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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've been using reverse osmosis water in my fish tank, not knowing any better I haven't been adding any minerals to it. I had 3 fish die already. I've tested my water 8 times and everytime the ph levels are low as possible. I did have fake craft store plants in there I took them out thinking they were leaking chemicals. I added a air pump. Still my fish look like the cant breathe. I had a real plant in there and it literally disintegrated. The light I use is a purple uv light. So I did a 25% water change that was conditioned tap water thinking tap water was the way to go. Well now my tank is cloudy and the fish are still acting like they cant breathe. Not sure if the cloudiness is a good thing coming for good bacteria that the RO water did not have. But everywhere online says that RO water is a good thing so I need advice please!!! Please
 

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You should list what your water parameters are, otherwise you could have a million problems wrong. What is your : ammonia, ph, nitrite, nitrate, gh, kh, tds???? How old is your tank?? sounds like you just started it, if so it isnt cycled anything put in will die. If you are using straight RO water in an uncycled, new tank your fish and plants will die as there is nothing in the water. You mentioned ph being low, but how low? Anything under around 6 will surely kill off regular fish. Most plants and fish prefer ph to be slightly acidic, 6.8-7. You also need a filter for beneficial bacteria to grow on! I would stay away from fake plants, anything fake really. live plants, wood and stones help to build up the beneficial bacteria, minerals, and stabilize ph. If you must go with plastic, use decor from fish stores and rinse them off. Any kind of cloudiness is bad, it indicates that there is an overgrowth and your tank is unbalanced.

So bascially if you are using ro water, make sure the tank is already cycled with live plants, rocks and wood. Otherwise, only using ro water wont provide anything for your fish or plants mineral and health wise. Testing just ph wont solve your issue either. A lot of people like to mix their ro water with whatever their water source is to help lower tds and hardiness. I would only add straight RO water to an already established tank with plants and wood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've just had another fish die.. he was really important to me and I'm not sure I want to continue to have a tank. I still have other fish tho. It's just making me really upset that I cant give them an appropriate home. They keep dropping like flies I just dont understand. I vaccum yesterday and I think all the water changes I've been during recently have stressed out my betta and he has a white growth on his face. He is on the ground now :'(
 

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People are trying to help you, but you're not answering any questions. Nobody is going to be able to help you if you don't answer the questions people have asked.

"Ph is as low as possible"
Well, fish can't live in Sulfuric Acid, so it's not as low as possible. Is it 6? 6.8? 7.8?

You're using RO water, but are you adding any hardness back to it? Fish need some hardness in the water for osmotic regulation, they can't live in just RO water.

Did you cycle your tank? If you just set the tank up and then dropped in fish, they will all die. Fish and fish food both produce ammonia, a toxic chemical. Beneficial bacteria will consume this ammonia and make your water safe. If you didn't take the time to cultivate this bacteria (cycle your tank), then your fish are going to continue to die.

People will help, but just telling everyone that your fish are dying and expecting us to guess the answers to these questions is probably not going to get you a good answer.
 

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Sorry about your fish. When people say RO water is good for your tank it just means you can use it to make water softer or to replace evaporated water in your tank. Some people's water is so bad they have to "build" their own water using RO water by adding minerals to it. You can also use it to mix fertilizers for your tank. One thing you have to know about RO water is that if you transfer a fish from hard water into RO water the fish will be killed by osmotic shock. Osmotic shock means the fish's cells will rupture because the pressure inside their cells is greater than the pressure outside their cells in the surrounding water. It has to do with the difference in mineral concentration inside and outside of the cells. Go back to using tap water. It's safer going from soft RO water back to tap water than it is going from hard tap water to soft RO water.
 

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I always have that in the back of my mind on some of these post. It's still a good opportunity to put out some good information though. Even though I am sort of a hack. I can tell they're trolling by the way they keep coming back with a new escalated more horrible development. As if the sky were falling.
 

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"I used HCl to lower my ph, and my fish are acting weird. Please help."

"OK, how much did you add? What is you ph now?"

"A lot. It's as low as it can go"

"Soooo... how much? Ph?"

"Please help. The fish aren't swimming anymore. They're sort of fizzing a little"
 

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That's.....not helpful

Edit: You know what? I'm going to bite, just in case this is real. Right out of the gate, I see foam on the surface of your tank. I'll bet dollars to donuts you didn't cycle your tank.

1A.) Don't use a UV light to light your tank. Get a regular aquarium light, a desk lamp, a bulb hanging by an extension cord... literally anything. Why you would have chosen to light the tank with a UV light is beyond me. I doubt that's even safe for the fish.
1B.) Do you have a filter on that tank? I don't see one. If not, get one right away.
2.) Turn that temp down. 86 deg is way to high for almost all species. You should be more like 78. Turn it down 2 degrees per day
3.) Change out 80% of your water right away. Use 50% RO and 50% tap. Add prime to the tank to neutralize chorine/chloramine.
4.) Get an API test kit, and test for Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate. You're going to continue to do 50% water changes every day, using 50% tap and 50% RO water until your tests no longer read any ammonia or nitrite. Add prime during each of these water changes
5.) If you have any fish left at this point, they'll be fine. Don't overstock your tank, add fish slowly, keep up with your water changes, clean your filter, and enjoy the hobby.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
This is my tank rn. I did reply answering all thoses questions I looked above and it's not there sorry guys. I have had my water tested at petsmart a few times everytime I go she gives me the same answer. Low ph medium to high ammonia and low alkalinity. After she told me that I brought my own ph testers. It only tests for ph. I keeped a diary almost of all 8 ph testers. Every single one was 6.2 BUT the stick that I pulled out almost looked as if the color could have been lighter then the color on the chart indicating lowest ph level. One time I tested the water I put ph neutralizer from API in it. I waited 4 hours and tested the water again and it still showed 6.2. I have a 20 gallon tank. With a uv purple light on it. This light was not my choice but the tank was free. I do not have glo fish in it. I have had the tank for about 3 months now. In the beginning I did have a plant in there a live one. I literally dissolved. Like looked transparent. I was using RO water for this fish tank in the beginning I've been slowly switching the water from ro to conditioned tap water. I have been during vacuuming and water changes like 2 days apart recently bc I'm dont want anymore fish to die. I believe my last fish (betta) died bc of the stress but I'd rather them be stressed then die bc of bad water quality. I just did a 30% water change today photo above is from today after 30% water change I also added API quick start and aquarium salt. I read someone that salt shouldn't be used with coryies but the container didn't say that so I added it half the recommended amount. I did go to petsmart yesterday and brought 47$ dollars worth of testers and im not sure I can afford that. My mother told me I need to take the fish completely out and put new conditioned water in it with chemicals needed she said you don't need testers to tell you that waters bad lol. I have api ammonia testers and api water testers which include ph, no2, no3, KH and general hardness. But I dont know if I can keep theses testers. I did not cycle the tank before putting fish in I used prime stabilizer before putting fish in. The symptoms my fish are having rn are as the following
Albino coryies: swimming all the way to the top very fast, occasionally swimming down the bubble wall.
Rainbow Madagascar danio ( or something like that) : is occasionally swimming down the bubble wall as well, staying near the surface which usually their middle tank dwellers and gulping under water.
 

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This is my tank rn. I did reply answering all thoses questions I looked above and it's not there sorry guys. I have had my water tested at petsmart a few times everytime I go she gives me the same answer. Low ph medium to high ammonia and low alkalinity. After she told me that I brought my own ph testers. It only tests for ph. I keeped a diary almost of all 8 ph testers. Every single one was 6.2 BUT the stick that I pulled out almost looked as if the color could have been lighter then the color on the chart indicating lowest ph level. One time I tested the water I put ph neutralizer from API in it. I waited 4 hours and tested the water again and it still showed 6.2. I have a 20 gallon tank. With a uv purple light on it. This light was not my choice but the tank was free. I do not have glo fish in it. I have had the tank for about 3 months now. In the beginning I did have a plant in there a live one. I literally dissolved. Like looked transparent. I was using RO water for this fish tank in the beginning I've been slowly switching the water from ro to conditioned tap water. I have been during vacuuming and water changes like 2 days apart recently bc I'm dont want anymore fish to die. I believe my last fish (betta) died bc of the stress but I'd rather them be stressed then die bc of bad water quality. I just did a 30% water change today photo above is from today after 30% water change I also added API quick start and aquarium salt. I read someone that salt shouldn't be used with coryies but the container didn't say that so I added it half the recommended amount. I did go to petsmart yesterday and brought 47$ dollars worth of testers and im not sure I can afford that. My mother told me I need to take the fish completely out and put new conditioned water in it with chemicals needed she said you don't need testers to tell you that waters bad lol. I have api ammonia testers and api water testers which include ph, no2, no3, KH and general hardness. But I dont know if I can keep theses testers. I did not cycle the tank before putting fish in I used prime stabilizer before putting fish in. The symptoms my fish are having rn are as the following
Albino coryies: swimming all the way to the top very fast, occasionally swimming down the bubble wall.
Rainbow Madagascar danio ( or something like that) : is occasionally swimming down the bubble wall as well, staying near the surface which usually their middle tank dwellers and gulping under water.
Your fish are dying because of that ammonia. You need to do water changes constantly to keep the water safe for the fish. Do you have a filter on the tank? The filter is where your beneficial bacteria are going to live, and you need those guys to convert the ammonia to nitrite, and the nitrite to nitrate. Until your tests read 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite, you need to change the water every day.

I promise I mean no offense to your mother, but you do need test kits, especially when starting a new aquarium. Unfortunately, you started focusing on the wrong thing (RO water and ph) instead of the right thing (nitrogen cycle).

Lastly, your Betta died from bad water quality, not water changes. Most of us change 70% of our water out at least once a week, and the new water makes the fish happy as clams. most fish will show their best colors, be most active, breed, etc after water changes.
 

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Get a sponge filter and an air pump and some silicone tubing. Put the sponge filter in your tank with the air pump above the water level if possible. After a few weeks of running the filter with whatever fish you have left, you'll have some good filtration and no more Ammonia killing your fish. The filter will remove the Ammonia for you once it starts working.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yes I have a 15- 20 top fin filter and i do replace the filter pad as directed on the box. I have a heater as well. I was wondering while I was at petsmart if i should add another filter pad in there along with the filter that came with it to help with filtering. It was the band fluval or something and I know that's a good band. But I'm not sure you can just add thoses to any filter if it's not the special canister fluval filter. So your saying that my ph is nothing to worry about? And are you saying bc my ammonia is high I should change the water that much? I've never heard of changing the water that much. Do u believe my fish are acting like this bc of the ammonia? And I did work at petsmart for awhile I told customers that when you 1st get a tank cloudiness is expected bc of the nitrogen nitrate cycle? That it was a good thing it was cloudy bc it was establishing itself. Do you believe that's why my water is cloudy? Is that a normal thing or is that bad?
 

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It's not that pH is never important, but your ammonia situation is a crisis that needs immediate attention. Any issue you may be having with your pH is very much secondary and you can figure it out later. You might not need to do anything at all once you get everything else in order, but regardless, your first order of operation is to try and save your fish.

I would stop and do some reading (or watch youtube videos if that's more your speed - there are a bunch!) about the nitrogen cycle and what to do if you have an ammonia spike. You really need to understand these fundamental things in order to stand any chance of righting the ship. It would have been better to fully cycle your tank before getting fish, but people can manage with an immature filter.
 
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