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Old 09-22-2010, 10:40 PM   #1 
Capricorn
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Okay, so I just don't get it.

Let me start with a little background. I have a divided ten gallon with my two males in it, that currently is being treated for ich. My female is (or was) in a five gallon with four ghost shrimp.

So yesterday, I was doing a complete clean in the 5gal.. it really needed it. I basically changed about 90% of the water and vacced the gravel, but was a little hasty in refilling/reoccupying it and apparently shocked the shrimp. I didn't realize this until this morning, when I woke up and all four shrimp were dead. The betta (Willo) was perfectly fine. Moving, eating, not breathing heavily.

Just to be sure, I checked the water, and the nitrItes were at a insane 3... WAY above a healthy range. I wasn't sure if it was from the shrimp dying or not, so as soon as I got home I did about a 60% change to bring it down, intending to do more the next day. I had checked the water again before, and the nitrites were down to about 1.5.. which was strange, since I hadn't done anything to it. After that, I changed the ten gallon (for the ich treatment) and acclimated everyone back in.

Offhandedly I checked the water a third time afterwards, and the nitrites had gone back UP to 2! Frustrated, and sudenly doubting my test kit (and my carefully treated water), I checked the ten gallon's water and the nitrites came back at... 0.

So it's not my house water, it's not the test kit. What could I be missing?

The tanks are on either side of my desk.. the five gallon is closest to the window, but not in direct sunlight. They're both at ~82*, and both filtered.

Any ideas?

In addition to that, it just occurred to me that I should probably get Willo out and into a temp tank. She's active and breathing fine, but I'm thinking to maybe just do it anyways.


edit; actually, yeah, going to move Willo out for the night or until I can get this cleared up. Anyone have any thoughts on why it would spike, though?

Last edited by Capricorn; 09-22-2010 at 10:47 PM.
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Old 09-22-2010, 11:00 PM   #2 
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Interesting--I'm assuming the water change caused a mini-cycle that killed all your shrimp, and the ammonia from their decay made it worse. You're using a liquid test kit, right? Out of unrelated curiosity, what are you using to treat the ich?
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Old 09-22-2010, 11:04 PM   #3 
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Well it's those dip stick test things, but I might pick up a different test kit next week. e.e Is that what you mean?

I was going to treat him with just salt and gravel vaccing, but he was pretty much on death's door.. I got nox-ich or something at the store and it's been working well.. I might have to keep treating after tomorrow but I'll do salt form them on. He's made a huge turnaround, he's swimming actively, eating, and interacting with my now instead of lying on the bottom of the tank breathing like he couldn't get any air.

Moving her out now, I'd rather not chance leaving her in.
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Old 09-22-2010, 11:11 PM   #4 
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Yeah, those dip strips can be really inaccurate--they're good for indicating whether or not you're positive or negative for certain things, but they aren't good at telling you exactly how much you've got. It's also possible to get false positives based on what water conditioners you use, apparently. When I first started out, I tested a tank after adding some freshly dechlorinated water to it per my normal water change, and it indicated positive for ammonia. I didn't believe my test. I tested my other tank, which tested negative, I tested water straight from the tap, which was negative, I tested the water I took out of my tank for the water change, and that was also negative. So the dechlorinator I used must have triggered a false positive. When I found this out I was livid, so I only use liquid tests now--they are much more accurate and much cheaper per test.

Looks like all Nox-Ich should be all you need since it's just salt and malachite green. I have had the most success with malachite green treatments, myself. I realized that the copper sulfate based treatments do essentially nothing, though.
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Old 09-22-2010, 11:18 PM   #5 
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Okay, then I'll pick up a liquid one either Friday or Monday. (: Thanks for the pointer on that (thank goodness this test was fairly cheap at walmart, haha).

That's good to hear.. glad I got something useful! Right now I have Willo acclimating to her temp tank, hopefully I can figure all of this out in the morning.

edit; there, all moved in.

Last edited by Capricorn; 09-22-2010 at 11:29 PM.
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Old 09-23-2010, 01:00 AM   #6 
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The API freshwater master test kit is the one most people recommend.
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Old 09-23-2010, 01:28 AM   #7 
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Okay, thanks drama!
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Old 09-23-2010, 11:56 AM   #8 
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Bleh, double post.

Moved Willo out last night, just emptied the entire tank, cleaned the decorations, rinsed the filter.. refilled it and checked it and the nitrites are finally down. Going to let it filter while I'm at work and move her back in when I get home tonight.
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Old 09-23-2010, 03:41 PM   #9 
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Good luck! I hope your parameters stay stable
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