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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone.

I've had my 180 gl going for about 3-4 weeks.

I decided to do a water change today do to the Test Kit I bought saying that the Nitrite level was to high.

I did a 40% water change.

When I went to fill the tank back up... almost instantly my African Cichlids were laying on the floor of the tank - which looked like gasping for air. I have 3 gold fish in the tank also - they are left over from the 40 I had bought to get the tank going.

I am sick to my stomach - as all 20 of my Cichlids died except for 2.

Can anyone tell me what i did wrong?

The goldfish are fine but the Cichlids hit the bottom of the tank laying on their sides gasping for air...????

What the heck did I do wrong????

Any info would be greatly appreciated.

thanks.
 

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Did you have all those fishes in there from the start? You say you've only had the 180g going for 3-4 weeks, that was from the time you set it up? That's not enough time to cycle a tank properly. Plus, cichlids and goldfish should never be mixed. They were probably suffering from the nitrite spike and ammonia so they would have been dead no matter what.
 

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Perhaps we can chip in and ask a few more questions first...

What are the conditions of your tap water? pH?

Did you add dechorinator?

Did you rinse the filter media with tap water or replace it entirely?

What was the temperature of the new water into the tank?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
gunnerx said:
Did you have all those fishes in there from the start? You say you've only had the 180g going for 3-4 weeks, that was from the time you set it up? That's not enough time to cycle a tank properly. Plus, cichlids and goldfish should never be mixed. They were probably suffering from the nitrite spike and ammonia so they would have been dead no matter what.
Hi,

No I started with the goldfish then they died off one at a time then I was left with 3.

I was hoping the cichlids would eat them eventually.

Whats funny is the Goldfish are still doing very well... They are swimming around like nothing happened....
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
gunnerx said:
Did you have all those fishes in there from the start? You say you've only had the 180g going for 3-4 weeks, that was from the time you set it up? That's not enough time to cycle a tank properly. Plus, cichlids and goldfish should never be mixed. They were probably suffering from the nitrite spike and ammonia so they would have been dead no matter what.
Hi,

No, I started with the goldfish then they died off one at a time then I was left with 3.

I was hoping the cichlids would eat them eventually.

Whats funny is the Goldfish are still doing very well... They are swimming around like nothing happened....

Yes - I probably should have let the tank cycle longer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Windsor said:
Perhaps we can chip in and ask a few more questions first...

What are the conditions of your tap water? pH?

Did you add dechorinator?

Did you rinse the filter media with tap water or replace it entirely?

What was the temperature of the new water into the tank?
Hello,

tap water PH = 7.6 - 7.8.

Yes - I use OPI dechorinator - all though I started filling the tank back up and when i noticed the fish laying on the floor - I then added the OPI dechlorinator.

I didin't touch the filters at all. When I kicked them back on - there was a lot of white stuff coming out of them.

The new water temp was about 72 - 76 degrees.

I really think the colder water and me adding the declorinator late in the refill may of had something to do with it.

I've never seen all of the fish hit the floor at the same time and their gills were badly moving - again, almost like they were out of oxygen.

Yet - the gold fish are swimming aroung like nothing happened...

thanks for the replys...
 

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What was the reading for Nitrites? A fully cycled tank should not have any Nitrites. Also, the water temperature might have added to the shock.
 

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I did nearly the same thing to one my my fry tanks awhile back. Back in Michigan i could get away with adding the declorinator after the water change but here in Oklahoma there is too much clorine in the water and it MUST be added prior to adding the water. If you are using a hose I would suggest joining the bucket brigade.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
F8LBITEva said:
I would say your problem was either not adding enough dechlorinator or too much of a temperature difference shocked them to death.
Hello,

I'm leaning with you on this... I think the temp went to low and I should have added the dechlorinator to the tank before adding the new tap water...

BTW - My dad has a '95 Cobra and I have an '03 Z06.... I used to have a WS-6. I love American V8's. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
gunnerx said:
What was the reading for Nitrites? A fully cycled tank should not have any Nitrites. Also, the water temperature might have added to the shock.
Hi,

Before I did a water change - I think the Nitrite level was about 2.0 - If I remember correctly - maybe even higher.

I know this is what prompted the water change in the first place.

thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
BrianNFlint said:
I did nearly the same thing to one my my fry tanks awhile back. Back in Michigan i could get away with adding the declorinator after the water change but here in Oklahoma there is too much clorine in the water and it MUST be added prior to adding the water. If you are using a hose I would suggest joining the bucket brigade.
I think your right.

When I first noticed them laying on the floor of the tank - I imediately grabbed the OPI Dechlorinator and poored it in. I really think this made a difference - but it was to late by then... They were on the floor gasping for air - and then some would jump and do the "death role" thing.

I guess i need a chlorine test kit to test the level out of the tap. I bought one of those Siphon Clean things that connects to your faucet - I really hope i don't have to do the bucket thing.

thanks.
 

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I think in this case, it was all of the above that attributed to the deaths. Nitrites, chlorine and/or chloramine plus temperature change.
 

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There is a very good chance that they died because you waited 4 weeks before doing the first water change. The water chemistry in the tank slowly deteriorated over that time, but since it was gradual the fish were able to tolerate it. Then with the addition of 40% new water of a different (new) chemistry, the sudeen change shocked them. This is the reason that water changes should be done weekly.
 

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elwood said:
There is a very good chance that they died because you waited 4 weeks before doing the first water change. The water chemistry in the tank slowly deteriorated over that time, but since it was gradual the fish were able to tolerate it. Then with the addition of 40% new water of a different (new) chemistry, the sudeen change shocked them. This is the reason that water changes should be done weekly.
I would agree, except that this was an uncycled tank. This is the real issue. The tank needs to be cycled before one starts adding their fish. The tank was not stable to begin with. The water change just stressed out fisht that were likely already very stressed.

I would recommend premixing your water with a dechlorinator that will also handle chloramines. Prime is a good choice. Expensive, but you do not use very much at a time.

Let the filters finish cycling before you add more fish. Do not change the water until the Nitrites are zero.
 

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The fact the tank was uncycled reinforces my point about the wide swing of water chemistry shocking the fish.
Even if the tank was not cycled, if about 50% of the water was changed every week, this killing of fishes probably would not have happened.v After all, they did live 4 weeks in the tank, and by that time the water was semi-toxic, but not fatal, and the tank was probably cycled by then.
 

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Again I disagree. It was not likely a swing in chemistry, but an increase in toxins, most likely chlorine or chloramines. My point is that a more toxic agent was added by not using the dechlorinator properly, or perhaps using one that does not handle chloramines. The nitrite reading just before the water change was 2.0, this was not a cycled tank. Also, just becuase the fish survived this long does not mean they were healthy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Dave said:
Again I disagree. It was not likely a swing in chemistry, but an increase in toxins, most likely chlorine or chloramines. My point is that a more toxic agent was added by not using the dechlorinator properly, or perhaps using one that does not handle chloramines. The nitrite reading just before the water change was 2.0, this was not a cycled tank. Also, just becuase the fish survived this long does not mean they were healthy.
Dave - I totally agree with you.

I had a conversation with a friend at work today. He said the same thing about the chlorine level of the tap water I used being the culprit and me not treating the water first.

He also told me about his kids school putting goldfish into the swimming pool every year. The kids can keep what ever they catch. I think Goldfish are much more tolerable of chlorine.

I tested the Nitrite level again last night. I am at a solid 5.0 now.

I just got home from work an hour ago - and my water is cloudy again. Just like it was a 2 weeks ago. So.... I've pretty much reversed the quality of water I had.

I really wish I had not done a water change yesterday - I REALLY screwed myself....and the fish. :fish:
 

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i agree with dave *** cycled my 55 gallon for two months i change water every two weeks and use cold water and they love it they swim right through it and *** had no real problems except once 3months ago with high nitrates but solve that problem using a system of water changes from salt water tanks
:fish: :fish:
 
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