Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   I'm Having problems again. Water tests (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/freshwater-aquarium-equipment/im-having-problems-again-water-tests-9425/)

Cruznlife1 11-17-2007 07:41 PM

I'm Having problems again. Water tests
 
Well I finally bought a master water test kit with the drops etc. like 30 some odd bucks. Anyways. This was a cichlid tank a while back. I drained it, redid it all and converted it to tropical community.. 80 gallon permanent install in my living room wall. I filled it with bottled "drinking" water from the store with the proper amount of chlorine remover/conditioner. I added the appropriate amount of aquariam salt, I also added the biological filter starter (bacteria) and cycled the tank for a month. It ran non stop for a month. I have one long "air bubble bar" along the back and two air stones under some decorations in the middle so the water is agitated w/oxygen.

Tank temp stays between 76-78* (temp of my house) spikes to about 80* when the sun is hitting the tank for about 2 hrs per day. the light is on a timer it goes on around 11am and off around 6pm.

I than added fish. 3 bottom feeder catfish, and 5 other assorted tropical fish.

This was 6 months ago. I havent had to add anything to the water. It's been crystal clear for 6 months and the fish have been happy, and swimming. Every 2 weeks I vacuumed the gravel and about 5 gallons of water out and replace it with 5 gallons of store bottled water and a few drops of chlorine conditioner (just in case) and a tablespoon of salt.

About a month ago I went in and removed the 2 big foam elements from the sump filter and cleaned them in the sink with just clean hot sink water alot of "stuff" came out of them (black water) just rinsed until clean and put them back in. Last week I had 3 fish dead on the bottom of the tank when I woke up, I pulled them out and went to work. That night there was algae everywhere, and the fish arent swimming, just kinda "surviving" The next day I had an algae mess. That night I changed about 10 gallons of water, brushed all the algae I could get to off and added 1 dose (followed directions on bottle) of the algae tank treatment and let it run overnight, woke up the tank was cloudy and another fish died.. It's been 3 days, the tank is now clear and the algae looks under control but it is forming around the intake of my filter (never did before) and the fish dont want to eat or swim, but they are alive....

I ran a full water test, not sure why but PH is off the chart 8.8+ Ammonia is 0.0ppm Nitrites 0.0ppm Nitrate 20-30ppm

I'm going to get some "PH Down" tonight to correct the PH, but ammonia, and nitrites tested excellent, and nitrates are in the acceptable range, tank temp is currently 78*

What should I do ?

Lupin 11-17-2007 07:54 PM

Re: I'm Having problems again. Water tests
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cruznlife1
I added the appropriate amount of aquariam salt,

What is your reason for adding aquarium salt? Aquarium salt is just overpriced table salt. There is no need to use it unless you are treating for diseases.
Quote:

I than added fish. 3 bottom feeder catfish, and 5 other assorted tropical fish.
What species are they?
Quote:

Every 2 weeks I vacuumed the gravel and about 5 gallons of water out and replace it with 5 gallons of store bottled water and a few drops of chlorine conditioner (just in case) and a tablespoon of salt.
I would suggest doing it on weekly basis. What's your reason for using bottled water?:question:
Quote:

About a month ago I went in and removed the 2 big foam elements from the sump filter and cleaned them in the sink with just clean hot sink water alot of "stuff" came out of them (black water) just rinsed until clean and put them back in.
I think you found your culprit. Was the sink water also free from chlorine and chloramine? By using hot water and water loaded with chlorine, you are killing your beneficial bacteria. Use your tank water next time when you clean the filter media.
Quote:

Last week I had 3 fish dead on the bottom of the tank when I woke up, I pulled them out and went to work. That night there was algae everywhere, and the fish arent swimming, just kinda "surviving" The next day I had an algae mess. That night I changed about 10 gallons of water, brushed all the algae I could get to off and added 1 dose (followed directions on bottle) of the algae tank treatment and let it run overnight, woke up the tank was cloudy and another fish died.. It's been 3 days, the tank is now clear and the algae looks under control but it is forming around the intake of my filter (never did before) and the fish dont want to eat or swim, but they are alive....
I see a lot of mistakes in this situation but you can learn from them.:)

1. Hot water for media cleanup-I've explained it in my above post.
2. Ammonia off-I'd expect this especially when you killed your bacteria which helps with the nitrogen cycle.
3. Algaecide-It is not recommended and will have adverse effects on the fish especially when they are already stressed by the poor water conditions.

Quote:

I ran a full water test, not sure why but PH is off the chart 8.8+ Ammonia is 0.0ppm Nitrites 0.0ppm nitrate 20-30ppm
What brand of test kit did you use? Is it liquid? Your current situation suggests the water parameters otherwise.
Quote:

I'm going to get some "PH Down" tonight to correct the PH, but ammonia, and nitrites tested excellent, and nitrates are in the acceptable range, tank temp is currently 78*
Do not use pH down or any other chemicals for that matter. You are inviting further disasters. Once the effects wore off, the pH will swing killing more of your fish.

Cruznlife1 11-17-2007 08:17 PM

Okay alot of questions to answer, I'm not a fish person the tank came with the house so I'm still learning I thought I had it under control. I use bottled water for the fill because my house is on wellwater with a salt conditioner system. I have high iron and high sulfur which is removed by the softener but I didnt want to play around wiht the could be "dangerous cocktail" in my house water.

When I cleaned the filters, yes I used hot tap water but my system does not use ANY chlorine or any other type of chemical (it uses an ultraviolet light) at the water softener to disinfect the water.

Test kit is API Freshwater Master Test Kit, it's a liquid and I followed the directions to a tee.. I was off the chart on the PH test, so I had to use the "High Range' Ph test and I was off that chart too. What can I do tonight or tomorrow morning to control the PH, One of the fish is currently very unhappy looking.

Species (I'm searching the net here I'll do what I can)

I have 3 catfish. They are identical to a Plecostomus catfish but they are black and white striped and about 2" long

I had put in 5 blue neon tetras, but 4 of them got too close to the filter the day I put them in, and the 5th one must have seen it happen because he wont even go on that side of the tank where the intake is anymore. So there is 1 blue neon tetra in there

I have two "Red Platies" (I'm going by pictures on the internet here)

And I'm not sure what the other two were but they are a dalmation something. Both white/black spotted.

The two dalmations died and one of the catfish died. The tetra, other two catfish and the Platies are still alive and do not want to eat.

Cruznlife1 11-17-2007 08:22 PM

And as for the salt, I was told by the people at the pet store to use aquariam salt when setting up the tank and doing water changes and just follow the directions on the packaging. Everything has been Wonderful until I cleaned the filter.

What can I do NOW to get it back to normal. I dont want to sound selfish but I have ALOT of company coming over (my whole family) for thanksgiving and I have 4 days to get it cleaned up and I want to replace the fish that died. What do I need to do to restore the biological filter and lower the PH without using a bunch of chemicals ?


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