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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm probably an idiot and hopefully you guys won't bite my head off for being an idiot.

I have hard water or so I'm told. But it's not the calcium kind. I live in the granite state. The pH of my water is 7.6 and it's always 7.6. it's very stable. I think it has Manganese in it? It's from a well.

Anyway, pretty much everything dies in my tank. The stats are always ok, no nitrites, 5 ppm nitrates, no ammonia. I've never had the tests come back any different.

So I got myself 3 madagascar rainbows and they have not died and are doing fine. I saw that they are more tolerant of hard water. I have read up on hard water fishes and such. I do also have a small dwarf gourami that somehow hasn't died--he had two other pals that did die. I have 3 remaining brass tetra from a school of 15. I did not read up before I got the tetra I had just stupidly assumed tetra are easy/hardy fish to keep.

I have 5 remaining japonica shrimp out of 7.

And er... the tank is a 30 gal. I had asked the store guy if it was ok to keep madagascars in 30 gal long because I had a brain fart and thought my tank was a long which it is not. He said if it was a long then having 3 (minimum number) would be ok. But of course I don't have a long and I have done more reading and found it would be better to have 50 gal.

Here's the thing though. They don't grow. They're still maybe 3". They were very small when I got them but even still, it's been over half a year and they haven't really grown.

Is it ok to keep them in the 30 gal for now until they get bigger and then worry about getting a bigger tank?

And would a 30 gal long be big enough for them? I probably won't get any other fish now since I'm tired of things dying and I don't really like any of the other fish they say do well in hard water. I just like the rainbows. Actually I wouldn't mind having a whole school of them but then I probably would need a 50 gal. And I don't have a filter/heater for that. The nice thing about the 30 gal long is that I'd only need to get a new light fixture and I was thinking of going LED anyway... but I just got new replacement bulbs so I am thinking to wait a year before I upgrade.

Does any of that make sense?

Also I have another question, all of my fish hide a lot. It's hard to get them to eat. I usually feed every other day because if they aren't really hungry they won't come to get the food. It was a little easier when I had all 15 tetra instead of just 3 but even then, they still would run and hide any time I came up to the tank. It's pretty well planted so they would hide behind the driftwood and plants. Anything to be done about that? I'd like to see my fish sometimes...
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Make that 0 tetra and 3 japonica shrimp as the 3 remaining tetra just died today along with two shrimp. I suspect because I did a water change yesterday and perhaps took too much water?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Perhaps I should just give up? My water always tests as what I said before. No ammonia or nitrites, 5 ppm nitrates and 7.6 pH. If I tested it now that's what it would say, I would bank on it.

I have thought perhaps there is some disease in my tank and I have treated it with a general antibacterial treatment.

I'm not sure what else to test for?

I don't like the idea that you use 10 gal of water to get 1 gal of R/O water. That seems very wasteful to me. So if that's the only thing I can do and my fish are stressed then I think I will bring them back to the store and sell my tank. I don't want my fish to be stressed and dying all the time.

Thank you for you replies smiller!
 

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You are already testing for the things in the water that fish generally die from. Do other people in your area have successful fish tanks that use well water? Where I lived a few years ago someone on my street had a well dug to water their yard. When they did the grass turned brown and it killed some plants. I don't remember what it was that was in the water.

How long have you had your oldest fish in your tank?

I think most RO/DIs throw out about 3 gallons per 1, not 10. Do you have any stores around that sell purified water? Many grocery stores sell it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The three remaining shrimp I have are the oldest and they are about 2 years old. I don't know anyone else who has a fish tank near me but I can ask around and find out.

There is a store I can buy it from, I just worry about the cost to the environment. So if I had my own R/O unit, I could dump the waste water say out in the yard and it would get recycled in a way?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Maybe not. I'm trying to remember the exact sequence of events. Try to keep up (LOL), this tank was originally mine when I was in college. Then my mom gave it to my neighbors. A few years ago, they gave it back to me with a few fish in it. It was not a planted tank back then and just had a gravel substrate/fake plants/ornaments and a broken heater and an inadequate filter.

The fish they gave me with it, were a few rasboras, a common plecco, and a red tail shark. They had more than that but they had gotten a fish from petco and it had brought in some sickness and most of the fish had died off. These were the only fish that hadn't died.

I replaced the filter and heater and then started looking at planted tanks. When I was ready to set it up I got a smaller tank and used the old broken heater (it worked, just not reliably) and I can't remember what I did for the filter, I think I used the same old filter. Then put some of the gravel and water from the big tank into the small tank and moved the fish in there.

Then I took out all of the gravel from the big tank. I cleaned it and put in eco-complete and planted it. Filled it up. Put in the new filter and heater and cycled it with a cocktail shrimp. I never had an ammonia/nitrite spike that I can remember. The only thing that changed was I went from 0 ppm nitrates to 5 ppm nitrates. But I waited the typical time and followed the protocol I think I read from lauralbp here.

Then I put the fish back in the tank. After a little while they began to die off. That was 2 years ago and it's been down hill ever since.
 
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