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New Tank Syndrome Help

Discussion in 'Fish and Aquarium - all types' started by Bruce1962, Feb 24, 2005.

  1. Bruce1962

    Bruce1962 New Member

    I'm going thru new tank syndrome. I staretd a 30 gal tank about 6 weeks ago and went overboard with the feeding of my 3 mollies. I probably added too many fish too soon and now mt fish have been dying one at a time for the past 2 weeks. The amonia levels peak and poisoned the water. After numerous wtare changes and some chemicals to bring the amonia level under contriol, I now have toxic levels of nitrite. I'm continuously doing 30%-50% water changes and may gradually get my tank under control. Do these bacteria in the pet stores do any good? Any other advice to get me thru this trying time? :(
  2. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    As far as I know, the only bacteria-in-a-bottle product that has been proven to work is Biospira.

    What exactly are your readings for ammonia, nitrIte, and nitrAte (numbers please)? How often are you doing those water changes?

    You may be far enough along in the cycle that you just have to keep up with water changes for a few more days to get through it and you don't have to buy any bacteria.

  3. Bruce1962

    Bruce1962 New Member

    New tank Syndrome readings

    I use the Mardel test master test kit. My amonia is at .25. According to the test strip, I have readings for the following: Nitrate is about 20...Nitrite is about 5 which has decreased from 10. pH is always high in my area...currently about 8. Water changes have been frequent this past week. 10 gallons today, 15 gallons 2 days ago, 10 gallons about 6 days ago. I've added adding aquarium salt (1 rounded tablespoon per 5 gallons) for the first time on Saturday. I found something at Petco called Biozyme which is supposed to be a fresh water bacteria that activates when wet. It calls for 1/8 teaspoon for 25 gallons. Again, my tank is a 30 gallon. I have remaining: 3 larger Tiger Barbs, 2 small spotted Cory Cats, and 2 small Chinese Algae Eaters. My bottom feeders seem to be doing fine. My Tiger Barbs are now beginning to show the signs of Nitrite poisoning...heavy breathing, not schooling, hanging around the bottom and/or near the filter sources, suspending vertically, and becoming pale. Two of my Barbs have these symptoms. The other seems OK.
  4. Hooben

    Hooben New Member

    Anytime a tank gets out of hand, you need to stop feeding completely. Fishes can go up to 3 weeks with no food, and I'm sure if you put food in there it will spell more trouble. Once the food stops being added, your water changes may actually have a better impact on the water quality. I also hope that you have a hang on the back filter running or something like that. All the products you have seen will eventually hurt your water quality. Don't count on any of them helping you. Nothing helps fish like a little time away from food, and water changes.
    Good luck.
  5. Bruce1962

    Bruce1962 New Member

    Thanks for the reply

    I actually have a bottom (gravel) filter system. I have cut back severely on the feeding. I'll stop for a few days and continue to monitor the readings...probably a few more water changes. Any chance my Tiger Barbs will survive?
  6. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    You can try the Biozyme if you want, but I'm not making an guarantees that it will do anything. Really, the best thing is just lots & lots of water changes. I'd actually up them to every day.

    You also should invest in a HOB filter. They are a lot better than under gravel filters.

  7. Bruce1962

    Bruce1962 New Member

    Thanks for the advice

    Thanks for the advice. I was thinking about going to daily water changes but was afraid it would get the fish too stressed. I'll go ahead with the daily water changes and stop feeding for a few days. I'll also continue with the Biozyme. I'd don't see the harm and it only cost $4. I'll let you know how things turn out.

  8. Bruce1962

    Bruce1962 New Member

    Tiger Barbs Didn't Make it

    While trying to finalize cycling my 30 gallon tank, my Tiger Barbs could not endure the stress related to the numerous water changes, etc to help correct my new tank syndrome. I'm still keeping an eye on my nitrite levels. I'm now down to a level 3 which is still stressful. I have added 4 new Rosie Barbs to help get this tank cycled. One died the first night but the others seem to be thriving and are doing just fine. They;ve been in the tank now for 3 days. My bottom feeders continue to do very well. The Cory Cats seem to like to travel around alot with the Rosies. Any feedback or advice would be appreciated. Thanks for the support.

  9. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    Personally, I wouldn't have added anything else until the tank was done cycling. If you're struggling to get your water params in check, the last thing you need to be adding is more bioload (ie more fish). But it's already done so just keep up with the tests and water changes. You will know your tank is done cycling when you have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrIte, and some reading of nitrAte.

    Also, your barbs likely died due to the poor water quality, not the water changes.

  10. Bruce1962

    Bruce1962 New Member

    Will water changes effect cycle?

    I staretd using the product "cycle" to help along with my cycling of my tank. Directions call for 2 capfuls for every 10 gallons every 7 days for two weeks...then 1 capful for every 10 gallons every week. I just added my second application yesterday. Will water changes have any effect on the use of "cycle"? How oftern should I do the water changes. Amonia levels are still around .25, Nitrates are OK at 20 and Nitrites are still at about 20-30 (stress level). I want to make sure I'm not wasting money.

    My fish however, seem to be just fine. Feeding is very minimal and only once per day with a few flakes and then about 3 very small wafers in the evening. All of the fish in the tank really go after the wafers and do not stop until they are gone... :?:

  11. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    Personally, I wouldn't use cycle, but that's my opinion. The only instant cycle product I trust is Biospira.

    As long as your water params are out of whack, you should be doing daily water changes. The goal is to try to get them as close to the safe range as possible.

  12. Bruce1962

    Bruce1962 New Member

    Water Changes with a gravel vac

    Thanks for the advice, as always. I've been careful not to touch the gravel with the gravel vac when doing these waters changes as I do not want to disrupt nor take away any valuable bacteria I'm trying to build. I have an underground/gravel filtration system. I'm simply taking old water out of the tank at this time. Is this correct? :roll:

  13. gravity

    gravity New Member

    I personally think you should get rid of the undergravel filter. There are just too many weaknesses with it to make it worthwhile. You should give serious consideration to getting a 'hang on back' filter. 15 bucks and it's a significant upgrade.

    An undergravel filter is the aquarium equivalent of using a Ring Pop to propose marriage. Technically it's a filter, but it's really not worth the effort.

    As for your water changes, you should UNDER feed your fish. If food is sitting around on the gravel, all you're doing is adding to the ammonia in your tank. That's the LAST thing you need.... You might even consider only feeding them every other day until your tank is cycled. If you see food or any other stuff sitting in the gravel, you should make an effort to clean it up.
  14. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    Vacuuming the gravel shouldn't hurt the bacteria. It's not just sitting down there in the gravel, it's actually attached to all the little stones and shouldn't be dislodged that easily. And like gravity said, all that gunk that's in the gravel is just adding to the ammonia so removing it will help.

    Also, getting a HOB filter would be a good idea but I wouldn't rip out the undergravel filter until you have an HOB and have run it for at least 2 weeks (give it a chance to get established).

  15. grnlemonade

    grnlemonade New Member

    i never liked undergravel filters....in my opinion, HOB filters work better and look better
  16. Bruce1962

    Bruce1962 New Member

    HOB Filter vs. Gravel

    I'm getting the message with regards to the under gravel filters. Ironically, I had first decided to go with the HOB filter but my guy at the local pet store told me that an under gravel would be fine. They seem to be very knowledgeable and have been a big help to me over the past several weeks while I've been trying to get my tank cycled and stabe. I put most all of my problems on myself as I got too anxious to get things started and try to set up a nice 30 gallon community tank...nothing like experience as a learning tool. I've done a 12 gallon water change where I really dug up the gravel with the vac and sucked up some pretty disgusting stuff...obviously related to my nitrite problems. Readings this morning are pretty much zero amonia and .5 to 1 on the nitrites. Making some significant progress on getting this tank cycled...thanks to all of you. I'm still seriously considering the Bio-Wheel HOB and will probably implement that soon. My fish are really thriving...especially the new Rosie Barbs...after 7 days in the tank they seem really happy and actually have some prety cool personalities. Thanks again for your help now. I'll let you know how things progress...For now, I'll wait another week or two before adding any other fish.

    Bruce :eek:
  17. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    Sounds like things are getting under control. Good job! :eek:

  18. Bruce1962

    Bruce1962 New Member

    Thanks so much Chelle

    Thanks so much Chelle! You've pretty much been my pillar of support through this very trying time. I bought this tank as a birthday present for my son (he turned 5 on Feb 9th) and it's been tough having to flush fish down the toilet due to my own stupidity. My son's been a real "trooper" through all of this and he understands the loss of his fish. He's now a very happy little boy and has new names for his new fish. Now that daddy is a bit wiser, he can hopefully see his fish live for a while. Once we've settled the tank (hopefully next weekend), Mike (my son) wants to get an Angel Fish. What are your thoughts? We have 3 wonderful and personable Rosie Barbs, 2 cory cats, and 2 algae eaters. I've also just returned from the pet store and spoke with my guy about a HOB. He said that it would probably be a good idea as he uses a HOB along with a gravel filter. Any ideas for new additions to a community tank would be appreciated. Thanks so much. We're so glad we've found all of you caring and wonderful people!!! :D

  19. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    You might be able to fit an angel in there. What kind of algae eaters are those? Common plecos?

    Before adding an angel fish, I would first add 1 or 2 more rosey barbs and a 1 or 2 more cories. Both would be happier in larger groups. After that, and depending on what kind of algae eaters those are, you might be able to fit in an angel.

  20. Bruce1962

    Bruce1962 New Member

    Adding an Angelfish to my tank

    Chelle: The Algae Eaters are not Plecos. They are the Chinese Algae eaters and one of them is agressive. I can see adding a couple of more Roseys but if I add a couple of more Corys, wouldn't I have too many bottom feeders? Thanks in advance.


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