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Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. Default Help with a water issue.


    0 Not allowed!
    I recently did a much needed water change in my 20 gallon community tank. I had six Red and Blue Columbia tetras. I added a few basic tetras after that and a pleco. 3 of the 4 new tetras died over the course of 3 days. I tested my water to see what was going on. Nitrates were off the charts. I have been doing 15-20% changes every other day, and it is finally coming down. I also planted a few live plants to help. I have since lost all but one of the Columbia tetras. My guess is the changes, and stirring up of detritus caused the deaths. I have been using the 6 in one strips for testing, there has been no Ammonia, or Nitrites, pH is in the average range, hardness is maxed out, as was the Nitrates. Again my Nitrates are beginning to come down. My Alkalinity is reading low. What the heck is going on. This tank has been running for three years, and the Columbian tetras have been in there for 2 of those years.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    A little further from sanity
    Posts
    8,307

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    Default


    2 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by johnnydaytona View Post
    I recently did a much needed water change in my 20 gallon community tank. I had six Red and Blue Columbia tetras. I added a few basic tetras after that and a pleco. 3 of the 4 new tetras died over the course of 3 days. I tested my water to see what was going on. Nitrates were off the charts. I have been doing 15-20% changes every other day, and it is finally coming down. I also planted a few live plants to help. I have since lost all but one of the Columbia tetras. My guess is the changes, and stirring up of detritus caused the deaths. I have been using the 6 in one strips for testing, there has been no Ammonia, or Nitrites, pH is in the average range, hardness is maxed out, as was the Nitrates. Again my Nitrates are beginning to come down. My Alkalinity is reading low. What the heck is going on. This tank has been running for three years, and the Columbian tetras have been in there for 2 of those years.
    I think you answered your own question in your post. You have to do water changes on a regular basis. Nitrates are toxic to fish at higher levels and they should be kept down to under 20ppm. You also added a good number of fish, including a large bio-load fish (the pleco) at one time. This would cause a mini-cycle. Keep doing water changes on a regular basis, I suggest 50% at a time.
    When I go fishing I just place a sharp rock in the water and sit there waiting for all the dead fish to float to the top... Kingfisher
    Brutal honesty will be shown on this screen.
    I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
    Tolerance is a great thing to have, so is the ability to shut up.

    I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.


  3. Default


    1 Not allowed!
    Get a liquid test kit. The test strips are not accurate.

  4. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Will the 50% changes send me into a cycle as well? I'm down to 3 fish, and I'd hate to lose my clown pleco. Or is it more important to get my chemistry right?

  5. #5

    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    Large water changes will not cause your tank to cycle again. Practically all the bacteria that you need to keep your water in line will be found in the filter and not free floating in the water. Right now, lots of large water changes will be the best thing for your pleco. I complete about 75% water changes each week with no harm being done to my tank. Been going on for well over 4 years like this now. I would suggest to complete your water changes as already suggested

    And when you clean your substrate, it is important not to stir it up. Instead use a gravel vac to remove all the crud that builds up in the substrate with allowing it to be set free in the water and making your water parameters even worse.
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

  6. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Looks like some big water changes are in my future. Thanks for the advice. Should I worry too much about the very hard condition of my water compared to the low Alkalinity? Again thanks all.

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