Need much needed advice on water parameters - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-22-2007, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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Need much needed advice on water parameters

Hi all

I regularly read posts and view photos at this forum,however have never posted. Please forgive the length of this post, butI really need some advice, I have kept a 55 gallon planted tank going for 3 years now. I have never had any major problems with it interms of fish dying or anything like that. Only some algae blooms initially but the tank stabilized over time. I used to do direct tap water changes to the tank evry two weeks and added conditioner directly. Now all my problems of late have started after I bought a 90 gallon planted tank from someone who had discus for sale also. So always having the dream of owning a discus planted tank ,I got the tank and set it up and everything seemed fine for a while, but a couple of times after water changes, the fish have gasped for breath the next day or a couple of days after, so took the water to LFS as well as checked it myself. The reasons I thought at the time was low O2 or chlorine toxicity. The 90 gallon has slow growing plants like anubias and swords. I increased the aeration by adding a couple of more air pumps. The second time it happened I lost three of my discus and all my shrimp! then I thought OK, ph of tap water was high 7.8 compared to my tank 7.0. So i kept water in a spare 30 gallon tank with a heater and the dechlorinating solution in it for a whole week, checked pH, ammonia, nitrites and then changed the water (partial water change ) in my 90 gallon. Everything was fine for the first day,second and I thought Ok problem solved but on the 4th day after the water change,again fish gasping ,most of my shrimp dead! Checked the water, ph was 6.5 and water had nitrites 5-6 ppm! Now am at my wits end, I have no clue what to do!Oh and the 90 gallon has been battling really bad hair algae for a while (its been 3 months since I got this tank). I could really use some advice from someone. i am close to giving up and getting rid of everything! I really don't want to harm my beautiful discus! I would rather they lived healthy in someone else's tank!

PS sorry for the long post
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-22-2007, 03:33 PM
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I suspect that maybe this tank is going through a cycle process. If you bought the tank with livestock, moved it, then set it up again you may have disrupted the bacteria colonies or stirred up some mulm that is causing these spikes. I can see that a few days after water change the toxins build up and cause the fish to react that way. Have you been regularly testing ammonia and nitrates?

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-22-2007, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Kara

Thanks for the reply, that's what I suspect but what causes the tank to cycle after just changing 25 gallons out of the 90, before I changed I checked the ammonia/nitrites, were 0 but nitestes were 10-15ppm so wanted to dilute it out with water at same pH and temp with dechlorinator added for a week. So bacteria should aleady be in the 90 gallon befoe I changed it?
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-23-2007, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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Just and update, after all this happened to my 90 gallon last nite, I adjusted the pH and the fish stopped coming to the surface and gasping for air, I tried removing as much hair algae as I could, after I switched the lights out at around 9 pm yesterday,the fish were doing fine, today morning at 7:30 am I switched th lights back on and fish were at the surface again gasping and all the snails were out, on the glass and plants. My bamboo shrimp was dead.So is this just low O2 because the plants produce co2. I measured the ph first thing in the morning was around 6.8, kH was 3.I have three aerators running at all times. WHats going on? I am stumped
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