Well I finally bought a master water test kit with the drops etc. like 30 some odd bucks. Anyways. This was a cichlid tank a while back. I drained it, redid it all and converted it to tropical community.. 80 gallon permanent install in my living room wall. I filled it with bottled "drinking" water from the store with the proper amount of chlorine remover/conditioner. I added the appropriate amount of aquariam salt, I also added the biological filter starter (bacteria) and cycled the tank for a month. It ran non stop for a month. I have one long "air bubble bar" along the back and two air stones under some decorations in the middle so the water is agitated w/oxygen.
Tank temp stays between 76-78* (temp of my house) spikes to about 80* when the sun is hitting the tank for about 2 hrs per day. the light is on a timer it goes on around 11am and off around 6pm.
I than added fish. 3 bottom feeder catfish, and 5 other assorted tropical fish.
This was 6 months ago. I havent had to add anything to the water. It's been crystal clear for 6 months and the fish have been happy, and swimming. Every 2 weeks I vacuumed the gravel and about 5 gallons of water out and replace it with 5 gallons of store bottled water and a few drops of chlorine conditioner (just in case) and a tablespoon of salt.
About a month ago I went in and removed the 2 big foam elements from the sump filter and cleaned them in the sink with just clean hot sink water alot of "stuff" came out of them (black water) just rinsed until clean and put them back in. Last week I had 3 fish dead on the bottom of the tank when I woke up, I pulled them out and went to work. That night there was algae everywhere, and the fish arent swimming, just kinda "surviving" The next day I had an algae mess. That night I changed about 10 gallons of water, brushed all the algae I could get to off and added 1 dose (followed directions on bottle) of the algae tank treatment and let it run overnight, woke up the tank was cloudy and another fish died.. It's been 3 days, the tank is now clear and the algae looks under control but it is forming around the intake of my filter (never did before) and the fish dont want to eat or swim, but they are alive....
I ran a full water test, not sure why but PH is off the chart 8.8+ Ammonia is 0.0ppm Nitrites 0.0ppm Nitrate 20-30ppm
I'm going to get some "PH Down" tonight to correct the PH, but ammonia, and nitrites tested excellent, and nitrates are in the acceptable range, tank temp is currently 78*
What should I do ?