Water change = tank crash? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-10-2006, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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Water change = tank crash?

Hello all,
I had a bit of a tank crash this weekend. Not really sure what happened. I changed about 30% of the water and all was fine. The next morning I woke up and half my fish were dead or dying. The others were gasping at the top, which I've never seen them do.

I immediately pulled out the dead fish, turned off my CO2 and added an air stone to the bottom of the tank. I then tested all levels of amonia, nitrates, etc and all was good. What happened? How did a water change cause a crash?

When I do water changes I pump about 25 gallons of water into a tub. The tub has a maxijet 1200 PH in it. I then add some stress coat or tap water conditioner and some plant ferts, mainly seachem trace elements. I let it mix for a while and then I do the water change.

Recently I've added a UV filter to get rid of the green water issue, which has worked great, but I have no idea what happened here. I've readded carbon to my fluval 404 to get rid of a potential polutant.

I also added 10 neon tetras to the tank on Saturday, and added a few shrimp pellets for my crayfish.

In the meantime I've lowered my CO2 input and put the co2 on a timer to shut off at night. I've also added an airstone which kicks on when the co2 is off. I'm a bit worried to do another water change but feel that it might be the necessary if their is a pollutant in the water.

Any ideas on what happened here? If water changes are this stressful on fish, (I normally do 35%/week) will the plants survive if I only do 30%/month?

Thanks in advance,
-Ed

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-10-2006, 03:54 PM
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Maybe your water company changed something since your last change? We had a problem with one of the pumps in our community well system which resulted in a higher than normal dose of chlorine and sometimes municipal water systems change their additives in response to testing parameters and such. Even if you put in the right amount of dechlorinator or water conditioner for your normal needs, perhaps there was something different about the water that made that dose inadequate this time around?
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-10-2006, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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Hmm thats a good theory, never thought about that. I usually slightly overdose with the conditioner, because my LFS told me it won't hurt, but then again my LFS has given me lots of bad info in the past.

75 Gallon - 4x65w PC, HP CO2, Eheim 2217 feeding Aquamedic 1000 CO2 Reactor, Fluval 404, 18w UV filter (for emergencies), Peat Moss, Flourite, Eco-Complete and Onyx Substrate
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-10-2006, 05:09 PM
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Any chance something toxic might have gotten into your tub?

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-10-2006, 05:38 PM
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What time of day did you do the water change? I've seen a thread recently about just this issue, and the concensus seemed to be that "late in the day" water changes resulted in the tank being low in oxygen.

This is the thread:

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/wa...-every-wc.html

I believe this was the post:

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/219392-post17.html

Sláinte!
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-10-2006, 05:44 PM
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The tub idea seems to me to be overkill. You are outgassing the change water, letting the CO2 in it dissipate, but that's about all. I think most of us just run the change water directly to the tank, adding the dechlorinator as we begin. Then add the ferts afterwards, plus any calcium, magnesium or bicarbonate we need. That has never bothered any of my fish, as far as I can see. Fish are not delicate, where water parameter changes are concerned. In nature every rainstorm makes big changes in stream and lake parameters, but the fish don't do mass dieouts as a result.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-10-2006, 05:48 PM
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I have that same issue. Only on two out of five tanks.

Tap water has KH of about 3-4. but aquarium water is KH 0. After a water change, next day, fish gasp at top. So I've been adding baking soda, and/or calcium carbonate with water change. Problem is much better, but not necessarily 100%. Some fish gasping evident.

When this happens, I can use an airstone for a quick fix. I am not sure why two tanks only do this, but maybe/perhaps it is over driven and uses up the calcium and lowers the ph? don't know.

Mark

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-10-2006, 05:59 PM
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It's springtime, about the same time this happened to me 2 years ago.

I did a 60% water change, came back 2 hours later with the fish doing poorly. I did another water change and 2 hours later most of the tetras were dead. I spent most of the evening trying to figure out what was going on on the internet and the most likely culprit was chloramine/water company change. I ran to walmart at 2 in the morning and picked up some dechlorinator that works against chloramines and was able to save 20% of the total fish. I checked all the parameters with the test kits I had at the time (NH4,NO2 = 0 N03 mimimal in a bare bottom tank). I picked up another NH4 test kit that would pick up chloramines and it was through the roof out of the tap.

Basically the water company switched to chloramines, and did some other changes in the spring to clean out the pipes. Trying to call the water company and get someone human who knew what they were talking about was a different story.

Now once march rolls around until mid-June, I change the water out of the one tank holding fish I feel I could mostt part with and then do other maintenance stuff (pruning, etc) for an hour before changing the other tanks).
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-10-2006, 08:56 PM
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This story has been told again and again on the forums of a number of fish sights. Water changes direct, or nearly so from the tap, sometimes for years without a problem, then bang, all fish dead. Call the water company and they're cleaning the pipes.

How much are your fish worth? How much is a storage container?

Age your water, and test it right before you change it. If the pH is different than usual, check for chlorine and ammonia (chloramine).

Check the CO2 levels. If you've aged overnight with aeration, there should be very little. This also means you should have plently of O2.

O2 can get depleted in tap water a number of ways. CO2 levels can be very high. Good for plants, bad for fish. Both will be OK if you age for several hours with aeration.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 12:00 AM
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I find my Discus do not like water straight from the tap. Every time I try it they started loosing their slime coat and turn dark after the water change. I also notice a large amount of degassing in the tank. Bubbles all over the walls and on the fish themselves! I think this serious degassing is irritating to them, but the smaller fish like tetras seem unaffected.

I have found it good practice in my experience to fill a 5 gallon bucket with the tap water and use a good powerful pump to pump into the tank. I like to open the valve on my hose about 1/4 way (not full open) so I get that high pressure jet spray out of it if that makes sense. This seems to agitate the water enough to de-gas it. Most of the degassing happens in the bucket and not in the tank.

With most municipalities in the US now using Chloramines you have to use a good water conditioner like Seachem Prime or Amquel on a planted tank. I personally don't trust anything else. These type of dechlorinators will deal with ammonia that is part of the Chloramine. Some Dechlorinators only break the bond between Chlorine and ammonia, neutralize the chlorine and leave the toxic ammonia for your bioflter to deal with! I guess that works for adding a few gallons of water? The two dechlorinators I mention do not actually remove the ammonia part of the chloramine, but they will turn it into a form that will not hurt your fish and eventually be broken down harmlessly into a form that your plants can assimilate.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-16-2006, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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Well the tank has restableized...I don't know what it was, but I'll be doing a water change soon, so wish me luck!

75 Gallon - 4x65w PC, HP CO2, Eheim 2217 feeding Aquamedic 1000 CO2 Reactor, Fluval 404, 18w UV filter (for emergencies), Peat Moss, Flourite, Eco-Complete and Onyx Substrate
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-16-2006, 09:29 PM
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Good luck
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