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Old 10-02-2014, 11:23 PM   #1
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Half dead plant, I think it's killing my fish

Ok, first time here so please bear with me. I have been keeping aquariums a long time and never had as many problems as I have had with this tank.

I have a 35 gallon freshwater tank with 4 swordtails, 5 longfin zebra danios, and 3 killifish. The water parameters today were 6.0pH, 0.5 Nitrite, 200 Nitrate.

I don't know what to do! I have this really large plant in my tank, I don't know what it is, but it used to be beautiful. It came down with some furry black algae, and I was never able to get it under control. I decided to pull the plant out and trim back the leaves that were the worst affected. I may have left the plant out too long, and now part of it is dying and decaying in the tank. I tried to pull out the dead parts but there are just so many of them floating around now.

I came home today to find my ten year old chinese algae eater and a new blue dwarf gourami both dead. I think the crazy high nitrates killed them, it's my best guess anyway. I think the high nitrates are due to the decaying plant, but I don't know how to deal with it at this point. I tried pulling off all the dead parts, but I don't know if that will be enough.

Am I fighting a losing battle? Should I just pull the plant out and get a new one? Its such a lovely plant I am really bummed I might lose it. Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Pics attached of the plant and a close up showing leaves. On the right is where most of the dead plant is. You can see some of the algae here and there. It's black, fuzzy, and dense.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 10-03-2014, 01:44 PM   #2
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Both the nitrites and nitrates are high.


What is your water change schedule look like?


You should start doing them ASAP. Nitrates are supposed to be 40 or less and 0 for nitrite and ammonia. The nitrite actually indicates that you probably had a mini cycle (you mentioned a new fish died). How many fish did you add at once?


A water change will help the nitrite right away. Since the nitrates are so high I would do like a 30% change for a few days in a row. You don't want to do it all at once only because the huge jump in nitrates going down could kill the fish.


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Old 10-03-2014, 01:53 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angela1108 View Post
Both the nitrites and nitrates are high.


What is your water change schedule look like?


You should start doing them ASAP. Nitrates are supposed to be 40 or less and 0 for nitrite and ammonia. The nitrite actually indicates that you probably had a mini cycle (you mentioned a new fish died). How many fish did you add at once?


A water change will help the nitrite right away. Since the nitrates are so high I would do like a 30% change for a few days in a row. You don't want to do it all at once only because the huge jump in nitrates going down could kill the fish.


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Thanks for the response. I did a fairly hefty water change about 2 weeks ago when I tried to get rid of the algae on the plant, and I did another one last night after I tested the water and saw how high everything was. I got the nitrites back down to 0, but the nitrates are still really high. I removed the plant for now and put it in a large tub in the backyard, so if the decaying leaves are causing the problem this should help. I will do another 30% water change tonight. Fingers crossed!
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Old 10-03-2014, 02:18 PM   #4
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Yeah I would keep doing 30%ish for the next few days- at least until you get it around 60 nitrates then you can probably up it to 50% to get it back down to a better level.


It's a lot of work! I've been there- we bought our 55g off of Craig's list and the nitrates were like 160!


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