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Robin McLean
New Member
Username: robin

Post Number: 1
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Friday, March 03, 2006 - 12:25 am:       

I can't seem to keep them alive for longer than a few months and I know they are supposed to be easy. I change the water( 20%) every other week, add small amounts of salt and put a sponge on the filter intake to prevent them from being sucked in. They reproduce, but eventually lay on the bottom of the tank and die. I check the PH, ammonia, and nitrate.

Please help.
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rob
Regular Member
Username: rob

Post Number: 309
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Friday, March 03, 2006 - 09:35 am:       

to badmans Robin!

What kind of salt are you adding to the tank?
And what were the readings from your test kits?

Do you know what the nitrate levels were when the fish seem to die off?

And are there any other signs of sickness besides the fish laying on the bottom of the tank? What are they doing on the bottom of the tank? (are they breathing rapidly, looking bloated, not eating etc..)

Sorry about all the questions but it will help everyone determine the cause.
A good scapegoat is nearly as welcome as a solution to the problem..
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John D
Regular Member
Username: john_d

Post Number: 346
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Friday, March 03, 2006 - 10:13 am:       

Hi Robin. A potential problem is your maintenance schedule. Ideally, you should be changing 50% of your water on a weekly basis. Also, what fish are in this tank, and how many of each. Your stocking level is heavily tied into how much water you need to be changing on a weekly basis.
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rob
Regular Member
Username: rob

Post Number: 326
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Monday, March 06, 2006 - 04:22 am:       

Reading your e-mail i noticed you said that you ammonia was at .25, Idealy this should be at zero.
Ammonia is much more toxic to fish than nitrate. And this leads me to believe that you may not have cycled properly the first time.
'If' this is the case then i would definately recomend those 50% water changes on a weekly basis.

There could also be some organic material decomposing in the substrate that could possibly be contributing to these readings.
Best way to handle this is do your weekly water change with a Gravel Vac.

This lethargic behaviour that you are describing does seem like nitrous poisoning. (most likely that ammonia).

As for the pH, 8.2 is a tad more alkaline than perfect but it wont really do any harm. It would be worse if you were constantly changing the pH. The drastic changes in water chemistry are far more likely to harm the fish.

One other thing which i'm not to sure about is that 'Doc Wellfish's Aquarium Salt', Ive never added salt to any of my tanks before so i'm not sure if this is the right stuff to be adding.. I've heard folks with brackish aquariums dont use aquarium salt, rather marine salt... But don't trust me on that one, and plus you dont have a brackish tank...so yes any input from someone would be good on that issue.

Hope that helped a bit, goodluck sweetie!
A good scapegoat is nearly as welcome as a solution to the problem..
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Robin McLean
New Member
Username: robin

Post Number: 2
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 11:40 pm:       

Thank you for your input. I've used "Aquariums for Dummies" and my local pet store to guide me and have learned the most in the last few weeks. I did a 50% water change last night and noticed a difference today though the tests didn't change. I plan to bring a water sample in tomorrow. Is a 50% weekly water change a must do? I had friends who rarely touched their tanks and had far better results than I.

Thanks Rob!
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Gopi
Advanced Member
Username: gopi

Post Number: 1714
Registered: 01-2004


Posted on Monday, March 13, 2006 - 05:58 pm:       

Adding the salt can help mitigate nitrIte poisoning. Otherwise, platies don't really need it. You really should do the 50% weekly water change. There's a lot of stuff in the water that you can't see and isn't picked up by your 'normal' tests (pH, NH3/NH4, NO2, and NO3).

Just because your friends' fish are surviving they are not necessarily thriving. I assume you want your fish to do more than merely live ;)

Also, since I'm not privy to the info Rob has :-) what size tank is this? Bigger tanks are easier to maintain because there is more water for the 'nasties' to diffuse in. Keeping the platies in too small of a tank may also be aiding in their demise.

Keep up with the water changes. You can do smaller ones every other day, say 10-15% to get the ammonia down. Test before and after each change, try keeping a log and then you can track your progress

and

to Badmans!
There! You have a bigger tank! Will you stop plotting my death now??
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Robin
New Member
Username: robin

Post Number: 3
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 18, 2006 - 11:06 pm:       

I can't believe how much different information has led me down this path of trying to be a responsible aquarium owner. I once was a diver and loved swimming with fish. Now I struggle with trying to maintain a healthy environment for my fish.

I have a 29 gallon with an undergravel filter - recommended and now I question.

Please help me with the 50% water change. I thought 20% was good and have a big bucket with 4 gallons of water pre-treated water. Also, when I had my water tested last year the store where I purchase my fish indicated that I my tank was cycled and I only needed to test Nitrate. I keep a weekly log and pre-Katrina my readings were 0 except .10 Nitrate.

My goal is to have a healthy aquarium and I thank you for mentoring me.

Robin
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rob
Regular Member
Username: rob

Post Number: 331
Registered: 01-2006


Posted on Monday, March 20, 2006 - 05:05 am:       

Is the Under gravel filter(UGF) the only filter you have running on the tank? You might need something with some more water movement.. something more targeted at mechanical filtration, a hang on the back or internal power filter could achieve this.

I've always stood by 50% weekly with a nice deep gravel vac for the tank with the UGFs.

Sorry for the late reply I went on holiday just after the site went funny again. Hope I've helped a bit...
A good scapegoat is nearly as welcome as a solution to the problem..
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larry
Regular Member
Username: gomezaddams

Post Number: 789
Registered: 05-2005


Posted on Monday, March 20, 2006 - 10:37 am:       

The ugf is great especially with a fish like platie that dont dig,you need to do the weekly gravel vacs to keep it funcional,50%weekly waterchange is what you need to be doing.On a 29g I would have two lit tubes running with bubblers powerheads would be nice but not vital.I wouldnt use it as the only filter though.ive always had good results teaming a ugf with a decent hob filter,right now I think the marineland penguin filters are really good,for a tank that size.
Waiting will fill
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rob
Regular Member
Username: rob

Post Number: 338
Registered: 01-2006


Posted on Tuesday, March 21, 2006 - 10:02 pm:       

You love ya bloody UGFs dont ya larry.. LMAO, you really should sell them. HAHA, I can say ive never used HOB filters, I use the UGF coupled with two internals for filtration. They do work well though, don't they.
A good scapegoat is nearly as welcome as a solution to the problem..
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Randy
Regular Member
Username: milesteg

Post Number: 207
Registered: 01-2006


Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 03:59 pm:       

I use to use undergravel filter, but I am a firm beleaver in power heads. With power heads driving the water the UG filter will clog less. That is not to say you should go with out gravel vacumming. I also liked to add sponge filters to tanks with UG filters.
If you go through a day without learning something new, you wasted it!
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Sam Lee
Junior Member
Username: shmeal

Post Number: 42
Registered: 01-2005


Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 08:22 pm:       

Canister Filters For The Win!!!!
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Randy
Regular Member
Username: milesteg

Post Number: 212
Registered: 01-2006


Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 09:34 am:       

Now that I have planted tanks, I use canister filters almost exclusively.
If you go through a day without learning something new, you wasted it!
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Robin
New Member
Username: robin

Post Number: 4
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Monday, March 27, 2006 - 02:15 am:       

Wow,(after seeing the last two messages) All I can say is I do have a power filter and vacuum the tank weekly. Rob, thank you. I thought this was beginners and I think I'm not even there yet.You guys are talking over my head. My platties are thriving thanks to your advice.

"Live the life you imangined"
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rob
Regular Member
Username: rob

Post Number: 364
Registered: 01-2006


Posted on Monday, March 27, 2006 - 02:41 am:       

Good to hear they're doing well. Hope to see your name floating around on the board robin, its an addictive hobby...very addictive.

lol, good luck, feel free to e-mail me if you have any other problems.
A good scapegoat is nearly as welcome as a solution to the problem..
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Robin
New Member
Username: robin

Post Number: 5
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Friday, March 31, 2006 - 12:48 am:       

They are still doing well despite me. The 50% weekly water changes made a big difference. I have 5 Micky Mouse, 4 Rainbow, 3 Blue Calico, and 3 fry( getting bigger by the day). It is very addictive and Rob, I trust you to help me through this beginning stage of my Aquarium addiction.

My goal is a peaceful aquarium. I plan to buy some Red Wags this week to complete my tank.

I still would like to know how to change the water better than what I'm doing.

Robin
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Arcadio A. Sincero Jr.
New Member
Username: asincero

Post Number: 2
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Friday, March 31, 2006 - 09:39 am:       

I suggest getting a Python to help facilitate doing water changes. It is much better than using buckets. You just hook it up to your sink faucet, and you can either set it to suck water out or put water in. It's also a gravel vac too.

It comes in 50 foot and 25 foot lengths, plus you can get extenders. Really makes doing water changes much easier.

There's a knock off called "Lee's Ultimate Gravel Vac" which is just as good. I actually use this one because when I went to the fish store to buy a replacement Python (because I accidently broke mine), they only had the knock off. Lee's version has a strainer at the end of its vac tube so you don't accidently suck up any fish, so I guess in a way it's better than the Python. Plus it comes in a cool blue color which I find more attractive than the Python's green .
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Robin
New Member
Username: robin

Post Number: 6
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 02, 2006 - 12:04 am:       

Arcadio, Thank you for your response. I've read about the Python's but don't understand how you treat the water going back in for Chlorine.
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Gopi
Advanced Member
Username: gopi

Post Number: 1803
Registered: 01-2004


Posted on Sunday, April 02, 2006 - 01:25 am:       

you can put the dechlor in before you are filling, while you are filling, or after you are filling. I tend to put it in before I fill (so I don't forget!)
There! You have a bigger tank! Will you stop plotting my death now??
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Ellie
Junior Member
Username: ellie

Post Number: 15
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 08:35 am:       

I have a Lee's Ultimate and it was the best purchase ever. I also put quick snap plumbing connectors on my utility tub faucet. It makes weekly water changes a breeze. Since I have a clown pleco and a snail, the gravel vac is a must...they are phenomenal poo producers.

I think this is the most addictive hobby, ever. I started with a hand-me-down 10g and have progressed to a 29g. I love it! I am still a total newbie and this site is a huge help.

You have wandered to the best resource, Robin!


"We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box"
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Robin
New Member
Username: robin

Post Number: 7
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Thursday, April 06, 2006 - 12:55 am:       

Thank you Ellie, it really is difficult to be new with all of this and I always seek expert advice.
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