I need help with my test results

DEL 707

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Could use some help.

I lost my tank a few months back. Small tank with just some tetra's and shrimp.



1 day I notice the water is suddenly cloudy so I do a massive water change, situation didn't improve so I ended up doing more water changes over the following days. At 1 point I ended up doing a water change at 4 in the morning because I noticed how bad things looked when I got up for a glass of water. Fish were gasping and shrimp were trying to escape.
The next day I threw the towel in, saved all the fish/shrimp I could and gave them to the local fish shop. Then I scraped the tank. It's still sitting empty.
This all happened around the beginning of March.

This all coincided with me changing my RO water supplier, my usual place shut down and so I had to go elsewhere.
Wanting to get to the bottom of things I ordered a water test kit from ATI labs.
I filled up the water vials and was about to post them off to the labs when the pandemic started, I couldn't get to the post office and just plan forgot about it.

Anyway, I finally posted off the water samples and got my results back.

The ask to send tank water and RO water, but both of my vials contain just RO water. So there's 2 sets of tests, but both should be the same.

Can anyone look through these results and see if there's anything wrong with the water?

Test 1 "Tank Water"





Test 2 "RO Water"



 

Nick72

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Interesting to see so much variance between the two tests of the same water.

That said your RO samples seem fine.

Clearly plants and shrimp couldn't survive in this water, you would need to remineralise and fertilise to create a healthy environment, and even then you would need to ensure you still have a cycle.
 

DEL 707

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It's been awhile, but I think I was using Salty Shrimp GH/KH+ on the RO water.

The tank had been running for 5 months when the problem happened.
 

DEL 707

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To be honest, I really can't remember.
I know I still have a bottle of Prime...I *think* I used it.
 

Nick72

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To be honest, I really can't remember.
I know I still have a bottle of Prime...I *think* I used it.

I don't use RO so don't know if the process is supposed to remove Chloride, but in the top test results there was plenty of it.

I would advise using Prime as directed on the bottle with every water change. That's what I do.

Do you also test for Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate?

The cloudy water you described could easily be an ammonia spike.

Between chloride and ammonia nothing would survive.
 

DEL 707

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Well the tanks empty. But I had a basic test kit for Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrate.

To be honest, I'm just trying to do some detective work.
I was such a gut punch when everything started dying. Having to just save what I could and quit.

That ships sailed now and it's really put me off keeping fish in the future, but I would like to know what went wrong.
 

Wookii

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I don't use RO so don't know if the process is supposed to remove Chloride, but in the top test results there was plenty of it.

I would advise using Prime as directed on the bottle with every water change. That's what I do.

Do you also test for Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate?

The cloudy water you described could easily be an ammonia spike.

Between chloride and ammonia nothing would survive.

Chloride is an inert salt, and harmless to tank inhabitants, unless it is in very high concentrations - it is a large component of the Salty Shrimp remineraliser which uses Calcium Chloride instead of Calcium Sulphate due to the formers much higher solubility.

I suspect you are thinking of ‘Chlorine’ which is a completely different substance and added to the water supply by water companies as a disinfecting agent.

Chlorine is very effectively removed by water conditioning products such as Seachem’s Prime, chloride would be unaffected.

An RO membrane will remove chloride, but won’t remove chlorine, and in fact chlorine can damage an RO membrane if not removed prior to the RO stage. Typically an RO filter unit will therefore have carbon block pre-filters ahead of the RO membrane designed to absorb most of the chlorine.

Going back to the OP’s issue - cloudy water is typically associated with a bacterial bloom, which could be triggered by a number of factors, one of which could be a break in the tanks biological cycle, and a resulting ammonia spike. Even outside of this, bacterial blooms can also cause a significant reduction in dissolved oxygen as the bacteria consumes it, particularly if DO levels weren’t overly high to start with. Either of these factors could have caused the noted fish and shrimp behaviour.
 

Nick72

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Chloride is an inert salt, and harmless to tank inhabitants, unless it is in very high concentrations - it is a large component of the Salty Shrimp remineraliser which uses Calcium Chloride instead of Calcium Sulphate due to the formers much higher solubility.

I suspect you are thinking of ‘Chlorine’ which is a completely different substance and added to the water supply by water companies as a disinfecting agent.

Chlorine is very effectively removed by water conditioning products such as Seachem’s Prime, chloride would be unaffected.

An RO membrane will remove chloride, but won’t remove chlorine, and in fact chlorine can damage an RO membrane if not removed prior to the RO stage. Typically an RO filter unit will therefore have carbon block pre-filters ahead of the RO membrane designed to absorb most of the chlorine.

Going back to the OP’s issue - cloudy water is typically associated with a bacterial bloom, which could be triggered by a number of factors, one of which could be a break in the tanks biological cycle, and a resulting ammonia spike. Even outside of this, bacterial blooms can also cause a significant reduction in dissolved oxygen as the bacteria consumes it, particularly if DO levels weren’t overly high to start with. Either of these factors could have caused the noted fish and shrimp behaviour.

My bad - was thinking chlorine.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
The ask to send tank water and RO water, but both of my vials contain just RO water. So there's 2 sets of tests, but both should be the same.
They are actually more similar than they look, mg/L is "parts per million" (1 x10^6) and μ/L is "parts per billion" (1 x 10^9). You only need a <"very small amount of contaminant"> to record the levels they found, that is partially why I don't like working with <"small weights or volumes">.

I work with an Environmental Chemist and she is incredibly meticulous with the glassware, reagents and equipment, and she gets consistent results.

cheers Darrel
 

X3NiTH

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As Darrel says above the differences between the two samples is down to residual contamination.

I don’t know how you drew the sample and whether you filled the Tank vial first and then the RO vial or vice versa but what you can see is that there is quite a significant amount of Sodium Chloride in the Tank sample test. From the test you can see that it’s to test a Seawater sample and to expect for the ‘Ideal’ amounts of 35PSU units and 7.5dKH. I would suggest that for the Tank sample the machine doing the sampling performed a calibration test beforehand and the residual in the draw tube did not go through a flushing procedure or was incomplete (or not needed because test expects a seawater sample). You can ignore this result.

I would say the Copper, Zinc, Tin and Lead is quite high, not high enough to be problematic but may need to be taken into consideration when adding fertiliser for plants considering invert safety. I wonder if there is Soldered Copper plumbing after the RO unit as part of the delivery network or that the pipe work beforehand is in bad shape.

:)
 

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