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Old 07-16-2010, 12:05 AM   #1 
jeanclaudeasher
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Help/Ideas Please

I have a friend who has been having some problems with her tank and would be greatful with any ideas that others might have that could help her out. Here is the conversation that I have had with her so far.

i have one giant sucker fish... 3 neons... and stupid guppies that are dying left and right on me! i'm down to 2 females and 3 babies... (had 6 adults and they were throwing out babies left and right)
i've been so frustrated with this tank! it's a 20 gal. and i'm having an ammonia problem... and it won't STOP! i have to change the water every couple days! for a while i was changing it daily it was so bad...

ME: i am a relatively new fish owner and have only been keeping fish for about 2 years so i have not had problems with high ammonia yet, have you cleaned the tank with something like windex?? windex has high ammonia levels and will cause high ammonia in your tank. try using water and vinegar to clean the tank

MY FRIEND: i researched and researched night after night... no chemicals... NONE!!! :(
just looked at the orange female... and her scales are all raised... she'll not make it more than a day or two... sighs... i won't do guppies again! yes.. the neons are awesome! warriors of my evil tank! LOL

MY FRIEND: BAH she's got dropsy... most likely from the crappy water conditions... there was a couple weeks that i was changing the water daily... it's been so much work... and so little joy with the flush burials...
if all the guppies end up dying... then i'm just going to let the tank be for months and see if it stabilizes... and then add hardier fish...

ME: Did you check the ammonia levels from the tap itself?? i read that sometimes the tap water can have high ammonia levels

MY FRIEND: yes... i did... it checks out perfectly fine... for almost 2 months now, the tank has vacillated in ammonia levels from stressful to dangerous... i've changed the water 3 times this week!!! :( i've even tried 2 different kinds of ammonia stabilizing products... those don't work either. i've gotten the stuff that helps increase and grow the 'good' bacteria to help ammonia... nothing... and i'm hoping that now that i'm down to 3 babies, that i didn't see ick on one... already went through that too! UGH
i feel horrible! the one with dropsy... she's still alive... her scales aren't as pine coned as they were yesterday, but she's still not doing well. i don't wanna euthanice her... but i guess if her guts start bloating i will have to. sighs.
but if i lose all the guppies... i'm near tempted to take the neons and the sucker fish out... and clean the entire tank (other than the one part of the filter)... and just start over with a clean tank and wait a couple months... seeing as those shouldn't overload a fresh tank... or at least i hope it doesn't!!! LOLOL
*shaking fist*

ME: hmmm well i know that when the tank is in the process of cycling the ammonia will spike and then the nitrites(?) will spike as the tank cycles. have you had to euthanize a fish before?? if not i have done some research into it and can tell you a couple of different ways to do it although i hope it doesnt come to that.

MY FRIEND: ah... i just went to look at the tank and couldn't find her... poked around some and she was dead in the fake hollow log... i just pulled her out and flushed her.
tested the ammonia level again... even after changing out 5 gal with a vacuum the ammonia level still is at the harmful level. i've never euthanized a fish before... brandi was telling me how to do it today... usually i separate them out when they are close to dying in the net so i don't lose them. so now... 1 sucker fish. 3 neons. 1 female guppy and 3 babies are remaining... not sure if the babies will make it either...
if all the guppies die... i won't be getting any more guppies in the future. sighs...
i really just want to clean out the tank and boil the rocks... but i'm not sure if that will make things worse for the fish now... UGH help! hahaha





Thanks again and any suggestions would be helpful
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Old 07-16-2010, 12:07 AM   #2 
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oh and this paragraph is from my friend:

i have one giant sucker fish... 3 neons... and stupid guppies that are dying left and right on me! i'm down to 2 females and 3 babies... (had 6 adults and they were throwing out babies left and right)
i've been so frustrated with this tank! it's a 20 gal. and i'm having an ammonia problem... and it won't STOP! i have to change the water every couple days! for a while i was changing it daily it was so bad...
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Old 07-16-2010, 12:17 AM   #3 
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The "sucker fish" is it a plecostamus? How long has the tank been set up?
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Old 07-16-2010, 12:23 AM   #4 
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I just sent her a message asking and will let you know as soon as I hear back from her
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Old 07-16-2010, 12:33 AM   #5 
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Okay. Also, poor water quality isn't the only thing that cause Dropsy it is live foods with harmful bacterias.
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Old 07-16-2010, 12:40 AM   #6 
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One other quick question about my own tank (a 29 gallon)...I cleaned the tank and put mostly new water in it yesterday. Today the water is slightly cloudy but all the water tests come back normal. This happened the first time I cleaned the tank as well and the cloudiness disappeared after a couple of days so I figure it will probably do the same thing again. My betta is hanging out around the top which is normal but the difference is that my 3 neon tetras, 2 glass catfish, and head light tail light tetra are all hanging around at the surface of the water which is not normal. I just fed everyone and they all ate a little. I also have a bristlenose sucker fish who is periodically swimming to the surface and then back down to the bottom. Should I be worried or is this happening possibly because I moved some of the decorations around?? Visibly everyone looks healthy.
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Old 07-16-2010, 12:47 AM   #7 
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What do you mean by you cleaned the tank? Did you do a water change or cleaned it out 100%? Did you move plants around or just decorations? The cloudiness is normal if it is a new tank or you stirred up the gravel.
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Old 07-16-2010, 12:54 AM   #8 
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I replaced the gravel I had in the tank because the old gravel was really dirty. I rinsed the new gravel off really well and moved decorations and the filter location as well as the fake plants (I tried live plants once and the location of my tank does not get enough sunlight in order for live plants to survive). I did do about a 90% water change (I had my fish in my spare 10 gallon with water from the tank before I cleaned it) and put that water back into the tank with the fresh clean water.
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Old 07-16-2010, 01:05 AM   #9 
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You need to use a Gravel Vac to clean the gravel, you don't have to just replace the gravel. The water change you done was to big and your fish could be in shock. Was the ten gallon cycled? Do a 10 to 25% (this tank size might be 2.5 to 5 gallons) water change, not a 90%. You should never remove a fish when you do a water change. Also, don't put a tank in direct sunlight for live plants. You use Fluorescent bulbs for that.

ALSO: Your beneficial bacteria is on your gravel, plants, decorations, and in the pump.
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Old 07-16-2010, 01:08 AM   #10 
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Alright thank you. I will let you know as soon as my friend gets back to me about her sucker fish and length of time that she has had the tank.
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