I need advice.

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I need advice.

Post  Rhetorical_Meow on Sun Nov 06, 2016 10:34 pm

Hi Friends,
I'm desperate.

I have a 2.5yo 55gal freshwater tank with guppies, tetras, and platys. I've had ups and downs, and I've lost a lot of fish, but I always knew why when I reflected on what I did wrong (sad lessons to learn but good to learn them none-the-less).

I wanted a semi-aggressive tank, so late this summer I purchased a beautiful 55 gal from someone on CL. It came with some barbs, a huge beautiful catfish, a big Chinese algae eater, and a beautiful angel.

I've added more barbs and a few bala sharks - everything I've added has died (along with an original barb and the Chinese algae eater). So I gave it a few weeks, everything seemed okay, and with a gift card I won for Petco, I treated myself to a Discus.

I know: stupid. I get that now. I spent a LONG time talking to employees at both Premium and Petco before I bought him. I thought I knew what I needed to know. I took 27 hours to drip acclimate him to the tank. And I moved everything around in the tank so no one would be territorial, etc. to help his transition.
He lasted 75 minutes.
Well, that's half true: I found him on the ground after 75 minutes, and I put him in one of those breeding boxes and put him in the other tank which (after testing both) has better water.
So by the time I get done writing this post, he'll probably be gone and I'll feel horrible (I already do) because he's a gorgeous fish, as colorful Discus are.

When I tested the water, nitrites were suddenly high (????) and ph was high (ph is always high: I permanently work to keep it at about 7.4, which is the lowest I can seem to get it to go). I've now done a water change and put some Prime in - I'll get the nitrites down (it's the first time I've seen them above zero since owning the tank: I'm guessing it's from moving all that stuff around, which probably churned up a lot of poo. Note that I also added a rinsed 5lb bag of new rocks to the bottom right before I added the Discus - I can't believe new rocks would make nitrites spike, but would they?).

If you're wondering, I have a 4 week old Marineland canister filter running, and for 2 of those 4 weeks I also ran the original (very dirty) Aqueon HOB filter so the canister filter would get all that good bacteria I know it needed for the ecosystem.

In frustration (I mean, ANOTHER dead fish? I've spent $175 in fish in 3 months and have exactly zero of them alive to show for it), I tested my tap water right out of the tap (I live in Normal). The PH was off the charts - the vial turned dark blue.

So that's a problem.
And that's going to lead me to my questions.

1) We don't have room for a storage tank for reverse osmosis water, so it seems (as I'm doing weekly water changes on both tanks to the tune of 20 gal on each) that installing a reverse osmosis system isn't in the cards. What are y'all doing with this horrible local water that's keeping your fish alive? 'Cause I'm casting some of the blame for my tank-of-death on the high PH in the water that I've struggled to keep low since day one.

2) Clearly I'm stupid for even trying a fussy fish like a Discus. Forgive me for that, and then please recommend other semi-aggressive fish that are beautiful and somewhat large and who won't beat the heck out of my Angel. What should I get? I've been told that Cichlids and Angels don't mix. At that point, I'm at a loss.

Any advice any of you have would be so welcome.

Yours,
The Unintentional Serial Killer of Fish Crying or Very sad

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Re: I need advice.

Post  DavidZ on Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:47 am


Dear Serial Killer,

I also live in Normal and have very few problems with the water. It is high right out of the tap, but it drops in my system pretty quickly. I have a hard time keeping my water over 7. However, I have 35 tanks in my fish room and I cant remember the last time I lost a fish so I'm happy with it. I currently raise Angels, Corys and Plecos, and they all spawn pretty regularly.

If it was me, and this tank was always losing fish, I might consider just starting over. Take it down, bleach and sterilize everything, then set back up and let it cycle naturally. I might go so far as to not re-use the substrate and decorations either, one of them might be leaching something into the water. The fish you mention, other than the Discus, should be pretty easily kept in Normal water.

Yeah, the Discus probably wasn't a great idea, they are tougher to keep under the best of conditions. They require much higher water temps and softer water. Mark (twocat) keeps them pretty successfully so maybe he'll offer some advice.

I've always been a little partial to Pearl Gouramis - they get decent sized and are very colorful. I have a few if you want to see them.

Not sure if we're having a meeting this month, but stay tuned to the forum for info. If we do drop by and you can get some more suggestions.

Don't give up hope!!

DavidZ
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Thanks!

Post  Rhetorical_Meow on Thu Nov 10, 2016 8:16 pm

David,
Thanks for the reply. I'd love to see your Gourami. And I appreciate the advice. Indeed, I will keep my eye out on the forum for a meeting.
Very Appreciatively yours,
The Unintentional Serial Killer of Fish

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Re: I need advice.

Post  DavidZ on Sat Nov 12, 2016 2:11 pm

We will have a meeting tomorrow and all are invited.

2:00PM at 503 Covey Court in Normal.

See you there.

DavidZ
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Re: I need advice.

Post  twocat on Sat Nov 12, 2016 7:27 pm

Dear Serial Killer,

Come to the meeting and we will talk discus. I can also give you some good info on where to buy.

Mark

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Serial fish killers

Post  jikin junkie on Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:23 pm

Don't beat yourself up after losing fish, we've all made some pretty dumb mistakes. Even after years of keeping fish I've done some really dumb things like, forgetting to add prime, not quarantining, or spending way too much money on delicate species that I could not meet their living conditions. The list goes on and on. Some of the biggest serial killers of fish have also been at it the longest... Laughing
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Thank you for your hospitality

Post  Rhetorical_Meow on Sun Nov 13, 2016 6:21 pm

I am so sorry to have missed the post about the meeting until after 2pm, but I'm glad I drove over and met all of you. Thank you for your warm hospitality! I learned so much from everyone. David - just text or call me  about those Angelfish at your convenience. 309-825-7061. Thanks!  Laughing

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Re: I need advice.

Post  DavidZ on Sun Nov 13, 2016 8:22 pm



I'll shoot you a text tomorrow and set something up for whenever you are ready.

DavidZ
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Re: I need advice.

Post  DavidZ on Mon Nov 14, 2016 3:10 pm


I sent you a text, just let me know what works for you.

DZ
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Yikes - didn't get a text.

Post  Rhetorical_Meow on Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:56 pm

Hi David,
I didn't get a text today from anyone. Yikes. Are you free between 3-6pm on Wed?

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Re: I need advice.

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