My Aquarium, Pets at Home & the Bl**dy Water Quality

Seedy_r0m

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OK...my first moan.

<RANT ON>

Just over 10 years ago, i decided to start a tropical aquarium.

Everything went well, I had a load of great looking fish, Cichlids, Neons, Glass Catfish, Plec, and a host of others.

I managed to keep them succesfully for a while, until unforseen circ's forced me to pass them, my tank & all my equipment on to my brother.

More recently (February actually), I decided to restart my old hobby, and spent an absolute fortune on a new tank, heater, air pump, gravel, plants etc etc etc.

I let the water cycle for a couple of weeks, then added 6 White Cloud Mountain Minnows.

As advised by Petsathome (Arrgghh), I also added Aquarium Salt, Stress Zyme, & Tap Water Conditioner etc just to make the water perfect for my new fish.

I had never added chemicals previously, and had no problems.

After roughly a couple of weeks between each new addition I added a Plec, Guppies, Dwarf Gouramis, Silver Dollars, Clown Loaches, Silver Sharks, Siamese Fighter.

To be perfectly honest, the only compatibility issues I had was between the Dollars & the Gouramis. Even though the Dollars were skittish, they were first to hoover up all the food. There were a few niggles, but all in all everything was OK.

I was performing regular water changes, cleaning the gravel etc, but my fish started keeling over one by one (usually one species at a time)

I took a water sample to Pets at home where they told me that the Ammonia level was too high and the only way to rectify this was through regular water changes.

Every time I took a sample in, the Ammonia was always too high, so a regular water change pattern ensued.

I did this religously, but each species shuffled off it's mortal coil, until there was nothing left in the tank. Everytime I was told "Ammonia too high, do a partial change"

Partial changes seemed to have no effect, and finally all my stock was residing in the grey bin at the bottom of the garden. The tank was then emptied completely, the gravel & the plants were binned, the silicon adhering the Jewel filter was gingerly sliced from the glass & a brand new Fluval 305 external filter was fitted along with new gravel, plants & ornaments.

I allowed the tank to cycle for a couple of weeks, the decided to go for coldwater fancies...within a week, they were all displaying symptons of whitespot (from Pets at Home).

I treated them, but it must've been too far into their gills to restore them back to full health...they are all ex-fish now.

Next step...I cleaned out all the tank/gravel & let it dry completely for a couple of weeks. When this was done, I started a fishless cycle again just to prepare the water for some new livestock.

Once the water had settled down, and was crystal clear, I took a sample to Pets at Home to test.

They said that it was high in Ammonia & I should do a water change.
My apologies to the young lass who gave me this advise, as I tore astrip off her. I had spent an absolute fortune on fish & equipment since I started this stress reducing fooking hobby.

Anyway, I took a tap water sample to another shop. They said that the tap water itself is Acidic & high in Ammonia, normally they would recommend a water change, but seeing as the source was at fault, this would be pointless.

I manged to get the Mother in laws tap water checked, this was perfect.

Scottish Water were contacted, they have deemed the water to be within perfectly acceptable limits, but perfect for who?

It turns out the the toxic soup I was forcing my fish to swim in was deemed perfectly normal by Scottish Water.

What worries me is the $h*te they are forcing us & our kids to drink is passing their tests, but none of my fish can swim in it.

I have now changed my water with the water from another area & mt fish are thriving.

If Scottish Water want a water sample...I am more than willing to give them one. It may be slightly salty & a little warm...feckers!!!!

</RANT OFF>
 

P33 RRV

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i used to think these water filters were for rich bitches but it certainly makes a difference (i drink a lot of water)

i was up at out pet centre as i have started taking up this hobby and they advised if any problems with tank take out 25% of the water every two days for a week and should start the tank from scratch (i hope it helps)
 

Seedy_r0m

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i was up at out pet centre as i have started taking up this hobby and they advised if any problems with tank take out 25% of the water every two days for a week and should start the tank from scratch (i hope it helps)

Cheers P33 RRV,

I had been doing regular changes, but the water they pump into our house is the stuff that's killing them :(

I've managed to get a hold of 4 x water canisters, the ones from office drinking fountains, and have started filling up at the Mother in laws as her tap water tested near perfect.

I've changed 50% earlier this morning, & so far they seem happy enough.
I plan to have the tank water tested again next week & take it from there.

There's a whole range of aquarium chemicals which claim to do all sorts, but the gunk I tried earlier didn't make any diffrerence, so it will be chemical free this time, unless it's to treat the fish.
 

aftermath

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Sorry to hear your fishes died m8.

I kept tropical fish many years ago now, i had varous tanks, and used to breed siamese fighting fish, and had some great success.

I never ever added anything to the water except food, even that was added in small amounts, as i liked to keep them slightly hungry.

I would have suggested keeping some large bottled water handy to keep topping up.

I think the pet shop was trying to make a few bob out of you mate and they should have recognised the problem on your first mishap.

As for the tap water, it probably is safe for human consumption, i just cant understand how these fish can survive in the sea but die in tap water.

Did you disinfect your tank and everything before you added the water ?
 

Seedy_r0m

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I never ever added anything to the water except food, even that was added in small amounts, as i liked to keep them slightly hungry.

That's what I'm doing this time round. They managing to polish off all the food in 5 minutes sitting.

I would have suggested keeping some large bottled water handy to keep topping up.

I should have filled it up with Perrier...probably have been cheaper in the long run :)

Did you disinfect your tank and everything before you added the water ?

Everything was rinsed thoroughly with tap water before putting it in the tank, the tank itself was washed out with tap water, dried off and polished with a Pentax lens cloth before putting it through a fishless cycle.

At the mo', I've got a couple of Moors, & a couple of Orandas swimming about in it. It's looking good this time around, hopefully have better luck this time round.

Thanks for your suggestions.
 

Erbs

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i keep cichlids,will upload a pic now...never had any trouble with ammonia as

i use a fluval fliter pump and has media pockets so u can buy the charcoal

type media that sucks up the ammonia....my tip is when you start a fresh

tank just add the bacteria to get the cycle going and thats it..leave for 2

weeks then add fish gradually...like 4 at at time and do a 10% water change i

would say every 2 to 3 weeks,i know they say every week but i feel that its

too much chemical in tap water that can upset the balance in the tank and

i do a media change every 6 weeks and not to overfeed feed fish,like feeding

everyday as the food waste is what amounts to ammonia build up,i feed mine

every 3 days because all fish are hunters and will search for food and will

scour around to find it in the tank and will hoover up and rummidge through

the gravel for it and keeping the tank cleaner at the same time...hope this

helps.
 
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aftermath

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i keep cichlids,will upload a pic now...never had any trouble with ammonia as

i use a fluval fliter pump and has media pockets so u can buy the charcoal

type media that sucks up the ammonia....my tip is when you start a fresh

tank just add the bacteria to get the cycle going and thats it..leave for 2

weeks then add fish gradually...like 4 at at time and do a 10% water change i

would say every 2 to 3 weeks,i know they say every week but i feel that its

too much chemical in tap water that can upset the balance in the tank and

i do a media change every 6 weeks and not to overfeed feed fish,like feeding

everyday as the food waste is what amounts to ammonia build up,i feed mine

every 3 days because all fish are hunters and will search for food and will

scour around to find it in the tank and will hoover up and rummidge through

the gravel for it and keeping the tank cleaner at the same time...hope this

helps.

Nice set up m8, i would like one like that full of marine fish.
 

scott rich

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hope you it all works out for your fish this time round...
iv git a tank my self 5ft by3ft had this hobby for about 5years now had loads of truble at first whent to the pet shop so many time to get them to test my water it was amonua then it be the nitrus level then this and that and at 50pence per test them bye this chemicile to fix the problem and do water changes... i got peed of i got rid of my fish and stated all over...
now the only stuff i bye is tap safe and strees coat and i aint had any problems since really..... got all kinds of fish and plants in the tank now....
the pet shops are just after your money most of the time and half them aint got a clue about fish apart from gold fish.....
 

Erbs

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i have looked into marine fish and take a lot of looking after and can only

keep a certain amount of fish in a tank depending on size,my mate had a

really nice marine tank and it was costing 100 quid a week buying all the

different types of salt as you are copying the sea as it were and difficult to

set up,i;m happy with tropical as cichlids are as close as your gonna get to

marine..mine are lake malawi dwarf cichlids
 

little_pob

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Have you thought about an inline water filter on the mains feed? or just at the kitchen tap? They are supposed to last about 6 months.

I'm sure a plumber will be able to fit one for you. Or B&Q do them for £9.98, although local hardware stores may work out cheaper/more convenient.

Might be worth checking if there are any recommended by other tropical fish keepers too...
 

Erbs

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i am a plumber and they not that great...your kettle will still fur up...they are ok but just about do the job...they are not a miracle cure
 

Seedy_r0m

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Nice setup you have there Chelsea.

I was swithering whether to go for a species or community, tropical, coldwater, or marine tank.

The deciding factor was the cost & ease of setup. I wasn't too keen on forking out a fortune for Discus or a marine setup with living rock & skimmer etc until I could get the basics sorted out.

Good choice of tank & filter as well.
It's a Jewel Vision 180 I have. The Jewel filter has been removed & a Fluval 305 fitted...that baby can really shift the water.
It has 3 charcoal pouches & 3 biomax trays. The external filter is a complete dawdle to use.

If I can make a success of this without too many casualties, I'll start an additional marine tank next year.
 

Erbs

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Thanks Seedy...I have demasoni's (dark blue stripes) afra whitetops(light

blue) and 2 plecostomus and have other cichlids but have forgotten the

names now lol...well when i started keeping fish which was a few years ago i

started with freshwater fish(tropical) had silver dollars.....greedy

bastards..they eat all the food and the other fish starve and then they get

weak and then eventually get eaten as they cannot defend themselves,i

have community cichlids and they have started breeding and have lots of

offspring...my advice is get community as they are well matched when it

comes to species, When you start mix and matching some probs can arise

and try not to listen when it comes to buying them,if u ask will they be

ok together? The people in the shops always say yes,so just do a little

research into compatibility.
 

gasman

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I had problems with water quality from the tap when starting my aquariun years ago and thought that was what the tap water conditioner was for to remove ammonia and chlorine etc from tap water. Ive since installed an inline filter in my rising main (for health reasons)after discovering that is was lead and now i use tap water again to top up the tank. I also use a external fluval 304 filter fitted with charcoal and ive used a product called ammo chips in the filter for removing the ammonia. Sorry to hear about your fishies mate but dont give up i had a pengasius shark that lasted me 8 years once id pinned down and rectified the problem. The only problem i got now is algae which has started to grow like wildfire recently.
 

Seedy_r0m

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I've just Googled for pengasius shark...very nice indeed.

To be honest, my next step was Ammo chips, but seeing as the water I'm getting from the MIL's is OK, I'll put that on the back boiler for a bit...well at least until I do another couple of water changes & tests.

I'm OK for algae now, I used to keep the light on from 09:00 to 23:00, but since restarting my tank, it's only on for 20 minutes in the morning & 3 hours in the evening. my Plec used to take care of it in my last tank.
 

Seedy_r0m

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OK...my first moan.

For the record...I've had many more since :whistle:

Just came across this old thread of mine, I can't believe that I've been keeping fish for 20 years or so.

There's been a hell of a lot of advancements since I first started up. As with pretty much everything else, t'internet has had a huge hand in it and covers everything from aquatic forums, manufacturers websites, LFS websites, Gumtree, cheap Chinese imports, and all points in between.

I myself have moved between Cold Water -> Tropical Community -> Tropical Species (Malawi Cichlid) -> and I'm now on to what I consider to be the pinnacle of fish keeping for us mere mortals...a Reef setup.

Sure there's some people who consider a Salt-Water Predator tank to be the ultimate, but the price and logistics involved, tanks such as these are well out of the reach of Joe & Josephine Bloggs.

I have yet to try a British Cold-Water set-up. I'm sure that I could source some used prophylactics and sanitary towels to float around the surface of the tank to add an authentic touch, however my Juwel 180L Vision may struggle with the increased bio-load of a decent sized Cod or a shoal of Mackerel.

I have my very own slice of the ocean and I love it. :Fish:

I've had my current set-up for a few years now and everything has been hunky dory, however over the past couple of weeks I've been battling with an unexplained bacterial outbreak. I've tried all sorts to get rid of the white/yellowy snotty slime which overruns my tank and threatens to deplete the oxygen if I don't keep on top of it. I can only blame this on the fact that that my water was well within acceptable parameters and I was still dosing NoPo-X. In simple terms...My tank was far too clean which gave the bacteria a bit of a foothold.

Let me put this into perspective...Previously I could quite easily leave my tank for a few weeks without carrying out any major maintenance routine (apart from a weekly 15% pwc) and the obligatory checks (pH, PO, NI2, NI3, NH4, CA), but since being hit by what I can only describe as Andre the Giant wringing his hankie out over my tank during a particularly heavy bout of a mucus laden flu attack.

Sorry...I did a little sick in my mouth there just thinking about it. Anyway, as you can no doubt imagine, it's not very pleasant. I have not lost a single fish, however they have suffered slightly due to the oxygen depletion caused by this outbreak. My Cleaner Wrasse, which is usually out and about winding other fish up regardless of the conditions, was lying on its side across a rock almost bent at 90 degrees. My 2-Spotted Java Hawkfish was lethargic to the point that I could have lifted it out without a fight. I thought that I would have to close my tank down for good.

So...after a good deal of investigation and research, I have decided to buy myself a TMC V2 Vecton UV Steriliser to see if I can eliminate the horrible gunk which is ruining my happiness.

I'll let you know how I get on.

Keep tuned for my progress, or for a cheap deal in Marine Aquarium kit :fishpair:
 
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