Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - Unhealthy Fish
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 06-28-2012, 08:12 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 113
Major Tank Problem

I have had a problem with angel fish getting cloudy eyes and what looks like an infection between the eye and mouth. Sunday, I changed most of the water, cleaned the filters (the bio-filter looked to clean to be active), treated with Para Guard, Amo-Lock, and buffered the pH with CaCl. The pH was below 6, slight ammonia, but nitrites were zero and nitrates were low. I did purchase a few tetras, angel fish, and a loach. Everything seemed good, except for cloudy water, which is normal after adding CaCl.

Monday and Tuesday, the water remained cloudy. The angel fish with eye issue was near death and euthanized. Wednesday, the tank had massive fish death, a nasty odor, pH less than 6 again, and nitrites present. Changed about half the water, added CaCl and added Stability (bio-filter additive).

Today, Thursday, no new fish loss noted. Tank still has a foul odor, pH of 6 at best, and no nitrites. Added some more CaCl. Will recheck pH later tonight and probably will add more CaCl.

What is going on??? All this happened in a few days, from a reasonably healthy tank to the current issue.

Background: 125 gallon tank, two Rena filters, heavily planted (plants healthy), overall stable tank with stable chemistry, and no foul odors. I do live in an area with water on the acid side, but is always normal after a water change. I am also a well experienced aquarium guy with 30 years experience.

Any help from anyone???
__________________

__________________
Rupret is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2012, 08:38 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Cynic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,272
Cloudy eye is generally to do with PH, below 6 is likely taking a strain on your fish.

Is it normally that low or is this a PH crash?
__________________

__________________
Cynic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2012, 08:43 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
christine2012's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: fredericksburg Va
Posts: 978
I think a Ph that low might impact bacteria colonies. I hope someone chimes in on that, I'm curious as well.
__________________
"Be exactly who you want to be, do what you want to do! I am he and she is she, but, you're the only YOU!"
christine2012 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2012, 08:48 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Florida
Posts: 2,706
What is the pH of your source water?
What is the pH of your source water after it has gassed out for 24 hours?
Why are you buffering the pH? This usually causes more issues than not.

IMO, stop using the bacteria-in-a-bottle. It could possibly be hindering your bio-filter by robbing nutrients from the proper types of bacteria you are trying to foster in your bio-filter.

White cloudy water is a bacterial bloom that is usually caused by excessive waste and nutrients.

Hold off on any new fish until your tank stabilizes. Slow down your feeding schedule to once every two or three days and only feed a small bit. Do daily water changes with gravel vac to remove waste and get your chemistry back in order. Keep an eye on your toxin levels daily. Use carbon to remove odors and meds from the tank.
__________________
I support the right to arm bears.
blert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2012, 08:54 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Cynic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,272
Also out of interest how much driftwood do you have in your tank? I had the exact same thing happen (Fish deaths, low PH and cloudy eyes) to me as a result of having too much driftwood which slowly degraded causing a PH crash.
__________________
Cynic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2012, 10:04 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 113
All:

I'll try to answer as many questions as I can.

My tap water is 7.0, but I live in the mid-south, which has been call more acidic, as compared to the mid-west. It takes a few weeks for the pH to normally drop, thus when I complete a water change, I buffer it up a little to compensate for the remaining water. This week is a huge crash.

I always add a little buffer with water changes to help stabilize the pH or it does drop quickly; this has been the case for many years and even in a non-planted tank.

I have no driftwood in the tank, all natural plants.

I have had good luck with the bacteria-in-a-bottle in the past to initiate the bio-filter, but my media in the Rena filter on Sunday was clean, with no bacteria present; thus, the addition this week. I normally do not add any.

Typically after a water change and CaCl, the water will be cloudy for a few hours, but clears up quickly. Not this week.

I do not intend to add any new fish until the tank stabilizes and the chemistry is proper.

Any further input or questions? I'll be as straight forward as I can.

Thank you all for the advice and questions.

Rupret.
__________________
Rupret is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2012, 10:53 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
bigbanker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 1,381
Given that you say you keep adjusting the Ph sounds like it may be causing deadly Ph swings. Also the lack of nitrates and presence of nitrites would indicate your tank isn't fully cycled.

Are you using co2?
__________________
It is a fish eat fish world!

Sometimes learning from the mistakes of others is all the education and experience you need.
bigbanker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2012, 11:03 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 113
I have used CO2, but have been out for some time, but the plants have done great without it.

I have always added buffer when I do water changes. It takes a few weeks but the pH will always slowly drop. I live in the mid-south and have had this problem for years; I know people in the mid-west, who have more alkaline water, who do not have this problem. The buffer upon water changes helps with the lower pH that remained in the tank. Until this week, the pH swings are slow and compensated with a little buffer upon water changes.

Until this week, this tank has not had any nitrites for years, since it was first set up and cycling. Sunday, no nitrites, but Wednesday nitrites were present. None today (Thursday).

Thanks for the questions. Let me know if you, or anyone else has any other questions. Any action advice???

Thanks.

Rupret.
__________________
Rupret is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2012, 11:42 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Cynic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,272
After re-reading I'm not convinced your tank is cycled, the vast amount of chemicals you're putting into your tank coupled with the frequent filter cleaning could well give the readings of a cycled tank without the actual bacteria.

I would immediately throw out your Ammo-Lock, it is terrible stuff that has always caused me more problems than it ever helped, often led my tank to recycle before I binned it.

I have no experience with Stability product but it seems to me you're over dosing your tank water with unnecessary products.

Also have you actually tested the water/carbon hardness of your water?
__________________
Cynic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2012, 01:05 AM   #10
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 101
Stable pH is more important than getting it to a certain pH level. Stop with the buffering, it's probably causing a lot of the problems. Setup up your water changes too.
__________________
malfist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2012, 02:02 AM   #11
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
ejaramillo01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: South California
Posts: 2,288
Send a message via MSN to ejaramillo01
I disagree with the theory of the pH swing, If the OP mentioned that he has been doing the CaCl for years to control the pH, I don't think that pH swings is the reason for the deaths.

You mentioned slightly ammonia, and also nitrites, this could be due to two possible reasons
1. There is a dead fish in the tank, causing a disruption to the water chemistry and the foul odors, if the tank is heavily planted, some times it is hard to find dead bodies.
2. Something killed the bio filter, and now the tank is not cycled...
__________________
=================================
Edgar
https://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...es-103339.html
ejaramillo01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2012, 06:00 AM   #12
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
bigbanker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 1,381
Good point regarding the dead body. Perhaps decaying plant matter elsewhere in the tank?

Is it possible that your water source recently changed their water chemistry?
__________________
It is a fish eat fish world!

Sometimes learning from the mistakes of others is all the education and experience you need.
bigbanker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2012, 06:35 AM   #13
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Wrexham
Posts: 599
Something else to consider is that bacteria processes stop with pH below 6.5.

Check this article.

http://www.bioconlabs.com/nitribactfacts.html


It seems like your bacteria could have taken a hit somewhere along the line.

If you scan to the data section about halfway down it shows you all the best pH and temp ranges for good and bad bacterial population.



Hope this helped a little.



Jon
__________________
jondamon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2012, 01:25 PM   #14
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 113
I agree that the tank is cycling from scratch, which is why I added the stability.

This was the first time I used Ammo-Lock. Agreed that it shouldn't be used; thought it was worth a try with ammonia present.

I don't remember the hardness on the last testing, typically, it runs about 5-6.

The tank does need a buffer, due to past experience. Otherwise, the water will become acidic and won't buffer up. For years, the pH slowly decreases, thus the need of a buffer upon water changes. This has not been an issue before and has kept the tank pH stable.

Filter cleanings are every 4-6 weeks, which is recommended for planted tanks. The filters do need cleaning at that time, so I wouldn't consider it frequent.

I plan to do a water change today and I'll update with the current chemistry readings.

Also, the Para Guard was recommended by the LFS, which is a good store, for the possible eye infection on the angel fish, which I have learned from AA that it could have been due to the low pH.

I'll post again later today. Thank you for all your questions, comments, and advice.

Rupret.
__________________
Rupret is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2012, 01:32 PM   #15
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
zach_1_6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 629
Just curious, how do you clean your filter? Do you use tap water to clean it?
__________________
zach_1_6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2012, 01:35 PM   #16
come get me tang police!
 
jetajockey's Avatar


 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: In a swamp near you /Pensacola, FL
Posts: 12,047
Ammolock works in the same way that Prime does. Definitely buffer the water, nitrifiers basically halt as the Ph drops down to 6 or below.

The upside is that in low Ph ammonia becomes basically nontoxic as well.
__________________
Dont Forget to Join my FREE weekly Plant Giveaway.
Click Here!
jetajockey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2012, 07:41 PM   #17
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 113
All:

I clean the filter every 4-6 weeks; ok, sometimes longer. I do use tap water to clean the filter. I clean out the sponge filters, rinse the bio-filter media, and replace the filter floss.

Chemistry today (Sunday):

pH: 6.6
NH4: 2.0
NO2: 0.0
NO3: 0.0
PO4: 2.0
KH: 1 degree
GH: 100+ degree
my GH test may be bad; it said test is complete when color turns from orange to
green; never changed from orange; tap water was also 100+
O2: 100%

Completed 50% water change, added 5 ml of dry CaCl, and 60 ml of tap water conditioner, which is the normal dose, to remove the chlorine.

Any further advice?

Thanks.

Rupret.
__________________
Rupret is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2012, 07:45 PM   #18
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Florida
Posts: 2,706
Never, ever, clean the bio-media in tap water. Use only old tank water or TREATED tap water. The chlorine kills the nitrifying bacteria.

If you must use the CaCl why not pre-dissolve it in a cup of tank water. Then you won't have to deal with the cloudiness.
__________________
I support the right to arm bears.
blert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2012, 07:20 PM   #19
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 113
Ok all:

Here is the chemistry today (Sunday):

pH: 6.4
NH4: 1.0
NO2: 0.0
NO3: 0.0
PO4: 2.0
KH: did not check
GH: did not check

pH has dropped by 0.2 and NH3 has dropped by 0.2. The drops may be related and due to water changes. NO2 has not measured yet, as the tank recycles.

The tank obviously needs to be cycled. Any thoughts on what caused the issues this week? Am I on the right track to get it back healthy?

I have not had any significant issues with the tank in years, despite using tap water to clean the filter, add CaCl upon water changes, etc. It has been healthy for years, until the last week. My concern is not on-going issues, but rather the last week.

Any thoughts???

Thanks.

Rupret.
__________________
Rupret is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2012, 07:21 PM   #20
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 113
Also, I do dissolve the CaCl in water, with my tap water condition, plus water prior to placing in the tank.

The cloudiness has drastically improved as well.

Thanks.

Rupret.
__________________

__________________
Rupret is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
problem, tan, tank

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








» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:28 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.