I'm kind of sorry I was so alarmist yesterday about feeding seafoods & fish. I truly think part of the issue was the clown that died was a "food stasher". He'd grab food & hide it. I "thought" I knew where his hiding places were & had fixed the flow to flush it out. He was also a glutton & would overeat often. He was neither the largest or smallest but he was the greediest. He may have died from eating old food stashed away in some unknown place. As you can tell, I was slightly traumatized with guilt & the awful stink but all the other fish were fine after a water change. I was a religious once a week water changer & vacuumer at that time, I'm more of a slacker these days...but I don't have clowns or other botias.
Thanks for the videos, the tank and fish are looking really good. The older clowns have a nice dark colour which is a good sign. And those small loaches are so so cute I bet its great fun having them. One can also get a scale on the size of your older loaches and they aren't as small as they look
In terms of food, I only feed high quality fish food, New Life Spectrum or Northfin brand. I very rarely put a cucumber or zucchini for the pleco which the clowns may taste too. The clowns also like melon very much. Apart from these, mine won't touch anything else that is not fish food. Mine are also so used to fish food pellets, that when on occasions I put prawns or mussels, they don't really go for them with the vigor you would expect. They do love blood worms though but these I feed rarely as well just to see the fuss, rather than the blood worms being of any food value..Generally speaking, quality fish food is a must if you want healthy fish and its worth the investment and they don't need any other type of food to be healthy.
If you remember one of my loaches from your previous thread that was as sickly as yours and treated.....I posted some pictures at the time. I was looking at him the other day and I was shocked how much he's grown since I last paid good attention. He's a teenager size now I'll try to take a picture if I can.
I don’t know if you or Loach saw on the Freshwater thread but I have now been graced with the remarkable doings of Seachem Matrix! After three months of showing nitrate even after a 50% water change three days later, there were less than 5 ppm on one of my twice a week checks. I checked again to make sure I didn’t make a mistake. Oh the joy!!!!
Loach, thanks, my guys really are doing well. Mr. Slim and the gang did get another Kusuri dose three weeks ago and after that I did a Prazipro a couple weeks after and I think things are great except for the poor little teensy who’s getting the crap end of the stick, yet he’s still kicking and his tummy showed he’s definitely getting food. But he hides so much. Poor thing. I really screwed up again by not getting three or four. I just expected the little ones to mingle with the big. I’m still thinking of finding two more teensies. They still are smaller than the female cherry barb.
Thanks again for the encouragement and advice.
Below is a pic of Mr. Slim, 2015 and 2018. Made me sad to see what poor shape he was in but he has come such a long way.
We have the habit of saying when testing a tank that ammonia is zero. Ammonia is never zero in a tank, it is constantly produced.....how fast the bacteria/archaea catches up with it is another matter, and when it does, it strips the oxygen from the water column in order to oxidize that same ammonia. Oxygen is extremely difficult to replenish in a tank as it is not very soluble in water. A tank which is low on oxygen is a breeding ground for a ton of pathogens and also production of other unwanted compounds such as hydrogen sulfate, methane, etc..It basically becomes a vicious circle. One starts worrying over nitrates and starts adding more chemicals...where the damage to the fish has already been done....If I am to use a product that reduces nitrates, I would use Seachem Purigen because it actually has the potential to remove organics before they even reach the decomposition and ammonia stage, thus preventing heavy nitrification, which is the actual problem. Alternatively, as I've always said, emersed plants are the best for water quality control apart from large and regular water changes and keeping the stock low...
I’ve tried Purigen when I had the 55. It did nothing for nitrates, but then it may have been eating up ammonia so fast and converting it.
Are you saying I’m sucking up the oxygen out of my tank? I have an air stone breaking the surface. I should aim one of the output hoses more to the surface. But I keep them low moving the center of the water to try to avoid dead spots.
There's tons of evidence to suggest that nitrate levels in the hundreds and thousands of ppm are not toxic to fish but that high levels or nitrates are an indication of low oxygen conditions as a result of high nitrification, in turn leading to high levels of denitrification(think nitrites) and change of the composition of bacteria in the tank(think anaerobic rather than aerobic bacteria dominance)
Every study I've read points to a major nitrate/nitrite link. If you ever read a paper on nitrate toxicity, search for the part where it discloses what other parameters were high, and you'll find out that when nitrates are high, so are nitrites.... High nitrates goes hand in hand with low oxygen. Low oxygen leads to denitrification(nitrate to nitrite conversion) and in turn toxic nitrite spikes...This is especially dangerous in soft water due to nitrites being more toxic in such conditions. Oxygen is the key here....for 1 molecule of nitrate produced, 4 oxygen ones are consumed...Folks tend not to think in oxygen terms but if you research a bit, it is highly insoluble in water....It is the component that drives everything in a fish tank.....One air stone is not going to help much I am afraid when everything else is sucking up oxygen at rates higher than the oxygen can be replenished and maintained.
There are cases when high nitrate conditions are not associated with low oxygen, and in turn do not lead to any toxic or detrimental conditions, and this has been empirically proven in high tech tanks that are dosed with inorganic nitrates for the plants. Nitrates on their own are non-toxic to fish, or at least they are toxic in such high levels which are unreachable in normal settings. We are talking hundreds and thousands of ppm...High tech tanks are known for having high oxygen levels, due to the mass of plants and high rate of growth, thus plant oxygen production, meaning that production of oxygen is way higher than the consumption....thus denitrification(nitrate to nitrite conversion) is brought to a minimum. In essence,tanks like that are over saturated with oxygen and pretty much the only way to achieve that is via a mass of fast growing plants......Most of us don't keep such tanks due to the high maintenance requirements and also because they too carry risks to the fish due to the high CO2 levels and potential CO2 dump that can wipe that tank.
So again in my opinion, based on a ton of research,high nitrates are something to worry about but not because nitrates alone at the levels in a fish tank are toxic but because it is a sign the tank has been subjected to major oxygen consumption and potential denitrification and nitrite spikes. The solution is never an artificial nitrate removal for that same reason, as it does not address denitrification and on the contrary, enhances it(seachem matrix works on the principle of denitrification which is a huge alarm bell) The solution is organics removal from the water column and filters via water changes and other maintenance, prevention of debris getting into filters, keeping stock levels low and watch out fish feedings without starving or depriving the fish of whats necessary for them to be healthy and grow. Also, as I said before, Seachem Purigen is a way better option if you want chemical removal as it actually binds to organics, thus preventing nitrification and saving on oxygen consumption in a tank, plus it can be re-charged for free.
I can quote tons of papers supporting the above...
When there's not enough oxygen for the fish, its too late.And if the fish show no signs of oxygen depletion...?
When there's low oxygen, the balance in the tank is out of whack, so although fish have enough to not drop dead at once, they'll suffer indirectly from the bad bacterial and chemical balance in the tank. Fish can gasp or breathe heavily for many reasons on another hand. Elevated nitrites for example blocks their ability to get oxygen...Low oxygen can decrease the efficiency of nitrifying bacteria/archaea and skew towards more harmful bacteria in the tank, etc...Oxygen is pretty much the main driving force in a fish tank. Everything in a fish tank is driven by oxygen. It is extremely important and it is beyond me why it is not discussed on fish forums in more depth.
When the water conditions in a tank are bad, fish may die or be sickly all the time...Sick fish is an indication of bad water conditions because it is the major element affecting fish immune system. Bad immune system leads to fish developing diseases. Think humans on chemotherapy when their immune system is wiped out, the smallest of germs become a nasty disease...So the presence of germs is not the issue in fish tanks in the first place...They question is always why did the fish succumb to that germ, what else is wrong in the tank.
I remember you have a very large canister filter, some have "jet" or "spray bar" return options, I do on Rena 3's & Fluval 404's. But it can be a lot of goofing around to adjust them so they both filter well & agitate the water surface. A powerhead or 2 can help with either or both of those issues.
I finally read your "matrix" thread in the Freshwater forum & saw you have high nitrate...again, ugh! I don't think there's a miracle product that I've ever heard of or tried. Water changes are best!
To you & others (Basil) with "loach tank problems", you'll a LOT more views & help if you post in this Loach forum, I (& others) rarely go to the "other" forums here on LOL.
I didn’t want to post inappropriately here with the Matrix thread. Thank you for mentioning it. Maybe I will try to move it if possible.
Thank you, as always, for your suggestions.
Yes, surface movement via any means is your best bet. I just use my filter outlets. They're all at the surface. But you can bring in so much oxygen via surface movement so whether its enough for the demands of the tank depends on the size tank, amount of fish, level of decomposition, nitrification, etc...The less the bio-load and organics, the more available oxygen, so it goes hand in hand with stocking levels, feeding, maintenance regime and water changes.
I purchased a circulation pump for the surface and that should be arriving in a few days.
So, in the meantime I’m driving myself crazy over the nitrate and someone on another forum points out a YouTube video by a guy that goes by “Pondguru” and why “Your filter is too small”. Then I watched him rework the media of an FX6 to be sure it has enough of a bio load, and use expensive biological media called Biohome. So if I do this, this will also mean I will have to take the HOB back out and stuff what I can of the FX6 in there while the new media is cycling. And once the clowns grow I’ll probably have a problem again with the filter size but I will cross the bridge when I come to it.
Anyway, the aquarium is supppsed to be fun! LOL
Instead of buying a new "miracle product" from a YouTube shill (I'm skeptical!), maybe you just need to clean your filter every 3 months instead of 4 to reduce nitrate. That part of the "fun" of aquaria, learning what you have to do for each tank to keep everything stable, both a minimum & optimum.
You have some big fish with the silver $$. & as the clowns grow, they'll eat more, poo more & your WCs & filter cleaning may need to increase as well.
My tanks are heavily planted, heavily filtered & lightly stocked so my maintenance needs might be way less than yours (I rarely test unless I suspect a problem, ) Your set up is new, much better than your old pre-move 1, but it's a learning curve to find the "sweet spot". Stop looking for a magic fix
A couple suggestions: more pothos & maybe put a prefilter sponge on your intake if you don't have 1. That will trap some of the crap & keep it out of you filter...but it will need to be rinsed out every water change or so. I just use running tap water for mine & squeeze the heck out of them until almost all debris is gone (a few minutes). Much less hassle than cleaning any filter, especially a canister.
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