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Postby Maclain » 2006-08-01 06:53

Hey all, please help~!


set up aquarium with an established filter, let it run bare for a week then added fish.

currently got 2 mollies, 7 neon tetra's 2 albeano frogs a catfish and 4 tiger barbs.

Did a 1/3 water change yesterday and water readings have rocketed!

is this normal? or should i be changing the water and adding tapsafe again??

please advise, i lost an angel fish and a mollie during the night :-(



Many thanks in advance!
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Postby sharkdude » 2006-08-01 12:28

Maclain wrote: set up aquarium with an established filter, let it run bare for a week then added fish.


When you did this did you add any food or ammonia etc to the water.
If not then that explains the unexpected increase, as the filter bacteria starts to dye after hours of not being 'fed' ammonia etc.


have you got anywhere else where you can put the fish?

do you have another filter somewhere that you can squeeze some of the bacteria onto that tank, if not a close by friend maybe?
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Postby sharkdude » 2006-08-01 12:31

the ph is odd as it's most likley to have gone more acidic than alkalie
but that can be adjusted with a simple to use powder available from most pet shops
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Postby Indigo Blue Fish » 2006-08-01 12:59

Oh blimey - yes, do some more waterchanges.

You should have added something to keep up the wasteproducts - sounds like the bacteria died off and now the big influx of waste has upset it all.
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Postby Indigo Blue Fish » 2006-08-01 12:59

What size tank is it?
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Postby Maclain » 2006-08-01 14:07

What size tank is it?


30 ltrs

When you did this did you add any food or ammonia etc to the water.


I added water and tap safe, the aquarium is second hand so the filter was well established, i let it cycle through for 1 week with just ornatments and gravel in there, to get temps up and such

have you got anywhere else where you can put the fish?


the bath? :-D

do you have another filter somewhere that you can squeeze some of the bacteria onto that tank, if not a close by friend maybe?


No, however the filter is already established.

Oh blimey - yes, do some more waterchanges.

You should have added something to keep up the wasteproducts - sounds like the bacteria died off and now the big influx of waste has upset it all.


It's strange, all water levels seemed fine until i did my first water change yesterday, i dropped 1/3 of the water, and filled with treated water (treated with tap safe) and then everything is all to pot this morning.


I'm planning on dropping around 1/2 the water tonight, followed by about 1/5th daily (recommended by a friend).

Does this sound about right?

Many thanks in advance!
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Postby Mick e. t. » 2006-08-01 15:49

Your problem is your tank is greatly over stocked... 30l. (6 galls UK)...that would make your tank somewhere around 12'' W x 15'' H x 12'' L. far to small for the number of fish and frogs you have in there...if you work on 1'' of fish to 12 square inches of surface area then you will see where I am coming from... water changes will only help in the very short term for unless you reduce the number of fish your problem will be on going...keep us updated :tup:

1'' of fish to 1 gall UK would be a safer way of stocking as it would allow for growth rate...you have/had 17 fish in a tank which is only capable of sustaining six at 1'' if you use the one fish to a gallon method...
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Postby Maclain » 2006-08-01 15:57

That sounds about right, but you try tellling the missus she cant have the pritty fish, lol :-D

I'll attempt to get the water under control, this evening. Gonna do a water change, see if i cant get my hands on some filter start to help the cycle and try and balance my PH up.
I'v also been told to stop feeding the fish for about 3 - 5 days, is this advisable?

Let this be a lesson to all other new comers - Dont "jump in" :-D without reasearching the idea's first, it turns out expensive and aint too great for the fish either :-(

Any other suggestions aside reducing the amount of fish in there? :-S

I'll let you know the outcome.
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Postby Mick e. t. » 2006-08-01 16:19

I can only suggest a bigger tank or a bigger filter. A bigger filter would be one that would be capable of handling the bio load even so I think a bigger tank with the correct filtration is the the way to go...as is 10 to 15% daily water changes is going to be the only way, no matter what is done to aid your filter it is not going to cope as things are...seriously if you really want to get things under control in the long term you will have to reduce the number of fish...from your last post I think you already know the score, your just gona have to get your missus to understand :flirt: best of luck cos I've been trying to get mine to understand for 35 years and still trying :lol2: :tup:
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Postby Maclain » 2006-08-01 17:51

have done a 50% water change which, as expected has helped a lot.


I'm considering a second filter to help sustain the water, would this help? also i'm reducing the amount i'm feeding the fish, i was giving them 1 frozen block of bloodworms every 3 days, now going to alternate between 4 days and 5 days.

I'm not expecting all the fish to survive over the next couple of weeks, so i'm guessing it will kinda sort itself out over the next 8 weeks or so to a sustainable level.

Not sure if the pet shops take fish back?

Would a second filter help the situation? until i can get a bigger tank that is, lol


Many thanks again for all your help!
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Postby Indigo Blue Fish » 2006-08-01 19:19

You can take fish back to exchange for dry goods normally. I would suggest taking the frogs back, as they will grow VERY big if they're the ones I think they are.

If they are miniature africans, fine - but if they are african clawed - they will get too big and eat your fish.

Yes, you can let the fish go hungry for a couple of days - that shouldn't do any harm.
I feed my FISH protein foods (blocks or jelly foods) twice a week - the rest of the time they get a mix of different flakes and pellets.

A second filter MAY help, but TBH reducing the fish would work better.
I'm not sure your biocycle is stable enough - how FRESH was the second hand filter? Was it in a running tank, working when you got it? If so, was the time between you getting it and putting it in your tank less than two hours?

If no to either (and the fact that the bacteria had no waste to feed on) I'd say the cycle crashed.
Can't be helped sometimes.

Don't forget - they aren't carrots - they're live, feeling creatures! ^_^
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Postby Maclain » 2006-08-01 20:11

Don't forget - they aren't carrots - they're live, feeling creatures!


nice to know the shop will take them in exchange, I'll get them sorted A.S.A.P


MAny thanks again to all :-)

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Postby sharkdude » 2006-08-01 20:18

i think your right thee IBF big would be an undersaitment.
You are better of trading in the frogs and the catfish most likley (depending of what kind it is)
keep the mollies as their a pretty hardy fish and I'm not sure about the barbs
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Postby Maclain » 2006-08-02 14:35

Hey all :-)


It would appear i've gravely miss-calculated the size of my tank.

Early in this thread i said the tank was 30 ltrs.

I'm not entirely sure where this figure came from, and being as my external measurements are (12" x 24" x 12" ) = 2 cubic feet x 6.2 imperial gallon per cubic foot which is 12.4 UK Gallons, i think :-) So after taking into account this is the external measurements, then there's gravel, ornatments and such, there's actually probably about 11 UK gallons in there, or 49.5 ltrs, ish.


So, going on this new tank size, my thoughts are as follows.

My tank is almost definatly stocked to it's full capacity, which i've reached far too quickly - not giving my tank time to mature.

So, as a result, I'm fully stocked, under filtered and biologivally unready for the amount of fish in there.

It would appear then, that my sitution is not quite as bad as once thought, and i'd hope that correct filtering and regular water changes of 15 - 25% over the next 8 weeks (full cycle?) will hopefully clear up the water problems i'm currently having.


What's the experts oppinions??

TIA!!
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Postby Indigo Blue Fish » 2006-08-02 14:44

*grins* Easily done - I know how it is.
I did the same mistake when starting out.

However, I would still reduce the amount of livestock, if only temporarily. That means you won't have quite so much waste and chemicals to fight with.

Right, some more questions - let's see if we can't help you speed up the cycle.

1: Check my last post about filter questions. Also, what make of filter is it/what STYLE filter is it?

2: What sort of test/brand of test are you using? (That'll enable us to tell you how accurate it is. I'm guessing it's liquid based - Seachem?
Please please PLEASE don't use strip-dips - they're HORRIBLY unreliable. Invest if you are.

3: Is it ONLY frozen blocks you're feeding?
If so, switch to some variety, or you'll end up with deficient, probably consitpated fish. Peas are really good for them, cooked and popped out of the little shell things, as are banana, cooked carrot, cucumber, and a whole range of other things.

When I know a bit more about the filtration system you're using, I'll see what I can do to help.
Do any of your neighbours have a fishtank? - this may be invaluble to your cause. ^_^
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