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Fish struggling, plants thriving -help?

Simon D

Member
Joined
22 Sep 2008
Messages
460
Location
Leicestershire
I've recently introduced CO2 via an FE with solinoid. The CO2 is on one hour before lights on and off one before lights out. I'm also experiencing some water clouding and fish respirational probs. Here's some tank spec:

60 ltr (approx net) 2' x 1' x 18"
Filtration: internal Eheim 2210
CO2 injection via Rhinox 2000 diffuser (bubble counter, check valve, CO2 tubing etc!)
2 x 15W T8 tubes giving (approx 2wpg)
medium planted (not enough plants at the mo but algae not a problem)
fish: 2 x clown loach, 2 x African Dwarf Frogs, 1 platty, 6 dalmation mollies
EI dosing and 50 -60 % water changes weekly.

the tank has been set up for about 18 months and has been lightly stocked with plant from the start. They never really did very well but since I started EI dosing about a month ago they've thrived and I've increased the amount of plants and replanted trimmings etc.. I was using CO2 via an aerosole injection (Tetra plant CO2 optimat) and have now upgraded this to an FE conversion that works so much better. The dropchecker just about gets to green so no overkill with CO2.

I was unhappy with the water circullation that the internal filter was supplying (rated at 550 lph, nearly 10 x per hour max) so added an unsightly Koralia 1 (1500 lph, so 25 x per hour) last week. I know this is a bit over kill but the plants were suffering in the "dead spots" of the aquarium where CO2 wasn't reaching. This is on the same timer as the Co2 so as to give the fish a break when not needed

I've noticed that since EI dosing that the water is clouding quickly, I cleaned the filter on Sunday (yes, in ex-tank water as I do every four weeks) and this kept the water pristine until today, so only four days, and now it's starting to cloud again. I've got activated carbon in the filter that I renewed at the same time as the filter clean. Is it a bacteria bloom? or (less likely) algae bloom? There is some algae on Vallis and Swords but very minimal and this is reducing since the new regime.

Since I've installed the CO2 the fish have been gathering at the top to get oxygen. They don't appear to be distressed or gasping (with the exception of one of the Clown Loaches that either just plays dead or darts around like a suicidal lunatic and does appear to have trouble respirating). They seem to love the flow that the Koralia provides temporarily and play aroud in it for an hour or so and then, I'm sure it's the CO2, they get needy for O2and just sit at the surface.

What can I do to help the fish whilst the CO2 is on? The internal has a venturi that injects some O2 and the surface is adgitated quite well. The diffuser is placed under the internal so most of the bubbles are taken in and distributed fom there.

Any advice or help with the clouding and fish respiration would be gratefully appreciated.
 

ceg4048

Expert/Global Moderator
UKAPS Team
Joined
11 Jul 2007
Messages
9,181
Location
Chicago, USA
Hi Simon,
I would ignore the cloudiness for now as this is most likely due to bacterial blooms that continue for a while until the conditions stabilize. Lower your CO2 injection rate for now to help the fish. If the tank does not have huge plant biomass they cannot pull enough CO2 from the water to satisfy the fish. The fish are not gasping for oxygen, they are attempting to rid their bloodstreams of CO2 which cannot escape across the gill membranes due to the high CO2 levels in the tank. This causes severe acidosis in the blood which disrupts various cell functions such as liver and neurotransmitter functions. You can also shut down the gas a couple of hours earlier. Are you using 4 dkh water in your dropchecker?

Cheers,
 

GreenNeedle

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Joined
19 Jul 2007
Messages
2,729
Location
Lincoln UK
Thats also a huge fishload for that size tank!!! I make it 15USG???

Clown Loaches should be in no less than a 50USG as they can get big and prefer/need to be in groups of 6+

The platty, mollies and ADFs alone would be about max for the tank even heavily planted!!!

I'm with Ceg on the CO2 front. I would guess the cloudiness could be due to cleaning the whole filter rather than cleaning some media this time and some next time etc. Probably a bacterial bloom.

That Koralia1 is a big circulation pump for a small tank like that although I can't argue with other people's results I don't think I would be going with so much in a small tank.

AC
 

Simon D

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Thread starter
Joined
22 Sep 2008
Messages
460
Location
Leicestershire
Ceg4048 wrote: Are you using 4 dkh water in your dropchecker?
Yes, 4dkh with Nutrafin pH test (Bromo Blue?) from AE. I'll reduce the amount of CO2 injection and see if this helps. Although I'm only just getting a greenish colouring in the D.C.

SuperColey1 on Fri Dec 19, 2008 9:38 am

Thats also a huge fishload for that size tank!!! I make it 15USG???

Clown Loaches should be in no less than a 50USG as they can get big and prefer/need to be in groups of 6+
Tank is about 16.8 USG or 14 imperial gallons and I agree the clown loaches are not in their perfect environment, but they are nowhere near their maximum size and they will be re-housed very soon. I am aware of their potential size in the right circumstances and I would like to give them that opportunity.

That Koralia1 is a big circulation pump for a small tank like that
Yep, I know it's OTT but there is two reasons for this:
1) the LFS didn't have a nano (900lph) in stock and, being very impetuous,I couldn't wait a couple of days lol
2) I'm intending on upgrading the tank (biggest the wife will allow without divorce solicitors getting involved!), better filtration, substrate etc. etc. in the next six to eight months so don't want to be spending money on any equipment that cannot be used on the next project.

The Koralia 1, despite it's rated turnover (1,500lph), is not very agressive with regard to the visable water flow rate (in my opinion).

I would argue that I'm not overstocking the tank I've got 13" of fish against 16" recommended by PFK calculator, The Mollies are juveniles and not even an inch in size. I know the stocking levels should be reduced for planted aquaria.
 
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