Low ph die off? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-07-2017, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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Low ph die off?

Hey guys. Wondering if I could get some help on a planted nano tank. This is my first planted tank (a compromise from a nano coral tank and kids saying they want fish) It is an Aqua One Reflex 15 4gal tank. It has a caribsea eco-complete substrate and 2 amazon swords. The tank has been set up for just over a month and I am using flourish and flourish excel. The swords have gone a little brown but I have a 16" Finnex Fugeray Planted + on order from amazon that should take care of that.


My issue right now is with the fish. I originally had 5 or 6 Harlequin Rosboras in there but they all died off within a few weeks.


I tested my water and ammonia, nitrate etc are all ok. The water is hard but the store I am getting my fish from is getting the same hardness so the fish should be acclimated to it. With the substrate and plants I'm getting a low ph though (6.5 - 6.7 vs a neutral ph at the store)


With that in mind I thought I'd try some guppies. Within 2 days 1 was dead and 2 more the day after. The remaining guppies don't look happy at all and are getting a washed out color.


When I acclimated them to the tank, I let them float in the bag for 20 min. Then let them sit in a bowl with half bag water and half tank water for another half hour.


Wondering if I need to set up a drip for them over a longer period to get them better acclimated to the ph drop?


What are your thoughts?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-07-2017, 02:22 PM
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All those fish you mentioned are usually pretty hardy and adaptable. Your not overdosing the excel are you? Do you perform regular water changes?
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-07-2017, 02:58 PM
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I haven't kept these two species before so I don't know so much about them, but so far as I've read, Harlequins are kept in pH 6 - 6.5 and Guppies at 7 - 8. So if this info is accurate, then it shouldn't be the issue for the Rasboras but could affect the Guppies.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-07-2017, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
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Hey Guys, thank you for the quick reply. For the excel, I was super careful with due to the does being for like 100L and have been using a syringe.

That is a good point about the Rasboras. I didn't know they are kept at a 6.5 ph. That may be the reason they were lasting longer.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-07-2017, 03:47 PM
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Was just a thought they can actually survive pH 6 too, not optimal though, but can go up to 7.8 too... pretty broad fish lol

Have you checked other parametres? like kH,/GH, NH3 levels, chlorine etc?
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-07-2017, 03:52 PM
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PH is not the issue. Most tropical fish can do well in a wide range of ph 6-8 easily. Guppies are pretty tough to kill, so it's something else with your water to lose guppies that quickly.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-07-2017, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by houseofcards View Post
PH is not the issue. Most tropical fish can do well in a wide range of ph 6-8 easily. Guppies are pretty tough to kill, so it's something else with your water to lose guppies that quickly.
exactly my thoughts that's why asked about parametres too
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-07-2017, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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Hey guys, thanks again for all the replies.

I had the water tested when I purchased the fish and Amonia, No3, No2 where all 0

Kh was 40 and ph was 6.5 but GH was high at 120 to 180

According the store I purchased them at (a larger store in Ontario, Aquarium, Service) they have roughly the same hardness in their water and the fish should be acclimated to it.

Is there something else I could test? Would it be worth lowering the hardness despite what the store is telling me?

Will test again tonight, as the fish have been in there a few days, to see if there is a swing.

Thanks again for all the help and advice.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-07-2017, 05:17 PM
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How did you cycle the tank and what filter are you using?

What test kit are you using, or did you just have it tested at the store for NH3, NO2 and NO3? I would purchase a test kit or even just the test strips and then test your water in home.

Sorry if you feel most users are wanting more detail about this, but ammonia and nitrite are the most likely culprits killing fish in newly established tanks. Side note: be sure to use a dechlorinator with water changes. A 50% water change on a small tank with chlorinated water can really stress your biological filtration.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-07-2017, 05:19 PM
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140 - 210 ppm is considered soft water, so I don't feel that's lethal either. You sure you didn't see any signs of bacteria, worms, fluke or anything else? an infection could have killed the fish without affecting water parametres. Sometimes fish are kept in poor conditions in LFS so when you get them they are already infected. Happened to me as well and since then I always put them in quarantine first before inserting them to my tank.

Last edited by litzel; 11-07-2017 at 05:32 PM. Reason: more details to report
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-07-2017, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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No worries about all the questions I appreciate the opinions. I had the water tested at the store but I also have test strips. I can't remember the brand but will double check and test when I get home. For water, I used a 4 gal jug of spring water and put in some dechlorinator as well. For the filter, it is the built in one from the Aqua one with cartridge.

Looking at flukes symptoms and it is possible. The fish are getting a bit pale in color. They aren't scratching and their gills aren't moving rapidly though. Will check again for actual flukes as soon as im home.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-08-2017, 01:41 AM Thread Starter
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Got home and tested the water. N3 was a little high. Did a 20% water change and its in line now. The filter also didn't seem to be flowing. Doesnt seem to be any disease on the fish. Fingers crossed it's all good now
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-08-2017, 10:40 AM
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It seems to be stabilising, yes, it could have been an ammonia spike. Sometimes ammonia creates pockets into substrate and when disturbed it gets unleashed into the tank causing outbreaks. But since you have plants in, they will eventually neutralise it. Hope you don't lose any more

Last edited by litzel; 11-08-2017 at 10:59 AM. Reason: provide more info
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