day 3) with an ammonia reading, and that was just 0.25. After the week added 6 more, again with drip acclimation and tested every day, this time days 4&6 gave me readings of 0.25 ammonia. Water changed 50% each time I got a positive reading, since then I have had no more ammonia readings, nitrites has always been 0 and I've never let my nitrates go over 20.

The reason for 12 fish was because I'm trying to set up for a dwarf puffer and they have a high bioload.

This is all by the by now anyway, 2 more dead and it's not looking good for the 1 I have left. I have no clue what is killing them and I'm guessing that I'm gonna have to kill the filter and start all over again with the tank. Been trying to set this bugger up since September, I'm thinking its just not meant to happen :-(

Edit- just to add, water changes of 50% weekly, only thing that was different was last Friday when I trimmed some plants back down. Still a 50% w/c but this is my first planted aquarium so maybe I did something wrong in trimming them?
I really am baffled. You are doing everything correctly. The only thing i can think of is some disease. That i'm afraid, i can't help you with. Hopefully someone with more experience, can come in and help you. With the plants, Rivercats could help you there....
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:42 AM   #16
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Assuming you've got everything you need, ie heater, etc, then you probably either got bad stock or they came in with a disease. Unfortunately, if you can't see any symptom, then it's impossible to even know where to begin as far as treating goes.
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:45 AM   #17
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I was really hoping it wouldn't be a virus, so much work has gone into setting this up, months of trying to get it cycled and I'm gutted to have to start again.

This is the 2nd time a virus has decimated this tank, last time I didn't know any better and tried to treat with methylene blue. Assuming this last fish doesn't survive is there any way that I can save the cycle and still wipe out whatever disease is in there?
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:49 AM   #18
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You don't know what it is, so you can't treat effectively. You could try getting just a few fish from another LFS (not barbs) and see if the same thing happens to them.
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:54 AM   #19
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Ok, thanks for all the input here everyone.
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Old 03-08-2013, 01:01 AM   #20
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For those of you saying that air stones don't help - don't tropical tanks NEED one? Since there's less oxygen in the water in a hotter tank?
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