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  1. #1

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    Default Stuggling with poor conditions


    0 Not allowed!
    So I have five leopard cories and one peppered cory. Up until now they have all done wonderfully. Well Thursday I noticed one of the smaller leopards wasn't doing so well. Just kinda floating listlessly and moving only when someone bumped into him. Friday he was completely gone. Could not find him at all. Well it was time for my waterchange so I decided to make it a good one. Emptied about 60%, emptied the Aquaclear HOB out and washed everything, took my sponge out and replaced it with media I've been seeding for a few weeks. (however I left my sponge sitting in the tank under the filter intake) Last night I was looking at the tank and noticed two more leopard cats not doing so hot. I immediately tested my params .25 ammonia 0 nitrites 20 nitrates.

    Where did that ammonia come from? And why were my nitrates so high after only two days? I never did find the body of that cory, I looked everywhere. Maybe that was causing the ammonia spike and subsequent high nitrates? Needless to say I did another water change. I'm still not sure about the ammonia, it seems I get a false positive because my tap and my other tank all read the same and I KNOW the other tank is cycled same as the 20.

    Well I spent the night checking params. I've only got one test tube left so it took a while.

    Tap
    =< .25 ammonia
    0 nitrites
    0 nitrates

    10 gallon
    =< .25 ammonia
    0 nitrites
    5 nitrates

    So I know the 20 is going through the roof with nitrates. I'm wondering if I've pushed the stocking of this tank. The filter can handle the load as far as ammonia is concerned but the nitrates are building up too fast.

    5 silver hatchets
    1 three spot gourami
    3 male guppies
    4 leopard cats
    1 peppered cat

    So 14 fish. The tanks is very well planted, including a very large bunch of water sprite floating on top. That alone should be a huge nitrate sucker. But I'm really concerned, I'll be checking my params daily until I get this under control.
    Increasing your biodiversity increases your stability.

    You know what this tank needs? ........................ Crypts.

  2. #2

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Two things I can think of regarding the nitrates

    1. there is indeed a dead cory in there
    2. your other tanks have more phosphate so the plants can use the nitrates.

  3. #3

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    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    20 nitrates is not through the roof.
    125 - BGK, pictus cats, silver dollars, kissing gouramis, palmas bichir, delhezi bichir
    125 - Red severum, bolivian rams, Turquoise rainbows, irian red rainbows, loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, pearl gouramis
    90 - Congo tetras, african knife, elephant nose, spotted ctenopoma, upside down cats

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  4. #4

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    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    I don't believe nitrates of 20 is through the roof. Lower is better, but 20 should still not cause the issues you are seeing with the cories. Below are two quick articles that may ease your mind about your nitrate level being the cause. I don't know what else could be going on, but I lost a panda cory a few weeks back for no apparent reason. Everyone else has been fine since then and it took me a while to find his remains. Similar to yours, I thought he was gone at one point and went to net him, and he took off. Found his body at next water change.

    http://freshaquarium.about.com/od/wa...a/nitrates.htm

    http://www.aquarium-pond-answers.com...-nitrates.html

  5. #5

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Too, keep in mind that the nitrate test is the least accurate of the three. The difference between "10" and "20" isn't much more than interpretation.

    I had a chance to talk with Dr. Tim Hovanec once and I asked him about nitrates. He said triple digits is where problems start for sensitive fish. He indicated that public aquariums he's worked with had nitrates in the several hundreds.
    125 - BGK, pictus cats, silver dollars, kissing gouramis, palmas bichir, delhezi bichir
    125 - Red severum, bolivian rams, Turquoise rainbows, irian red rainbows, loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, pearl gouramis
    90 - Congo tetras, african knife, elephant nose, spotted ctenopoma, upside down cats

    QTs - 29, 20H, 20L, 10

  6. #6

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by talldutchie View Post
    Two things I can think of regarding the nitrates

    1. there is indeed a dead cory in there
    2. your other tanks have more phosphate so the plants can use the nitrates.
    I'm pretty sure there is a dead cory in there. Like I said he wasn't doing so hot and since then I've not been able to count five leopards, only four. So that may very well be it.

    Quote Originally Posted by jaysee View Post
    20 nitrates is not through the roof.
    Quote Originally Posted by SueD View Post
    I don't believe nitrates of 20 is through the roof. Lower is better, but 20 should still not cause the issues you are seeing with the cories. Below are two quick articles that may ease your mind about your nitrate level being the cause. I don't know what else could be going on, but I lost a panda cory a few weeks back for no apparent reason. Everyone else has been fine since then and it took me a while to find his remains. Similar to yours, I thought he was gone at one point and went to net him, and he took off. Found his body at next water change.

    http://freshaquarium.about.com/od/wa...a/nitrates.htm

    http://www.aquarium-pond-answers.com...-nitrates.html
    To answer both of you, I guess I did over react there a bit. 20 ppm is just high for my tank and I just didn't expect it to be at those levels just two days after my water change. However now that I think about it, I never checked params BEFORE that initial water change. For all I know they were 40ppm. Thanks for the articles SueD.

    Quote Originally Posted by jaysee View Post
    Too, keep in mind that the nitrate test is the least accurate of the three. The difference between "10" and "20" isn't much more than interpretation.

    I had a chance to talk with Dr. Tim Hovanec once and I asked him about nitrates. He said triple digits is where problems start for sensitive fish. He indicated that public aquariums he's worked with had nitrates in the several hundreds.
    Thanks for the info. I guess I'm just grasping at straws here because I've tried to do everything right for these little guys and I'm not getting much success. I know only one death isn't a trend but like I said, two more are acting very strangely.
    Increasing your biodiversity increases your stability.

    You know what this tank needs? ........................ Crypts.

  7. #7

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Has your pH been stable all along ?

    How often and how much do you top up for evaporation each week between weekly waterchanges ?
    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
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  8. #8

    Join Date
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    for having so many tanks :) - NanoTankGuy   For being a good teacher and helping to educate me! - chel   They didn't have any platys so I got you a pleco! lol - Northernguy   For you mate. - mac   Thanks for all your help and input regarding setting up my 55 gallon!!! - emilyekk   

    Default Stuggling with poor conditions


    1 Not allowed!
    I see people do everything wrong and the fish live, and people do everything right and the fish die - I know I've experienced both first hand. I think that's the most frustrating thing about the hobby.

    I've long ago conceded the fact that I will probably not know the cause of my fishs deaths. I think in most cases (in established tanks) where there's no obvious sign of illness, it's impossible to know why they die. All we can do is make educated guesses and assumptions based on what we know, which obviously doesn't take I to account all that we don't know.
    Last edited by jaysee; 08-04-2014 at 01:13 PM.
    125 - BGK, pictus cats, silver dollars, kissing gouramis, palmas bichir, delhezi bichir
    125 - Red severum, bolivian rams, Turquoise rainbows, irian red rainbows, loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, pearl gouramis
    90 - Congo tetras, african knife, elephant nose, spotted ctenopoma, upside down cats

    QTs - 29, 20H, 20L, 10

  9. #9

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Rob,
    If you have ammonia in your tap, and you test your params immediately after doing a PWC, you are going to register ammonia.

    It's probably actually ammonium, the API test does not recognize a difference in the two.

    As long as you are treating the tap water with the proper amount of Prime, that ammonium is bound and inert, and should not harm your fish.

    I learned this a long time ago (thanks mommy1, and BTW, where have you been?), so now I wait a day before testing my water after a PWC.
    10 Gallon Beginner Tank... Journal
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    29 Gallon: ... Journal

    “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went” - Will Rogers

  10. #10

    Join Date
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff View Post
    Has your pH been stable all along ?

    How often and how much do you top up for evaporation each week between weekly waterchanges ?
    PH has remained stable at 7.4 -7.6 (the test kit makes it difficult to determine which). I never top off my tanks because they never evaporate, not this time of the year at least.

    Quote Originally Posted by jaysee View Post
    I see people do everything wrong and the fish live, and people do everything right and the fish die - I know I've experienced both first hand. I think that's the most frustrating thing about the hobby.

    I've long ago conceded the fact that I will probably not know the cause of my fishs deaths. I think in most cases (in established tanks) where there's no obvious sign of illness, it's impossible to know why they die. All we can do is make educated guesses and assumptions based on what we know, which obviously doesn't take I to account all that we don't know.
    Yeah, that's what I'm learning. It's like gardening in a way. Neighbor next door can grow cucumbers like nobodies business and you can't get them to sprout. I guess just find what I am successful at and stick with them. Granted I don't think I've failed just yet and I'm not giving up on cories this easily, but who knows, they may just not be my thing (or at least in this tank.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Slaphppy7 View Post
    Rob,
    If you have ammonia in your tap, and you test your params immediately after doing a PWC, you are going to register ammonia.

    It's probably actually ammonium, the API test does not recognize a difference in the two.

    As long as you are treating the tap water with the proper amount of Prime, that ammonium is bound and inert, and should not harm your fish.

    I learned this a long time ago (thanks mommy1, and BTW, where have you been?), so now I wait a day before testing my water after a PWC.
    The checks I did on ammonia were done two days after my waterchanges. So I checked the tap and got the same level I got with two day old tank water. That is a good point about the ammonium though. I am using my prime, I measure the correct amount and then add just a touch more for good measure.
    Increasing your biodiversity increases your stability.

    You know what this tank needs? ........................ Crypts.

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