Aquarium soft water pillow - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 23 Old 05-26-2010, 03:27 PM
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Please do not jump into more chemicals. There is a reason for what is occurring, we have to find it and resolve it, as previous posts have said.

First, do not use the API pH stuff.

High nitrite is almost certainly being caused by something other than the water hardness. And nitrate too for that matter. Ammonia, nitrite and nitrate are part of the nitrification cycle, not the water hardness or pH directly, though the latter can cause different results from high ammonia, etc. But they are basically distinct issues. They could also be in the tap water.

Have you tested the tap water itself for nitrite and nitrate? And if so, what are the numbers?

Assuming the "300" you mentioned in the first post is the hardness, 300 ppm, is this the tap water or the aquarium water?

And your tap water pH is 6.2, correct? What is the aquarium pH?

Byron.

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 #12 of 23 Old 05-26-2010, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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The ph is 6.2 , very acidic.
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post #13 of 23 Old 05-26-2010, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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The aquarium water is at 6.2 before I added anything to it. Haven't tested the tap yet, but will try to do so tomorrow at work.
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post #14 of 23 Old 05-27-2010, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, I've tested the tap water, and there are no nitrates, nitrites, ammonia, or chlorine. The alkalinity is at 40 and the ph is between 6.2 and 6.8. The hardness is actually 75! So its gotta be something in the tank. I normally put aquarium salt+ a waste control product in when I do a water change, so I'm going to stop putting them in, just water and conditioner, and take out a little more water than I usually do when I do my water change tomorrow, then I'll test it next week and see how its doing. I'll post the results. Thanks for the advice! It definitely helped.
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post #15 of 23 Old 05-28-2010, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Godmadefish View Post
Okay, I've tested the tap water, and there are no nitrates, nitrites, ammonia, or chlorine. The alkalinity is at 40 and the ph is between 6.2 and 6.8. The hardness is actually 75! So its gotta be something in the tank. I normally put aquarium salt+ a waste control product in when I do a water change, so I'm going to stop putting them in, just water and conditioner, and take out a little more water than I usually do when I do my water change tomorrow, then I'll test it next week and see how its doing. I'll post the results. Thanks for the advice! It definitely helped.
The chemicals being added are part of the problem. First, the waste control stuff I am assuming is the one that's meant to eliminate organic waste [forgotten the names just now, Tetra make one and so I think does Seachem]. These will significantly raise ammonia. The natural bacteria in the aquarium is what we use to handle waste, and I strongly suggest you avoid these products; they "speed up" things, or so they are supposed to, but that means the bacteria is not being established properly and it causes all sorts of issues, as you're noticing.

Salt is not something that should go into any freshwater aquarium. Many fish are highly sensitive to very low salt levels; it affects their physiology and can cause internal organ damage, it will burn loaches (scaleless fish), etc. While salt may or may not be contributing to the water issues, it is certainly adding stress to the fish and when something else is wrong this is only compounding the stress on the fish.

I would do significant water changes, 40-50% daily, to get this stuff out of the water and help stabilize things. Use a good water conditioner that also detoxifies ammonia, and Prime would be good in this case as it will also detoxify nitrite. Let us know the results.

Byron.

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 23 Old 05-28-2010, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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I have Amquel plus, will that work okay?That's what I was using to try to help, but its my first time using it.
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post #17 of 23 Old 05-29-2010, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Godmadefish View Post
I have Amquel plus, will that work okay?That's what I was using to try to help, but its my first time using it.
From the info on their site, I would think that Amquel+ is similar to Prime. However, the statement (buried in the plethora of information):
  • AmQuel+ rapidly detoxifies toxic organics, which is very important in overcrowded aquariums and ponds where waste products from the fishes, etc., quickly collect.
  • Another purpose of AmQuel+ is to detoxify nitrogen compounds that accumulate in the aquarium and pond water over time, including noxious pheromones released by fish and aquatic invertebrates to signal and repel each other. This is specially important for reducing the frequency of needed water changes. Many larger freshwater and saltwater aquarium fishes release toxic pheromones to establish territoriality and repel other fishes. This is particularly true in fresh water for larger cichlids, and for larger marine plectognath fishes (triggers, filefish, puffers, boxfish) in salt water.
causes me some concern. I do not like chemicals (and this has to be chemical) that interfere with bacteria in this way. The aquarium is best if the processes in nature are left to do their job. This is just my view.

However, if this is the only product you are using at water changes, I would continue until this is settled. Going back through this thread, softening the water was the initial issue, but no mention is made of your fish; and the water appears to be fairly soft anyway, with an acidic pH, so that is probably not an issue.

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 #18 of 23 Old 05-31-2010, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
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Is it safe to change out that much water on a daily basis? I waited until today(2 days later) to make another 50% water change, will that work? I was going to do the water change, then test the water at work tomorrow. Haven't lost any fish(except one, but this was before I tested the water, so not sure if the bad quality did her in, or the fact that she was a 1 and a half year old platy and maybe it was just her time) thank goodness.
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post #19 of 23 Old 05-31-2010, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, and all I'm putting in the tank right now is the amquel nitrate/nitrite remover and aquasafe water conditione.
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post #20 of 23 Old 05-31-2010, 03:44 PM
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Responding to questions in the last two posts.

Yes, daily water changes of 50% are fine provided the difference between tap water and tank water is not so great as to cause significant fluctuations in hardness or pH (and temp of course). Your fish would love 100% daily changes, just like nature; but once a week under normal conditions is what most of us manage. So daily changes to sort out problems is fine.

These daily changes are to reduce nitrite, so they depend upon the nitrite from day to day; if above .25 I would recommend a 50% water change with a good conditioner (we agreed on the Amquel+) to keep nitrite low. Once it is below .25, no need for daily changes. Hopefully it will be zero along with ammonia. This will keep the nitrites below the level where they will damage the fish.

Amquel+ is a water conditioner, so I would suggesting only using it and not the Aquasafe. First, it wastes money as the Aquasafe is doing what the Amquel does. But more importantly, they are both chemicals and the fewer chemicals in a tank the better for the fish and establishing the biological equilibrium. I know all water conditioners (or most) say "can't be overdosed" or similar, but I have to think there is a point at which adding these chemicals in excess is going to cause trouble. Especially if one of them also "coats the fish" to prevent stress, this coats the gills too. Use only the necessary amount of Amquel+ at each water change.

Byron.

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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