Water quality.....Maybe

  1. Dragones5150918 Well Known Member Member

    I need a little help and ideas.

    A month ago, I got my Rummies, and went through them like water. Ended up with only 4 living out of a total of 10 purchased. I still have the 4, and have not been able to get more.

    So I moved on to my next purchase of cardinals. I got 6, one died got another to replace it, and since Wed last week, I'm down to the last 2, and one of the two is almost dead. Two of the fishes I got developed cloudy eye/fungus over the eye. I started treatment of the entire tank with Kanaplex, and lost them anyways. The one dieing now shows no outward sign of why. Color us good, no fungus I can see. Only symptoms I see was refused food, rapid breathing, and now erratic swimming. It even stopped swimming with the other cardinal.

    Now here is the situation. No matter what fish I introduced to the tank, I go through this cycle of death. I'm getting so frustrated, that I'm about to pull the plug. I went through this with guppies, the Rummies, and now the Cardinals. All fish but one guppy was bought at the same location, and I keep getting "Our fish are doing fine".

    So I got to be missing something and need help finding it. My peramaters, stocking, etc is in my bio. The only thing not listed is my kh is 7dKH, and GH is 9dGH. This is the 29 gallon fish tank.

    Please help me find the solution to this never ending cycle of death.

  2. Vickygude1510 Member Member

    Im not sure if this is right but on your profile it says your nitrates are 0, this would indicate that you are not cycled.
  3. Dragones5150918 Well Known Member Member

    I use Matrix, which causes my nitrates to be 0
  4. MikeRad89 Well Known Member Member

    Don't use matrix. At least at this point.

    You obviously want to see nitrates in the tank with 0 ammo and nitrites to ensure it's cycled.

    IMO it should only be used if you have nitrates in your tap water. Scheduled water changes will keep the nitrate level where it needs to be.
  5. clk89 Fishlore VIP Member

    May I ask what matrix is for? I am unfamiliar with it.

    Could it also be a possibility that something contaminated your tanks's water somehow.
  6. Dragones5150918 Well Known Member Member

    My tap water is crazy. Right now it's running almost 1ppm ammonia, 0 nitrite, and 5 nitrate. Last month was .25 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and almost 20 nitrate. I have to use Matrix. Ammonia and nitrite is cycled out in under 12 hours.
  7. MikeRad89 Well Known Member Member

    That's understandable then, but you still shouldn't be seeing 0 nitrates. Even with matrix you should be seeing something.

    Can you test the water for ammo/nitrites right now?
  8. Dragones5150918 Well Known Member Member

    Give results in 10.
  9. MikeRad89 Well Known Member Member

    Make sure you let the test tubes sit for a good 5 minutes after shaking before reading.
  10. Dragones5150918 Well Known Member Member

    Before you ask, yes I pound the nitrate bottle #2 on the heal of my hand for 45 seconds and shake the test tube for over a minute. I have timers set.


    My log sheet since mid may

  11. MikeRad89 Well Known Member Member

    It seems fine, I just don't like that nitrate reading. If you've got fish in, you've got ammo, and I see none - so it's being broken down. I just like that see those nitrates to be sure.

    Can I see a picture of the tank by any chance?

    List all medications used, filter media used, carbon -- anything you can.
  12. Dragones5150918 Well Known Member Member



    Cardinal that is not doing well is in the Betta trap in the tank.

    Filter is Marineland 280, with a month old cartridge and matrix is the media box. Carbon is out due to Kanaplex in tank. Bio wheel running as well. Substrate is pool filter sand and aragonite sand mixed due to kh issues. 2 big pieces of driftwood, a medium piece, and a bunch of small pieces. Light up air disk to aerate. Meds are Prime, Alkaline Buffer (due to kh issues), Kanaplex due to the fungus I saw on some of the Cardinals before they died. Ferts is Flourish twice a week, and Excel 4 times a week. Nothing else is added to the tanks.

    Oh and water change and vacuuming is done on Sundays.

    Stumped you too eh? I've been stumped my self, that's why I'm about to pull the plug on it.
  13. MikeRad89 Well Known Member Member

    I'm sure the problem arose before you added kanaplex, but it's always best to medicate in a QT tank. Some fish do not respond well to medications in the water.

    What exactly are the issues with you KH and GH?

    Messing with the pH or a swing in pH could be causing all the issues you're seeing.

    Straight out of the tap you've got reading fairly consistent with what I'm seeing in the tank, despite you adding buffering products.

    Try this - remove 90 percent of the water - remove the matrix. Add new carbon to get rid of the existing kanaplex. Does your water conditioner to detoxify any heavy metals and chloramines. Do not add anything to the water in terms of buffering capacity - let the pH settle to where it's going to be - usually after about 24 hours. Then test kH, gH, pH. If your kH is low, you can add a natural carbonate source like cuttlebone (cheap and extremely effective). Stay away from buffering products.
  14. Dragones5150918 Well Known Member Member

    If you look at the top of the log you will see my kh is less then 17ppm right now. I use the buffer to stabilize it. The PH from the tap is 9.7, after aeration it drops is 7.8. I use only 1/2 teaspoon for my 5 gallon water change bucket to stabilize it to 80ppm, then let the aragonite sand do its job. The KH fluctuations is from less then 17 to 50 when I'm super lucky. GH is fluctuating too between 100 and 225 depending on season.

    My water conditioner is Prime.
  15. MikeRad89 Well Known Member Member

    So you're having serious kH issues then. Even 80ppm is low and I guarantee the pH is swinging because of it. Add cuttlebone to the filter (a whole piece).
  16. Dragones5150918 Well Known Member Member

    Like I stated before, I've been having problems with new fish introduction since the beginning. I went through 11 guppies and only got 3 to live. Went through 8 Rummies, and got only 4 to live, and now 7 cardinals, and 1 is doing good, the second is almost dead, and lost the rest. I can't seem to find what it is in my water that is causing this death cycle.

    Water changes do not effect any of the existing fish in the tank.

    I do 3 hour drip acclimation and then float the bag to make sure temp is the same.
  17. MikeRad89 Well Known Member Member

    As I said, it's a kH issue. I've tried to give you all the advice I can, whether you choose to take it or not is entirely up to you. At this point you don't seem to have much to lose.
  18. Dragones5150918 Well Known Member Member

    But the pH and kh are stable with the aragonite sand in the tank, and pH does slowly increase. It's up to 8.0 now from 7.8 on Saturday. Kh is up from 80ppm to 125.
  19. Mom2some Well Known Member Member

    Is this the tank that previously was for salt water? Sorry to hear this tank is giving you such issues. When in doubt CindiL who is also already familiar with your water/kH issues.
  20. Dragones5150918 Well Known Member Member

    Yeah it is the salt tank, but I had to buy a new tank, but using the old filter and heater.

    Have been talking with Cindi in PM's, and I don't think she even knows what's going on. She did say she does not think it's my tank, but why are the fish still alive at the shop but die in my tank?

    I can't find anything in all my test, and checking out my water treatment plants. I'm looking everywhere I can and running out of ideas, that is why I'm asking on here. I believe I'm missing something.