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Asphyxiating fish with poppy outlet and dosing excel

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    Florian Pellet Well Known Member Member

    Hi everyone,

    Two days ago, I switched the standard outlet of my Eheim Classic 2213 for a glass poppy pipe. At the same time I started dosing some liquid carbon fertilizer ("easycarbo" by easy-life, some equivalent of excel i guess).

    Last night as I woke up in the middle of the night, I found all my rasboras gasping at the surface, and all my shrimps as high up as they could. I raised the Poppy outlet way out of the water, added and air pump and went back to sleep. In the morning, one shrimp was dead, everybody else seemed fine.

    Tonight, before going to bed, I checked to see if everyone was breathing OK. The rasboras seem to be doing fine, but all the shrimps are high up in the plants once again. I raised the poppy and put the air pump.

    What can I do?

    My tank is a 30 gallon lightly planted (some elodea, some dwarf baby tears, some weeping moss, some marimo moss balls). During the day, I try to lower the poppy outlet so that it's silent (while still being as high as possible for maximum aeration) but that doesn't seem to be enough at night. Or maybe it's the dosing that makes the plants consume more oxygen at night?
     
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    Secret Oasis Valued Member Member

    It may be a combo, but the glass poppy pipe might not be causing enough surface agitation for o2 exchange at night you could try putting the air pump on a timer so it only turns on at night if you dont care for the look of the bubbles during the daytime
     
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    Florian Pellet Well Known Member Member

    I just tested my water and I had .5ppm Nitrites!!! Which explains why the fish had trouble breathing, combined with a lower water agitation from the poppy pipe and a greater O2 consumption by the fertilized plants... You were right Secret Oasis, it was a combo.

    Did a 20% PWC, I'll redo one later today or tomorrow, but my rasboras are already mating all over the place so I guess things are better now.

    I don't understand why my nitrites peaked though. Ammonia is still 0 and Nitrates are around 20ppm as usual (haven't finished adding all my plants yet).
     
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    Secret Oasis Valued Member Member

    Low oxygen can cause nitrite spikes as the bacterica need oxygen to convert ammonia to nitrite and nitrite to nitrate. You might not have gotten an ammonia spike because of the plants taking it in.
     
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    Florian Pellet Well Known Member Member

    That's a great piece of information, Secret Oasis!

    So are all my BB dead now? Or were they just comatose from the lack of O2? Keep in mind that both time, I realized the lack of oxygen about 3 hours after night time and remedied it (higher outflow + air pump) so it shouldn't be too bad, should it?
     
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    Secret Oasis Valued Member Member

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    Florian Pellet Well Known Member Member

    Would dosing with live bacteria (like you could do when starting a new tank to kickstart the nitrogen cycle) help? I live right across the street from my LFS :)
     
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    Secret Oasis Valued Member Member

    I dont think it would be necessary since you caught it within a few hours, but if it continues to be high since the LFS is so close you can always walk over and buy some. (to which btw i am jealous of I wish had a LFS that close)
     
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    Florian Pellet Well Known Member Member

    Turns out, a low flow rate out of the canister filter might be at play as well. I don't know why the outflow is so low but now I'm super scared of losing some fish (especially some of my most fragile shrimps...).
     
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    Secret Oasis Valued Member Member

    is the glass poppy pipe restricting flow the that much? or is it moving slow in general even without the pipe? if so i would open it up and see if there is any debris clogging the filter somewhere
     
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    Florian Pellet Well Known Member Member

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