water test results--anything wrong? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 2 Old 12-26-2009, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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water test results--anything wrong?

Can I get a little 'expert' help with some test results?

These results are from my 29 gallon planted freshwater tank that houses Neon Tetras, Corydoras and a Rainbow Shark. Ive had several fish die in the past couple of months and Im not really sure why. I had 4 Peppered Corydoras--they are all dead now, I had 9 Neon Tetras-down to 2. The Julii Corydoras and Rainbow Shark have been super healthy so far ( KNOCK ON WOOD )

I dose using the EI method with Seachem products. I perform a 50% water change every Sunday using tap water treated with Prime ( 3 drops per gallon ) I feed 3 different types of flakes, sinking pellets, sinking wafers, freeze dried bloodworms and frozen brine shrimp--not all at the same time obviously--they get something different every night.

Test results from about 15 minutes ago. I flushed a dead Peppered Cory and euthanized a Neon Tetra that appeared to have NTD--based on the fact that he was losing his colors and had the typical white/grey patch along with being a "loner" for the past couple of days.

GH 4 drops
KH 1 drop? I dont remember what color it was supposed to be--but it went to a pale shade of the second color after only one drop. Ive never used this test before, may have misused it but I did it 3 times with the same results.

pH 6.5 using Tetra kit, 6.8 with API kit.

Phosphate 2.0 ppm
Nitrates 10
Ammonia 0
Nitrites 0

Anything in those results jump out at you as bad? or unhealthy for fish/plants?
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post #2 of 2 Old 12-26-2009, 08:46 PM
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Main thing I see is that you are overdosing minerals. This is bound to have consequences, and quite possibly fish deaths are the result.

Why are you using the EI method in a low-tech system (I'm assuming low-tech because no mention is made of supplemental CO2)? And exactly which Flourish products are you using?

Fertilizers for plants contain iron, copper, zinc, manganese and (possibly) nickel. These are all necessary micro-nutrients for plant growth, but they are also heavy metals and all heavy metals are toxic to all organisms, plant and fish included. To be used by the plants, the nutrients must be in balance among themselves and also balance the available light. CO2 must also balance, it provides the carbon for the plants which is another nutrient. Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for example contains the necessary nutrients in balance for the plant's requirements, but only at a once or twice weekly dose in limited quantity and provided light and CO2 is adequate.

I see nothing wrong with the results for hardness, pH, nitrates, and your weekly 50% pwc is excellent maintenance. Stop overdosing the fertilizers.


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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