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  1. #1

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    Default What's going on in my tank?


    0 Not allowed!
    So, as you may know, I've had some issues with my tank recently. Namely, a methane-releasing-soil-induced crash that killed most of my pygmy and dwarf cories, plus most of my pencilfish. Then my peaceful darter went nuts, ate the eyeball out of one of my pencilfish, and the poor thing died of shock.
    Well, my problems haven't stopped there. For one, I had three pencilfish left after the crash. When I put them back into the tank, I saw that one of them looked sick. It had stress colors on and was sticking to the top, breathing heavily and staying in the corner, and it was dead the next day. Now, I assumed that the poor thing had maybe swum through a methane bubble and gotten a big dose of the toxin, which had poisoned it, and it had died of the effects of this poisoning. Reasonable, right?
    Then my darter went nuts. I found the smaller darter dead, partly eaten, and assumed the larger one had killed it, but now I'm starting to think otherwise. Why? Because I just found a female betta dead, and she'd been swimming around just fine thirty minutes ago. Her eyes are perfectly clear, she's stiff, and has absolutely no marks, disregarding a couple of slight nips in her fins from a scuffle with the boss betta.
    I know what you're probably gonna tell me, that the other bettas killed her. But it wasn't them... I have three bettas, all about the same size, all female. There's one who's more dominant, and two who are basically equal in rank. The dominant one will occasionally make a little bit of a dash at the others, but she never actually bites them. If she catches them, she flares out her gills, then just pokes the other betta with her nose (not a bite, I can tell) and swims off with her fins flared, acting like she's done something clever. Once in a while, say, once a week, the other bettas will go and flare at her, then they kind of circle eachother, the boss nips a little bit of the other's fin out (or tries to), and the lower-ranking betta shoots off and hides.
    The two second-in-command bettas occasionally flare at eachother, but they don't fight, just poof. They usually keep on opposite sides of the tank, and the boss roams all over the place. Usually, when they see eachother, they just circle a couple of times, then they swim off. The other fish never show any aggression, except for a gold gourami I have in there. Every now and then, he'll make a little dash after one, but he only dashes about three inches and then leaves them alone. He caught one once, but he just ran his feeler-fins over it, looked confused, and swam off.
    Anyone know what might be killing a seemingly random batch of fish? I tested the water:
    GH: 60
    KH: 140
    PH: About 7.5
    Amm: 0.0
    NO2: 0.0
    NO3: Just a smidge above 0
    Normal, right? Although I confess I don't really know what GH and KH mean...
    I've seen the cories randomly dash after the others, but they're just playing around... And I don't think a cory could hurt anything, they don't even have teeth or hard mouths. I did have a large cory kill a very small one... What happened was, they were both in a small container with hard walls, and the big one freaked out and started racing around. He smashed into the little cory, rammed him into the wall, and broke the poor thing's back, killing it. The female betta didn't have a broken-looking back... Plus, the big cory hasn't freaked out like that again.
    I apologise for my rambles. Can you understand this, or do I need to edit it?
    I hate hearing people say "it's only a $3/$5/$1 fish/shrimp, so it's ok if it dies, I can just get another." It's still an animal! All animals should be treated like they're worth $10,000.
    29 sw: Damsel, shrimpgoby, pistol shrimp, waspfish
    65 fw: Rummies, glowlight tetras, pencilfish, darters, ottos, f betta, goby, dwarf gourami, ninjas
    29 fw: Chili rasboras, pygmy cories, P. Gertrudae

  2. #2

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    What are you using for substrate?
    Warning; Bulldog Pleco guarding my Sons tank now..

    Please remember; every keystroke has a consequence.

  3. #3

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Black aquarium sand, about 3 inches deep in most places. It's nice and soft, the cories loved it. I poked around in the sand with a stick, and there was no sign of any bubbles except a few random air bubbles, so I don't think there's any methane left over. Also, the tank smells a bit like fish, but there's no foul smell, just sort of a river smell.
    I hate hearing people say "it's only a $3/$5/$1 fish/shrimp, so it's ok if it dies, I can just get another." It's still an animal! All animals should be treated like they're worth $10,000.
    29 sw: Damsel, shrimpgoby, pistol shrimp, waspfish
    65 fw: Rummies, glowlight tetras, pencilfish, darters, ottos, f betta, goby, dwarf gourami, ninjas
    29 fw: Chili rasboras, pygmy cories, P. Gertrudae

  4. #4

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Change water. Lots of it. Healthy tank water can have a smell but should not have an unpleasant odor. Be sure to vacuum your gravel too, and push the vacuum down deep.

  5. #5

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    No, it doesn't smell bad, just kind of like fish... I don't know how to describe it, but it's not at all unpleasant, just the smell that differentiates plain water from aquarium water.
    And I can't really get the siphon deep, it'll siphon all the sand out! I have to keep it an inch or so off the bottom, where it can suck up gunk but won't turn my tank bare-bottom.
    I hate hearing people say "it's only a $3/$5/$1 fish/shrimp, so it's ok if it dies, I can just get another." It's still an animal! All animals should be treated like they're worth $10,000.
    29 sw: Damsel, shrimpgoby, pistol shrimp, waspfish
    65 fw: Rummies, glowlight tetras, pencilfish, darters, ottos, f betta, goby, dwarf gourami, ninjas
    29 fw: Chili rasboras, pygmy cories, P. Gertrudae

  6. #6

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    i would still do a water change.
    they never hurt and maybe there is something in the water which can be replace by a simple water change.

  7. #7

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    how long have you been using this routine of cleaning only surface gunk?
    substrate in an unplanted tank as thick as yours that isn't aerated/disturbed occasionally will turn anaerobic
    and release toxic gases like you described.

    if you cannot use the siphon, then run something like a tweezer or a fork through the substrate to loosen it up and work in some oxygen.
    remove any animals beforehand because all the methane built up in the substrate will come out, fouling the water. after stirring up the substrate, do a huge water change and then reintroduce the fish and from then on make sure you disturb it every so often.
    Last edited by madagascariensis; 06-11-2013 at 02:12 AM.

  8. #8

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I just put the sand in a few days ago... My tank crashed, and I had to replace the substrate because that's what caused it. Also, it's planted, although not heavily. I'm also planning on obtaining some mexican trumpet snails to stir up the substrate. I know they can go nuts (I had them do that once) but I have an assassain snail and I can get more.
    I know about the whole areation thing, it was covered in the first squarium book I read. I still remember the basic idea; stir your substrate up somehow so it won't go anaerobic. It says plant roots can help, as can MTS, and cories will loosen shallow sand.
    I hate hearing people say "it's only a $3/$5/$1 fish/shrimp, so it's ok if it dies, I can just get another." It's still an animal! All animals should be treated like they're worth $10,000.
    29 sw: Damsel, shrimpgoby, pistol shrimp, waspfish
    65 fw: Rummies, glowlight tetras, pencilfish, darters, ottos, f betta, goby, dwarf gourami, ninjas
    29 fw: Chili rasboras, pygmy cories, P. Gertrudae

  9. #9

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Do you have a cover on the tank? I think its poor water quality issues that are starting to cause problems but another idea is something getting sprayed in the room and harming the tank. If you or someone else have sprayed air freshener or something else like insect poison in the area it could be the problem.
    20 gallon tall: empty
    29 gallon: moderately planted with 9 bloodfin tetra, 1 german blue ram, 11 glow light tetra and 1 BNP
    10 gallon QT: empty

  10. #10

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    0 Not allowed!
    I've had to spray some Febreze in my room, but there's a cover on the tank... In fact, though it isn't air-tight, all the gaps are covered. I used to have danios, and I didn't want them jumping out. I also kept the stuff mostly away from the tank... I suppose the fan could have blown it over there, though.
    I hate hearing people say "it's only a $3/$5/$1 fish/shrimp, so it's ok if it dies, I can just get another." It's still an animal! All animals should be treated like they're worth $10,000.
    29 sw: Damsel, shrimpgoby, pistol shrimp, waspfish
    65 fw: Rummies, glowlight tetras, pencilfish, darters, ottos, f betta, goby, dwarf gourami, ninjas
    29 fw: Chili rasboras, pygmy cories, P. Gertrudae

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