HELP! Critters are dying, no idea why. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-26-2011, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy 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.

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-26-2011, 01:05 AM
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How long has the tank been running? How old are your test kits?
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-26-2011, 01:11 AM
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disturbing the MTS, moving such a large crypt could have released some things built up under their

possibly causing a ph crash

strictly speculation

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-26-2011, 01:14 AM Thread Starter
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The tank has been running for about 9 months. The test kits are about a year old.

pH is actually one of the things I didn't test. I'm going to do that now and report results.

edit: pH 6.7, 6 dKH, 9 dGH. The tank parameters cannot get any more textbook

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-26-2011, 09:03 PM
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odd situation for sure.. i wish i could give more help... speculation on my part. maybe the substrate is anaerobic.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-26-2011, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HD Blazingwolf View Post
odd situation for sure.. i wish i could give more help... speculation on my part. maybe the substrate is anaerobic.
thats what i was thinking too. do you vaccuum the top of your substrate at all or clean it every once in a while
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-26-2011, 11:29 PM
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You may want to take a chopstick or some other pointy nontoxic implement and poke the substrate in different places to the bottom glass to see if any smelly bubbles appear.

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