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I don't get why fertilizers are killing my fish!one

Discussion in 'Food, Water & Health' started by captmicha, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. captmicha

    captmicha CCA Members

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    65 gallon tall. It's understocked until you count in the two plecos I have in there for now. They're pigs. Other fish are pygmy corydoras (down to just 2 or even 1 now), galaxy Rasbora's (down to 1!), a school of 4 mosquito fish, one black skirt tetra, two 4-5" common plecos, and my tire track eel.

    I've had some south American cichlids in there when I remember my pH being lower. And I wanted to add some again. But I can't until I figure this out.

    Anyways, I just tested my water to be sure. pH is higher than I remember (actually haven't tested this for a couple of years) at about 7.5. I'd like to figure this out.

    My Ammonia is .25 ppm (I'm behind), Nitrite is 0, and Nitrate is weird at 40-80. They look the same on the pamphlet. It's API.

    Actually, I don't remember if you're supposed to compare the test tube with it laying flat, or standing up. Bc the nitrate is darker standing up.

    I'm noticing the deaths following fertilizing the tank.

    I'm doing the estimative index https://www.aquariacentral.com/forums/threads/co2-fertilization-algae-and-more-updated-10-10.136668/.

    But actually, I'm dosing less amount (only 1/4 tsp all combined) and only 2x per week.

    Because I can't keep up with water changes several times a week. I can only manage 1-2 per week.

    I have T-8 lights that came with the tank, which is low. I haven't changed them out yet. I'm going for heavily plants. So far I have some vallisneria, cocombia, Java mass, Java ferns, and a couple of other things.

    I use the SAME ferts method in my other two tanks, including with a shrimp, and no problems. I also used the same when I used to have a lot more tanks.

    What's going on? Please help me figure this out.
     
  2. captmicha

    captmicha CCA Members

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    Ugh. Won't let me edit. Anyways, our well water is 6.4 pH. The fertilizers are changing it like crazy. The plecos also to a degree.
     
  3. jonclark96

    jonclark96 Past CCA President
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    I don't know much of anything about planted tanks and fertilizers, but I wouldn't think that those would be the sources of ammonia in the tank. With any readings of ammonia, I would think it was either because of a dead fish in the tank or that somehow you've disrupted your BB colony.
     
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  4. dogofwar

    dogofwar Global Moderators
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    Agreed. I don't know anything about fertilizer or dosing but you don't want there to be any ammonia. That said, certain dechlor products and test kits give wildly misreading readings, especially with ammonia.

    As the last speaker said, consistency is key. Not sure about your well water but our local tap is ~pH 7.4 and medium hard. I keep and breed plenty of South and Central American cichlids in it straight from the tap. Doing weekly water changes with that fish load is plenty. More doesn't hurt, of course...but I'd focus on great water quality before messing with fertilizers, etc.

    One possible cause of some of the deaths: mosquito fish (Gambusia sp.) are mean and nippy as heck.

    Good luck,
    Matt
     
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  5. captmicha

    captmicha CCA Members

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    Mine are pretty docile. In fact, I've never seen them chasing anyone before last night. But I might put them in my community cichlid tank anyways.

    I do want some fertilizers in my tank bc my plants suffer without them. Should I try just reducing by about half? And testing the water often?

    It's so weird though that everything is all right in my other tanks.

    I find the dead fish before they even start getting moldy.

    And the bacteria on my sand bed seems to really break down the grass quickly. I've also upped the water flow to the bottom of the tank to help.
     
  6. mchambers

    mchambers Occasional Corydoras Breeder / Board of Directors
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    I agree. Didn't you have to replace a filter on this tank? Maybe it's not cycled.
     
  7. captmicha

    captmicha CCA Members

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    Yeah, although I did just switch over the filter media from the last one.

    Good catch. I'll keep testing to see what's happening.
     
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