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Old 06-26-2011, 05:54 PM   #1
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I'm stumped

I posted a thread a while back about my fish congregating at the top of the tank looking like they were out of O2 - pwc fixed it and they were all happily swimming again.

I did a pwc this afternoon, as always, shifted a couple of bits around in the tank and it all seemed fine. Less than six hours later they're all up the top again with the same symptoms as above. I'm confused! The water parameters are perfect, so it can't be that. I've turned on the standby filter which will increase the surface agitation for them but do I need to do another pwc? :-/ I did notice when I was shifting the tank around that a lot of the painted ornaments were chipped (all of which are out of the tank now) - could that cause this/different issue? Not sure what to do :-/
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Old 06-26-2011, 06:17 PM   #2
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What are you water parameters? "Perfect" sometimes means something different to everyone; is your tank fully cycled?

Do you have an air stone?
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Old 06-26-2011, 08:02 PM   #3
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Are the fish gasping for air? Overstocking fish aquariums and higher water temps will create lower O2 levels and the deeper water also contains lower levels which could explain the fish congregating at the upper regions of the tank. What are you current water conditions, tank size, and stock list?
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Old 06-26-2011, 08:32 PM   #4
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I read through your previous thread. Is your tank near a window or anywhere that something could be blowing into the water?
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Old 06-27-2011, 01:48 AM   #5
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Ammonia 0
Nitrites 0
Nitrates 0 (lots of plants in there)

60L with 3 mollies, 3 guppies and a few babies who are about half a centimetre long

No windows nearby and it has a hood so no chance of anything blowing in there.

Not sure what I'm doing wrong!
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Old 06-27-2011, 03:00 AM   #6
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try doing a water change if it is the ornaments that will remvoe most off the chips
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Old 06-27-2011, 05:17 PM   #7
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This could be an issue related to your tap water quality. Your tap water can change every so often. Sometimes it may have more chlorine/chloromine in it or the TDS in the water may change. Also if you soften the water it can occasionally test high in dissolved sodium.

Do you know if there has been a change in your tap water parameters?
Does it have an unusual taste or smell?
Is it clear coming out of the faucet?
Are you conditioning your water properly before you put it in the tank?
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Old 06-29-2011, 02:59 PM   #8
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That's interesting about water quality. I always use a conditioner before I put it in the tank, use a kettle rather than hot water to mix it to the right temperature. Should I use a water filter before conditioning and putting it in the tank? I haven't noticed anything different but I usually use it just for tea rather than drinking it.
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Old 06-30-2011, 06:01 PM   #9
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It is always a good place to start when you have eliminated disease or the tank's water parameters.

Many problems are caused for aquarists by their own tap water and they don't even realize it. Although tap water is generally safer than any bottled water you can get. It is subject to very stringent guidelines in most cases. Moreso than anything you can buy in the store, which has almost no standard.

Filtered water is not a bad place to start, but if it is RO water be careful. RO water is good to use for topping off a freshwater aquarium, just so long as it is not used exclusively to fill an aquarium. Charcoal filtered is better for freshwater fish IMO.

RO water is very pure, too pure to use exclusively. Water is the universal solvent and any that is too pure can actually leach minerals from your tank. This is not too big of a problem in a saltwater tank, since minerals are being added and it is well monitored. But in freshwater tanks, minerals aren't normally added.

Successive PWC exclusively with RO water can create a situation were there are almost no minerals in the water. Fish depend on these minerals for their health and well-being. Since RO water is nearly mineral-free, it will leach those minerals from your fish. Water is always trying to reach a saturation point of TDS and will do it in any way it can. Fish live in their medium and since it is a liquid one, their skin can easily pass both contaminants and minerals.

If you start using filtered water properly in your tank and see no improvement, look to any possible contaminants that are getting into the water. This can be insecticides, air fresheners, glass cleaners, furniture polish, tobacco smoke, etc. Anything that travels in the air can get into your aquarium's water. The difference between air and water is that most things will settle out of the air since they are heavier and air offers little resistance. Water is thicker and heavier than air though. Anything that lands in it tends to get circulated and mixed into it, especially due to it's solvent nature.

Your kettle idea is not a bad one. I prefer to let water age with aeration before adding it to the tank. This allows many volatile compounds to evaporate out of the water. If you are heating the water first, then letting it cool, that will speed the evaporation of those compounds.

I then add about 2-3 times the recommended amount of conditioner to the water before pouring it into the filter to add to the tank. Filtered water should already have many of these harmful compounds removed to begin with.

This is also why I prefer to use charcoal in my filter. Many people here don't like to, but I use it to help alleviate any water quality problems, especially from the the tap.

What you described in your fish sounds very like chemical contamination from ammonia, chlorine or something else which can effect oxygen uptake or saturation. That is if CO2 and O2 problems are first ruled out.
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