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Old 01-30-2011, 04:01 PM   #1
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Hi!

Hi all,

I'm new to this and to fish keeping. I had a few goldfish growing up but recently, after alot of research, I decided to set up a tank to keep some small tropical fish (true beginner style!).

My tank has been up and running for 9 days and I introduced 5 male guppies 2 days ago.

All is going well so far and they all seen happy apart from one who has taken to laying on the bottom of the tank. I have read some forums from others who also have this problem and have decided to try a part water change to see if that helps, however, Iam a little concerned as my tank readings were ok on Friday as I had them checked by my local aquatic centre before introducing the fish.

I'm hoping that you can all help me to find some more helpful advice on keeping my little ones happy and healthy!
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Old 01-30-2011, 04:25 PM   #2
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Did you cycle the tank prior to adding the fish? Just letting the tank sit for 7 days if you didn't really did nothing. No difference between 7 days and 30 minutes in that regard.

If it has been 2 days since adding fish, and the tank wasn't cycled, I guarantee you have an ammonia problem already. When cycling a new tank with fish, it requires daily 50%+ water changes to keep ammonia and later nitrite in check. Once the tank is cycled and the nitrogen cycle has taken hold, you can reduce your water changes to weekly, or even every other week or so. Unfortunately for now, it is going to take some work to keep the fish alive.

What is your ammonia testing out at today?

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Old 01-30-2011, 04:48 PM   #3
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Hi,

Thanks for the feedback!

Unfortunately I didn't know about cycling until today! My local aquatic centre just told me to leave the tank a week before adding fish! Poor advice!!

Im going to get a test kit tomorrow to check the levels in the tank so will update on that tomorrow. Not looking forward to 50% water changes daily :0( Do you know if this will upset the other fish?
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Old 01-30-2011, 04:52 PM   #4
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no, it won't upset the fish so long as you are treating the water with a good dechlorinator, like prime. In fact, this is going to be what will keep your fish alive. I can say with almost certainty, you will start to lose fish in the next couple of days if you don't start doing water changes.

I would go ahead and do a 50% change tonight... like I said I can guarantee you have an ammonia problem already... definitely get the test kit. You want to get a liquid test kit. Those dip strip tests don't often give accurate results. The API freshwater master kit is a great kit, and is widely available at most stores that sell aquariums/fish.
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Old 01-30-2011, 05:11 PM   #5
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Thanks,

I'm using Nutrafin Aqua plus in the tank. Is that good?

Got my water ready and treated for the change over! Will defiantly be going out for a test kit first thing in the morning!

Going to start the change, wish me luck!
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Old 01-30-2011, 05:15 PM   #6
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Nutrafin Aqua plus is fine as a decholorinator... Seachem Prime is the best and most recommended decholorinator out there, so you may want to get that once the nutrafin runs out. It is more concentrated and lasts a lot longer for the money, and it has some side benefits, like locking ammonia and temporarily detoxifying it.

Let us know the test results once you get the kit... remember the liquid tests are much better! A little bit more money, and a little bit longer to test, but worth it for peace of mind.

Good Luck!
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Old 01-30-2011, 05:24 PM   #7
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Welcome to AA. Looks like you already got some very useful advice.
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Old 01-30-2011, 05:29 PM   #8
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Welcome and good luck!
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Old 01-30-2011, 05:34 PM   #9
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Welcome to AA!
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Old 01-30-2011, 05:54 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the welcomes!

50% water change done all ok! First stop in the morning test kit, second stop another water change. I hope the little one lasts that long :0(

Thank you for the super info and advice Fort384! You may just be a life saver!

I'll post my readings once I've tested the tank in the morning.
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Old 01-30-2011, 06:04 PM   #11
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You are very welcome. Best of luck, and let us know. The first few weeks of owning an aquarium are a PAIN, especially if cycling with fish, but it gets much much better and easier as the tank gets established.
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Old 01-31-2011, 04:57 AM   #12
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:56 AM   #13
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Right, water tested! Managed to get a liquid test kit instead of the strips. So results as follows:

PH: 9.5
Nitrite: 0.1
Nitrate: 5
Ammonia: 0

My PH seems to be very very alkaline! What can I do to try and balance it back out closer to neutral?
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:47 PM   #14
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pH seems way off... I would test it again and verify the results. That is unusually high. I would also test your tap water to see what it is coming out of the tap at, and then test a cup of tap water that has sat on the counter for 24 hours. These results will help to troubleshoot why the pH is so high. pH is a really tricky thing--messing with it can be difficult, and cause pH crashes that will really cause a lot of trouble in the tank. But, if for some strange reason your pH remains as high as your first test, we will have to explore options to get it to something more manageable in the safest way possible. anything over 8-8.5 is really high.

The other results seem a little off as well... it is weird that you aren't seeing any ammonia and have readable nitrates after just a few days with fish in the tank.

Can you test all the parameters again tonight or tomorrow morning and give results?

Also, while you are in testing mode, test your tap water for nitrates straight out of the tap.
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Old 02-01-2011, 02:32 PM   #15
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Ok, tested all water... Even invested in test strips as well so I could compare against the liquid! Results as follows:

Tank strip test
PH 8
Nitrite 1 mg/l
Nitrate 25 mg/l
Carbonate 6
Chlorine 0 mg/l

Tap strip test
PH 7.6
Nitrite 0 mg/l
Nitrate 10 mg/l
Carbonate 10
Chlorine 0.8

Tank liquid test
PH 9
Nitrite 1.6 mg/l
Nitrate 50-100 mg/l (couldn't distinguish between the two colours)
Ammonia 0.6

Tap liquid test
PH 8.5
Nitrite 0 mg/l
Nitrate 0 mg/l
Ammonia 0

I'm going to do another 50% water change as nitrate levels are up. But still not 100% sure about my readings...
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Old 02-01-2011, 04:39 PM   #16
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May I ask what liquid test kit you are using and how old it is? Could you provide a link
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Old 02-01-2011, 04:53 PM   #17
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Hi, sure, it's a Nutrafin mini master kit, purchased on Monday. Use by is 2012 so should be ok also only got Nutrafin as I couldn't get hold of an api kit.
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Old 02-01-2011, 05:09 PM   #18
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hmmmm....

ok, there is some good news and some bad news.

The good news: Your cycle is progressing. Ammonia levels are low, nitrite is rising, and you are seeing nitrates.

The bad:
There is still ammonia and nitrite present, so you want to keep doing PWCs. You want your nitrite and ammonia to be less than 0.5ppm. I would do another 50% pwc today. Your nitrates are pretty high as well... you want to keep your nitrates at less than 20 or so ppm.

The other bad news: Your pH... pH is a logarithmic scale, so there is a pretty drastic difference between 8.5 and 9.0. Something in your tank is causing the pH to rise, as well as the carbonic hardness. They are probably related. 8.5 is on the high side, but most fish could still adapt to it. 9.0 is too high.

Adjusting pH, especially trying to LOWER it, is not an easy task, I am afraid. I cannot stress enough that going to the fish store and buying a bottle of pH down is not the solution, especially in your case. You have a lot of buffers in your water... this means that if you dump some pH down chemical in, it will lower the pH temporarily. But, because of the buffering capacity, the pH will climb back up after a day or so... so then you put more in, and it climbs back, like a yo yo, until the buffer runs out and the result is a major pH crash... guaranteed to kill your fish. We have seen it happen time and time again. So, please, avoid the pH down chemicals. Stable pH is WAY more important than getting the exact right number, whatever that might be... the yoyo not good.

Again, unfortunately, it is really hard to lower pH... you can run some peat in your filter, which will soften the water and naturally lower pH... but I don't think it will get it low enough for you. The other option is to look at water filtration systems for aquariums. This can be a big upfront expense... but by starting with water that has some of the buffer removed, the pH will be lower.

The other thing though to look at now is what is causing the pH to go up? What kind of rock are you using? Do you have seashells or anything else in the tank? Decorations? Gravel/substrate? What are you running in the filter?

Sorry, I wish I had an easy fix for you... this is very uncommon, to see tap water/tank water that is that high on the pH scale, and unfortunately, there is no magic solution...
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Old 02-01-2011, 05:25 PM   #19
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Good news about the cycle! :0) I'll keep doing pwc's for now and test the water daily.

As for the PH... :0(
Items in my tank are: 2x plastics plants (both fluval plants designed for the chi), fine sand like gravel (purchased from aquatic center and cleaned before adding to tank), fluval glass heater, tank thermometer, chi standard filter with standard fluval chi filter pads (White and black) stones in top of filter and 4 in tank (came with tank) and a magnetic algae cleaner.

Anything that you think might be a problem?
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Old 02-01-2011, 05:28 PM   #20
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Added a picture of the tank set up and Thomas the poorly (sick) guppy!
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