Originally Posted by hammerhead
i have just done a water change (40-50%). you say weekly.? how should i expect this to go on? at what point should the tank be stable? like after 4 weeks and i still have fish dying would something else be wrong?
Most people (nearly all) perform water changes each week for the life of their aquariums. Water changes remove waste and supply minerals needed by fish, and plants and they also help to maintain a stable pH. Your water changes, may need to be more frequent than once a week and I say this ,,because it is possible that when you switched filters,you threw away the beneficial bacteria needed in all aqauriums unless you took some of the filter material from the old filters and placed it in the canister filter.
This beneficial bacteria deals with the ammonia and nitrites that are toxic to fishes and until the new filter has developed a colony of this benefical bacteria,, your tank may see increased ammonia and nitrite levels . Would use my new test kit to measure these each day for the next few weeks. If levels of ammonia and or nitrites read above .25, I would perform a water change using a dechlorinator for the new water before I added the new water to the tank. Would make sure new water is close to same temp as that in the aquarium.
Once your aquarium water test's zero for ammonia and nitrites each day for several days in a row,, then once weekly water changes will be all that is needed.
Another reason to keep an eye on ammonia and nitrite levels is at lower pH levels,the ammonia being produced by the fish on daily basis is less toxic than it is at ph levels you are now recording. IF the new filter does not yet have a sufficient bacteria colony to handle the ammonia and nitrites,then they could begin to increase and as mentioned,,anything over .25 would in my view be call for a water change.
Your tank will settle down now that you are using tapwater close to same pH as the tank and once it has settled ,the fish will be under way less stress.
I have heard numerous people report problems with DIY Co2 because it is difficult and dangerous to try and regulate the ppm of Co2 being dumped into the tank. Is not safe to try and reduce the flow on DIY units in my opinion ,for the fermentation process can be unpredictable, and restricting the flow could lead to rather nast y mess (Bottle exploding).
I would strive once again to get some stability in the aquarium ,and then possibly explore the addition of Co2 if that is your wish with perhaps Equipment that is a little more stable with regards to amounts being released. There are some members here who have excellent examples of planted aquariums without Co2 injection and this may be something you might consider.
Nothing wrong with Co2 ,but one should have a fair working knowledge in my view,, of how it works and how it affects water chemistry which in turn affects the fishes we keep.