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Fish Crisis!! Please Help, why are my Fish dying??

This is a discussion on Fish Crisis!! Please Help, why are my Fish dying?? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by MollyPlatySwordtailfish I look at the thermometer and it read a little below 70. Not good. I followed the line from the ...

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Fish Crisis!! Please Help, why are my Fish dying??
Old 12-09-2008, 10:35 PM   #31
 
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Originally Posted by MollyPlatySwordtailfish View Post
I look at the thermometer and it read a little below 70. Not good. I followed the line from the heater to the outlet and of course it was unplugged. Now would that have maybe killed any other bacteria in the tank?

I'm not sure about the bacteria, but I bet that was adding to the stress your fish were under! Good catch, sounds like you're on the road to recovery!
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Old 12-09-2008, 11:27 PM   #32
 
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how bout i was reading this thread and saw what happened with your heater being unplugged so i checked mine. sure enough mine was unplugged also. my tank was at 72 degrees it is usually at 80. im sorry to hear about your fish but thank you for reminding me about my heater. my fish thank you also.
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Old 12-10-2008, 12:18 PM   #33
 
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hello all! I did a follow up nitrite and nitrate test the morning after the water change and when the filters were put back in. And I have good news, the nitrite level went down to 0 mg/L! I'm pleased about that. However, the Nitrate levels did go down, but they are now somewhere between the levels of 20 mg/L and 40 mg/L. Also, the tank has started to clear up dramatically. Most of the fish are happy and look pretty healthy. The water temperature is about up to 80 where it should be. I'm hoping to report more good news soon!
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Old 12-10-2008, 12:22 PM   #34
 
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If you're siphoning off into a bucket you may be able to net out the fry??
Oh I use to siphon into a bucket but it was a pain with such a big tank. We just siphon the water right out the window now because the tank is right near a window.
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Old 12-10-2008, 12:40 PM   #35
 
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thats cool, i have a few larger tanks myself (46, 55, and 90), so I've transitioned to using plastic containers from Lowes... I've got a couple 24 gallon "boxes", and some 30 gallon brute trashcans. That makes it easy to drain the water quick in one fell swoop, then I use a 5 gallon bucket to refill the tanks (so I can lift it up tank-height!).

If your tank is right by a window, beware of whether or not it gets significant sunlight, direct or indirect (direct being worse). That can cause algae problems in a bad way. But if you've had your tank set up for 2 years, and haven't constantly battled algae, then it's probably OK. Just thought I'd toss that little tip in (I have one of my tanks near a window, but I put up a thick curtain to block any sunlight from coming in... my other tanks are far away from any window/outside light).
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Old 12-10-2008, 01:56 PM   #36
 
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Ok, yeah the window that it is near is usually always never open, the blinds are covering it. Oh, and I did do a ph test earlier today, it said that the level was at around 8.5 and it also said that 7 was normal and any more could be harmful. What can I do about that?
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Old 12-10-2008, 04:16 PM   #37
 
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The pH tolerance will depend on the fish, I bet the "anything above 7" you saw was a general guideline as lots of freshwater fish like a pH in the range of 6-7. But for example, 8.5 would be just fine for African cichlids. You must be like me, the city water supply here in NM has a pretty high pH too so if I don't do anything, my tanks sit at about 8.

I'd first read up on the specific species of fish you have, and find out what their pH preferences range, then seek to find a common or close match if they are different. If you need to alter the pH of your water, the only fairly easy way I know to do it is with pH buffer tablets or supplements, the only downside is that it can get a bit tedious as every time you do a water change, it will tend to push the pH back to where it sits naturally for you (8.5). So you might find yourself continuously buffering the water over time (not a big deal, but wouldn't it be nice to set it and forget it?).

You can get pH buffer at pretty much any fish store, and you should be able to get stuff that keeps the pH at a variety of different levels... just determine what pH you want based on the fish you keep, then get a buffer that will do that.

Maybe someone else will chime in with better advice, I'm not extremely experienced/knowledgable in all the ways and tricks that one can use to manage pH.
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Old 12-10-2008, 04:21 PM   #38
 
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thanks for posting those pictures,that was great.
well things will pick up for you now,keep your water changes regular,
and like conger said test regular as well.
i'm really glad that you'll be able to finally enjoy your tank,and fish.
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Old 12-10-2008, 05:06 PM   #39
 
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Thanks guys, is water change the only way to manage pH? I just did some research on pH tolerance for livebearers, and they like it around 6-7 pH. Water change the only way to get it down? Also conger mentioned pH buffer, how does that work? Can I get it at a local pet shop?
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Old 12-10-2008, 06:22 PM   #40
 
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water changes might not alter your pH at all from where it is, it depends on what the pH of your city's water supply is (assuming you use treated/conditioned tap water for your water changes). If it's at 8.5, then doing water changes won't change your pH at all . Buffer is the only way I know to alter pH, or use a different water supply ($$$... not recommended, just saying its possible ). But again, I have never really researched ways to manage pH, so hopefully someone else will have better info!

The buffer I am used to seeing is either a liquid that you dose (e.g. 5 mL for every 10 gallons or whatever the directions on the bottle say), or tablets like cold medicine or something that fizz and dissolve in the water. But you may have to periodically buffer, because even after adjusting the pH, the water might have a tendency to rise back/fall back to its original pH. And after a water change with water at a different pH, it will very likely swing a little bit. Testing the pH every so often will allow you to know when you need to add more buffer!

Last edited by conger; 12-10-2008 at 06:26 PM..
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