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Old 07-31-2011, 03:05 PM   #1
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Ready to give up

For anyone who talks to me on a normal basis they know of my DIY 3D background.

The entire build I had a trash can with my filters running in it with 6 Giant danios to help keep the BB up. I got everything ready added the background and let all the silicone cure for about 36 hours before adding water. Added my sand, filters, heater ect. The water was cloudy but otherwise seemed fine since the filters had been running for about 2 months , I bagged temp matched and drip aclimated my GD. Woke up the next morning all dead, I contributed it to the amount of "silt" in the water. I went out to buy seachem clarifire and did a 50% water change. Woke up the next day water was clear and noticed a crack in the background so I had to drain , dry, reseal and wait 48 hours to fill back up. Got everything back up and running went and got some red fin tetra to help keep the BB alive floated bag, drip accilimated, rebagged , floated then netted out, woke up the next morning and they were dead. I later discovered my heater was broken and putting live current into the tank. So with this knowledge I did a 50% water change, replaced the heater and went out to buy some ghost shrimp and acclimated them, woke up all dead.

I tested my water:

PH 8.6
Ammo: .25-.50
Trite: 0
Trate: 0

I have no idea if it is the water chem or something I have introduced to my tank on accident, I am also running carbon in my filters to combat any chemicals. The coating i used on my background should be 100% non toxic so i am coming up blank. Ideas?
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Old 07-31-2011, 03:17 PM   #2
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That's a bad run of luck. Don't give up. All I can suggest is drain the tank down, rinse everything completely and then start from the top. Check ur equipment a piece at a time, then do a fishless cycle. Hardest part will be to not try and rush it.

Yes it's a huge pain to have to do it, but that way you know that it will all be perfect. Don't give up, because you know the end result will be worth it. You have definitely used up all your bad luck now!
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Old 07-31-2011, 03:20 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by enid_b View Post
That's a bad run of luck. Don't give up. All I can suggest is drain the tank down, rinse everything completely and then start from the top. Check ur equipment a piece at a time, then do a fishless cycle.

Yes it's a huge pain to have to do it, but that way you know that it will all e perfect. Don't give up, because you know the end result will be worth it. You have definitely used up all your bad luck now!
Even then I run the risk of waiting 2-4 weeks and end up with dead fish again. I need to get it figured out because I have 150 dollars of fish on order.
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Old 07-31-2011, 03:47 PM   #4
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Is the pH that high directly from your tap out of curiosity? I'm against altering water chemistry in 99% of cases...but you may actually be a bit on the extreme side. Drip acclimating is a fantastic move...but I wonder if the pH is a contributing factor. Have you considered running peat in your filter? I'm not personally familiar with using it...but that may be a step I would consider since there definitely seems to be something awry. I've had some Danios die on me a long time ago when my pH went the other direction and had a crash due to my water basically having no kH.

I know you've got plenty of knowledge in the hobby...I assume you're using an API kit? I think I missed it, but was the tank empty for a long time, or have you had fish in there for a significant time? If so, it seems a bit odd because the levels indicate it's not even close to cycling.
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Old 07-31-2011, 03:48 PM   #5
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Is the pH that high directly from your tap out of curiosity? I'm against altering water chemistry in 99% of cases...but you may actually be a bit on the extreme side. Drip acclimating is a fantastic move...but I wonder if the pH is a contributing factor. Have you considered running peat in your filter? I'm not personally familiar with using it...but that may be a step I would consider since there definitely seems to be something awry. I've had some Danios die on me a long time ago when my pH went the other direction and had a crash due to my water basically having no kH.
my tap is about 6.8 I am running crushed coral and have cichlid sand to buffer the water for Africans.
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Old 07-31-2011, 03:51 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Mogurako

my tap is about 6.8 I am running crushed coral and have cichlid sand to buffer the water for Africans.
Oh okay. I also added to my last post. I do still wonder if the pH is a contributing factor with the Danios and others.

Personally I'd try to stock a couple of the fish you plan on permanently keeping which enjoy the pH range you have. I know you're capable of doing a safe fish- in cycle, and as long as you're on top of the pwc's...I don't see a reason to not go ahead and stock a few of them. Otherwise...there is always the fishless option

I'm sure you've already got it...but here's the fish-in guide HN1 put together-
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...now/Page2.html
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Old 07-31-2011, 03:58 PM   #7
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@ Eco, I am using API master Kit, the filters were up and running in a 45 gallon garbage can with GD the entire build. The only time the filters were down was the 24 hours I had to reseal a section of the background.
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Old 07-31-2011, 04:01 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Mogurako
@ Eco, I am using API master Kit, the filters were up and running in a 45 gallon garbage can with GD the entire build. The only time the filters were down was the 24 hours I had to reseal a section of the background.
Hmm...you've got me. Personally I'd still go the route of adding a few of the cichlids you plan on keeping and obviously do water changes as needed...or go the fishless route.

I know you mentioned the potential for contaminants...if nothing else I'd do some massive water changes, rinse all your media in dechlorinated water (not tank water in this case), and I suppose running carbon for a while wouldn't hurt.
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Old 07-31-2011, 04:06 PM   #9
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Hmm...you've got me. Personally I'd still go the route of adding a few of the cichlids you plan on keeping and obviously do water changes as needed...or go the fishless route.

I know you mentioned the potential for contaminants...if nothing else I'd do some massive water changes, rinse all your media in dechlorinated water (not tank water in this case), and I suppose running carbon for a while wouldn't hurt.
I dont know If i want to buy a $10-12 fish and have them die with in 8-10 hours. I have done about 3 50% water changes and about 4 90% over the past couple of days and have tons of carbon in one of the filters.
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Old 07-31-2011, 04:36 PM   #10
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Back to basics. It's the only way out i think.
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Old 07-31-2011, 04:57 PM   #11
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Back to basics. It's the only way out i think.
If by 'basics' you mean fishless cycling, I disagree. Not only because fishless cycling isn't 'basics' (It's a very simple process intended to be so simple and broad that it can be done in nearly any situation by anyone, I grant you that.), but also because it simply isn't very pragmatic in this situation. My suspicion is that the background is introducing some toxin. I know you researched it well so I'm not sure what it could be. Process of elimination, remove sand, insert fish in barebottom tank with just the background, observe results.

EDIT: Keep in mind that at those ammonia levels even at a PH of 8.6 are still only about .1mg/L. Toxic, and likely detrimental if sustained for long periods but there's reason to believe it would kill a fish overnight.
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Old 07-31-2011, 05:44 PM   #12
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Heres what a member of my club said:

"The nitrates at 0 how your rank has not cycled and unless you are adding a food source or plants there is no reason it would. The pH is really high and dictates that any new fish need to be added with great caution. If you are pulling from a soft tank with low pH the chances are good that you will have problems.

Moving forward:

Water changes are cheap and easy if anything is leaching into the water or if something is reacting still (some things will have a chemical reaction with oxygen or your bacteria biomass could strip oxygen). Run an airstone?

Get established media (dirty sponge) for a cichlid reef and seed te bacteria to get started. Plants work well for this in addition.

Choose hardwater fish and carefully acclimate. Should take a few hours with a slow drip into a bucket and sharing of waters."
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Old 07-31-2011, 05:51 PM   #13
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I don't disagree, not so much about the PH difference(although it could be) But about the hardness difference. The primary question in my mind however, is what's driving up the pH.
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Old 07-31-2011, 06:01 PM   #14
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I don't disagree, not so much about the PH difference(although it could be) But about the hardness difference. The primary question in my mind however, is what's driving up the pH.
That is the million dollar question.
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Old 07-31-2011, 06:10 PM   #15
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I retested and for whatever reason it came out different:

PH: 8.4- 8.6
Ammo: 1.0 ppm
Trite: 0 ppm
Trate: 5-10 ppm
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Old 07-31-2011, 06:12 PM   #16
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Didn't you say you were using both crushed coral and a Cichlid sand that is driving the pH?
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Old 07-31-2011, 06:14 PM   #17
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Didn't you say you were using both crushed coral and a Cichlid sand that is driving the pH?
That shouldn't take it that high though from 6.8 base, I would imagine it would hit 7.4-7.6 tops maybe even 7.8.
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Old 07-31-2011, 06:17 PM   #18
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Sorry if you already stated this...have you tried leaving a glass of tap water sitting out for 24 hrs with an airstone in it and tested after that time?
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Old 07-31-2011, 06:19 PM   #19
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Sorry if you already stated this...have you tried leaving a glass of tap water sitting out for 24 hrs with an airstone in it and tested after that time?
Yes it gasses out at 6.6-6.8
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Old 07-31-2011, 06:22 PM   #20
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I think the variables would have to be the background or the Cichlid substrate. You might want to research the brand a bit more. After a quick google search, there's plenty of products that advertise buffering your water up to 8.5.
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