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I seem to have gotten to that time when my fish, those around 3 inches long, start to die for reasons I can't determine. Two this week. The pH is OK though a bit low (and I'm adding lime to raise it), the ammonia is zero and the nitrite is zero. I am transitioning the larger fish, around 6 inches, to the adult food though they don't seem real interested in it. My plan is to exchange out about 1/3 of the water today to see if that helps. Any other suggestions? 

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hi Brad, sorry to hear about the die off.

im curious about the media in the system,.. I have a friend who has three systems, and the newest one keeps killing every fish he puts into it.   ...all the while, we noticed that all the new hydroton had a sulfur smell. my guess is the manufacturer added sulfur or its somehow in the mix as they mined the stuff... don't know. ....But, the only difference in the three systems is the media,,, the one with the sulfur smelling hydroton keeps killing fish.. he has acid shocked it, Mg douched it, and prayed over it,, no change.. he says hes going to remove all hydroton and replace with shale. 

if you did go with some of the newer hydroton that's out there, I would be curious to know if that has something to do with it.  if so what brand did you use, I will ask my friend what his was.. Im pretty sure it was "Grow-it"

HI Rob:

I am sorry to hear about the fish die off. 

I have a very limited chemistry background from college but in that time I did learn a few things and with the help of Google I can figure things out.  With the caveat that I my speaking from the wrong orifice your friend may be able to off gas that excess sulfur by adding a ...

Here is the formula for creating the gas in the lab along with the precautions: link 

  • 4 g NaOH     - AKA LYE
  • 1.7-g sodium bisulfite, NaHSO3(s)
  • 5 mL 6 M HCl(aq)   -  AKA Pool Acid
  • 5 mL universal indicator solution
  • concentrated ammonium hydroxide (only the fumes will be used)  _ AKA as Ammonia

  • The system already has the sulfur so don't add any sodium bisulfite, NaHSO3(s)
  • Lye - the  main ingredient in soap, is found in pure form in drain cleaners - be sure use 100% sodium hydroxide.
  • HCL - hydrochloric acid, also known as pool acid or muratic acid - I use it to control pH in my system.
  • Ammonium hydroxide is just ammonia in a water solution - you probably used this to cycle your system bacteria.

So basically take the fish out if there are any left and give a good dose of the above ingredients in those basic ratios and let the system run a few days.  You may want to dump the water  before adding top up water from the other systems to repopulate the bacteria. The biggest issue I see here is getting enough lye in the system without over powering the system since the ammonia will be used up by the bacteria eventually and the pH can always be brought back into balance by adding some carbonates (baking soda).

If this doesn't work out, I use and recommend using volcanic cinder...

Hi Rob,

I'm using crushed granite & did a real good wash of all dust.

both systems are using same sump tank so they mix before return to fish tanks

I'm thinkin it was over feeding along with fish dying & not being found for a couple days or more ( stuck under return drain pipe & couplings I put in bottom of tank for fish to hide )

every thing was just fine until the die off started, than complete crash, all but the 30 or so fish I removed to #2 other tanks,so far they are all fine

I even made one of your water heaters, works good if I run it 10 hours a day, 70*- 2000 gal system

thanks

Brad

Rob Nash said:

hi Brad, sorry to hear about the die off.

im curious about the media in the system,.. I have a friend who has three systems, and the newest one keeps killing every fish he puts into it.   ...all the while, we noticed that all the new hydroton had a sulfur smell. my guess is the manufacturer added sulfur or its somehow in the mix as they mined the stuff... don't know. ....But, the only difference in the three systems is the media,,, the one with the sulfur smelling hydroton keeps killing fish.. he has acid shocked it, Mg douched it, and prayed over it,, no change.. he says hes going to remove all hydroton and replace with shale. 

if you did go with some of the newer hydroton that's out there, I would be curious to know if that has something to do with it.  if so what brand did you use, I will ask my friend what his was.. Im pretty sure it was "Grow-it"

what is your KH?

Steve

I don't have anything to check kh

You can get a KH test kit either through the store on this site or at any pet store that carries aquarium products. Another way to check your KH is to check your PH every 2 hours or as many times as you can. Your PH will change over the day but it should change that much. If you are noticing a big swing over the coarse of the day then there is a high chance your KH is low. I would recommend buying a KH test kit tho they are cheap and generaly run under $10 and then you can know exactly whats going on. Judgeing by your symptoms you could be losing fish to ph swings caused by low KH. What have you been using to maintain your PH? If your dKH is below 4 or 74 ppm then thats more than likely your issue.

ph is 7.2 to 8

yea thats a huge swing i would definitely test your KH. You can use potassium bicarbonate to buffer it back up. It is sold in most beer stores and or baking stores as a leveler in cooking. for dosing you want about 18grams in 500 liters (132 gallons) to raise your water 1 dkh. If you need more help with dosing your system i can help you. 

Brad, I am certain that San Diego area water companies are using elevated amounts of Chloramines. This DOES effect the ammonia readings and can collect or build up in our recycled AP system. chloramine IS a compound of chlorine and ammonia. Wild swings in pH and or ammonia effects the others like dissolved oxygen and stress the fish.

Here's a link to an informative site near you I think. That could better advise how to avoid the build up or its effects.

 http://www.sandiegopurewater.com/#!chloramine/cu3h

I am not promoting their product, we don't need it. But their information can be helpful.

Hope this helps others to understand wild swings in water test data. Elevated use of Chloramine vs. simple chlorine is on the rise everywhere in the U.S..

 
 
Brad Moreau said:

ph is 7.2 to 8

I could be wrong but iv only heard of water treatment useing chloramine. Both on the east coast and in colorado i have yet to call a water treatment plant and been told they use it. I was told in my years in thepet trade that its sued but i think its more to do with wanting to sell more dechlore. Again its possible its chloramines but in my experience calling treatment plants it isn't used for normal water processing.


Glenn,

I'm using a chloramine/chlorine filter to add water

7.2 to 8 PH was do to water changes 30% +

normally it around 7.6

tried to find a KH test kit, no luck, will order one online

I will let ft get stable for 24 hours & test PH 3 to 4 times a day & post readings

Thanks for input 

Brad


Glenn said:

Brad, I am certain that San Diego area water companies are using elevated amounts of Chloramines. This DOES effect the ammonia readings and can collect or build up in our recycled AP system. chloramine IS a compound of chlorine and ammonia. Wild swings in pH and or ammonia effects the others like dissolved oxygen and stress the fish.

Here's a link to an informative site near you I think. That could better advise how to avoid the build up or its effects.

 http://www.sandiegopurewater.com/#!chloramine/cu3h

I am not promoting their product, we don't need it. But their information can be helpful.

Hope this helps others to understand wild swings in water test data. Elevated use of Chloramine vs. simple chlorine is on the rise everywhere in the U.S..

 
 
Brad Moreau said:

ph is 7.2 to 8

Brad, my first hunch is simply water temp. 55F is the lethal low for Salton's and mossies. When temps get down close to 55, weak or stressed fish start to die.

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