Cloudy water and dying fish

Naughts

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I suspect 'old tank syndrome' rather than the cycle crashing but we need the test results to know what is going now to move forward.
 

connorlindeman

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I'm more apprehensive about relocating the fish to a temp home while I change the substrate. I might actually get a smaller tank, perhaps 55 gallon. While I have a large house, the 125 takes a lot of space and limits where I can place it.
I used my spare 10g tank for the fish in the 20g. Drain tank water into your spare tank and transfer the fish. Hook up your filter and heater to the spare tank and the fish will be fine.
 
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ga_Anna

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Pet store only had ph kit in stock for fresh water and plenty all in one for saltwater that won't do me any good. My water has cleared up somewhat. my pleco and Cory's are good, yay! So should I drain some more water out and fill back up? Or fill the remaining say 5"-6" from full. Or just leave it alone until I get the test kit in the mail probably tomorrow or Wednesday? I have a bow front 55 gallon btw.
 

Oblio

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Hmmm, not an expert on OTS (Old Tank Syndrome) if that was the cause. Under normal circumstances I would say drain and add but will defer to the experts.|
Can you tell us the pH if you got that test? I think OTS has something to do with pH going too far, then raising it with fresh water which causes the ammonia to spike, but again, I'm not an expert here.
 

Rocky998

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Pet store only had ph kit in stock for fresh water and plenty all in one for saltwater that won't do me any good. My water has cleared up somewhat. my pleco and Cory's are good, yay! So should I drain some more water out and fill back up? Or fill the remaining say 5"-6" from full. Or just leave it alone until I get the test kit in the mail probably tomorrow or Wednesday? I have a bow front 55 gallon btw.
Never hurts to do a WC...
 

Oblio

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Can you tell us how approximately much water you drained, and how much fresh you added? This may help the analysis.
i.e. Did you drain 75% and then add 25% (of the tank volume)? This would leave you half full and equivalent to a 50% WC.
 
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ga_Anna

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My other tank (29 gallon that I was getting ready -12/14 days cycling) that I was able to put the fish I could catch in had 2 floaters when I got home. I moved 3 red eye tetras, 4 scissortail rasboras, and 1 cherry barb Saturday during the redecorating. I left 6 black skirt tetras in my 55. When they started floating I took the one left and move it to the 29. That one and 1 red eye didn't make it. Should I be concerned or you think it could be stress? The others act fine. They swimming and eating. Checking out their new place
 
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ga_Anna

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Can you tell us how approximately much water you drained, and how much fresh you added? This may help the analysis.
i.e. Did you drain 75% and then add 25% (of the tank volume)? This would leave you half full and equivalent to a 50% WC.
I drained half the water. And the picture it what it is now. It looks clearer that what it really is
 

Colin_T

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No pictures :(

How often do you normally do water changes and how much do you change?
Do you dechlorinate the new water before adding it to the tank?

When did you clean the filter last?
How often do you normally clean the filter and how do you clean it?

What colour gravel did you add to the tank?
Sometime coloured gravel hasn't cured properly and can leach chemicals like turpentine into the water. This mostly happens with blue or red glossy gravel. The gravel looks like smooth polished glossy gravel because it is painted.

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CHANGING SUBSTRATES IN AN AQUARIUM
For future reference and for others wanting to change the gravel in their tanks, do the following.

Clean the filter a week or two before changing the gravel, then do it a week after you have changed it. However, if the filter is less than 6 weeks old, do not clean it.

Gravel clean the substrate the day before you replace it. This removes most of the gunk in it and makes it cleaner to work with and leaves less gunk floating around the tank afterwards.

Use a fish net to scoop the old gravel out and put it in a bucket. Start on one side of the tank and remove half the gravel. Then move to the other side and remove the rest of the gravel.

Have the new gravel washed and cleaned ready to add. Use an icecream bucket or plastic container to scoop up the new gravel/ sand and lower the container into the tank. When the container is near the bottom of the tank, pour the new gravel/ sand into the tank. Pour the sand in at one end and use your hand to slowly push it across towards the middle of the tank. When you have the required amount of substrate on one side of the tank, do the other side.

After you have changed the substrate, add the plants and ornaments, then leave the fish alone for 24 hours. Do not feed them for this 24 hour period.

Try not to change the water when changing the gravel. You might need to remove a few litres to lower the water level in the tank to reduce mess. That is fine and you can dispose of that water. but try to leave most of the water in the tank.

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OLD TANK SYNDROME
Old tank syndrome is where the aquarium or pond hasn't had a water change for a long time, usually more than a couple of months. The fish food and waste produce acids and these drop the pH of the water. Nitrates also go up. The fish get used to these conditions because it happens slowly over time. However, if you do a big water change on a tank with old tank syndrome, you can cause the pH to go up suddenly and this can kill the fish via alkalosis (pH shock).

If you suspect an aquarium has old tank syndrome, the best thing to do is a 10% water change and gravel clean the substrate every day for a week. Then do a 20% water change and gravel clean the substrate every day for a week. Then a 30% water change and gravel clean every day for a week. Then a 40-50% water change and gravel clean every day for a week. After that you can do bigger water changes once a week.
*NB* Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank.

The small water changes allow the pH to come up slowly and gravel cleaning the substrate cleans the gunk out of the gravel, leaving a cleaner base for the fish.
 
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ga_Anna

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Test results are in. I used the tetra easy strip 6 in 1. ( I'll get the better kit this weekend. That's all they had).
200 nitrate. 1.0 nitrate. 300 hardness. 0 chlorine. 80 Alkaline. Ph- was pink hard to read between 7.8/8.4. Got a liquid ammonia test at least .25 not the green green like the .50
What I recommendations do you have for my 55 gallon tank? On a good note. Still have my pleco, mom and dad cory and baby Cory!
 

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