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Discussion Starter #1
Hi I listed my tank stats below. The tank has been running for about 2 months. I made some newbie mistakes by adding too many fish before it had cycled; and lost several fish as a result, sadly. However, now my tank is cycled. During that time, all of my platies got huge bellies and then went "belly up" (dead).

A week ago I bought a small 1.5" syndontis catfish. He is beautiful. He's been doing well, and often comes out while the light is on to eat and explore, and is very friendly. However, just tonite, I noticed that he suddenly has a huge belly (didn't have it yesterday). This can't be normal, can it? Also, 2 of my gold barbs have pretty big bellies too. What is causing this? Is it my high pH? I can't seem to get the pH down, despite trying to use "neutralizers" (slowly), driftwood, and even water changes w/ bottled water. Is my fish going to die? He wasn't cheap, and he is so pretty. :0( How can I help him?

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 10
pH: 8.0-8.2
Temp: 82 F.

46-gal bowfront, running 2 months
5 gold barbs
6 tiger barbs
2 albino corys
1 syndontis catfish
live plants
 

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Hi there. If he's a Syno. Eupterus or featherfin syno. then the bulging belly may be normal. They're very greedy eaters. If more several fish have fat bellies try cutting down on the feeding & see if they return to normal in a day or two.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Belly

Thanks for the replies! I will cut back on the feeding. He is a featherfin syno. Very pretty. I didn't realize it was possible for them to get big bellies from eating a lot (like expanding I guess). He does eat alot; both the flakes and the algae pellets. The gold barbs are very greedy eaters too. So you think these species are ok in this high pH? Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
PH

Thanks for the advice, but please note what I stated above:

"I can't seem to get the pH down, despite trying to use "neutralizers" (slowly), driftwood, and even water changes w/ bottled water."

The pH remains high, for some reason. Any suggestions for me to bring down the pH, bristlenose? Thanks.

:?
 

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Re: PH

starcollector said:
"I can't seem to get the pH down, despite trying to use "neutralizers" (slowly), driftwood, and even water changes w/ bottled water."

The pH remains high, for some reason. Any suggestions for me to bring down the pH, bristlenose? Thanks.
Are these neutralizers the ones labelled as "pH down"? I wouldn't use those. They are crap and will not work very well.
I'd leave your tapwater overnight in a glass and test it the next day for any varying pH changes.
Sand and rocks if not inert are also one of the factors to consider why your pH doesn't decrease.
 

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What is the ph level of your tap water and bottled water ?
Do you have anything in you tank like shell's or rock's?
What substrate do you have in your tank?
 

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caferacermike said:
You guys say get the PH down for syn?? I've always heard keep it around 7.8-8.0 as in the same water for African cichlids as that's there nomal environment. For the S. Americans I try to keep my water between 5.7-6.5.
Im with him on this one. higher ph for synos.
 

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Synodontis inhabit Lake Tanganyika, Africa. These are one of the few catfishes that can be kept with African Rift Lake Cichlids. African Rift lake cichlids require a high PH, around 7.6-8.6. The syndontis will be quite at home in a Ph of 8.2.

Most species of tropical fishes are very adaptable to differrent PH levels. Fluxuations in the Ph as result of chemical buffers are far more dangerous to the health of your fish than a constant, higher ph.
 

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does sand substrate cause ph to be higher?
 

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It is true that the synodontis will prefer the higher pH, and as for the sand, what kind of sand is it? Aragonite sand will bring the pH up. Play sand will do funky things to your water quality all the way around. Silica sand should not affect the pH, but is not usually the best choice of substrate in an aquarium. Plants have a difficult time taking root in the sand, and it's much harder to keep nitrate levels down with sand. Sand is much harder to clean when doing a gravel vac and will quickly clog sink drains if sucked up.
 

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bettababy said:
It is true that the synodontis will prefer the higher pH, and as for the sand, what kind of sand is it? Aragonite sand will bring the pH up. Play sand will do funky things to your water quality all the way around. Silica sand should not affect the pH, but is not usually the best choice of substrate in an aquarium. Plants have a difficult time taking root in the sand, and it's much harder to keep nitrate levels down with sand. Sand is much harder to clean when doing a gravel vac and will quickly clog sink drains if sucked up.
And there you have it in a nutshell. :D One thing there I'd like to add, Sand can be murder on your Impeller Assembly.

Thanks Dawn.
 

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sounds like "Bloat"

Bloat is from feeding them too much, switching foods, improper diet, water quality. Read up on it. you can medicate with metronidolzole.
 
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