Please HELP!!! My fishes are dying left and right. - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 50 Old 12-09-2009, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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I am very happy to hear you say we will figure it out somehow. you know.. today morning when i saw my male guppy dead... i lost all hope. :(

My has a carbon filter and no CO2 and nothing under the gravel. The gravel is from petstore so I dont think they will increase the pH.. if they do I will be very happy :).

I have a phosphate level of 1. ppm. I read somewhere that phosphorus is a buffer which will try to maintain the ph. do you think 1.0 ppm will stop the tap water ph to impact the tank ph???

When algae started, i read lots of stuff on internet about phosphorus. Everywhere it was written that BIG w/c and doing it often will bring the phosphorus down. I have been doing it for some time now. Phosphorus kit reached me only today. So this is the first phosphorus reading. Is it possible for phosphorus to have been very high and have reduced now?

Until 1 week back, i was pretty confident that i had figured everything out. After the death today :( i am stumped.
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post #12 of 50 Old 12-09-2009, 09:25 PM
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Ah naw.....don't be upset, its know its sad loosing fish BUT we'll all figure it out with ya, get you (and your tank) on the right track and all will be fine (just need patience lol)
Phosphate (PO4) is created by too much food (which also can up your Ammonia) and fish poo also ph stabilizers can up the PO4. So feed some less (won't hurt in your case anyway) do NOT use any of this ph UP any more (I think I said this in my first post already didn't i lol) and with the w/c this reading also will come down. And yes po4 in excess will cause alage growth (which agin PO4 is too much organic matter like leaf litter and fish you know what and too much food, lower these, do proper weekly w/c it does go down).

Just don't give up! We'll figure it out, and not just me, tehre's many knowledgeable people on here that will glady help you too until such day that the issue is resolved

~ Life Is Too Short, Break The Rules, Forgive Quickly, Kiss Slowly, Love Truly, Laugh Uncontrollably And Never Regret Anything that Made You Smile.
Life May Not Be The Party We Hoped For, But While We're Here, We Should Dance. ~
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post #13 of 50 Old 12-10-2009, 10:50 AM
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First comment is not to be adding chemicals to the tank before you know the cause of the problem. This usually (as here) makes it worse.

Ammonia is not your problem. First, because at an acidic pH the ammonia changes to ammonium and this is basically harmless to fish. Second, using Prime detoxifies ammonia by changing it to ammonium, same result. So the ammonia/ammonium is not the cause of red gills or fish deaths as you have explained things.

As for the pH, it will lower in all aquaria due to natural biological processes unless there is sufficient carbonate hardness in the tap water and/or the tank water to buffer the pH. When you have the water tested for KH (either with an API test kit or take some tap water to the store and get the number of the KH) it will be clear. I suspect you have low KH in your tap water. If yes, we can fix that, but later.

I suspect the low pH killed the guppies. You have five neons and no mention of any of them dying; neons would love acidic water. Which is why I suspect the pH. However, they will not tolerate swings from 6 to 7.2 very long before they will die from the sheer stress, as Angel mentioned. Leaving the pH alone until all questions are answered and then using a safe method if one is needed will be better.

Removing the gravel was a mistake, it was not necessary and it removed bacteria. But we all learn from our mistakes, I've made them too. One thing I can't stress enough on this forum is not to jump to conclusions and start fiddling with an aquarium when something "appears" to be wrong. Patience is a virtue. Many of these "problems" sort themselves out, or can be sorted out once we know all the facts.

Let's get the KH number and go from there. In the interim, do not add any pH adjusters to the tank, and be careful with water changes. The difference in pH between the tank and the tap water makes water changes risky; I would not do more than 25% once a week until this is sorted out.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #14 of 50 Old 12-10-2009, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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I went to petsmart and they dont have a kH test kit. I am going to go one more petstore near by. If I dont find it there then I have look for some fish specific store. I will keep you all updated on this.

I got live meter for ph ammonia and temperature. Just to keep an eye on all three.

What I understand so far is, at very low pH i dont have to worry too much about ammonia so i should not be doing big water changes often.

do you think i should add the gravel back?
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post #15 of 50 Old 12-10-2009, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by madhu View Post
I went to petsmart and they dont have a kH test kit. I am going to go one more petstore near by. If I dont find it there then I have look for some fish specific store. I will keep you all updated on this.

I got live meter for ph ammonia and temperature. Just to keep an eye on all three.

What I understand so far is, at very low pH i dont have to worry too much about ammonia so i should not be doing big water changes often.

do you think i should add the gravel back?
Will Petsmart (or the other store) do water tests? If yes, take them a sample of your tap water (we need to know the tap water KH) and have it tested for KH, and get the specific number so we will know what we're working with.

The ammonia is not an issue so you don't need to do more than the normal weekly pwc with respect to ammonia; if this is something else, you may need to. But not due to ammonia.

The gravel is up to you, what you want in the tank; you don't have plants so it is purely aethestic. I would certainly have an inch or more and it is not a problem to vacuum it during the weekly partial water change. If you do this you will not have issues due to bacteria in the gravel. And there are plenty of good bacteria in the substrate.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #16 of 50 Old 12-10-2009, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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I finally found tetra test for kH in a small petstore. and the results are bad

my tank has 1/2 (0.5) dH (or lesser as i never saw blue even in the first drop with 10 ml tank water)

my tap water has 1.5 dH (took 3 drops in 10 ml water to change blue to yellow)

Is this the source of problem in my tank??? :( :( :(
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post #17 of 50 Old 12-10-2009, 09:25 PM
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Yup, that's why your pH keeps bouncing like this.
Can you get your hands on crushed coral or dolomite - That will up your hardness and in doing so will provide a MUCH more stable pH.

Now the problem is: The water your tap has is PERFECT for you Neon's - Just not for any other fish....So if I was in your shoes (and that's obviously up to you) I'd set up a 2nd tank simply with tap water for the Neon's.
Then for all other guys up the hardness in the tank and they will be happy.
In general: I'd personally add plants as they'll help a stable eco -system in the tank (so less headache for you and no need for all these various chems you had)

If you chose to ulter your water: Please do not use chemicals they'll make it drop & rise too fast (and you already seen where this leads to). Adding types of rocks that will up your KH and so with stabilize your pH is much safer (and I'm sure Byron will comment on this as well, he's went by this method for many yrs).

I suspected it was your KH yesterday, which really is good in a way...Cause if you'd have come back now and told us your KH was like 6-7 then I'd need to get digging in the books here about a mystery lol

You already won the battle half way now, knowing what's going on and that you have fish that have entirly different needs. Now you can get to work, or also alternativly exchange the fish for others that will thrive in your water

~ Life Is Too Short, Break The Rules, Forgive Quickly, Kiss Slowly, Love Truly, Laugh Uncontrollably And Never Regret Anything that Made You Smile.
Life May Not Be The Party We Hoped For, But While We're Here, We Should Dance. ~
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post #18 of 50 Old 12-10-2009, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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You are perfectly correct!! my tetra seems all happy and healthy. Guppies are the ones that are having a tough time. I have red mickey mouse platy.. so i cant tell if their gills are red or not. And they continue to eat well when i feed them.

One of my guppy is not eating well. is this also due to low kh ph and high ammonia?

I dont know if the petsmart near my home has crushed coral or dolomite... i will go there tomo morning and check. If they dont have it.. i will hunt it in other stores that i visited today. If i dont get it anywhere i will have to order online. let me see...


and i am feeling much better firstly because i have support here that you guys provide me. So far i felt very much alone... and secondly finally some diagnosis... :D

Thanks so much to you Angel and Byron!!!!!!!
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post #19 of 50 Old 12-10-2009, 11:06 PM
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Any Livebearers such as Guppy, Platy Molly etc will simply be stressed out with the water the way it is right now, kinda like a shock if you will like if you were to fly in the middle of the FL summer into a blizzard in the Rockies, sorta like that
Now if you leave the Neon's in the tank with them, you will soon find the opposite issuse that all others are ok BUT the Neons.

Crushed Coral you should be able to find at the store, dolomite more then likely at the home store... and you won't need much mayb elike 2-3 cups to add bit by bit into the tank/ filter.
Another thing that up's your hardness (which I learned the hard way on a totally different matter) look at the outdoor building supplies at your home store for stuff called "Paver sand" its really not sand but rather a bag full of different color & sized gravels, wash that stuff out (ideally outside) to get the fine sand out and keep the gravel rocks to either add to your filter (if you can/ have room) or get a sock or alike to fill some in and hang it in your tank (just use very little, this stuff can tuen water with no hardness at all to liquid concreate in 1 day lol)

We're glad to help any time! With all the folks on here - I guarantee you whatever problem comes up at least 1-2 folks had been there & done that and know how to fix it

~ Life Is Too Short, Break The Rules, Forgive Quickly, Kiss Slowly, Love Truly, Laugh Uncontrollably And Never Regret Anything that Made You Smile.
Life May Not Be The Party We Hoped For, But While We're Here, We Should Dance. ~
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post #20 of 50 Old 12-10-2009, 11:07 PM
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Oh hey one more idea..when you're at the store check the substrate for "African cichlid tanks" and read that lables I wanna say this also up's the hardenss (which is what cichlids need but can be "missused" in your case too)

~ Life Is Too Short, Break The Rules, Forgive Quickly, Kiss Slowly, Love Truly, Laugh Uncontrollably And Never Regret Anything that Made You Smile.
Life May Not Be The Party We Hoped For, But While We're Here, We Should Dance. ~
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