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bassbuster23 03-10-2008 05:57 AM

Losing tank
Hello, all.

I've been running my 10-gallon tank for about 6 months now. I do regular water changes and test water parameters regularly. Now before we go any further, I am testing at the moment with test strips. I do realize that I need to upgrade to a liquid test kit, which I plan to do.

Now for the problem: My water alkalinity has bottomed out and my pH is falling.

Here are the results of my latest test (on 3/9/2008).
Ammonia: 0
Nitrate: about 10
Nitrite: 0
Water Hardness (GH): about 25
Water Alkalinity (KH): 40ish
pH: around 6.2

I am using regular aquarium gravel, one watersprite plant, plastic breeding grass, java moss tied to a rock purchased from Petco, 2 java ferns tied to small rocks (looks like driveway slag).

I have even used Bullseye 7.0 to try and level out the pH, but to no avail.

What is causing these problems and what can I do to level it out and keep it leveled?

My water has also became cloudy. I have noticed for the last 3-4 water changes, I cannot keep my water clear. For the first 3-4 months I had this tank, the water was crystal clear. Now, it is cloudy all the time. It's more of a "whitish" cloudy than a "greenish" cloudy.

There has to be something I'm overlooking or not doing. I want to keep my tank looking as nice as possible, so any help would greatly be appreciated.

Also, one other thing :oops:
I added a piece of driftwood (about 8" long) to my 29-gallon tank for my clown plecos. I read somewhere this will lower my pH. Is this true? I definitely don't want anything lowering my pH (I have a snail in this tank).

Sorry for the long post, and thanks for any and all help or info.

herefishy 03-10-2008 09:40 AM

Nitrates are looking rather high. Quit using the Bullseye, as it is a chemical reactor/buffer. Look for a missed fish or snail, probably dead. Odd that the ammonia level isn't higher if this is the case.

What is your feeding regimen? Have you change it lately? Have you changed foods recently? What is the pH of your tap water? Are you using tap water to refill your tanks? Take samples of your tap water.

Yes, driftwood will release tannic acid into your tank lowering the pH and making the water more acidic.

The milky color of the water in the tank suggests either an algae or bacteria bloom/die off. It is the tank's way of trying to balance itself.

bassbuster23 03-10-2008 12:05 PM

Thanks for the reply, herefishy.

So sorry but I forgot to mention in my post that I use Wal-Mart brand (Great Value) spring water for all water changes and actually used it to start my 10 & 29-gallon tanks with. I have never used tap water in either tank.

As far as the feeding regimen, haven't changed anything. I rotate feedings of flakes, brine shrimp, & bloodworms. I throw in an occasional algae wafer or shrimp pellet for my cories & ottos.

In your opinion, if my cloudy water is an algae/bacteria bloom or die-off, will it eventually clear up? Is there anything I can do to correct it?

Also, I don't have any dead fish in this tank. And in actuality, my nitrates were probably closer to 5 than 10.

But, my tank is probably a little bit overstocked for the normal 10-gallon. That is why I do weekly water changes of 25-30%. That may help explain the nitrate level.

Do you think the rock (rainbow rock, I believe) or the "gravel slag" could be affecting my water parameters?

Once again, thanks for any and all help.

herefishy 03-10-2008 12:36 PM

Yes, the tank will clear as it becomes balanced. Many see the same scenario when starting new tanks. I have had tanks 2-3 years old all of a sudden cloud up. I can usually trace it back to something that I've done differently. But, there have been times when it has happened out of the blue.

Sometimes just adding new fish will cause the imbalance. The eco-balance of a tank is very delicate, indeed. If I were you, I would try to get a liquid test kit as quickly as possible. There may be a possibility that the test strips have become contaminated and no longer give you a good reading. Monitor the tanks closely for any change in water condition. Use your senses. Sight and smell being two most important right now. Observe the behavior of your fish, watch for any signals of stress. Keep me posted.

bassbuster23 03-11-2008 05:30 PM

Thanks for the info, herefishy.

I am reporting that my cloudy water has gone to a "greenish" cloudy, which I'm assuming is an algae bloom. Can't see much inside the tank, though. I hope this clears up.

What I am concerned about is the bottoming out of my water parameters. I just do not have a clue as to why my pH and water hardness is bottoming out like it is. Could it have something to do with the rocks that I have in my tank? I'm very confused about this.

Anyway, you asked for me to keep you posted, and here's where we are at today. I sure hope you have some insight to what's going on.

Other questions: Are you familiar with Algone? Anyone tried it? Will it work in a planted tank? Or, is it just a gimmick?

Thanks again.

Amphitrite 03-11-2008 05:42 PM

I wouldn't worry too much about the green water in the tank at the moment it could well clear up by itself. Since the tank sounds like it's going through a cycle of some kind, I would avoid adding any chemicals to the water.

The wood in the tank will bring your pH down as herefishy said.

As for your testing kit - strips are notoriously unreliable and I would get a liquid test kit as soon as possible - this will provide more accurate readings.

herefishy 03-11-2008 06:05 PM

All joking aside, some fishkeepers would kill for a green water tank.

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