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Old 05-27-2018, 07:20 PM   #1
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Question Need help re ph in breeding tank

I am not new to aquarium keeping. I have two larger tanks: a 65 gallon and a 72 gallon. Both are heavily planted freshwater with an assortment of fish.

I am trying to raise albino cory fry. I am using a 20 gallon tank with no substrate. I started with a sponge filter and took some media from my established tank's filter and put it in a bag. Once the fry hatched and absorbed their egg sac I added some moss from my established tank so they would have some microscopic stuff to eat. After that I fed them with newly hatched brine shrimp and "baby fish formula" by Nutrafin.

I do 40-50% water changes daily.

All was well until about the 8th day and I noticed the fry were not moving about as usual. I tested the water and the ph had dropped drastically to beyond my test's reading. I immediately did a 50% water change and added some crushed oyster shell in a bag.

Fry continued to die and I removed the oyster shell and the filter media, assuming that the sponge filter would be well inoculated by now.

My corys continued spawning so I added the eggs and have (had) a mixture of ages of fry.

Today the fry were again not moving about and some were dead or dying. The water was extremely alkaline to about 8.8 or maybe more.

What on earth am I doing wrong?

I added a HOB filter and put the media in there. I also bought a small piece of driftwood and added it as well as put a small piece of growing pellets for starting seeds made from coconut which dropped the ph of my tap water slightly into the HOB filter.

Any and all advice is very welcome.
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Old 05-27-2018, 07:49 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by LynM156 View Post
I am not new to aquarium keeping. I have two larger tanks: a 65 gallon and a 72 gallon. Both are heavily planted freshwater with an assortment of fish.

I am trying to raise albino cory fry. I am using a 20 gallon tank with no substrate. I started with a sponge filter and took some media from my established tank's filter and put it in a bag. Once the fry hatched and absorbed their egg sac I added some moss from my established tank so they would have some microscopic stuff to eat. After that I fed them with newly hatched brine shrimp and "baby fish formula" by Nutrafin.

I do 40-50% water changes daily.

All was well until about the 8th day and I noticed the fry were not moving about as usual. I tested the water and the ph had dropped drastically to beyond my test's reading. I immediately did a 50% water change and added some crushed oyster shell in a bag.

Fry continued to die and I removed the oyster shell and the filter media, assuming that the sponge filter would be well inoculated by now.

My corys continued spawning so I added the eggs and have (had) a mixture of ages of fry.

Today the fry were again not moving about and some were dead or dying. The water was extremely alkaline to about 8.8 or maybe more.

What on earth am I doing wrong?

I added a HOB filter and put the media in there. I also bought a small piece of driftwood and added it as well as put a small piece of growing pellets for starting seeds made from coconut which dropped the ph of my tap water slightly into the HOB filter.

Any and all advice is very welcome.
A ph of 8.8 is horrible! Your nitrifying bacteria start dying at 8.5. Your fish are dying because of the pH shock and possibly nitrites and ammonia. Here is the biggest problem...fish can only tolerate a 0.2 ph change at a time over a 24 hour period. Your pH needs to come down immediately but safely. Get some peat moss asap and cram about two fist fulls into a lady's knee high stocking and tie it off. Push it under the water and squish it a few times so it will get some air out and start wetting the peat moss. Then just let it go whether it sinks or floats doesn't matter. It going to color the water like tea, but that's what the water looks like where they come from in nature. Hopfully it will lower the ph safely and quickly for them. You can still get to a place like Lowes or Home Depot for the peat moss and the stockings from most pharmacies and dollar stores that are still open.
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Old 05-27-2018, 07:52 PM   #3
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A ph of 8.8 is horrible! Your nitrifying bacteria start dying at 8.5. Your fish are dying because of the pH shock and possibly nitrites and ammonia. Here is the biggest problem...fish can only tolerate a 0.2 ph change at a time over a 24 hour period. Your pH needs to come down immediately but safely. Get some peat moss asap and cram about two fist fulls into a lady's knee high stocking and tie it off. Push it under the water and squish it a few times so it will get some air out and start wetting the peat moss. Then just let it go whether it sinks or floats doesn't matter. It going to color the water like tea, but that's what the water looks like where they come from in nature. Hopfully it will lower the ph safely and quickly for them. You can still get to a place like Lowes or Home Depot for the peat moss and the stockings from most pharmacies and dollar stores that are still open.
...and get that oyster shell out immediately. It is used to raise pH. You either used too much or left it in too long.
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