Water Issues

Questions on pH, acidity and alkalinity & hardness,(GH/KH) as well as water testing, additives, chemical filtration and general water quality.
carolthackray
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:30 am

Water Issues

Postby carolthackray » Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:28 am

Hi

Although i am new to Practical Fisskeeping, i have kept fish on and off for decades. In this time i have never encountered a problem like the one i am experiencing now! i have an aquaone ecostyle 61, 70 litre tank which has been running since January 4th 2017

Once it cycled it was fine but for the last 6 weeks I have had reoccurring problems with water

It goes a bit like this:

PH drops to 6
Nitrite=0
Nitrate= less than 20
Ammonia usually 0 has been constant level of 0.25

i have done regular weekly water changes, adding tap safe/ stress coat
Still ammonia lremains at 0.25
so i tried this:

Add ammo lock
Ammonia gone
PH drops to less than 6
Day after cloudy water which lasts for several days, which I can only think is a bacterial bloom
Fish gasping at surface

Ammonia returns after 2 days
Regular water change and it begins all over again! woke up yesterday morning to find 4 dead fish

Current stock:
2 angel fish
1 Khuli Loach
6 Neon Tetras
1 small platy

Tank is also heavily planted, substrate is sand which is cleaned regularly

At one point I had 2 filters running, after 2 weeks of dual filters it now runs on a fluval U2 which is maintained according to instructions

I have now changed the setting on the filter to enable more oxygen/ bubbles. My remaining fish seem to be surviving, they are a bit more active than of late and are eating well, although it has been sparing amounts

I even tried the old fashioned way and did nothing except water changes, no chemicals etc, made no difference and I have also added live bacteria too to help the filter

i checked the levels again this morning, PH still 6, Nitrite is nothing but amonia has gone up to 0.5 Water has cleared slightly but still has a slight milky tinge

Please advise as I am seriously thinking of throwing in the towel as i imagien the rest of my stock will probably go the same way!

User avatar
Sjaak
Posts: 583
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2016 4:14 pm
Location: East Lancashire

Re: Water Issues

Postby Sjaak » Sat Apr 29, 2017 2:54 pm

Hi Carol.
Deep breath.....
You don't have a problem!
Check your local water company's web site and find the bit where you can enter your post code to find out your water parameters, then check the results.
You probably have very soft (or soft water) with a very low clarke reading, I have very soft water and it ends up at pH5.65 which is perfect for Cardinals, Rams, Apistos, but terrible for guppies and mollies.
Ammonia test kits measure the Ammonium and Ammonia combined. The Nutrafin NH3/NH4 that I am looking at right now measures the Ammonium , Ammonia is calculated using a table that comes with the test kit.
More good news; with water at pH6 you can not have any Ammonia in the water as the very slight acidity converts all the Ammonia to Ammonium almost instantly. You have zero Ammonia, just an insignificant very low 0.25ppm Ammonium.
Stop adding Ammonia to tank, you don't need it or Ammo Lock. Yes, adding Ammonia is causing a bacterial bloom in the water.
Good luck.
Sjaak.

daz4321
Posts: 4543
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2008 9:35 pm

Re: Water Issues

Postby daz4321 » Sat Apr 29, 2017 5:54 pm

If it was my tank or one that I service I would do....

make sure to have plenty of surface agitation as bacterial blooms consume oxygen rather quickly.

check Kh to confirm softwater.

If confirmed I would add a handful of crushed coral or coral sand to a filter bag installed somewhere in high flow in the system (ideally in the filter)

Monitor situation as the coral will dissolve slowly and add Kh to the water to buffer it and help avoid Ph swings, slowly being the key.

It is often noticed by hobbyists that when Kh drops to 0 the biological filter appears to struggle to metabolize ammonia/ammonium. keeping the Kh above 2 helps to stop this occurring.


Also as a side note if using the API test kit for ammonia be aware that it is easy to get a false 0.25 reading just from looking under a different light than normal, some people never even see 0 with this kit due to colour recognition of their own eyes.

Dogsnogger
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:16 am

Re: Water Issues

Postby Dogsnogger » Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:25 am

Thanks sjaak
I had trouble logging in so had to re register with a new user name! Looking back at all the fish loss, they have been mostly mollies and guppies. The tank is clearing now and the water agitation has helped. I checked source water and ph is low. Fish seem to be recovering, more active and feeding well. I feel relieved as I thought it was me doing something wrong and was ready to give up. I will check the softness of the water, I have also always had crushed coral in the tank too

daz4321
Posts: 4543
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2008 9:35 pm

Re: Water Issues

Postby daz4321 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:03 pm

maybe you need more or placed in a higher flow area, start small and add more slowly. You just need enough to raise the Kh and hold it not to send it sky high

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Sjaak
Posts: 583
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2016 4:14 pm
Location: East Lancashire

Re: Water Issues

Postby Sjaak » Sun Apr 30, 2017 2:51 pm

Dogsnogger wrote:Thanks sjaak
I had trouble logging in so had to re register with a new user name! Looking back at all the fish loss, they have been mostly mollies and guppies. The tank is clearing now and the water agitation has helped. I checked source water and ph is low. Fish seem to be recovering, more active and feeding well. I feel relieved as I thought it was me doing something wrong and was ready to give up. I will check the softness of the water, I have also always had crushed coral in the tank too


Buy another tank, fill it with your perfect very soft and keep Cardinals, lol.

Dogsnogger
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:16 am

Re: Water Issues

Postby Dogsnogger » Sun May 21, 2017 4:40 pm

So an update on my water problems. I resolved the issue of little or no ph by swapping the sand substrate with good old fashioned gravel, stable ph of 7.2 for a full week. However now have amonia and nitrite spike as filter was redundant due to low ph. Put in live bacteria and went into a full on bacterial bloom which has now progressed to a hardcore algea bloom, can't see my fish!!!
Will I ever have clear water again? It's really getting upsetting now m however fish seem fine.
Any suggestions would be more than welcome x


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