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Hi there. There are some things I feel I should point out. First is how you are reading you API results. You do not determine the color when held up to the white part of the chart. You need the white in the background but need to pull it away from the white background and allow good lighting to pierce the test tube. In your pictures, the tube are right on the white background. That will give you an incorrect reading. Another thing is guppies don't mind a HpH level. Have you tested your GH and KH levels. Are you running a filtration system. I have a link on guppies disease that I will give you. The guppy that is floating at top sideways either can't breathe (not enough oxygen in the water) or over fed.


Read through this and choose the best diagnosis. I hope it helps.
 

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Ok, went through all you posts on this and took notes. Now I have questions.
As you tell what happening each day, I am to make logically guess that these fish were sick when you bought them. I say this because I narrowed down the most likely illnesses from your description and none of them kill that fast.
1. What is the exact pH reading your getting? You only said is very high. I need the ppm level.
2. What type of water conditioner do you use? Do you use it with every water change?
3. Is your heater adjustable? Why won't it go higher? What is the wattage of the heater?
4. Your filter..I could not see the setup very well in the picture. Is it attached to an air pump? Does it provide air into your tank?
5. Your tank is under stocked and I don't mean by fish. You need to get something going on in there, like Driftwood and Indian almond leaves. The both naturally lower pH.
6. Exactly what is your substrate? Define dirt please.
7. You need to purchase API GH & KH test kit. You must know the exact dh of each. I can help further when you get this test kit. The why this is important is a loaded question.
Being on well water doesn't mean your water is safe. Usually you can take a water sample from your tap of your well water to your county and they will test it for free.
8. This is a tip. Collect on water from your tap, let it sit for 24 hours then test and record, pH, nitrites, Nitrates, GH and KH.

Yes, I do have solutions for alternative water choices. But I need the above questions answered in order to assess more precisely. Please do not use any pH chemicals to alter your pH. That is a very unsafe way to go and will kill your fish faster than anything. I am going to attach a picture of my tank. In the back left corner is a sponge filter attached to an air pump so air goes through the sponge into the water via air bubbles. On the back right side is an adjustable HOB filter with custom media and a pre-filter sponge on the intake tube. My heater is a 50 watt adjustable temperature. I have a digital thermometer and the best on the non-digital thermometer. Why do I have 2, for accuracy. In the open space in my tank is usually a large hiding rock. I removed it temporarily so the guppies have more space to Gas Cable Auto part Plastic Gadget
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adjust to their new home.
I stocked 3 male fancy guppies yesterday. They are doing well. I bought them from PetSmart on they day they arrived at the store.
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Thank you so much for your help. Your tank looks so pretty and I hope your new guppies are doing well.

As much as I want to belive my fish were sick from the store I unfortue don’t think that is the case. I have tried multiple different times to keep fish in this tank and the same thing keeps happening to them. They have been form pet smart and pet co and from different tanks at each store, but they all end up dead. That is why I think it has something to do with my tank.

I want to do a quick update before I get into your questions. It is now day 7 of owning my fish and day 6 of them being sick. I now only have one male guppy out of 4 the tequila sunrise male and two out of 4 ghost shrimp. the shrimp seem to be fine but I don’t really know how to tell if a shrimp is sick. The guppy is showing strange behavior. He is quickly swimming around the tank and staying at the top of the water. He will frequently swim down to the botto and sometimes swim around the middle but will always return to the surface quickly. He is not just dropping down and coming back up he is swimming in circles around my tank. (very active still not eating though) I read this could be due to loneliness or stress. He is also moving his mouth a lot and his fins are kind of down. In the mornings I find him sleeping on the bottom.

1. My pH I belive is a 7.6 And my High Range pH is I believe an 8. My ammonia is testing at between 0ppm and 0.25ppm. My Nitrite is 0ppm and I believe my nitrate is between 0ppm and 5.0ppm. I am not gonna lie this is very upsetting because of all the water changes I have done and my levels are showing the are higher than they were before. The way I did my water changes was (based off of the days of owning the fish) Day 2: 50% Day 3: 40% Day 4: 30% Day 5: 20% Day 6: 10%. Today day 7 I decided to test the water after all the water changes.
Here are some better pictures I hope: View attachment 844832
View attachment 844831

2 / 7. I don’t use water conditoner because I know for a fact that there is no chlorine in my water. I have also never needed it before For the previous tanks that I have owned. I do know that it dose have lots of metals in it and should show up as hard on the GH scale but I don’t know the exact measurements. I will definitely look into getting at GH and KH test kit to find out. I have also tested the pH of my tap water and it is high at about 7.2.

3. I just got a new heater that is now adjustable. It is a 100 watt. I set it at 78 because I thought that 75 was a little to cold. I know that the hotter the water the less oxygen it holds so I did not want to go all the way up to 80 or 82 in case that was why I was having problem. My guppy started acting how I said earlier after I got the new heater.

4. My filter is a sponge filter. It has an air pump in take hose that pumps air and water throud some charcole media as well as some cotton media in the clear part and then it blows the bubbles out of the top. The water is taken in through the sponges where there are some holes that bring the water through the media and out of the top.
View attachment 844833

5. I don’t understand what you mean by that. I have never needed it before. I know it lowers pH but what dose it stock and why would it be necsary if my pH wasn’t high. I don’t want to come off as rude I am just curious. Also where would I able to find drift wood or the leaves. Amazon or a pet store. I don’t really have real fish stores in my area just pet smart and pet co.

6. my substrate is regular tank gravel on the bottoms and then I have Fluval Plant and Shrimp Stratum on top. I have made sure to do plenty of water changes to keep the soil from raising the pH. the substrate has been in place almost since I have started trying to put anything in this tank. About a year ago.

8. I will definitely try and report back with the results.

I did use a chemical pH correcter in the beginning not knowing it was dangerous but that was for a quick fix to give me time to figure out what was wrong it was added before any water changes so I fell like it is or at least mostly out of the water by now. Could that be why fish were dying quickly. Although I did take the first two sick ones out before adding that to my tank. I also want to point out that I have been battling some algae that you can see in the some of the picture. I was bad a little while ago but I belive I got it under control before I got my fish. I have read that some algae is good and some is bad. I don’t know which I have could that be apart of the problem. I have also read that the algae being in the leaves could cause the plant to die and raise the pH. Do you think that is what is happening. I give my tank 3 hours of light everyday and it sits on the bottom shelf on my book shelf (no sunlight). I don’t know the watts of my light but it is the one that came with the tank.

Again thank you so much for all of your help.
I have two full pages and starting 3rd, making note on your issue. Lol.

1. Your pH is not too high for guppies. I can't remember what kind of shrimp you have. Your last guppy could be lonely and stressed. They need to be in a school of at least three. Guppies require 12 hours of light (hood lamp) and 12 hours off to sleep in complete darkness. I wonder if he sleeps on bottom because you only give him 3 hours of light when the 12 is a lighting requirement for them. He is not eating. What are you feeding? How long has it been since he ate? Your test pics: pH lower test doesn't matter, HpH looks like 7.4, ammonia looks yellowish & very light green (how long how this been going on)?
2. It looks to me that you might have a nitrogen cycle issue. I say this because when you got the guppies. The water changes seem like over kill. That could have trigger a cycle crash. Another reason I think could one of the issues is because you are running a small amount of ammonia that has not turned to nitrites then to Nitrates. A series of test log would help. Did you test your water before you added the fish?

3. I am glad got an adjustable heater. A 100 watt is twice the amount you need for a 10 gallon tank. This is very important, do you have a thermometer? You need one to make sure your heater is behaving correctly. You can't just set the heater and trust its going to keep the correct temp.

4. Sponge filter is fine. There is oxygen in your water due to the air bubbles.

5. Tannins help lower pH. Driftwood and Indian almond leaves are tannins. IAL don't just help naturally lower pH but also have antifungal and antibacterial properties. It's a win, win. Amazon is the cheapest. I will try to link you the products.

6. Your substrate comes with caution as it cannot be vacuumed or disturbed. I just purchased a product that may be helpful. You use it once a month. It's called Tetra cleaning bacteria.

7. How often do you clean your tank and what is process? What kind of algae are you seeing the icky stuff?

8. It does not matter that you are on well water. It's not just about chlorine. You need to use a conditioner at every water change. I use Seachem prime.

9. Petsmart, Petco, Amazon and Walmart should carry the API GH & KH Test kit. GH, KH and pH. All link. We really need your GH and KH test results. I do know that it you take a water sample to petsmart they it for free but I can't remember if it includes GH KH. When I asked them, I already had the tests that can do. So benefit to me but maybe will you.

I believe it's your water that killed your guppies. You need to use a water conditoner. I think that is a huge issue.
Secondly, need to know GH and KH in your tank water. That can kill fish too. Here are some links:
Thermometer
Driftwood
Indian Almond Leaves
API GH KH Kit
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Another thing I wanted to mention is that guppies like things in there tanks for places to hide. That why a couple of us said your tank setup is kind of bare. I would not try to add more guppies until we can pin point your water condition and see how the last guppy acts. Oh, and thank you for asking, my guppies are doing great. Noconcerns yet. They are a hyper as reputation. Lol.
 

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I was worried that might be the problem. But I have had fish tanks before that did not need to conditioner and they did fine, but we have had a flood and Hurricanes since then That might have put something in our water. If that is the problem would just conditioner work Or do I need something else? I tested my tap water and I defiantly think there is a problem. I took a few samples and let them sit for 24 hours and then tested them.
pH= 7.6 (same as tank)
High Range pH= 8 (same as tank)
Ammonia= Between 0.25ppm and 0.5ppm (higher than tank)
Nitrite= 0ppm ( same as tank)
Nitrate= Between 0ppm and 0.5ppm (same as tank)
This explains why my tank levels actually got higher after my water change. Should I do more water changes on my tank and add water. What type of conditioner or other water corrector should I get. I also want to say my fish now has a red spot on its fin.
View attachment 844835
View attachment 844836
Yes... there is problem with your water. I missed this post. A lot of us use Seachem prime.
1. Tetra AquaSafe Plus Aquarium
Dechlorinator Water Conditoner
2. Seachem prime
These two would be my recommendation.

You have get one of these products asap or your last fish is going to die. And now the GH and KH are really important. They tell us about the minerals in your water or the lack of. Too low or too high can kill your fish.
 

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I was worried that might be the problem. But I have had fish tanks before that did not need to conditioner and they did fine, but we have had a flood and Hurricanes since then That might have put something in our water. If that is the problem would just conditioner work Or do I need something else? I tested my tap water and I defiantly think there is a problem. I took a few samples and let them sit for 24 hours and then tested them.
pH= 7.6 (same as tank)
High Range pH= 8 (same as tank)
Ammonia= Between 0.25ppm and 0.5ppm (higher than tank)
Nitrite= 0ppm ( same as tank)
Nitrate= Between 0ppm and 0.5ppm (same as tank)
This explains why my tank levels actually got higher after my water change. Should I do more water changes on my tank and add water. What type of conditioner or other water corrector should I get. I also want to say my fish now has a red spot on its fin.
View attachment 844835
View attachment 844836
If that is what your tap is popping for test your ammonia in your tank now. If it is above 0.25 do a 20% water change and get to the store and get conditioner and put it directly into your tank based on 10 gallon dosage.
I couldn't have said it better, evonneramsey pretty much summed it all up for ya.
you said you have had hurricanes and floods, what state do you live in? (you don't really have to answer this)
I use API conditioner its cheaper
Mallory, I pulled up some products you can get:
1. API Tap Water Conditoner which is just a Dechlorinator that removes ammonia and such plus heavy metals.
2. API Stress Coat plus, it does the same as above and more. I picked this because your fish is probably suffering ammonia poisoning.
3. Tetra AquaSafe Plus Aquarium Dechlorinator Water Conditoner, this similar to the API Stress Coat.

The first product I listed is cheaper and will get your water out of danger. You must act fast. Water changes are not going to help as ammonia is in your tap from the well. Crap, it doesn't even matter if you get cheap Dechlorinator for Bettas. And again, if you can afford it try to the API GH KH Kit. GH & KH are advance Water information test not to be expect to be understood for beginners but they matter and I can explain what they mean when I have the readings. There is not anything else you need for now.
 

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If that is what your tap is popping for test your ammonia in your tank now. If it is above 0.25 do a 20% water change and get to the store and get conditioner and put it directly into your tank based on 10 gallon dosage.


Mallory, I pulled up some products you can get:
1. API Tap Water Conditoner which is just a Dechlorinator that removes ammonia and such plus heavy metals.
2. API Stress Coat plus, it does the same as above and more. I picked this because your fish is probably suffering ammonia poisoning.
3. Tetra AquaSafe Plus Aquarium Dechlorinator Water Conditoner, this similar to the API Stress Coat.

The first product I listed is cheaper and will get your water out of danger. You must act fast. Water changes are not going to help as ammonia is in your tap from the well. Crap, it doesn't even matter if you get cheap Dechlorinator for Bettas. And again, if you can afford it try to the API GH KH Kit. GH & KH are advance Water information test not to be expect to be understood for beginners but they matter and I can explain what they mean when I have the readings. There is not anything else you need for now.
You only need 1 of the 3 options ibgave you. You can get them at Walmart, petsmart or Petco. FYI: Do not buy test strips to analyze your GH and KH. They are not accurate and a waste of money.
 

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I am sorry to hear about your last guppy. This is what I would do.
1. Scrap algae if any on glass.
2. Gravel/siphon any gunk in the water.
3. As you are doing step 2, remove 30% of the water (3 gallons).
4. Prepare your replacement water from your tap, the temp needs to match your tank water 78°. Add 1/2 cap of Seachem Prime, each line inside the cap are measurements. Then add back to your tank.
5. Add 2 teaspoons or 10 ml of the Tetra Cleaning Bacteria. Shake bag first.
6. Test your water tomorrow.

Now there is a difference between a water changes and tank cleaning.

Water changes I do weekly 25%. I vacuum. I prep my new water with a small amount of Seachem Prime. And that's it.

Everything thing else is a cleaning. The Tetra Cleaning Bacteria is to be only use monthly when you clean. Be cautious not to remove your natural beneficial bacteria.

There is another problem with your water. Your GH is too low. That means you have very soft water and are lack necessary minerals. GH and KH are recorded in ppm or degrees. Your GH is 0-30 ppm or 0-4 dGH (degrees general hardness) Guppies don't like this. They like a dGH of 8-20 dGH (140-320 ppm). Your KH at 120 ppm is 6-7 dKH. Because you have a tropical, planted tank with shrimp, the general guidelines for KH is 65-135 ppm and a GH of 65-135 ppm. I am going to try to link you some articles that may help.
Algae.
By the way guppies like to eat algae.
GH and KH
Water Changes
Tank Cleaning
Tank Cleaning with algae
Guppy Care Guide
I don't know what type of guppies you had but will give an idea. Guppies need high quality food. I am attaching a photo of my list of foods that I use.

These should help. Be careful to use store products to control algae products, it could kill you shrimp.

If you have any questions. I will here.
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