My Aquarium is Starting To Crash What Should I Do

Salt water tank
Salt water tank

Starting The Aquarium Keeping Hobby

Many new aquarium hobbyists experiences what we call new tank syndrome which is where they get their new tank full of water and get bored with seeing no fish so they go buy a bunch of fish and toss them in. Yes, even us advanced hobbyists want to do this but we refrain for a good reason which is that it has a huge impact on their little environment. You must first let your aquarium run for at least one month with only the substrate, filters, and decorations although I recommend keeping it up for at least two months before adding more than one fish. One fish will not cause any impact on an aquarium and it is actually very beneficial to have him eating and pooping in the tank. Make sure you add the rock slowly into the tank over the month or two. This whole process gives your aquarium enough time to establish itself maintain its proper PH and also allow any unwanted pests to die off.

What Is An Aquarium Crash

An aquarium crash is where your fish, invertebrates, and corals start dying in unfortunate series of events. There are many different causes for a crash including poison, disease, water quality, unwanted pests, and even electric issues. I cannot diagnose your problem but I can tell you what you should do in case stuff starts getting salty. Anyone who has ever kept an aquarium knows that time is essential. If you are too late most likely you are going to lose anything and everything you have. Only the ones prepared for a crash are the ones that do not lose a few hundred or thousand dollars in priced marine life. I have suffered only one salt water aquarium crash and it was awful I lost everything but by most expensive fish. Most people lose everything so I am glad I made it out with my rarest fish. I did in fact still lose over $1000 in marine life, I still saved my $300 Lion fish.

What To Do Before An Aquarium Crash

There is no way to really prevent an aquarium from crashing but what you can do is be prepared for the worst. It does not take more than $50 to make sure you are prepared. First you should pick up a 20 gallon aquarium from any thrift store or goodwill. This fish tank does not have to be awesome and decorative but you should try to get it with a lid and filter. I find fish tanks like this all the time for around $20. When the fish tank does not come with a lid and filter just go rig yourself a lid with holes for oxygen and buy a filter from the pet store for $15. If you main aquarium is less than 30 gallons to begin with than you can get a 5 gallon aquarium instead of a 20 gallon. Second do not use any substrate (sand, pebbles, or stone) in your spare aquarium which we will call a quarantine tank (QT). Purchase all 4 of the items located on the amazon link to the right. These include Stresszymes to add bacteria which aid in filtration because your fish are going to be stressed after netted out and moved, Maracyn-plus this is an antibacteria it fights any bacteria in the aquarium and on the fish, Tetra Aquasafe Water Conditioner which neutralizes things like chlorine and heavy metals, and lastly CopperSafe which is used to fight any bacteria on the fish or in the aquarium. All of which are much more inexpensive than the fish themselves. Make sure you know what fish can and cannot be treated with each though. CopperSafe uses copper which will kill many invertebrates and any type of shark or eel.

Fresh & Salt Water Parameters

Parameter
Salt Water
Fresh Water
Ammonia
0
0
Nitrates
>30 ppm
>30 ppm
Nitrites
>20 ppm
0
PH
8.0
7.0
Salinity
1.0264
.30
Tempature
83-86F
75-82F

What To Do During An Aquarium Crash

Parasite aquarium crash

1. Take all of your fish out and toss them into the QT. Then add the recommended dosage of Coppersafe. make sure you do not treat sharks, eels, rays, or snails this way.

2. Let your aquarium run for 45 days before putting the fish back into it. This allows enough time that the parasite will die with no host. Most parasites have multiple stages and if you add a fish in early the parasite is not really gone.

3. If any fish have died make sure you flush them or dispose of them properly. Do not leave them in the tank this will cause increase in nitrites and nitrates and is very bad for your water quality.

Bacteria aquarium crash

1. Take all of your fish out and toss them into the QT. Then add the recommended dosage of Maracyn-Plus.

2. Let your aquarium run 15 days before putting the fish back into it. This allows enough time that the bacteria is completely off of the fish.

3. Check your water parameters and see if a water change is needed. You can find the test kits to check all the basics on the right side on the amazon link.

3. If any fish have died make sure you flush them or dispose of them properly. Do not leave them in the tank this will cause increase in nitrites and nitrates and is very bad for your water quality.

New tank crash

Most likely if this is the case all your fish will die before you can do anything and likely within the first 3-7 days after buying them.

1. DO NOT add any more fish or rock into the aquarium just let it remain how it is.

2. Check your water parameters and get the water to the proper levels with water changes.

3. After everything is where it should be let it set for 2 months before adding another fish or any more rock.

4. Once its been two months add a fish see how he does.If he dies within 3 hours you have a very serious issue and should consider restarting completely and buying water from your local pet store. If it dies within 30 hours get an air pump and toss some oxygen into the tank and buy another cheap fish and try again. If he dies this time then it is most likely something to do with an impurity in the water or electric current getting into the water. So take out all the water and purchase some water from the pet store and let it sit for at least another month. Make sure to never let the pest control squirt in a room with an aquarium, also never use freebreeze or anything like that around an aquarium either.


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Comments 2 comments

shea duane profile image

shea duane 5 years ago from new jersey

good information


Nspeel profile image

Nspeel 5 years ago from Myrtle Beach Author

Shea - Thank you it is a very fun hobby.

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