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Discussion Starter #1
I got done treating an all in one last week... I recently bought some driftwood and didn't soak it and had a drop in ph almost killed my fish. I use liquid fertilizer. Was wondering if the ph drop or ferts would irritate my fish enough to make them scratch a little. I know when an injury on me it's healing it itches... I don't know if they caught whatever they got from PETsMART from the carbon I put back in or what. I washed it in scorching hot water but I noticed a few fish scratching right after I added some flourish, I didn't measure and I know I added some extra....
 

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Sounds like too many things going on at once for a good answer. Fish will flash for lots of reasons and one is when the water is not quite what they have gotten used to having.
But then the fish almost dying due to the wood dropping PH would be iffy to me. I'm thinking you will have high PH and hard water? I don't think of wood decaying fast enough to cause quick fish death. The hard water "buffers" the PH so it doesn't move too easy. Have you get some test numbers so we could check a little closer? Maybe other things at work? When too much of good things are added, they can be bad things that make fish act strange.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sounds like too many things going on at once for a good answer. Fish will flash for lots of reasons and one is when the water is not quite what they have gotten used to having.
But then the fish almost dying due to the wood dropping PH would be iffy to me. I'm thinking you will have high PH and hard water? I don't think of wood decaying fast enough to cause quick fish death. The hard water "buffers" the PH so it doesn't move too easy. Have you get some test numbers so we could check a little closer? Maybe other things at work? When too much of good things are added, they can be bad things that make fish act strange.
Well I forgot to mention I was blasting DIY co2, I noticed some skin floating in the water like when you get sun burnt and a big piece comes off. That's why I'm hoping they are scratching because of healing. The meds I used destroyed my bio filter and I did not know this until a few days after I was done dosing. I lost an Otto because I didn't have any prime. Now I have some and API quick start and I'm already showing nitrates. Having my tank while living out of this hotel is a nightmare

Bump: And oh yes hard water, 180 on the 5 in 1 strips
 

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I agree with PlantedRich:
Too many things going on.
Try to get things on a stable level.
No excess of ferts, CO2 or anything else.
If it takes a couple of water changes to get things stable, do that. Make sure the new water is not too different from the existing water. Fish can handle a change in mineral levels GH, KH or TDS of about 10% pretty easily, hardier fish could handle about 15% change in mineral levels pretty well.

It is normal for a tank to go through a daily pH swing with CO2. If it changes about 1 unit, that is just fine. for example, from 7.5 in the afternoon to 6.5 the next morning.
If the pH is changing more than that because of CO2, then that is too much CO2.
If the pH is changing for some other reason, such as changing mineral levels, this is not good.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I took the wood out a few days ago then stuck it in a bucket of water and hardly have any co2 going. Going on the third day now and ph had been steady around 7.4. That's why I'm thinking they are just itchy from healing at least that's what I'm hoping.

Bump: Maybe the ferts irritated the wounds?
 

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Are you testing for ammonia? One of the big problems with meds is that they do sometimes kill all the good bacteria in the tank. If you have used one that does this, a Real spike in ammonia and then nitrite WILL happen. This is something that I see often when newer folks use meds. They fix the first problem but not being aware that they have killed their good bacteria leaves the tank in a real death spiral due to the coming wave of ammonia/nitrite. Look carefully before going further. If you find ammonia or nitrite, do lots of water changes to get it down and keep it down or your fish will develop all kinds of disease and likely die.
Any test readings on ammonia and nitrite?
As I mentioned, I would not worry about the wood causing a problem as you do have plenty of hardness to buffer the PH. The wood may change it over months while the CO2 can change it in hours.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Tank has been running since Jan 27, 2015... Yeah the meds destroyed my biofilter.. Pretty sure I mentioned that already... I have been doing wcs and using prime along with API quick start... I think I have all the reasons figured out...

Bump: Maybe I didn't mention it but yeah I didn't know it destroyed my bio until two days after I finished dosing
 

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How are the ammonia and nitrite tests now?

If there are ammonia or nitrite readings, do enough water changes (volume and frequency) to keep the ammonia under .25ppm and the nitrite under 1 ppm.

If the API product is working you might just see a little blip of ammonia or nitrite for 24 hours, then no more.
If the API product has the wrong species of bacteria then the test results will continue to show ammonia and nitrite for a lot longer, and you will be doing a lot of water changes just like cycling a new tank with the fish-in cycle. To avoid this get a product that specifies Nitrospira species of bacteria.

Once the nitrogen cycle is complete you can work on adjusting the CO2. The plants cannot use much more than about 40-50ppm, and this is a bit too much for most fish. 30ppm is a good compromise. In most settings you can tell if there are 30ppm CO2 because the pH will cycle high (CO2 off) and low (CO2 on) and the pH will change about 1 unit.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
0 ammonia, under .25 ppm nitrites as of early this morning. I'm more worried about the ph crashing for no apparent reason...

Why would driftwood I've had in my previous tank for a year lower the ph in my newest tank after i put it in there? Tap water ph 8, gh 180ish and kh 180ish. Planted tank with co2 but not really using any co2 at all and always running air stone. Normally it's at 7.2 it's been crashing to 6 or lower
 
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