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nathans
01-29-2012, 10:12 PM
Hi. Im currently going through a rough time in my fish keeping. i seem to be losing a fish each week. my tank is cycled so that isn't the problem. i have a 60 gallon tank with 4 angels, 1 fighter, 5 bristlenose plecs, 1 pictus catfish, 2 rainbow sharks, 1 black ghost knife, 2 dwarf gourami, 1 balloon gourami, 1 panchax, 5 hatchet fish, 2 tetra and a butterfly fish. it is a planted tank. in the start i lost fish that had obvious symptoms and it was never a shock however now a fish will drop dead with no physical symptoms. (some have behavioral changes). and im completely stumped as to what the problem could be. some ideas iv had include the tank being overstocked? also iv considered that it could be an interal problem like worms or something. im really in the dark. any thoughts? thanks

Lady Hobbs
01-29-2012, 10:14 PM
For one thing, you are overstocked. Could the tank be low on oxygen due to the amount of fish.

hydra01
01-29-2012, 10:17 PM
wow quite a diverse group of fish. Some of those may not be compatible and you are a bit overstocked. Butterfly fish are highly predatory. First check all of your water parameters. PH, Nitrates etc. Make sure the temperature is where it should be. How often do you change the water? If it's a planted tank and you are running Co2 check to make sure you are not overdoing it. Are you using an air pump at all?

nathans
01-29-2012, 10:27 PM
i have a submersible filter which pumps a heap of air into the tank. i was told this would be satisfactory. my water parameters are good 0, 0, 20. pH is at 7 and hardness is is at 5. temperature also is around 28. i do 20% water changes weekly and a larger gravel vacuum whenever needed. do i need to get rid of some of my fish? i could never find any consistant advice on stocking levels. also iv lost several gouramis and fighters which are supposed to be able to breath from the surface. not sure whether that gives you more information...

Lady Hobbs
01-29-2012, 11:01 PM
BGK alone gets to 20" and belongs in very large tanks and
Rainbow sharks should not be kept together. Even 4 angels is stretching it due to aggression with one another.

With the stock load you have and the amount of fish, a 60 gallon should have a very good filter. I don't know what submersible filter you have but I would think that tank should have an additional canister filter on it to take care of all that bioload from the fish.

Have you checked the nitrates levels?

nathans
01-29-2012, 11:07 PM
ok thanks for that. would that explain all my losses. my filter seems to keep my ammonia at 0 without any issues. i did a fishless cycle before i started and it was processing over 4ppm ammonia a day. if a filter would solve this problem what would you recommend? also i keep my nitrates at or below 20ppm.

Goes to 11!
01-30-2012, 12:32 AM
What are you testing with? Also, Do you know the tank rating and GPH of your filter?

nathans
01-30-2012, 02:40 AM
i use API test kits.and i dont know what the flow rate is for my filter. i bought it all second hand and it has no labeling as to what brand it is so i havn't been able to check its rating. i know its got a dial on top and that its not running at full capacity its at 3/4. always has been since i bought it. should i turn it up? i also have a small air pump in my hospital tank, is it worth adding this into my main aquarium?

Lady Hobbs
01-30-2012, 02:45 AM
An airline into your tank certainly won't hurt but it's so hard to advise without knowing what filter you have or even if that is what is killing the fish. It could simply be due to aggression as well.

nathans
01-30-2012, 02:51 AM
my fish are all rather small (my tank is 4 months old) and i didn't buy large fish. (my largest fish is an angel about 3inchs nose to tip of tail) i notice very little aggressive behaviour amongst my fish but their is a little bit. i am currently trying to find the flow rate of my filter. i will let you know if i have any luck

nathans
01-30-2012, 03:02 AM
ok i think its a Penn Plax cascade 600. if so then its too small for my aquarium. any recommendations for a new filter? what flow rates do i need? im also looking for a uv sterilizer, maybe i could kill two birds with one stone?

Lady Hobbs
01-30-2012, 04:10 AM
Oh my. That filter is not nearly enough filtration. Personally, I would recommend the X3. Good sale here and free shipping. And use this with the other one.

http://www.petsolutions.com/C/Aquarium-Canister-Filters/I/Rena-FilStar-Canister-Filters.aspx

nathans
01-30-2012, 04:36 AM
i guess that supports your low oxygen diagnoses? il have to get something bigger. il have to convince my wife first. iv been spending a lot on this venture already. excuse my ignorance but how would a larger filter help? wouldn't i just need an air stone or something? or am i solving other issues as well. thanx for all your help so far. its great learning from people who aren't just trying to sell me something!!!

Lady Hobbs
01-30-2012, 05:39 AM
Your bacteria grows in the filter media as I'm sure you know. With that amount of stock and with that size tank, that little filter you have will never support the waste those fish will put out as they grow. Unfortunately, you can not filter a large tank like that for pennies. You have to have good filtering just like you need good tires on your vehicle. Some places you can cut some corners but the filter is their lifeline to supply good water conditions and supply the amount of oxygen a tank needs. Just like they need a heater that is adaquate for that size tank. (Like a 300 watt.) It's a bit of money to get the filters but they last for many years.

As your fish grow, that's more waste and more ammonia and nitrites to get rid of everyday. That filter can not grow enough bacteria in that little box to supply the fish with enough bacteria to eliminate that.

nathans
01-30-2012, 06:11 AM
ok that makes sense. iv never really looked into filters but i understand you need to place different media in the trays. im guessing thats where the oxygen comes from somehow. what media would i need with it to boost my oxygen levels? i really enjoy keeping fish and hate seeing them die so im going to do everything i can to keep them alive. iv also been advised to get a uv sterilizer. any thoughts or advice on that?

Goes to 11!
01-30-2012, 06:58 AM
Your priority is to buy a better filter before even considering UV - Hands down. Take UV off of the table for the time being.

It would be very beneficial for you to read the links in Lady Hobbs signature about cycling as well as the Free aquarium E-book (http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/ebook.html) so that you can understand the functions your filter performs. This understanding is fundamental to a successfully functioning aquatic system.

nathans
01-30-2012, 07:28 AM
yeah il do that.(hopefully my wife hasn't picked my anniversary pressie yet and i can drop some hints!) i always thought it would be ok because it all come together.any advice on what i should put in my filter or am i going to find that in the ebook? btw i just found baby panchax in my quarantine tank. i havn't had it running or stocked for at least two weeks. they should be dead! i was quite surprised. no idea how to raise them.

Bigge3415
01-30-2012, 12:23 PM
The larger filter will increase oxygen levels. More current in the tank and more surface agitation both add to more oxygen in the water.

Stlouisfish
01-30-2012, 12:36 PM
ok that makes sense. iv never really looked into filters but i understand you need to place different media in the trays. im guessing thats where the oxygen comes from somehow. what media would i need with it to boost my oxygen levels? i really enjoy keeping fish and hate seeing them die so im going to do everything i can to keep them alive. iv also been advised to get a uv sterilizer. any thoughts or advice on that?
It's not the media that provides oxygen - media provides a surface for bacteria to grow (biological - which "eats" the ammonia fish produce) and provides mechanical filtration (removing impurities) - oxygen is provided by the outflow of the filter and/or an airstone.

Also remember, along with growing fish making more and more ammonia, those growing fish also will display more and more aggressive behavior - we always have to look at their "potential".

Fishin Phil
01-30-2012, 12:39 PM
+1 to andreahp. Don't look at what size the fish are now, look at what size they should reach at maturity.

Crispy
01-30-2012, 12:52 PM
your filtration for that stock is not nearly enough. you need a large external canister with your current filter.

even if your water parameters are in check, there are vitamins, micronutrients, and elecrolytes in fresh water that is needed by the fish. you should be doing 50% water changes once a week. 2x 30% changes would be better. you may want to look at rehoming some of those fish.

Lady Hobbs
01-30-2012, 02:30 PM
Something else people with larger tanks need.

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+3728+3761+23593&pcatid=23593

This hooks up to your faucet, pulls the old water out and refills the tank for you. No more buckets, slopping water everywhere, and breaking your back.

The cheap part of this hobby is the fish.

nathans
01-30-2012, 11:41 PM
Ok - got the hint - have ordered a new canister filter which should arrive within a week. Should I leave the airstones in once I have it up and running, or remove?

Also - query re butterfly fish - if a larger filter increases the current in tank and the surface agitation, is this going to irritate/upset the fish?

Thanks for all your help :)

Goes to 11!
01-30-2012, 11:53 PM
Ok - got the hint - have ordered a new canister filter which should arrive within a week. Should I leave the airstones in once I have it up and running, or remove? Up to you.

Also - query re butterfly fish - if a larger filter increases the current in tank and the surface agitation, is this going to irritate/upset the fish?

Thanks for all your help :)The answer to this is most likely 'no' but knowing the specific filter model you have on the way would be helpful in answering.

nathans
01-31-2012, 08:08 AM
iv ordered the sunsun 402B canister filter. they seem cheap but also have good reviews. two more questions i have,

1. why do i need to keep my old filter running? im assuming its only a temperary thing until my bacteria colonise my new filter but please correct me if im wrong.

2. i thought water changes were mainly to remove the nitrate from the water and i seem to be on top of my levels. however Crispy has suggested up to 60% a week. i have a syphon set up already so its just as easy for me to do 60% as it is 20%. so can anyone give me more advice, if heard that water changes can be stressful to the fish but i also know that not changing the water is bad for the fish. just trying to find the line in the middle.

Fishin Phil
01-31-2012, 12:40 PM
I've never seen any stress in my fish from a water change, some of them seem to look forward to it. Every tank is different as to how often and what percentage of water needs to be changed. Variables that can affect it are how heavily is it planted, number and type of fish, etc.

Stlouisfish
01-31-2012, 01:19 PM
iv ordered the sunsun 402B canister filter. they seem cheap but also have good reviews. two more questions i have,

1. why do i need to keep my old filter running? im assuming its only a temperary thing until my bacteria colonise my new filter but please correct me if im wrong.

2. i thought water changes were mainly to remove the nitrate from the water and i seem to be on top of my levels. however Crispy has suggested up to 60% a week. i have a syphon set up already so its just as easy for me to do 60% as it is 20%. so can anyone give me more advice, if heard that water changes can be stressful to the fish but i also know that not changing the water is bad for the fish. just trying to find the line in the middle.

Even if your current filter is inadequate for your current stock, it still contains the bacteria you need to "eat" the fish's ammonia. Unless you don't have the space in your tank to run 2 filters and you plan on cycling your new filter as a replacement, extra filtration is always good. In general, this forum recommends filtration for double the size of your tank but you also have to consider the amount of waste the fish produce.

Water changes remove everything, not just nitrates - they take ammonia out and other toxins that the filter doesn't get. I compare them to flushing the toilet for fish. Water changes are only potentially harmful if your fish aren't used to them and you do a major one at one time. I've seen advice for those people that they should build up the amount they take out little by little so the fish become accustomed to larger ones.

Many forum members change 50% every week and some even more often than that depending upon how sensitive their fish are. If you are set up to do larger water changes, then by all means do them!

kurly
01-31-2012, 01:20 PM
Only thing I can think of regarding water changes stressing out fish is if there is a swing in water temperatures. Water changes are good for fish as long as the water is dechlorinated and as close to the temperature of the tank water that is being removed.

I agree with you Fishin Phil, my fish look forward to water changes. Especially the Harlequin Rasboras who love to play in the water flow that comes out of my Python :ssmile:

MadisonEmilyLeague
01-31-2012, 02:42 PM
You have way to many fish in your tank!!!! your stressing your fish out, when stress causes many different diseases. You should not have more then one Angel in one tank unless you buy them at the same time. Go to an aquarium store and ask for more help!

Goes to 11!
01-31-2012, 03:28 PM
iv ordered the sunsun 402B canister filter. they seem cheap but also have good reviews. two more questions i have,

1. why do i need to keep my old filter running? im assuming its only a temperary thing until my bacteria colonise my new filter but please correct me if im wrong.
That filter is not overkill by any means for your tank.

Yes, It's temp but it has to stay as it's where your current colony of BB reside and removing it puts you back at square one. Alternatively you could transfer your bio-media to the new filter and that would obviously move the colony to it.


2. i thought water changes were mainly to remove the nitrate from the water and i seem to be on top of my levels.Crispy already answered this by noting some things that WC add & not simply what they remove.


even if your water parameters are in check, there are vitamins, micronutrients, and elecrolytes in fresh water that is needed by the fish.


however Crispy has suggested up to 60% a week. i have a syphon set up already so its just as easy for me to do 60% as it is 20%. so can anyone give me more advice, if heard that water changes can be stressful to the fish but i also know that not changing the water is bad for the fish. just trying to find the line in the middle.No he didn't.

He suggested 2 x 30% and that does NOT mean: Do 30% & turn around and do another 30% immediately.

It means do two 30% changes over the course of the week and this is not the same thing, [& It's actually closer to 51% - do the math:hmm3grin2orange: ].

The idea he was trying to relate is that WC done in smaller portions/more often can help prevent large swings with your parameters, Especially when overstocked/underfiltered as you are.

Lady Hobbs
01-31-2012, 03:48 PM
We have to keep in mind that fish constantly pee and poo in their current water. Pieces of food is here and there rotting also causing polution. If you have nitrates of .....say.....60 in your tank, and you do a 20% water change out of 60 gallons, you are only bring the nitrates down by 1/3. And they would still be too high.

Crispy wrote: "you should be doing 50% water changes once a week. 2x 30% changes would be better."

What is stressful to fish is water changes that are large but the temp change is different. My tanks get 50-60% every single week, and I have canister filters and FAR less stock than you do.
Congrats on the purchase of that new canister. It will be well served. But you need to start getting rid of some fish and perhaps the store will offer up some credits on them.

Madison.......buying angelfish at the same time do nothing about aggression issues as they mature. That will not change as they began to pair off. A mated pair or one works best unless the tank is "very" large.

nathans
02-01-2012, 06:58 AM
ok that all makes sense. so here is my plan of attack.
1. try and convince my wife i need a new tank.
2. give up on that and give half my stock to my brother who is currently cycling a 60g tank. (would this be approx. the right amount of stock in my tank then?)
3. hook up my new filter
4. increase my water changes to 50% weekly.
5. enjoy keeping my fish happy and healthy.

if there is anything else i should be doing or if that sounds wrong let me know. otherwise id like to say a big thankyou to everyone who has posted in this forum.Iv learnt heaps. its really great that all you experienced fish keepers take the time to help newbies like me out. i hope one day i can know enough and be able to pass my knowledge onto others.

Countrylovin4evr
02-07-2012, 09:25 AM
http://www.aqadvisor.com/ could give you an IDEA of stocking levels and what not. Now remember is isn't law but it can help you.