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Newbie running into MAJOR problems...

This is a discussion on Newbie running into MAJOR problems... within the Tropical Fish Diseases forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Alrighty :) Thanks for all the input. The filter should be here next Friday so we'll start worrying about it closer to then. The ...

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Newbie running into MAJOR problems...
Old 04-18-2009, 04:21 PM   #41
 
Alrighty :) Thanks for all the input. The filter should be here next Friday so we'll start worrying about it closer to then.

The pH in the small tank has dropped to 6.0. What could be causing this? The levels are as follows:
pH: 6.0
Ammonia: 0.25
Nitrite: 0.5
Nitrate: 5

I can understand the other values rising like this but the pH drop baffles me. Is this okay for DingDong and Kevin? I read that angelfish can survive in water with pH as low as 5.5, but I'm not entirely sure how to take that. I mean, some people can live in 110 degree weather while others have heat stroke. Thoughts?
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Old 04-19-2009, 03:24 AM   #42
 
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what decore have you got in the tank with them ?
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Old 04-19-2009, 03:48 AM   #43
 
None at this point, as we had moved everything we had into the 10gal and didn't want to risk moving it back with them if there was any kind of pathogen. It is just them, the filter, and the heater. Neither likes not having any cover, but it's the way things are for now.
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Old 04-19-2009, 09:55 AM   #44
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheknnudol View Post
Alrighty :) Thanks for all the input. The filter should be here next Friday so we'll start worrying about it closer to then.

The pH in the small tank has dropped to 6.0. What could be causing this? The levels are as follows:
pH: 6.0
Ammonia: 0.25
Nitrite: 0.5
Nitrate: 5

I can understand the other values rising like this but the pH drop baffles me. Is this okay for DingDong and Kevin? I read that angelfish can survive in water with pH as low as 5.5, but I'm not entirely sure how to take that. I mean, some people can live in 110 degree weather while others have heat stroke. Thoughts?
First, the ammonia and nitrite readings are a concern; this tank is not cycled or the readings would be 0 for both. If it was already established, adding one fish a couple of days ago should not have caused this mini-cycle. Add a capful of "Cycle" if you haven't already.

The pH of an established tank will tend to creep downward over time due to the biological processes going on, and unless there is something to prevent this such as dolomite or crushed coral or limestone rocks, all of which would tend to raise the pH depending upon how much/many of them [I know you have none of these in your 10g, I only mention it as info]. But it should not suddenly drop significantly. What was the pH before you tested it as 6? And how long has this tank been setup (sorry, but I've forgotten some of the details after everything else)? The angelfish will be OK at pH 6 but you don't want the pH fluctuating around so we need to find out why and (possibly) address the problem depending upon what it is.
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Old 04-20-2009, 04:23 AM   #45
 
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In my view, the possibilty is that fish are being overfed,water other than tapwater is being used,Dechlorinator ain't cuttin it ,or all three. Water tests should be performed at least twelve hours after a water change. Dechlorinator such as PRIME or AMQUEL+ should take care of ammonia and nitrite problems along with chlorine and chloramines As stated previously.Water changes using a dechlorinator such as the two mentioned should take place when ammonia or nitrites are at or above .50
I am at a loss as to what could have reduced pH from 7.0 in tap to 6.0 unless tapwater is completely void of minerals that buffer it.
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Old 04-20-2009, 09:31 PM   #46
 
Quote:
First, the ammonia and nitrite readings are a concern; this tank is not cycled or the readings would be 0 for both. If it was already established, adding one fish a couple of days ago should not have caused this mini-cycle. Add a capful of "Cycle" if you haven't already.

The pH of an established tank will tend to creep downward over time due to the biological processes going on, and unless there is something to prevent this such as dolomite or crushed coral or limestone rocks, all of which would tend to raise the pH depending upon how much/many of them [I know you have none of these in your 10g, I only mention it as info]. But it should not suddenly drop significantly. What was the pH before you tested it as 6? And how long has this tank been setup (sorry, but I've forgotten some of the details after everything else)? The angelfish will be OK at pH 6 but you don't want the pH fluctuating around so we need to find out why and (possibly) address the problem depending upon what it is.
We know this tank is not cycled. While there were fish in it before, it was prior to us knowing even what cycling was as well as prior to our possession of a testing kit. The switch back to the small tank from the 10 gallon was to remove them from the high-nitrite water as no matter how many water changes we did the nitrites would not go down. This was because we had so many fish in that 10 gallon before. With only one fish and a frog, it seemed to be a better option to put them in a tank by themselves and start from scratch. That way the waste accumulated was of a reasonable level, at least.

As noted in the thread, we set up the small tank again on April 14th, and the pH at that point was 7.0. Here's the breakdown:
(First day) 4/14: 7.0
4/15: 6.8 - 7.0
4/16: 7.0
4/17: no test
4/18: 6.0
4/19:~ 6.2
(Today) 4/20: 6.4

We repeated the tests on our own to ensure they weren't erroneous for any reason.

Quote:
In my view, the possibilty is that fish are being overfed,water other than tapwater is being used,Dechlorinator ain't cuttin it ,or all three. Water tests should be performed at least twelve hours after a water change. Dechlorinator such as PRIME or AMQUEL+ should take care of ammonia and nitrite problems along with chlorine and chloramines As stated previously.Water changes using a dechlorinator such as the two mentioned should take place when ammonia or nitrites are at or above .50
I am at a loss as to what could have reduced pH from 7.0 in tap to 6.0 unless tapwater is completely void of minerals that buffer it.
We are feeding every other day and even then only small pinches that we watch them consume in a matter of minutes. I'm worried that this might mean Kevin isn't getting any food, but he seems to be okay. We most certainly did use tap water, though I am unsure of the mineral content of it. We did use the dechlorinator on the water (we picked up a syringe from the drug store that had increments of a milliliter so we could measure out the dechlorinator for each of our gallon jugs properly). We tested our tap water before deciding to switch over to it from the filtered/distilled water we had been getting from the dispenser at the grocery store. There was nothing in it, and the pH was solid at 7.0. Zeros across the board.

Any ideas?
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Old 04-21-2009, 05:18 AM   #47
 
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[quote=Cheknnudol;189462]We know this tank is not cycled. While there were fish in it before, it was prior to us knowing even what cycling was as well as prior to our possession of a testing kit. The switch back to the small tank from the 10 gallon was to remove them from the high-nitrite water as no matter how many water changes we did the nitrites would not go down. This was because we had so many fish in that 10 gallon before. With only one fish and a frog, it seemed to be a better option to put them in a tank by themselves and start from scratch. That way the waste accumulated was of a reasonable level, at least.

As noted in the thread, we set up the small tank again on April 14th, and the pH at that point was 7.0. Here's the breakdown:
(First day) 4/14: 7.0
4/15: 6.8 - 7.0
4/16: 7.0
4/17: no test
4/18: 6.0
4/19:~ 6.2
(Today) 4/20: 6.4

We repeated the tests on our own to ensure they weren't erroneous for any reason.



We are feeding every other day and even then only small pinches that we watch them consume in a matter of minutes. I'm worried that this might mean Kevin isn't getting any food, but he seems to be okay. We most certainly did use tap water, though I am unsure of the mineral content of it. We did use the dechlorinator on the water (we picked up a syringe from the drug store that had increments of a milliliter so we could measure out the dechlorinator for each of our gallon jugs properly). We tested our tap water before deciding to switch over to it from the filtered/distilled water we had been getting from the dispenser at the grocery store. There was nothing in it, and the pH was solid at 7.0. Zeros across the board.

Any ideas?[/quote Products PRIME or AMQUEL+ both address ammonia and nitrites that appear to be problem despite water changes with Your present water conditioner.Moving the fish back to 3gal? =less surface area for oxygen exchange ,less dilution capabilities from toxins due to smaller volume of water,and increased stress levels for fish from trying to adapt internally to water containing more or less salts or dissolved solids.On the day that you feed the fish, are you feeding them once ,or two or three times ? Fish can go a week or longer without food with no ill effects. Feeding once every other day or every two days will help with water conditions in such a small enviornment and fish won't starve.I once attempted to help someone in similar situation and despite water changes,,they could not reduce ammonia levels. It was discovered(eventually) that to make up for the days of fasting, that the fish were being fed by not only the adult,, but the child as well and that three or four feedings were what they considered to be needed by the fish.If we sometimes focus on keeping water then fish can pretty much take care of themselves. Product PRIME can be used safely at five times the recommended dose for ammonia,and nitrites and might be something to consider.

Last edited by 1077; 04-21-2009 at 05:24 AM..
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Old 04-21-2009, 09:33 AM   #48
 
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I must confess to being puzzled by a drop from pH 7 to pH 6 in a day (one day between readings), when there is only one fish in the tank. Did you do a water change on the day of or between the readings of 7 and 6? Something must have caused the pH to crash that much in one day. The only time I have ever experienced anything like this was when the tap water pH suddenly went from 6.8 to 5.6 and I didn't know it and did a water change and the tank was 6.0 immediately after. Check your tap water pH and let us know.

I concur with 1077's comments on water conditioners, it is OK to overdose them (but don't waste it, they're expensive as you know). I never measure conditioner, I just squirt some in when the tap water starts entering the tank (I use a "Python" hose connected to the tap directly) and I'm sure its two or maybe three times more than what is needed, but better safe than sorry. There's a lot of chlorine in my tap watyer (nothing else fortunately).
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Old 05-11-2009, 04:28 PM   #49
 
Hey there everyone :) Thought I'd pop in with a bit of an update and a couple more questions. The filter arrived on April 24th and we had time to set it up the following day. We put 6 zebra danios in, lost one (it had looked sickly since the drive home from the pet store) that evening, and another the following night after it had begun swimming odd. One of the remaining four began swimming funny in the same fashion a couple of days after that and died a day later, so we replaced the three danios with two tetras and moved our angel into the larger tank. This may not have been the best idea as I'm unsure of how hardy cardinal tetras and angelfish are, but its been two weeks and they seem to be doing great! We washed and placed all of our tank decor as well as placed a live plant, and the fish seem to really enjoy it all.

What brings me back today in particular is that yesterday we had drooled long enough over the BGK fish at the pet store and brought one home (naughty!), and let it loose in the big tank after floating (no quarantine! super naughty!). Everyone, including him, seems to be eating and behaving normally but we noticed today that the pH has been steadily climbing, and that the nitrites in the past few days have spiked. We did not at any point witness what seemed to be an ammonia spike, so this was rather unexpected; if this is not a typical cycling spike in nitrites, what could be causing it? Additionally, how worried should we be about the variations in pH (from 6.8 to 7.2 in about 2 weeks)? We got really worried since the BGK (Machete) is supposedly quite sensitive.

I'm not home at the moment so I don't have the measurements of the water (we have been testing a few times a week), but I should have them soon enough to post here for you guys. Thanks!

ETA: Everybody thank the boyfriend for his hardcore spreadsheet-making skills :)

Last edited by Cheknnudol; 05-11-2009 at 04:40 PM..
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Old 05-11-2009, 05:46 PM   #50
 
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The ammonia and nitrite readings you post look normal to me, in the sense that after two+ weeks the ammonia has gone up and now is "0" and the nitrite began rising during this period. It will (should) peak somewhere and then fall back to "0".
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