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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently started dry dosing fertilizers into my 55 gallon. It is not heavily planted, but i got a 130 watt light installed and had a serious case of beard algae. Maybe it was some other type of algae but beard was closest. Since i started dosing much of the algae has gone away, and my plants are growing nicely.

I had about 32 fish in the tank, various tetras, loaches, a pleco, gouramis, some siamese eaters, gold barbs, maybe a few others. Almost everytime after i dosed, within 24-36 hours i noticed 1 or 2 fish dead. I think i've lost about 5-6 tetras (neons and rummy nose), 2 siamese eaters, 1 panda corycat. Behavior of fish seems fine, eating well and active. When they die it is very fast. I never notice them struggling. Before i started dosing i hadn't had a fish die for 6 months. I also have a separate cichlid tank where everyone is fine, so i doubt its the water. My water changes are about 40% every 10 days (not as much as i would like, but as much as i've had time for recently).

Is it because i am dry dosing? Am i dosing too much? I have no CO2 on the tank, and my PH v. KH implies i don't have enough CO2, but i thought that would be okay. I just wanted light plant growth. Anyway, my tank vitals and dosing regimen are below:

Ammonia and Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 10-15 ppm
pH: 7.8
Phosphate: 0.6
KH: 3
GH: 7

Dosing Reg (twice a week):
1/8 teaspoon KNO3
1/16 teaspoon KH2PO4
1/16 teaspoon K2SO4
Also a little KENT freshwater plant supplement

I was trying to use small amounts at first to see what the effect would be, and it has been very good. I want to continue dosing this amount, but not with my fish dying as they are. I need some advice from the experts.

Thanks for your help,

-lta
 

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I really doubt there dying from the ferts as I dose allot more than that without any fish loss and I've read that Tom Barr doses allot more than I do. As long as your doing regular water changes there shouldn't be enough build up to even question fert poisoning.

That's a strange one I'd have pegged C02 overdose before anything else but my next question would be are you doing water changes about the same time? And do you know if your local water company has flushed there system yet? Once or twice a year every water company flushes there pipes with at least x10 the regular amount of chlorine and sometimes other stuff. It usually happens in Sept/Nov but sometimes in the Spring as well.

- Brad
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am doing water changes as i have time, it is not on a regular schedule, but about every 10 days. I have an african cichlid tank and i change their water the same time i do the planted tank, and i haven't lost any fish there. They have a bit heavier filtration though - and only 8 fish. I also use Genesis drops on both tanks (i've had for a while) to precipitate chlorine and heavy metals each time i do a water change. Don't know if this is still a modern technique.

-lta
 

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What's your biological filtration like? What about o2 levels? Since you don't use co2 I'm thinking one of these two should be considered. I seriously doubt it's the dry ferts although I guess they could be contaminated?!?!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have a bio wheel 200 and aqua clear 200 running on the system. No o2 system. The fish died very suddenly apparently overnight. I see no other health issue with them, nothing in their behavior, nothing from other aggressive fish in the tank. Most of the fish were tetras, 4 black neons, 2 rummy nose, and also 2 siamese algae eaters. I recently purchased a emperor 400, and was going retire the aqua clear (had it for 7 years), and move the penguin 200 to a 30 gallon tank.

Maybe it is a combination of not enough filtration and high pH that caused the fish to succumb. I just find it remarkably coincident that it seems to be closely correlated to the dosing. Some of the fish had been in there for several years without any problem. Can the dosing temporarily raise the pH to a deadly level?
 
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