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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an ongoing issue with my fish dying whenever I transfer them from my 10 gallon grow out tank to my main 220 gallon tank.

The parameters in both tanks are almost identical PH 6.6, Nitrates 25, 0 Nitrites, 0 Ammonia.

I catch the fish from the 10 gallon, bag them and then float them in my 220 for about 15 minutes before adding some water from the 220, floating another 10 - 15 minutes and releasing.

The new fish thrives for a day to two days (swims happily, eats well, etc.) and then starts to breathe heavily and by the fourth day is usually dead.

I don't think any of my other fish are picking on the newbies (stock list in my signature). There are no signs of wounds or damage.

Any ideas? I've lost a firemouth, a couple of convicts and a pleco. It's really frustrating because I grow them up for about 6 months before transferring them and this keeps happening.
 

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I've had success by using water from the main tank for water changes in the fry/growout tank. I think it's the best method for ensuring consistent water parameters between tanks.
 

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That is some low PH, mine is never below 7.8 and i never have issues moving between tanks.. but I would have to agree that as long as your parameters are the same between tanks it's hard to say what the issue is if you currently have fish living healthy in the low PH in your 220. What's your water circulation like?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
water circulation shouldn't be an issue. I run a fluval FX5 and fluval 4 plus for some added water agitation.

My PH is about 8.2 out of the tap but KH is almost 0 so it's really difficult to keep my ph up. Also, my tank is heavily decorated with driftwood. I do 15% water changes every two weeks.

My fish thrive in the 220 and in the 10. It's just when I move them from the 10 to the 220 they start breathing heavy after a day or so and then die.
 

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Just a thought but I have read in many places that with water situations like your with almost KH to it that you can add baking soda to the water to raise the KH and I believe it said that the max it will raise PH to is around 8.2. So it should just raise your KH and not affect the PH. Would be a cheap alternative to having to use the store bought buffers.

1 Teaspoon for every 5 gallons of water is what is recommended. Believe it also in the Library on here too.

Someone please correct me if Im wrong about the PH maxing out at 8.2ish. But you could always try it on some water in a bucket and see what happens. Should def make your PH WAY more stable.
 

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With water in this area having so much limestone, it sounds like you are using water from a softener. Suggest looking for a point before the softener so you can use the raw high PH/ high KH water and not have the low KH to deal with as it is difficult to get stable. A garden or outside tap rather than an interior faucet, maybe?
 

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Even if you have a softener (like I do)... just add the regular buffer recipe.

1tsp Baking Soda / 5 gallons to raise pH & KH
1tbsp Epsom salt / 5 gallons to raise GH

Works awesome(ly). I can go 2 weeks without a water change and no pH change.
 

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The reason I recommend going for the raw untreated water is that it seems to be folly to go to the expense of removing the minerals from the water and then more expense and trouble to retreat the water to get it back to where it started. This is assuming there is some reasonable place to get the raw water, of course, but one thing it would reduce is the fluctuation of mixing and adding the correct amount each time. The raw water quality will often be very stable and that is more important than hitting some theoretical ideal but letting it vary. I just go simple when it works.
 

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Temperature! I have a tap from the city to water the lawn but there's no temperature control.

If I can add 50¢ worth of baking soda/epsom salt/aquarium salt every water change from my tap then that beats having to find a 55 gallon drum & time to let my street water get to room temperature!

Not to mention, with 9 tanks, 150 gallons (assuming 50% WC per week) of water replacement, I'd have to have 3 55 gallon barrels of water! Screw that noise!
 

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That's why advise is rarely a one size fits all situation! What works for one does not always work for another. I was trying to write the advise to fit a local fish situation, not one to fit the soft water that might be found in the piney woods part of your end of the country. The part I wrote about having a reasonable place to get the water is still a major factor. If you have bad water that is too cold to use , then you will have to think a bit deeper and work a little harder. Just life.
 

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tk are you doing a water change shortly after introducing the fish to the new tank? The only other thing I can think might be and issue is the water flow to much for the new fish. But a fluval fx5 and fluval 4 is less then I am running on my 220 so that should not be an issue.
 
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