03-13-2009, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by bettababy
Your problem is the overcrowding in the tanks. How often do you do water changes? How much water do you change at a time?
When an aquarium has too many fish or the fish are too large for the tank the waste begins to build, which is where the high nitrates come from. High nitrates for any length of time is toxic to the fish and will contribute to stunted growth, health problems, and eventually an early death.
High nitrate levels will cause chemical reactions in the water which will drop the pH to dangerous levels, as it sounds like yours is already there.
The best way to fix the problem is with small daily water changes (10% - 15%) and to either get a larger aquarium or rehome some of those fish. Once the water conditions are healthy again (this may take a long time to completely clean up) you can expect the fish to continue to grow to adult sizes. That many of those kinds of fish together should not fit into that size tank when they are all even 1/2 grown. The same thing applies to the goldfish.
To give you a brief picture of what those fish turn into, they run as follows for adult sizes:
gourami - standard, 5 - 6 inches full grown
gourami - dwarf, 2 - 3 inches full grown depending on species
cory cats, 3 inches full grown
otocinclus, 4 - 5 inches full grown
standard pleco, 18 inches full grown
standard/comet goldfish, 14 inches full grown
fancy goldfish, 7 - 8 inches full grown
It should also be noted that goldfish and common plecos are waste machines, very dirty fish who require good filtration and lots of water changes.
When cleaning this up be careful not to change too much water at a time to avoid changing the conditions in the tank too drastically at once. This can put the fish's organs into shock and cause death. pH is very important for the physiological functions of a fish and each species has a very specific safe range, none that I am aware of can typically handle 5.0 without causing harm/damage. I would encourage you to begin small water changes asap.
One last note: Be careful not to overdose water conditioner. Only dose for the amount of clean water being added. Overdosing water conditioner can also drop pH levels and is very difficult to clean up.
Good Luck to you!
Your advice seems to be very thorough and precise.
Since you are Aquatic Specialists, what are your thoughts on keeping f/w specimen found in slightly acidic water at pH of 7.6 or 8 or higher? I do understand that most can adapt to wider range of pH than pH of their natural biotope (even natural biotope may fluctuate somewhat depending on seasons). But would you agree that pH of 7.6 or 8 or higher for most tetras (neons, etc), corys, rasbora, some barbs, bala shark, etc. be inadequate? It is my understanding that extreme pH difference can/will cause irritation/inflammation of gill thereby hampering with their functions in respiration and excretion (excretion of NH3/NH4+ from blood thru gill).
Thanx in advance for your input.
Last edited by cerianthus; 03-13-2009 at 08:06 AM..