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Old 08-18-2011, 10:09 AM   #1
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Water Issue/ fish issue

Ok im going to try to cover as much as i can to try and get some help.
I have a 55gal aquarium (set up for 4+years), 2 hang on filters plus a uv sterilizer, 3 air pumps and stones.
My tap was is very basic (not sure of exact number)

This started over the weekened my water started to get cloudy and PH spiked to very acidic and got a sulfer smell to it. ive been changing water ever other day roughly 25%) adding some aquarium salt to try and help the fish and the sulfer smell has gone away and water was looking better. When i change the water again yesterday the PH was a nice (6.8-7.2) and start to clear up i checked ph again late last night and was still 6.8-7.2 then this morning i wake up again to it below 6.0 and super cloudy again.
My fish all have atleast one cloudy eye now, seem to be breathing heavy, not eating as much, hiding a lot, and loosing color.

im at a loss here ive had this tank set up for over 4 years now and have never had a issue like this, i do regular water changes and clean gravel.. im at a complete loss and getting stressed over it... any ideas sugestions will be greatly appreciated...

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Old 08-18-2011, 11:14 AM   #2
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Maybe try a few larger water changes?Have you changed media? If you have then maybe a mini cycle is occuring. If your using salt to try to treat, I believe that raising the temp slowly is what to do, but that is for fish with diese. Are you using anything to raise the PH? It is really best to accilimate the fish to the PH (well Mbunas I know for sure) out of your tap. Once you start messing with the PH you will stress the fish more with the fluxuation. What is your substrate? Ive also heard that if sand is not stirred that it creates pockets of a sulferey smelling gas. I stirr mine every few weeks. If you have gravel are you making sure gravel is cleaned well? If it were my tank Id lo large (50 percent or more) water changes for a few days and see if that helps, and maybe stop the salt. Might be adding to much at this moment. Do you know what your other parameters are? These numbers could tell alot...
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Old 08-18-2011, 11:28 AM   #3
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i have a gravel/river rock bottom, like 1.5", i changed about 20 gallons yesterday and water was nice at 4pm when done then again at 10pm and this morning it was all out of wack again. i did recently change the media as it was due and starting to be cloged but only the carbon and fiber element i left the biomesh alone.
i use a alkaline buffer when i do water changes but used the last of mine yesterday so i need more, i also have ph nutralizer that is supposed ot be used monthly that i added this morning. im going to test the water for amonia, nitrites and nitrates when i get home and will post the results.

Do you sugest i do another large water change today or wait till tomorrow since i did one yesterday? and how about any sort of antibiotic to help the fish's imune systems?? i really dont want to loose any...
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:04 PM   #4
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Welcome to AA,

I would start by checking your tap water's Ph level after it sits overnight, put some in a glass then let it sit then re-check. I don't recommend using any chemicals to alter PH levels since a stablilty is the most important unless it's extremely low. If your altering the levels use something natural like crushed coral/limestone to raise rather than chemicals, salts, or nuetralizers.
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:10 PM   #5
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thanks for the welcome. the ph was super low this morning, like canary yellow..
ill leave some tap water out over night tonight and see what it reads in the morning.
ive had really good luck using the alkaline buffer for the past few years never had a issue, the nutralizer i just got because i was told it would help keep it stable as a once a month add. i dont understand why i had the sudden spike.

how do you use crush coral as a ph balance? ive read alot of people using it or reccomending it. i have some non used media bags.. and do i get it at any aquarium store? im going to my local one tonight to have them test my water and ask them for any other sugesntions..
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:12 PM   #6
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Check the tap tomorrrow after is gases overnight and let us know what that number is.
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:15 PM   #7
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will do. ill post the other number i come up with when i get home from work and do my home test on it. also what i get from the marine store as well to see how close mine are to theirs.
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Old 08-18-2011, 05:22 PM   #8
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well here are the numbers i can get with my home kit:

temp 85
tap water PH 7.2
tank PH >6.2 (thats as low as my scale goes)
nitrite 1+- ppm (its res and 1 is the highest my scale goes)
ammonia is 1 ppm

i left tap water in a container to test ph later and tomorrow
im also going to my local fish store to have them more thoroughly test my water in a bit.
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Old 08-18-2011, 05:29 PM   #9
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Well at least with the lower PH in the tank the ammonia levels are less toxic. I would continue with daily water changes until the mini-cycle is over and the biofilter stabilizes, plus this will help with the cloudy eyes, likely a result of deteriorating water conditions. Don't start any treatments until the tank finishes cycling, plus pristine water conditions will clear up the eyes without meds.
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Old 08-18-2011, 05:52 PM   #10
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Follow what Hukit says.... He knows his stuff
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Old 08-18-2011, 07:39 PM   #11
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Well I braught my water to the local aqua and they agreed how awful it was. They gave me a alkaline buffer and a amonia deterent to gradually bring the ph up. And then when it stabilized in a few days they gave me turbo start to get the bacteria going again.

They were having a similar issue with their display cichlid tank but not as bad.

Basically my biofilter died and I need to restart it :-(
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Old 08-18-2011, 07:47 PM   #12
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I disagree with all the additives, chemicals, and buffers just perform a fish-in cycle like we've been doing for decades. Just keep monitoring the levels and perform water changes accordingly.
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Old 08-18-2011, 08:32 PM   #13
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I'm going to try a bit of all sugestions and see what happens. I've been using them for decades so I do trust them.
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Old 08-18-2011, 09:34 PM   #14
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Do you know anyone with a cycled disease free tank that you could get some media from to help with your mini cycle and jump start your bacteria?
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Old 08-18-2011, 09:57 PM   #15
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That's what the turbo start is. It's the good bacteria a tank needs but I can't put it in until the ph and ammonia is stabilize or it will be killed off too..
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Old 08-19-2011, 07:02 AM   #16
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Ph of my tap water after sitting since 430pm yesterday at 7am today was 7.6-7.8
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Old 08-19-2011, 07:10 AM   #17
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If the Turbo start comes in a bottle and not in the form of a seeded bag in water that you put into your tank then you might be barking up a bad tree. I know its tought wondering to trust the LFS or some folks on a website. Trust me alot of the good LFS folks are on here so trust them. HUKIT is a great sorce.
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Old 08-19-2011, 08:24 AM   #18
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Well I've been doing water changes with no additiveds for a week now and nothing has changed. It's actually gotten worst. I did one friday, sunday, Monday, wendsday. Everytime I did the ph was good for about 8 hours then goes back to less then 6 and the sulfur smell gets worst everytime. So I need to try other ideas as well. I do trust everyone's advice and listen to it all so don't take me the wrong way.
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Old 08-19-2011, 06:00 PM   #19
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should i turn my UV filter off during this cycling thats going on??
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Old 08-19-2011, 06:52 PM   #20
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It sounds like you are smelling hydrogen sulfide.

I have it in my well water...Not a lot, but you can smell it from time to time. I never get cloudy water from water changes though.

When you do your water changes, do you also vacuum the substrate? And do you feed a lot?

Perhaps you have pockets in anaerobic areas of the substrate containing hydrogen sulfide? I believe it takes a very high concentration to harm fish, but I believe we can smell it at a relatively low concentration.

Having it in my well water, I have done some research on it. From memory, I believe if the PH drops below a certain point, it is released as a gas from the water. Perhaps that is why you smell it when the PH drops? I'm just taking an educated guess.

Hydrogen sulfide - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Quote:
Hydrogen sulfide is slightly soluble in water and acts as a weak acid, giving the hydrosulfide ion HS− (pKa = 6.9 in 0.01-0.1 mol/litre solutions at 18 C) and the sulfide ion S2− (pKa = 11.96). A solution of hydrogen sulfide in water, known as sulfhydric acid or hydrosulfuric acid,[3] is initially clear but over time turns cloudy. This is due to the slow reaction of hydrogen sulfide with the oxygen dissolved in water, yielding elemental sulfur, which precipitates out.
Perhaps the bold print above is responsible for the cloudiness?
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