Tank Crashing Before My Eyes

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Fahn, Apr 12, 2017.

  1. FahnFishlore VIPMember

    No ammonia, no nitrites, nitrates are 30ppm. Temp is 78, CO2 beyond 30 ppm, and oxygen is plentiful as plants are pearling like crazy. Not testing pH as I know it is low, around 6. I inject CO2 and keep lights on 6 hours a day and feed once per day.

    Just had a GBR die... the seemingly healthy one. It went belly up in a matter of minutes. Earlier today it was nibbling at food but spitting it back out and all of my fish have been reclusive. I had to relocate all 4 of my otos to another tank as well as one glowlight tetra that was swimming upside down and sinking. I'm not expecting them to be alive tomorrow...

    I have not dosed ferts in 3 days and just did a 50% water change yesterday, I don't understand why everything is going wrong. I have also been dosing Metroplex so it shouldn't be a parasite, but haven't dosed that in a couple of days either.

    I know my nitrates are probably a bit too high, but they are close to being in the safe range. I rescaped/replanted the tank recently and added two pieces of wood, but one I boiled for almost 2 hours and the other I scrubbed with scalding hot water since it was too long to fit in the pot. Neither show any signs of fungus or mold.

    I have added prime and stability as a way to try to combat whatever it is doing this to my fish. I have not used chemicals around the tank, burned anything like candles, or used aerosols.

    Please help!

  2. AvalancheDaveWell Known MemberMember

    pH might be too low. Noga's book mentions that <5.5 is very stressful to many types of fish. pH measurement isn't that accurate anyway unless you take a measurement right after calibrating a probe so <6 might actually be <5.

    Also, could CO2 be too high?

  3. FahnFishlore VIPMember

    My water's pH is naturally low, around 6.5. Injecting CO2 lowers it further. How can I remedy this?

  4. pixelhootValued MemberMember

    Hello! Did some research for you and this article seems to be pretty comprehensive about pH and the various things you can do for it. Hope this helps!


  5. scarfaceFishlore VIPMember

    Don't make assumptions and test your ph, seriously. And stop dumping Prime in there. What are you trying to resolve by doing that when the nitrites, nitrates, etc looks fine?
  6. FahnFishlore VIPMember

    It's called "panicking", I was desperate. I only used the recommended dose anyway. It doesn't matter if I test my pH because the API master kit bottoms out at 6.0, so all I can say is my pH is at MOST 6.0.
  7. KimberlyGFishlore VIPMember

    I have to give you kudos for even replying to that. In the future I wouldn't waste the key strokes.
    I am sorry about your beautiful aquarium but I don't do planted. I hope someone has an idea for you.
  8. scarfaceFishlore VIPMember

    Well, I use the Elos kit, so I have no idea about the API ph kit. If everything looks good, I bet the ph plummeted. Not certain though. Sorry if I offended you, but I been noticing you been having difficulties lately. Your first reaction is that of a crazed monkey. If this makes you panick, I don't know what else to say. I wish you the best!
  9. MikeRad89Well Known MemberMember

    What are you running for BPS? Are you leaving the CO2 on 24/7 or turning it on and off with the light period?
  10. FahnFishlore VIPMember

    Between sick fish, nitrate spikes and now this I'm ready to throw in the towel. This tank has been a royal pain and just when it seems like I have everything under control it all goes wrong.

    I guess I can turn down the CO2 and add some crushed coral in media bags to one of the canisters... guess I also need a kH/gH kit as well. I'm beyond frustrated and out quite a bit of money at this point. This aquarium is a money pit and a huge source of stress (and extremely rewarding when all goes well).

    I'd hardly call dosing Prime and Stability out of panic the same act as a "crazed monkey"... illogical maybe, but fish usually don't just go belly up all of a sudden with no prior warning.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2017
  11. AWheelerWell Known MemberMember

    Turn the co2 down in your tank and add an air stone! You might want to use something to buffer your ph as well, if it is crashing. (baking soda for an emergency), crushed coral or oyster shells in filter for long term.
  12. FahnFishlore VIPMember

    BPS is practically a stream of bubbles, as I am trying to counteract some tenacious BBA.

    I keep it on only 6 hours a day, an hour before lights on and off. I'm sure the CO2 is making the water quite acidic but assumed the fish would be fine since most are from acidic water anyway (gourami, GBR, etc).

    Fish are never gasping at the surface so I never saw an issue.
  13. MikeRad89Well Known MemberMember

    You're pumping a lot of CO2 into the water - the gourami is doing fine because he can breathe atmospheric O2 - other fish may have slowly gotten used to the low dissolved o2 but some can't tolerate it.

    Pearling does little to increase the dissolved o2 in the tank - it bubbles off into the atmosphere at the water line. Increase surface agitation with a powerhead of your filter outlet and you'll have more success - your plants won't suffer like you think.

    EDIT- by turning the co2 on and off with the light cycle with a BPS that high, you're causing daily flucuations in pH, which could be severe if you have a lower KH.

    Just run 2-3 BPS, add crushed coral to the filter, and increase surface agitation. You'll have no issues.
  14. FahnFishlore VIPMember

    Should I use an airstone during or after injecting CO2?
  15. scarfaceFishlore VIPMember

  16. FahnFishlore VIPMember

    But I thought pearling meant that the water column was completely saturated with O2, hence the bubbles as no more O2 can dissolve.
  17. AWheelerWell Known MemberMember

    Honestly, if your fish are going belly up, I'd keep an air stone in there all the time. Lack of o2 in the water, if it is bad enough, or sudden is just going to make them get confused and then go belly up, they won't even make it to the point of gasping at the surface.
  18. FahnFishlore VIPMember

    Is the low pH a possible cause of plant melt? My dwarf sag keeps suffering weird melt despite root tabs, high light, and ferts.
  19. MikeRad89Well Known MemberMember

    Don't run an airstone - it's way too aggressive in a CO2 injected tank. Increase surface agitation and add crushed coral or cuttlebone to the filter. I've had this exact issue and it worked for me.
  20. Tri5guyValued MemberMember

    Im no planted tank expert by all means, but i do know GBRs are extremely sensitive to water params. Good luck with your tank, and hope you get it back under control.

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