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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-15-2009, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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cleaning the filter

We have been struggling to get Mikey's tank right. It's a 30 long and he is the only fish in it.
Jay was changing the filters from ammonia chip filled to another carbon to try and seed it with the beneficial bacteria. When he removed the ammonia chips and put in the new filters (keeping in the old ones) a cloud came out into the tank. It looked awful but I was thinking it could be the beneficial bacteria. We purchased a bottle of it to add to the tank and he has been placing it in the filter. The cloud of stuff is white and moves through the water until it disperses. Jay thinks it is ammonia or something toxic to Mikey.
HELP! Can anyone tell me what this crap is and how to get the tank back.
Oh and BTW yesterday the tank was crystal clear. I mean absolutely clear.

mommy to
Tyler - kitty
Oscar - water turtle
Bean - kitty
Frankie - dachshund
Belle - dachshund
Oliver - bunny
Ophelia - bunny
Penelope - bunny
Teddy - bunny -ok I have given up on 4 of a kind and am willing to settle for 2 pairs.
8 fishes - RIP Little Guy and Greta
and Tabatha - October 11, 2006 - rest in peace our sweet angel bunny
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 01:06 AM
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It could definitely be bacteria since those kinds of blooms are common in new tanks (or old tanks with new filters!). The only way to know for sure if it's ammonia is to test your water and make sure everything's ok .

I have to ask, though, was the carbon rinsed first? If it wasn't rinsed, what you're seeing is probably carbon dust which can be removed with water changes.




~Stephanie

"We weep for a bird's cry, but not for a fish's blood. Blessed are those with a voice."


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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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The ammonia is a bit down but still high. Jay has been keeping a really close eye on Mikey and he is looking just fine. We have the ammonia chips in and used ammonia lock. I know that stuff is bad but we didn't want Mikey to get sick. Nitrites are 0. Nitrates are 10 or 20.
Oh and when the filter is not touched it clears up to the point that it is crystal clear. I swear it looks like high definition TV. It's crazy clear.

mommy to
Tyler - kitty
Oscar - water turtle
Bean - kitty
Frankie - dachshund
Belle - dachshund
Oliver - bunny
Ophelia - bunny
Penelope - bunny
Teddy - bunny -ok I have given up on 4 of a kind and am willing to settle for 2 pairs.
8 fishes - RIP Little Guy and Greta
and Tabatha - October 11, 2006 - rest in peace our sweet angel bunny
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathydip View Post
The ammonia is a bit down but still high. Jay has been keeping a really close eye on Mikey and he is looking just fine. We have the ammonia chips in and used ammonia lock. I know that stuff is bad but we didn't want Mikey to get sick. Nitrites are 0. Nitrates are 10 or 20.
Oh and when the filter is not touched it clears up to the point that it is crystal clear. I swear it looks like high definition TV. It's crazy clear.
I'm not a fan of those ammonia chips--not because they're bad (well, that's part of it) but because they just aren't too effective. I'd actually use Prime. It's a water conditioner (so you wouldn't need anything else to remove chlorine, etc.) and it neutralizes ammonia. It doesn't get rid of the ammonia completely but instead converts it to a form that isn't as harmful to fish. Products that completely remove ammonia disrupt the tank's cycle, thus creating MORE ammonia spikes. Prime, however, allows the tank to cycle while protecting your fish. Just an idea!

Anyways, that's really weird. So if your filter is off it's not cloudy? I'm really starting to suspect the filter media (it might be dusty). Try taking the filter out and cleaning everything, including all the media.




~Stephanie

"We weep for a bird's cry, but not for a fish's blood. Blessed are those with a voice."


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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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Oh no I don't think I was clear.
When the filter is on and running the water gets crystal clear. It's only when Jay decides he has to touch the filter that stuff comes out. Like he took the ammonia chips out and "recharged" them. At one point he added in new filters to seed them with the beneficial bacteria - when he pushed them down the water that came out was cloudy. It clears up after a few hours.
I had read that the ammonia lock can disrupt the cycle but we were so worried about the harm the ammonia could do to Mikey we used it.
Jay had used Prime but was getting frustrated because after he started using it things just kept getting worse. We had always used stress coat to condition the water. I hadn't realized that Prime locked up the ammonia and didn't remove it. That is what Ammonia lock does - how are they different? Or are they any different?
I think the ammonia is starting to come down - so now Jay is watching the Nitrites closely. We do have Nitrozorb packets - we used them before and it seemed to help. What do you think of those?

mommy to
Tyler - kitty
Oscar - water turtle
Bean - kitty
Frankie - dachshund
Belle - dachshund
Oliver - bunny
Ophelia - bunny
Penelope - bunny
Teddy - bunny -ok I have given up on 4 of a kind and am willing to settle for 2 pairs.
8 fishes - RIP Little Guy and Greta
and Tabatha - October 11, 2006 - rest in peace our sweet angel bunny
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathydip View Post
Oh no I don't think I was clear.
When the filter is on and running the water gets crystal clear. It's only when Jay decides he has to touch the filter that stuff comes out. Like he took the ammonia chips out and "recharged" them. At one point he added in new filters to seed them with the beneficial bacteria - when he pushed them down the water that came out was cloudy. It clears up after a few hours.
I had read that the ammonia lock can disrupt the cycle but we were so worried about the harm the ammonia could do to Mikey we used it.
Jay had used Prime but was getting frustrated because after he started using it things just kept getting worse. We had always used stress coat to condition the water. I hadn't realized that Prime locked up the ammonia and didn't remove it. That is what Ammonia lock does - how are they different? Or are they any different?
I think the ammonia is starting to come down - so now Jay is watching the Nitrites closely. We do have Nitrozorb packets - we used them before and it seemed to help. What do you think of those?
Ah, I see, yeah, then it's probably dust from the filter media. Or when he cleans the filter, he kicks up stuff that's been trapped inside? Since it's clearing up within hours, it's probably nothing to worry about--just make the filter media is being rinsed really well.

Hmm, the Ammo Lock does sound the same (I don't have any personal experience with that particular product, though) although I don't know what it actually converts the ammonia to. Does it say on the bottle by any chance? From talking to people who have tried it, though, they said it didn't work. I don't know how true that is.

You shouldn't use both Prime AND Stress Coat, it's usually best to pick one or the other. After all, you never know how the two chemicals might react. I can't see how the Prime would make things worse but you never know. According to the bottle, you can use higher doses if you're trying to fix an ammonia or nitrite spike, though (it neutralizes nitrites, too).

I've never used Nitra-Zorb but if it works, it works! Honestly, though, the best way to keep ammonia and nitrite down is just by doing a ton of water changes. So make sure you're changing the water every day.

By the way, do you know what caused the cycle to crash in the first place?




~Stephanie

"We weep for a bird's cry, but not for a fish's blood. Blessed are those with a voice."


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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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We were using either prime or stress coat - but you are right they would have mixed in the water since Jay was only doing partial water changes.
First the pH went off - so bad that Greta and Lil Guy (they were both still with us when this started) were covered in this white stuff. Jay struggled trying to keep the pH under control. Then little guy pineconed and passed away. Things seemed to settle down but the next thing we knew the nitrites were off. To get the pH under control Jay was doing massive water changes.
Oh and sometime after the pH went down we changed the small rocks to nice pretty colored larger pebbles because I read that fish could choke on the small rocks and I panicked. I just cannot remember if we had nitrite issues before that or not. I think it was just the pH problem. So I really think it was removing all the small rocks in the bottom of the tank and putting in the pretty pebbles. Now we don't need to worry about choking but the bene bacteria is gone and has to build up again! I didn't realize that much bene bacteria lived in the rocks - I thought they would have enough in the filter to sustain it.
Thankfully, Mikey Moo is doing well. He gets excited to see Jay - of course we know that is because he is hopeful he will get food. This morning he was swimming like a mad fish and scared me. I got Jay up and made him take a look. Mikey was so excited to see me that he was going nuts - Jay fed him and he calmed right down. He is a typical goldfish - he is a horrible begger! I let Jay take care of all his feeding so he is not over fed.
I hope this cycle is completed soon!
As of now there are no plans on any friends for Mikey. We know the tank has to be under control first. Jay just said he would want a bigger tank in hopes it would be easier to care for. We have a 30 long right now. I think Jay would like a 55 for 2 goldies.

mommy to
Tyler - kitty
Oscar - water turtle
Bean - kitty
Frankie - dachshund
Belle - dachshund
Oliver - bunny
Ophelia - bunny
Penelope - bunny
Teddy - bunny -ok I have given up on 4 of a kind and am willing to settle for 2 pairs.
8 fishes - RIP Little Guy and Greta
and Tabatha - October 11, 2006 - rest in peace our sweet angel bunny
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 09:35 PM
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Ah, I see, I'm sorry that all of that happened! I'd imagine that it wasn't just the change of substrate that did it but also the large water changes and pH changes.

I wonder why the pH changed so suddenly, I would test your tap water to see what the pH is. Also, remember that a fluctuating pH is worse for fish than a constant one--even if the constant pH isn't perfect for the species. I always advise against using any pH changing products unless the tank in question is marine or housing cichlids/other sensitive fish. Unless, of course, the pH is at one of the extremes. If you must ever use a pH product, try something by SeaChem. I use their marine buffer and find that it works really well. When I had a pH crash in one of my marine tanks, I added the buffer and the pH was back up to a perfect 8.3 within an hour. It's always kept my tanks at the perfect pH, even when I forget to add it (one of my tanks has been set up for so long and is so stable that I often forget to test it, heh).

Yeah, the bigger the tank, the more stable . Goldfish are really messy so it's hard to keep them in smaller aquariums.

Out of curiousity, what kind of filter do you have? The canister filters are really great for goldfish.

Best of luck, I hope you get the tank sorted out soon!




~Stephanie

"We weep for a bird's cry, but not for a fish's blood. Blessed are those with a voice."


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-19-2009, 09:01 AM Thread Starter
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We cannot understand what made the pH go down. We did test the tap water and it's a great 8 or so. It was just crazy. Jay tried fixing it with just water changes but it still went down. So we did have to use an additive. I cannot remember what brand but it was the one that is supposed to buffer the water either way. Now we just have pH up but I am not sure what brand.
We have a marine land peguin filter. I think it's for a 75 gallon tank but it is a hanging filter. Jay is now looking at a canister for Mikey that is rated for either 100 or 150 gallons. I like the canister filter because we could have a level of bio-balls that never get touched.
We are having such a hard time with the fishes. With Daddyfish and the pond crew being diagnosed with cancer and the loss of Little Guy and Greta. Jay still misses his Greta terribly. I just wish that Mikey's tank would calm down so we can relax a bit.
Thanks so much for all your help and support - I really appreciate it!

mommy to
Tyler - kitty
Oscar - water turtle
Bean - kitty
Frankie - dachshund
Belle - dachshund
Oliver - bunny
Ophelia - bunny
Penelope - bunny
Teddy - bunny -ok I have given up on 4 of a kind and am willing to settle for 2 pairs.
8 fishes - RIP Little Guy and Greta
and Tabatha - October 11, 2006 - rest in peace our sweet angel bunny
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-19-2009, 09:13 PM
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How much did the pH drop? That is odd how it dropped so suddenly! That's usually not as common as a problem with freshwater tanks.

I'm a big fan of canister filters too . The Eheims are really nice (although the directions are terrible! haha).




~Stephanie

"We weep for a bird's cry, but not for a fish's blood. Blessed are those with a voice."


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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-21-2009, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
Can't Stop Touching Her Eyes
 
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Jay thinks it went as low as 5 but we are not totally sure -my memory is awful. Jay was looking at an Eheim and a fluval. I will let him know you prefer the Eheims.

Here is a picture of Mikey
http://home.comcast.net/~technical_s...ish/mikey2.jpg

Sorry when I posted the picture it was crazy big. Mikey looks like he could eat the dogs!

mommy to
Tyler - kitty
Oscar - water turtle
Bean - kitty
Frankie - dachshund
Belle - dachshund
Oliver - bunny
Ophelia - bunny
Penelope - bunny
Teddy - bunny -ok I have given up on 4 of a kind and am willing to settle for 2 pairs.
8 fishes - RIP Little Guy and Greta
and Tabatha - October 11, 2006 - rest in peace our sweet angel bunny
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-21-2009, 11:29 PM
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Mikey is beautiful!

The Fluvals are good too, they just never seemed quite as sturdy to me and I've heard people have problems with them leaking (usually it's a simple problem to fix but not something I want to deal with!).




~Stephanie

"We weep for a bird's cry, but not for a fish's blood. Blessed are those with a voice."


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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-22-2009, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks - we are totally in love with him. He is rather comical. He is so wiggly. And he gets excited when he thinks he's getting food. It's cute.

mommy to
Tyler - kitty
Oscar - water turtle
Bean - kitty
Frankie - dachshund
Belle - dachshund
Oliver - bunny
Ophelia - bunny
Penelope - bunny
Teddy - bunny -ok I have given up on 4 of a kind and am willing to settle for 2 pairs.
8 fishes - RIP Little Guy and Greta
and Tabatha - October 11, 2006 - rest in peace our sweet angel bunny
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