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Old 06-11-2011, 03:51 PM   #1
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Water...Low ph, everything else low to zero...dead fish

I've got a 60 gal tank that's been setup for about 7-8 months. I haven't had any issues with the tank/fish except the water has never really been clear. It's always stayed slightly green tinted, mostly clear but sometimes a little green cloudy too. This is the current tank inhabitants and it hasn't changed in 6 months.

60 gal tank, power filter, small uv sterilizer, 2 small bubble stones, 20-25% water changes every 2 weeks.

1 pink kissing gourami (5 yr old, 6 inches)
2 angel fish (5 yr old, 5 inches)
1 blood parrot cichlid (4 inches)
3 black skirt tetras (1.5-2.5 inches)
6 red minor tetras (1-1.5 inches)
3 platy's (2-3 inches)*
3 albino cory catfish (1.5-2 inches)*
1 yellow mystery snail

I've been testing my water at least every couple of weeks and for the past 5-6 months, the ammonia has remained under .50ppm and nitrate/nitrites are non existent. My ph has always remained low, around 6-6.4ph and I haven't given it much concern because everything has been doing well, until now...

A week ago, one of the angels laid eggs (I don't think the other is male, as they were never fertilized). She was pretty defensive of them, but the parrot ate most of them and I think the other angel ate some too. Now 3 days ago, I noticed the snail just drifting around, not moving, he did this for 2 days and I started noticing his shell didn't look too good (weak in certain areas). Also, my parrot was acting a little funny, not eating, staying in a corner or his cave. I googled the snail and noticed that acidic water will erode snails shells so I thought that might be the issue. Yesterday I tested the water and ph was 6.2. While testing I noticed one of my cory's were dead. I pulled him out and decided to raise the ph. I added 5 tbs aquarium salt and 1 tsp of sodium bicarb, and 5tbs salt again this am. PH this evening is 7.4. BUT, one of my platy's was floating dead (although he hasn't looked good for some time, it looked like he had a spinal issue as his spine was curved severely).

I'm guessing raising the ph this much probably wasn't a great idea so quickly, but my snail seems to have improved significantly. What are your thoughts/ideas for my parrot and tank overall? I hate having to treat my water to alter the ph, but I don't want issues with my snail/fish. Thanks for reading my LONG post.

UPDATE::: I wrote the prior, yesterday...This morning I checked my parameters again and my nitrites were off the charge. I did a 70% water change and my fish seem more active, including my parrot. The smallest of my remaining platys has been hanging out on top of both of the filters and just "resting".
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Old 06-11-2011, 04:06 PM   #2
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Well it's good to see you found the issue. Your ph might be just fine if you were doing more frequent water changes, is it possible to do a 40-50% wc weekly?

I'd do large water changes daily until you get the nitrites under control and then from there start doing weekly WCs, the fish will appreciate it.
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