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New death in 210

Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:02 am

Well, the 210 has been up and running now for a couple of months. I am doing weekly 30% water changes adding prime and salt each time. I have a LFS service the tank monthly until I get the hang of it. Chemistries are fine, fish seem happy though I am being told I overfeed based on the condition of the fx6 each month. I have cut back by half of what I was feeding.

I lost my first fish a couple days ago. Can’t tell you what it was, a non descriptive peacock, I think, at this stage. No physical signs of aggression, though it was hanging at the top column of the tank, just hovering, though not in a corner. No one else seemed to be paying any attention to it. I thought it strange and on the third morning it was floating. I did a water change last night and wondering what to do moving forward. No one else is showing any abnormal signs other than a bit of flashing. The only guess I have for the death is bloat and wonder if I should do a whole tank treatment with some epsom salt. I had considered doing that with the one fish that died the day before but was not sure I could catch it. That is my biggest issue with the 210. Big and lots of rocks don’t make for easy fish catching.

Looking for thoughts.

Re: New death in 210

Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:25 pm

Fish "hanging out" at the top of the tank are usually being harassed by the other fish, which often leads to death. Just because you don't see it happening does not mean it is not being picked on; fish can be sneaky when it comes to harassing other fish.

Re: New death in 210

Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:37 pm

So...I would watch for thready white or clear feces on all the other fish, ensure that every fish eats every time and most important...

Review your stock list, both species and gender. You need to proactively manage aggression and now you know it is happening. You may need to change your stock.

Also I would not rely on the LFS to do a better job of maintaining your tank than you can, unless the guy doing the maintenance is a cichlid guru with many years of experience with Africans. Once/month and 30% weekly does not sound ideal to me.

Re: New death in 210

Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:24 pm

I don’t know if he is a guru, but there are limited resources locally. As I am fairly new and learning I chose that as the best option. I am continuing to learn and in time hope to do a good job on my own. Are you saying 30% a week is not ideal....what would you recommend? From what I read on this site 30-50% weekly is what is suggested. I have no problem bumping it up if need be. I test as well to be sure that the chemistry is fine. I am aiming for an all male tank and as the juvies age and I can identify them as female, I plan on removing the females to lessen aggression, as I had posted in earlier posts. Some of my haps will be too large as well in time so I may have to separate them out as well as they grow. I will watch the feces for white and stringy though it all looks stringy to me. I have learned that the upper corners or behind the hob filters is not good, but do they ever hang out up top to just ride the currents?

Re: New death in 210

Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:28 pm

Oh yeah, I have watched tp be sure they are all eating or holding and that looks fine. My original question though was: would treating the whole tank once or twice with epsom salt be a gamble or a waste?

Re: New death in 210

Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:45 pm

Post your test results. You are already adding salt so may not want to add Epsom as well. Include pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate plus KH. Your treatment is to fix the stock as opposed to medicating.

Thready, not stringy. Very fine, like a hair. If they are eating it is not bloat. Continue to verify every day for a month until the bloat risk from the dead fish goes away.

Test first and then decide on water change, but for Africans 50% is a good minimum.

What is the LFS doing that you are not? Sounds like nothing?

They never choose the surface or equipment...that is always the result of harassment, even if only the fish perceives it.

Remove anyone who is holding now...that is a female and you don't want them.

Better work on the rockwork so you can net fish, and have a spare tank to hold the rejects while you decide what to do with them. Are you going to keep all the females for their lifetimes? Not everyone has enough tanks for that.

Re: New death in 210

Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:16 pm

This is my third try to respond, I keep losing the post. Sorry and thanks for your response.
No ammonia or nitrates. Minimal nitrates, service said due to over feeding. I will bump up to 50% weekly as suggested. Females will be removed. I will attempt starting with the next water change when the water level is lower. Ph is over 8.0 and hardness is fine according to the service. I just added some more rock, base rock which keeps the ph or hardness up as well. Temperature is kept at 80-81. I add some salt.

All fish appear to be eating, I will keep a close eye on that. I am learning how to do stuff like how to properly clean the filter, glass and such. Common sense things like unplugging the heater before lowering the water level isn’t common sense to newbies. Plus my wife wanted a service for a while.

Re: New death in 210

Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:25 pm

You really should not add salt unless you first check the KH result. All the different kinds of salts can increase KH and make your parameters fluctuate.

Re: New death in 210

Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:06 am

I will get a kit for that.

Re: New death in 210

Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:51 pm

Did a new water change 50%, retested water. Found my high ph kit and it was 8.0, ammonia and nitrite was zero and nitrates were minimal. Have to wait for gh and kh kit to arrive.

Re: New death in 210

Sat Sep 14, 2019 6:47 pm

Sounds good. That is not going to prevent additional deaths however, since that does not seem to be a contributing factor.

Re: New death in 210

Mon Sep 16, 2019 5:27 pm

So my gh, Kh and high ph test kits came. Ph is between 8 and 8.2. Kh is 15 drops which if I understand it is 15x 17.8 or 267. Gh, don’t know. My first drop is clear to yellow, second drop faint green and the darker green with each drop.

Re: New death in 210

Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:12 pm

What are the readings from your tap water?

Re: New death in 210

Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:25 pm

Okay, here goes. Tap water was a very low gh of 2-3. Kh was 15-16. My tap water is softened. I think this is a problem. I took water from my outside unsoftened tap and the gh was 25! I am testing five gallons of tap water now with 5 Tbl of epsom salt to see how it responds. I also added 5 Tbl to the 210 gallon and will test that tank this evening. From what I am reading online now, they suggest epsom salt and calcium carbonate to raise the gh. I also could see what it would cost to add a diverter valve to my cold water at the sink and use a mix of softened and unsoftened water. I will use trial and error after my next water change to see the amount of epsom salt to add. Thoughts? What would you use as a source for the calcium carbonate?

Re: New death in 210

Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:52 pm

Too late you already added the Epsom salt.

You are not in any hurry to medicate the tank...your problem is aggression and stocking, not GH.

Take your time on water parameters.

Much better idea to use unsoftened water than to add Epsom salt to tap water.

Calcium carbonate is baking soda...a major ingredient in commercial aquarium mixes. It also raises KH and you don't want to raise KH.

If you are going to add salts on your own, stop adding commercial mixes.

Better still do some more testing and take more time with your decision.
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