Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Gadsden, Alabama
Still having deaths
I have been keeping fish since 1959, yet this one has me stumped! I posted earlier, got a few suggestions, but no solutions. This tank was set up in early may, a 30T acrylic with an Eclipse hood. Substrate is pea gravel from Home Depot, thoroughly washed. As a geologist, I can testify the gravel is all quartz. The substrate now has mulm visible throughout. I cycled the tank first with hornwort, then tadpoles, and finally some wild caught Heterandria formosa. Other plants were added about thre to four weeks ago - About 50 Sag. subulata, 1 small melon sword, 2 Red Rubin swords, and one Ozelot sword. I also added 2 Sag. platyphyllas, they have since died off. The melon sword is losing its emerse leaves, but the other plants look very happy and the Rubins are growing like weeds. I have 5 aquatic Plantabbs in the gravel, near the large plants.
About one month ago, I disconnected the filter in the hood - it kept overflowing, resulting in a wet carpet. Two weeks ago, the largest of the Heterandria started to die, and I noticed a brown to yellow color to the water. I removed the driftwood and over the next week replaced about 50% of the water. The color stayed, though over the last 24 hours it has faded quite a bit. Water parameters, when I first measured them two weeks ago, were not good - pH below 6.5, high nitrates and nitrites. The water was, and remains, hard - 250 to 300 ppm GH, 40 to 50 KH. As I replaced water, the pH went to 7 but this morning is back to 6.5. Nitrates are now 40 ppm, nitrites undetectable. Chlorine and chloramine are undetectable and always have been.
Wednesday I added 5 White Clouds and they looked fine last night, but this morning two were dead; as with the Heterandria, there was no sign of injury or illness on the corpses.
I have figured out how to put a Whisper filter in the tank, and will do so later today - perhaps that will help. Otherwise, I am completely buffaloed. I am also wondering about a safe way to boost the pH and keep it neutral. Any comments?