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Old 01-16-2014, 12:01 AM   #21
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Stability is essential in these closed systems. Correcting the PH swings, would be a step in the right direction, if not the solution. Good gas exchange and proper aeration are components of a healthy tank. I've never used lids, jumpers or not.
But isn't my QT just as unstable as my DT with the pH fluctuation? Is it more detrimental in a larger system? I thought aeration & gas exchange were done adequately via protein skimmer, 4 outflows from sump, & the 2 powerheads? I did switch to a covered tank right before the power outage (going on 2 years ago), but did not notice an immediate problem. Could this have been an insidious issue that worsened since then with the tank covers & now has reached the breaking point? Also, my 20 gal QT is also covered except for a small strip at the back, although it does have aeration stirring up the entire surface at the top. Is that where I'm lacking in gas exchange? My DT is very smooth on the water surface with very little disruption since I always had the powerheads pointing out not up. How would I know for sure that I have a dissolved oxygen issue? I'm gun-shy to place anything in it without knowing for sure what the issue is & that I've remedied it. Thanks so much for your expertise!

Don
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125 FOWLR (sans fish!) aka "Tank of Doom"
20 Saltwater QT: 1 perc, 1 bangai cardinal, 1 crab, 1 sandsifting goby, 1 sandsifter star, 1 cleaner shrimp.
90 Malawi Cichlid and 1 "Beta Blob"
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Old 01-16-2014, 07:56 AM   #22
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I'm not sure it works that way. I would think that covering the tank would show a PH change almost immediately- as soon as the oxygen was depleted.
Try taking the lid off and aiming a power head upwards. What can it hurt?
Yes, the skimmer does aerate the water, but is it enough?
I've always been told most of the gas exchange is done at the water surface, so I've never considered closing that hole. I also made sure that I could see a good amount of turbulence at the surface.
I don't think you answered my air stone question. Do you have an air stone in the tank? If so, I wonder if there's any truth to that "air bubbles in fish's gills" theory. Also, if you do, this would also be helping gas exchange- unless the nitrogen gas is being trapped at the surface and not leaving the system?.....I don't know.
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:04 AM   #23
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Then there's the room itself. You know you can change the PH of your tank by opening a nearby window? This is a new location, correct? Maybe that has something to do with it.
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Old 01-16-2014, 11:46 AM   #24
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So your DT is in one room and your QT is in another? I originally thought equipment since the QT water came from the DT but maybe it's the room.
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:49 PM   #25
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I truly believe you have an electrical current flowing through your DT. It can be subtle enough that you wouldn't feel it. I would turn everything off and introduce a fish (net at the ready) and observe from there. Makes no sense to me that your QT and DT have same water but one tank is toxic. It clearly isn't the water
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Old 01-16-2014, 04:58 PM   #26
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The shrimp and other inverts would be dead as well as the fish if it was electricity, wouldn't they?
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Old 01-16-2014, 05:08 PM   #27
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I'm not sure it works that way. I would think that covering the tank would show a PH change almost immediately- as soon as the oxygen was depleted.
Try taking the lid off and aiming a power head upwards. What can it hurt?
Yes, the skimmer does aerate the water, but is it enough?
I've always been told most of the gas exchange is done at the water surface, so I've never considered closing that hole. I also made sure that I could see a good amount of turbulence at the surface.
I don't think you answered my air stone question. Do you have an air stone in the tank? If so, I wonder if there's any truth to that "air bubbles in fish's gills" theory. Also, if you do, this would also be helping gas exchange- unless the nitrogen gas is being trapped at the surface and not leaving the system?.....I don't know.
Last night, I removed both old power heads (one of which I think can be put back in the tank) and put one new 700gph power head in facing the surface (creating significant turbulence) and I removed the glass tops. I still have the old milk crate tops from a couple years ago which I think I will put back on once I try introducing fish again. The air stone was removed with the glass tops, but I had air in the tank from day one until last night. Some of the fish used to seem to like playing in the bubbles and I don't know that I saw a difference in life expectancy between the ones who swam through them frequently and the ones that avoided them. Honestly, though, thinking back past Sandy and the power outage, I really do think the start of our problems correlate with buying the glass tops. I will be heading back to the LFS again this evening to get a oxygen saturation test and I will report the findings!

Assuming this is the problem (and I do think it is at least the bulk of the problem) how long should I wait before trying to introduce a fish again?

Don
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125 FOWLR (sans fish!) aka "Tank of Doom"
20 Saltwater QT: 1 perc, 1 bangai cardinal, 1 crab, 1 sandsifting goby, 1 sandsifter star, 1 cleaner shrimp.
90 Malawi Cichlid and 1 "Beta Blob"
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Old 01-16-2014, 05:10 PM   #28
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Then there's the room itself. You know you can change the PH of your tank by opening a nearby window? This is a new location, correct? Maybe that has something to do with it.
The location is the same since May 2009. The setup is new as of December 2012/January 2013 since we dismantled the old setup so we could bring the new stand in.
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125 FOWLR (sans fish!) aka "Tank of Doom"
20 Saltwater QT: 1 perc, 1 bangai cardinal, 1 crab, 1 sandsifting goby, 1 sandsifter star, 1 cleaner shrimp.
90 Malawi Cichlid and 1 "Beta Blob"
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Old 01-16-2014, 05:16 PM   #29
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So your DT is in one room and your QT is in another? I originally thought equipment since the QT water came from the DT but maybe it's the room.
Yes, the DT is in the family room and the QT is in a spare bedroom. The QT actually gets more natural light, and the old old set up (before May 2009 when I moved to our current home) also got more light than the current DT.

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I truly believe you have an electrical current flowing through your DT. It can be subtle enough that you wouldn't feel it. I would turn everything off and introduce a fish (net at the ready) and observe from there. Makes no sense to me that your QT and DT have same water but one tank is toxic. It clearly isn't the water
I intend on looking deeper into this in the near future. It is the next step after getting an oxygen saturation test!

Thanks Again Everyone!

Don
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125 FOWLR (sans fish!) aka "Tank of Doom"
20 Saltwater QT: 1 perc, 1 bangai cardinal, 1 crab, 1 sandsifting goby, 1 sandsifter star, 1 cleaner shrimp.
90 Malawi Cichlid and 1 "Beta Blob"
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Old 01-16-2014, 05:18 PM   #30
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The shrimp and other inverts would be dead as well as the fish if it was electricity, wouldn't they?
The shrimp, crabs, and snails have all died as far as I can tell, but they did long outlive any fish that were introduced. The shrimp lasted at least 5 months and some snails longer than that.
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125 FOWLR (sans fish!) aka "Tank of Doom"
20 Saltwater QT: 1 perc, 1 bangai cardinal, 1 crab, 1 sandsifting goby, 1 sandsifter star, 1 cleaner shrimp.
90 Malawi Cichlid and 1 "Beta Blob"
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