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Hi, I recently had my two Shubunkin fish die due to pH problems. It's my own fault as I tried to keep the pH up for them, being goldfish, but then I mis read a test and added too much pH up and well the long and the short of it is they died. Plus I'd added a new air stone and it all happened at the same time and it wasn't clear what was going on to me at first.

I also recently got a master test kit and have all my numbers on the tank and tap water.

I'm going away for several weeks and I plan to leave my fish tank empty until I return. My first question is:

- Do I leave my tank running, filtering, etc. while I am gone? Where it's an established tank I'd hate to have to empty it and then start with all over with cycling the tank.

My second question is based on numbers/water quality. I have well water as we live in a rural area.

- Are there any fish that would do reasonably well in a tank where the tap water has ~10ppm nitrates and a very low pH (looks like 6.0 but since the test only goes down to 6.0 I have no idea if it's lower).

I've never seemed to have an ammonia/nitrite problem, but obviously the nitrates are an issue and where it's in my initial water supply I'm not sure what I can do about it. I'm not prepared both financially and schedule-wise to have to deal with water changes based on buying gallons of water.

Maybe my fish keeping days are over and I should turn the tank over into a hermit crab haven. I've kept them before, but the fish and the fish tank are so beautiful in the living room.


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You can leave the tank running or not but better if left on. You won't have to do anything cycle wise later.

If you can keep the nitrates around 10, you should be fine. More water changes if they climb quickly is all but you won't have to resort to bottled water.

As for fish in the low pHs... there are quite a few but I am in the high 7's so I don't know which ones they might be.

I think Byron has fish in the 5pH range.

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