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Fish Lying On Bottom After 50% Water Change


Corwin12

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  • Regular Member

Hello,

I previously posted about my black moor who burned himself on the heater. He has completely healed! Now I have another problem. Algae has been growing rapidly in the tank. So, today i decided to do a massive water change and cleaning. I took out 50% of the water. Using a toothbrush (never used but for fish care) I scrubbed the rocks while they were in the tank. Then, I scrubbed all four sides of the tank. I also scrubbed the drift wood while it was in the tank. I did not remove any of the plants (fake.)

I replaced the water, with stress coat added. I also added Tetra algae control at the rate of 1 ml per 12 gallons. I have used this on this tank before and it did help for several weeks. I also removed the charcoal filter pads and my micron filter pads. I have chemical reactors filled with Pura Complete, which I removed also.

The charcoal filter pads were ready to be replaced, so I threw those in the trash. I bleach the micron pads weekly (and then treat with Pura Chlor-Lock.) I rinsed out the Pura Complete, but was waiting 6 hours before putting the reactors backs in because of the algae control I added.

The tank was looking great. Then I noticed that my calico fantail was in the back left corner of the tank, lying in the sand, fins pulled close to his body. Then, one of my black moors huddled next to him and did the same thing. Then, my red cap did something weird. He leaned himself up against the overflow cover so he was vertical. He also pulled his fins in close to his body. Lastly, my second black moor huddled next to the other black moor and also lay in the sand with his fins pulled close. The two shubunkins I have showed no odd behavior.

Of course, I freaked. Since the water parameters were fine, I immediately suspected the algae control. I put two new charcoal filter pads back into the filter (I have the Magnavore Berliner WD-125.) I also replaced the chemical reactors and put my spare set of micron filter bags in. About 20 minutes later, all the fish were swimming around normally again. But, after watching them for awhile, I notice that they all go back to that back left corner and lay in the sand for a spell. They have never ever done this before.

Am I missing something? There are no signs of disease or injury.

Here are my parameters:

[*]Test Results for the Following:

[*]Ammonia Level? 0

[*]Nitrite Level? 0

[*]Nitrate level? 0

[*]Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)? 7.5

[*]Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)? 7.5

[*]Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? Aquarium Pharmaceuticals - Drops

[*]Water temperature? 68 degrees F

[*]Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 125 gallons - Filter holds approx. an additional 15 gallons

[*]What is the name and size of the filter(s)? Magnavore WD-125

[*]How often do you change the water and how much? weekly - normally 25 gallons

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size? 6 fish: 2 black moors (3" and 3.5",) calico fantail (3",) red cap (3.5",) and 2 shubunkins (4" and 2.5")

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners? Stress Coat

[*]What do you feed your fish and how often? Pro-Gold, spirulina, salad supreme, krill, peas - twice daily

[*]Any new fish added to the tank? No

[*]Any medications added to the tank? No

[*]Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? No

[*]Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? Staying at bottom

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  • Regular Member

I second Federica's suggestion, do a couple big water changes to get rid of as much algae control as possible.

I don't like using chemicals in my tank at all. Isn't there any other way you could control the algae? Like a couple bristlenose plecos? You got a 125 gallon tank with "only" six goldfish which require together 80 gallons, I'm sure there is room for one or two bristlenoses. They'd keep the algae under control and are probably much safer for the fish than chemicals.

I hope they're better soon!

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I also agree. I have a few large snails (and if they lay eyes, it's a snack for the goldies). I never put chemicals in my tank. If someone needs to be treated, I take the goldie out of the tank.

Does your tank get direct sunlight at all? Since you have fake plants I assume you don't have a grow light

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The tank does not get any direct sunlight. I do not have a grow light. I was hoping that adding the charcoal back in and the Pura Complete back in would remove the algae control as it filtered. I could do another water change, I was avoiding it as I did not want to completely stress the fish out so much in one day since I already changed 50%.

I used this stuff before without any problems. I, of course, never will again.

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How are the fish doing now? Maybe something just stressed them out when you did your cleaning.

You said your water parameters were fine. However, you gave zero readings for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Since you have no live plants in your tank, it sounds like there is something going on with your cycle or your test kits.

I am not familiar with your set up, so I don't know how many of the bio bugs remained after you did your filter changes. Also, I have never used the algae control, so I cannot comment on its impact. I am like Fang and do not like using chemicals in my tanks. I'd keep testing your water to check your readings.

A 50% water change may seem massive, but you also said you normally change only 20% of the water weekly. 20% weekly water changes are not enough. A 50% water change at one time is not unusual for me. I may do 30% several times a week. My floaty fish does much better when I do more water changes.

If they are being stressed out by your current water conditions, water changes can improve those conditions- especially if you have stirred something up. If I have a major cleaning job to do on a tank, I do it in portions and not all at once, but that's just me.

Good luck!

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Not sure why you use bleach but hopefully your Chlor-lock got rid of the dangerous components of bleach. Bleach is a killer of good things and bad things.

I have read that if the carbon isn't removed early enough the things it collected begin to leak back into the water. I think most of us here don't use carbon.

I hope you get your water back into balance :angelstaf:

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They are doing great now .... thanks for all the replies.

This is my filter: http://www.magnavore.com/wd.html

I do not use charcoal per so ... I use Pura filtration pads. From their website:

P?RA Filtration Pads offer the same broad-spectrum filtration capabilities as P?RA Complete in a simple to use filtration pad form. In addition to heavy-duty chemical filtration, P?RA Filtration Pads offer the finest mechanical filtration of any pad. Made from a carefully selected thermally bonded blend of polyester fibers, these pads offer very fine filtration while resisting clogging. The most frequent comment we hear from our customers is that their tank has never looked so crystal clear.

In tanks with high levels of pollutants the granular media should be used to bring down the pollutant concentrations and then the pads can be used to permanently maintain low pollution levels. These pads are ideal for wet/dry drip trays, canister filters, power filters, and as supplemental chemical filtration in Eclipse systems. There is no finer filtration for a Nano-Reef!

P?RA Pads can be cut with scissors to fit any application. These pads are made from ultra pure ingredients and do not contain any glues, binders, adhesives, or ash slurries. P?RA Pads last longer and remove more pollutants than any other filtration pad.

The I use Pura Complete in my chemical reactors:

P?RA Complete is a blended media that provides the most complete aquarium pollutant control at low cost. Blended with 25% PhosLock for total phosphate and silicate control, virgin bituminous acid washed carbon,and cation exchangers for the control of ammonia and heavy metals, P?RA Complete offers a truly impressive spectrum of activity. This product removes a broad range of organics like urine, phenols, coloring agents, odors, and proteins; a broad range of heavy metals like copper, lead, and mercury that accumulates over time from trace quantities found in all fish foods; a broad range of toxins like ammonia, formaldehyde and arsenic; and a broad range of aquarium scum promoters like phosphates, and silicates.

P?RA Complete is fast acting, long lasting, and very effective in reef, marine, planted, and delicate freshwater aquaria. The 8 oz will treat a 50-gallon tank up to 6 months, the 16 oz will treat a 100-gallon aquarium, and the 32 oz will treat a 200-gallon aquarium. P?RA Complete should be used in a fine meshed bag instead of plain carbon, and no additional "specialty media" are necessary to provide total, complete, and cost effective aquarium waste management.

As far as why I use bleach ... that is what the filter manufacturer advised me to do. I have micron filter bags in the filter, and these are the directions:

The 100-micron polyester felt filter bags are extremely effective at providing both fine mechanical filtration (water polishing) and a full scale biological filtration. These bags are washable and can also be bleached many times to sustain optimal flow capacity.

I bleach them for two hours, then I soak them in the Chlorlock for 4 hours. I rinse them, change the water, and soak them in more chlorlock for another 2 hours:

P?RA ChlorLock is the safest and most effective way of neutralizing chlorine and bleach in all fresh and salt-water aquarium applications. It also the most cost effective way of preparing aquarium and pond water.

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I think it was the algae stuff you used, that stuff if not done exactly right or used on smaller fish can cause problems and even kill them. That stuff is really strong. If its brown algae its phosphates doing this, if its green algae its coming from light and sometimes from waste in the water...:(

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All the fish are doing wonderful and I will NEVER use the algae control again. I've used it before without any problems, but maybe they reached a breaking point :-)

I need to come up with a better system for water changes. I read so many conflicting opinions on how much water to change per week - from 10% up to 50%. A 50% water change on a 125 gallon aquarium with 5 gallon buckets to remove the water and 1 gallon water jugs to add water back in is a work out and a half.

When Petc or nnnn has their aquarium sale, I would like to have a 55 gallon holding tank so I can use a potable hose to fill it up ahead of time. Then siphon the water out of the tank into a large plastic bucket and use a sump pump to pump the water upstairs (the tank is in my finished basement) and outside. Then I can use another pump to pump the water from the holding tank back into the aquarium.

That is my idea anyway.

Everyone on here is so nice and friendly ... thanks for all the advice.

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I am so happy they are doing well! Now pics!

As for the changing of water I am also trying to come up with a better way for my 200Gal. You can check my thread in the 'tanks and equipment' section it is called 'pythoning' :)

I do weekly to bi-weekly 50percent water changes on all my tanks. It just keeps the tanks real clean and the fish happy :)

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We had a member here that when she had her 125 gal tank she had a Garbage can (plastic) she would fill it with water let set for 24 hours, then she had a pump used for ponds with a hose attached to it inside the garbage can. This is how she would change water in this tank, put one house out the door to drain it and then hook the pump/hose from the can and pump the water back into the tank :)

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