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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I stocked 5 Amber Tetras 5 weeks ago in my QT tank to try & watch them for disease & to condition them for soft water since they were purchased from hard water. Liquid rock! The tank is fully cycled.
The tank build is a new Aqua clear HOB filter & 15 gallon internal sponge canister. The tank is 10 gallons , uncoated substrate with plastic plants. The ammonia checked out at zero, nitrites zero, TDS before water change 416 ppm.Gh 11, kh 4. Ph high above 7.6 but has been that way for 35 days with no way to lower it without peat.
New water going in 30%. TDS 304, Gh 9, Kh 3, 20% TAP 80% remineralized r/o with trace elements from Seachem & Gh booster. Ca, Mg, K. The tank settled in at TDS 396 GH 10 Kh 4.
I spent 2 days aging the water & measuring TDS making sure not to drop more than 30-40 TDS at a time.
Now the fish swim around the tank like they are stressed. Up & down the glass. They do not scratch against anything which would be a really bad sign, but the fast swimming obviously means something is bothering them. I test the water all the time for TDS & Kh , Gh so not to cause osmotic stress which could kill the fish especially going down seems to be worse. I have been gradually lowering the TDS in the course of 35 days I have only dropped them about 150ppms in 35 days, So what is going on. I dose prime to the 15 20% tap, about 8 drops. I only use .3 gal of tap. It is hard to tell how much prime to add with small water changes.
Does anybody have any ideas??? Osmotic shock or chlorine/ chloramines could cause racing fish????? Can fish raised in hard water not be acclimated to soft water even if its done long term???? Too much Prime??? not enough Prime???
 

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You are doing just right to acclimate the fish slowly to softer water.
I have found that the more delicate fish can handle about 10% drop in values. More than that is too much for any one water change.

Easy way to figure out if this is the problem: Add a tiny bit of Epsom salt. That will raise the GH and TDS. If the fish stop darting around, then no matter what the math or testing equipment that was too big a drop.

Yes, difficult to measure small amounts of liquid. Get an eye dropper that is labeled for tenths of a ml, that is .1 ml. The whole dropper will only hold 1 ml. The ones at the local Wal Mart are NOT labeled, so try a better store, maybe Rite Aid or CVS, or a medical supply store.
A syringe (without the needle) will also be more finely marked.

Are you sure the fish are stressed? Maybe they are just happy about new water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Diana. I will try to add some epsin salts & see what happens. It is possible they are happy , I tried to feed them & they all ate. Guess that is a good sign, but 1 or 2 fish seem to swim fast & it causes the others to follow.
Thinking extremely positive maybe they hated being in the liquid rock & they are being lowered to a more natural hardness.
That being said I went a head & added 8 more drops a little while ago of Prime but no sign of improvement.
Do happy fish swim really fast for hours? Probably not is my guess.
My next water change I will try only to drip 20%.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Another thing I forgot to mention is , I aerated the water bucket with an air stone for 3 or 4 hours before the change. Is it possible that the tank water + the HOB filter which is set to less than half circulation with high water mark causing an over oxygenated water?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Reporting back on new results: I switched to a slow drip, 2 hours 100% r/o water remineralized. I will be gradually lowering the TDS. I also used more prime than usual even with 100% r/o. I feel I have been under water conditioning an some chlorine dioxide has been getting in the process water, even through the r/o membrane.
The fish responded to this new way of water change acclimation much better. They appear healthy & happy now. I do not trust my tap water any longer even at a low percentage. It will be 100% r/o for the QT tank & I will see where this goes with the planted tank as well.
 
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