Confusing water test results.....thoughts?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by Blk69, Jul 24, 2015.

  1. Blk69

    Blk69Valued MemberMember

    Ok, been having some problems keeping my guppies alive (lose about one a week). Got my API water test kit today. Tested my water (been about 1 week since last 20% water change, 75 gallon tank... have 10 adult guppies, 20 Fry and 4 Coolie Loaches, gravel bottom, pond self contained filter in the tank). Expected values to be bad....they were not. PH tested 8.2, Ammonia/No2/No3 all tested 0.0. Now what?

    I tested my 55 gallon tank, been about 2 weeks since last water change (kids, they don't change water as much as I), PH 8.2, Ammonia .25, No2/No3 0.0. That looked good too. It has 5 plates, 3 tiger bards, 1 cory, 4 danios and a alge eater (small) gravel bottom.

    Tested my outdoor pond. Around 100 gallon, 4 adult guppies unknown # of fry. Been set up two months. Bare bottom, about 1/2 filled with pond plants. In shade. No water changes (unless rains). It tested same as my 75 gal. Feed fish once a week with flakes if I remember....

    So this prompts a few questions.

    1) Why is my pond water levels look so good with ZERO maintenance vs. my indoor tank with weekly 20% water changes?
    2) Why am I losing a guppy a week in my indoor 75 gal. Pond outdoors has the same fish in it (guppies bought at same time) and they are doing great, zero lost fish. Am I wasting my time changing the water so much?
    3)Tested my water out of the tap (well). It read 7.8 PH. What caused the level to jump up over 8 PH in all my tanks/pond?
    4)What do I try next to keep my guppies alive?
    5)As the pond is doing so well, does a planted tank usually have better numbers than a non planted tank? If so, should I consider adding some live plants to my 75 gallon aquarium?

    Only other item is about 3 weeks ago, I had my water tested at the LFS (test strips). They said my levels were all high. I had a under gravel filter in the tank I plugged up all the holes on. I removed it (messy), cleaned all the gravel and filled back up with water. I did not clean my filter so figured I was ok regarding cycle (I just lightly washed the gravel, didn't go crazy, wanted the good bacteria to remain).

    What is my next step in trying to make a better home for my guppies?
  2. tyguy7760

    tyguy7760Fishlore VIPMember

    How long has your 75 been set up?

    As far as the increase in PH, do you have any rocks or something along those lines in the tank?
  3. ClearEyes

    ClearEyesWell Known MemberMember

    Your No3 being 0 means your 75g tank is not cycled. Also, your loaches need 6 or more.

    Anything above 0 for ammonia is bad, so you need to do a water change on your 55. Tiger barbs need a large group (preferably 10 or more) or they're going to nip the fins of your other fish. Your cory also needs at least 5 other friends.
  4. Dom90

    Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

  5. OP

    Blk69Valued MemberMember

    Tank has been set up for 2 years. Had goldfish in it last winter (winter home, pond in summer).

    One more item to add, I am getting a little brown algae on the tank. Getting green algae growing on my decorations. Guppies seam to like to pick at the green stuff, ignore the brown stuff.
  6. ClearEyes

    ClearEyesWell Known MemberMember

    How much light is the tank getting? I got brown algae due to over-lighting, and am now blacking the tank out for long portions of the day to get it under control. Also dosing with Seachem Flourish, which is supposed to kill the algae.
  7. OP

    Blk69Valued MemberMember

    One correction. My 55 gal tested 40 for NO3. Could have been 80 really hard to tell between the two shades.

    Substrate is ordinary brown gravel...its been around for ever 15 years plus.

    tank is adjacent to two windows (curtains drawn). Have two T8 4' lamps for lighting. They are on around 8 hours a day.

    Here a pic of my tank for reference

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  8. tyguy7760

    tyguy7760Fishlore VIPMember

    Definitely time for a water change then. And if you have anything like texas holy rock or limestone or any other acidic rock or coral that will increase your ph