Is There Something Wrong with Our Planted Tank? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-13-2014, 01:05 AM Thread Starter
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Is There Something Wrong with Our Planted Tank?

I didn't know if anyone might have an idea if there is something wrong with our tank or if we have just had bad luck.

We have a 120 gallon lo-light, lo-tech dirted, heavily planted tank. The tank is a little over two months old. The substrate is mineralized topsoil with an Eco-Complete cap. We have Malaysian Trumpet snails for the soil. We have two canister filters. The plants are growing very well. The readings are ammonia-0, nitrite-0, and nitrate-5. This is our second tank but first dirted, planted tank. We keep the temperature around 82 degrees (due to living in AZ).

After a month, we started to add fish to the tank. At one point, we added 5 cory cats and lost 2 of them less than a week after getting them. We couldn't see anything wrong with them and figured that we got bad cory cats.

About 3 weeks later, we lost a pleco. Both the cory cats and pleco were juveniles. The pleco seemed fine until after we did a water change. We used our tap water with a water conditioner. We assumed that there may have been something in our water. That is also what the one person at our local fish store thought.

This morning when we woke up, we realized a fuse was out due to a storm during the night and the air conditioner downstairs wasn't running. The temperature in the tank was almost at 86. We got the air conditioning running again and after a few hours got the fish tank almost back to 82 degrees. Then we found one of our female Bosemani Rainbows dead. She was an adult and we had her for about 4 months. So now we are wondering if that was due to the temperature change or is there something wrong with our tank?

If anyone has any insight, let us know. We haven't had any fish issues with our old tank and now with this new planted tank, we have lost 4 fish.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-13-2014, 01:16 AM
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I don't believe the temp change had anything to do with your loss of fish.
Are you on a municipal water system ? Have you checked the pH in your tank, and what comes right out of the tap ? Also, have you checked the pH when tap water is left sitting in a bucket overnite ? It's possible you're experiencing some large pH swings - that's all I can think of for the moment.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-13-2014, 01:19 AM Thread Starter
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We do have municipal water. We do occasionally check our ph and it is at 7.4 like it always has been.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-13-2014, 01:29 AM
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Originally Posted by sakurablossom View Post
We do have municipal water. We do occasionally check our ph and it is at 7.4 like it always has been.
Yeah, but is it 7.4 out of the tap, and 7.4 after sitting in a bucket overnite, and also 7.4 in that 125 tank on a regular basis ? Do you do those tests ?
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-13-2014, 01:37 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, but is it 7.4 out of the tap, and 7.4 after sitting in a bucket overnite, and also 7.4 in that 125 tank on a regular basis ? Do you do those tests ?
It is 7.4 in the tank. We test that on a regular basis. We do not check the tap water on a regular basis, but when we have checked it the ph is 7.4. We have not let the tap water sit in a bucket overnight, so I don't know if that ph reading would be different.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-13-2014, 02:13 AM
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What water conditioner do you use?

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-13-2014, 02:20 AM Thread Starter
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What water conditioner do you use?
Nutrafin Aqua Plus Tap Water Conditioner
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-13-2014, 02:22 AM
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I've never used that one. I'd venture to say that most members here use Seachem Prime if anything.

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-13-2014, 03:05 AM
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Have you been able to get the water tested/tested it yourself after adding any fish?


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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-13-2014, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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Have you been able to get the water tested/tested it yourself after adding any fish?
We test for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate every other day and occasionally test for phosphates and ph. Is that what you are asking? Or is there other things we could be testing for?

We lost another cory cat today. My husband said he wasn't eating and didn't think he would make it.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-13-2014, 06:41 PM
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probably it would be more helpful if you describe the condition of the dead fishes when you found them. for sure, there are some tell tale signs if its disease, poison, or as suggested above, ph swings.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-13-2014, 07:02 PM Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=birbaliktanki;6506178]probably it would be more helpful if you describe the condition of the dead fishes when you found them. for sure, there are some tell tale signs if its disease, poison, or as suggested above, ph swings.[/QUOTE

That is the one thing that is confusing us. There isn't anything unusual looking with the dead fish. No spots, wounds, etc. Of course, we don't know every disease out there. Is there anything specific we should look at?

Bump: Also, my husband said that the last couple of fish he took out didn't seem very slimy. Could the issue be that they need to build up more of a slime coat? I am not sure how slippery the fish should be.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-13-2014, 08:38 PM
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you said the dead bosemani rainbow was 4 months old but the tank has been running for 2 months now. was the bosemani rainbow housed in another tank?
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-13-2014, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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you said the dead bosemani rainbow was 4 months old but the tank has been running for 2 months now. was the bosemani rainbow housed in another tank?
Yes. She was in our other fish tank. We had another tank and we moved the fish from that tank to the new planted tank. We didn't lose any fish in our old tank.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-13-2014, 10:15 PM
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How much surface agitation do you have?

I ask because I think a large dirted tank has more bacterial activity and requires more 02 so the fish don't sufficate.

I had a 180 that was plagued with fish deaths for it's entire life, I later had another large tank dirt with the same issue. I kept the water surface very smooth to prevent loss of CO2, but I now believe that overnight low O2 levels due to lack of airation or surface agitation were the cause of my mysterious fish deaths.

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