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Old 01-16-2012, 11:54 AM   #1
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Please help water mystery

Hi everyone this is the first time I have ever posted on a forum but I am in despirate need of help. The situation: I have a 37 gal community tank. 2 cory cats, 1 dwarf gourami, 3 male guppies (1 with dropsy ). My tap water is unusable. I have been using the ready water and freshwater one 2 gal. from the pet stores but I am going broke. Also I am trying to cure the guppy. So I relized my nitrates were sky high. I had read you can use distilled water so I went to the store. I did a water change around 1 am last night 4 gal. of ready water/freshwater one from petstore and 5gal. distilled water. water looked fine and nitrates were still about 20-40 but were better than before. Now the part the makes me want to cry and give up. I woke up this morning about 9 and what the...!? the water is really cloudy. I don't understand!! This has never happened before!? the fish still ate fine (except the one with dropsy). I was thinking of adding a mineral/vitamin block. what did I do wrong? How do I fix it? Please help

thanks in advance
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Old 01-16-2012, 11:59 AM   #2
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Welcome to AA, JamieB!!!! We will try to figure this out. Can i ask why your tap is not usuable? Do you have a liquid test kit for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, ph? What are the readings for your tank & your tap? Some more info will help to figure things out!
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Old 01-16-2012, 12:16 PM   #3
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In addition to water parameters - some more info will help - how long have the tank been set up. How did you cycle it. What is the color of the cloudiness (green or white ... other color?)

What is in the "ready water" you get from the lfs? Also, mixing in distilled water can really mess with the parameters. <Distilled has no minerals ... zero KH, so it will not hold a pH .... tanks run with only distilled water tend to have pH crashes ... very bad for fish.>

Doctoring water is an advanced part of the hobby. You need to know your water parameters, and really understand what you are doing. For 99% of the FW hobbyist, using tap water is better for the fish in the long run. <Why is your tap not usable?>
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Old 01-16-2012, 12:31 PM   #4
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First off thank you for responding. My tap water is very hard we had a lot of problems with algae blooms and chemicals over the summer. It tastes and smells fine but I don't trust it. I have a liquid test kit. My readings are
Ammonia:0
Nitrite:5 I haven't tested it in awhile. This is a bad suprise
Nitrate:10
Ph: 7.2
Temp.: 78-80
Readings taken 1/16/12 11:30ish
Note: I forgot to mention I started treating the tank with Mardel Maracyn Two trying to save to guppy but that was three days ago.

The tank has been set up for over a month. I had a 10 gal. that was cycled and running for 6months I used the decor,gravel /sand, water and filter from that when I upgraded to this one. ran both new and old filters for 3 weeks now just new filter.

The cloudiness is white.
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Old 01-16-2012, 12:50 PM   #5
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Your tank is still cycling with a nitrite reading of 5ppm. This is very toxic for your fish. Water changes are your best solution. Unless your tap has high levels of ammonia and/or nitrite, it should be fine to use. Can you post your readings for your tap water?
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Old 01-16-2012, 02:03 PM   #6
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The readings from my tap water
Ammonia:0
Nitrite:0
Nitrate:10 orange
Hardness: Very Hard (according to test strip)
Ph:8.4-8.8 very purple
The last tank I had that I used tap water with was 8years ago (I'm getting back into the hobby) It had that horrible white crust that is impossible to keep up with.

Question: I need to do a water change to fix the Nitrite problem? How much? Can I use half distilled water and half tap water treated with API tap water conditioner? I will add some safstart also. my tank has fully cycled I checked the levels before and after I removed the old filter. they were Ammonia-0, Nitrite-0, Nitrate-20. that was about 2 weeks ago? could using the dropsy medication be killing off my good bacteria?
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Old 01-16-2012, 02:10 PM   #7
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The first thing I will say, is that test strips are not very accurate, and you should get the master test kit. Also, did you have any other problems when using your tap water? Because i have very hard water too, but have no ill effects from using it.
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Old 01-16-2012, 02:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieB215 View Post
The readings from my tap water
Ammonia:0
Nitrite:0
Nitrate:10 orange
Hardness: Very Hard (according to test strip)
Ph:8.4-8.8 very purple
The last tank I had that I used tap water with was 8years ago (I'm getting back into the hobby) It had that horrible white crust that is impossible to keep up with.

Question: I need to do a water change to fix the Nitrite problem? How much? Can I use half distilled water and half tap water treated with API tap water conditioner? I will add some safstart also. my tank has fully cycled I checked the levels before and after I removed the old filter. they were Ammonia-0, Nitrite-0, Nitrate-20. that was about 2 weeks ago? could using the dropsy medication be killing off my good bacteria?
What type of meds did you use? Yes, water changes are the solution to your nitrite issue but theres too great of a ph difference right now between your tank & your tap to use only tap water. Lets start with a water change doing 50-50 (treated tap to distilled)- if you have enough to do 50%pwc, this is a good place to start. Wait 15mins, then retest your tank levels & lets see how they look. What we will need to work on is gradually increasing the amount of tap you are using while giving the fish a chance to adjust to the increasing ph until you are using only tap.
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Old 01-16-2012, 03:57 PM   #9
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ok I did the water change with 6 and 1/2 gallons distilled water (all I had) and 9 gallons treated tap water. I also added safestart-one small bottle.

The med I was useing was Mardel Maracyn Two to try to cure my guppy with dropsy.
*New Water Results*
Ammonia-0
Nitrite-.25
Nitrate-10
Ph-7.6
Ph High Range-7.4
1/16/12 3:00pm *Note: I do use a liquid test kit
Still kinda cloudy white
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Old 01-16-2012, 04:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieB215 View Post
ok I did the water change with 6 and 1/2 gallons distilled water (all I had) and 9 gallons treated tap water. I also added safestart-one small bottle.

The med I was useing was Mardel Maracyn Two to try to cure my guppy with dropsy.
*New Water Results*
Ammonia-0
Nitrite-.25
Nitrate-10
Ph-7.6
Ph High Range-7.4
1/16/12 3:00pm *Note: I do use a liquid test kit
Still kinda cloudy white
Thats a big improvement. The cloudiness is most likely a bacterial bloom due to your tank cycling & should resolve itself with some time. The maracyn2 probably affected your cycle to some degree- it is an antibiotic & antibiotics do not discriminate between 'good' bacteria (in your filter) & 'bad' bacteria. Lets work on doing small water changes (@10-15%) 2x a day with your treated tap water over the next few days to gradually bring your ph up to your taps ph & give your fish a chance to adjust.
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Old 01-16-2012, 04:56 PM   #11
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Thank you I will do that. Just one other question: I would like to add more fist eventually a couple more cory cats maybe some glofish(danios). My question is how can I aclimate them to such a high ph? would it be a bad idea to use some sort of ph balancing product? never looked into them. ok that was two questions.
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Old 01-16-2012, 06:38 PM   #12
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I do not have any personal experience with these fish so i am not going to be of much help with them. Most fish will adapt to tanks ph but yours is a bit on the high side. I wouldnt recommend any ph altering chemicals because you will invite more problems than they are worth & they are only a band-aid so to speak. What you can consider is using something more natural such as real driftwood or peat to aid in adjusting your ph down a bit naturally.
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:58 PM   #13
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Your tap water seems fine to me. Many fish keepers have hard water with a high PH and keep fish without problems. Have you ever tried keeping fish with your tap water?

Have you added any new fish since removing the old filter? How long ago did you remove it and how long did you test the water afterwards? I suspect a mini-cycle from either removing the old filter too soon or from the medication. You want to keep up with testing daily and doing water changes to keep those nitrites <.25 (which you seem to be doing, good job!). Does just the one fish have dropsy? Are you sure that's what it is and not just nitrite poisoning? If it's just the one fish it may be better to set up a smaller quarantine tank and just treat the one fish rather than the whole tank although I suppose now it's already done. Does the sick fish look any better?

As for your PH: don't mess with it. Most fish can adapt to your PH, it'll be fine. A few more Corys to keep the present ones company and the Glolights sound fine. I'd wait until treatment is done and parameters are stable for at least a couple of weeks before adding anything new though.
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Old 01-18-2012, 01:55 AM   #14
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Corys & Danios are so hardy they should be OK even with your tap. Our pH is almost 8, and those fish adapt perfectly fine to that.

For ease of maintenance (and no chance of errors with doctoring the water), I'd suggest using the tap, and just choosing fish that can adapt to it. When you want to try more demanding fish, 50:50 tap to distilled is a good start. <There are many other ways to doctor water, but all have drawbacks & possibilities of mixing errors, etc.>
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:15 PM   #15
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Not that things are perfect for me - I'm researching threads from people with cloudy water, etc. right now...

IMHO regarding the ph problem and buying water - I have regular bottled drinking water delivered from Ice Mountain. I have tested all their parameters and it is perfect for fish keeping. I do a 5 gallon jug of that probably every two weeks and use tap water - my ph is still like 8.4 but I like evening it out.

Instead of hauling all that water around - order it! I pay like 24.95 a month for 5 bottles delivered to my front door. I only use maybe 2 a month.

(btw this is for my 36 gallon bow front tank).

Janelle
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