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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 12 gallon tank fully planted and loosing fish. I have not been testing the water or doing water changes for quite some time. I’m using pressurized CO2 and dosing PPS pro as per the instructions from the manufacture. At first I thought I was gassing them and my drop CHECKER just wasn’t working so I turned the CO2 completely off. Came home from work today and found another dead fish so I decided to check my water and found everything perfect but nitrates extremely high. Can this be the Ferts that I’m dozing? I have another tank that I dose the same solution with and the parameters are Good. See pictures attached. I could really use some advice thank you guys and gals.
One more thing: I have four or five Amano shrimp that will not seem to come out of hiding since I started adding fish. They used to run the tank now they only hide.Could that be a sign of something wrong as well? The fish I’ve lost are neon tetra’s and zebra Danio’s. I’ve also lost a handful of Ottos but I think that’s just because they like to die. ;) Plant Water Vertebrate Botany Green
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I added Ottos & Nirite snails on 3/21. Amano Shrimp 4/4 and rest of fish beginning end of may and re-stocking dead ones for last few weeks. I turned CO2 back on but not as heavy. Going to do water change tonight as I would assume this can only help. I clean algae from inside tank and change out filter floss regularly inside filter. Running Carbon inside a HOB filter (not reactor but in a bag which much water filters through).

I have been reading and hearing (podcasts) where regular water changes just are not necessary in an established fully planted tank. Using Water changes only used as a tool to fix a problem. What are some of your opinions on that?

Also is it unusual for the Amano shrimp to spend most of their time hiding inside a cave and not swimming around. they were always out until I started adding Neons and Danios. They don't even come out to feed so I a assuming they are coming out only at night. Does it seem as if maybe there is a problem with them based on what I have stated. They are still molting and look good.

Thank you everyone for your help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Wow! Lots of good information here and I actually appreciate the conflicting theories as it reinforces the fact that their isn't always one good answer for any given problem. I did about a 30% water change and will continue to do so until nitrates are lower. I tend to believe that the high nitrates are not a problem based soley on what I have read and not by experience whatsoever but don't want to keep loosing fish as I have been. I lost two more danios since my last post and the only parameter that seems off Is my nitrates. Of course I am only using the API test kit.


Edward:
I am not exactly sure how much CO2 I am dosing as I am not certain how to measure it correctly. (do you suggest the GH/KH test? I have read that this is fully unreliable). I have the bubble counter @ just a little above 1bps when I used to have it so high I couldn't even count it. The drop counter is solid green to slightly blue when it used to be green w/ a tinge of yellow hue.
I failed to mention that the fish loss has spiked once I started dosing PPS Pro method. I stopped dosing ferts altogether when I first added a post on here. Plants seemed to have slowed their growth but still look nice and are growing.
I don't know what my GH is in tank or tap but will test when I get home tonight and will post them.
I don't have a phosphate test kit. I have very little algae that I can see and never have had a problem with it in this tank if that matters.

I can't vac my substrate as it is to heavily planted with MC. I cleaned my filter and added new mechanical filtration twice the amount of what it was. Removed Carbon. With HOB filter I have no added biological aside from what is in the tank. The HOB is equipped for a bio-wheel which I don't use. Should I start using it? Does it matter?

As an aside: once I did the water change the neons started to swim in a group again and seemed to be playing in the current when they were just kind of roaming on their own with some just sort of hovering around the bottom. at this point I turned up the CO2 from 1dps to maybe 1.5 to 2.0dps and the neons separated a bit again. Coincidental?? I left the CO2 where it is and look forward to seeing what Is going on when I get home today.

The shrimp have come out of hiding and are feeding in the moss
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
@ GREGZZ, Fantastic info Greggz. I never heard of checking the PH drop before. I have a PH pen I recently purchased along with some solution but never really knew what the heck to do with it aside from measuring PH. I will start right away on that. My co2 comes on at 11am and lights at noon. co2 off @ 8:30 and lights [email protected] 9:00pm. When would you suggest taking the PH reading. You said when the CO2 period begins...

Did I learn wrong in learning to keep surface agitation low due to gas exchange and thus loosing co2?

I will certainly be doing regular water changes. They certainly aren't hard in a 12 gallon tank. I was lead to believe that they just are not necessary but I'm going to throw that thought out as I am know that this will fix most problems..

ps. I used to work in Plymouth MI off of 5 Mile so I know where you live.... so to speak :)

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@ Edward.

been dosing every night as soon as lights go out. 1.0ml macro and two drops of micro (as per instructions) I use a digital scale to make solution.
- by the way... why dose with the lights are off. I am doing this because the instructions say to do so but doesn't explain why this is. also is dosing at beginning of the dark period the best time? instructions only say while lights are out. Is this because fertilizer in water column and on leaves will burn the plant when the lights are on kind of like with terrestrial plants and not dosing when sun is high?

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@ Happi - I don't use root tabs and have heard a bit about Urea. I'm not knowledgeable enough to start anything more than I am doing now. I am probably doing more than maybe I should already. I started my tank the first of April having no experience whatsoever. This is the first problem that I have had so far. I have kind of been waiting for the bottom to fall out as I know that I don't fully understand what the heck I am doing... I started adding fish a few months ago and stopped a few weeks ago. been loosing them every now and again since the beginning and more rapidly since I started dosing PPS. Fish and snails bought from LFS (used several of the big box) types don't remember exactly which one. Amano's I bought online.


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I'm starting to lean toward high CO2 rather than high NO3 but will do all I can to get them all to a safer level.
going to do another water change tonight when I get home fingers crossed that there are no more dead ones when I get there.

Thank you so much everyone for trying to help this newbie out. Despite all this I am still loving the Hobby!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
Edward,

I leave for work in the am @ 7am but lights don't come on until noon. If I dose @ 7am-ish is this to early to dose considering no lights until noon? If I turn the lights on to much earlier I won't have much time at night with the tank lights on.

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Greggz - lighting is a Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED single strip and a florescent grow light type aquarium lamp that is usually used with a hood. not sure wattage on florescent but believe it is in the 20 range. 6500k on the led. used to have two of the florescent but seems to be doing just as well with only one. what is your opinion on my lighting situation? need more? less? plants seem to be doing really well. they started to really explode once I started to dose PPS.

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Are Nitrates raised by Macros, Micros or neither? I don't understand the chemistry behind it all. What drives nitrates other than the nitrogen cycle. Am I even asking the right questions? If I raise or lower my micro or macros right now is it going to affect my nitrate level? I stopped dosing a few days back once I noticed the high nitrates. Im sort of nervous to even start dosing again.

thanks
 
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