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unstable tank and fish deaths

1188 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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Since I don't have any Prime I can't just read the label, but that two drops sounds off to me. You would need to check the tap water before you put it into the tank to find out what the PH is, but likely the RO is responsible for the 6.2 PH.
CO2 should come on about one hr before the lights come on and shut off like half an hr before they go off each day.
 

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Two drops then sounds correct if it's per gallon and added into each gallon before the water is added to the tank.
 

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I don't know if it effects the CO2 or not but the concern here is that lower than 3KH results in unstable PH. KH helps regulate PH.
Chlorine dissipates quickly but most cities use Chloremine which doesn't.
But two drops in each gallon seems to be the correct amount if it's put
into each gallon when you set the water in the bottles to sit overnight.
 

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I think the PH swing being bad for the plants is possible, but mostly on those that list
a noticeably low PH. Some sites(very few) which sell plants list the PH they "need".
I have no study/training in that to say for sure, but I believe it to be the most common place to find them growing and that you will find them in other PH levels as well.
There probably are a few exceptions to that.
Once I saw that the link was for Borneo I didn't read any farther. They don't sell junk.
Lots of the people who use that have very expensive shrimp and wouldn't use stuff
that might harm them.
Is that bubble counter integrated into the regulator on that CO2 rig ? The regulator would be the part that I would suspect would allow or not allow the amount that goes out.
 
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