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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So wondering if anyone knows how to test if my background is putting chemicals in the water? I put a new fish in the tank and he died over night and my parameters are normal so wondering what could be causing this and how i can resolve it?
I used drylock with cement color, ge silicone 1, styrofoam, i let cure for about 10 days
 

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Are there any other fish in the tank? If there are and only the new fish died I wouldn't point the finger at the background. Could be a number of issues based on what information you provided, but they are all speculative at this point until we know more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
well wasnt actually a new fish, it was my guinea pig fish, i accimilated him to the tank and then he died, could be stress but im not paraniod to put any others in there, fish are expensive ya know
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
i also prepared a piece of malyasian driftwood boilded 20 minutes and let dry outside, that was added to the tank, i also added some rocks, not sure what kind but they have little sparkles when you look close
 

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You will need to test the water to begin to see what might have happened. Often we need to eliminate the obvious before we can see what might happen. If he died sudenly, it may not be PH/ GH/ KH but with concrete in the tank that would be something to check for sure. Then you have to look at ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels to be sure the tank and filter were fully ready for fish. So many causes for sudden fish death that it is just guessing at this point. It could be something as simple as oil or pesticide on the styro used. Did you do any form of bleaching or cleaning before putting it in the tank?
 

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Ok. Your guinea pig fish is the first fish in the tank? So there are no other fish in the tank, correct?

If it was the first fish in the tank, did you do a fishless cycle, or were you attempting to cycle the tank with this guinea pig? Assuming the tank is not cycled, what do you consider normal parameters?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
i did a fishless cycle, and used no chemical cleaners on the background, the parameters with the buffer sand i use are 8.2 ph the hardness is like 1 due to water softner, i check parameters before i put fish in and everything was normal, temp 78, i am going to check again once im home from work maybe it was a spike not sure
 

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Odd. Was he acting weird after you acclimated him?

I've never done a fishless cycle, I just seed my filters from my current tanks. I've also done a few concrete backgrounds but didn't use drylok.

I would make sure your PH and ammonia are in check to be safe. I would suggest trying with more guinea pigs before you get something nice and expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have never seeded from an established tank before? what does that entail? i use the chemical starters that put bacteria in your tank, as well as letting it run for about 10 days before adding fish, he was breathing hard but i figured it was stress, will check levels and probably do another WC then attempt another sacraficial fish
 

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Letting it run for 10 days may not have been sufficient. -That's why it's important to know the readings of ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. Did you check the ammonia, nitrites and nitrates? You kept mentioning pH, kH and gH...so I'm just making sure. :thumb:
After it cycled, did you do a large water change?

What chemical starters did you use?

How did you let the background cure? Did you let the silicone cure after you attached it to the back of the tank? You mentioned that you let it soak for 10 days. Sounds obvious, but did you change the water while it cured?

(Not to go off topic but if your kH is low- your pH will fluctuate= not good. Look at this ---> http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/w ... mistry.php )
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
i let the background air cure for ten days then did 5 days of soaking with three water changes, i checked the ammonia ph nitrates and nitrites, i have a master test kit so i assume its accurate, the levels were normal before i added the fish im going to check again once im home he seems to be breathing hard so it might be a spike in something, if thats the case that can be fixed but just paranoid now that its my background. I used the i forget the brand in the yellow bottle, but the safestart i think its called that is a bacteria additive that helps generate the bacteria quickly
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
ya know! i dont think i did, im so used to this water that i might have assumed, my water is soft at 1 and ph sits at 7.8 out of tap, i have a buffer sand that bumps it to 8.2 i use a water conditioner to kill the bad chemicals and minerals in the water
 

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Your fish may have died due to the large water change.

prov356 said:
I warn about this all the time. Large water changes at the end of a cycle can cause setbacks. I have seen it myself and so have others, now you also. Fortunately, the spike will be small and brief, at least IME. At the end of cycle, do a series of small, partial water changes, not a massive one. The bacteria that converted ammonia and nitrite haven't yet the defenses of a fully formed biofilm. Treat your new bacteria colony as a fragile, living thing. If you wouldn't do a massive water change on a delicate fish, don't do it to your bacteria colony. Later when the tank is fully established, large water changes won't be a problem, at least to the bacteria. Test over the next couple of days and you should find you're back to 0 levels again. I learned the hard way too. I figured I had done something to mess things up and didn't blame it on the water change, but others started reporting the same. And it doesn't seem to happen to everyone. You're one of the unlucky ones, like me. :)
So, the large water change may have killed the fish, not the background.

I thank Tim for posting this, because it taught me something new about the cycling process.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
i did parameters on the tank and i think it was ammonia, it was at .50 everything else was fine though so im gonna cycle some more to help it along
 

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Possible combination of things that finally pushed the test fish over the edge. Stress, elevated ammonia or other things and possibly the fish already had damage to gills that just wasn't showing yet. It may have just all added up to do him in. Like most accidents that we investigate , there are often small errors made along the way that add up to big trouble.

I would be a little concerned about using the softened water due to the lack of buffering making PH swings more likely, perhaps? Any practical way to work around that for future?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
i will look for an outlet that isnt softened, but i have had cichlids in in for about a year now using the softened water and havent had a problem or ph spikes but i am curious what the hardness is without the softner, i know utah has hard water
 

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I have also have a water softener but cichlids like hard water and high ph if you want hard water set the water softener into bypass mode should have one can't imGine it wouldn't. Let the water run for a min and use that. If you want
 
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