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Heretix
05-23-2014, 11:20 AM
So over the past 2 weeks I have lost a 13" lutino oscar and two of my 12" ocellaris peacock bass. Last night I finally found out what the culprit was that cost me ~$250 worth of fish. My tap water!

After battling ammonia and ph problems for a month in my tank, stripping everything out of it and trying to find the source of my constant 2ppm + ammonia level, I checked the tap water as a last resort. Now I checked my tap water when I first moved in about 9 months ago, and again around the new year. At both times the ph was slightly high (7.6) but all other parameters checked out fine except for general hardness which was about 25. Well apparently the city of Marietta can do whatever they want to your tap water and not tell you, so they decided to drop the hardness even more and raise the ph AND add ammonia!

My test results from last night:

ph-8.2
ammonia-0.5
nitrite-0
nitrate-0
general hardness-between 0 and 25 (it was so low it didn't register on my test kit)

So basically for the entire last 2 weeks of me doing water changes and trying to put in fresh clean water in to my tank that started at 8ppm of ammonia, which happened god knows how, I've instead been just adding more and more ammonia, never really solving my problem at all. I'm only slightly pissed :wall::mad:

Rant. over.

Pierre
05-23-2014, 11:58 AM
I'm sorry to hear about your losses as this is always sad to loose nice fish. Just curious, how to your treat your water from tap? Personally, while I let it sit for 24 hours + in a 45G tub (this let the chlorine evaporate, but NOT the chloramine that may be present). I also use Prime and now recently Safe prior to adding the water to any of my tanks. Safe and Prime also help in the reduction of Ammonia and Nitrate.

Heretix
05-23-2014, 12:33 PM
I'm sorry to hear about your losses as this is always sad to loose nice fish. Just curious, how to your treat your water from tap? Personally, while I let it sit for 24 hours + in a 45G tub (this let the chlorine evaporate, but NOT the chloramine that may be present). I also use Prime and now recently Safe prior to adding the water to any of my tanks. Safe and Prime also help in the reduction of Ammonia and Nitrate.

I use a python hose from the sink to the tank to do my water changes. I used to treat with just regular api water conditioner, but coincidentally last week I switched to Kordon's amquel + as I can get it for a discount. It detoxifies ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, dechlorinates and helps improve slime coat.

mstamper
05-23-2014, 12:51 PM
I use Safe now and until recently only used prime. I have heard of other horror stories of folks using other products and having bad results. If I were you, I would switch to Prime or Safe. spend the money on those and you might not loose 250.00 more in fish. JUST MY 2 CENTS WORTH!

Heretix
05-23-2014, 01:08 PM
I use Safe now and until recently only used prime. I have heard of other horror stories of folks using other products and having bad results. If I were you, I would switch to Prime or Safe. spend the money on those and you might not loose 250.00 more in fish. JUST MY 2 CENTS WORTH!

I actually was using prime, but I've heard horror stories of prime lowering the ph which is why I switched off it. Especially with my soft water allowing for drastic ph swings very easily, I need the most stability I can get. I do know the stuff I use is very good as we use it at the store I work at and we are a high end store.

mstamper
05-23-2014, 01:14 PM
I have not personally experienced any drop in ph using prime. All it is designed to do is trap chlorine / chloramine and bind it. I also use a python watering system. I have several tanks of angels and discus and have never lost a fish due to using prime and tap water. Now, I am in Duluth, and our water here is pretty darn soft. I also have lots of live plants in my tanks and that helps a ton with fish waste / ammonia circle.

Heretix
05-23-2014, 01:20 PM
I have not personally experienced any drop in ph using prime. All it is designed to do is trap chlorine / chloramine and bind it. I also use a python watering system. I have several tanks of angels and discus and have never lost a fish due to using prime and tap water. Now, I am in Duluth, and our water here is pretty darn soft. I also have lots of live plants in my tanks and that helps a ton with fish waste / ammonia circle.

Yeah I have a ton of plants too, especially floaters which helps a TON with the nitrates and ammonia (duckweed). I honestly think the biggest problem is the hardness though. Before I found a balance with crushed coral, my ph would swing from 8.2 to below 6 in 2 days.

mstamper
05-23-2014, 01:27 PM
DUDE! almost a full 3 point ph swing... not good. I use crushed coral as well but no more than about 3 tablespoons per tank in a mesh bag in my canister filters and I hardly notice any ph swings. I also do not remember the last time I checked water parameters as far as ph / ammonia / and such. I check my TDS and try to keep it around 200. If you are experiencing that sort of swing, you really need to get some sort of water storage system in place to get your water more stable before you introduce it to your tanks. I am surprised you have not lost more fish.

Heretix
05-23-2014, 01:46 PM
DUDE! almost a full 3 point ph swing... not good. I use crushed coral as well but no more than about 3 tablespoons per tank in a mesh bag in my canister filters and I hardly notice any ph swings. I also do not remember the last time I checked water parameters as far as ph / ammonia / and such. I check my TDS and try to keep it around 200. If you are experiencing that sort of swing, you really need to get some sort of water storage system in place to get your water more stable before you introduce it to your tanks. I am surprised you have not lost more fish.

Yeah me too... I've done the same thing with the crushed coral. I have them in almost all my tanks except for the turtle and koi ones. For some reason, the pond pebbles in there are not only raising the ph but also the hardness. I have no idea which rock or pebble is doing it, but its one of those, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

I've just about got the amount of crushed coral in all my tanks to allow for stable ph. I still tweak it a little bit here and there, but for the most part everything is good (minus the tank in question). It's been really tough, but I've learned more about chemistry than I ever thought I would and I also learned from balancing the fish loads to the amount of crushed coral that one oscar is dirtier than 3 peacock bass the same size. :/

Rhaethe
05-23-2014, 03:05 PM
I live inside the Perimeter ... almost inside Atlanta city limits, but not quite. My water is almost as soft as R/O. Well, it is, practically, R/O out of the tap, it is so conditioned and stripped. And it comes out of the tap at 7ph, but will drop to 6ph after just sitting for a bit. Weird water.

What I have learned is to keep my tanks at least moderately planted, and to plop an attractively holey rock in there. I also avoid wood now, too. Plants and rock are my deco.

Roger
05-23-2014, 04:07 PM
Without a general harness or buffer the pH will drop fairly rapidly. In my experience I have had a few horrible fish disasters. In every case I was using tap water from the tap. I do not drink tap water, I filter it first. I do similar for my fish. I go from the tap with a hydro into a trash can (44 gallon rubbermaid on rollers) where I use safe(concentrated prime) and buffer the water for the type fish tank whether it is equilibrium(buffer), discus buffer, neutral regulator or just age it, then pump it into the tank. No more tap water disasters. There are a number of brands of water conditioners that work well I just mentioned SeaChem products because they work best for me.

Demonfish
05-23-2014, 11:24 PM
Yep, soft water is common here. There are some places with well water, but most places use surface water from the river or lakes. Any you can get ammonia from using basic dechlor with water with chloramine in it. I have, however, read about the growing trend of adding of just plain ammonia to tap water as a disinfectant. Supposedly it avoids creating chlorohydrocarbons that chloramine can. Obviously, adding ammonia would cause the pH to rise. 8 ppm sounds high enough that the normal "ammonia-detoxifying" does of amquel+ or Prime might not be enough. Does marietta have its own water department? In the US, the water companies only has to tell you if the water is "unsafe to drink", anything else goes, though. pH, supplier,source body of water, chlorine,chloramine, rust-inhibitors, etc. can change suddenly with no required warning at all. Thanks for posting, a heads up may save other fish,