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geowashlaw
06-30-2010, 05:32 PM
Moving day is fast approaching. I've decided to break down my 90g aquarium completely and clean it up a bit. I've been having a couple of problems:

1. I keep losing fish. It has been contained to my livebearers. I had a platy get what I am sure was dropsy a couple of months ago. Since then, I have lost two mollies and my german ram. They start looking sluggish and within a couple of days, they just die. I'm hoping that cleaning everything out will get it out of the water column.

2. BBA ... I have been battling this stuff forever. I'm going to scrub down all the equipment (hoses, filters, tank, rocks etc.) with bleach while it is empty.

3. Slow plant growth. I currently have CO2 injection, a 4 x 54 CF fixture and the original light 48" light strip on the tank. I'm going to refresh the substrate as what I have is almost 2 years old and I'm sure the nutrient levels are getting low. I am also considering a substrate heater and another light. Most of what I have is supposed to be low maintenance, fast growth stuff, but I just don't seem to be able to make it work. I have swords, lutea, camboba, crypt spiralis and hornwort. I don't fertilize because when I do, the BBA takes off like crazy.

Something is obviously out of balance in the tank. If anyone has thoughts, now would be a good time for me to try and address it ...

Thanks!

Spardas
06-30-2010, 06:08 PM
1) How many fishes do you have left? Are all the fishes relatively healthy? Are the death a few months apart? There are many variable at work as to why your fishes are dying. Since this present itself as an opportunity to break down and start fresh; maybe consider treating your fish in one tank while you restart the 90.

Cleaning out the water and breaking down the tank doesn't mean that the pathogen will be killed. Since you're going to spend the time to break it down and clean it up, maybe set aside a QT tank for your fishes to treat them while you nuke the tank? In the same token, you can clean up your plants and cut out the decaying leaves/stem. If you do go about nuking the tank, then you'll have to re-establish the cycle and start fresh with the plants.

2) Get more easy growers like swords, honrworts, and vals. Do you have SAEs? Do you use excel?

3) Maybe it's time to change the CFL's bulb? How often do you change bulbs. If it's been 2 years already like the substrate, then the output is definitely not the same.

PostalPenguin
06-30-2010, 09:53 PM
Substrate like Eco-complete and Fluorite are inexhaustible for the timescale of the home aquarium keeper. At 2 years old all it needs is maybe a stirring and a good gravel vac.

How are you measuring CO2 levels? How are you diffusing it? What are you dosing in terms of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium(NPK)? What about micronutrients? Slow plant growth means the algae will grow to consume the left over nutrients.

High light with no fertilizer will result in algae even with CO2 since algae can use CO2.

Lady Hobbs
06-30-2010, 11:50 PM
I had one outbreak of BBA and used Excel for two weeks. It got rid of all the BBA and it has never returned. Your substrate may be exhausted of nutrients and perhaps just using some substrate pellets will help but with more than 2 watts per gallon, I believe you need to fertilize.

I have just a shop light with 6700K bulbs and no CO2 and my plants have crowded out the fish. I fertilize "now and then" and add additional iron "now and then."

You are very reasonable to empty that tank. Your first post of trying to carry a 90 gallon tank with all the plants and substrate in it on a piece of plywood caused me to shudder! So NOT a good idea at all.

Good luck with your move.