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unstable tank and fish deaths

1187 Views 12 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Diana
I've experienced a number of problems with my tank and I thought maybe someone here could help. In the past couple weeks I lost all my badis, a number of shrimp, and just today I lost my beloved halfmoon betta.

My tank is a 12 gl fluval edge and is close to 3 years old. It's planted but not too heavily. I do 30% water changes every week. For the water change I use 2gls of tap water (that rests overnight and add 2 drops of Prime) mixed with 1 gl of RO water with 1 little scoop of GH Up. I also add 6 drops Phyton Git, 32 drops Flourish Potassium, and 2 pushes of Green Brighty Step 3 to the mix. If I trim plants I add 7 drops of Green Gain. I dose potassium every other day and two pushes of Green Brighty Step 3 every 3 days. Due to the tank's age, I have added Iron Bottom to the substrate.

This routine has worked for me but recently I started to notice that plants appear stimulated by the water change and photosynthesize for 24 hours but then stop and I do not see anymore oxygen bubbles being released for an entire week.

co2 is administered via an inline co2 diffuser at 1 bbl per second. For light I use the Fluval Edge's system that came with the tank plus a Padlite with two LED strips (one white/one roseate). The co2 drop checker always turns yellow just after a few days, indicating a dangerous accumulation of co2.

The temperature is kept steady at 76F. In the past year, I'd been getting cyano blooms and I have added a product called Blue Green Slime Stain Remover by UltraLife every now and then and it seems to do a good job as cyano disappears for 3-4 months but then comes back again.

Just after my betta died I did a number of tests:

PH: 6.2
KH: 30mg/l
GH: 100
Nitrates: 10mg/l
Nitrtites: 0
Ammonia: 0

any ideas what's going on? any tips to stabilize my tank, bring PH to 7.0? why do plants stop photosynthesizing?

Thanks!
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The plants aren't releasing oxygen as you think after a water change. That is probably nitrogen or another gas in the water that is being released as it warms and as the partial pressure changes. That happens to every tank, regardless of plants.

In terms of your losses, firstly I would double check your nitrate and other levels. The nitrate (in particular) are notorious for being inaccurate. Shake the two bottles (assuming your're using API) for a good 60 seconds. Then test again. Also can you test phosphate? I haven't done the calcs but it looks like you may be adding too much ferts for that tank.

Also, stop using that cyano remover. It is either a nasty chem or an antibiotic. This will destroy your biological filter.

Turn CO2 off for now.
Do a large water change. Just add prime and tap water, nothing else.
Let it come to temperature and then slowly modify kH if you so desire.
Get it to 3dKH as a minimum. Measure the pH and record both these figures.
Leave it at temperature and kH for 24 hours.

The next day measure all settings again and then add then adjust the mircos as required. Leave it a day and adjust macros if needed.

Basically start again, reset and watch the ammonia etc.
 

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Yes, according to the dosing requirements, (5ml / 190L) = 7 drops of prime for every 3.6G (30% of 12G) during your water change.
 

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3dKH is 54mg/L
 
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