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magpie14

Worst Water Ever!

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Hey guys,

So, I have a 37 gallon fish tank with two goldfish, both about 2 1/2 inches long. I've been having water trouble from the very beginning.

So, everything cycled well initially, but ever since I added fish there have been issues (unfortunately leading to death for two fish). First, the pH level was too high which I was able to fix using some pH tablets. Then, the nitrate levels were extremely high, so I added a second filter (so now I have two 40 gal filters. Then the ammonia levels were too high, so I added some bacteria given to me by a guy who worked at the fish shop.

I just went and had my water checked and now the nitrate levels are too high, the ammonia levels are still too high and the pH is too low (~6.8). I just added some crushed coral and did a water change just a couple days ago.

I could REALLY use help with this. I've put hundreds of dollars into this tank and the two remaining fish I have I really want to keep healthy and happy. Please help me figure this out!!!

Edited by magpie

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Ok.... Lets take a step back :)

what size tank, how many fish, how long is it been running. what are the filters and the gph :)

Then I need the actual numbers in the water.

ammonia

nitrites

nitrates

ph

kh

also anything added to the tank (like prime) and also list if you have stuff in the tank like, logs...

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Plus what is your maintenance routine? Like how big water change, how often?

And important: what type of filter media do you use? The cartridges you have to replace every few weeks or other media?

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Ok.... Lets take a step back :)

what size tank, how many fish, how long is it been running. what are the filters and the gph :)

Then I need the actual numbers in the water.

ammonia

nitrites

nitrates

ph

kh

also anything added to the tank (like prime) and also list if you have stuff in the tank like, logs...

The tank is a 37 gallon tank with two three-inch goldfish, it's been running for about two and a half months.

I have a 40 gallon Aqueon filter, then some other 40 gallon canister filter I got at Petco. I think the Aqueon is a 200GPH and the canister filter is 100GPH. Both are charcoal cartridge filters you replace every two weeks or so.

Also in the tank:

One large fake piece of wood by TopFin

Two fake plants, one plastic and one silk

One pound of crushed coral (added today to try and help solve some of the water issues)

Additives I use:

Tetra Aquasafe

TLC Aquarium Optimizer

Food:

Aqueon Goldfish Granules

Frozen bloodworms

Fresh veggies (lettuce leaves, spinach... Always removed after the fish have lost interest in them.)

As for numbers I really have no idea. I had it tested at a local shop. I know the nitrate was a deep purple, the ammonia was a purple, and the pH was a light orange. My testing strip says the pH is around 6.8.

The water looks cloudy too, I'm really not sure why. Especially with the extra filtering.

Edited by magpie

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Well first I would like to suggest. Those two water conditioners aren't the best out there. I would highly suggest Amquel or Prime.

The only way to really know your cycled is to have the numbers for all of these:

Ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, ph, and kh. With out the actual numbers its really hard to see if your tank is cycled and also if your fish gets sick you wont know the numbers and wont know really what is happening.

http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+4345+4454&pcatid=4454

Ph of 6.8 is really low, you need have it up to at least 7.0. i know you put crushed coral in this might take a day or two to kick in. So keep an eye out on this.

Ok you dont need to replace the carbon, in fact you can just place filter floss in that filter to save you money. :)

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Koko is our pH, KH and GH queen, so make sure you listen to her info, but I cannot emphasize enough how IMPORTANT it is to know your KH and GH numbers. Anytime, but ESPECIALLY if your pH is at 6.8. That right there could be enough to be killing your fish or, at least, causing your problems.

I know it's tough to have to buy all those tests, but you just can't rely on the stores' tests. They use strips, they just tell you things are okay, or fine and even if they use drops and even if you're lucky if you get actual numbers, I still simply don't trust anyone else's tests but my own. When you do it, you KNOW it's been done right. And, when you have your own tests, you can do them whenever you need or want to.

And, those tablets for raising pH are not good. They can actually make things worse. You need to get a really good akaline buffer that's designed to raise pH to around 7.6, 7.8 or above and it should raise your KH as well.

Crushed coral mostly works on your GH, which you need as well, and it may help with pH, but I don't think it's going to do the job alone. You should try a good akaline buffer like Buff-It-Up from Goldfish Connection, Seachem Gold Buffer which will allow you to buffer your water between 7.2 and 7.8, or Seachem Alkaline Buffer which will allow you to buffer your water at a higher pH (between 7.2 and 8.5, although it preferentially buffers at 7.8), or even just a good cichlid akaline buffer.

Here's a picture I want to kind of "draw" for you to maybe help you understand pH, KH and GH a little better.

Your house is the pH. The KH is the bricks that make up the foundation the house sits on and the GH is the mortar that holds the bricks together. You could have the most beautiful house in the world, but if they built the foundation with old, crumbly bricks or didn't use enough bricks and kind of spaced them far apart, and/or if they didn't use enough mortar to hold all the bricks together, it won't matter how beautiful and great your house is, it won't matter how much remodeling you do to the house or the color of paint you use to make the house LOOK prettier, it's going to come crashing down because it doesn't have a good foundation to keep it strong. Your KH and GH are the foundation that hold up your pH. So, that's why understanding KH and GH is so important.

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Honestly, I didn't even know there was KH and GH. I'll buy a test kit and get some of that better water conditioner... stay tuned for an update!

Thanks for your help guys, I learned more from your responses than I did talking to the guys at the fish store a million different times.

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Honestly, I didn't even know there was KH and GH.

I didn't either! Not for a long time! But, the important thing is, you hear about it and learn from it!

Oh, p.s.! GH tests are quite unstable, so you need to keep a close eye on the expiration date on the bottle. Here's a link that will help with all of that:

http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/topic/71561-test-kits-shelf-life/page__p__790998__hl__%2Btest+%2Bkit+%2Bexpiration+%2Bdate__fromsearch__1#entry790998

Edited by Lynda Von G

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Hey I didnt know until I got into SW tanks, then I saw all the crazy test kits out there. Theres more trust me...

Ill be looking forward to the results :thumb:

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