1 Year On and Many Fish Deaths

PARAGUAY

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Siamese Algae Eaters would be a better choice than Flying Fox which get aggressive and can stress tank mates out Of course when you sort this out
 
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The health or disease of the fishes are not likely the result of excessive CO2. Much more likely, there are problems with the water quality that indirectly led to the health/disease problem. Over-fertilization of heavy metals can be one possible reason. Poisons/toxins in the water are another reason. Disease is another.
 

sparkyweasel

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Is that a Climbing Perch I can see in the pic? That's another fish that can get aggressive and injure or harrass other fish.
 

Conort2

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Is that a Climbing Perch I can see in the pic? That's another fish that can get aggressive and injure or harrass other fish.
Looks like a leopard ctenopoma which should be fine with fish that size.

I’d recommend upping your water changes to start off. At least 50percent twice a week. It looks to be a water quality issue and the tetras are certainly more sensitive than your over fish which is why only they may have been affected.

cheers

Conor
 
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Thanks guys. I'll post all the test results later today.

Apologies, there was an error in my previous post. I have 5 algae eaters, not flying foxes! I always get those two muddled and they look so similar. I've never noticed any fish attacking any others.

I'm also going to clear out some of the plants. The melon sword fires out shoots which then sprout lots of additional plants. I kept them attached and they drift on the surface as I thought it looked pretty (dark clump to the left on previous photo), but they tend to limit circulation and trap plant detritus. Does anyone want and melon swords on here FOC? It would be a shame to throw them away. I haven't posted plants before, but I'm sure I could figure it out but may need shipping covered if it's more than a few quid. You'd obviously have to quarantine the plants given the issues I've been having!

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Ammonia 0mg/L
Nitrite <0.1mg/L
Nitrate <5mg/L
Phosphate 1mg/L
PH 6.6
GH 100 mg/L
KH 20 mg/L
550b794963e50bcb4d41c3d7a89c1a5e.jpg
374f7fb6a15898df0857b645df082066.jpg
3929ffb7d86fe43f63b3d50cea3ffb50.jpg
9fa089a872a6d7972fcbe1dd99285c0f.jpg
a7cb51a38d0b2f1b296ddfa923c3d70b.jpg


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jaypeecee

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Hi @Creature Seeker

Nice set of test results and the photos are really helpful (and very clear). There is just one parameter that may need attention and that is KH (20mg/l). This approximates to 1dKH. I always ensure that KH never falls below 4dKH. A good range, in my opinion, is 4 - 6dKH. As you're injecting CO2, there is a possibility that there has been what is sometimes known as a 'pH crash'. When this happens, the tank water pH can temporarily drop to very low levels. So, although your measurement clearly shows a pH of 6.6, it could have dropped to a much lower figure whilst CO2 was being injected. How this may have affected your specific fish I don't know but it is possibly worthy of further investigation.

In order to increase KH should you decide to do so, I have used sodium bicarbonate or potassium bicarbonate for this purpose. Please take a look at:

http://theaquariumwiki.com/wiki/KH

JPC
 
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Thanks @jaypeecee .

This morning I've tested both my tap water and my tank following 50% water change (and CO2 off overnight).

Tap water:
PH 8
GH 140 mg/L
KH 80 mg/L

Tank following 50% W/C
PH 7
GH 100 mg/L
KH 40 mg/L


Looks as though the water change is helping the KH. Will do another midweek w/c and test again.

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jaypeecee

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Hi @Creature Seeker

OK, things are moving in the right direction but it's going to take a few water changes before the tank water KH reaches a figure that I would consider a safe value. In order to reduce the likelihood of a pH crash, your best bet may be to keep CO2 off for a while or reduce injection rate. Dimming your tank lighting should help as it will reduce the rate of CO2 usage by your plants.

Please be aware that a pH crash can kill off the beneficial bacteria in your filter. Nitrifying bacteria reproduction reduces at around pH 6 and they die if the pH gets as low as 5.5. But, this may not be a problem for you as your tank is obviously planted. Consequently, your plants will consume the ammonia excreted by your fish.

Please keep us updated.

JPC
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Please be aware that a pH crash can kill off the beneficial bacteria in your filter. Nitrifying bacteria reproduction reduces at around pH 6 and they die if the pH gets as low as 5.5.
I think microbial nitrification will be reduced at lower pH, but it definitely won't stop.

In terms of what we know about nitrification the past is <"definitely a different country">. There are a <"much larger range of organisms"> involved in nitrification than was initially thought and <"many of them are Archaea">, which aren't restricted to <"alkaline, carbonate rich, habitats">.

cheers Darrel
 

aquascape1987

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I would skip the testing, frequent 50%+ WC short term the 50% weekly, remove the waste and reset tank weekly :thumbup:
Sure M8

Little if nothing to be gain.

1. Test kit unreliable and prone to user error and poor interpretation, esp when we not doing them on a regular basis
2. Cost.
3. Will the result change the treatment? subject to point 1. & 2.
4. Do you have the right test kit handy, if not with lockdown it will be a few days
5. When have a basic history and a Biweekly 35% WC in high tech tank is the obvious main culprit ATM (accumulation of salts and toxics etc)

So IMO Testing is waste of time in this case as it wont change anything esp shot term. Treat the obvious

I’m sorry Zeus but I too, don’t agree with this at all. I don’t think being dismissive of the potential value of the information a water test may yield is helpful here. I also feel that just resolving the issue with water changes, without even bothering to try and identify what the cause of the issue is, guarantees no long term experience value for the OP either. After all our past experience is what improves our future knowledge, and benefits us greatly because we learn from our mistakes. But only if we correctly identify what the mistake was.I have read a lot of your posts, and have found them to be very useful, knowledgeable and informative. I have a lot of respect for you, but I don’t believe that there is nothing at all to be gained by testing...

People always say that liquid test kits are unreliable and not useful yada yada yada,and are prone to user error. My thoughts and experience on this are:

1) They may be unreliable when it comes to trying to match up the colour and determine PPM ,but in reality, determining the PPM accurately of ammonia or nitrite in a year old and cycled tank is irrelevant, as any detectable level, positively indicates a problem.The test has therefore done its job and has been useful.The tester can then investigate further in the direction of ‘what could be causing this ammonia and nitrite in my already cycled tank?’ , leading to a higher probability of solving the problem. The OP doesn’t know what’s causing the problem, and has more than likely drawn an erroneous conclusion that it is related to his CO2 input.
2) User error is unlikely if the tester follows the simple step by step instructions on the box, which for most people is not a difficult task. I always repeat the test twice or even three times, to ensure that there is no error.

I too do not test at all really, unless I encounter a problem these days. My tank is long since cycled, and it’s inhabitants survive and thrive in there long term, so I have no need to. I did however find a test VERY useful only last week. Had 4 shrimp die over a 2 day period. I also initially, and erroneously suspected that my CO2 had caused the deaths, as I had recently increased the injection rate.A day later, I found an ancient tube of those crappy tetra test strips in the bottom of my maintenance box, which had probably been lost in there for years. So just for the sake of it, I dipped one and it indicated high nitrite and ammonia.I was puzzled, and thought that the test was probably a duff, so I dipped another.. Same result.I then got my liquid tests out, which indicated the same. Very high ammonia and nitrite levels. The colours of the tests were as dark as they possibly could have been, so now I’m really puzzled. After immediately getting out as many of my critters as I could, and putting them into my hospital tank full of fresh water, I sat down and had a think about it for about 10 minutes. I then remembered I had added 8 new snails a week earlier, which were now hidden amongst my scape. I tracked all the snails down and found 5 out of the 8 were dead and rotting. They absolutely stunk :(:meh: After removing them, and doing 3 x 90 percent water changes on the bounce, the test kits now showed and continue to show zero nitrite and ammonia. So you can see here how the test kits proved useful in correctly identifying a serous water quality issue, and also did so without me needing to discern accurately how many PPM my issue was, as it still pushed me down a train of thought that led me find out rather quickly and resolve exactly was killing my tanks inhabitants.
 
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Zeus.

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I’m sorry Zeus but I too, don’t agree with this at all. I don’t think being dismissive of the potential value of the information a water test may yield is helpful here

No need to apologise I'm all in favour of peer review :D

User error is unlikely if the tester follows the simple step by step instructions on the box, which for most people is not a difficult task. I always repeat the test twice or even three times, to ensure that there is no error.

Some times its not user error but a limitation of the test kit itself, as @foxfish puts it in quote below

The accuracy of home test kits is a much discussed subject on this forum, not so much of late but certainly two or three years ago, test kits were possibly the most debated theme outside of lighting and C02!
To be honest I never really absorbed the scientific reasons given but accepted the facts due to the facts being offered, were backed by very confident and experienced people.
As I remember it, most hobby kits are capable of measuring within reasonable limits but are often influenced by other chemicals that might be present in a aquarium.
Or in other words (maybe?) if you had a bucket of pure RO water and added a single element then that element might be detected quite accurately by the test kit but if you then added several other chemicals then the test results might well be effected and become inaccurate?
I am really not sure if that is a good analogy, maybe someone with a better grasp can explain it better.

The test kit you used that help you diagnose a very high ammonia level payed off :thumbup: excellent and it help you find the problem and sort it out completely which is a great result OFC. :clap: But the ammonia was very high so it would off been a distinctive result as well

However if you had of just done a 50% WC it would of reduced the ammonia by 50% which would of helped but not solved the issue, but your filters bacteria would of already been responding to the excess ammonia and would of continued to increased the speed of which it could handle the high ammonia till it was resolved and IMO it probably would of handled the extra load and the snails would of rotted away to nothing given time and then the bacteria in your filter would return back to normal levels. You may off lost some more livestock, you also may not off. Your test with the test kit you had handy help diagnose the problem and got you searching for the issue........

I also feel that just resolving the issue with water changes, without even bothering to try and identify what the cause of the issue is, guarantees no long term experience value for the OP either.

With all respect we wasn't resolving the issue with WC, we was just stating the SOP 'Standard Operating Procedure' for 'EI' Dosing a high tech tech, dose ferts in excess and 50% water changes and no test kits, the OP was doing 35% biweekly. Plus the OP has said that the WC has potentially fixed a problem which the test kit has spotted, if he had been doing the WC as in the SOP the issue may have never happen ! thats if it the kH causing the problem OFC

I have absolutely no idea what my kH is as my tap water is very hard and I just accept it as it is, esp after seeing what T Barr has produced over the years I just copy his SOP and no test kits ;) (I do have an API test kit I have play with sometimes :oops:)
 

jaypeecee

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Hi @Creature Seeker

Now that KH is around the 3dKH mark, this should afford some protection against a pH crash. Following your current regime of water changes, you seem to have got that under control. I did previously suggest the following:
In order to reduce the likelihood of a pH crash, your best bet may be to keep CO2 off for a while or reduce injection rate. Dimming your tank lighting should help as it will reduce the rate of CO2 usage by your plants.

Did you try either of these? BTW, how far into the period of lights ON (aka photoperiod) did you make your KH and pH measurements? If possible, try to do these measurements at the end of the photoperiod. That way, we should see the minimum pH that your tank is experiencing.
So, although your measurement clearly shows a pH of 6.6, it could have dropped to a much lower figure whilst CO2 was being injected. How this may have affected your specific fish I don't know but it is possibly worthy of further investigation.

Have you been able to find more information about your specific fish species that would help us solve the problem that you are having?

JPC
 
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Thanks for your comments @jaypeecee.

I turned the CO2 back off and dimmed the lights as soon as you'd said, and it's still off at the moment. My lighting fades in from 12-2pm, and fades out from 9-11pm. I took the latest reading around 2pm so I'll take another Round 10pm tonight.

I will look into the needs of the fish that died in more detail. I didn't think Congo's were particularly sensitive, but have since read that they can be.

What KH should I be aiming for in mg/l?

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jaypeecee

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Thanks for your comments @jaypeecee.

I turned the CO2 back off and dimmed the lights as soon as you'd said, and it's still off at the moment. My lighting fades in from 12-2pm, and fades out from 9-11pm. I took the latest reading around 2pm so I'll take another Round 10pm tonight.

I will look into the needs of the fish that died in more detail. I didn't think Congo's were particularly sensitive, but have since read that they can be.

What KH should I be aiming for in mg/l?

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Hi @Creature Seeker

Thanks for the feedback.

Are your plants still OK now that CO2 has been temporarily switched off and lighting dimmed?

4dKH = 72 mg/l (give or take a gnat's whisker) and that's what I suggested as a minimum figure.

JPC
 
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Plants are okay, but they'd been suffering anyway as I'd turned the CO2 off for a few weeks when I'd had the last straw with fish deaths. Some lily leaves have some algae and some of the spindly plants are a bit black at the bottom.

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