Help! Ph really low!
Hi, I woke up today and one of my fish was laying on the ground, still breathing but discolored. The other is up against the glass.
I tested our water and the Ph is low. All of the other levels seemed okay. I added Ph buffer but it says to only add 3 tea spoons a day until the Ph is right. Could the Ph be what is affecting them, though? Should I add more even though the bottle says 3 tea spoons a day?
Also, we put in 20 tiny hermit crabs yesterday to eat debris off the bottom of the tank. Could they be consuming the oxygen in the tank or something, causing the other fish to be sick/unhealthy? It looks like the fish are gasping for air!
It seems we are extremely close to losing our fish :(
Hi Micheal, could you give the exact readings for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH please, and how long the tank has been running for.
Hi, the ammonia appeared to be 0, the nitrate appeared to be 0, the nitrite appeared to be 0, and the Ph appeared to be 7.4 or something. It is supposed to be 8.2, right? We started the tank on July 4th. :cry:
I just realized I did the Nitrate test wrong. The nitrate is 10. The Ph is 8.2 since I added Ph Buffer earlier...
Would a nitrate level of 10 be enough to kill new fish we added yesterday?
Also, we never got the protien skimmer up and running because it was either spewing micro bubbles into the tank or not producing any foam that would result in the collecting of sludge. Would the protien skimmer help keep nitrate and other levels low?
It isn't the nitrates. My nitrates are always 10. It could be that you don't have good circulation for water and oxygen. It could also be hi phosphates. As for the PH your PH will flucuate through out the day. In the morning is the lowest. My PH will hit 7.6 sometimes. Put the protien skimmer on to get oxygen in the water if you dont want that get a power head and point the spout at the top of the water. Don't add anymore PH stuff in there check it 3 times in a day (morning lunch, dinner) The PH should be higher around the lunch period. I think its the oxygen problem. I need to know what kind of filter you have.
Hi, the fish died. The Copper Band Butterfly was dead when I woke up and the Unicorn Tang (beautiful!) died an hour ago or so. We got them both yesterday.
I have been inspecting everything to find out what could be going wrong. I decided it is time to clean out the filter (a Fluval 403) since we bought it on July 4th and have not done any maintenance to it since (LFS said we didn't have to). When I went to disconnect the hoses I noticed that the valve was only open a quarter to a half of the way, presumably only allowing a quarter to a half of the filter's maximum flow in and out of it. Could this have anything to do with it?
I recall leaving it at that setting because it was blowing fish away when they swam in front of it at the higher, full throttle setting. Perhaps it should be left open full throttle because the more filtration the better?
We have not been using our protien skimmer because it would not create any foam without also creating tons of microbubbles that members here told me were bad for the fish.
Keep your vavle fully open. Don't keep it some what closed as it won't filter as good. The microbubbles that are coming from the protien skimmer are not bad. all it is, is oxygen bubbles that escaped out of the tube. On the tube that returns the water back to the tank from the filter try to have that skim the top of the water to allow water and oxygen to mix since your filter is fully enclosed. As for the Copper Band Butterfly was he eating right because those fish can be hard to get to eat. Do you have algea growing in your tank. Which is common in a new tank but can be bad if you have nothing that is putting oxygen in the water as the algea will zap the oxygen out of the water very quickly leaving the fish with none.
Okay, I will turn the protien skimmer back on. Somebody, I think maybe Blue, said that the microbubbles were harmful and could somehow get under the fishes skin? Also, how do I know if the protien skimmer is working if no foam/sludge accumulates? Water goes in and out and I see a clear cyclone in the skimmer's canister, but that's it.
I couldn't tell you if the copper band butterfly was eating right. We got him and the unicorn tang only yesterday. The tang ate last night when I fed him before I went to sleep.
If you don't think it was the nitrates that killed the two new fish (i just got them yesterday) and the ammonia, nitrites, and Ph tested fine, what could it have been?
The only other new thing we added were 20 hermit crabs, but the stars and stripes puffer and three 4 stripe damsels that were in there already are doing just fine.
I acclamated the fish and everything...
What you want to do with protein skimmer is get it running with the vavle closed, when water starts to come out turn the vavle till you see bubbles in the cyclone of water. Leave it like that for a day or so. If nothing happens turn the vavle a little more. Do this till you start to see foam entering the collection cup. If you want insert a piece of filter media in the path of the water flow to catch the micro bubbles. My protien skimmer will only produce foam at night, I don't know why but that is how it works. There could be so many reasons why those fish died. That happened to me last month. My naso tang was swimming around fine one night then when I got up the following the morning he was dead, nothing was wrong as I could see. Since you said your other fish are alive I don't think it's anything with your tank are anything that you did. Sometimes you can't help that a fish died. See if the LFS store you bought them at as a return policy since you just bought them. Most will have at leasta 48 hr return on saltwater fish. :D
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