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ammonia/nitrite problems
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kjh90
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Joined: 15 Mar 2005
Location: Ohio

PostPosted: 2005.04.22(Fri)14:27    Post subject: ammonia/nitrite problems Reply with quote

When I got home from school today two of my Zebra Danios were dead stuck to the intake of the filter. I checked my water and everything turned out normal. Except from the Nitrites which I haven't been able to get below 2.0 ppm.
pH-7.0
Buffer Capacity-80
Hardness-120
Nitrite-2.0
Nitrate-20.0
Ammonia-.5
I have a 29 gallon tank with the following inhabitants:
Now 4 Zebra Danios
2 Gold Zebra Danios
1 Male Blue Gourmia (Has become very defensive of territory and looks like he is going to spawn)
3 Female Blue Gourmias (Two of them look like they are ready to spawn, and one is really thin hiding in the back of the tank and not eating much)
1 Adolf Cory
2 Plecos (I will be getting rid of soon)

This is the fourth Zebra that has died altogether, and my water tests fine every time. It seems like something else is killing them but I can not figure out what.

Thanks for any help!
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benedictj
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Joined: 05 Dec 2004
Location: new york, ny

PostPosted: 2005.04.22(Fri)15:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not trying to be mean here-

Your water parameters are not normal. Either your tank is still cycling or you changed something that teed off a mini-cycle. Eitherway, the best thing you can do is do a water change ASAP, start with 50% and if you are still testing for ammonia and nitrites in the morning, do another. Take readings on your tank everyday, if ammonia and nitrite are present, do a water change.

IMO, ammonia and nitrite are probably what killed your fish. Another possibliity is that your male gourami 'flipped out' and killed them (I've seen this happen before). Even though you have 3 females, it is still possible that the male is reacting territorially due to overcrowding (that's too many gouramis in a 29g, IMO).

Anyway, some thoughts. again, not trying to be harsh.

How long has the tank been setup?
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kjh90
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Joined: 15 Mar 2005
Location: Ohio

PostPosted: 2005.04.22(Fri)15:46    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do not think that is what killed them, because the Nitrites and Ammonia have been that way for over a month and no matter how many water changes I do I can not seem to bring them back down to normal levels. I constantly do water changes and it just stays the same. If there is any other ways to bring it down I would really like to now because of how long this has been going on.
Thanks for the help.
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benedictj
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Joined: 05 Dec 2004
Location: new york, ny

PostPosted: 2005.04.22(Fri)15:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

oops, sorry for the edit there as you posted. Again, how long has the tank been set up?

Before jumping the gun here, what type of test kits do you have (Company? Is it a drop kit or strips)? I only ask because the fact that you have had these parameters for a month actually points directly to them as a cause of death because of prolonged exposure.
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Dawn
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Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Toledo, OH, USA

PostPosted: 2005.04.22(Fri)15:57    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree benedictj. Another possibility maybe this is a newer tank that hasn't completed cycling as more fish have been added along the way, causing this cycle to take a bit longer to complete.
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kjh90
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Joined: 15 Mar 2005
Location: Ohio

PostPosted: 2005.04.22(Fri)16:23    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry about that, I was just kind of frustrated. I have had the tank since February. When I first got it I got 4 Zebra Danios to cycle it. Three of them died, and eventually everything got under control. I then got three blue gourmias, and everything went fine. About a week and a half later another Zebra died. I then got another gourmia, two plecs, and a cory, and then just today two died. Is the ammonia really that high? According to a chart I have, the ammonia can get up to 1.0 because of the pH that I have. I use the Aquarium Pharmecutical master test kit, and before that I used Mardel test strips. I do not know if that changes anything you said before.
Thanks for all the help.
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Josh Hansen
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Joined: 20 Feb 2005
Location: Dayboro, Queensland, Australia

PostPosted: 2005.04.23(Sat)1:47    Post subject: water problems Reply with quote

I will looked at adding nitrifying bacteria to your tank and try build up bacteria before adding the fish. How are you cleaning the filter are you using tap water or aquarium water.If you are using tap water you can be killing your nitrifying bacteria in the filter thus raising the ammonia and Nitrite. Is the nitrogen cycle completed before you started adding the fish. Nitrifying bacteria needs to be establish before adding the fish.

Good Luck

from Josh
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benedictj
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Joined: 05 Dec 2004
Location: new york, ny

PostPosted: 2005.04.23(Sat)6:53    Post subject: Reply with quote

If your tank has been set up since February, it should have cycled by now.

I agree with Josh, it might be related to how you clean the filter. Further, it could be related to the filter itself, what kind is it?
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Huntress
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Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Houston TX

PostPosted: 2005.04.23(Sat)7:19    Post subject: Reply with quote

You danios are probably dying due to the prolonged ammonia and nitrite in the tank. How large is the tank itself? Ammonia in any levels is extremely toxic. It burns the gills and stops the fish from being able to breathe. Have you ever been in a house where the cat litter box hasn't been changed? It's very much the same principle. If ammonia builds up enough the only safe way for humans to breathe is through a mask. Otherwise the ammonia burns the lungs and can cause serious damage. Even though your pH may be low, ammonia in any form is toxic and not even 0.5ppm is safe. It must be 0 at all times. I'm assuming this because of the chart reference. Ammonia in a high pH is far more toxic than in a lower pH.

Nitrites impede the gill function, by basically shutting them down and causing the fish to suffocate. Some people say Nitrites are less toxic, but I don't. I feel they are just as harmful as ammonia.

I highly suggest getting a product called amquel + which will help bind up the ammonia and deal with at least 2.0 ppm of nitrites. Don't add any more fish and do a 70-80% water change every three days. While this sounds extreme, you don't want any other fish to die.
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kjh90
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Joined: 15 Mar 2005
Location: Ohio

PostPosted: 2005.04.23(Sat)9:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

The filter that I have is a Whisper 30. I change the filter cartridge about once a month.(That didn't cause them to spike, because they were high before I changed it.) The tank is a 29 gallon with dimension of 30X12X18. So should instead of changing the cartridge should I just rinse it with dechlorinated water?
Thanks for the help.
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