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Old 06-05-2020, 10:14 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 8
Help with water parameters and filter issues

Hi All,

My tank is 3 months old and I did a water test today after noticing my corys are loosing their barbels. Please see the details below.

Tank Size: 280 Liters
Filter: Canister 2400 lph
Temp: 27C

6x Lyretail Killis
3x Julli Corys
6x Otos
16x neon Tetras
6x Golden Pencilfish
3x SAE (tiny)

GH: 12
KH: Between 3 and 4
PH: 7.6
High range PH: 7.8
Ammonia: 0.25 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 5 ppm

Over the last month, I have lost 1 Julli Cory and 1 SAE. They have vanished without a trace and I cannot find any remains even after uprooting my plants and rocks both times. I worry the dead fish may still be contributing to the ammonia maybe?

I have also started noticing suspended detritus / plant matter in the tank and it seems to be going through my canister filter without being caught. I can tell because my spray bar starts getting clogged with this material form the inside.

Filter has fine and coarse sponges in bottom tray. Ceramic rings in 2 middle trays. Purigen on top tray with more ceramic rings.

I think my PH is also higher than it should be.

Appreciate any advice on how to fix these problems please.

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Old 06-06-2020, 04:48 AM   #2
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Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 294
The cause of lost barbels is most likely bacterial infection. There is also some debate about whether a coarse substrate might cause wearing down and corys are particularly sensitive to high nitrates.

Presuming its bactetial infection, this is most likely caused by uneaten food left on the substrate, so make sure you clean the substrate thoroughly. Treatment should be anti-bacterial medication like melafix.

Be aware that the barbels may not grow back, but I understand in an aquarium where food is hand delivered this probably wont affect them too much.

I would like to point out that corys in such small numbers won't thrive and you wont see their natural behavior. They are so much fun to watch when swimming and playing in groups.

With regards to your detritus passing through the filter, i had a similar issue with fine particles and my canister was set up exactly like yours, except i had carbon instead of purigen. I stopped using the carbon, because it wasn't needed once the tannins had come out fully from my driftwood and put an extra fine sponge in the top tray instead. If i need to include carbon for any reason i go without the extra fine sponge for a couple of weeks until the carbon has done its job. Is there a particular reason for the purigen?

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Old 06-06-2020, 08:19 AM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 8
Thanks so much for your detailed reply Aiken.

I added purigen a month ago because my driftwood had also released tannins and turned the water brown. Its cleared up now so I guess I will remove it at least until I treat the corys. Will replace it with a fine sponge or wool to fix the detritus issue as suggested.

I was planning to add another 4-5 corys but delayed this after one disappeared. Had to make sure everything was fine before adding more fish.

I will get some Melafix and see how I go.

Thanks again.
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