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Old 06-17-2012, 04:57 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
30,708 posts, read 79,963,134 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ParallelJJCat View Post
Are you priming the filters? When you plugged them in, did they make any kind of noise or where they just completely silent? If they are making noise, you need to pour water into them to start them.

I really, really hope you used something like Prime to remove chlorine and other chemicals from your tap water. If you didn't every fish in there is going to die.

For the heater, you need to get a stick on thermometer that goes on the front of the tank. If the temp stays steady the heater is working.

Not sure how to get salt out of a filter. For the one that isn't made anymore you might be able to find parts on ebay or aquabid.
Yes. We primed them. They made no sound at all. The older one is still working.

We did use chemicals both to remove chlorine and to provide bacteria.

We have a stick on. It will probably not tell us much since it is 88 degrees in our house. the water is holding warm, but that may well be just from ambient temperature.

One more is dead this morning. The ones dying are large fish they called "silver dollars" are they fragile?
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Old 06-17-2012, 06:34 AM
 
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You should not be using "chemicals" to provide bacteria, you need to develop good bacteria naturally. There is a lot of junk out there made by manufacturers that promise bacteria etc., but it's usually a scam, and can do more harm than good. What name and brand of "bacteria" did you add, and how much? The tank should be cycled already since it had fish in it, and you apparently have at least one pre-existing filter running on it now, right? Also, it's best to use Prime water conditioner as opposed to the others on the market, it's very effective at temporarily neutralizing ammonia etc.

If your house is 88 degrees, you will not be needing a heater. The water is going to eventually adjust to the room's temperature----upper 80's is very hot for many varieties of tropical fish. Silver dollars need temps in the 70's, which could be why yours are dying, I'm sure by now the temp has risen above the previous 75 you mentioned and is nearing upper 80's. That's one of the reasons I previously told you to research fish and their requirements. I'm confused as to why the fish were dying so quickly before you even had them out of the bags, though. How long were they in baggies? I have shipped fish, and received shipped fish, that were in baggies for a few days with no ill-effects. Something else is going on. I'm wondering if there was a lot of gunk in the gravel that got swished around in the tank, and now the tank has high ammonia and high nitrates. Plus whatever that bacteria you added might have done to the water. You didn't mention what the water parameters were, I hope you took poster's previous advice to buy an API test kit. When fish are sick, the very first thing you do is TEST the water, that will indicate possible problems, and give you an idea of how to fix them. You will need to do daily testing for a week or two until the tank is properly cycled, to watch ammonia and nitrates. Also, it is possible that your ph is vastly different that what the fish were used to. Be sure to use a liquid test kit and find out what you are dealing with, as previously mentioned the test strips are unreliable.

I am not a fan of Whisper filters, they are not as effective at filtering water as well as most other brands. You need to get a good filter ASAP to clear out that water. I would not use filter media previously used for salt-water, either.

Last edited by andthentherewere3; 06-17-2012 at 06:50 AM..
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Old 06-17-2012, 11:33 AM
 
2,873 posts, read 5,861,692 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andthentherewere3 View Post
You should not be using "chemicals" to provide bacteria, you need to develop good bacteria naturally. There is a lot of junk out there made by manufacturers that promise bacteria etc., but it's usually a scam, and can do more harm than good. What name and brand of "bacteria" did you add, and how much? The tank should be cycled already since it had fish in it, and you apparently have at least one pre-existing filter running on it now, right? Also, it's best to use Prime water conditioner as opposed to the others on the market, it's very effective at temporarily neutralizing ammonia etc.

If your house is 88 degrees, you will not be needing a heater. The water is going to eventually adjust to the room's temperature----upper 80's is very hot for many varieties of tropical fish. Silver dollars need temps in the 70's, which could be why yours are dying, I'm sure by now the temp has risen above the previous 75 you mentioned and is nearing upper 80's. That's one of the reasons I previously told you to research fish and their requirements. I'm confused as to why the fish were dying so quickly before you even had them out of the bags, though. How long were they in baggies? I have shipped fish, and received shipped fish, that were in baggies for a few days with no ill-effects. Something else is going on. I'm wondering if there was a lot of gunk in the gravel that got swished around in the tank, and now the tank has high ammonia and high nitrates. Plus whatever that bacteria you added might have done to the water. You didn't mention what the water parameters were, I hope you took poster's previous advice to buy an API test kit. When fish are sick, the very first thing you do is TEST the water, that will indicate possible problems, and give you an idea of how to fix them. You will need to do daily testing for a week or two until the tank is properly cycled, to watch ammonia and nitrates. Also, it is possible that your ph is vastly different that what the fish were used to. Be sure to use a liquid test kit and find out what you are dealing with, as previously mentioned the test strips are unreliable.

I am not a fan of Whisper filters, they are not as effective at filtering water as well as most other brands. You need to get a good filter ASAP to clear out that water. I would not use filter media previously used for salt-water, either.
The bacteria starters won't hurt anything...they just don't work. Tests have been done that showed most of those starter sets don't contain any live bacteria. If you want to go that route, you need to buy them fresh and kept refrigerated, which most shops don't do.

I actually had good luck with a Tetra starter product that was kept refrigerated. After 5 weeks of struggling with a fishless cycle, I added the starter and by the next day was showing nitrates for the first time. But I would never had depended on it for a fish-in cycle though.

To the OP- if your house is 88 degrees, you don't need a heater- you need a cooler. They do exist, mostly for salt water tanks. Without one I don't know how you'll keep anything- 88 is much too high for most fish. Most tropical fish are between 75-78. I keep my betta at 80 because they prefer higher temps but even he would suffer at 88.

I'm also curious why your fish were dying in the bags. I've had fish shipped to my house and they survived just fine in small bags. I doubt it's the gravel being stirred up, since even with the gunk in the gravel you were adding 55 gallons of fresh water, which would have diluted any ammonia. How far away were you traveling with the tank and fish?

And yes, as the person who suggested the API test kit, please test your water. ANY time you having trouble, you need to test- your PH could be very different from where the fish came from. It might be a PH difference- fish can adjust to varying PHs, but not a huge difference all at once.

Edited to add that you need to test water straight out of your tap. You might have natural ammonia in your tap water. I do...my tap is at .25 ammonia, which is high enough to cause damage. Because my tank is cycled and I do small water changes it's fine- I use Prime to neutralize it and my bacteria colony does the rest. But you may have shocked the fish by adding water from the tap if it has ammonia. It would have been better to sent some water out in buckets to 'rest' and add Prime.
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
30,708 posts, read 79,963,134 times
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The fish were caught when the tank was full and then put into quart sized freezer bags with water fromthe top of the tank. No sludge was stirred up when we caught the fish, excpet maybe a tiny bit from catching them with a net. The bags were about 2/3 water and 1/3 air. Each one had one to three fish in it depending on their size. They were in the bags for the time it took to take the tank down and drive about 1 hour home and set up the tank and get the water warmed up - probably 4 hours, we opened the bags while we were setting up the tank at home. Shortly after we opened the bags, some of the fish started dying. As soon as we were able to get the water to 75 degrees we put the bags in the tank and an hour later, released the fish. Some of them we released earlier because the fish were not doing well in the bag, they had 15 minutes or so to equalize the temperature. We slowly mixed in new water before we released them. At first the fish who were not doing well in the bags (swimming sideways for example), did much better in the tank, but they eventually died. Other fish in the same bags who were nto showing signs of distress seem to be just fine. They have stopped dying and we have not lost any since Sunday Morning.

When we removed the rocks, plastic plants, shells and other decorations from the bottom of the tank, we put them in buckets half full of water from the tank to try to preserve any bacteria on them. We also left a tiny bit of water covering the rocks when we moved the tank. We also left the sludge that was underneath the undergravel filter and we re-used the sponge from the whisper filter (one sponge disappeared on the way home so we had to replace it, but the other one stayed in and stayed wet). We had to replace the filter media packs because water would not flow through them. Hopefully, we managed to preserve some of the beneficial bacteria. We added some tablets that supposedly contain beneficial bacteria. They dissolve like that old denture cleaning stuff. We also added some white powder that said i was for setting up new tanks and helps clear the water, or balance it or something. We did not have very much of that, we found it in the supplies that came with the tank. Yesterday we added Prime. None of this had anything to do witht he fish dying in the bags, since the water they were in came from the tank before we took it down.

We put about 50 gallons of fresh water in when we re-filled the tank. We had to take some out and add hot water to get the temperature up faster so we could get the fish out of the bags. The rest of the water came from the bags, from the buckets with the shells and rocks and plants, and from the little bit we left in the bottom of the tank. We did nto put the bags into the tank until the tank water was at 75 degrees. WE planned to wait longer (overnight at least), but te fsh were dying in the bags.

When we moved the fish, they were in bags in a plastic tub in the back of the truck. Maybe they got too warm. It was a hot day. Maybe they got swished around too much, or vibration damaged them somehow. But only the big fish died. Smaller ones seem to be fine. It was sad because the big fish were the ones that attracted our kids attention and the gave them names, only to have them die.

Our house is not 88 degrees today, it is cooler. I dont think the water in the tank got over 80. At least when I checked the stick on thermometer that is as high as I saw it. However when it gets really hot outside, it gets hot inside. Maybe we should put a fan on the tank and let evaporation cool the water a bit on hat days. When we had a fish tank before, we had AC in the house, so it was never a concern.

We found a store called Fish Doctors on Sunday afternoon. They suggested we bring them a sample of the water in a few days. Not right away. Of course we all have the same water in our area, so they know what the tap water contains. Supposedly, we have the cleanest city water of any municipality, but I am not sure what that means.

Hopefully, they will not contninue to die. One thing we learned at "fish Doctors" is that fresh water fish have gotten terribly expensive.
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Old 06-18-2012, 12:56 PM
 
5,064 posts, read 15,925,395 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post

When we moved the fish, they were in bags in a plastic tub in the back of the truck. Maybe they got too warm. It was a hot day. Maybe they got swished around too much, or vibration damaged them somehow.
Yeah, that right there would do it. Extreme heat can kill a fish really quick.

When you added fresh water to the tank, did you add Prime along with the fresh water? Tap water contains chlorine which needs to be neutralized before adding fish. You said you added Prime a day or so later which is why I asked. Prime is to be used for water changes, there is no need to add it randomly otherwise. Did you test the water yet? You really need your own test kit, as you'll need to be testing your water every day or so until you are sure the tank is fully cycled. You'll also probably need to do frequent partial water changes, because the ammonia level will climb until it's fully cycled. Prime will neutralize ammonia for a day or so, but you can't rely on it solely to remove ammonia. Don't assume that adding tablets or chemicals is going to cycle and fix your tank, because it won't, it needs to happen naturally.

I do think you might be facing some issues as a result of your high heat. Most tropical fish do not do well in temps much higher than 80. Which is why I suggested you research before getting fish. And most tropical fish are not really all that expensive, not sure why your LFS would say so. Unless they themselves are unusually expensive. I generally spend between $2-7 for a fish at an LFS, less when I buy them online from fish forum members. Of course if you are getting unusual or rare fish you are likely to spend more, but in general tropical fish are not horribly expensive.
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Mount Laurel
4,187 posts, read 11,950,275 times
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In the future, when you open a bag of fish, do not leave it in the bag of water. You will get a spike in ammonia there there is a build up in the bag.
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:18 PM
 
Location: North Western NJ
6,591 posts, read 24,892,194 times
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and for future needs for transport, i keep a syrafoam cooler (the cheap walmart ones) in my car...whenever i make a stop at the petstore and they have somehting i "just have to have" the bags go in the cooler and it helps keep temperature fluctuations at a minimum (My closest live fish store is about an hour from home...so...) (it also comes in handy when i need milk an then realize i have another stop to make and my milks going to go bad LOL.
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Old 06-22-2012, 08:50 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
30,708 posts, read 79,963,134 times
Reputation: 39459
No more dead fish!

I thnk we have to wait three weeks before we know things are all good. I read that somewhere.

Still have not tested the water. I am never home during the day and wife/kids either did not have time or are not sufficiently motivated. Maybe I will try to get a test kit this weekend. I am going to try to get the Fluval 304 filter cleaned ourt and set up this weekend. Should I keep the whisper filter as well, or switch to the Fluval and remove the whisper?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 06-22-2012, 10:47 AM
 
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If the whisper has used media in it, run them both side by side for a month so the new filter can build up bacteria.

Testing takes maybe ten minutes. You don't need to wait three weeks to know if things are good- you test and find out for sure. If the levels are high you do a water change. This is fish keeping 101
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Old 06-23-2012, 05:19 AM
 
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Cycling the tank is not an exact science, it's not like 3 weeks to the day a timer goes off and DING your tank is cycled. You are fortunate not to have lost any more fish. Just be aware that when you add more fish you will get an ammonia spike. Also, you have made it clear that you have no desire to do proper maintenance such as partial water changes, but be prepared for possible fish deaths if you don't. Are you going to be using the same saltwater filter media for the tank? I'd be a little concerned about getting all the salt out of it. And definitely also keep the Whisper filter running for awhile, or you are going to slow down the cycling process.

To be honest, I am not sure why you are asking for advice, since you are not taking anyone's.

Last edited by andthentherewere3; 06-23-2012 at 05:32 AM..
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