Why are my fish dying?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Water' started by alink, Aug 9, 2015.

  1. alinkWell Known MemberMember

    Okay just to recap on recent events.

    At the end of June, one of my Rainbowfish died to unknown causes. This was the first death I had in several months.

    On July 3rd I moved to a new location. The water here has a similar pH, but I believe it to be harder than the last place. In addition to that, I think there is something bad in the water because me and my step dad (parents now live with me) got sick shortly after moving here. Him and I switched to bottled water and been fine since. My mom still drinks the tap water and is fine. So idk what the deal is. No I dont have a GH/KH test kit.

    About 2 weeks after moving here, 1 of my 2 Dwarf Gouramis died. It spent about a week or 2 hanging out at the top of the water a lot and several times I found him laying on his side at the top. He would still eat everyday. Then I found him on the bottom, dead. No visual clues on why the death. No visual disease, no fight wounds, bloating, nothing.

    About 2 weeks later, my other dwarf Gourami died. I saw no clues that it was coming for him. He was swimming, eating and acting normal til I found him floating on top of the hornwort one day. Again no visual clues of the death.

    Then 2 days ago I did a count on my praecox rainbows and lemon tetras and I am only getting 14, when there should be 15 (total). Then I could just the rainbows and I'm missing one. Looking all over and cant find it anywhere. Then I did a water change yesterday and found it in the hornwort, dead. It had like a mucus/gel like coating around it and it was slightly decayed so I'm guessing it was dead for a few days. But again, they all were eating, schooling, swimming together like nothing was wrong, so another mystery death.

    The rainbows I got way back at the beginning of my old 50 gallon tank. They survived cycling and 2 runs of Ich in the beginning as well. Then I have 2 die about 5 weeks apart with no signs of a cause, and 2 gouramis died 2 weeks apart after being in the tank for 5 months or so.

    My water parameters have been fairly stable since I changed tanks. I had a little ammonia bump at the beginning because I changed substrate to black diamond blasting sand, but I used a bottle of TSS+ when I moved the fish because I figured there would be a bump between the substrate change and changing out a penguin 350 filter for a 2nd AQ/F 70 filter. Then I had another little ammonia bump when I added 8 albino aeneus cories about 2 weeks ago (between the deaths of the Gouramis). A water change and couple doses of Stability and it was back to 0. All the cories are doing great.

    I havent seen any nitrite readings since the initial cycle about 6 months ago. And nitrate will reach 80-120 because I change water every 2 weeks. The tap water here has 20-30ppm nitrate so I have to wait for the nitrates in the tank to get high enough so I remove more than I add. Temp has been stable at 79-80 the whole time.

    Lastly, I am currently too broke to afford anything to fix my water quality or even a GH/KH test kit. Business has been slow lately so I won't have much of an income for a couple months. I would like to get an RO filter but thats not going to be for a little while, same thing for my LED light I want. But at this point I would just like to hear opinions on what could be causing the deaths in my tank. We have 3 other tanks (1 with tropicals, 1 with goldfish, 1 with koi) and theres been no deaths in any of them.

    Thanks for any advice or opinions because I am at a loss. I want to think its the water, but then there should be problems in all the tanks, not just mine...
  2. LiterallyHydroWell Known MemberMember

    The only thing that comes to mind is something in the water, if everything started after the move. I understand your finances are tight but an RO filter seems to be about the most reasonable thing to do in your situation.

    Sorry for all your losses :(

  3. alinkWell Known MemberMember

    I have done some research on RO filters but theres so many of them and prices are vastly different from $40 to $400 to $1000. Can you possibly refer me to a model that would for me so I have an idea of the costs involved in doing it?

    Also, would a UV Sterilizer work for removing anything bad thats in the water?

  4. LiterallyHydroWell Known MemberMember

    Well, if you're only going to use the RO filter for the fish, I have a lot of trust in Bulk Reef Supply's RO and RODI systems after having used them myself. Here's a link to the  . It would produce 75GPD.
  5. BDpupsWell Known MemberMember

    It will kill free floating pathogens at the right flow rate. But this does not sound like it is your problem. I'm not sure what you have going on, but I don't think a UV will help.
  6. alinkWell Known MemberMember

    Okay, that doesnt look too bad. Now I just need to figure out how it works to know if its practical and if I have the room for something like that lol.

    Okay. Thank you for your opinion!
  7. LiterallyHydroWell Known MemberMember

    It is pretty simple. If you have a place under a sink you can set it up under the sink. There is also the option to screw it onto the sink for usage just like pythons and aqueon water changers.
  8. alinkWell Known MemberMember

    I got a few questions for you, if dont mind..

    1. GPD=Gallons Per Day? So that RO filter can filter 75 gallons per day (GPD)?

    2. Is there a way to screw on a python so you can feed the water directly to the tank you are doing a water change on? Trying to figure out the logistics of how I would do a water change since I dont have the money or the room for a large bin to store the water in. I have a 26 gallon trash can that I use for draining the tank and then dump that outside in the yard. So I could also then use that to fill it up with the RO water if needed. But then it would take like 8 hours to fill it up?

    3. What all is involved with getting the water stable and safe then for the fish with the minerals and such?

    4. I will be using Flourish and Flourish Excel anyway for my plants, will that help with the water or would I need something different?

    5. If I did this RO unit, do I still need to use Prime to remove chlorine or does the RO unit do that? The details on the website were specifically clear on that, but from what I understand an RO filter will filter out ANYTHING in the water so you have just pure water left, is that correct?

    6. How often do the filters need to be changed? Gaskets, seals, tubing, etc anything else that needs maintenance or replacement regularly?

    Thank you LH for your time.
  9. LiterallyHydroWell Known MemberMember

    I'll answer to the best of my knowledge here.

    1. Yes, the RO filter will produce 75 gallons of RO water per day under normal operations.

    2. Unfortunately, that is not possible. Your best bet is to get a brute trash can to fill with RO water and use a pump to move the water to the tank.

    3. I'm not sure what would be needed as far as planted tanks go, but I know this is a product regularly used when using RO or RO/DI water in freshwater aquaria.

    4. You could definitely still use Flourish and Excel. I am however, unsure of what else may be needed for planted tanks with RO water.

    5. I cannot answer this one personally. I know RO/DI water doesn't need a dechlorinator but I couldn't tell you for just RO water.

    6. I also cannot answer for replacing gaskets, seals or tubing because I only had my unit for about six months and everything seems pretty well built. However the filters inside the unit will have to be replaced regularly and here's the video that goes over knowing when to replace the filters. While this is the video explaining RO/DI filters, you could follow everything and leave out the DI resin.

    My apologies there are a lot of holes in my answer to you here. I can only provide so much information given I do not have experience using RO water in freshwater aquaria.
  10. alinkWell Known MemberMember

    Okay thank you. At least I got a few of them answered. I got lots of time before I can spend over $100 on the filter, and then another 100 or so on pump, additivies, etc. I'll do lots of research in the mean time. :)
  11. LiterallyHydroWell Known MemberMember

    If you'd be so kind as to PM me some of your findings around the time you make your purchase, that would be great! I want to eventually switch over my freshwater tanks to RO water just so I know that pure water is going into the tank.

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