Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Overland Park, KS
HELP! Critters are dying, no idea why.
We have a 120G planted tank, with PFS-capped MTS. Recently, things have begun dying in the tank, and I have no idea why. We do regular weekly water changes of between 30-50% with our normal tap water and a dechlorinator, and I do a lightweight EI dosing along with injected CO2. My drop checker is correctly calibrated, and a faint blue, which means the CO2 isn't very high. I've done NH4, NO2, NO3 tests and those came out 0.02pm, 0.00pm, 40ppm respectively. I also tested iron, phosphate, and copper and those came out to 0.5ppm, 3ppm, and 0ppm. Temperature in the tank stays at 78F powered by two inline heaters.
About two weeks ago, we found our struggling centerpiece crypt was actually dead and had rotted in the roots. It was removed and a 50% water change was performed. Since then, we've had about 600 cherry shrimp disappear (from fry to adult), and 3 bamboo shrimp, 12 amanos, 3 SAEs, and an Oto die. The water isn't stagnant, doesn't stink, isn't cloudy ... just every day we find more dead creatures. We've been doing water changes and test kits, and everything seems normal condition-wise.
Things maybe out of the ordinary:
* the filter never quite gets the water totally clean and there's always some crap floating in it. The filter gets cleaned semi-regularly.
* The substrate seems to have diatoms / debris / something on it. The cories will root around in it and the cherries would fluff it. Nobody seems to mind it and it looks like normal fish poop. It gets gravel-vacuumed regularly.
Steps we're now taking:
* Melafix and Primafix are both being dosed
* A UV sterilizer is being acquired and installed inline
* A temporary hanging UV sterilizer is being mounted tonight
* The inline heaters and CO2 reactor are going to be removed tomorrow and flushed for a few hours with peroxide
Is there anything else I can provide to help diagnose/treat this? It really sucks, we're down several hundred dollars so far and the tank keeps killing things.
SunSun Pimp #10
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- 29G, 130W PC lighting, Red Sea CO2 on 20# tank, SunSun 303B, Custom ferts