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hungryhound
04-15-2007, 10:06 PM
We'd originally posted this under our TB thread, but since it wasn't getting a response, I thought it would bes best to start a new thread...

The day after I euthanized this fish for TB (Saturday) my other bosemani rainbow fish disappeared. This was two days ago (on Friday). My wife and I searched the tank, but could not find him. We even lifted up the drift wood and to make sure that he was not in there. We assumed that he had died and that our loaches had eaten him.

We have had our new rena filstar xp3 running for a week in conjunction with the our HOB for the past week. We removed the HOB to decrease surface agitation and allow more Co2 to stay in solution on Saturday.

Our parameters Saturday were:
pH=7.6
ammonia=0 ppm
nitrites = 0 ppm
nitrates = 10 ppm

we then did a 50 percent water change.

This morning (Sunday), and 48 hours after the one fish went missing everything went wrong. Apparently we did not search well enough. When we woke up this morning we had three dead rainbow fish and the rest were hanging out at the top of the tank.

We quickly checked all parameters, and they had skyrocketed.

pH=6.8
ammonia= 0
nitrites = 1 ppm
nitrates = 40 ppm

We immediately did another 50 percent water change, and removed everything from the tank. It appears that the missing fish had died in the hallow drift wood and started to decompose. and that was the reason we could not find him.

With the 50 percent water change on Saturday. My nitrites should have been 0ppm and my nitrates should have been around 5ppm. Am i correct in assuming that it would be the rotting fish that caused the nitrates to increase to 1 and the nitrates to quadruple?

I haven't checked the paramaters after the water change yet, but most fish (at least what is left after our run in with TB, fungal meds and this disaster) are swimming normally.

We plan on checking parameters after sometime after dinner. Would it be wise to do another water change later this evening, or would it be to much to do three 50 percent water changes in 2 days?

Thanks for you help, and let this serve as a warning that you should never assume that if a fish disappears that it has been consumed by its tank mates.

Drumachine09
04-15-2007, 10:07 PM
We'd originally posted this under our TB thread, but since it wasn't getting a response, I thought it would bes best to start a new thread...

The day after I euthanized this fish for TB (Saturday) my other bosemani rainbow fish disappeared. This was two days ago (on Friday). My wife and I searched the tank, but could not find him. We even lifted up the drift wood and to make sure that he was not in there. We assumed that he had died and that our loaches had eaten him.

We have had our new rena filstar xp3 running for a week in conjunction with the our HOB for the past week. We removed the HOB to decrease surface agitation and allow more Co2 to stay in solution on Saturday.

Our parameters Saturday were:
pH=7.6
ammonia=0 ppm
nitrites = 0 ppm
nitrates = 10 ppm

we then did a 50 percent water change.

This morning (Sunday), and 48 hours after the one fish went missing everything went wrong. Apparently we did not search well enough. When we woke up this morning we had three dead rainbow fish and the rest were hanging out at the top of the tank.

We quickly checked all parameters, and they had skyrocketed.

pH=6.8
ammonia= 0
nitrites = 1 ppm
nitrates = 40 ppm

We immediately did another 50 percent water change, and removed everything from the tank. It appears that the missing fish had died in the hallow drift wood and started to decompose. and that was the reason we could not find him.

With the 50 percent water change on Saturday. My nitrites should have been 0ppm and my nitrates should have been around 5ppm. Am i correct in assuming that it would be the rotting fish that caused the nitrates to increase to 1 and the nitrates to quadruple?

I haven't checked the paramaters after the water change yet, but most fish (at least what is left after our run in with TB, fungal meds and this disaster) are swimming normally.

We plan on checking parameters after sometime after dinner. Would it be wise to do another water change later this evening, or would it be to much to do three 50 percent water changes in 2 days?

Thanks for you help, and let this serve as a warning that you should never assume that if a fish disappears that it has been consumed by its tank mates.


Test your ammonia.

hungryhound
04-15-2007, 10:09 PM
Test your ammonia.

We tested our ammonia this morning and it was 0, the only thing that was elevated was the nitrites.

Drumachine09
04-15-2007, 10:10 PM
We tested our ammonia this morning and it was 0, the only thing that was elevated was the nitrites.


Oh, i didnt see that. Did it look sick or was it swimming odd lately?

hungryhound
04-15-2007, 10:12 PM
Oh, i didnt see that. Did it look sick or was it swimming odd lately?

As of when we went to bed last night all of the fish (including the 3 deceased) we're swimming perfectly normal and had eaten well at dinner.

Drumachine09
04-15-2007, 10:14 PM
As of when we went to bed last night all of the fish (including the 3 deceased) we're swimming perfectly normal and had eaten well at dinner.


Hmm, well then i dont know what to tell you. Are they being attacked? Do you have any agressive fish in the tank?

Chrona
04-15-2007, 10:14 PM
Yes, most likely the rotting fish put out a bit of ammonia, which, coupled with the nitrite later on, resulted in the deaths of the fish. The nitrites should be out of the system regardless of water changes within 24 hours though. If it's not, you should put the old filter back on (hope it's still wet) for a while.

Originally I thought that the new filter may not have had a sufficient bacteria population yet, which caused the slight spike, but it seems either the plants or the bacteria on the plants have picked up the slack, since there is no ammonia present.

hungryhound
04-15-2007, 10:23 PM
I really don't think that this is a simple result of the filter not having enough bacteria on it. The fact that our nitrates quadrupled in one night (12hr) tells me that we have more than enough of a bacteria population.

It's good to hear that you guys can't come up with a more troubling explanation.

Do you guys think that we should do a second 50% water change tonight? We're already planning another parameter check after dinner.

P.S. When dosing macro nutrients do I first need to dissolve them in tank water or can I just dump them in (my wife thinks i need to dissolve them first)?

Drumachine09
04-15-2007, 10:25 PM
I really don't think that this is a simple result of the filter not having enough bacteria on it. The fact that our nitrates quadrupled in one night (12hr) tells me that we have more than enough of a bacteria population.

It's good to hear that you guys can't come up with a more troubling explanation.

Do you guys think that we should do a second 50% water change tonight? We're already planning another parameter check after dinner.

P.S. When dosing macro nutrients do I first need to dissolve them in tank water or can I just dump them in (my wife thinks i need to dissolve them first)?

Disolve them first. Your fish might try to eat it or inhale it and go into spasms.

hungryhound
04-15-2007, 11:03 PM
Disolve them first. Your fish might try to eat it or inhale it and go into spasms.

Thanks for the info. I will do this from now on.

I think that I have answered my other question as well. We did water perimeters.

Our nitrite has decrease considerably
nitrite = 0.25 ppm
Nitrate has doubled to 40 ppm

So I think that we are going to do another water change after dinner. Right now i have to go make pizza.

Thanks for you help.

Drumachine09
04-15-2007, 11:07 PM
Right now i have to go make pizza.


Im coming over. Be there in a few!

Chrona
04-15-2007, 11:08 PM
Since you have a canister now, you need to dissolve it first. With a HOB it's fine to just dump it into the impeller or near it.

hungryhound
04-16-2007, 12:38 AM
Im coming over. Be there in a few!

You missed some good stuff. Where were you???

hungryhound
04-16-2007, 12:39 AM
Since you have a canister now, you need to dissolve it first. With a HOB it's fine to just dump it into the impeller or near it.

Thanks, I'll make sure I do that with the next dosage.

hungryhound
04-16-2007, 12:36 PM
Not sure what's going on with my tank, but once again in a 12hr time span I had a nitrite and nitrate spike.

We did a water change last night before going to bed, as the water parameters were as follows:

ammonia: 0ppm
nitrite: 0.23ppm
nitrate: 40ppm (makes since as the nitrites had been high earlier in the day)

I tested parameters again this morning and nitrites and nitrates were through the roof again:
pH 6.6
ammonia: 0ppm
nitrite: 1ppm
nitrate: 40ppm

Needless to say I did another 50% water change....if we keep this up, my fish aren't even going to blink an eye when I pull out the bucket and siphon!

Any ideas as to what might be up?

Chrona
04-16-2007, 03:19 PM
Are there any other fish unaccounted for? Possibly rotting plants? The nitrite eating bacteria population in the filstar should be catching up soon.

hungryhound
04-16-2007, 03:27 PM
Are there any other fish unaccounted for? Possibly rotting plants? The nitrite eating bacteria population in the filstar should be catching up soon.

this is what has me utterly confused. There are no fish unaccounted for.
In fact we actually found a yoyo loach that we thought we had lost because they were so much easier to count when they were all swimming at the surface the other day.

I do not believe that we have any rotting plants, but it may be that I am not necessarily sure what I am looking for. I know for sure that my vals and swords are fine. I would say that the coryembosa is fine. The only plants that I might suggest being rotten could be our alt. rennieckii and some enchinodorus tennelus. I am not home, but when i get home I will post pictures of them so that i can get a confirmation if they are rotting or not.

I have to admit that I am baffled. I am getting twice the nitrate spike that I see in a week in less than 24 hours and the nitrites are rising at deadly rate in this time as well.

Maybe you are correct and some of my plants are rotting, and I did not catch it. I hope that you are correct, as I can not come up with any logical explanation for why my water parameters would be changing so quickly and deadly.

Thanks for your help.

hungryhound
04-16-2007, 08:35 PM
Well I got off work early hoping that my fish were still alive. The fish seem to be swimming fine, but I checked the water peramiters.

pH = 7.0
ammonia = 0
nitrite = 0.5 ppm
Nitrate =40 ppm

compared to 7 am

pH 6.6
ammonia: 0ppm
nitrite: 1ppm
nitrate: 40ppm

In between those two readings we did a 50 percent water change.

So it is good to see that my nitrite has decreased by half, but my nitrates are still way to high.

If you figure that I took out about half of them when I did the water chagne they have increased by roughly 20 ppm in little over 8 hours. Compared to the fact that I was only seeing a rise of about 10 ppm over a week before.

As I said earlier. I do not have any more fish unaccounted for.

Attached are my plants. The first one is the right side of my tank, which I believe everything is fine. As you can see I am having an algae issue, but I think that this is mainly due to my high light with no CO2 for the longest time.

The second picture is my Coryembosa. Which I think is fine minus the algae growing on the leaves.

The third picture and the one that might have some possabilities is my enchindorus tennalus. I am not sure if it is dieing or just covered by algae.

Last but not least is my alt renickii, which looks less than ideal, but I don't think that it has kicked the bucket and started rotting yet.

Chrona
04-16-2007, 09:19 PM
It does not appear as though any of the plants are rotting (though it's kinda hard to tell with all the algae), but if you recently stopped injecting CO2, then the rise in nitrates can be attributed to the greatly decreased plant uptake of it. 40 ppm of nitrates really is not terrible compared to the nitrite levels, I would not be overly concerned as long as you do water changes. That being said, I think starting up CO2 again will greatly decrease your nitrates, given your load of plants.

hungryhound
04-16-2007, 09:30 PM
It does not appear as though any of the plants are rotting (though it's kinda hard to tell with all the algae), but if you recently stopped injecting CO2, then the rise in nitrates can be attributed to the greatly decreased plant uptake of it. 40 ppm of nitrates really is not terrible compared to the nitrite levels, I would not be overly concerned as long as you do water changes. That being said, I think starting up CO2 again will greatly decrease your nitrates, given your load of plants.

It is not that i ever stopped CO2. It is just that I could not get my pH to lower with the HOB filter and assume most of it was lost to the atmosphere. Since I took off the HOB my pH has dropped to around .6 to 1 degree of pH . So in all reality I have only had good CO2 levels for the last couple of days.

I have noticed that most of my BBA has dissipated. I want to start dosing macro and trace, but it seems pointless at the moment when I am averaging a 50 percent water change every day.

I plan on doing another water change in a hour or so when my wife gets home. Then I guess it is just a waiting game to see how my parameters are going to react.

I also agree that it hard to see with all of the algae. It is currently the bain of my existence. But I can only clean so many plant leaves off so often. At some point my plants need to start pulling their wait and out compete them.

Thanks for the insight.

Chrona
04-16-2007, 09:40 PM
It is not that i ever stopped CO2. It is just that I could not get my pH to lower with the HOB filter and assume most of it was lost to the atmosphere. Since I took off the HOB my pH has dropped to around .6 to 1 degree of pH . So in all reality I have only had good CO2 levels for the last couple of days.

I have noticed that most of my BBA has dissipated. I want to start dosing macro and trace, but it seems pointless at the moment when I am averaging a 50 percent water change every day.

I plan on doing another water change in a hour or so when my wife gets home. Then I guess it is just a waiting game to see how my parameters are going to react.

I also agree that it hard to see with all of the algae. It is currently the bain of my existence. But I can only clean so many plant leaves off so often. At some point my plants need to start pulling their wait and out compete them.

Thanks for the insight.

That's good news. Proper CO2 levels is one of the most crucial parts to a high tech aquarium. It's pretty amazing what can happen to a tank with high lighting when CO2 fails, heh. If you have some stubborn brush algae still, get a syringe and a bottle of Flourish Excel (assuming you have no anarcharis/vals) and squirt the daily dosage right onto the algae and turn down filter flow. It will die off within 24 hours.

It looks like brown algae to me, which was the bane of my existence for about 2 weeks lol. It will go away in time, however. More otos would help :)

You aren't dosing KNO3 btw, are you? lol, just figured I'd ask

hungryhound
04-16-2007, 09:50 PM
That's good news. Proper CO2 levels is one of the most crucial parts to a high tech aquarium. It's pretty amazing what can happen to a tank with high lighting when CO2 fails, heh. If you have some stubborn brush algae still, get a syringe and a bottle of Flourish Excel (assuming you have no anarcharis/vals) and squirt the daily dosage right onto the algae and turn down filter flow. It will die off within 24 hours.

The vals are the only plant with noticable growth so I don't think that I will do that.



It looks like brown algae to me, which was the bane of my existence for about 2 weeks lol. It will go away in time, however. More otos would help :)

You aren't dosing KNO3 btw, are you? lol, just figured I'd ask

Oh hell no. I have not even opened the bag. my goal is to does that to 5 ppm, but I have never been below that, so I have not needed it yet. I look forward to needing it though.

hungryhound
04-17-2007, 01:34 PM
I thought I would update my situation.

This morning I woke up and checked the parameters.

pH = 6.8 :19: perfect for my co2
nitrite = 0.25 ppm
Nitrate = 20 ppm

The nitrite is still a little high, but it has not changed since our last water change 12 hours ago. So that is good news.

It looks like our tank might be coming back to an even keel. Of course I think after our last two weeks, I am going to wait another 2 to 3 weeks before replenishing my fish stock. Hopefully I can get into a good dosing routine with all of my macro and trace nutrients and the plants will start to wake up in that time.

I will let you know if anything else funky happens. Thanks for all of your help everyone, I don't think that I could of figured it all out without you.

Chrona
04-17-2007, 03:52 PM
I thought I would update my situation.

This morning I woke up and checked the parameters.

pH = 6.8 :19: perfect for my co2
nitrite = 0.25 ppm
Nitrate = 20 ppm

The nitrite is still a little high, but it has not changed since our last water change 12 hours ago. So that is good news.

It looks like our tank might be coming back to an even keel. Of course I think after our last two weeks, I am going to wait another 2 to 3 weeks before replenishing my fish stock. Hopefully I can get into a good dosing routine with all of my macro and trace nutrients and the plants will start to wake up in that time.

I will let you know if anything else funky happens. Thanks for all of your help everyone, I don't think that I could of figured it all out without you.

Good news! :19:

hungryhound
04-23-2007, 11:25 PM
Well, the good times can only last so long and it seems we must bring this post back form the dead....

Parameters went screwy again today. Here's the story...

From Tuesday to Saturday of last week everything was perfect with the tank. On Friday we discovered that our LFS had bags of riccia flutens, and we picked some up as we'd been looking for a floating plant. Saturday we went out f town and weren't able to do our scheduled water change until Sunday. While we were out of town our male Dwarf Flame Gourami (the ONLY Gourami in the tank) was busy constructing a bubble nest (don't ask us who he was planning on mating with), so obviously things were fine through then.

On Sunday we did our scheduled 50% water change. Our parameters were perfect at:

ammonia: 0ppm
nitrites: 0ppm
nitrates: 10ppm

I also decided that I was going to clean off the abundant brown and green algae from our fake log, as well as attach the floating ricca, which had by this point wrapped itself around everything in the tank. When doing so, I inadvertently pulled out 3 yoyo loaches who were sleeping inside (this is after I did a though check and ran water through the log twice). Upon their discover, the yoyos were returned to the tank, but this had undoubtedly caused them some stress.

The positive point of this story is that I think I got the algae off, as I also removed some of the log coloring.

Feeling better about our tank my wife and I decided we wanted to find a female Dwarf Flame Gourami (didn't want him violating any of the other fish) for our little Casanova. Visiting all the local fish stores we struck out, but we did find 2 Turquoise Rainbow fish that followed us home.

So basically we did a 50% water change, scrubbed a decoration and added two fish. TO me this did not seem like much of a change to the bioload. My wife was concerned and checked the parameters before we went to bed and eveyrthing seemed fine (aka nitrites were zero).

This morning, however, was a different story as we found everyone swimming at the surface with their little noses poking out. Needless to say we checked nitrites (as this had been the culprit before) and they were over 1ppm. This apparently was too much for two of the stressed loaches as we found them floating.

We did an emergency 50% water change before heading off to work (at this rate a python is almost worth it's weight in gold, or at least I don't have to lift). Came home this afternoon and everyone was back up at the surface.

ammonia: 0ppm
nitrite: >1ppm
nitrate: 20ppm

I did another 50% water change (man maybe I'll get that python this weekend!). I think that we have done 15 50% water changes in the past 2 weeks.

This is our current situation. My biggest question is why is this happening? Would cleaning off a tank decoration really remove that much bacteria so as to cause such a large swing or could our problem be the ricca being sucked into our canister and rotting?

cocoa_pleco
04-23-2007, 11:58 PM
its not cleaning the decor, theres few bacteria on that. Maybe its caused by something big rotting in the canister

hungryhound
04-24-2007, 02:15 AM
its not cleaning the decor, theres few bacteria on that. Maybe its caused by something big rotting in the canister

I can't imagine something large getting into the canister as the intake has small slits.....now what is a possibility is that ricca has gotten into the canister...

We're about to do our third 50% water change of the day as my wife just checked the parameters:

ammonia: 0ppm
nitrite: 0.50ppm
nitrates: 20ppm

Any one else with any ideas......

hungryhound
04-24-2007, 02:24 PM
I opened and cleaned out the canister filter lat night as well as doing a 50 percent water change. The canister looked really clean. I would not expect it to be contributing to the nitrite spike.

This brought my total to 3 50% water changes in one day. I may have joked about not having to lift because of all of the buckets I was lifting earlier, but the time it took actually kept me from doing it.

This morning the fishes we all swimming at the top of the tank. The good news was that everyone was accounted for and breathing. So we did another 50 % water change as the nitrites were at 0.5 ppm.

Where this is coming from I am still not sure. Last night on our last water change. We removed all of the riccia flutens from the tank and every leaf on our other plants that may have had the possibility of rotting.

Hopefully things clear up shortly.

Chrona
04-25-2007, 12:20 AM
Sounds like a combination of a little bit of the riccia rotting and the new fish that caused a mini-cycle. I would guess the bacteria colony hasn't entirely stabilized in the canister filter yet, though it seems strange there was any ammonia to begin with with high lighting and CO2.