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My fish have not been up to the surface in a week- not even to feed

I'm trying to narrow down the possibilities of what may have stressed them or caused them to change their behavior.

1. I salted the tank 2- weeks ago to rid it of parasites. Then after the first week I added Seaweed extract.

2. On day 10 or 11 of the salt treatment- I decided to do a partial water change, about 30%. Then I added PH down to the tank - target 7.0 - (it went back up the next day) Ammonia & nitrites remained at 0.5 +-

3. 2- days later I did another partial water change 30%.

They were feeding normally, coming up for the food and devouring all of it. It seems they started acting irregular ( staying on the bottom and hiding & not eating as usual) around the same time I did the PH adjustment which was just a fluctuation for 12 hours or so The adj. was a sizeable from- 7.6 to 7.0.

Question- Why are my fish not the happy fish I once knew? They used to be happy. I just want me fish to be happy - so I don't worry :) Should I salt the tank again? What is the best method of measuring the salt content? Will a PPM meter work -What are the alternatives?

 Any answers or replies would be greatly appreciated- Thanks, Growzay

  

 

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What have you done for testing?

 

Water temperature and type of fish?

PH level now? 7?

PH level before adjustment? 7.6?

PPM meter is a good thing to look at after you have added salt

your ammonia / nitrites at .5 mg/L ?

did you treat your water before you did a water change?

 

30% water change can be drastic depending on what the difference in the waters' chemistry  is.... whats your systems total volume?

 

what did you use for PH down?

 

Temperature goes up to 75-77 degrees during the day & at night drops to 68-69 -. I have  5 Koi & a couple of
Fancy Goldfish.

 2-3 times a week I do regular testing of the Ammonia level which is & has been at or around 0 - .5 since it has completely cycled up

I check the Nitrite levels 2-3 times a week which has never been over 1.0

PH has been constant 7.6

I did treat the water before adding it to the tank  - PH adjustment in seperate reservior/25 gal- From 8.0 down to 6.0- I THEN ADDED the 6.0 water to the fish tank which was at 7.6. I turned the pump on to water while I added the 6.0 water to the fish tank to help stir up the water. I tested after an hour and it was at 7.0.  The next day the PH went back up to 7.6 

I don't have a PPM meter & I haven't checked the Nitrate level- I have no nitrate tester - yet. 

My reservior holds 100 gallons- I only have approx- 80-85 gal of water in the tank.

I use PH Down by Laguna- Phosphate free

The fish are not eating & pooping- I am very concerned!

The only reason I decided to do water exchanges because ( i thought my zuchinni was stressing/ burnt leaf margins)     

What do you feed your fish and how much?

What size are they approximatly?

You should really get a nitrate test kit.

Are your plants doing well other then the zuchinni??

Do you add any other additives to the water? seaweed extract, iron ect?

 

I was feeding the 4-6 inch Koi Tetra Fin Goldfish flakes ( which they loved) a couple times a day & a few times at night -they feed mostly at night- Then i switched to Goldfish & Koi Food - All season pellets by Laguna.

The plants are doing great (zuchinni doing great, flowering and fruiting strong. I had to remove a few stems & leaves attached (because of major leaf burn)

I assumed the salt did it - so that is why I went ahead & removed some of the saltwater. Before I did the water change I did add seaweed extract- made by Growmore. I am going to get the master tester kit soon! My water temp right now at 11:30 AM on Sun  is 68 degrees 


matt said:

What do you feed your fish and how much?

What size are they approximatly?

You should really get a nitrate test kit.

Are your plants doing well other then the zuchinni??

Do you add any other additives to the water? seaweed extract, iron ect?

 

Did the temperature drop a little around the time the fish quit eating?  68 F isn't all that warm for Koi and goldfish and when the water is cool they will eat less.

 

It sounds like you must have something in your system buffering the pH if it is popping back up to 7.6 after you bring it down.  What happens if you adjust a container of water and leave it bubble for a few days?  If you have really hard water it might take a few days and a few doses to adjust your water pH and get it to stay.  With a new system I wouldn't mess around with it too much now is time to let it settle in.

 

The water changes could well have disturbed the fish too.  pH swings and water changes can put the fish off their feed as can temperature, lack of aeration and weather changes.

Thanks for the info - I have all the inconsistencies you speak. I am going to get another heater & I will take your advice on not trying to get the PH perfect. I will wait for the system to even itself out.

Did the temperature drop a little around the time the fish quit eating?  68 F isn't all that warm for Koi and goldfish and when the water is cool they will eat less.

 

It sounds like you must have something in your system buffering the pH if it is popping back up to 7.6 after you bring it down.  What happens if you adjust a container of water and leave it bubble for a few days?  If you have really hard water it might take a few days and a few doses to adjust your water pH and get it to stay.  With a new system I wouldn't mess around with it too much now is time to let it settle in.

 

The water changes could well have disturbed the fish too.  pH swings and water changes can put the fish off their feed as can temperature, lack of aeration and weather changes.

Hang in there patience is an important ingredient in new aquaponics.

Yeah, seems like you have done everything right with your water. Probably just shock from the water change. Its more likely to be a sickness if only one or two stop eating. Next time change only of your water 10% per day. Also A PPM meter and nitrate test kit would be a good idea. If your water was +2000 PPM because of the salt, the new softer water could make a big difference.

Thanks Matt- Hopefully everything will work out.
Thanks to TCLynx as well. Everyone is soo helpful & we new to this really can't emphasize how helpfull you all are-

 Big-up to you all!
matt said:

Yeah, seems like you have done everything right with your water. Probably just shock from the water change. Its more likely to be a sickness if only one or two stop eating. Next time change only of your water 10% per day. Also A PPM meter and nitrate test kit would be a good idea. If your water was +2000 PPM because of the salt, the new softer water could make a big difference.

My fish just now finally started to eat again!

Yesterday I added another 1 lb.if sea salt to the system and today I cleaned the algae off the walls of the reservior. Then, I topped off the system with around 15 gallons of 48 hour water at a PH of 7. It did not change the PH in the system much- but I could be wrong- My PH tester (drops) only goes up to 7.6. I presume that it was actually more like in the 8.0 & above range.

They immediatley stopped huddling up together and ventured off on their own- I let them acclimate to the new conditions for a few hours & low and behold - I fed them just now & they came to the surface & started to EAT! It has been 9 days since they have came up to indulge.... I'm happy ~> that they are happy- Now it's all about getting the fish waste to the growbeds. Time to feed them & feed them again - so they can do their thang!!!

 

Glad to hear your fish are eating :)

Sounds like you need to get the complete API master test kit which will include...

pH (range 6-7.6)

pH High Range (range 7.4-8.8)

Ammonia

Nitrite

Nitrate

 

They do make salt test kits or as noted some hydroponic type meters can be used to estimate the salt level based on conductivity or they make hygrometers for testing salt levels but you have to be very careful to get the right range to be able to read our very low salt levels for aquaponics.  Anyway, most people manage without if they are careful not to put new fish into their main system without quarantine in a separate system first.

 

good to hear they are finally over their shock.

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