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Water Quality And Additives


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  • Regular Member

So, before I moved here I never had a problem with water quality. But now whenever I use the tap water and water conditioner, my fish get really weak and faded. My fiance's mom actually lost a few fish, she's got 2 neons, 2 tetras of some type, and a small cory cat now, but the first few tetra's died, as did the chinese algae eaters we had before the cory's. My female's beat them up too bad so I gave them to her.

Anyways. So now we use bottled spring water. The 1 gallon jugs of Poland Springs or whatever is cheap (local grocery is like 50 cent a jug) and so far, so good. It probably costs more in the long run, but it's still cheaper than buying new fish every water change.

No more need for water conditioner, which I almost think is what was making the fish worse to being with, it is chemicals after all.

So if you have fish that are flagging, I suggest trying different water. And make sure it is "SPRING" water and NOT NOT NOT "DISTILLED" water!!!!

Edited by TetraLover
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  • Regular Member

I agree with Tay, sometimes there is a difference between tank pH and tap pH. My tap water has a pH of 7.4 but as it sits out in the tank for a while the pH raises to 8.4. This is because the tap water is supersaturated with gases (one of them being CO2) and as these gasses leave the water, the pH rises (becomes more alkaline). If you have water like this and do not age the water before using it in your tank, you're subjecting your fish to wide pH swings all the time which can cause all the things you mentioned. Do you have a pH test kit? It might be worth testing to see if you have this problem too. It's really not such a big deal and you can still use the tap water. All you have to do is let it sit out in a bucket with an air stone for about 6 hours before you use it for a water change. :)

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I don't know if I want to go back to tap water to see if maybe pH was the problem when I'm not having any problems right now. Ya know? It's like I'm not going to eat something a second time if the first time it made me sick.

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  • Regular Member

You could do a bucket experiment.

Fill one bucket with tap water and leave it for a week or so. Pop an air bubbler in there to get things movin. I think the exchange of gas can change PH and will simulate the current in your tank.

Then, at the end of the week, pretend like it's your tank and that it's water change day. Take a sample from the bucket "tank" before the "water change" (Maybe after too, if you are determined) and a sample from the tap. If they don't match, there's your problem.

If they do match, something else could be affecting the PH, or it COULD be the water conditioner. What kind do you use?

I'm not sure what goes into making PH change, but I think having soft water can lead to a lack of buffer which can cause a PH crash.

I think bottled water lacks the minerals fish need to function correctly, which I assume there are ways around, but I've never used it so I don't know.

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