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New Tang Tank Question

2371 Views 11 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  ironspider
I have a new 75g tank,fully cycled.Just added a few fish to start and I am having an issue.All they do is hide.When originally added they behaved normally, ate well and ventured around, now, two days later I can't see them, even at feeding time.
I have 4 J. Marlieri,4 S.Petricola,1 N.Brichardi and 1 N. Leleupi. Not even the cats can be seen.
Here are a few parameters: Temp is 78,Ph 8.6 Gh 8 Kh 10 no ammonia, no nitrites and no nitrates.
I have a Marineland C360 an Emperor 400 and a 550 gph powerhead.Rocks are granite from local river, fully sanitized and tested for metals and a resin background from Jungle Bobs
Here are the things I have tried, one at a time to see if it makes a difference.
1.Turned off powerhead(I thought the current might be too much)
2. Turned off Emperor 400(same reasons)
3. Replaced bright LED light bar with a dimmer one(Thought it might be too bright but they don't even venture out at night)
I am an experienced Aquarist but have been out of the hobby for years so I am hoping someone here has some suggestions.

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How large are the fish? Maybe they are just enjoying hiding in the rocks.

How did you cycle the tank? A reading of zero nitrate is usually a sign the tank is not cycled. Which type and brand of test kit are you using?

Any chance you can post a pic of the tank?
Thanks for your response.
I did a full cycle,from skyhigh ammonia to none,skyhigh nitrite to none and the nitrate levels aren't zero per se,just at a safe,non-toxic level.
API test kit.
normally I wouldn't be that concerned but Petricola cats are supposed to be quite active,aren't they?
Please post the test results for nitrate.

I would wait a month or more for fish to settle in and start displaying the first hints of normal behavior. Synodontis, IMO, are not all that active when first added to a tank. My multipunctata are out and about more than my lucipinnis (a.k.a. Petricola).
Nitrate is 4 ppm
I'm hoping that it's just new home shyness and nothing else.
Can there be such a thing as too much water movement or do they like that sort of thing?
Thanks for the help
What kind of test kit gives a reading of 4? Usually they are in multiples of 5. I sometimes do twice a week water changes and find it hard to get nitrates below 10. But that is another issue. Not sure that nitrates would equate with shy fish.

I think it is a matter of them settling in but I once had a group of tropheus that were always shy, even after a year.
The leleupi started dashing all over tank,then not swimming properly,then died.Next day one Petricola did the same thing.Water was perfect so I thought maybe it was the granite rocks from the local riverbank that were poisoning them so i removed them and did a 50% wc.Unfortunately by this time my shipment arrived and I had no choice but to add the new fish.10 cyps,2 gobies 4 ocellatus and 4 hecqui.
Now 2 more cats did the same thing and died plus the cyps won't eat and I lost 2 today.
Water parameters are: Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0 Nitrate 5 ppm Temp 78 PH 8.2 GH 10 KH 12.
Carib Sea African Cichlid sand,Marineland c360 running eheim bio and purigen,emperor 400 plus a 550 powerhead.
Sorry for the long post but I'm at my wits end
- Is it possible that the fish were acclimated to 7.0ph at the store (or wherever you got the fish)? Not sure if that would kill them, but it's one of my concerns with new fish.
- Have you checked the temps with multiple thermometers? With mine the temps read 76 with one and 84 with another.
- Do you have any rocks that could be leaching something or that came with toxins on them?
If your tank is properly cycled, you should do some major water changes. That's what I would do. If I had established filter medium I'd just drain the tank to ensure it wasn't something toxic in the water.
I'm no expert. Just brainstorming.
More brainstorming. What dechlorinator do you use? Is the background meant for reptiles or fish? How was it attached?

It does seem like something is leaching into the water since it took a couple of days for fish to be impacted. I would do a 100% water change, matching parameters carefully.

A change in pH from seller to your tank likely will not kill them, but the impact is immediate...they go still and dark but recover after a day or two.

A big change in nitrate will kill them overnight. Are you shaking your nitrate test long enough and hard enough?
Multiple thermometers all read the same.
I use Seachem Prime as a dechlorinator.
Background was for Aquariums I made doubly sure of that,also it's jus press fit in,no adhesive.. I've removed all the rocks and am just using Aquarium safe plastic decor for now.
I recently read about the API nitrate test bottle #2 issue and am shaking it thoroughly,I also got a Nutrafin Test kit to verify the API readings.
I did another 50% WC as well,matching all parameters.
When I got up this morning,3 more cyps dead and only the shellies are eating.I even soaked the Northfin pellets in Garlic Guard but no luck.
I'm almost ready to sell everything and get out as fast I got back in.
You have something toxic in your water...just a question of what. Cyps are delicate. Heartbreaking to lose the Synodontis.
I'm thinking you aren't cycled properly. Only because I've never seen 5ppm nitrate in a stocked tank. Even on my best week, after a water change I'm at 20.
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