low oxygen, how to increase - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-07-2014, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
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low oxygen, how to increase

Hi again! Trying to narrow down my fish loss issues (no visible signs of disease); SR80g, eco-xotic, Excel, eco-complete, mod planted, 5 corys, 7 rummynose, 3 furcata rainbow, 3 harlequin raspbora. KH4, pH7.4 (rises in pm), no ammonia, nitrites, about 10 nitrates (cycled about 6 weeks). I suspected high pH in evening, up to 8.4 and/or low oxygen.
Just tested oxygen and it was 8ppm in am and down to 6ish (hard to read) at night. I added 2 airstones on a timer and a 80gph pump near bottom. This tank has an overflow filter with lots of surface movement, but nothing moving on the bottom so I was trying to get better movement near bottom. I notice furcatas and harlequin hover nearer surface at night, but not cory or rummynose.
Sorry for all the info, my question is how can I increase oxygen levels? Add more airstones, a filter to pull from bottom, or ??? Thank you for any insight
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-07-2014, 01:57 PM
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Hello All...

A filter with a gallon per hour (gph) rating of 4 times the volume of the tank in gallons is all you need to aerate the tank water. Too much oxygen mixed with the tank water will remove carbon dioxide the plants need.

Large, frequent water changes is what keeps a tank healthy. Small tanks need a couple of water changes a week. Medium tanks 50 percent changed weekly. Larger tanks should get 50 percent changes weekly, but can safely go two weeks between large water changes.

Add some floating plants like Hornwort and Anacharis to maintain steady water properties between water changes.

pH, hardness and those chemistry issues aren't import to most aquarium fish. Don't fret over the chemical makeup of the tap water, just change it out regularly.

Keep the tank water free of dissolved wastes through regular water replacement and the fish will take care of themselves.

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"Fear not my child, just change the tank water."
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-07-2014, 02:05 PM
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The ph swing is pretty big I'd def be worried about that it has to be stressing the fish out for sure I'd really try to get that under control before moving forward
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-07-2014, 02:13 PM
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Disclaimer: I'm no expert on overflow systems, but I can see a layering problem here.

Regardless of oxygen levels, you need to do something to get the water from the bottom of the tank to the top.

If your overflow return just returns to the top, you're going to end up re-filtering the top layer of water over and over. The bottom layer will end up with low oxygen, but also without any filtration... that's bad news for water quality in general.

Add a power head or something to bring the water from the bottom up to where it can spill out into the overflow and get filtered/oxygenated.

Your overflow itself should be oxygenating the water plenty, but if nothing is mixing the water top-to-bottom this doesn't work out.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-07-2014, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, I wondered about that layering issue. I have a 40-80gph pond pump I scavenged from my pond supplies running now full time, but maybe I should add another at the other end of the tank. All the powerheads I have found seem to have a very high gph rating, 300 and up. Is this too much for a planter tank? Do you have a favorite?
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-07-2014, 07:39 PM
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Are you sure you are looking at powerheads not circulation pumps?

Circulation pumps are basically under-water fans and usually have really massive flows, powerheads are designed to have a draw-tube under them and are a bit more modest.

It should be very easy to get a 150-ish GPH powerhead.

Some examples of smallish powerheads (note: I haven't used any of these... just some examples):

Marineland ML90509 - 500GPH in circulation pump configuration, 110 as a power head.

Aquaclear powerhead 30 - 175GPH
Aquaclear powerhead 20 - 127 GPH
Aquaclear powerhead 10 - 80 GPH

Aquatop PH-8 - 158 GPH
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-07-2014, 08:28 PM
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Tell us about the GPH your sump pump is doing and where the returns and skimmer are located.

A sumped tank should have lots of oxygen even if you have a super quiet Herbie or BeanAnimal overflow system. My peninsula type overflow has the returns and intake at the same end of the tank and when corys disturb debris at the bottom I can see the particles move quickly towards the skimmer. The floating plants at the far end of the tank on top are swirling and the plants in the gravel below the floaters have swaying leaves. I was quite surprised that this would work but it does.

A planted tank can have lots of flow. I have about 5x GPH for my tank and up to 10x is just fine. If you add in the little pump you found point it so it is complementing the current water circulation rather than opposing it. You can check the route water takes by soaking some flake fish food until it sinks and watch its path through the tank. Possibly place your pump at the far end of the tank near the bottom.

How many fish are in the tank? How long have they been in the tank? What is your water change plan? Does the tank have a good ripple on the water surface? Is the water surface clean?

This article writes that 6 ppm is just fine for a stream. If your test is accurate for the entire tank volume then you do have plenty of O2 for the fish and something else is killing them. http://www.georgiaaquarium.org/media...enceOxygen.pdf If you rinse the test tube, cover the top of the empty tube, fill with water from the bottom of the tank and cover before bringing it out of the tank you can test water from any area of the tank.


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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-07-2014, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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Hi, the Innovative Marine SR80 tanks has two 476gph pumps in a rear overflow area; 2 overflows (one at each end) and 4 outputs at surface of tank which can be rotated. There is good water movement at the surface. http://www.innovative-marine.com/nuv...um/sr-80.html#
I only have 5 corys, 3 harlequin, 3 furcata, 7 rummynose; started adding slowly over a period of weeks after tank cycled starting Oct 10. I water change about 10g per week, surface is clean, substrate is clean.
Good idea to test water at bottom! Will try that.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-08-2014, 10:00 AM
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Could anything in the tank or that touches the water be leaching a toxin?
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-08-2014, 11:44 AM
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pH should go down at night, as more CO2 is produced biologically. The O2 levels are saturated at either 6 or 8, so that shouldn't be the issue either. I would suggest pH is the issue here. I would increase the alkalinity.


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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-08-2014, 06:54 PM
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What about dechlor for water changes? I forgot to use any once and had miserable fish until I put it in.

Most water companies in the US use chloramine to purify water and one needs a product that will take care of chloramine as well as chlorine. And best of all, the water company can change how much is used at various times of the year so all of a sudden you could have fish dying because the company switched the way the water is treated!


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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-08-2014, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lee739 View Post
Could anything in the tank or that touches the water be leaching a toxin?
Don' think so, but I will think harder on this. I am also careful to wash my hands, no soap, clean paper towells, etc. before handling food or in tank.

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What about dechlor for water changes? I forgot to use any once and had miserable fish until I put it in.

Most water companies in the US use chloramine to purify water and one needs a product that will take care of chloramine as well as chlorine. And best of all, the water company can change how much is used at various times of the year so all of a sudden you could have fish dying because the company switched the way the water is treated!
I have a filter that removes chlorine and chloramine, but I still use Prime every time.

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Originally Posted by Okedokey View Post
pH should go down at night, as more CO2 is produced biologically. The O2 levels are saturated at either 6 or 8, so that shouldn't be the issue either. I would suggest pH is the issue here. I would increase the alkalinity.
So would it work to use some RO water mixed into my filtered water with SeaChem acid buffer? Won't this also raise GH? Ideally, I would like to lower pH and GH and raise KH; is that possible?
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-08-2014, 08:46 PM
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I had deaths galore after setting up our tank - without high ammonia/nitrite. First die off was 100% - 4/4 fish, just went quiet, wouldn't eat, then died rapidly. Water changes weren't helping, and the remaining 4 fish were getting sadder by the day. And these were tiger barbs, indestructible barbs, not discus.....

I started thinking toxins, and thought of everything that went near the water. Did some reading about garden hoses, especially anti-kink ones, apparently they have a specially treated rubber lining, and the health advice is to not drink the water from the hose.....
I changed over to a new, plain, drinking water hose, added some carbon to the filter, did some new water changes - within 3 hours everyone was eating and vigorous , and not a death since....
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-08-2014, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lee739 View Post
I had deaths galore after setting up our tank - without high ammonia/nitrite. First die off was 100% - 4/4 fish, just went quiet, wouldn't eat, then died rapidly. Water changes weren't helping, and the remaining 4 fish were getting sadder by the day. And these were tiger barbs, indestructible barbs, not discus.....

I started thinking toxins, and thought of everything that went near the water. Did some reading about garden hoses, especially anti-kink ones, apparently they have a specially treated rubber lining, and the health advice is to not drink the water from the hose.....
I changed over to a new, plain, drinking water hose, added some carbon to the filter, did some new water changes - within 3 hours everyone was eating and vigorous , and not a death since....
Hmm, I did use a flexible product to divide substrate, but I would think it would kill all fish, not just a few. I will rethink all for sure!
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-09-2014, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Okedokey View Post
pH should go down at night, as more CO2 is produced biologically. The O2 levels are saturated at either 6 or 8, so that shouldn't be the issue either. I would suggest pH is the issue here. I would increase the alkalinity.
Hi, I am confused. I thought pH may be high at night and lower in the morning? How would I increase alkalinity? Use something like Seachem acid buffer? Soooo frustrating, any help is much appreciated.

Last edited by All4Fish; 11-09-2014 at 07:07 PM. Reason: clarify
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