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Thread: what's going on with my tank?

  1. #1
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    what's going on with my tank?

    Just before Christmas my tank went cloudy. Looks like thousands of little air bubbles or particles Of some sort. I lost six or seven fish. My tinfoil barb and two red tail sharks ( I think that is what they are called) started smashing themselves off the bottom and each other. The sharks started loosing scales and became very lifeless. I started treating them with Melafix that treats bacterial infections. This seemed to work after a week or so. The water cleared up and the fish seemed to be better. As all this was happening, I had a snail infestation. My filter had about 50 snails in it. the snails were elimated, so I thought.

    About a week ago, my tank went the same way. Baby snails jumping from water to glass, snail eggs in the filter ( 8 gel like sacks). The water went cloudy, and the three fish are smashing off the bottom. My sharks are loosing scales as well. Might the snails be the source of the problem?

    I am currently treating with the Melafix and have not lost any fish.

    What's going on with my tank???

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    Snails come from over feeding, and over feeding causes water stability problems. Test your water parameters, that may be the problem. If not then I don't know.
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    Start doing water changes. The cloudy water is a bacterial bloom as stated.. from over feeding and the snails will breed and grow well in those conditions. Feed less, do bigger and more frequent water changes. Sounds like its a new tank and possibly under filtered. What size is the tank? And what is your filter? I would do 50% water change every 2 days until the water and filter get stable.

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    This may sound like animal cruelty, but I only feed the fish ounce a day. The food doesn't stay on the bottom too long.

    The first time this happened, I had a 33 gallon. I was running 2 filters that hang from the back of the tank.

    I found a 46 gallon on kijiji and switched the fish over with new gravel and the water from my old tank. Keep in mind that the tank water in my 33 gallon was crystal clear at the time of the switch. I am now running a aqua clear 70 and a fluval 104 for filters.

    Forgot to mention, I put the fluval 104 in my 33 gallon and it seemed to clear the water up. I'm sure that is why I have all the snails. They love my filters.

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    I think that a lot of people feed only once a day, it's not animal cruelty. Do you clean the media?

    Can you give us ammonia, nitrite, nitrate? That is always a good place to start

  6. #6
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    I cleaned one filter right out, the one with all the snails. I did not touch the other one. I checked ammonia and pH. Annonia was 0 and the pH I'm guessing would have been high 7's. As for nitrite and nitrate, don't have a kit yet... Will get my hands on one today.

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    I agree, The coldness is it's a bacterial bloom from high bio load/waste buildup in the water ie. ammonia spike. Something caused both tanks to crash (although could be different issue for both tanks ).

    Can be from too many fish/high bio load or extra debris/waste built up in the tank or an un-cycled filter. Either way The filter can't keep up with the ammonia being produced and the tank went cloudy. Snails also will have a population boom if debris/waste builds up in the tank or filter.

    Melafix is pointless what you describing is a water quality issue not infection.

    To help with a solution you'll first need to find the cause , to narrow it down I have a few questions.

    How often do you do water changes and how much ?
    City water or well water ? Do you treat the water ?
    How often do you clean the filters and how ?
    How many/type/size of fish involved ?
    What do you feed/how much ?
    How long was the first tank running ?
    How long since the switch to the new one ?


    In the mean time I recommend you keep things in check by testing regularly for ammonia/nitrites/nitrates, and doing 25% water changes as needed to keep the levels from getting lethal.

    Hope that helps
    My Aquariums *Updated Feb. 2016
    180g- Scleropages aureus
    100g- 4x Channa Pleurophthalma , 1x Erpetoichthys Calabaricus, 2x Synodontis Eupterus, Polypterus ssp.'s Lapradei, Delhezi,Ornatipinnis ,Endlicheri & Angsorii x2
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    80g 1x Channa Aurantimaculata (for sale...inquire)
    70g- Solo Channa Asiatica,
    30g- 1x Channa Gachua (for sale ... Inquire)
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  8. #8
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by BigW Click here to enlarge
    I cleaned one filter right out, the one with all the snails. I did not touch the other one. I checked ammonia and pH. Annonia was 0 and the pH I'm guessing would have been high 7's. As for nitrite and nitrate, don't have a kit yet... Will get my hands on one today.
    Sorry this went up while i was replying, the "untouched filter" how old was it ? If it wasn't also full of snails then i'm assuming it couldn't have been running on that first tank for very long , and if that's the case your new tank probably is not cycled completely.
    My Aquariums *Updated Feb. 2016
    180g- Scleropages aureus
    100g- 4x Channa Pleurophthalma , 1x Erpetoichthys Calabaricus, 2x Synodontis Eupterus, Polypterus ssp.'s Lapradei, Delhezi,Ornatipinnis ,Endlicheri & Angsorii x2
    160g- Carettochelys Insculpta
    100g- Pair Channa Aurantimaculata,
    80g 1x Channa Aurantimaculata (for sale...inquire)
    70g- Solo Channa Asiatica,
    30g- 1x Channa Gachua (for sale ... Inquire)
    35g- 3x Channa Gachua,
    35g- Pair of Channa Bleheri
    25g- 3x Channa Bleheri

  9. #9
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    The untouched filter came with the "new to me tank" and it was only running about two weeks. Everything in the filter was new. The other filter came from the other tank and was not cleaned till things started going bad.

    I am on well water and I have never had to treat the water. I have had a tank for about six years and I have never had a problem like this. I add about 10 leaters of water to the tank a week as we have a wood stove and there is some evaporation. I do about a 3\4 water change once a month.
    6 small neons
    4 angels
    1 big tinfoil bard
    2 small silver sharks
    2 red tail sharks
    6 small imbedded guppies
    3 (looks like soon to be 2) yo yo loach
    1 medium sized pleco

    Would a bacterial boom cause my fish to start loosing scails and flicking off the bottom?

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    That seems like a rather large bio-load for a tank that size, especially with only a monthly water change

  11. #11
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by BigW Click here to enlarge
    The untouched filter came with the "new to me tank" and it was only running about two weeks. Everything in the filter was new. The other filter came from the other tank and was not cleaned till things started going bad.

    I am on well water and I have never had to treat the water. I have had a tank for about six years and I have never had a problem like this. I add about 10 leaters of water to the tank a week as we have a wood stove and there is some evaporation. I do about a 3\4 water change once a month.
    6 small neons
    4 angels
    1 big tinfoil bard
    2 small silver sharks
    2 red tail sharks
    6 small imbedded guppies
    3 (looks like soon to be 2) yo yo loach
    1 medium sized pleco

    Would a bacterial boom cause my fish to start loosing scails and flicking off the bottom?
    It will probably be a bit hard to hear, but that is a huge bioload for a 46g tank. The angels alone are pretty much maxing it out. It is not too surprising that even a small disruption in the beneficial bacteria would cause a bloom and unstable water conditions with that level of stocking. Yes, fluctuating water conditions will cause fish to 'flash,' rubbing themselves on objects, trying to alleviate their discomfort.

    You are not changing the water frequently enough, and are changing too much at once. You should do a water change of around 25% a week (probably 2 times a week with your stocking levels until you get a bigger tank or sell some fish). With water changes, the goal is to keep the system stable. If you wait so long between changes, decaying waste will alter the water chemistry, and minerals that do not evaporate will build up if you simply top up the tank. When you then do a very large water change, there will be a drastic (for a small system) change in the water conditions, which is stressful on the fish.

    I hope frequent water changes can start to bring things under control for you. However, you may continue to experience tank problems until you get your stocking to an appropriate level. A site that can give you a rough idea of a good stocking level is aqadvisor. It is easy to use, and can help you to figure out how you are going to approach the long term health of your tank.



  12. #12
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    I agree, it's high stocking, and not enough water changes.

    Chances are on the old tank the stock just simply outgrew it and the tank spiked and crashed.

    The new tank seems to also be struggling to keep up with the bio load. It is quite heavily stocked especially considering that the new filter is probably not cycled yet and the old one can't keep up alone.

    The bacterial bloom isn't causing the flashing/scales to fall off/deaths etc,it's the ammonia that bacteria is feeding off and the nitrates that are produced that cause the fish problems.

    When i asked about treatment i was thinking town water/dechlore which is a mute point here.

    To start I would do more frequent water changes, 25% a week. This should help keep nitrates in check and fish healthy.

    Until the tank is stable I would test for ammonia daily, any time levels start to get to harmful levels do a water change , again small 25% should do it. This allows some ammonia to remain and feed beneficial bacteria in the filters so the tank can "cycle" . Too large a water change and not enough ammonia remains and this slows the process down.

    in a few weeks time you'll notice no ammonia buildup at all between your weekly water changes, and it's safe to say that it's cycled and tests are no longer necessary.
    My Aquariums *Updated Feb. 2016
    180g- Scleropages aureus
    100g- 4x Channa Pleurophthalma , 1x Erpetoichthys Calabaricus, 2x Synodontis Eupterus, Polypterus ssp.'s Lapradei, Delhezi,Ornatipinnis ,Endlicheri & Angsorii x2
    160g- Carettochelys Insculpta
    100g- Pair Channa Aurantimaculata,
    80g 1x Channa Aurantimaculata (for sale...inquire)
    70g- Solo Channa Asiatica,
    30g- 1x Channa Gachua (for sale ... Inquire)
    35g- 3x Channa Gachua,
    35g- Pair of Channa Bleheri
    25g- 3x Channa Bleheri

  13. #13
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    Thanks folks for the advice. I will try more water changes and will let you know if things don't change. As far as the snails go, without treating the tank, what is the best way to get rid of them. I want them gone.

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    What kind of snails are they? If they are Malaysian Trumpets then pulling them out, a butter container with holes cut in the cover and a piece of lettuce inside will attract them and they will get stuck in there so you can throw them out.

    Pond snails you could get a loach that eats them

  15. #15
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    what's going on with my tank?

    You are way overstocked as stated. You will be in a constant battle with this tank until a big crash happens and you lose them all. Until that happens they will be suffering. Also 25% water change a week will not be enough to keep water in check. 50% every few days is closer to what is needed. You will not stall the cycle, there will still be loads of ammonia for the bacteria to eat, even if you did 50% a day. You may want to do what was suggested and keep only the angels. Either way you need to downsize your stock, it will only get worse as they grow. Sorry, I know it's not what you want to hear, but it will make life a lot easier for you and your fish.

  16. #16
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    I was able to do a test on the nitrate and it was showing around a five on the chart.... Good or bad?

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    Not sure which kit you are using, so I really can't comment. However, nitrite is one you need to be more concerned about. Have you tested for that?



  18. #18
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    What did you use for a test? Strips or liquid? What test kit... 5 is very good.... with your stock and your problems I would highly doubt that it was 5 but it is possible if you just did a massive water change I suppose

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    I used the liquid nutrafin test. My last water change was Thursday evening. I did about %25 change

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    Sorry, no I have not tested for nitrite

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