Ask Experts Questions for FREE Help !
    jmendez's Avatar
    jmendez Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Feb 1, 2007, 08:44 PM
    Hi my name Janet and I am having a crisis in my fish tank. I have a 29 gallon fish tank with 2 angels, 3 tiger barbs, 1 swordtail, 1 bosemani rainbow, 1 kribensis, 2 tetras and 3 frogs. I had 2 bala sharks that got sick after maybe 2 days in my tank with ich, so I treated them with prevent ich, melafix and quick cure. They both died. I then began to have problems with my ph levels being too low. I did take out some of my gravel because I felt I had too much in the tank. I also took out some background fake plants and washed all my other décor. I gave away my pleco because he had out grown the tank. I then started having problems. My ph then and now is too low (off the charts) which I can't seem to regulate even with the ph up, my ammonia levels are too high (off the charts on my quick dip tester). I was treating the tank with amquel and ammo lock, but the ammonia levels are still high. I have been doing water changes every other day 20% and the ammonia levels are still very high and the ph is still very low. I saw that my filter was not working proper so I bought a new filter that has been running for 6 days. After the 3rd day of running the new filter my tank was so cloudy and smokey, I can barely see anything inside my tank. My local pet store told me I am having a bacteria bloom. I am very concerned about losing any of fish or frogs. I can't seem to get a handle on my ammonia level or ph and everyday it seems to get more cloudy and more smokey. What should I do? Can you please help me?
    AKaeTrue's Avatar
    AKaeTrue Posts: 1,599, Reputation: 272
    Ultra Member

    Feb 2, 2007, 12:04 AM
    Hi jmendez,
    I'd love to help you stabilize your aquarium.
    With all the changes and cleaning that you've done along with replacing your filter, the majority of the beneficial bacteria that help stabilize water have been destroyed/removed.
    Your cloudiness is due to a combination of pollution (ammonia) and a bacterial bloom. Removing gravel, replacing filters, cleaning décor, large water changes, and some medication will remove and kill beneficial bacteria that help keep an aquarium stable. A bacterial bloom is basically beneficial bacteria multiplying at an incredible rate to compensate for their losses. The new bacteria have not yet formed colonies and are free floating in the water causing a cloudy appearance. The pollutants (fish waste, uneaten food, etc) that have no beneficial bacteria to break them down soon cause rising levels of ammonia which also cloud the water.
    Being that your ammonia levels are off the chart, I'm wondering if any beneficial bacteria survived. There are 2 different kind of bacteria within the beneficial colonies, the first, "Nitrosomonas" break down the ammonia (toxic to fish) preventing it from reaching high and deadly levels, it's byproduct is called Nitrites (toxic to fish). The second bacteria "Nitrobacter" break down the nitrites, it's byproducts are called Nitrates (not toxic to fish if under 40 to 60 ppm depending on water hardness). This process is called biological filtration and an aquarium is labeled "cycled". We check to see if our aquariums are "cycled" by testing the byproducts of the bacterial colonies (nitrites and nitrates).
    To better help you, I'll need a little more information. Do you happen to have any other water tests? If so, could I have the nitrites ppm, nitrates ppm, Gh ppm and Kh ppm? (if you have any of these it would be helpful) I can estimate what I think they are if you don't have test for these by getting a few Ph readings from you.
    You must have very soft water if having a hard time keeping the Ph stable. A low Ph is actually better to have when ammonia levels are as high as you stated because it makes it easier for the fish to tolerate the pollutants. However, fish will start dying if it falls below 5.0. Making the 20% water changes should be keeping it around 6.0 if your tap water has a Ph between 7.0 and 8.0.
    Put some tap water in a glass and check the Ph immediately, then check it again in 30 minutes to see if it drops and give me the readings you get. I can estimate the gh, Kh and Ph of the aquarium this way.
    In order to do this I also need to know if you have anything added to the tank like fresh water aquarium salt, real sea shells or crushed coral?
    Also, check to see if everything you have added to the aquarium is compatible with your water tests. If you see no compatibility statements then your tests are giving accurate readings. If you see a statement make sure they are compatible to use together.
    Hope to hear from you soon.
    AKaeTrue's Avatar
    AKaeTrue Posts: 1,599, Reputation: 272
    Ultra Member

    Feb 3, 2007, 08:36 PM
    Originally Posted by jmendez
    Hi Kae,

    Thank you for your quick response. My nitrate reading is 20 and my nitrite is 0. I tested it on my 5 in 1 test (which is my only method of testing that I have). Yes I did add aquarium salt water 7 days ago. I put some tap water in a glass and the Ph read 6.8 I retested it in 30 minutes and the Ph read not 6.8 or 6.4 but maybe in between. Should I continue my 20% water changes every other day? Should I feed my fish? I haven't fed them in 2 days, this would be my third. Should I be using any products for my ammonia problems or should I just stick to the water changes? I have kept my aquarium light on for about 1 hour because I don't want to add to the problem. What should the tank temp be kept at? Thank you and hope to hear from you soon.

    Hi Jmendez,
    You actually have a unique situation going on inside your tank. The readings indicate that your tank is cycled; however, the high ammonia readings along with 0ppm nitrite reading suggests that it's not. This happens when leftover byproducts from no longer existing bacterial colonies are still present in the water.
    Your tank will need to recycle. I suggest using a product called Cycle by Nutrafin.
    The aquarium salt that you've added to the tank should have boosted the Kh of your aquarium water to levels that will help to stabilize the Ph between 6.5 and 7.0 depending on how much you added. Your 5 in one test strips should have Gh and KH readings. I'm guessing the Kh is between 30 to 50 ppm and Gh is about 10 to 15 ppm (if not lower). This is Ok, but continue to add the salt with each water change.
    Continue water changes using the ammio-lock to condition the water and feed your fish lightly.
    Your aquarium lights would only be adding to the problem if it were an algae bloom which I'm sure it's not.
    I like to keep my aquariums set between 76-78 degree F.
    If you have anymore questions or concerns, please let me know.
    This situation will fix itself on it's own but it will take quite a long time, using the product "Cycle" will have you seeing results in 1 week with a fully restored aquarium within 2 weeks.
    Good luck,
    sapphiremoon's Avatar
    sapphiremoon Posts: 15, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Feb 13, 2007, 09:49 PM
    Everything AKaeTrue says is great advice. Another thought is to look at the water you're putting in. Water straight from the tap (even with de-chlorinator added) can have high levels of bacteria and algea. Every time I've tried to keep a tank with unfiltered water I have nothing but trouble, but have always had healthy tanks when I use filtered water. You can try a small canister filter from your local hardware store; should run you about $30 or $40 for an in-line canister filter you can put under your sink.

Not your question? Ask your question View similar questions


Question Tools Search this Question
Search this Question:

Advanced Search

Check out some similar questions!

Bacteria Bloom In Fish Tank [ 3 Answers ]

Hi my name Janet and I am having a crisis in my fish tank. I have a 29 gallon fish tank that has been running for over 1 year with 2 angels, 3 tiger barbs, 1 swordtail, 1 bosemani rainbow, 1 kribensis, 2 tetras and 3 frogs. I had 2 bala sharks that got sick after maybe 2 days in my tank with ich,...

Many Crisis [ 1 Answers ]

I am not sure how to help myself. I am very upset most of my life. I can't afford therapy and I am afraid to if I could. The man that I love is so against mental illness. Ever since I can remember I have worried about things. I am talking about a young age. First it was my father? Was he...

Career crisis [ 1 Answers ]

Few years ago I was stuck in a rut in my job and desperately wanted a change. As a result I went to indonesia and pursued a Masters in public Administration. Now that I have completed it, and am a changed person. I no longer want to return to my old profession ( teaching) but am not certain about...

Fish tank cloudy [ 6 Answers ]

All the typical teats come back normal (ammonia, nitrite,nitrate) but the water stays cloudy no matter the water changed or not. The fish tank is a 72 bow front with 4 fish 2 Amazon tiger catfish both about 8 in. 1 armor catfish and 1 pleco. I know the tank is not over stocked or over feed. Any...

Relationships crisis [ 2 Answers ]

Would like to know if my present partner is the one for life or my ex boyfriend or none of them,is there anyone still coming into my life? And is that ex boyfriend the father of my daughter? Date of birth 06.05.1978.

View more questions Search