Update with good news, and maybe some bad news

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chefkeith
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Re: Update with good news, and maybe some bad news

Post by chefkeith » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:10 am

I had her about 8 years, since she was about a 1". She was a little over 5" long (nose to end of tail), but fairly thick. She was probably my smallest female.

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chefkeith
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Re: Update with good news, and maybe some bad news

Post by chefkeith » Mon Mar 25, 2013 2:09 pm

While sleeping on it, I was thinking about what else could of been causing water quality problems and came up with a few answers.

1) For the large water changes, I was using sodium thiosulfate to dechlorinate the tap water. It's dechloranates, but doesn't detoxify ammonia. I forgot about that important detail, since I've haven't had to use it much in such a long time.

2) I usually do slow or drip water changes, where the incoming COLD tap water is filtered through a Matrikx CTO Plus carbon block filter. This carbon block filter is known to remove chlorine, and usually lasts me 4 months before they need to be replaced. When doing the these large water changes, I was using both hot and cold water, so that I could match the tank temperature. The carbon block filter was only 3 weeks old, but it already got dirty and was getting clogged up, probably because of the contaminants from the hot water. It was taking 10 minutes to fill up a 5 gallon bucket. So I changed the filter, but I still wasn't getting the water fast enough, it was still taking about 5 minutes to fill up a 5 gallon bucket. I wanted to speed things up, so I bypassed the carbon block filter, and added the unfiltered water straight to 5 gallon buckets, and treated the water with sodium thiosulfate to dechlorinate it, along with salt so that I could match the TDS, which was 250ppm.

3) I did about a 65% water change to remove the quinine sulfate. That was about 170 gallons of water that were added that had traces of ammonia and other contaminants from the hot water.

4) I didn't want to add Amquel Plus to the main tanks because it lowers the oxygen level of the water. I did add some Amquel to the quarantine tanks because I had an ammonia alert sensor on that tank and it detected a slight amount of ammonia, but I thought that was because of the fish, not because of the tap water that I used. I haven't noticed any problems with quarantine tank.

5) Last night, I tested the water in the main tanks for both Ammonia and Nitrite, and got a 0 reading for Ammonia, but couldn't get the nitrite test to work because the reagent must of gone bad. The Ammonia test kit is old also, so I debated about it for a few hours. That's when I finally realized that the sodium thiosulfate doesn't detoxify ammonia in the tap water. So I ended up adding a small amount of Amquel Plus to the main tanks.

Right now the loaches are acting fairly normal. There haven't been any more deaths either.

So what I need to do now is get a new ammonia alert sensor for the main tank and a new nitrite test kit. I need to eventually get a new hot water heater also.

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chefkeith
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Re: Update with good news, and maybe some bad news

Post by chefkeith » Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:41 pm

I just had my water tested at my LFS. Ammonia and Nitrite were 0. Nitrate was very low. The real shocker was my that my pH was 8. I'll be running some pH tests on all my tanks and water supply to find the source of the high pH. I think it's the hot water heater, but I'll test everything anyway.

Need to calibrate my pinPoint pH meter that I haven't used in a few years. I'll post the results when I get them.

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chefkeith
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Re: Update with good news, and maybe some bad news

Post by chefkeith » Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:26 pm

The results I'm getting for pH are nothing close to what the LFS got. Not sure why. I'm getting 7.2 to 7.3 in all my tanks. I've tested it electronically and with a regent based test kit.

My tap water varies.
Hot water lowered to room temp is 7.4 to 7.5
Cold water raised to room temp is 7.0 to 7.1
Both waters from faucet at room temperatures are about 7.2
The hot water is still concerning me. I'll see what I can do about getting a new hot water heater ASAP. It's been something I've been thinking about replacing for awhile.

I also tested the ammonia and nitrites from a bucket of dechlorinated tap water and got 0 readings for both. If there was an ammonia problem with the tap water, it's gone now. If there was an ammonia problem in the main tanks, the canister filters must of taken care of it. I'm getting a 0 ammonia/0 nitrite reading in the main tanks as well. So the LFS got that test right.

I'm still not sure how I'll proceed. I don't want to make any major changes in the water chemistry, that's all I know. I want to let the fish get settled in, but I also want to move the loaches from the q-tank back over to the main tanks.

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Re: Update with good news, and maybe some bad news

Post by Loachloach » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:09 pm

I wouldn't worry about the Ph. As long as it doesn't fluctuate, it shouldn't be a problem. The TDS is what's important.
But I would measure the Ph once it sits over night in an open container like a glass.

For example my tap water straight out of the tap is 6.6ppm. When I let that sit in a glass overnight it goes up to 7.4ppm. I am guessing its because of high content of CO2, almost like pressurized CO2 because my plants pearl when I do a water change. But it always goes back up to 7.4, either in the tanks I have or when sitting in a glass. Theoretically, if a Ph lowered by CO2 alone was a stress factor for my fish, I would have killed them via a 50% water change each week, or sometimes even more. Not to mention I do this on my shrimp tank too. However, the TDS is nearly identical regardless and I've never seen a problem doing it for ages.
I use the normal hot water mixed with cold water via the tap as well.

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chefkeith
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Re: Update with good news, and maybe some bad news

Post by chefkeith » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:33 pm

Thanks Loachloach. That's very true about the pH and CO2. I can't think of why I didn't measure the TDS of each sample when I was checking the pH. I'm getting so forgetful lately.

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chefkeith
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Re: Update with good news, and maybe some bad news

Post by chefkeith » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:09 pm

Things have settled down here. I just moved the 15 loaches from the q-tank back to the main tanks. They all look fine and are getting their 1st meal in 5 days. Hopefully all the drama is over.

One good thing that came out of this is that I did build a new handy PVC loach trap to catch and transport the loaches without a net or bucket. Later on, I'll start another thread detailing how I built it.

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Re: Update with good news, and maybe some bad news

Post by bookpage » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:13 pm

chefkeith wrote:Things have settled down here. I just moved the 15 loaches from the q-tank back to the main tanks. They all look fine and are getting their 1st meal in 5 days. Hopefully all the drama is over.


Great news...
chefkeith wrote:One good thing that came out of this is that I did build a new handy PVC loach trap to catch and transport the loaches without a net or bucket. Later on, I'll start another thread detailing how I built it.
Looking forward to that post...
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Loachloach
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Re: Update with good news, and maybe some bad news

Post by Loachloach » Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:12 pm

Glad to hear its all well.
I am looking forward to the clown loach trap as well. I was always wondering how to catch mine one day.

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