golovorub golovorub
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  • Posted on: 21/10 7:41
Freshwater aquarium - many fish batches dead, LFS keeps claiming that water is perfect #1
Got a new 30 gallon aquarium ~1 month ago. The seller told me to use tap water (no conditioner), run the pump for a week (to get rid of chlorine), then bring a sample for test.

Did that, didn't use any soap/detergents for cleaning. All the rock/plants are from the same LFS.

One week later, brought the water sample for test, they said 'perfect' (1), gave me 6 tetra pristellas. Dummy me, came home, dumped everything in the aquarium.

One week later, 4 out of 6 still alive, another water sample, another 'perfect' (2) from LFS, a new group of fish (mollies, guppy, 1 gourami, 2 plecos - 9 total). Dumped them all again (really stupid). Mollies were really happy initially, one of them even gave birth.

Another week later, 9 fish dead, coming sad to the LFS, with another water sample, another 'perfect' (3). This time they sold me another 5 tetras (the remaining tetra 'is very sad, let's add compay') as well as 3 otocinclus, to keep raving algae in control. This time I made sure that the bag temperature is same as in aquarium, did partial water changes in the bag, topping it with the aquarium water. About ~45 minutes before releasing them.

Another week later, 4 tetra and 1 oto dead. Come to the same LFS, the water is 'perfect' (4) again, they even tested for P, PB and copper. Nothing. The readings were as previous: Nitrate < 5, Nitrite = 0, Total hardness - hard, Total chlorine - 0, KH - 40, pH - ~7.4.

Besides this, I have a liquid test at home, pH is always ~ 7.4, amonia/Nitrate/Nitrite - lowest value on the charts.

So, now I have 2 tetras and 2 oto, still alive but not very happy. Pump is rated for 50 gallons, always running. Temperature measured by 2 different thermometers - 79, maintained by 2 heaters rated for 25 gallons.

Sorry for long preamble - but what should I do now? I finally conditioned full aquarium (using stuff that's sold by LFS), thinking about getting a RODI filter - maybe the tap water has something not showing on the tests? Paying $250 for a full water test is a bit expensive.

P.S. Fish was always fed once a day, but all of them stopped eating after a days or two.
Fishlady Fishlady
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  • Posted on: 21/10 12:34
Re: Freshwater aquarium - many fish batches dead, LFS keeps claiming that water is perfect #2
It sounds like the tank has not been cycled. If that's the case the deaths are caused by ammonia/nitrite poisoning and every time you've added new fish there's been another ammonia/nitrite spike.

We recommend fishless cycling as per this article https://www.fishkeeping.co.uk/articles ... hless-cycling-article.htm , but as you already have fish it's too late for that so please follow this guide to dealing with ammonia and/or nitrite spikes https://www.fishkeeping.co.uk/articles ... ammonia-nitrite-spike.htm Don't add any more fish until ammonia and nitrite are staying consistently at 0, then only add a couple at a time every two weeks until you're at maximum stock.
golovorub golovorub
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Re: Freshwater aquarium - many fish batches dead, LFS keeps claiming that water is perfect #3
Thank you very much for the info!
Today lost another oto :(
Just measured the water using liquid test:
Amonia - 0.25 ppm
Nitrites - 0 ppm
Nitrates ~8 ppm

Does it mean that I'm still at the start of the process ?
Fishlady Fishlady
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Re: Freshwater aquarium - many fish batches dead, LFS keeps claiming that water is perfect #4
Well, you have a nitrate reading so that may be good news. Test your tap water for nitrate. If it has less than the tank, then there's at least some cycling happening as nitrate is the final product of the cycle and will rise in the tank if ammonia is being processed.
golovorub golovorub
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Re: Freshwater aquarium - many fish batches dead, LFS keeps claiming that water is perfect #5
Last fish died today...
Did the water change yesterday, Ammonia and Nitrites are both 0. Before adding new water, added conditioner to it, made sure that the temperature matches the one in aquarium (79).

This week will try the ammonia cycle method, to check if it was indeed the problem.
What's suspicious, that while testing the water, I never saw the Ammonia/Nitrites rising, while Nitrates were very slowly rising to 30-40.

What should I do if added Ammonia gets transformed immediately to Nitrates? What else could be the problem?
Fishlady Fishlady
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Re: Freshwater aquarium - many fish batches dead, LFS keeps claiming that water is perfect #6
Test by dosing to about 3ppm of ammonia. Check after 24 hours and if ammonia and nitrite are at 0 the tank is cycled. If you have a reading for either, then it's not and you should proceed with a fishless cycle before adding fish.

What happened previously was I believe due to the tank not being cycled and then too many fish added too quickly. You may have at least a partial cycle after that.
golovorub golovorub
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Re: Freshwater aquarium - many fish batches dead, LFS keeps claiming that water is perfect #7
Yesterday got my gallon of household ammonia :)
Per the calculator here, added 3ml to my 98l tank to get to 3ppm.

Today measured (using API's liquid test) - 0ppm.
Got another sample of water, this time mixed 50/50 with ammonia from the bottle - the reading is 2ppm.

I can distinctly feel the smell from the test vessel, so I suspect my test kit is waaay off.
Getting a new one, will report later.

Thank you again for help!