Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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miksan 01-16-2013 01:07 PM

Aqua Codger Needs Help
Greetings from Oklahoma!

I am not a newbie - I began 40+ years ago and have kept/raised SA, kept/raised rift lake, kept/raised reef coral - but one is never too old to learn. I have come full circle, convincing my wife last year to allow one freshwater tank. See my profile for uploaded pictures of past and present tank.

My tank is a 40g Uniquarium rectangular dwarf Cichlid and planted tank. I recently changed out the lighting from a Marineland LED reef to a Marineland LED plant lamp (The reef 10K was burning up the plants and I got tired of replacing plants every three weeks). There is no undergravel filter. Planting medium is Caribsea FloraMax and Caribsea sand (both freshwater).

The water test kit was recently changed from an API Master Test Kit to API 5 in 1 (due to suspension problems with the Master Test Kit's Nitrate titrate solution bottle #2). Here are the strip results:

GH: 60
KH: >240
pH: 6.5-7.0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 20

The fish are gradually dying off. The plants (including Anubias and Sword) are going soft/rotting in the stems and leaves turning yellow and dropping off. Although the water tests are good, I have proactively dosed the tank with Prime. The plants receive Flourish Excel - I have not added Iron - but that doesn't explain the fish die-off. I am doing a partial water change, even though this began after a water change this past weekend.

Any help or advise is appreciated! TIA! :frustrated:

willow 01-17-2013 07:49 AM

hello and welcome.
someone will pop in and offer some good clear advise for you soon. :-D

Reefing Madness 01-17-2013 08:37 AM

1077 01-17-2013 08:57 AM

Welcome .

Can only share what I might consider.
Have kept the German blue ram's on a few occasion's,and they would seem to do well with the water stat's posted, but they do better in my view at temperature's between 80 and 84 degree's F which would be uncomfortable on daily basis for many other tropical's.(with few exception's)
They are sensitive fish, and do not appreciate any sudden changes to enviornment (Excel?) also short lived (maybe three year's).How old are the fish?
Perhap's knowing what fishes are dying might shed further clues ? (any new fish?)
Maybe water company has altered the way they treat water recently as they sometimes do to flush lines anually?
Might also wonder if any new plant's may have been treated at grow facility with insecticides to prevent emmersed plant's from being attacked by bug's.
some of these large facilities do this to prevent damage from insect's and if new plant's are not rinsed well ,,then this could be problematic.
With the use of excel as carbon sorce for plant's and more than low light, I suspect plant's are wanting More in the way of nutrient's and might consider providing them via dry fertilzer's(
Hope some of this help's.

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