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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Without going into all the unfortunate details of what caused my tank to basically break and leak all over the place, I'm just going to say that I probably have a problem with my fish and a few deaths could be in order soon.

I purchased a new tank yesterday. Also bought some gravel and two new powerheads because the one I had in the old tank was on it's last leg anyway.

Took the fish out of the old tank, put them in a five gallon bucket and dropped the air stone in so they could sit tight while I emptied the old tank.

Fish I have: 2 angels, couple mollies, four other little fish where I forget what breed they are and a couple pleccos - one old tapped out one and the other relatively new.

Took the remaining stuff out of the old tank - rocks, gravel, undergravel filter and all that good stuff - drained the water and poured it out into the sink. Probably my first error; getting rid of the old water.

Got all the gravel together from the old tank and mixed it in with the new gravel. Tried to keep all the bio-muck together, but that was next to impossible, most likely due to a very limited knowledge on proper aquarium care. Should have signed on here first - THEN did this whole procedure.

Put everything in the new tank - undergravel filter, old and new gravel mixture, powerheads, filled the tank up with water and let everything settle for about two hours. Powered on the top filter, Chemipure loaded, and waited another hour. Added recommended amounts of aquarium salt and stress ease.

Checked PH and Ammonia readings and they were both at the best possible levels, which I had never seen with the old tank. Sometimes both were in acceptable ranges, but never simultaneously at their best possible points.

Waited another hour to let everything filtrate through the top filter.

Since everything looked good now, I decided - probably foolishly now as I write this - to dump all the fish into the tank. Needless to say, they went absolutely bonkers. All of them swam up and down, this way, that way and every which way. Meanwhile, the old tapped out plecco dropped to the bottom like a brick. Never saw him do that before. After a couple of hours, he went to hide behind a rock and he's barely moved since then.

The remaining fish do seem calmer compared to the first few hours after i dropped them into the new tank...but, they're still pretty flaky. Readings on PH and NH3 are still good though.

But, I anticipate some trouble here. What do you think I should expect? A few deaths this week? Or, is everything fine and typical of a tank transfer?

Hopefully I provided as much clarity to my situation so you good folks know what you're looking at.

Thank you in advance. Now, I'm going to tool around some more on the forum and see if there's a similar situation somebody else had to contend with and check the responses to those.

*old dude
 

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The chemical levels are probably at normal values because you are measuring new tap water that was recently put in a tank. It will take a while for everything to start decaying and for bacteria to regrow to see traces of Nitrate, Nitrite, Ammonia.

The fish are probably going bonkers because they have just been transfered here and there not to mention a new home. Give them a while to readjust. But with the old gravel and some of the muck it shouldnt take long for the tank to re-cycle.
 

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Did you add your dechlorinator before you filled (or as you were filling) your new tank and let it sit for two hours ? Did you keep your old filter media , (ie. you filter pads or sponge what ever the case may be ) from your old tank and/or rinsed them out with the old aquarium water and not regular , straight from the tap water ? The chlorine in the tap water will kill off your beneficial bacteria . You are going see a spike in ammonia , then nitrite and then you will see the rise in nitrates regardless because the tank will need to cycle , while your good bacteria colonizes the new tank so keep an extra careful eye on your ammonia , nitrite and nitrate levels and test everyday until the tank levels out .

And on that note , you only mentioned you tested ammonia and pH , are these the only two tests kits you have ?
 

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Ph matters but it doesnt a fish will adapt, hence the acclimation question above.

I fuggled up and set up a temp 10g tank and forgot to dechlor before I moved the fish in there, and didnt remove them till a good 24 hours later, not a single death, they ate fine and swam fine and are doing great in their new tank.

Did you do the tear down to try and rid the ammonia from the water?

slow down on feedings and clean the gravel atleast once every 2 months when using the UGF, change the carbon out of any filters at 23-30 days depending on your water supplies additives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
UPDATE: Major change compared to yesterday, positively so, I'm glad to say. Water crystal clear, fish seemed to have calmed down greatly and old plecco is back to sticking to the glass. Fed them a tiny bit of food - cheap Tetra flakes - and they all went for it. Hopefully this will kick in their pee and crap functions to help balance the tank.

Did you add your dechlorinator before you filled (or as you were filling) your new tank and let it sit for two hours ? Did you keep your old filter media , (ie. you filter pads or sponge what ever the case may be ) from your old tank and/or rinsed them out with the old aquarium water and not regular , straight from the tap water ? The chlorine in the tap water will kill off your beneficial bacteria . You are going see a spike in ammonia , then nitrite and then you will see the rise in nitrates regardless because the tank will need to cycle , while your good bacteria colonizes the new tank so keep an extra careful eye on your ammonia , nitrite and nitrate levels and test everyday until the tank levels out .

And on that note , you only mentioned you tested ammonia and pH , are these the only two tests kits you have ?
Hello Brimac. Thanks for your response.

Hopefully the tank was dechlorinated when I added proper parts of both stress coat and aquarium salt. But, anything additional to that, I haven't done.

Filters were not changed - all from the old tank. Foam, ammonia and chemipure is what is contained in the filter box.

Ammonia levels are solidly in the safe range, which I had never seen with the old tank. Previously, it was in between safe and stress and that was with regular 25% water changes.

Unfortunately, PH and Ammonia testing is all I currently have. Any additional testing tools you recommend would most certainly be welcomed.

Thanks again for your quick response.
 

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I am gladto hear your fish have settled in .

I would recommend that you get an API liquid Master Test kit (stay away from the test strips as they can be inaccurate ) . The Master test kit tests ammonia , high and low pH ,NitrIte and NitrAte . You can order it from Wal - Mart on -line and have it shipped to your nearest Wal - Mart store for around $17 and you WILL NOT have to pay shipping and handling . I don't know about your local pet stores , but mine charges almost $ 50 for these kits , so it is a huge difference .

You really need to keep an eye on your nitrites and nitrates also .

How often do you do partial water changes and what is the size of your tank ? With your new tank cycling with all your fish in it , you may need to bump up your PWC's to around 50% ,as your ammonia and then your nitrites are going to spike and may/will get to dangerous levels .

I am not familiar with Chemipure , I'll have to look it up , I only use sponges and poly - fil ( the batting they use in making quilts) as my filter media .I only use Carbon every so often to filter out medications , in other words I almost never use activated carbon .
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
How often do you do partial water changes and what is the size of your tank ? With your new tank cycling with all your fish in it , you may need to bump up your PWC's to around 50% ,as your ammonia and then your nitrites are going to spike and may/will get to dangerous levels .

I am not familiar with Chemipure , I'll have to look it up , I only use sponges and poly - fil ( the batting they use in making quilts) as my filter media .I only use Carbon every so often to filter out medications , in other words I almost never use activated carbon .
Thanks for the suggestions on the test kits. I'll have to check those out.

I change the water every few weeks...usually around 40%.

Since I filled the new tank Saturday, how long from now would you suggest that I do a 50% partial?

Then again, I may want to get that test kit before making any determinations...unless, you know by rule of thumb how long I should wait before changing irrelevant of tests.

Chemipure, supposedly, is a do-everything bag filter. Was recommended to me by a neighbor who's a long time fish owner. From my own usage of it in the past few months, it's been pretty good. I was skeptical of it at first because it made so many claims, thinking it was just some gimmick, but again, it's provided some rather good results. No deaths or problems after inserting it into the filter...except, of course, last Friday's fiasco.

With my new tank, it's provided probably the most clear water I've ever seen out of a tank. Although, I may decide in a few months to tinker with the purist route - undergravel and powerheads only. It depends on what suggestions I receive from this site or if I stumble upon something else that might work better. It's all trial and error right now, basically.

Scoop on Chemipure here: Boyd Chemi-Pure & Chemi-Pure Elite Filter Media
 

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I would get a master test kit so you will know where you stand on your nitrite and nitrate levels before you would know if you need to do PWC's more often till every thing levels out and your tank is cycled , so without any numbers I could not recommend to you to up your PWCs' . But continue to test your ammonia everyday and if your ammonia climbs too high then you may want to do them more often to keep the ammonia from poisoning your fish .

A 40 % PWC is good for an established tank . I do about a 50 % once a week .
 

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50% water change is not only unnecessary, but also has the potential to shock your fish (more delicate ones are more likely to suffer than hardy fish) due to changes in the chemical make up of your tap water. It changes, sometimes drastically in a short period of time. 10-15% of the water once a week is plenty for an established tank. HOWEVER, if your tank is not cycled, then you will need to do it more often, until the beneficial bacteria can do their job to make waste less toxic to the fish.

You say you have always had normal to stress reading on your ammonia. How big is your tank? It sounds like you have a LOT of fish in there. Sounds to me like you may be overstocked as well, and if this is the case, your tank will never be completely cycled, and you need to either split the fish up, or get a bigger tank.
 

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A 50 % water change a week will not shock the fish . In my 20 years of fish keeping my fish have lived long and healthy lives on doing 40 to 50% pwcs' . So , I'll disagree with you and just leave it at that .
 

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A 50 % water change a week will not shock the fish . In my 20 years of fish keeping my fish have lived long and healthy lives on doing 40 to 50% pwcs' . So , I'll disagree with you and just leave it at that .
Just because you haven't been run over by a car doesn't mean it won't happen. It's happened before, their water company changes the make up of their treatments (i.e. going from chlorine to chloramine, letting water age will not get rid of the second also toxic substance) and also the mineral make up. If you haven't had a problem in 20 years, then good...that's you, you can't speak for all the worlds' water supplies.

When dealing with cycling issues, it is better to do (at max) 50% water change every day, until the tank is done cycling. After that, you should go back to weekly partial water changes of about 10-20%
 

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50% water change is not only unnecessary, but also has the potential to shock your fish (more delicate ones are more likely to suffer than hardy fish) due to changes in the chemical make up of your tap water.
I will also have to disagree with that. If the water is conditioned and brought up to temperature, it should be fine.
 

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Do a little more research, if the mineral and chemical make up of your water changes drastically, it will shock and kill your fish, but if you change over to the new type of water gradually (10-20% per week, or even twice a week!) then you will avoid all of that nonsense to begin with.

Unless you test your pH, kH, and gH every time you change your water, you should do smaller, more frequent water changes to prevent anything detrimental from happening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Update:

Bought a test kit for PH, Ammonia and Nitrate.

Amazingly, everything seems to be doing quite well. Nitrate was very low, PH was definitely in the proper parameters and ammonia was definitely in safe territory. Fish are back to their old selves without any trouble. The three pleccos I expected to be belly up by now, but they've basically "woken up" and are sticking strong.

I'm going to give it another few weeks before I crank on the power heads though. Let all the bio-muck below have a chance to grow and get situated in order to avoid any disruption and risk throwing the whole balance out of whack.

Considering to start swearing by Chemipure. Picked up a small packet of CPE for my 10 gal betta tank and it's really leveled everything out. No cloudiness, no brown algae formation - except a tiny bit, which I consider good.

The betta has seemingly become more active as well, rather than always resting in his little "rock cave"...except at feeding time, of course.
 

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By saying your ammonia was in the safe level does that mean it was at zero? Any amount of ammonia and nitrites is toxic to fish. Some handle better then others but even a trace amount is doing damage. Nitrates are more tolerable and the fish can handle a certain amount of them.
 

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Do a little more research, if the mineral and chemical make up of your water changes drastically, it will shock and kill your fish, but if you change over to the new type of water gradually (10-20% per week, or even twice a week!) then you will avoid all of that nonsense to begin with.

Unless you test your pH, kH, and gH every time you change your water, you should do smaller, more frequent water changes to prevent anything detrimental from happening.
To be honest you know nothing of my water chemistry , filter capacity , bio-load , what tests I or anyone else runs to make such a blanket statement that 50% pwcs are detrimental to our fish . I have learned through the years how much water to change that is best for my fish . I started out doing 10 % pwcs and they were not cutting it , so I bumped it up 5% at a time till I found my happy medium , which is 40 to 50 % . I also runs tests on my tap water before every water change . My fish have not just survived , they have thrived for years on 50 % water changes once a week and like I stated before they have lived to their full potential , their colors beautiful , fins erect , eating like pigs , making the babies and swimming and chasing each other happily around their tanks . Doesn't sound to me like 50% water changes once a week have hurt them in the slightest .

I will agree with you that any stress is detrimental to fish and this includes sticking a siphon in their tanks stirring things up 2 or 3 times a week .

Now if you will excuse me it is Sunday , and my tank is due for it's 50% water change .
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
By saying your ammonia was in the safe level does that mean it was at zero? Any amount of ammonia and nitrites is toxic to fish. Some handle better then others but even a trace amount is doing damage. Nitrates are more tolerable and the fish can handle a certain amount of them.
Both nitrate and ammonia were unnoticeable from the test, which supposedly means the water is absent of either substance or it's negligable. Just as a safety, although I question their reliability, I also tested with some strips and they too showed that the amount were virtually none. I'm sure there is "some" of either substance - can't be avoided, I'm guessing. But it's far low enough to where things are going good.

Right now I'm just letting the tank go with a small feeding every few days. Power heads will probably be turned on in a few weeks or so.
 
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