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Old 09-04-2005, 04:29 AM   #1
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looks like I lost the tank!

we it all started to go bad yesterday tried to make my filtration better and then my bicolor angel faded color and died I test the water all looked good but when I took my water sample to the fish store ph was low and nitrate was very high cleaned the water and replaced but it looks like I will loose the tank or most of it, lets put it this way my damsels are barely hanging on ph was fixed trying to get the Nitrate back in balance or to zero looks like I night be going back to the drawing board. did this years ago and forgot how difficult saltwater can be but I love it to one step forward two steps back I guess
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Old 09-04-2005, 01:10 PM   #2
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Nitrate is definately a factor but within limits. Depending on the health of the fish, nitrates are tolerable to a point. If below 20 ppm, this would not be your cause albeit a contributor if the fish where otherwise unhealthy. As to your pH, never take a sample to the LFS. The results will be dramatically skewed by the aeration or if covered, supression thereof. If your unsure of your pH readings, take your testkit to them instead and do a side by side comparison with their water agaisnt their inhouse kit.

What where your test results when done at home for all your water specs?

Can you give a bit of history on the tank set up and inhabitants, how they where added and so on?

Cheers
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Old 09-04-2005, 01:38 PM   #3
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Steve thanks for the advice it's been three days fighting to keep the fish I had one clown and two damsels to start they were there for a year so I was told changed the pump and waited a few days added the fluval and bought then we added a tomato clown the gobbie and a star to clean took about a week break added the boxer then another week waited and added a bi color angel and blood shrimp. the boxer was the 1st to go but he was very small about a half inch don't think even if he added toxins that that would be enough to poison the tank at this point I have realized I don't know enough to know what went wrong and how and the last three days are a blur and frankly I am confused distraught and I plan on doing allot of reading before starting over I guess my big question is should I remove all the water at this point and start over or what to do where to start I want to get the tank restabilized don't think I can save any fish think it's to late have a clown and damsel hanging on. I know enough to know if you damsels are dying your pretty much sol, but am I better to start with new water and start over or what. I like to know if that filter was the culbrate of my problems or just coincidence
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Old 09-04-2005, 01:56 PM   #4
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here is a link that shows my tank with everybody happy

this was taking Friday before things started to go bad and before adding the filter. perhaps it will provide a clue

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Old 09-04-2005, 05:47 PM   #5
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It sounds like you added too many fish in too short a time span, although you should see elevated ammonia and nitrite...but if you weren't testing for those, you could have easily missed it, and it would explain the increased nitrate.

hmmm...
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Old 09-05-2005, 10:03 AM   #6
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well here is the newest update at the last minute I aided a air pump don't know if I am a complete idiot and should have had a air pump hooked up. Right now the ph is been balanced I have pretty much balanced out the nitates through cleaning. I am going to try and keep my last two fish happy and read up one what I am doing I have you and your Aquarium by Dick Mills and I ordered The Conscientious Marine Aquarist by Robert M. Fenne that some members recomended in one of the forums I will read these wait a month before adding any more fish and from what I am reading I should be adding 1 fish a month perhaps two if very small. but still I guess I need to know should I have had the air pump all along with the fluval 304 or did the extra cleaner I added to the pump do something to my air supply posibbly.. looking back I am thinking it makes sense i should have had a air pump but I honestly don't know which is again why I wont add any more fish till I know some of this stuff.
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Old 09-05-2005, 11:27 AM   #7
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You don't need an air pump. Is your tank covered? That will lower the pH. Uncover it. Get some eggcrate to cover the top if you have any jumpers.
You need to get some air to the surface of the water which is where the gas exchange takes place. The water surface should be rippled, not flat. You can achieve this by directing some water flow (use a ph) towards the surface.

You need to have the test kits on hand to do all your tests at home: pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and alk at a minimum. pH will be lower before the lights are on and rise slightly while the lights are on. You should test a few hours after the lights come on and at about the same time of day each time you test.
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Old 09-05-2005, 11:47 AM   #8
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dont mean to hijack the thread but are you saying a canopy will lower the pH? Can i add some fans to air out the tank?
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Old 09-05-2005, 03:18 PM   #9
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You actually need to re evaluate the set up of the tank as well. Given the tank height, hex tanks are notorious for low pH problems due to the lack of surface area. It becomes even more important to have brisk surface aggitation and as much uncovered top space as possible to prevent the buildup of CO2. The fact the airstone improved your pH would support that. I can see by the picture you posted there does seem to be a lack of water movement apparatus.

As for the filter being added, it is by no means a contributor to the problem. If anything, it will help improve conditions some. Just be sure you clean/replace the media frequently. If simpley cleaning, rinse everything in SW not fresh. This will ensure a good majority of nitrifying bacteria survive. You can also use the return from the canister to hook up a spray bar. I find especially in a smaller tank, spray bars are very efficient and improve overall water flow.

Another issue to consider is lack of denitrifying areas. If you like the look of the tank without much LR, you need to improve nutrient export a great deal or high nitrates will always be a problem. A good skimmer, carbon use in the canister and/or a refugium for macro algae harvesting. If you don't mind the look of the LR or even base rock as a cheaper alternative, it will greatly improve the living environment/water quality.

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Old 09-05-2005, 03:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pelochas
dont mean to hijack the thread but are you saying a canopy will lower the pH?
Most definately if there is not sufficient space for gas exchange or a large surfaced sump.

Quote:
Can i add some fans to air out the tank?
Yes that will help as long as the outside air gets into the tank and the air flow pushes outwards. It will also depend on ambient CO2 in the tank room itself.

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