Unfortunately, not always beginning aquarists know how to run the aquarium correctly and do everything in order. Most often this happens spontaneously: poured land, flooded with water, planted the plants, and after a couple of days, or even before that, they launched the first fish.
Not settled down on this, bought more fish again and again.
Most often at this stage they have questions: what to do?
Fish die for no reason. how to save them? In fact, there are reasons, and you are to blame. Due to improper launch of the aquarium, fish are poisoned with ammonia, ammonium or nitrite. In other words, at the root of most problems is the lack of biofiltration in your tank.
What happens after the launch of the aquarium really?
From the very first day of the appearance of the first inhabitants in the aquarium, organic waste appears in it, which is a product of fish life. And how do you want? Fish eat, then cocoa and pee. All would be nothing, but from these wastes poisonous ammonia is formed. It, in turn, is converted to another toxic substance. nitrite, which is eventually converted to nitrate, the least toxic among these substances.
Bacteria are responsible for this process, which start up independently in an aquarium, but, unfortunately, not immediately and not in the quantities that your biotope needs. The bulk of these "helpers" is concentrated in the water, in the soil, in the filter. But immediately after the launch of the aquarium, their amount is not enough to process toxins. That is why in the first 3-4 weeks fish may die due to poisoning with nitrite and ammonia.
Thus, during the launch of an aquarium, the priority is to colonize it with beneficial bacteria and at the same time prevent elevated concentrations of harmful substances.
Fighting for the life of fish
Please note: you will not find below instructions for the perfect launch of the aquarium. Now we are considering the problem of preventing further death of fish due to toxin poisoning. So you need:
- Reduce the incoming amount of ammonia. How? With limited fish feeding: feed them once every two days for 2 weeks. In this case, the amount of feed should be such that the fish have time to eat it on the fly. In other words, it is necessary to prevent the feed from getting to the bottom. Of course, you are worried about your pets: is there enough food for them? Believe me, in this mode, they will not die of hunger, but from toxins.
- Reduce ammonia content. How? You will help frequent water changes. To start each day during the week you need to change 15-25% of the volume of the aquarium. The next 7 days will also have to substitute 15-25% of water for fresh, but in a day. If the aquarium is small, water can be prepared in a bucket or plastic bottles, allowing it to stand. For a large aquarium, you can use tap water, provided that you add dechlorinators. Sodium thiosulfate can be recommended as dechlorinators available. It is sold in pharmacies in injection vials. Consumption. 1 drop per 8 liters of tap water.
These are very effective methods, however, if the soil has already managed to be covered with organic remains (residues of uneaten food and fish excrement), there will be few substitutions to prevent ammonia poisoning. Therefore, you will need to combine the replacement of water with the bottom siphon. You can also put fast-growing plants in the aquarium (hornpole, elodea, nayas, floating ferns, etc.). this way you will destroy nitrogen compounds by biological means.
In addition to these measures, you can resort to bio-starters (Nitrivek, Baktozim), although this is not necessary. It is worth noting that they can significantly reduce the content of ammonia and nitrite in water. However, pay attention to their short action (day, at best, two), so you have to add them every time after a water change.
To control the content of toxic substances in the aquarium, it is recommended to use special tests, the most relevant in our case. for ammonia and nitrite. Some time you have to spend them every day. You can consider biofiltration running only if within 3 days the tests do not detect the content of toxic substances in the aquarium water.
Restart after treatment of fish in the general aquarium
You may encounter such a situation after medical treatment of fish. Of course, drugs destroy harmful bacteria, but along with them, the beneficial ones that are involved in biofiltration also die. And now the concentration of toxic substances becomes the same as in the new aquarium.
To resolve this situation, first you need to remove the remnants of drugs. To do this, you can use the above water changes and introduce activated carbon into the filter, which absorbs organic matter and neutralizes the remnants of antibacterial drugs.
If your filter does not have a special compartment for fillers, you can simply put the coal in a nylon bag and put it near the sprayer. After a day or two, the medicine will be neutralized. After that, the bag must be removed from the aquarium, because the coal has the properties to accumulate harmful substances, and then give them back. That is why it is customary to change it to fresh at least once every 2 months, and not to use it in filters endlessly.
Although you have already established biofiltration, you should not forget that nitrate (even the least dangerous of nitrogenous compounds) still accumulates in the aquarium. This process is neither slowed nor suspended.
Therefore, the main care for the aquarium now is to regularly remove toxins and other waste products of fish from the aquarium. To do this, you need to change 30% of the water once a week, be sure to siphon the bottom and wash the foam sponge of the internal filter.
The frequency of substitutions is also affected by the number of inhabitants of your aquarium. The more fish, the more often you have to change the water. To determine when a replacement should be made, a test can be performed: a normal amount of nitrate is 20 mg / l.
However, if you have a lot of fish, a simple filter is installed and there is a small amount of soil in the aquarium, the biofiltration process may not start. Therefore, a high concentration of toxic substances in the water will be noticeable even after a month after launch, when the number of beneficial bacteria, in theory, is already enough for the processing of organic matter.
This suggests that nitrifying bacteria do not have enough space for residence. In this case, it is recommended to think about:
- a decrease in the number of fish or their diet;
- replacement of soil. It is best to have a layer thickness of 3-5 cm, and a fraction of 3–6 mm.
- By adding a “biological” substrate to the filter (for example, ceramics).
- If you start the aquarium incorrectly, you need to limit feeding the fish and change the water daily to reduce the amount of ammonia.
- You can also use biostarters and plants.
- In the case of poisoning after medical treatment, it is recommended to do the same, but first clean the aquarium with coal.
- In the future, in order to control the content of toxins, it is recommended to conduct special tests.