New and having problems!
Hi, all! I have just started a new tank and am having issues. I put the tank (10gallon) together Friday morning and let it run all weekend with the heater, filterand airator. On Sunday I added two zebra danios. I probably did not do enough research but saw that they were good fish for a fish-in cycle of the tank. They were both dead by this morning :cry:. I was intending to do a 10% change this afternoon but I didn't get a chance. So now I'm thinking of doing the dead shrimp method. I must confess I didn't do any other testing for the water. I (probably incorrectly) assusmed that letting my tap water run through with my airator and filter for the weekend would declorinate the water enough. So now I'm off to get my water tested. So that's my backstory... now my first question.
Should my water test as poor... what do I do about it. I'm sure there are chemicals and drops that I can purchase but then is it just trial and error? Add a couple drops of this and wait a few days, add a few drops of that and wait a while? Surely there is a more exact science? And then what about water changes? Would I need to treat the water before adding it to the tank for even small partial water changes (10-15%). If that's the case it almost seems like I would need to keep two tanks, one with fish and one to keep replacement water in. What a pain! Any advice on what to do about bad water would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
Most tapwater will contain chlorine, or chloramines. A good water conditioner such as PRIME is all that is needed to make tapwater safe for the fishes and should be used anytime you add water to the aquarium.
Two Danios prolly croaked from chlorine or ammonia from chloramines if tapwater was not treated before introducing the fish.
Most water conditioners like PRIME work instantly to detoxify the chlorine or chloramines as well as ammonia .
Yes, your fish died because of the chemicals in the water. I use "Tetra AquaSafe Water Conditioner with BioExtract". You can get in at wal mart or any fish store.
So even though I let the water sit for a few days before adding fish, I will still need to use the conditioner? Does this also apply to water changes? IS there any reason to let the water rest then or can I just add the conditioner to water straight form the tap when I do a change? Thanks so much for all of your advice!
As stated previously, water conditioner should be added anytime you add water to the aquarium such as water changes unless ,,your water only contains chlorine and you allow the water to set for 24 hours to allow the chlorine to dissipate.
I would still use conditioner such as PRIME for it also detoxifies nitrites,nitrates,and any heavy metals that may be present.
You can ,and should add conditioner such as PRIME to tapwater before you add the tapwater to your tank.
Should also see that the new water you add is close to same temperature as the water in the tank.
I'm curious about how you introduced the danios, as well. Did you float their bags and slowly add tank water?
I just floated the bag. I've done more research since and realize I should have added water to the bag as well. Also, I'm going to be doing some more extensive water testing this evening but I just found out my ph is above 8... so that combined with the cycling and the not using water conditioner, I'm thinking I doomed the poor guys from the get go. :-( Planning on doing a fishless cycle now and introducing some fish more accustomed to high ph levels when I do try again. Any suggestions? I love the small schooling fish but am having a hard time finding any that appreciate the high ph levels...
And I did get Prime so I will be using that from now on... Thanks for the recomendation! I'm planning to purchase some driftwood but don't know if it will lower the ph enough. How much effect could I expect it to have?
1077 led you through the tap water problem, so that is solved. Caliban mentioned several things correctly on water parameters (pH is one aspect); if I may, I'll provide some insight on the "why."
Water hardness is determined by the mineral content of the water, primarily calcium and magnesium. It is important to know the hardness of your source water (tap water here I assume); you can buy test kits, but you would waste your money since you would only use them once (hardness is unlikely to change in the source water) unless you decide to adjust the hardness in the aquarium (more on this momentarily). For now, I would contact your water supply board, some have websites that will tell you what is in the water, or if not you can contact them. We need to know the hardness, preferably both the GH (general hardness) and KH (carbonate hardness). If they have a website with some info, you can give me the link in a post and I will have a look for you.
The GH affects fish to varying degrees depending upon the fish species and if it is tank raised or wild caught. The KH does not affect fish, but is important because it is tied to the pH, or rather the pH is tied to the KH. I won't go into the chemistry, but KH acts as a pH buffer, to resist changes; we need to know the KH because any attempt to adjust the pH (as with those pH adjusters you see in fish stores) could be a failure, and do serious harm to the fish, depending upon the KH. Never mess with the pH until you know the KH and GH.
As Caliban said, real wood can lower pH slightly, but the KH may make this impossible without more wood than the aquarium can possibly hold. Wood alone is not reliable in lowering pH, but it may help a bit. In an aquarium once established (cycling is the first step, once that is done the aquarium then becomes "stable" biologically) the natural acidification of the water by fish, organics, bacteria action will lower the pH. But here again, the KH can "buffer" this so it won't; if the KH is quite low, the pH can drop a fair bit and fairly quickly (over a few weeks). Partial water changes are our way of "buffering" the pH; changing water every week will help to keep it stable. And whatever the fish, stable water parameters is very important.
Once we know the hardness of your tap water (and find out the pH too if you haven't already) we will be able to discuss what if any method will work to alter (lower) the pH, should you need to for the fish you want. Livebearers and rift lake cichlids need basic harder water. Most characins (tetra, hatchetfish, pencilfish), rasbora, danio, barbs, and catfish prefer soft acidic water, but some species manage fine in slightly basic medium hard water. This is what Caliban was alluding to when he mentioned fish adjusting to different water parameters. But this does not always work. We can go into all this more when we know the lay of the land, so to speak.
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