Cmoon933

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Hey all! New to the forum. I have a 75 gal tank running with an Fx6 filter and heated to 74 degrees. Tank is decorated with little pebble stones and a huge piece of driftwood. That’s all for now.
Tank was cycled for at least two weeks and fish were introduced. It’s been running for about a month and a half now.
Currently is stocked with 10 platys, 2 paradise gouramis, 4 honey gouramis and 3 Corys.

There were also 6 angelfish, 2 catfish, 3 tiger loaches, 2 other corys… they all died last week within days of each other. No signs of anything being wrong with them, just died. I cannot figure out what’s going on with them.

I tested the tank water today and my findings were as such:
High Range pH - ~7.4
Ammonia 0-0.25ppm
Nitrite 5ppm
Nitrate between 10-20ppm.

My next train of thought is to do a water change before adding any new fish. I’d like some input on the values and where they should be, as well as other fish that I can put in the tank. Thank you for any advice! I’m new to this so please bare with me.
 

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Nitrite 5ppm
This is dangerously high. Both ammonia and nitrite need to be zero. You need to do a very large water change as soon as possible, matching the new water temperature to the tank water temperature. Wait half an hour to allow the new water to mix in, then test nitrite again. If it's still above zero, do another very large water change.
Once you have nitrite down to zero, test for ammonia and nitrite every day and do a water change whenever read more than zero.

Don't add any more fish until both ammonia and nitrite stay at zero for several days.



How did you cycle the tank? There are two ways - by adding ammonia before getting fish until the bacteria colonies have grown, or by planting the tank heavily with live plants.
 
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Cmoon933

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It was cycled by using the quick start solution and left for 2 weeks. That’s what was recommended by the dude that owned the fish store we bought our fish from

This is dangerously high. Both ammonia and nitrite need to be zero. You need to do a very large water change as soon as possible, matching the new water temperature to the tank water temperature. Wait half an hour to allow the new water to mix in, then test nitrite again. If it's still above zero, do another very large water change.
Once you have nitrite down to zero, test for ammonia and nitrite every day and do a water change whenever read more than zero.

Don't add any more fish until both ammonia and nitrite stay at zero for several days.



How did you cycle the tank? There are two ways - by adding ammonia before getting fish until the bacteria colonies have grown, or by planting the tank heavily with live plants.
 

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It was cycled by using the quick start solution and left for 2 weeks. That’s what was recommended by the dude that owned the fish store we bought our fish from

This is dangerously high. Both ammonia and nitrite need to be zero. You need to do a very large water change as soon as possible, matching the new water temperature to the tank water temperature. Wait half an hour to allow the new water to mix in, then test nitrite again. If it's still above zero, do another very large water change.

Do not accept any advice from fish store employees at face value. A lesson many have learned the hard way, by losing their lovely fish. And I agree with @Essjay post above.

To the future once this is resolved...the initial fish selection had inherent problems and it would not be good to get these same fish species again. Members can help you find suitable fish, if you can give us the GH of the source water. And the pH, do you have a normal range test as well as the high range? Use the normal and see what number you get, it will be different and one of these will be the correct reading, we can determine which with both results.
 

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Poor you, this happened to me to when I first started out. No one actually tells you anything about the nitrogen cycle and why it's vital for your aquarium, they just want your money.

Follow the advice you've been given above, we'll help you through the cycle...please don't buy any more fish as it will add to the bioload which your tank can't cope with for the time being, your fish will just die from ammonia poisoning. Keep us posted with your regular test readings so we'll be better equipped to help
 
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Cmoon933

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Do not accept any advice from fish store employees at face value. A lesson many have learned the hard way, by losing their lovely fish. And I agree with @Essjay post above.

To the future once this is resolved...the initial fish selection had inherent problems and it would not be good to get these same fish species again. Members can help you find suitable fish, if you can give us the GH of the source water. And the pH, do you have a normal range test as well as the high range? Use the normal and see what number you get, it will be different and one of these will be the correct reading, we can determine which with both results.
What is GH of the source water? We use well water to put in the tank.
 
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Cmoon933

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Poor you, this happened to me to when I first started out. No one actually tells you anything about the nitrogen cycle and why it's vital for your aquarium, they just want your money.

Follow the advice you've been given above, we'll help you through the cycle...please don't buy any more fish as it will add to the bioload which your tank can't cope with for the time being, your fish will just die from ammonia poisoning. Keep us posted with your regular test readings so we'll be better equipped to help
Thank you. I did an almost 75% water change. I’ll retest them parameters tomorrow and have all updated values.
 

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What is GH of the source water? We use well water to put in the tank.
GH is hardness. If you had been on mains water, the water supplier's website should have given this information. But as you are on a well, do you have the water tested, and if you do does it include hardness? If not, then you can either take some of the well water to a fish store and ask them to test it for GH - but make sure they give you a number and the unit of measurement. Or buy a GH tester.

The reason for asking is that some fish have evolved in soft water and don't do well in hard water, while others have evolved in hard water and don't do well in soft water. You have both hard water and soft water fish.


But this is for later. Your immediate task needs to be to cycle the tank properly. When you first added fish you would have had an ammonia spike which would have killed some of the fish. As the ammonia eating bacteria grew they ate the ammonia but turned it into nitrite, which is also poisonous. Your readings suggest that you currently have enough ammonia eaters but are waiting for the nitrite eaters to grow.
The first half of this link goes into more detail, but the second half is for cycling a tank without fish so ignore that bit.
 
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Cmoon933

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GH is hardness. If you had been on mains water, the water supplier's website should have given this information. But as you are on a well, do you have the water tested, and if you do does it include hardness? If not, then you can either take some of the well water to a fish store and ask them to test it for GH - but make sure they give you a number and the unit of measurement. Or buy a GH tester.

The reason for asking is that some fish have evolved in soft water and don't do well in hard water, while others have evolved in hard water and don't do well in soft water. You have both hard water and soft water fish.


But this is for later. Your immediate task needs to be to cycle the tank properly. When you first added fish you would have had an ammonia spike which would have killed some of the fish. As the ammonia eating bacteria grew they ate the ammonia but turned it into nitrite, which is also poisonous. Your readings suggest that you currently have enough ammonia eaters but are waiting for the nitrite eaters to grow.
The first half of this link goes into more detail, but the second half is for cycling a tank without fish so ignore that bit.
We’re on well water, but have a triple stage filtration system and water softener. I’ll look into the GH testing.
I’m happy to report that after a 75% water change and then a 50% water change two days later plus some Seachem prime, the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate are at 0.
What are my next steps in terms of adding fish? Also, where can I get advice on what fish I can put in my tank? I want to make sure I post my question in the proper thread. Thank you.
 

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We’re on well water, but have a triple stage filtration system and water softener. I’ll look into the GH testing.
I’m happy to report that after a 75% water change and then a 50% water change two days later plus some Seachem prime, the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate are at 0.
What are my next steps in terms of adding fish? Also, where can I get advice on what fish I can put in my tank? I want to make sure I post my question in the proper thread. Thank you.

You can continue in this present thread, as suitable fish will be suggested by members but once we are sorted out on the GH. You also mention a softener, this might be another problem. Many use sodium chloride (common salt) to replace the calcium and magnesium salts (these are the minerals that largely determine water hardness and GH measure this). Common salt is detrimental to all freshwater fish, so you should check into how your softener works. Using the well water not passing through the softener, if possible can sometimes be better, but we need to know the GH regardless. You may be able to take a water sample (of the straight well water, not having gone through filtering/softener) to a local fish store and they can test GH. Make sure you write down the number and their unit used, which will likely be either ppm or dH.
 

Bruce Leyland-Jones

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Good news on the results of those necessary and extensive water changes.
Whilst it is irritating to have to wait, I'll suggest cooling your heels for a few days, just to be sure that your readings remain stable.
In the meantime, you can research the fish appropriate for your water, but you can't do that until you know the hardness and pH of your water.

It's always a lot easier to match the fish to the water, than vice versa.
Remember, throughout the lifespan of the tank, you'll be doing water changes and, if you have to keep messing with the water, it can get complicated very quickly.

Your tank was grossly overstocked for so early on in cycling and for someone with so little experience. Sorry.
You only have a relatively small tank and of your original fish,the Clown Loaches were totally inappropriate. They grow big and need to be in a large group.
Likewise, the Angels. Whilst you had enough, shoal-wise, there just wouldn't be enough room in the tank for them.
Currently, I believe your tank is still overstocked.

Note that unless you got either males OR female platys, they'll breed and you'll have lots of live young swimming about, using up tank resources.
For your tank size, just a group of Honey Gourami would've been enough and that should've been a group of three; two females and a male. Males will fight and will also harass the ladies. One male spreading his attentions between two ladies would've been safer for all concerned. In a much bigger tank, you could've had space for the number of fish, but even then, there's much more to it than that.

EDIT: For literacy.
 
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Cmoon933

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You’re suggesting 3 fish in a 75 gallon tank? That’s strange to me lol
We got all female platys but who knows at this point with the fish store that we bought them from! The same guy told me tiger loaches would be fine 🤦🏽‍♀️ As well as the angel fish and the tank size. If I knew I could only keep so little fish in a 75 gal, I would’ve gotten something bigger… I thought it was 1in per 1gal of fish which is what I was going by in terms of stocking the tank.
 
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Cmoon933

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Thanks fo
You can continue in this present thread, as suitable fish will be suggested by members but once we are sorted out on the GH. You also mention a softener, this might be another problem. Many use sodium chloride (common salt) to replace the calcium and magnesium salts (these are the minerals that largely determine water hardness and GH measure this). Common salt is detrimental to all freshwater fish, so you should check into how your softener works. Using the well water not passing through the softener, if possible can sometimes be better, but we need to know the GH regardless. You may be able to take a water sample (of the straight well water, not having gone through filtering/softener) to a local fish store and they can test GH. Make sure you write down the number and their unit used, which will likely be either ppm or dH.
Thanks for the info. We use the water from our outside hose mixed with the inside sink water to do water changes to ensure a major temperature fluctuation. I’ll definitely look into the GH. As of now, the pH of the tank is at 7.4
 

Bruce Leyland-Jones

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We got all female platys but who knows at this point with the fish store that we bought them from! The same guy told me tiger loaches would be fine 🤦🏽‍♀️ As well as the angel fish and the tank size. If I knew I could only keep so little fish in a 75 gal, I would’ve gotten something bigger… I thought it was 1in per 1gal of fish which is what I was going by in terms of stocking the tank.
Whoops! I read 75 litres, not gallons!
Soz! :oops: :oops: :oops:
 

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