Please HELP!!! My fishes are dying left and right.
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Please HELP!!! My fishes are dying left and right.

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Please HELP!!! My fishes are dying left and right.
Old 12-09-2009, 03:57 PM   #1
 
madhu's Avatar
 
Please HELP!!! My fishes are dying left and right.

I first started my 10 gallon aquarium in August 09. I cycled the tank with a betta and 3 neon tetras. After the tank cycled, I bought 2 more neon tetras. The after a week bought 4 guppies. Then moved Betta to a bowl and bought 1 platy. All was well till recently One of the guppy gave birth. I put the mama guppy in breeder box and it gave birth to 24 fry..Phew...

Then next day morning all the fry were dead..

Since then 3 adult guppies out of the initial 4 died.

I kept reading more and more on the internet and decided to keep only 3 guppies (2 femal and 1 male)

So I bought 2 more guppies to replace the dead ones and 1 platy to give company to the first platy I had.

I was not able to understand why so many fish died suddenly. Then I realized that my pH was too low. So I bought a pH adjuster (API pH up).

I added a couple of drop every day and monitored the pH even 5-6 hours once. My pH kept going back to 6.0 (or may be lesser).

So I read up some more on internet and figured may be my tank has too much phosphorus (recently algae problem has started). While reading I also came across a document which said that gravel should not be more than 1/4 inch as this will provide a place for dirt to collect. So I removed a lot of gravel from my tank. And kept up the 20% water change every 3 days once.

Day before yesterday my pH was 7.2 and today its back to 6.0. Now my tank has ammonia and today one guppy dropped dead. All fishes that have died so far has died for no apparent reason. I am guessing its due to pH shock.

My tap water pH is 7.2 and I use water conditioner.
I use API master test kit
My tank stats now is

6.0 Ph
1 ppm Ammonia
0 nitrite
10 ppm Nitrate
1.0 ppm phosphate (i got a phosphate kit recently)

I dont know what to do... why has my tank come to pre cycle state? why does my pH keep falling?? my poor fish... they keep dropping dead

PLEASE HELP!!!!
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Old 12-09-2009, 04:02 PM   #2
 
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WOw im really sorry for your loss! First there is no need to adjust the PH. Unless I read wrong the Ph out of the tap is 6.0? That's fine for the fish you have and they might actually prefer it. A deep substrate won't kill your fish but you should clean it reguraly. So stop adjusting your Ph is my first bit of advice. Stability is key and the fish are perfet for your Ph level. That's the only conclusion I could come too.
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Old 12-09-2009, 04:06 PM   #3
 
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My tap water pH is 7.2 and my tank pH is 6.0 ( or lesser.. APIs lowest reading is 6.0) In all the places i read, the ph that was good for the fish was stated as 7.2 - 7.4.

are you sure 6.0 is a good ph??? I thot it is too acidic. Anyway I will stop adjusting pH. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:42 PM   #4
 
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Please HELP!!! My fishes are dying left and right.

I first started my 10 gallon aquarium in August 09. I cycled the tank with a betta and 3 neon tetras. After the tank cycled, I bought 2 more neon tetras. The after a week bought 4 guppies. Then moved Betta to a bowl and bought 1 platy. All was well till recently One of the guppy gave birth. I put the mama guppy in breeder box and it gave birth to 24 fry..Phew...

Then next day morning all the fry were dead..

Since then 3 adult guppies out of the initial 4 died.

I kept reading more and more on the internet and decided to keep only 3 guppies (2 femal and 1 male)

So I bought 2 more guppies to replace the dead ones and 1 platy to give company to the first platy I had.

I was not able to understand why so many fish died suddenly. Then I realized that my pH was too low. So I bought a pH adjuster (API pH up).

I added a couple of drop every day and monitored the pH even 5-6 hours once. My pH kept going back to 6.0 (or may be lesser).

So I read up some more on internet and figured may be my tank has too much phosphorus (recently algae problem has started). While reading I also came across a document which said that gravel should not be more than 1/4 inch as this will provide a place for dirt to collect. So I removed a lot of gravel from my tank. And kept up the 20% water change every 3 days once.

Day before yesterday my pH was 7.2 and today its back to 6.0. Now my tank has ammonia and today one guppy dropped dead. All fishes that have died so far has died for no apparent reason. I am guessing its due to pH shock.

My tap water pH is 7.2 and I use water conditioner.
I use API master test kit
My tank stats now is

6.0 Ph
1 ppm Ammonia
0 nitrite
10 ppm Nitrate
1.0 ppm phosphate (i got a phosphate kit recently)

I dont know what to do... why has my tank come to pre cycle state? why does my pH keep falling?? my poor fish... they keep dropping dead

PLEASE HELP!!!!
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Old 12-09-2009, 07:30 PM   #5
 
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First of Welcome to the Forum!
I'm sorry for you losses, but I have to agree with what you already suspected: This up & down in pH, specially these high swings are an ENORMOUS stress for the fish and that's more then likely what killed them.
Also yu're Ammonia, in a cycled tank shouldn't be past 0 max 0.25. So for the moment with the Ammonia this high, do a large water exchange for starers. However test your tap water first, make sure you have no ammonia coming from the tap IF you do > buy a water conditioner tomorrow that also removed ammonia and then do a large w/c.

You said your tap water has pH of 7.2 which would be great for the Guppy & Platy. SOMETHING in your tank lowers this to 6 > What do you have for decor, plants, Driftwood? What other chem's do you maybe use for the water, plant fertilzier etc?
Stop usuing this ph up&down drops, that obviously doesn't help and on top stresses your fish to death. Let's figure out what causes this in your tank and change the causeing factor rather then masking it with chem's.
If you have a API set, test your KH and post it back that may also be a reason that's making the pH bouncy.
Do you have live plants in the tank?
(Sorry to answer your distressed question with MORE questions - but I wanna know all facts to properly help you throught this terrible issue).
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Old 12-09-2009, 08:05 PM   #6
 
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I do appreciate you taking out the time to help me. Please dont apologize for asking questions, you are trying to help me.

I dont know what kh is. My master kit tests for ph ammonia nitrite and nitrate only. Phosphate test kit is an addition that i bought recently. I will buy a kh test kit first thing tomorrow morning.

My tank contains java moss (covers the floor sparsely) and one small rock cave that i bought in petsmart. I used to have a gravel of 1 inch depth. But i recently reduced a great amount of gravel and now i have sparse gravel (i can see the floor here and there) . I think removing gravel removed the good bacteria I had and that is why ammonia is soaring now. Please correct me if i am wrong.

No i dont have any driftwood.

I use Prime water conditioner. the bottle says that it removes chlorine, chloramine, ammonia. Detoxifies Nitrite and nitrate. Provides slime coat. I dont measure it accurately when i add it to the new water, approximately 1 teaspoon everytime i add new water to the tank.

I am going to add pics of my aquarium to my profile. You can take a look at it. I forgot to mention one more detail, today morning when one of my guppy was dead, I also noticed that the pale yellow guppy I have had RED gills.... it was glowing red. I remember reading somewhere that this happens when ammonia levels are high. So tested water and found ammonia was 1 ppm. I am not sure if this is that high. But nevertheless I did a water change. After changing water i tested the water ph and it was 6.8. But again in the evening its come back to 6.0
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Old 12-09-2009, 08:27 PM   #7
 
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I'd definitely keep on with the water changes until the ammonia levels go down. 1ppm of ammonia is quite high. If my ammonia goes over .25ppm then I am stressing.
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Old 12-09-2009, 08:30 PM   #8
 
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Okay, I did a water change in the morning. I will continue the water change everyday till ammonia levels come down. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 12-09-2009, 08:59 PM   #9
 
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Kh - Hardness. Do you have any chance to get to the store and get a hardness liquid test (API sells them too) they're about ~$5?

If anything rocks or gravel make soft water hard (like in my case in TN I have no hardness and would need to use dolomite etc to harden it up).
The amount of gravel like I said will IF ANYTHING (and aquarium gravel from the pet chains do NOT do this) if anything they'll make the water harder and with harder water come HIGHER pH (its a chain reactions, I'll spare you the details).
Generally ~2" gravel is needed if you're going for planted tank. Yes this will explain at least your ammonia spike. The beneficial/ needed bacteria is found in 2 places in your tank: The Gravel & The filter. Removing so much gravel can cause this easily, but a few larger w/c will eliminate this (just keep doing w/c and test the water till Ammonia drops back to 0 again).

Prime removes Ammonia too, so this in combo with the w/c will DEF help your tank (on this matter) right now, that's a quick & easy fix, so that's a relief for you there.
I'm sure if anything you're 'by eye sight' adding too much rather then too little, which is no harm really (I do the same, I don't break out the ML syringes for conditioner lol)

So that's all explained and you can easily take care of it over the next days.

What still get's me is HOW your pH from 7.2 goes to 6 IN the tank....Only things like Driftwood, Leave litter or peat will lower your Ph like this inside the tank - There's gotta be SOMETHING inside your tank or filter that lowers the pH and/ or "eats up" the hardenss coming from your tap.

The red grills are more then likely because of the high ammonia (toxic to fish, pretty much like dumping poison in the tank).

I think for the moment, once you get the ammonia controlled, the fish are gonna be OK. I'd not add any new fish meanwhile till we've figure out what's lowering your pH like this.

Do you maybe dose with CO2 or some special substare under the gravel...anything??

I all these yrs with tanks and trying to help in forums, I've gotta admit you're the FIRST to say the pH drops this far in the tank...Usually the issue is low pH from tap get's upped (by rocks etc) in the tank....but we'll figure it all out
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Old 12-09-2009, 09:03 PM   #10
 
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I just looked at your pictures, I can not see anything in there that would lower the pH like this....dang this is starting to bugg ME now lol

For the ammonia/ Nitrate matter, another thing that's VERY helpful in tank if live plants. I don't know if you ever considered any for yours (apart from the Java I have seen on the picture) but plants pretty much act as a bio-filter if you will. Now they won't take 1ppm Ammonia down to 0 over night, but they sure help a long term stable bacteria system.
(Just a general thought from my end).
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