Still losing fish, is it co2?

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I’ve just been reading up and apparently tannins in driftwood also lower KH. I am using a pretty large amount of bogwood in the tank. I wonder if that’s another thing adding to the adverse KH?


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I'd personally monitor and not let it drop from that 1 point. At the same time you don't want your TDS going out of control because of the reduced efficiency of water changes. You do have some solid difference between the chemistry of the tank and tap and to be honest, the coral isn't helping much bar to increase the GH. Then you've got the soil adsorbing it, the driftwood, the very soft water, things are swinging back and forth...no good for those fish.

Yes, driftwood can lower the KH further. If your tank is reading 1 now, it has surely dropped systematically over the course of the last few months without your knowledge. It is inevitable at that level unless you've kept an eye on it.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I understood that Neons like soft water anyway?
They do, they come from water that naturally has no carbonate hardness at all.
I’ve just been reading up and apparently tannins in driftwood also lower KH.
I'm pretty sure it isn't the tannins or lack of dKH. If it was low carbonate hardness it would effect the shrimps, and other fish, long before it effected the Tetras.

I don't see any issue with adding some more dKH, potassium bicarbonate (KHCO3) is cheap to buy and there isn't really a down-side to using it. If things improve that is likely to be the answer, if they don't it is something else.

Personally I'd try changing a smaller volume of water in the tanks, using the rain-water, and see what happens.

cheers Darrel
 
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If it was low carbonate hardness it would effect the shrimps,
It is interesting that you say that but one of my mishaps with a zero KH the shrimp were not affected. In fact none died or showed any stress unlike the fish. Do you have any explanation why would the shrimp be more sensitive to that scenario?
 
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My point all along is that when that KH drops to zero, the pH dives down way below fish tolerance levels. If you have a situation of significant drop in pH, it does affect fish adversely, whether in tanks or in nature. Natural water ways have buffering capacity via several means but they are not immune too.

See for example the reason for the deaths in Anglesea River:

https://www.epa.vic.gov.au/about-us...river-fish-deaths-likely-due-to-natural-event

"Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has received test results indicating that the fish death incident in the Anglesea River estuary this week was likely due to natural causes."

"The water sample test results are consistent with initial testing indicating that the incident was likely due to rainfall runoff from acid-containing soils in the upper catchment of the Anglesea River"

And some further study on the same issue:

http://www.ccmaknowledgebase.vic.go...fecting_the_ecology_of_the_Anglesea_River.pdf


"A common impact of lowered pH on fish, macroinvertebrates and seagrass are physiological changes. For instance, damage to the outer epithelial layers of skin, gills or cuticle, mucus membranes and other external respiration organs can often occur. Such damaging effects can lead to increased susceptibility to disease and infection from pathogens and subsequent weakened immunity, which may cause reduced fitness and ultimately increased risk of mortality. In addition, if algal blooms occur when biota is stressed from damaged respiratory tissues, they are at an even greater risk of mortality. Reproduction is also likely to be affected when conditions change, through either a reduction in the number of viable gametes that are produced and resultant lowered fertility, or through adverse effects on the vulnerable early life stages (such as reduced hatch rates, increased rates of deformity and lower larval survival). In addition to changes in pH, exposure to elevated heavy metal concentrations can also cause toxic effects in biota. For organisms that have exposed gills filaments such as fish and some invertebrates, they are likely to be the most sensitive to changes in pH and are most likely to be negatively affected."
 
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It is pretty strange. Even that it’s less than the tap water itself. Something is clearly lowering it.

Still like Darrel said it’s pretty much exactly what the Neons should love if it’s never over 35 due to tap water going in at that and then dropping to softer conditions the Neons would be in an ideal environment right? That’s not a huge swing in params and once a week.

I could use rain water yeah - would I need to treat it and ensure there was no disease in it?

Even when the tanks been left for over a week and would be at the most ‘stable’ the fish still seem quit dormant at times, there’s no obvious pattern. Yet in the last week pre Thursday they all behaved as expected. I can get it completely if something is always stressing them but the fact it seems to just be odd intervals, and tetras which are the most suited to soft water of all the fish in the tank.


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How would the KH drop to 0 as well? Is it worth me checking it again then in a few days without doing any W/Cs?

Annoying that you can’t use less than 1 drop on the indicator though? That’s the minimum test amount isn’t it.


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what the Neons should love if it’s never over 35 due to tap water going in at that and then dropping to softer conditions the Neons would be in an ideal environment right?
Not really. First in nature those soft waters are still buffered via other means. Second those neons were probably bred and raised in very different conditions than their wild counterparts. Similarly to trying to keep domestic and wild angels in a pH of 4 for example. The domestics will perish.
 
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Not really. First in nature those soft waters are still buffered via other means. Second those neons were probably bred and raised in very different conditions than their wild counterparts. Similarly to trying to keep domestic and wild angels in a pH of 4 for example. The domestics will perish.
Yeah fair point. It’s all in breeding isn’t it and not knowing where they came from I suppose.


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dw1305

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Hi all,
I could use rain water yeah - would I need to treat it and ensure there was no disease in it?
I've used rain-water for over 40 years without mishap, my personal opinion is that it is safer than tap water.

I have some carbonate buffering in my rain-water, because I live in a limestone area, which allows me to keep Daphnia in the water butts and I use these as a "canary".

I like a risk management approach to fish keeping, where you look at severity and likelihood as your risk factors. If I thought rain-water was a risk I wouldn't use it. This is also why I'm never going down the added CO2 route.
My point all along is that when that KH drops to zero, the pH dives down way below fish tolerance levels.
The quoted reference isn't really relevant to this situation. Because there are few solutes in @Something Fishy's water, the pH will fluctuate up and down with every small change in the acid base ratio. I use rain-water with a lower TDS in the tanks and it can easily go from pH6 to pH8 over a couple of hours after the lights have come on as the CO2:dissolved oxygen ratio changes.

It is where you have a rapid fall in pH, due to large changes in water chemistry, you get fish death etc.

You see this a lot where you have hard rock mining and an <"over-burden containing iron pyrites">. You have a double whammy of sulphuric acid production, from the oxidisation of the pyrites, and the solubilisation of iron, aluminium and heavy metals by the low pH.

You can also get this just via increased acid rainfall and/or coniferisation of a catchment. Years ago (1983 I think) I did some work at the <"Llyn Brianne project"> in Central Wales, when the water was extremely "clean", but the whole catchment was pretty much sterile due to acidification.

cheers Darrel
 
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Hi all,The quoted reference isn't really relevant to this situation. Because there are few solutes in @Something Fishy's water, the pH will fluctuate up and down with every small change in the acid base ratio. I use rain-water with a lower TDS in the tanks and it can easily go from pH6 to pH8 over a couple of hours after the lights have come on as the CO2:dissolved oxygen ratio changes.

It is where you have a rapid fall in pH, due to large changes in water chemistry, you get fish death etc.

You see this a lot where you have hard rock mining and an <"over-burden containing iron pyrites">. You have a double whammy of sulphuric acid production, from the oxidisation of the pyrites, and the solubilisation of iron, aluminium and heavy metals by the low pH.

You can also get this just via increased acid rainfall and/or coniferisation of a catchment. Years ago (1983 I think) I did some work at the <"Llyn Brianne project"> in Central Wales, when the water was extremely "clean", but the whole catchment was pretty much sterile due to acidification.

cheers Darrel
So try buffering my water more then? What if the rain water is soft too Darrel - would still need buffering surely?

Should I buy buffer or is using bicarbonate pretty much the same?

Amanos are shedding too in the water column I noticed.


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X3NiTH

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Pretty sure the Amazonia is sucking the KH out the water (and the ferts) and every time you perform a 90% water change it will eat the KH and spit out something else to replace it (the least strongly bound element first). If the coral sand is giving out KH the AS will also eat that but appears to be doing that in preference to absorbing Ca which is increasing the hardness of the water by 4 points above what tap is providing, the magnesium in the ferts will be adding to this also.

I used JBL shrimp soil in a tank that was remineralised with Salty Shrimp Bee mineral GH+ (provides zero KH) in RO/DI. Initially it buffered the tank water to pH6.5 but within the week the pH quickly dive bombed below 4, I even posted here about it, I came to the conclusion that it's not the best idea to use an active substrate with water that has next to no KH if you don't add something to buffer it out. I got past that freak out and I'm now using that same soil and I'm remineralising to KH8 GH8 and its given me zero issues with buffering.

I had amazing success running a tank with injected CO₂ and zero added KH with RO/DI remineralised with Salty Shrimp to 170ish TDS (my tap has a TDS of 35 but that will be filled with things to make it safe for consumption and protective of metal distribution pipe works, so strip it completely), the substrate I used was Fluval Shrimp and Plant Soil (an active substrate), all went swimmingly for a long while until the day I overdosed nearly a whole bottle of Micro because I forgot to turn of the dosing pump and left it running for a few hours at 1ml/minute. I did notice and performed water changes (only the tank and not the whole system), it was too late though and I wasn't to know how the substrate was going to act over the next few days, the meltdown was apocalyptic. When I tested the water the KH had gone from zero to 14, all of it had come out the substrate (probably replaced by the micro which killed the plants with feet in soil).

Active substrates are exactly that 'Active' and not passive, some will be more aggressive in action than others, if you give it something it likes to adsorb then it will do exactly that, if it is saturated and you give it something it really likes to hold onto it will spit something else out to adsorb it, in my case above it was all the KH I never added (there would have been KH in trace amounts but the substrate took it all).
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
using bicarbonate pretty much the same
Potassium bicarbonate is as suitable as the buffers companies sell, and a lot cheaper.

If you did want an off the shelf buffer then "Seachem Equilibrium" would do.

Your rain-water will be pretty near RO at the moment, in the summer the conductivity will go up a bit.

cheers Darrel
 
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Pretty sure the Amazonia is sucking the KH out the water (and the ferts) and every time you perform a 90% water change it will eat the KH and spit out something else to replace it (the least strongly bound element first). If the coral sand is giving out KH the AS will also eat that but appears to be doing that in preference to absorbing Ca which is increasing the hardness of the water by 4 points above what tap is providing, the magnesium in the ferts will be adding to this also.

I used JBL shrimp soil in a tank that was remineralised with Salty Shrimp Bee mineral GH+ (provides zero KH) in RO/DI. Initially it buffered the tank water to pH6.5 but within the week the pH quickly dive bombed below 4, I even posted here about it, I came to the conclusion that it's not the best idea to use an active substrate with water that has next to no KH if you don't add something to buffer it out. I got past that freak out and I'm now using that same soil and I'm remineralising to KH8 GH8 and its given me zero issues with buffering.

I had amazing success running a tank with injected CO₂ and zero added KH with RO/DI remineralised with Salty Shrimp to 170ish TDS (my tap has a TDS of 35 but that will be filled with things to make it safe for consumption and protective of metal distribution pipe works, so strip it completely), the substrate I used was Fluval Shrimp and Plant Soil (an active substrate), all went swimmingly for a long while until the day I overdosed nearly a whole bottle of Micro because I forgot to turn of the dosing pump and left it running for a few hours at 1ml/minute. I did notice and performed water changes (only the tank and not the whole system), it was too late though and I wasn't to know how the substrate was going to act over the next few days, the meltdown was apocalyptic. When I tested the water the KH had gone from zero to 14, all of it had come out the substrate (probably replaced by the micro which killed the plants with feet in soil).

Active substrates are exactly that 'Active' and not passive, some will be more aggressive in action than others, if you give it something it likes to adsorb then it will do exactly that, if it is saturated and you give it something it really likes to hold onto it will spit something else out to adsorb it, in my case above it was all the KH I never added (there would have been KH in trace amounts but the substrate took it all).
This does make a hell of a lot of sense and thanks for sharing dude.

You guys have all been ace in chipping in with this thread so I thank you all profusely and hope it can help others too.

I’ll check KH in a few days again and repost here but it sounds like I need to start buffering my water going in. Amazonia I’ve read similar things about and grouped with my large changes, bogwood quantity and high nitrification I can see how the KH could be so bad.

I am still at a loss with how random things are and drop offs etc just occur, but such is the mysteries of fish keeping sometimes. If the KH is at least ruled out then we can move on to other things!

I guess the nano tank has more soil to water ratio too and it’s smaller and pretty damn well grown in too, so that would help?

Is Salty Shrimp worthy the money mate?


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Hi all,Potassium bicarbonate is as suitable as the buffers companies sell, and a lot cheaper.

If you did want an off the shelf buffer then "Seachem Equilibrium" would do.

Your rain-water will be pretty near RO at the moment, in the summer the conductivity will go up a bit.

cheers Darrel
Great cheers.

I guess my tap water is also pretty near RO in terms of the GH and KH values - them also being so low too?

What you’re saying is both would need buffering but rain water could be more stable?


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dw1305

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Hi all,
What you’re saying is both would need buffering but rain water could be more stable?
Not more stable, but much less likely to contain chemicals like chloramine etc.
I would be buffering with Potassium Bicarbonate at least to 1g/25L giving you a KH of 1.12 and 15ppm of Potassium, it will give the substrate something to chew on until it saturates.
Sounds good advice. A kilo of KHCO3 is about £6.50 <"via Ebay">, so it is a pretty cheap option.

All ions are the same in solution it doesn't matter what compound they came from (or how much it cost), every HCO3- is the same as every other HCO3- ion, every K+ ion is the same as every other K+ ion etc.

cheers Darrel
 

X3NiTH

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Is Salty Shrimp worth the money mate?
No, not in comparison to bags of food grade Magnesium Chloride and Calcium Chloride. Salty Shrimp is more convenient but not as exacting as weighing out the elements separately as its all mixed together in the tub so at some point the ratios of Ca:Mg may swing about as the mixture separates itself out in the tub, not something to worry about as its targeted for shrimp keeping which is more about having hardness with no KH in the water than the exact ratios of Ca:Mg for plants.

Straight after the disaster I had I started using Seachems Alkili for KH at water change alongside Salty Shrimp, the Alkli got swapped out eventually to Potassium Bicarbonate. My GH and KH is now mainly sourced from carbonates of Magnesium and Calcium but I do still add Potassium Bicarbonate, (I can make my water however I like to and right now I'm choosing to run at GH8 KH8 with a TDS of 120 and have a weeks dose of Macro in that TDS figure also).

:)
 

sparkyweasel

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Annoying that you can’t use less than 1 drop on the indicator though? That’s the minimum test amount isn’t it.


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Is this a test kit where you count the drops of dye added to a sample until the colour changes?
What you can do, is put the one drop into twice as much water, equivalent to half a drop in the normal sample. Even four times the water for the equivalent of a quarter drop. Depending on the test kit, it may gey difficult to see the colour change, as the dye is more diluted. Although, if your KH is under 1⁰, I don't think you need to get any more precise than that.
 
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