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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Long story short.

I have had this 75 gallon tank for over 4 years. I have had over time a few fish die here and there but nothing like this recent massacre. I am using the fluvial 406 for my water filter and I take replace 10 gallons of water a week.

I live in a small mtn town and only have a petco to shop at for fish. I recently purchased 5 new plants for my take, 2 new cichlids, and the store clerk talked me into getting 10 guppies to feed to my bigger cichlids. I made sure to get most of the petco water out of the fish bags before placing everything into my tank. Within 36hrs I lost almost all of my cichlids. I tester the water and I somehow had a crazy burst of nitrates.

The only fish that lasted are my plecostomus 1 of the new cichlids and one of my older cichlids.

I am now in the stage of cleaning everything, replacing all of the water, cleaning all of the gravel, filter and rocks in the tank.

I will be going to a small cichlid fish store to get all new fish, but I am wondering if it is safe to keep these new plants in my tank.

I am in no hurry to buy new cichlids until my tank is at perfect condition, but should that entail be getting rid of the plants that could have caused this issue?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
We have now changed 75% of the water and added something to decrease the nitrates. Twelve hours later- no change. Any idea how soon we should see improvement?
 

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Here are my suggestions. 1st, you need to test your water to see what is causing the problem. Get a test kit and don't rely on the pet shop. Don't go crazy cleaning everything, especially the filter, because then your tank will not be cycled anymore. Doing 25-40% water changes every week solves a lot of problems. Get yourself a Python and make sure that you are using a water conditioner. I use Safe. Don't count on the advice received from stores; it is usually bad. With the internet, there is no excuse for not doing your own research. Not doing a quarantine for new fish and feeding live feeders is a sure way to bring disease into your tank. I would replace the gravel with sand. Gravel lets waste and uneaten food sink underneath. Live plants are underappreciated for helping remove excess nitrates. Do some research regarding which types will grow with your lighting. Floating plants are especially helpful for removing nitrates. LED lighting is affordable and runs cooler while using less electricity. Don't add a lot of new fish all at once.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank You mambee. I am trying my best but having lots off issues getting it stable again. I have been using test strips to test everything but still not getting better. I will try to get rid of the gravel and switch to sand and start using some water conditioner. Hopefully sometime soon it will get stable again.

Thanks,
Daniel S
 

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mambee said:
Here are my suggestions. 1st, you need to test your water to see what is causing the problem. Get a test kit and don't rely on the pet shop. Don't go crazy cleaning everything, especially the filter, because then your tank will not be cycled anymore. Doing 25-40% water changes every week solves a lot of problems. Get yourself a Python and make sure that you are using a water conditioner. I use Safe. Don't count on the advice received from stores; it is usually bad. With the internet, there is no excuse for not doing your own research. Not doing a quarantine for new fish and feeding live feeders is a sure way to bring disease into your tank. I would replace the gravel with sand. Gravel lets waste and uneaten food sink underneath. Live plants are underappreciated for helping remove excess nitrates. Do some research regarding which types will grow with your lighting. Floating plants are especially helpful for removing nitrates. LED lighting is affordable and runs cooler while using less electricity. Don't add a lot of new fish all at once.
Hi Mambee, I don't know how to quote only part of what you said, but I have question about some of what you wrote. Thank you for the advice regarding nitrates - I like the floating plants idea. What plants do you suggest, specifically? Do cichlids allow floating plants in their tanks? And do they affect the movement of the water much, or do they float all over? My only experience with floating anything is when my non-cichlid tanks dig up their anachris, so excuse my simple-sounding curiosity :)
 
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