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Is there an aquatics expert I can phone ASAP?!!

(34 Posts)
mishfish Sun 18-Feb-18 09:06:28


My daughters poured an entire tub of food into a 34l tank yesterday, I cleaned most out but my fish all look on the brink of death sad

dementedpixie Sun 18-Feb-18 09:44:37

maybe do a partial water change if the food has disintegrated into it. Do you have one of those we gravel Hoover cleaner things?

mishfish Sun 18-Feb-18 13:56:40

I have and most of it was removed yesterday but there was still some remaining. I’ve done a massive water change today and they were temporarily fine then gaping again within an hour. I’ve had the water tested and ammonia was 3 and nitrate 2. I’ve bought some stuff to help the wate and been advised to do very small water changes every time they start gasping again then add the water addition stuff every 2 days. One has died so far and I’m about to go check again now

bunnygeek Mon 19-Feb-18 11:51:17

How are they doing now? Make sure there's lots of surface movement and keep doing thorough gravel vacuums and partial water changes. You also need to be careful not to over clean the filter media and throw the tank into a new cycle.

How many fish are in there? A 34 litre is a very small tank so keeping water chemistry correct is harder than in a larger tank.

mishfish Mon 19-Feb-18 17:39:52


by this morning a snail and an African drawf frog had died. I did a 10% change at 8am and a 17% one before I left the house at 10.30 As wasn’t going to be back home before 4.

They seem ok now, the 3 remaining tetras are swimming in the middle of the tank, the 1 Beta is showing off and attention seeking as per usual and the 3 remaining drawf frogs are hiding but I’ve seen them

It’s been 7 hours since the last partial change and the tank isn’t stinking, nor have the pest snails started to come to the surface so I’m hoping that’s the end of it. Will take some water to get tested tomorrow

The tank is very small- it’s what we were advised for 2 black mood at pets@home sad after some research we realised it was entirely unsuitable and set up for tropical fish.

We are going to be getting a 90 litre soon hopefully

mishfish Tue 20-Feb-18 12:29:36

25+ hours no gasping!

I’m going to take the water to get tested today. Hopefully there will be no more losses.

We only have 3 tetras now so will replace with 2 more so they’re not so stressed in a week or so

mishfish Tue 20-Feb-18 16:56:49

Not good news.

The amonia is even higher than it was on Sunday- it’s now at around 6.

The fish weren’t gasping though and I feel bad I didn’t change the water sooner.

We’ve been told to do daily water changes for up to 3 weeks and to expect more loss of fish sad

bunnygeek Wed 21-Feb-18 10:24:19

Oh no sad

Keep doing those partial water changes and make sure there's a lot more surface movement than normal.

Use an ammonia "remover" like Ammo lock or SafeStart. It doesn't actually remove ammonia (just changes it into ammonium) but neutralises it somewhat. Beware it can give false ammonia readings with a test kit though.

Do you have your own test kit?

mishfish Wed 21-Feb-18 15:16:50

Thanks @bunnygeek

I’ve adjusted the pump so the water blowing out of it is nearer the surface (if that’s what you mean by surface movement).

We’ve lost our remaining zebra snail.

I haven’t got a test kit but I have the attached test strips coming today or tomorrow. I’ve been using the quick start API is that ok?

When you say false reading- do you mean as in falsely showing amonia or falsely showing none?

bunnygeek Wed 21-Feb-18 15:34:19

Yes Quick Start will do. The strips can be a bit inaccurate, the API liquid kit is better. Often the strips don't include an ammonia test either.

By false reading, they may read the converted ammonium as ammonia so it can be tricky working out exactly how much toxic ammonia is present. Nitrite readings are as toxic as ammonia also.

JimboDoesTheLimboInHawaii Wed 21-Feb-18 15:42:30

How long has your tank been set up? What filtration system do you have?

Keep doing the water changes!!!

JimboDoesTheLimboInHawaii Wed 21-Feb-18 15:44:14

The advice to do 'very small' water changes is pretty crap, unless you're doing them several times a day. Ammonia levels ought to be 0, 2 or more ppm can kill your fish.

JimboDoesTheLimboInHawaii Wed 21-Feb-18 15:46:57

Pets@home do not have an illustrious history of informed fish selling. Don't give them any more money until this tank is sorted. is an excellent resource - find a couple of hours and read all their articles on setting up and cycling a tank.

mishfish Wed 21-Feb-18 15:47:16

Tank has been set up since the end of July. We did a fish less cycle before adding anything. Filtration wise it’s :

‘ powerful 3-stage filtration for superior water quality, oversized mechanical (foam), chemical (carbon) and biological (Biomax) media included, multi-directional dual outputs for customized water flow,’

This is the tank:

mishfish Wed 21-Feb-18 15:49:09

Fish wise we not have 3 black tetras, 3 African drawf frogs and a male beta

mishfish Wed 21-Feb-18 15:58:28

We literally only bought the tank from P@H and after a few hours on the internet reading never stepped foot in there again. We go to a Maidenhead aquatics now!

I have been doing a few small water changes a day- party due to the fact the tank is upstairs and our water supply downstairs- I’m changing around 15-20 litres of water a day over 2 to 3 changes

mishfish Wed 21-Feb-18 16:07:26

And here are my babies fish

JimboDoesTheLimboInHawaii Wed 21-Feb-18 16:24:57

Sounds like you're doing everything right, really. Wish I had more words of wisdom for you. It's awful when pets are ill. Keep going with the water changes, and good luck!

mishfish Thu 22-Feb-18 12:08:08

Thanks @jimbodoesthelimboinhawaii

It’s horrible and I feel terrible that my fish are in human terms in a room with oxygen that’s poisening them. I can see a red hinge on the Tetra fins so anticipating them dying soon.

Honestly so gutted about this. We’ve been so careful with this tank and I stupidly left my 2 year old alone near it to answer the bloody door!

mishfish Thu 22-Feb-18 14:21:59

Test strips have arrived
GH: 180
KH: 240
PH: 8
Nitrite: 0-0.5
Nitrate: 80
Ammonia: between 3 and 6


bunnygeek Thu 22-Feb-18 14:45:06

Do test your tap water as well - let it sit out for half an hour before you test it though.

Keep doing the partial water changes, you'll get there!

mishfish Thu 22-Feb-18 14:51:01

@bunnygeek- I’ve put some to the side!

mishfish Thu 22-Feb-18 15:30:43

Tap water:
Amonia: 0
Kh: 240
Ph: 7.5/8
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 80

mishfish Fri 23-Feb-18 09:07:34

Ammonia 3 and nitrate 40 this morning (19 hours since last water change) this is good right?!

quackingduck222 Fri 23-Feb-18 09:25:11

I would do another water change personally to get your ammonia down. Also your nitrate at 80PPM is quite high but if your tap water is also 80PPM there is not much you can do about that.

A cycled tank should be
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0

A few more water changes should see you back to normal again.

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