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Author Topic: Water change ph?  (Read 4587 times)
Sheralyn
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« Reply #25 on: June 06, 2016, 09:34:49 AM »

Funny TwoTank, when I was changing less water in the beginning, yet losing a few fish, my ottos were never affected. They even spawned. It was when I tried doing larger water changes more often that I began to lose them also. So what do you think about using the goldy water for the PWC?
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TwoTankAmin
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« Reply #26 on: June 06, 2016, 04:09:45 PM »

Not a good idea. The best use for water coming out of a tank during a water change is on one's lawn, garden or houseplants. Of course don't do this if you are removing medications from a tank,
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Pat Mary
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« Reply #27 on: June 06, 2016, 05:11:28 PM »

Sheralyn, I am not trying to second guess you but I have never and I mean never heard of freshwater fish that did not love fresh water.  There absolutely has to be something else that is going on which we are not aware of which is causing your problems.  There is no way that I would ever put used, dirty water in as a replacement water change.  Especially water from goldfish which are notorious as fish which have a very heavy bioload. 

I don't know what the solution to your problems is but I truly don't believe that the water changes are causing it.  Fish can take a water change of 100% and love every minute of it.

Please re-list your routine step by step for us so that we can see if something is missing or needs to be added.     
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Sheralyn
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« Reply #28 on: June 06, 2016, 08:01:38 PM »

In my defense Goldies water was changed yesterday by a little more than 50%, and the largest fish isn't quite as big as a golf ball. The rest are a little larger than a quarter. I just tested their water this morning and it is 0-0-5. I know it's not great but I am almost afraid of my tap water at this point.

My normal routine almost every day (before this started -and then first I quit changing the water, then I changed more water than normal):

I have a homemade siphon, made from a length of 1/2" PVC pipe connected to about 8 feet of clear vinyl 1/2" tubing.
I crack the window, stick the pipe in the water, suck the end, and drop the end out the window into a large tub of (you guessed it TwoTank) tomato plant water. The handle is long enough I don't generally have to immerse my hand, but I am pretty careful about that anyway.

I gently suck up all dirt, moving ornamental plants around to get the dirt which collects under them.

I hang the hose on a hook with the ends in a fish bucket. My fish buckets and hoses are out in the open beside one of the tanks.

I put a bucket in the sink, shake up a dropper bottle of Prime, and first add 8-10 drops for a bucket that I will only fill to about 4 gallons. I test the water temp with my fingers as it runs.

I pour the water into the tank, not gently but not crazy violent either. I generally use about 3 of these 4 gallon bucketfulls. That's about a 16% change on a daily basis. And then I might do a bigger one on the weekend.

I usually check the thermometer after to make sure I was pretty close on the temp.

I don't know what else to tell you. We don't use aerosols or poisons in the house which might get in the buckets. My husband and I do smoke though.
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Sheralyn
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« Reply #29 on: June 06, 2016, 08:05:21 PM »

PS - I do have a little bit of an algae bloom, my water has a slight greenish tinge - I am cutting back on the lighting and hanging a towel on the end closest to the window.
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russ
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« Reply #30 on: June 06, 2016, 09:34:13 PM »

How old were the guppies that you first lost? How were they obtained?
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Sheralyn
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« Reply #31 on: June 06, 2016, 09:56:27 PM »

Young adults from PetSmart. I fully expected to lose a few almost immediately just from being sick/stressed and from the transition, and I did. But then those that seemed to be doing ok would act very unhappy when I did a PWC and some would die within a few hours or overnight.
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Pat Mary
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« Reply #32 on: June 07, 2016, 07:47:12 AM »

How long have you had them?
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Sheralyn
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« Reply #33 on: June 07, 2016, 02:16:50 PM »

I had them for several weeks. I don't think I messed with them too much the first couple weeks, just tested the water. Then when I started doing the small water changes I began to lose fish.
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Pat Mary
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« Reply #34 on: June 07, 2016, 02:40:30 PM »

So, just to clarify, you had the fish for several weeks before you did a water change?  I'm thinking out loud right now.  I am wondering if it was really longer than several  weeks that you had them.  You said you were testing the water but not changing it during that period.  Do you have any of the readings from then?   No fish died until you started doing water changes.  It sounds to me like your aquarium now had "old tank syndrome".  That means that there was shock to the fish when they at last had water changes. 
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Sheralyn
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« Reply #35 on: June 07, 2016, 05:39:08 PM »

No it wasn't all that long - probably about between a week to 2 weeks tops. This has been going on for a little while now and I'm starting to get fuzzy about what I did or did not do in the beginning. I just don't want to contradict myself and people think I'm telling stories. I have memory problems sometimes.

After everybody had a cow (LOL) over me using the Goldfish water yesterday I changed it yet again 50%. Some of the fish look unhappy but none have died yet. The main thing I see is that 90% of the Physa snails in the tank have crawled out of the water and are above the water line. It's more noticeable today because I short filled the tank by about 4 inches so I get a Niagara Falls effect from the filter return. I also got my tap water report and although I can't really read it I see a figure of 0.169 ppm for copper?
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Sheralyn
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« Reply #36 on: June 07, 2016, 07:38:56 PM »

I keep thinking what Pat Mary said - are we overthinking this? I do the exact same water change on the Goldies with the exact same equipment. The two tanks are exactly alike. Same model, same light/hood system, same filters, same air pumps and stones. I even have the filter and air stone placement within the tanks the same. The goldfish do google at the surface, especially after being fed, but I think that's just normal goldfish behavior, at least they don't look stressed about it to me. The only differences in the tanks is one Aquaclear filter has a bag of small bioballs on top of the foam, the other has the biostars. And the goldfish tank has a single ceramic octopus ornament, the tropical tank has 4 large plastic plants and a small piece of driftwood. SO - I pulled EVERYTHING out of the tropical tank, emptied the already low water down to about 6 inches, and filled it back up to about 5/6 full. I am so hoping it's just as simple as that.
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Sheralyn
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« Reply #37 on: June 08, 2016, 07:39:48 AM »

Well that experiment is inconclusive. While no fish died, and some of them seem to be feeling good, a couple still have slightly clamped fins, and all the snails that I knocked back down into the water as I refilled the tank have climbed back up above the waterline.  mad The snails say the water is still not good. I unplugged the heater this morning just because ...... I don't know...
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Sheralyn
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« Reply #38 on: June 08, 2016, 06:55:50 PM »

My glass tops stay wet from me messing with the tank, condensation, the bubbler, etc. and when I went to lift one off dark green water ran out of the channel of the plastic hinge into the tank. Euuw. Made me wonder also about nicotine buildup on the underside of the glass dripping into the tank so I took the tops outside and wiped them down with a clean paper towel and rinsed well. I do tend to leave the tops open sometimes; I think I will quit doing that. I keep thinking it's something about that tank itself - The plastic plants I removed yesterday had lots of little snails in them, so I filled a bucket with tank water while I was draining and put the plants in there. Today I notice that the bucket has some snails visible and yet they are below the waterline  confused

Why would they crawl out of the water in the tank but stay submerged in the same water in the bucket???? This just gets weirder and weirder.
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Pat Mary
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« Reply #39 on: June 08, 2016, 07:13:21 PM »

I have pond snails in my tank and they sometimes crawl up and out of the water.  Other times, they crawl back down.  I never thought anything of it.  I always have plenty of snails, no matter how many I try to get rid of.
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TwoTankAmin
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« Reply #40 on: June 09, 2016, 11:32:26 AM »

First off. different fish will react differently to water changes and tank work. Moreover, some fish will adapt to being less frightened by water changes. My experience with new discus is a perfect example. The first month or two when I worked on their tank they would do their best to hide. over time they became more bold and in the end I actually had to move them out of my way.

All fish are different in this respect. Another example would be a 75 I have with a ton of excess plants parked and growing in pots, a bit of sand on the bottom and about 15 flame tetras so there are some fish. When I approach the tank they think food is coming and they are all at the surface where I normally put the food. Now when I do maint. on that tank the same thing happens except when no food comes but a bog hand with a net or and algae scraper goes in they are all gone and hiding low down in the plants. But in the end, when the work is finished, the fish stop hiding and resume their normal activity.

The one think I have learned over the years is that when one introduces something toxic into a tank, it will usually affect pretty much all the fish. Some may react more quickly or more intensely, but pretty much all will react to it. And if it is strong enough to kill fish, then that killing will tend not to be species specific.

I have an issue with buying fish at big box stores or general pet stores and will never do this. I do occasionally shop at high quality fish stores, but often what makes them high quality also means their fish cost a lot more. But a bi part of the problem for most fish keepers is they do not know how to loate good sources for fish. often this involves having them shipped to you and this is rarely economical for a few inexpensive fish. How can we justify buying 6 tetras for $2 each and then paying $25 to get them delivered?

However, there are organizations specifically for specific fish which can often help one find good suppliers. For guppys this would be the The International Fancy Guppy Association and this page http://www.ifga.org/ or for bettas it would be The international Betta Congress http://www.ibcbettas.org/ There are also fish clubs all across the USA, depending where in the states you live, I might be able to point you to any fish clubs in your area.

Finally, I was a heavy smoker for many years. I finally managed to quit about 6 or 7 years back after 45 years of smoking. My lings are trashed, use two different inhalers and have almost no wind. I was a smoker when I began with fish and for the next 9 years or so. I would see a grayish film on the surface of many of my tanks. I bought an expensive air cleaner (an Ionic breeze) and it soon stopped appearing. Cleaning the element regularly was a must and the gunk that came off was nasty. While I cannot say the smoking was harming my fish fish for sure, I know it was not doing any good, and most likely was causing issues. You should try to quit for both the welfare of you and your husband as well as your fish.

As for your pond snails, most folks who have live plants have these snails. I have them because in breeding tanks I tend to over feed which encourages the snails. However, I also have assassin snails and fish which will eat the snails, so I am not too bothered. I collect the snails from some tanks and drop hem into others as food. I have plecos which will eat snails. In these tanks it is common to see many of the snail as from from the bottom of the tank as they can get. I do not think your fish in the problem tank eat snails but they might which would explain why the snails are high up. I believe goldies will eat them, but I am not a goldie keeper, so I cannot say for sure.
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Sheralyn
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« Reply #41 on: June 09, 2016, 06:05:44 PM »

I have been to different sites including the Guppy Association and couldn't really find anything local. I cannot pay shipping charges on fish. So I'm pretty well stuck with the box store. There is a Wet Pets in Montgomery but I couldn't say they would be any better. But at $1 per fish I'll be OK if I get a few to live through quarantine. I only need a few more and then I will be through with buying anyway.

I know I have learned a lot, and maybe I was just expecting too much from fish that were stressed to begin with. Had they died within the first couple of days I probably would not have thought it was something I was doing wrong. Now I realize that they may just be generally weak for some time and even a standard water change may put them over the edge.

The fish are looking better today, maybe I'm on the rebound, I still have 2 mollies that look a little ill but they are swimming around and still eating. The rest of them seem happy. I moved the 2 remaining Ottos to the fry tank.

The reason I was judging my water quality on the snails is because almost ALL of them are 2-3 inches up the glass out of the water, not just a few a little above the water.

So my plan is to keep mollies and platys in that tank, and to keep a couple female guppies in my breeder tank. In time, I would like to add guppies that I have raised into that tank also. My question is: should I add a bit of salt? I understand mollies do better with it, and I think it is acceptable to platys and guppies? And if so, is it necessary to use aquarium salt or can one use non-iodized table salt or canning salt? And also, am I correct in that salt is not ok for the bristlenose pleco and cories? I like the little Physas, but I can live without them if the salt kills them.
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Pat Mary
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« Reply #42 on: June 09, 2016, 06:24:42 PM »

I wouldn't add any salt.  I know that the breeders recommend that but normally, guppies from big box stores are not bred in salt.  It would be an unnecessary step.  But, just so you know, ordinary table salt would be fine.  It is sort of like weddings.  If you mention that a bride is involved, the price goes up proportionately.  If you just want flowers with no wedding in mind, the price is doable.  Wink
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TwoTankAmin
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« Reply #43 on: June 10, 2016, 12:33:24 PM »

The mollies would love some salt, the platys would not. Mollies are an interesting fish in terms of salt. The can live without it, but the water must be alkaline and hard for sure. The will do just fine in brackish and they can do OK in full sw. In the days before other methods became popular, it was not uncommon for sw keepers to cycle a tank using mollies. There are three basic type of mollie, you can find info on them all here http://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/search/Poecilia+ I am thinking you have some variant of the sphenops.

The platys however, would do fine in the pH and hardness mollies prefer but they would appreciate live plants and no salt. The guupys also want this sort of water but they would tolerate, but do not need, a bit of salt.

Otos, angels and common tank bristlenose are happier at nearer neutral or a slightly acid pH and softer water. The latter two can be kept in higher parameters, but the otos will not be happy that way and do not tolerate salt. Angels and bristles do not like salt either but angels will generally handle some for short periods as a medication.
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russ
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« Reply #44 on: June 10, 2016, 08:30:19 PM »

For freshwater, I would not recommend adding salt (sodium chloride) to the tank unless it is absolutely necessary for medication purposes, and then only the very minimum amount to affect a cure or relief of an ailment (parasites). Historically, it was thought that some table salt added to the aquarium could replace lost electrolytes in fish that have been stressed, or as a type of wonder tonic that prevents various maladies. Ummm, yes and no. Mostly no. Salt addition will increase the total dissolved solids (TDS) in the aquarium water. Fish that reside in natural hard water can tolerate this better than softer water fish to a point. The opposite is true for fish that reside in softer waters (Amazonia-type fishes). They would not fair well in harder waters (or those that contain higher TDS). The bio-physical processes of fish in which TDS values are most important is osmoregulation. It can also effect blood pH and changes in blood cells. Higher TDS values can also affect O2 values in the aquarium.


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Sheralyn
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« Reply #45 on: June 11, 2016, 09:54:14 AM »

Thank you all - No salt it is.

I am confused as to my water report; I have always been told we have hard water here yet my report says 47.8 ppm which if I googled correctly is very soft?  confused

Also - as a dedicated DIY'er, what is the consensus on cement bases on homemade aquarium plants? If I do indeed have soft water and I tend to do small PWC almost daily (so no big fluctuations) would that be OK and even add hardness? I used to have a cement pond of fish in the garden that did quite well. I would love to make a couple.

I also have TDS of 112 ppm, ph 7.92, and copper .169.
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Pat Mary
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« Reply #46 on: June 11, 2016, 10:21:56 AM »

I'm sorry to keep bugging you with what may look like trivial questions but some things just make me wonder and I like to spread my wonder around.  lame

Since I restarted in the hobby and learned about water changes, I was taught that, generally, a 50% water change once per week would keep a tank in pretty good condition.  That regimen isn't for every tank but it will take care of a good quantity of them.  So, small water changes daily don't really take care of much debris or TDS or anything else.  Sooo, why do you do daily small changes?  Just askin'
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Sheralyn
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« Reply #47 on: June 11, 2016, 01:16:13 PM »

I love bare bottom tanks. The dirt you see is what you got. My Goldy tank bottom is charcoal black with white flecks and the dirt is not so visible. Besides which they have very little dirt because they recycle their food.  lame euuw - I do them once a week 50-60% and they love it.

This tank is white with tiny dark specks and looks like sand. The dirt is very visible. Every day after work when I get home I unwind by spending time with my fish, so I usually vacuum out the dirt. This removes anywhere from 8-12 gallons of water which has to be replaced. At the end of the week I've already changed 50 gallons out so that's a 2/3 water change already.

The other reason is that for whatever reason that we just never have figured out, some of them still do not like their water changes, and really seem to get distressed by large ones. I don't know what the issue is; it may just resolve itself over time. I also am going to leave 2 buckets of water out overnight to see if that helps.

So at this point I just leave it alone and let the fish dictate what makes them happy. As time goes on and the more sickly fish either get better or die, I will probably do larger changes on the weekends.
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russ
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« Reply #48 on: June 11, 2016, 11:21:16 PM »

How did you arrive at your TDS value?
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Sheralyn
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« Reply #49 on: June 12, 2016, 08:33:08 AM »

I requested the latest water analyses report from my water company.
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