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The Way To Kill Punch During Normal Tank Cleaning

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  • Regular Member

ok- the continuing saga- Get this one- I have had Punch close to a year - ups and downs- (Rosland Russel in Mame) - like a kid with Colic until he was 30 ya know. But I don't mind. But thios takes the cake- especially for newbees

Listen and LEARN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I owned 2 Rena XP4 filters (before I wised up) (I have everything with backups - in twos) Both started leaking from the head after 6 months - (we'll leave that subject for later) I replaced them with Eheim wet dry and a pro 4 chemical filter (AHHH the good life has returned). Becomming bold- I went to drs foster smith and saw a canister fish tank cleaning unit. so, lucky me, I ordered it. Well; in the pic it looked like thge size of a XP4. When I put it together; I could have use it to clean Lake Michigan - and the Chicago canal! The intakes were somewhere around 1 1/2 inches in diameter.

To set it up was akin to GM building a car!. So there it sat. I got into the habit of siphoning water while cleaning - about 3 gallons at a time - my Leak preventers (the way I set it up so that suction will stop if the water falls below a certain level) do not let me take more out at one time - but that was ok- Doing a little bit each morning was a pretty good control mechanism. One day I looked at both Renas sitting lonely in the corner- rusting away from inactivity.

Then the elevator hit the top (preverbial light on in the head) - why not turn one of those devils into a cleaning apparatus. switch the intake and outlet and - presto chango - I had the greatest little cleaning device - the leakage problem was not signifigant for the small amount of time that I used them and it was a snap to put away - not like the 18 wheeler I ordered from Drs.

The first couple of uses were not thorough cleanings- but then came the big day. Now understand- as many of you know - Punch is a people fish(for those that do not know the story one example video

So when we clean he just fits right in wanting to help clean- exactly where I want to clean and get more attention. He is the only fish I know, when you place the net into the tank to get a leaf, he swims into the net thinking he is going for a ride somewhere. "where are we going eric?"

Anyway there is a point to all of this.

We were cleaning, petting cleanng our little hearts out. Put everything away- dis a change of 30 percent of water - noite- I do 5 gallons change a day anyway so everything is cool - . in about 12 hours he starts going to the bottom by evening he was comatose upside down - comming out of it once and a while- frantic- did tests on the water etc nothing showed a problem electropnic testors and liquid - nothing he was dying - frantic- I gave him parasite and bacteria meds, and ponde3red what could be wrong - he was getting worse- breathing heavy and upside down at the bottom. at desperatiuon I entrusted intuision; I changed the water almost all, and fortified the wet dry with Seacheam product- about one day later he came out of it and wqas quite hungry - ok- what the 222 happened?

I worked for FMC chemical corp in R and D. My desperate thought - I knew how much Furadan, and pesticide aqnd neomaticide products, actually make it into the veggies we eat - even the birds eye- nothing added stuff. My hypoththetical view - the concentrations were becomming dangerously high and I weas poisioning him with to many peas and corn each day - and he loves his corn- the peas a close second.

I held this view untill 2 days ago and we did the happy cleaning thing again - Punch- as always - joining in and having a great time vibrating against my aree while I am busy vacuuming - like a cat pushiong against your leg while you are cleaning house. - within a couple of hours - Dejavous (spellling) and it was worse this time - but we finally figured iout what was happening (yes I am getting to it but you need to know the details and the suspense builder)

When I was vacuuming with my setup; the filtering system is not micronic canisters as the Drs. system was. and when I was siphoning I was removing and replacing the water. Now I keep a very clean tank. but some buildup is there- especially with live plants. What was happening - micro particles of waste and debris was suspending in the water although it looked quite clear after the job was done. These micro particles, as everything in the tank, start immediately in the process of ammonification and breakdown when they become waste. . When we were vacuuming, the larger particles were breakiong into micron sized particles - blowing by standard filter stuff. and sauspending in the water. Punch was taking this stuff up, in the water, and by so doing , this stuff was breaking down in his gills as particulate matter and his insides when he would choose to take in water (which they control), breaking down to ammonia and was being poisioned a slow death like Lead posioning would do to a human. I was lucky - I did an almost entire water change when I theorized this - what tipped me off was a drop in pH, not dramatic - only from 7.9 to 7.8 or so (i use calibrated hand meters) but it was enough to let me know something was going on with this water - and replacing partially the water was not having a substantioal effect- even with pH supplements - to rise - something was heading off the ion exchange - it was fortunate that the first experience tipped me off to use due dilligance in monitoring everything in the tank. -

Since He loves being touched even when he does not feel well, I kept him moving in the tank all night and increased the temp to increase his metabolism and feed corn to get things moving quickly, as it always does one end in and the other out - thru his system in clean water - in 12 hours he was comming back to normal.

This is confirmed since the first time - two snails died - they are very sensitive. This time when it happened another snail died. the video of Gary the snail is up on utube under punch and goldfish keywords. I am just lucky to have not lost Punch.

Since then we are back to the partial section siphon clean of different sections. and replace the water at each turn - he is no longer getting back return of micro particles. The cumbersome system from DRS had a great feature- the micron canister- that is why we never saw this problem the few times using that- even though that has a flow return.

A long story for a unique problem - it just shows us all that we can never let our guard down- I was getting over confident that I knew the smells of the water, how he was acting , etc. never let down your guard or else you will loose the greatest lovable creature that has ever come into your co existance - and make us fully responsible -

Oh and Punch says hi to all - LOL


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  • Regular Member

Hmmn, :hmm that was rather complex. Are you suggesting that the aggitation of the water caused during siphoning breaks down waste into microparticles which then breaks down into ammonia at an accelerated rate because they are now micronised? This breakdown also occurs in his gills? I'm not sure what all that has to do with the ion exchange but water chemistry is not my strong point.

Have you measured any ammonia or nitrIte after your water changes because it would have to be in the water not just Punch's gills?

Some fish are just very sensitive to water changes, even small partial changes. I have one particular fish who acts up whilst his tank mates enjoy the water change, I find adding an extra dose of Prime makes him appear more at ease. Just an idea. :)

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There could be something to your theory. My ammonia registers zero before a 80-85% weekly water change (I used to do 50%, but I upped it a couple of weeks ago because I'm not getting my Nitrates below 10 no matter how much water I change, so I'm trying to see what's up), and then the ammonia is .25 AFTER. That should be impossible, but it's happening. I use Prime and Amquel to bring it back down, and then it stays zero until the next water change.

I was having a hard time keeping up with your explanation, but the way you described it, did sound scary! So, you've figured out the culprit now then? :blink:

Edited by Lolafish
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  • Regular Member

Thank you all ;

My detailing - sorry for the confusion was to induicate that I thoufght I knew everything by doing everything. Obviouisly I did not.

I guess my end point was this ; don't filter water back into the tank unless your filter traps micron partticles as well as the big ones or else you are asking for trouble. It taxes the liver and kidneys because the micro particles that get lodged in his body generate ammonia and nitrites and stop the blood from getting oxygen.

3 ways you can counter this blockage of blood not getting Oxygen

1. Hydrogen peroxide at one teaspoon per gallon

2. Methylene Blue - unbinds the Nitrite that keeps oxygen from tagging onto the blood cell

3. Increase aquarium salt to reduce the osmotic uptake of the nitrites.

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