wanalulu Registered User

also guys, please forgive my stupidity - but how do u test the tap water?!!!

Fishyfreak Registered User

It's strange that Ammonia is high but Nitrites are not, usually they are linked, due to the Nitrogen Cycle.

You can get test kits in any decent shop and a lot of shops will test your water if you bring them a small sample.

How do you know that Ammonia is high if you don't know how to test the water?

Is the tank underfiltered perhaps? What size is it? What sort of weekly maintenance do you do?

Normally small regular water changes are what you need to do, i.e 20% but in extreme circumstances large ones are needed.

Perhaps the water from the tap isn't good quality. Maybe test it straight from the tap and also test some tank water.

wanalulu Registered User

thanks for the reply - i have a test kit for testing tha tank water - when people say test the tap water, do they mean test it in the same way u would test the tank water??
Its a 60 litre tank with a fluval 2plus filter.
I would usually do a 30% water change every 2 weeks. Im just not sure really what to do re water changes cos i get so much conflicting advice!! Yep its very strange cos everything is fine but the ammonia and it has been high since before xmas! ive only recently started to lose fish, they were all fine even tho ammonia was high.

Fishyfreak Registered User

wanalulu said:
thanks for the reply - i have a test kit for testing tha tank water - when people say test the tap water, do they mean test it in the same way u would test the tank water??

Yeah, no harm in testing the water source. You never know.

30% every two weeks is absolutely fine, stick with that.

With the tank being so small it can be hard to keep the parameters stable but assuming it's cycled their really shouldn't be a problem.

Do you dechlorinate your water when you change the water? (Tap water contains chlorine which can kill filter bacteria and lead to an ammonia spike)

Did anyone clean the filter under the tap? (Again, same effect as above)

Any ornaments/decor that might have a dead fish decomposing under?

These are all just stabs in the dark here, hopefully it's of some use to you.

Senor Willy Registered User

I agree with everything Fishyfreak has said.
There is some thing wrong that you are doing.

The pleco might be too big for such a small tank. They do produce
massive waste.

Always wash your filters in dirty tank water.

Add dechlorinator before adding fresh water to the tank.

I don`t think your tap water contains ammonia unless it is coming from a
spring. If you are going to test it then make sure you leave the tap water
over night ( 24h ) or you won`t get a proper result.
If it does contain Ammonia then I would get a water butt and add a filter and a heater and cycle my water before doing water changes.

You might want to do more frequent water changes until the problem
resides. Fish cannot tolerate high levels of Ammonia or Nitrite.

An RO unit won`t remove Ammonia. The particles are too small.

You have to change carbon every two or three weeks. Unlike Marine
Poly filter, Activated carbon will release any toxins ( gradually ) that it has removed once it is exhausted.
Carbon still won`t remove Ammonia.

Tetra Safe start is an excellent product. I used it many times when I kept
Tropical fish and never had any losses.

www.irishfishforum.com is an irish site that specialises in all aspects of
fishkeeping. You will find out everything you need to know there.

wanalulu Registered User

thanks again for all the replies - I think im going to give plec back to lfs and ill probably give them by baby fry too. Think i mite empty one tank and cycle it all over again.
I left a friend in charge of the tanks and i think he did rinse the sponges under the tap (he denies it but i dont believe him, the sponges were so clean they looked like new!!) But even at that, that was in december so should have re-cycled already.

Ill keep trying different things n see how i get on. I did use Am Guard aswell which worked but ive run out of it n dunno where to buy it

Fishyfreak Registered User

I reckon you just need to re-seed the filter with sponge from an established filter. Do regular small changes and cut the feeding down to every 2 or 3 days.

The Plec will outgrow the tank anyway but plenty of shops won't be willing to take large ones back.

If you are looking for a good algae eater Ancistrus (bristlenose) catfish are good also Otocinclus are great in a small shoal.

I used a product called "Am-quel", I found it very good. I remember buying it in Boardwalk Petshop on the quays in Dublin City Centre.

Jimkel Registered User

Senor Willy said:
I have done this many times and it is the besy way to sort out the problem. I have even done it to a Discus tank and added fish the same day. It is the best way to seed any tank and it not rubbish talk.

Agreed have done this 100's of times literally! Works a charm instant seeding!

wanalulu Registered User

Hey guys,

So a lot of my fish have died of internal bacteria (treated but didnt work) so i have now got one empty tank. Was thinking of starting all over again with this tank and cycling etc. So i have a few questions:

(1) do i just empty all the water and refill
(2) Does my filter have to remain running to keep any remaining bacteria
(3) Should i cycle with or without fish

etc etc

Any tips would be greatly appreciated

Fishyfreak Registered User

Sorry to hear that.

How do you know it was internal bacteria? Could it have been ammonia poisoning?

Is the equipment still running? Hopefully it is as if you turned off the filter it will kill off the bacteria that it contains. The bacteria need oxygen to survive and multiply, this is given to it by the flow that passes through the filter when it's running. Also the bacteria need a source of Ammonia to survive too, but this isn't a problem as there will be enough available to it in the tank to keep it ticking over in the absence of fish.

I strongly suggest you do the following:

1. Change 50% of the tank water with Dechlorinated water. Dechlorinating the water is very very important, tapwater contains chlorine (a form of bleach!)

2. Get in touch with someone that owns an established aquarium, get a slab of filter sponge from them and place it in the filter. This will give you 100% assurance that your filter can cope with the new stock.

3. Get 4 zebra danios/swordtails. These are common (and nice) community fish that are available in every decent petshop. Most importantly they are tough and adaptable to newly set up tanks.

4. Join the Leinster Fishkeeping Society Forum, it's a free, friendly forum that is set up to help people out in the hobby. There are over 300 members with a variety of experience that will guide you through setting up the tank. www.irishfishforum.com

All the best.

wanalulu Registered User

Thanks for the reply - im quite sure it was internal bacteria as they had all the very same symptoms. I brought one of the fish to lfs and they diagnosed the internal bacteria.
The filter is still running thank god, i was afraid to touch it before i got advice!
because the water thats in the tank has very highg ammonia level, I was thinking of just emptying the tank and refilling with 100% new water and cycling it like its \ brand new tank but just wit the old filter - Is it ok to do this or should i just keep half the old water in it?
Also, as i would be getting new fish to cycle it, surely they would just die straight away in the ammonia filled water!??

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