I'm Super Confused, And If You Could Help, Please Give Me Some Advice.. .

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Darlene80, Apr 9, 2018.

  1. Darlene80

    Darlene80New MemberMember

    I'm still super new to this. Killed a total of 4 fish in the last week as they are dying off one by one, and i'm just stumped.

    I have tested the ammonia levels, which is .25 (yellow on the test reading paper that come in the box)
    PH levels are ridiculous and I do not know how to drop them. (7.6 was read at home, 8.4 reading at the store when they tested it)

    I followed their instructions and removed 50% of the water 2x times, and added only bottled distilled, and the PH level is currently (as of 25 minutes ago) 7.6 again.

    My sharks are still doing well, as is the little algea eater sucker fish but we attemted to add tetras and they died as a result of the PH levels ( this was after the 1st water change like our local store instructed )

    What am I doing wrong that our levels are so high even with distilled water ??

    Our water is clear, it doesn't smell funny like it once did, everything was taken out of the tank, rinsed with distilled water, and placed back in the tank in the same place as it once was.

    Thank you for any and all of your help.

    I've also added drops to lower the PH, as well as added conditioner like instructed , but still super high....

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 10, 2018
  2. Naivara

    NaivaraNew MemberMember

    With all due respect, how new are you to fish keeping?
  3. Tyler Fishman

    Tyler FishmanValued MemberMember

    Sounds like it’s not cycled. Never wash decor unless it is absolutely nessary it has good bacteria on it, being maticlous will only kill your fish, any amount of ammonia is toxic which is why your fish are dying, I don’t know how your PH is so high if you use distilled, I don’t think it’s 8.4 if your using distilled and just have a gravel substrate unless the gravel was Argonite based (which it’s not) fluval has some peat statum which will lower your tank’s PH. How old is the tank? Whats your tanks stocking?
  4. OP

    Darlene80New MemberMember

    - we just started this a little over a week ago

    our local fish place retested our water and told me the numbers (8.4) .. our tank is only a week or so old, and was new out of the box.

    what is ... Stocking ? sorry, i've very new to all this and unsure what you mean

    1 week ... about ! March 30 to be exact

    how do I get the ammonia out ?? w/o emptying the tank and starting over .. again ? it;s only been just 2 days since the last water change, and from my understanding, it's not good to keep doing that either .
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 10, 2018
  5. shiv234

    shiv234Well Known MemberMember

    ohh geez.
    Get rid of all your fish since they aren't suitable for your tank.
    Do water changes twice daily about 50% of the water each time. This removes ammonia
    Return all your fishes to the pet store and we will help you with a better stocking for your tank
    pH doesn't matter unless its really low or high. You are killing your fishes by changing your pH all the time
  6. OP

    Darlene80New MemberMember

    I plan on getting bigger tanks .. but I was assure they would be fine for now, and not be aggressive yet.. but I have weeks to do this since they are babies yet so they aren't going back the store... PH is really high WITh the water changes ... why could this be?
  7. shiv234

    shiv234Well Known MemberMember

    what is your pH?
  8. OP

    Darlene80New MemberMember

    7.6 it's reading on my tester ... but that's as high as it goes.
  9. shiv234

    shiv234Well Known MemberMember

    ok...a stable pH is better than a fluctuation of pHs.....i strongly suggest you do twice daily water changes on your tank to keep ammonia as low as possible.
    pet shops only care about the wrong things when testing water. Invest in a liquid test kit and use that.
    IGNORE YOUR PH and worry about ammonia poisoning
  10. CanadianJoeh

    CanadianJoehWell Known MemberMember

    pH is the least of your concerns.

    Read up on the nitrogen cycle - it will give you a much better understanding of fishkeeping :)

    I agree - return the fish and do some research on cycling a tank and get fish once you fully understand that.

    @Tyler Fishman with all do respect, there is such a minute amount of BB on any decorations that our OP can rinse them as much as he'd like.
  11. puffer boi

    puffer boiWell Known MemberMember

    i dont recomend asking a fish store for advice!
    water changes are good keeping doing them daily!!!!
    i would just return your fish.
  12. OP

    Darlene80New MemberMember

  13. CanadianJoeh

    CanadianJoehWell Known MemberMember

    I agree - buy the API master test kit!

    Don't worry about pH. Your pH will stabilize once your tank has stabilized. A stable pH of 8.4 for a fish who "requires" a pH of 7 is better than a pH which fluctuates from 7-8 every now and then (or frequently).

    @Darlene80 I personally work at a local fish store and I would still recommend to any of my clients to do their own research. I know a lot about fish and I'll answer their questions with as much detail as I can, but I also want my clients to go home and read about the material until they comfortably and confidently understand the information.

    So.... keep in mind that you should take what fish-store employees say with a grain of salt!

    Some are right, and some have NO IDEA what they are talking about.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 10, 2018
  14. Jenoli42

    Jenoli42Well Known MemberMember

    hello Darlene & welcome to fishlore :)

    sorry you're having issues. we're here to help.

    @CanadianJoeh its quite right, and here's a simple version of the nitrogen cycle.

    put simply, your fish poo. that poo breaks down into ammonia which is toxic to fish. imagine breathing your own poo.

    one type of bacteria eat the ammonia. those bacteria then poo and create nitrite. nitrite is also very toxic to fish.

    a second type of bacteria (nitrobacter) start growing. these guys grow more slowly but they eat nitrite. when nitrobacter poo, they produce nitrate. nitrate is less toxic & perfectly safe for fish until it gets higher than 20-40 ppm. you remove nitrates when you do weekly water changes. most of us keep nitrates below 20ppm.

    I hope that makes sense?

    getting seachem prime will keep your fish safe as long as the levels of ammonia plus nitrite combined add up to less than 1ppm. (edit: example. ammonia at .5 + nitrite .25 = .75 total toxins = safe with prime)

    when your levels are higher, you need to do partial water changes (usually daily) to remove the toxins back down to a safer level. you do this until your bacteria grow and can do it themselves.

    the way you test your levels is test kits like the API freshwater master test kit.
  15. OP

    Darlene80New MemberMember

    Thank you for the welcome.... May I ask.. should I take all the rocks out and rince them as well ? My sons were each feeding the fish way more than they should have been (pinch 3x daily ) the 1st few days, instead of just 2 grains per fish 2-3x a day like we are doing now. could that be a reason ? or would I just be wasting my time and this should just kind of equal itself out as long as I do water changes daily for a while ?
  16. shiv234

    shiv234Well Known MemberMember

    how about gravel vacuming your tank
  17. CanadianJoeh

    CanadianJoehWell Known MemberMember

    I do not this mean to confuse you, but here is my favorite video that explains why water changes in the beginning stages of an aquarium are so important -

    This video is an extreme simulation - ammonia is invisible in aquariums, it is simply being represented by the yellow food dye.
  18. OP

    Darlene80New MemberMember

    I dont have one of those items.... but I will buy one tomorrow morning if that would make this a bit easier on the fish. I was worried about removing them from the tank, and replacing them daily
  19. shiv234

    shiv234Well Known MemberMember

    try not to do 100% water changes.....What fishes do you have?
  20. CanadianJoeh

    CanadianJoehWell Known MemberMember

    By the way.... what is in your tank and how many gallons is it?