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Old 03-19-2012, 12:27 AM   #1
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Confused again!!???

So I'm really trying to do the fish thing the right way but man o man there is just so much info out there and I really don't understand. So I got all the tests ( I think) and I still lost a fish. I would really like to move on to some more advanced fish and get a nice big tank but I'm still losing guppies . Not very often but it happens and I'm so sensitive about it. I just lost another I've done the tests they read ( they are strips I know it's not the best option but it's what was available In my town) nitrate is btw 60-80 nitrite is 0-.5 Hardness is 75 alkalinity is 40 and ph is 5.5. I also did an ammonia test and it came out a light green shade I thinks it's .1-.3 closer to .1 and it says for ammonia as nitrogen divide result by 1.22?????? So is this a safe level of ammonia? I'm trying to figure out if it was ammonia poisoning or some sort of disease. He either gasped at the surface or laid at the bottom gasping I'm really trying to fix the issue. There's flat worms so I did a prazipro dose and they actually look Better but I'm not really sure what the issue is. Don't judge me for my lack of knowledge im trying lol!
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Old 03-19-2012, 12:36 AM   #2
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When was the last time you did a water change? Your readings seem high and your pH is low. You want your ammonia to be 0 but at least try to get it to .25 or lower. I do the liquid tests and have ammonia, pH, high pH,Nitrate, and Nitrite. You could take some test water to a lfs and have them test it for you to get better readings.
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Old 03-19-2012, 12:59 AM   #3
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Try amazon for the liquid test kit, they have the API master kit for a pretty good price. Until then, keep doing regular water changes. According to the strips your nitrates are pretty high, and you should never have ammonia or nitrite in the tank. The strips are inaccurate, but to err on the side of caution always assume they are retreading things too low rather than too high. The gasping behavior is a common sign of ammonia poisoning, so keep changing that water. I'm assuming the strips read your ph as too low, 5.5 is very low. Either it is giving you a low reading or the ph has dropped because all the buffers in your water have been depleted because it has been too long between water changes. If it really is that low, it is dangerous for most fish to be below 6, and livebearers like guppies usually prefer water at a ph slightly above 7. As the poster above me said, bring some of your water to your fish store to be tested. Ask that they use a liquid kit and test it in front of you, and make sure they give you actual numbers, not just "bad" or "good".
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:01 AM   #4
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Ya I don't have the option to bring the water to get tested, I live in a really small town and there's no fish even for sale here! I do like a 20-30 % percent water change a week I also got some ph upper, should I use it? I heard that you really don't want to mess around with that to much. I also heard that you can use a cycle product to fix ammonia Issue but just incase I got some ammonia fixer ( I believe that's what it's called). I figured that the ph was low, but I thought there was only ammonia problems when the ph was high? My goodness I really want to buy a tank over 100 gallons but I feel like you need a degree to get the hang of this stuff. So intimidating!
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:13 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizzydea
Ya I don't have the option to bring the water to get tested, I live in a really small town and there's no fish even for sale here! I do like a 20-30 % percent water change a week I also got some ph upper, should I use it? I heard that you really don't want to mess around with that to much. I also heard that you can use a cycle product to fix ammonia Issue but just incase I got some ammonia fixer ( I believe that's what it's called). I figured that the ph was low, but I thought there was only ammonia problems when the ph was high? My goodness I really want to buy a tank over 100 gallons but I feel like you need a degree to get the hang of this stuff. So intimidating!
Don't use either product. Ammonia lock stuff will just starve the bacteria you are trying to grow which will eliminate ammonia in the long run. You should try to change at least 50% a week, especially if you are seeing nitrates. As an example, with the 80 ppm of nitrate you have now, a 50% change would only bring it down to 40 ppm (50% reduction) and you should get it down to 20 ppm or lower. To do this, you would need to do two back to back 50% changes. Large changes will also help your ph get back to where it should be. Test your tap water for ph after letting it sit out for 24 hours to let it gas out. If it is higher than what you are reading in your tank, something in the tank is making it drop. Do you have any driftwood in the tank? That can lower ph as well. If your water is just naturally low in ph, there are things you can add to buffer it in a safer way than using chemicals, such as adding crushed coral substrate. Before you do this, get that liquid test kit to be sure the problem is really there though. As I said, it is available online. Also, what fish do you have, and how did you cycle it? From the readings you gave, your tank is adjusting to the bioload or it is overstocked. If it was fully cycled to your bioload you wouldn't see any nitrites or ammonia. Once again, this is assuming the test strips are giving you an accurate reading, which is unlikely. However as I said before, until you can get a good test kit always assume the tests are reading too low rather than too high when it comes to ammonia, nitrite and nitrates.
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:33 AM   #6
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There isn't wood in the tank and theres an awful snail problem in all my tanks, that could explain why I'm having issues. I have 3 guppies 5 danio a Chinese algae eater and a kohli loach in a 6 gallon tank. I will go online and buy a test kit as well. I knew that water changes would help but I was worried because I just put some prazipro for flat worms and I thought that maybe there was a fluke issue due to the gasping and I didn't want to wash the medicine away for 3 days. I tested my tap waters ph and it was in the ideal range on the strip and my other tanks are in that range on the strip as well. I don't know what happen to my main tank.
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Old 03-19-2012, 03:08 AM   #7
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It sounds like your tank is overstocked. General rule of thumb is 1" of fish per 1 gal of water. It sounds like you have about 12 inches of fish in a 6 gallon tank.
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:50 AM   #8
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Don't get upset please, I'm going to toss some things out to you here.

You are massively overstocked.
The CAE needs to go. It can get up to ten inches and will soon get aggressive towards your other fish.
The Loach needs to go. It can get over four inches and prefers to be in groups of at least three (and that is a low ball number).
The danios are much happier when given room to swim as they are a super active fish. A twenty galling long tank is better for them and they prefer schools of five or more.
Guppies actually have a relatively large bio load for their size.
All told, a six gallon tank is not really appropriate for much for than one Betta or some shrimp or snails.

That out of the way... You need to get the nitrate down and the pH up. Don't use chemicals to do this please as it will only add to your problem. Test your source water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH. Nitrification basically stops at a pH lower than six. I would do two back to back 50% PWCs as soon as possible and test the tank again in about an hour. Do more PWCs after that if the tests show you need to.
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blert View Post
Don't get upset please, I'm going to toss some things out to you here.

You are massively overstocked.
The CAE needs to go. It can get up to ten inches and will soon get aggressive towards your other fish.
The Loach needs to go. It can get over four inches and prefers to be in groups of at least three (and that is a low ball number).
The danios are much happier when given room to swim as they are a super active fish. A twenty galling long tank is better for them and they prefer schools of five or more.
Guppies actually have a relatively large bio load for their size.
All told, a six gallon tank is not really appropriate for much for than one Betta or some shrimp or snails.

That out of the way... You need to get the nitrate down and the pH up. Don't use chemicals to do this please as it will only add to your problem. Test your source water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH. Nitrification basically stops at a pH lower than six. I would do two back to back 50% PWCs as soon as possible and test the tank again in about an hour. Do more PWCs after that if the tests show you need to.
+1 Blert said it beautifully. If you want to help your fish you're going to have to either return/rehome them or upgrade your tank very soon.

Your nitrate being so high is an indication of overstocking and not doing enough water changes. The PH is probably dropping due to this too; don't add any more chemicals, water changes will fix it. Do a 50% water change ASAP with dechlorinator (Prime is best but whatever you have on hand is fine) and try to match the temp of the water. I'd suggest doing a 50% water change every day or two until you can either return the fish or get a larger tank.

Also you might want to test your tap water for nitrate, ammonia and nitrite to see if any are coming from your tap water.

Try to get a liquid kit, the strips aren't very accurate.

I just learned about cycling but I already have fish. What now?!

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Old 03-19-2012, 12:34 PM   #10
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It felt over stocked, I have 3 tanks my other 2 are full of babies. I will transfer all babies to one tank and I will set up another tank and distribute accordingly. Thanks for the info and help from everyone I will do water changes till my tests aren't pink any more.
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