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Mtl Parrothead 06-02-2019 09:04 PM

55 gallon reboot
I have been keeping aquariums on and off for the last 30+ years, Iím no expert but I do know my stuff. I started this tank with my kids the first week of March to get back into the hobby. It has been a comedy of errors (not a single funny one).

Here is he shortened story, I started to cycle with some seeded filter material I got from a friend, I was going to cycle fishless. I came home ready to add ammonia but my wife and kids went out and bought fish. I started testing the water a couple days later figure give the fish some time to create ammonia. I was testing with my old API mater kit, it showed no ammonia or nitrite and slight nitrate. Needless to say I assumed I was cycled over a couple weeks we stocked the tank pretty well. The kit was not expired but defective. I ended losing a few fish.

I got over that issue and API actually sent me a free kit to replace the defective one. I was in search of mts snails for the sand substrate. I found a few on Kijiji (big mistake), I added them to my tank then all hell hit the fan.

I went from:
3 cockatoo apistos
8 kuhli loaches
1 platy
1 guppy
10 rosy loaches

1 kuhli loach
8 rosy tetras

I spoke with the person who gave me the snails she admitted she tried to poison them not only with aquarium chemicals but actually household cleaners and other stuff. So not only did they die and decomposed causing a huge ammonia but also leached some small amounts of other stuff into the tank. This not only killed off most of the fish but also damaged all the plants.

I also was unhappy with the HOB filter that came with so I bought a canister filter (Fluval 407). This way Iíll be over-filtered as Iím accustomed to. I finally installed it earlier today Iíll run the HOB also for the next little while just to make sure everything is well seeded with BB.

The Anacharis all died off, the java fern seems to be the same not growing as fast as Iíd expect but has a bunch of spores /new baby ferns attached the the leaves. Iíll let them mature before replanting them. The Banana plants are growing slowly but surely.

The water wisteria has been the most interesting it grew really tall and spread along the substrate but all the lower leaves on the stem died and rotted off. I did quite a bit of trimming and replanting with quite a bit of luck. The best were the leafless stems that quickly sprouted whatís nuts is the different shapes of leaves all from the same original plant.

My lfs felt bad they know Iíve been keeping tanks for a long time and they gave me a clown pleco to help in my rebuilding. Fingers crossed this is the end of my issues.

I now need to figure out what my revised stocking plan will be once I am sure things are stable. I am always opened to suggestions as long as they are compatible with what I have left.

King Fisher 06-03-2019 09:08 AM

I've found that when you seed a tank you can't just dump a bunch of fish in right away. The BB colony is not big enough to support a large load right away. Rather, add a handful of fish at a time. After a month or so add some more. And so on until you are fully stocked. This allows your BB colony time to mature and get up to speed with the fish you have. Also, frequent water changes is a must during this time.

I think you'd be fine stocking the tank with compatible fish of your liking. Just take your time and add them in phases.

Mtl Parrothead 06-03-2019 09:28 AM

55 gallon reboot
Oh for sure was not dumping in entire stock overnight! I added a few fish per week checking my parameters always keeping up on water changes. As I said was just a bunch of crazy setbacks in a row.
It was also the first hob Iíve used in decades and after reading up on it (probably too late) realized it was not all itís cracked up to be. I should of known what comes in a kit is never the best. I know some people swear by hobs Im just used to canisters with many more options on media. This way no carbon(unless Iím clearing meds) and extra bio media.Now with a proper canister Iím hoping to be on the right track.

Once itís all stable and running for a LONG time I am going to reattempt the cockatoo apistos I really love the personality of dwarf cichlids in my community tanks.

King Fisher 06-03-2019 11:40 AM

HOBs still shouldn't be a problem to the extent you had. I'm guessing the snails really took thier toll. I do like my canisters but also have a couple hobs on my other tank. I personally didn't notice a big difference as far as water quality. I also like my cichlids. In fact, as soon as I'm done with a project tank I'm converting my current 40g breeder quarantine tank to a dwarf cichlid tank. I'm also thinking cockatoo or Agassiz.

Let us know how your tank comes along.

Mtl Parrothead 06-03-2019 12:32 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I agree hobs shouldnít cause it but I figured go back to what I know. I think between the defective test kit and the snails it all started to snowball out of control.

Here is what it looks like today waiting for the plants to grow in
Attachment 313049

Mtl Parrothead 06-07-2019 09:03 AM

So no idea what is going on I found the pleco dead this morning. All parameters are perfect ammonia 0 nitrite 0 nitrate 10ppm (all tested with API master kit). Temp is stable at 76. I am at a loss the 8 remaining rosy tetras are perfect. I did notice some fin rot on the pleco yesterday and started a melafix treatment.

King Fisher 06-07-2019 01:20 PM

Are you getting bad stock from your particular fish shop? Fin rot can also be accompanied with bacterial gill rot and can kill quickly. You may have to start quarantining all your fish and running them through some med treatments for a month or so before putting them in your main tank.

Mtl Parrothead 06-07-2019 01:29 PM

The last few have been from a chain store near my house, I think that might be one of the issues.
There is a better shop I am going to start going to.
I need to setup a quarantine tank! Now just to convince the wife it is not me just trying to get another tank...

King Fisher 06-07-2019 09:15 PM

Lol. 10 gallon will do fine for quarantine. Not to spendy

Mtl Parrothead 06-07-2019 09:35 PM

55 gallon reboot

Originally Posted by King Fisher (Post 3525548)
Lol. 10 gallon will do fine for quarantine. Not to spendy

Oh I know the money not the issue we went down that road a few years ago, I always turned the QT tank into a stocked aquarium the bought another for QT. Iím recovering from MTS and sheís afraid I will relapse. I know I would still want a dwarf puffer, African cichlids and the few salt water tanks I dream of

Mtl Parrothead 06-11-2019 08:56 AM

So yesterday I did a large pwc now this morning I’ve found 5 dead rosy tetras. Those had been in the tank since end of March. So I’m down to just a few rosy tetras not sure what to do. My parameters all seem perfect but I’m afraid to replace as I can’t keep anything alive. If the last few die not sure if I strip down the tank and start over.


I decided to try a last ditch I am going to medicate the tank with Melafix and Pimafix then pray that’ll fix it.
My only other idea which doesn’t seem logical is that due to the sand I had some toxic gas pockets building up. Once settled I will add the MTS snail but this time I’ll be more careful with where they come from

Mtl Parrothead 08-03-2019 11:05 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Here is the update on the tank. A couple days after my last post I realized there were only 3 rosy tetras left and they were not looking good to say the least! I sucked it up took them out temporarily and did a full tear down of the tank, I washed and sifted through the sand (and actually added quite a bit more). Cleaned all the decorations, trimmed all the live plants. The only thing I did not totally redo was the filter media didnít want to kill all the bacteria.

I put the rosy tetras back and started a 10 day melafix and pimafix regime and within a couple days those 3 really perked up. Since then Iíve slowly added some more stock only a few per week max. I keep checking my parameters which all seem great and am doing 10% or so pwcs every 5-6 days I will go larger once I have more stock.

My current stock is:

3 rosy tetras (will add more very soon) they were the only ones to survive before reboot

8 cardinal tetras (might add more the kids love the colours)

2 Amano shrimp (want to add more)

A few mts snails for the sand.

Iím thinking for future stock adding very slowly.

A pair of dwarf cichlids (not sure exactly what type yet)
A school of Cory cats thinking dwarf or Sterba

I know I will have some more room but not sure exactly what else Iíd want or I should say what the kids would want. Iím trying to stay away from livebearers but the kids love platys.
Attachment 313626

skrapeNKA 08-03-2019 11:07 PM

Livebearers could be an option to provide some live food for your tetras; my mom kept a few livebearers in her 75g stocked with mostly angels and tetras for awhile. They never managed to have that livebearer population explosion people experience because the other fish really had a taste for their young:lol:

Mtl Parrothead 08-19-2019 09:14 PM


Originally Posted by skrapeNKA (Post 3528040)
Livebearers could be an option to provide some live food for your tetras; my mom kept a few livebearers in her 75g stocked with mostly angels and tetras for awhile. They never managed to have that livebearer population explosion people experience because the other fish really had a taste for their young:lol:

Well we are going to see what happens my kids got me to cave and we now have added 4 platys.

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