Cichlid Fish Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, new to the forums. Sorry to come right out of the gate asking for something but I have fish dropping like flies over here and hope you experts may be able to give me some advice on what is going on.

The story: Had a tank for years, community tank with tetras and other friendly fish. Got tired of them. Wanted Cichlids. Took all of those existing fish and donated them to Petsmart.

Purchased 10 Cichlids, all different species, all African. Sorry I am not more helpful on this but, I have or had I guess, 2 blue zebra ones, 2 red zebra ones, a blue one with yellow fins, a pure yellow one, a bumblebee one, a yellow one with horizontal stripes and a spotted catfish.

Fish were fine for like 2 weeks.

Here is where I went wrong....

Monday: Decided to change the landscaping in the tank. Bought cichlid sand type substrate and a bunch of rocks to make caves and such. Cleaned the sand, the rocks and put in the tank. Filled with water, added the conditioner per the instructions, everything fine. Started reading around that sand can be harmful to the filter gears and the type I bought has issues with the water always being cloudy because the sand is so finely grained.

Thursday (last night): Purchase new gravel. Emptied entire tank, cleaned out all the sand (always with just water, no soap on anything ever) Fill tank with water, conditioner and put fish back in. This morning, down to like 4 fish. The ones I can see in there all huddle up in the top corner and then eventually just go and lay on the bottom and die. SOME of the fish are acting normal, like maybe two of them but the rest...not eating, just hanging around the top, then eventually lay on the bottom and die.

I tested amonia, and it showed slight stress. tested PH, I am at 7.6. What is going on? How do I fix this? Fish are dying rather quickly.

Thanks in advance!
Bueller
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,315 Posts
Tank size and dimensions? You're going to need to test ammonia as well as nitrite and nitrate.
How long has the tank been up and running? Was it cycled? What filter(s) are on the tank and what are you using for conditioner?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi there. It's a 30 gallon tall type tank with a Marineland bio wheel filter, 2 cartridges in it that I replaced as well. I did test the ammonia, the color on the stick was level with the "Stressed" block (a light green), but not all the way up to danger level. The tank has been up and running for three years with the old fish in it. Once I changed all the water and gravel out after cleaning that sand out of there it was then filled back up with 100% clean, clear new tap water conditioned with Tetra Aquasafe - the old water they were in while sitting in the bucket while I cleaned out their tank was FULL of sand grains floating around.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,315 Posts
BUELLER said:
Hi there. It's a 30 gallon tall type tank with a Marineland bio wheel filter, 2 cartridges in it that I replaced as well. I did test the ammonia, the color on the stick was level with the "Stressed" block (a light green), but not all the way up to danger level. The tank has been up and running for three years with the old fish in it. Once I changed all the water and gravel out after cleaning that sand out of there it was then filled back up with 100% clean, clear new tap water conditioned with Tetra Aquasafe - the old water they were in while sitting in the bucket while I cleaned out their tank was FULL of sand grains floating around.
Sounds like you're going through a mini cycle. The beneficial bacteria in the substrate as well as in the cartridges are gone and the bio wheel is doing all the converting.
Keep an eye on the ammonia, I suggest buying a liquid test kit, API is fairly good and generally easy to find, test ammonia and nitrite keeping both under 1ppm through water changes while your bacteria re-establishes itself in your media and substrate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Latest update...the rest of the fish in the tank are acting very normal now and swimming around, approaching the glass when you walk up to the tank, etc. Should I change part of the water tomorrow or what do I need to do? How long do I need to wait before I go and get replacement fish to make up for the ones that died? Sorry such a newbie, but what should my next steps be?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
I would let the tank continue it's cycling process before you add anymore fish to the tank. You can try using seachem stability give the existing fish a better chance. Keeping someoff the old tank water would have been very beneficial to your tank. How long ago was the water added?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,893 Posts
Definitely get a test kit and provide the test results. pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. That will tell you if you are ready to add fish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
173 Posts
Stability has directions on how to use it to cycle a new tank which is done over a 7 day period. I have followed them for new tanks where I have used "seasoned" sponges and rocks from existing operational tanks, and one tank totally from scratch, and as claimed I added fish immediately.

This is one approach that should ease you problem. But it is not worth overtaxing it by adding more fish right away. In your situation I would use it in the tank (as directed) with the surviving fish for a couple of weeks, testing daily, before THINKING about adding any more fish.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,893 Posts
Lestango said:
I have used "seasoned" sponges and rocks from existing operational tanks, and one tank totally from scratch, and as claimed I added fish immediately.
The use of seasoned sponges and rocks should have prevented any cycle even without the use of bacteria in a bottle...do you think the Stability was necessary or added anything?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
173 Posts
I really can't say for sure. The amount you use is so small that I decided it was worth the cost and to be honest, in the one tank I stocked fish in from day one using the Stability my chemistry was excellent. But then I do tend to over-do things in my preperations of tanks and adornments.

When I started in this hobby you would have two test-tubes hanging to the top of the tank - one with heating coils and the other with a bi-metallic thermoswitch, that were sealed with a tar like material. Most LFS sold live food that often came with bad guys. Hydras would frequently infiltrate my tanks. I would even go out and net water fleas from local puddles in the woods and buy red worms which were like sewer worms. So I guess my caution has its roots in mine.

I hate loosing fish! :(
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top