It’s been running for 2 months. We have battled all sorts of issues from PH dropping out of nowhere, ammonia spike and other issues. The tanks PH is so low that even the low range PH is reading under 6.0. We added API PH UP last night and then today all the fish were covered in white scummy stuff and they are all dead now except the neon tetras. They act and look unaffected. Ammonia is 0, nitrite is .25 and nitrate is between 10-20ppm. Last water change was 6 days ago and was a 75% change.
Cycling Your First Fresh Water Tank What is Cycling and Why is it Important? Fish waste, and especially fish breathing, plus uneaten food and other organic matter breaking down in a tank all produce Ammonia. This can quickly become toxic to fish if it is allowed to build up to any measurable...
When we first set the tank up, We were using nitrifying bacteria in a bottle. It must have been old or inert because when we added fish we got the ammonia spike. It took two weeks to get that situation under control but we did and started getting good readings on the tank. Four days ago the pH was 7.4 and then yesterday it had dropped off the charts and was less than a 6.0. We added pH up and then today the fish had white fuzzy stuff all over them and within 12 hours they were all dead. Have you ever seen anything like that before? I shared a picture earlier in the chat
When you set up the tank and added the nitrifying bacteria, did you add ammonia to bring the level to about 3ppm ammonia? if you didn't add ammonia and wait ( could take several weeks) for ammonia to drop , nitrite to rise and then drop, and nitrates to rise, you probably didnt cycle the tank properly before adding fish. And after cycling, you would have had to do a full water change to remove elevated levels of nitrates. Adding fish to an uncycled tank is just looking for trouble.
We had no idea what a biological cycle was. Both of us (my husband and I) have had fish tanks before and had never even heard of it. Growing up, my parents bred guppies and mollies and never had a fish die, save for old age and they never added anything to the water nor did they use a test kit or do weekly water changes. We just did what the guy at Pet Smart said (which is unfortunate and has caused great loss). He said to add the bacteria and a couple goldfish and wait a week before adding anything else we didn’t learn the proper way to do a true cycle until after all this other stuff had happened. Now we are starting completely over and doing it the RIGHT way. I was just hoping someone would know what the white scummy crap was so I would know if I needed to throw out the rocks and quarantine the live plants... just need to know what to do from here. All my fish in that tank died ( I have 3 other tanks set up with no problems) and I would like to know what this white funk is.
When you restart the tank, be sure to follow steps precisely in the cycling link I posted above. If you do add nitrifying bacteria it might speed up the cycling proces by a week or two. Having patience is important. Dont rush it.
Patience is key, absolutely. Any idea what the white stuff is though? We have nitrite and nitrate readings in this old water, so there’s a cycle going on. Not sure why that Ph went haywire and this wife stuff appeared. Going to re start and properly cycle, I will be adding Fluval Cyvle. I like that stuff and it seems to work better than anything else. I do need to know what to do about the old filter media and rocks, live plants and such. Not sure if this white stuff is contagious.