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Bigger, Better Tank; Gone Horribly Wrong. (Please Help)

Discussion in 'Brackish' started by DragonGobyLover, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. DragonGobyLover

    DragonGobyLover AC Members

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    First off, I'd like to say hello. ^^ I'm new to this forum, and I hope to use it more often and hopefully answer some questions myself someday. Please call me Katie.

    Anyways, to the problem. With my love for the uniqueness of the fish and more challenge of a brackish water tank, I had slowly converted my tiny ten gallon tank of mollies and small dragon goby (too small of a tank, I know) into a brackish tank. This went along nicely; I mixed in some salt, more and more each week until the brackish conditions were great.

    With the money I saved, I decided to spend a good amount on a larger, better tank with sand and a fresh start. I bought a nice 29 gal. aquarium with the start up kit, some decor, and another thermometer because I hate the stick on ones they provide. I filled it with CaribSea aragonite fine sand, about 1 inch-1 1/2 on the bottom of the tank. I filled it up with water and my prepared saltwater, having it to a nice 1.004. Waiting for the sand to settle I use AquaSafe and once it cleared, added the filter, decor, heater, thermometer, and some Tetra SafeStart in hopes of a faster cycling.

    Waiting a week, adding a tiny pinch of fish food to feed the new bacteria, I decided to add two mollies to the tank. They both were doing excellent; stirring up a bit of sand, looking healthy. After a few days I added some hides, which included PVC piping, GE Windows and Doors 100% Silicone, and some of my remaining sand and they turned out wonderful. Mollies are still doing great.

    Then, checking up my water and seeing that it was still good, I added in my goby. He seemed to be happy in the new tank, especially with sand and doing what he should be doing. However, he was gulping air up at the top, and I was concerned because that should mean something was wrong. The water quality was just about the same as my old tank. Plus, the sand was sticking onto his slime coat (which I don't know is normal or not).

    I went away for just one day, feeding them some frozen bloodworms and turning off the light. When I came back, everything fell apart. One molly died, the other barely there, and my goby quite still. In a panic I slowly returned my goby to the told tank, in which now seems to be doing better. My other molly, however, died quite shortly.

    I tested the water again. Yet, everything was perfect; no ammonia, no nitrites, and VERY few nitrates. PH level is 7.8-8, and alkalinity was normally high due to the buffering sand, and no chlorine, no nothing. Temperature was just right at 77 F. Just about the perfect water quality; and yet, my fish are dying. What's the problem? I thought I did everything right.

    Right now, my dragon goby doesn't seem to be doing too well. Gulping a little, kind of laying on it's side. Still active however, but a thick slime coat is on him.

    Any help is appreciated, and sorry about the long, long post. :p:
     
    #1 DragonGobyLover, Oct 16, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
  2. DragonGobyLover

    DragonGobyLover AC Members

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    Update:

    My dragon goby I think won't make it. =[ He is breathing, but is belly up with his bottom fins all red. *sigh* I still don't know what went wrong.
     
  3. AquaticAustin

    AquaticAustin AC Members

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    Very strange, though for a new tank I would not have put the goby in until it had cycled but the mollies are also very strange. Was the tank new or used when you got it? Maybe if it was used someone cleaned it with chemicals not detectable by aquarium test kits and its poisonous?
     
  4. DragonGobyLover

    DragonGobyLover AC Members

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    Thanks for replying. My goby finally died today; may he rest in peace. :(

    My tank was brand new; I didn't get it used, fearing what could have been from used tanks. I know for a fact I never used chemicals in my tank; and irked my family about it over and over. I had thought my tank had cycled; a few weeks with some seeded gravel from my other tank and the SafeStart for a quicker approach. *pokes water results above*

    I can't really figure out what may have just killed my fish so suddenly. I read everywhere on numerous places that the GE silicone was aquarium safe.

    The only think I could possibly think of would perhaps be the bloodworms I had fed them before I left. I had them for quite a while (a few months) and some were darker in color, almost black. Could those expire and harm your fish?
     
  5. greech

    greech AC Moderators

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    I realize that you used 100% silicone but was it Type 1 or Type 2? Many silicones come with anti-mold/mildew/bacterial agents that would not be safe.
     
  6. AquaticAustin

    AquaticAustin AC Members

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    It is possible the bloodworms could expire (probably freezer burn) but that sounds a little extreme to kill fish that fast. I know when I leave a cube uncovered it starts to turn a dark color and feel kinda rubbery and I just throw that away
     
  7. DragonGobyLover

    DragonGobyLover AC Members

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    I had previously bought type 2, and with my dad making them had to tell him that we had to throw them out. =P Type one I looked up, was the Windows and Doors... blue one, I am correct, right?

    And I didn't think it was the bloodworms, as I fed a good portion of that cube to feed my molly babies, residing in my old ten gallon. I threw any frozen food I had, and plan to get new stuff. And new fish eventually.

    Oh, I had forgot to mentioned...my sand I used was 'sugar fine'. It took about 4 days just to clear up, and the fish (especially my goby) had really messed it up. I had planned to get coarser sand and take out half of the finer sand and replace it with the larger sand. Any way I could do this without clouding the tank again?

    Ahhh, sorry for all of the questions; but I could never seem to find many solid answers on brackish waters, online or from pet store people.
     
    #7 DragonGobyLover, Oct 17, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011
  8. greech

    greech AC Moderators

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    If silicone isn't the issue then perhaps it was just too much bioload too soon.
     
  9. jmedic25

    jmedic25 AC Members

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    Did you have any surface agaitation? Airstones or HOBS?..Either way its odd. You seemed to do everything right. Too much bioload would have shown up on the test kits as and ammonia spike. The sand was an aquarium product so I dont think that was it. I agree with about posters its some unknown chemical that got in or on the aquarium. So sorry. FWIW I would cycle with Prime. Its the only chemical I use. It detoxifies the big 3 ammonia, chlorine, chloramine.
     
  10. DragonGobyLover

    DragonGobyLover AC Members

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    Perhaps it was too much bio-load, even if I only had two mollies and a 6 inch goby. I had no surface agitation, even if I was planning to put in my airstone later on.

    Hmm. If there was a dangerous chemical in my tank, how would I know? I'm pretty sure I would have to do a large water change to get rid of it.
     

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