I can’t think of anything I used to clean the tank when I first set it up as it was a brand new tank. The only decorations I had in there were a few pieces of dragon stone at some point which I believe I took out at one point to clean in a 1:10 bleach to water solution which was then rinsed with water, but these stones have been removed from the tank for over 6 months and the tank water has been fully changed twice since then (when I restarted the tank). I have a Fluval FX6 with a custom spray bar on it so I get really good circulation, it was too good at one point so I needed the spray bar to take it down a notch. I am not running any CO2 since it’s a low tech tank with low to moderate light. There is no smell coming from the tank. Don’t worry about the questions because I know they’re necessary to get to the bottom of this issue.
Yea I was kind of thinking the same thing about the temp. For the QT tank I was going to go without a substrate to keep cleaning easier as suggested by some others in previous posts. Yea I could add some new anubias or floating species to help with nitrogen build up. I have some water hyacinth in my pond that I could clean and move into the QT tank if you think that’s a good idea, I know they’re very effective at keeping nitrogen low and water clean.
The driftwood is Manzanita Driftwood. This driftwood was only added when I restarted the tank a few months ago but I was having problems before that so I don’t think the issue lies there. I also love the MTS lol.
A few previous posts suggested the issue could lie here, but the plan was to see how fish do in a QT tank without the substrate first then how they do once move over. Changing the substrate is sure to be a pain so I wanted to narrow down my problems to the tank and not something with my tap, but my guess is that its most likely the substrate.
I’ll try that with the RO water and sand, out of curiosity what is the lemon juice for? Not familiar with using it.
The only thing that remained constant throughout all of my tank "resets" is the substrate and considering so many others have had this issue it's looking like this is most likely my problem.