Advice

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kgreenjinx
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Advice

Post by kgreenjinx » Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:55 pm

We have a 6 ft. 150 gallon acrylic heavy plated aquarium w/ LEDs. We feed heavily and do daily 50 gallon water changes. We have 4" of Organic potting soil with a layer of larger rocks on top of that. We have had no luck in keeping any loaches, rubberlip plecos, otos, green cory cats alive. They die within a day. We have went through about $200 worth of loaches and other bottom dwellers and can't figure out. I drip acclimate everything. Our bacterial filter is fully mature. The other inhabitants below have been in the tank for over 3 months and not one loss. We thought temperature might be the problem, but kuhlis show a temp range up to 85. We have even lost our tiny clowns, but those turned out to be a bad batch as even all the stores died. We just need something, loach preferably, that can live at 85 and can pick off any food that makes it to the bottom and if there is a fish that that eats algae off the plants thats a bonus. We do not dose CO2. we have an air stone and a canister filter and an emporer 400 biowheel. The dying fish we get from petco on the day they come in. Where we live there is not much choice on stores that carry loaches. Thoughts why they could be dying or on which would be better scavengers. But to sum it up, why are the sensitive discus and angels ok, but losing the hardy guys.

Our other inhabitants of the tank are
4- 5" discus
10 3-4" Angels
20 neon tetras
6 zebra danios

Parameters
Nitrate- 5
Amm- 0
Nitrite-0
gh-0
ph 6.7-7.0 (depends on time of day
Temp- 85 F
Have well water with no contaminants.

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ClownLoachSharky
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Location: Adelaide, Australia

Re: Advice

Post by ClownLoachSharky » Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:32 pm

it might be the nutrients leaching into the water from the soil. you only need one inch of soil for plants to thrive well and it might not be capped well enough and bottom feeders might eat the soil?
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You wouldnt have that problem with a V8

NancyD
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Re: Advice

Post by NancyD » Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:05 pm

Some random thoughts:

Is 85F a long term temp for you tank? I kept discus juveniles at that temp but adults lower, ~82F. 85F is pretty high for most loaches & catfish.

Petco used to keep jars of salt in their tanks causing very high TDS (total dissloved solids), at least the ones by me. That makes acclimating fish very difficult. Can you set up a quaratine tank to even more slowly acclimate the fish & keep an eye on the new fishes' health? Even a 10g would be ok. You'd need to match the water of the new fish & acclimate over a few weeks rather than hours.

I've never done a capped soil substrate... how deep is the top layer? The "usual" Ive seen is 1 inch soil under 2-3 inches sand.

We tried to keep clown loaches with angels at 1 time but the nocturnal loach activity spooked the angels.
Maybe striatas or sidthimunkis would be a better loach choice or corydoras sterbai are a "classic" discus bottom feeder or maybe a bristle nose pleco?

You may want to wait until spring & mail order non-petco fish...
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ClownLoachSharky
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Location: Adelaide, Australia

Re: Advice

Post by ClownLoachSharky » Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:07 pm

why not live aquariua. you have cool online sites and here in aus we have about one
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You wouldnt have that problem with a V8

kgreenjinx
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:28 pm

Re: Advice

Post by kgreenjinx » Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:58 pm

NancyD wrote:Some random thoughts:

Is 85F a long term temp for you tank? I kept discus juveniles at that temp but adults lower, ~82F. 85F is pretty high for most loaches & catfish.

Even a 10g would be ok. You'd need to match the water of the new fish & acclimate over a few weeks rather than hours.

I've never done a capped soil substrate... how deep is the top layer? The "usual" Ive seen is 1 inch soil under 2-3 inches sand.

We tried to keep clown loaches with angels at 1 time but the nocturnal loach activity spooked the angels.
Maybe striatas or sidthimunkis would be a better loach choice or corydoras sterbai are a "classic" discus bottom feeder or maybe a bristle nose pleco?

You may want to wait until spring & mail order non-petco fish...
Yes we keep them at 85 steady full time. I had horror stories of people dropping the temps on a discus tank slowly and then the discus becoming ill so we were a little hesitant to do that. But maybe we can drop it to 82/83 over the course of several weeks. We are capped with about 1"- 1.5" of smooth stone about 1/8" to 1/4" in diameter. One reason we put the substrate so deep was for the clowns we were originally going to have. we wanted the substrate to be deep enough that the plants will have a good deep root structure. As the Clowns got bigger we did not want a bunch of uprooted plants. Maybe it was wishful thinking. But since we are not going to have clowns, it was a waste. Would you recommend redoing the tank and removing a portion of the substrate?
We have plenty of extra tanks that we can use as quarantine/acclimation tanks. But we will set it up a 20L and acclimate over the course of several weeks on our next order. Thanks for the advice on everything. I will look up the ones you listed and see about getting them. Well if we do order from Live aquaria, etc. it would be a good reason to order new livestock for my reef tank. In keeping freshwater/saltwater for 15 years, this one had us perplexed. But it was our first planted tank. So what longterm or acute effect does the salt in petcos tank have on acclimation? just increased TDS? Luckily our friend is the general manager for petco and he gives us credit for the deceased fish. I do have to say their freshwater fish quality is somewhat lacking, but they do get some very nice corals in there. Petco gets their freshwater fish from Grest Farms. It seems Grest farms supplies the couple of local stores as well.

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ClownLoachSharky
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Location: Adelaide, Australia

Re: Advice

Post by ClownLoachSharky » Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:55 pm

you can move filters,fish,water,plants,heater into a tub while you remove about 3 inches of dirt and i would add some smaller gravel to have a more effective capping. I think the high temp isnt all bad as Marcos in brazil kept his clowns in rio where discus come from and they were all healthy.
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You wouldnt have that problem with a V8

NancyD
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Location: SF bay area,US

Re: Advice

Post by NancyD » Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:22 pm

What size are your discus ? Beyond 4+ inches you can drop their temp.
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kgreenjinx
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Re: Advice

Post by kgreenjinx » Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:33 pm

NancyD wrote:What size are your discus ? Beyond 4+ inches you can drop their temp.
Yes, they are about 4.5- 5 inches. We will attempt to remove some substrate.

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ClownLoachSharky
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Location: Adelaide, Australia

Re: Advice

Post by ClownLoachSharky » Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:17 am

be careful though. you might leach something into the water
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You wouldnt have that problem with a V8

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ClownLoachSharky
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Location: Adelaide, Australia

Re: Advice

Post by ClownLoachSharky » Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:17 am

Also for big plant roots get some pottery clay and mix it with blood and bone and jam it alround the substrate
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You wouldnt have that problem with a V8

starsplitter7
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Location: Tampa, Florida

Re: Advice

Post by starsplitter7 » Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:12 pm

I thought your temps were too high for the fish you mentioned. My acclimated fish do okay when my tanks go to 86 in summer, but I have all sorts of filters running and extra air.

But Nancy's point on the high salt levels is what really concerns me. She is absolutely correct, and you can see cups of salt in each of their tanks. A friend of mine measured the salt in the Petco tanks and other tanks at stores that use salt, and some of them had more salt than saltwater tanks. Loaches and catfish are particularily sensitive to any salt in their water, and basically the salt is killing the fish either slowly or quicky. Don't buy there and don't buy anywhere where the people think that salt is suitable for a freshwater tank.

I know some people use it for treatment, but dropping the salt levels after treatment can be very hazardous to your fish's health.

NancyD
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Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 9:17 pm
Location: SF bay area,US

Re: Advice

Post by NancyD » Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:52 pm

I can't help with the substrate question, sometimes removing it can cause issues & like I said, I have no experience with soil (sounds too messy) You may want to look at a plant site like theplantedtank or aquatic plant central. Fine gravel or sand (pool filter sand is good) is recommended for bottom feeders, discus too.

TDS can effect osmoregulation & sudden drastic changes can cause permanent damage or death. TDS includes things like salt, calcium & organics (fish waste, plant debris). Going from high to low is harder than low to high but it depends on the starting point (tap water) too. I had quite soft water where I last lived & a $20 TDS meter was a good investment for me. Here's a couple links http://www.angelsplus.com/ArticleOsmosis.htm http://mtfb.com/MTFBJUNE/MTFB2%20pages/ ... ticle2.htm It's hard to find good info, a lot is more for saltwater than fresh (but you might like that :) ).
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ClownLoachSharky
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Location: Adelaide, Australia

Re: Advice

Post by ClownLoachSharky » Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:58 pm

all my local pet shops and lfs dont use salt. lucky me and all th loaches are always nice and fat n 4ft sell tanks. 2nd note to nancy d, soil is used to give more nutrients o plants and increase their root growth. just too much shouldnt be used.
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You wouldnt have that problem with a V8

kgreenjinx
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:28 pm

Re: Advice

Post by kgreenjinx » Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:03 pm

Great advice everyone, thank you. Yeah , i have a Ro/Di filter system for my Reef tank. Our well water is at 40TDS at the tap. Was not aware anything about the salt in freshwater. I know people treat with it, but we have. We are members over at the planted tank. Thats where we got info on the Miracle Gro organic potting soil. It just seems like everyone over there has differing opinions about every topic. But planted tanks seem like reef tanks in which no two tanks are alike or act the same way. Here is our course of action. we are setting up two 40 gallon breeders. we are going to move fish/equipment out. We are going to remove substrate and "start over" Then refill the 150 to 85 F and move plants back and then move discus and angels only. Then slowly lower temp to 82 over the course of a couple weeks. I think with the next batch we will order it in from the web. Its not hard to hit the free shipping mark. After a month or so though. Let the tank settle back in after messing with substrate before any new additions.

kgreenjinx
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:28 pm

Re: Advice

Post by kgreenjinx » Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:44 pm

Sorry, meant to add, I have a handheld tds meter. Right now, 12 hours after a water change, our aquarium is sitting at 96 tds. I am going to take my tds meter into petco and stab t just to see what it comes up as.Also, previous post was supposed to we havent treated with it. Gotta love spell check on "smart" phones
Last edited by kgreenjinx on Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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