Fish Dying

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Seth5545

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My aqurium is cycled, but it seems like 1 fish died everyday.
0ppm ammonia
0ppm nitrite
80ppm nitrate

I know my nitrates are really high, but in am on well water and it's naturally 40ppm coming out.

My PH out of the well is 7.6 but my aquarium water is 8.8. Even when I do a water change it goes back to 8.8.

Could the nitrates or oh be killing them? Please help.
 

AquaticJ

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I would use nitrate reducing pads, or invest in reverse osmosis system. Those nitrates can definitely cause harm to many fish. Honestly, as long as your ph stays at the same level and isn’t swinging, most fish will be fine. Though some fish do much better with lower ph, like Discus, they wouldn’t survive.
 

Seasoldier

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What sort of fish do you have that are dying? The fact that your Ph & nitrates are high would seem to suggest that there's something in your tank that's increasing them & Ph & nitrate at those levels are not going to make the environment comfortable for may species of fish.
 
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Seth5545

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You have rasboras cities and a gourami. Will the nitrate pads last a while or will I need to keep adding it. Is that the root cause of my fish Dying.
 

TexasGuppy

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There is something in your tank raising the PH.. either a rock or the substrate. High ph makes ammonia more toxic, but I think nitrites as well (couldn't find details in a study). Not sure about nitrates. You could add some live plants which will keep nitrates down also... I have lots of plants and my nitrates are never over 5.
 
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Seth5545

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I also have a lot of plants.
 

Thunder_o_b

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Are you in a position to install a 5 or 6 stage RO/DI unit? I am on well water that is horrid so I installed this 5 years ago after the RO/DI the water is 7.0 Ph with 1 ppm TDS. I remineralize with SeaChem Equilibrium. This gives complete control over the water and eliminates water as a possible cause for issues with the fish.
 

Seasoldier

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Seth5545 said:
You have rasboras cities and a gourami. Will the nitrate pads last a while or will I need to keep adding it. Is that the root cause of my fish Dying.
Your Ph for rasboras & gourami are too high at 8.8, it should be between 6 & 7.8 for the rasbora & 6.8 to 7.8 for gourami but as long as there aren't big swings in Ph levels they could get used to it although the high Ph will make them more susceptible to disease & will decrease their life span. As TexasGuppy says above you must have something in the tank leeching into the water & raising the Ph, I'd have a good look at what's in there, do you have anything like limestone rocks? what's your substrate comprised of? For the nitrates, what are your stocking levels like for the size of your tank?
 

TexasGuppy

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Are you overstocked then? How often do you do water changes? Maybe you need to do a good vacuum on the substrate?

Good link for above...
5 Stage 75GPD Plus RO/DI System - Bulk Reef Supply
 
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Seth5545

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I have currently ordered some almond leafs online because I read they help to lower PH, I did not receive them yet, so I cannot swear for them. But maybe you could look for some such thing that could help to lower it I also have coconut shells in the tank which I read that have that effect
 

Seasoldier

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The mopani shouldn't raise the Ph or nitrates, what fish & how many have actually died? what size is your tank & what filtration do you have running? You have 0 ammonia & nitrite which are the real toxic baddies for fish so your water quality apart from the raised Ph & nitrate levels looks good, nitrate could be because your bio-load is too big for the size of tank & filter???
 

TexasGuppy

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My vote is on the high ph and nitrates, but there is always the off chance that something else got into the water... A tank dose of Seachem Prime may be a good insurance move.
 
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Seth5545

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its a 20 gallon high. Originally i had gotten 4 rasboras (all they had) and 3 cories. I did a 75% water the day after they were in. Then 3 of the 4 rasboras died. The last rasbora died the next day and then 1 cory died about 7 days later, today. I had filled out the tank to my current stock 3 days ago. All the new fish are ok. Could it have been that water change? Maybe PH shock?
 

Seasoldier

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Seth5545 said:
its a 20 gallon high. Originally i had gotten 4 rasboras (all they had) and 3 cories. I did a 75% water the day after they were in. Then 3 of the 4 rasboras died. The last rasbora died the next day and then 1 cory died about 7 days later, today. I had filled out the tank to my current stock 3 days ago. All the new fish are ok. Could it have been that water change? Maybe PH shock?
Yep, looking at your Ph figures for your well water if your tank was at 8.8 & you put 75% in at 7.6 you would have probably lowered the Ph value almost instantly & the resulting Ph shock could be the culprit for the die off.
 
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Seth5545

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Ok, well it was my stupid mistake . Should they be ok then from now on i will only do 25% water changes
 

TexasGuppy

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Also, corys are a sensitive fish, they probably can't tolerate high nitrate levels or rapid changes.
 

TexasGuppy

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API nitra-zorb is a filtering media that may help. It's hard to tell between 40 and 80 on the test.. it could be that your well water is higher and you get a little closer to 80 between water changes.
As @Thunder_o_b said, I would maybe do a 50/50 mix of well and reverse osmosis water during changes to keep nirates low, and find out what is raising your ph.
 
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Seth5545

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Would maybe trying cheap spring water for water changes help.
 

TexasGuppy

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Yes, but you need to check the spring water Kh and Gh levels. If they are too low/zero you'll end up with Ph swings if your Kh goes to 2 or lower. Spring water can get expensive in the long run, which is why most people will use RO system and Seachem equalibrium to remineralize the water. You can get decent 5 stage system on amazon for $150. Make sure the system you get has standard cartridge sizes so it's not to expensive when you need to replace them.
 
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