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Re: New Tank Setup - Fish Dying

Subject: Re: New Tank Setup - Fish Dying
by Goldy on 13/11/2013 15:48:49

Hi there -) As Coralline mentioned you don't need to remove the fish while doing a part water change, this will just stress them out more it will be a hard job cycling with the fish but hopefully the information taken from the link below will help

How to Save the Day (and the Fish) with an Un-Cycled Tank

OK, so you didn't do Fishless Cycling or you did scrub out your matured tank and now your fish are dying and nothings breaking down that ammonia and nitrite. What do you do now?

Here's what I do to give my fish the best chance:
1. Immediately do a 10-15% water change with dechlorinated water and continue to do this at least once daily until your tank is cycling (i.e. ammonia and nitrite are at zero).

2. Test the water daily for ammonia and nitrite until the values are holding at zero for several days running. If levels are high, do an immediate, extra water change.

3. If at all possible, get some matured filter media and/or gravel from a matured tank and put it in your tank, suspended in an old stocking. This will hopefully impregnate your new tank with the beneficial bacteria. One lady successfully used floss from a relative's fish pond to colonise her new tank! (you have to be careful that what you use is clean and free from pathogens, of course).

4. Keep good aeration in the tank both to help the fish a little and to oxygenate those beneficial bacteria.

5. Avoid using medications, if at all possible, as many medications kill off beneficial bacteria. Your fish may well get ick, fungus or other infections due to the stress of the ammonia and nitrite but the priority is to get that water quality as good as possible.

6. If you have delicate fish in the tank, such as plecos, corys or other bottom dwellers, tetras, pencil fish etc. try to re-home them temporarily, such as asking the Local Fish Shop to look after them until your tank is cycled (after all, chances are that they got you in this mess in the first place).

7. Live plants can directly use ammonia, so if you can, put some cheap aquatic plants in the tank, such as elodea or giant vallis.

8. Don't feed your fish at all if your ammonia readings are high, and only feed bare minimum rations every other day, until the tank cycles. This will cut down on the ammonia the fish produce. Since fish are cold blooded creatures and don't need the calories of a mammal they can go several days without food anyway, and the occasional fast is good for them. Your fish may not be very hungry anyway so do be careful not to feed more than the fish can eat and clean up uneaten food immediately, before it rots and produces even more ammonia.

9. Only clean the gravel superficially, of obvious dirt and uneaten food. You want the bacteria to colonise it and actually start to grow. Also, don't swap out your filter at this point - if it gets blocked, just clean it enough to unblock it, in used tank water.

http://www.fishkeeping.co.uk/modules/ ... php?topic_id=559&forum=14