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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, glad to be back!I haven't been on this forum since Facebook started regrettably, pleased to see CF is still thriving.

I am seeking help, as I am at my wits end. I have a dumped system of 20 tanks, totalling around 1000gal. Common Malawi haps and mbuna.

12 months ago the room was thriving, producing 1.5"-2" fry thick and fast in around 3 months. 12 months ago things changed, and I don't seem to have changed anything. I will try to provide as much detail as I can, please ask if you need any more info. I have tried to research everything I can to pinpoint this issue.

Issue- adults not breeding, if breeding, eggs won't hatch, or fry won't make 2 weeks, losing 1 or 2 a day. Fish won't grow (have 12-18 month old fish stuck at 1.5"). Every day there's a few new deaths of all sizes, I have sometimes noticed a fish will go recluse for a few days, fins clamped, body wagging a little, before they die. Doesn't seem to be bullying, as no visable damage. Sometimes heavily stocked tanks, sometimes very light tanks (IE colony of 5 in a 35"x24"x24").

Temp 24-26 Celsius/ 75-80 farenheight
PH- generally 8.5, doesn't seem to drop dramatically between WC
GH- constant 12
KH- can't get it above 6
Ammonia- never
Nitrite- never
Nitrate 10-30PPM (never red on the API test kit)
Phosphate- not detectable
Pump- 4000gal/ hour
Decor- bare tanks, Texas holy rock, bags of crushed coral, no wood.
Media- around 30-40L of tumbling KI, into 200 micron mesh, then filter floss, sponge, ceramic noodle and marine pure. Sponge filter in each tank, high powered from Hailea HP120.
Cleaning- 25% WC every Saturday, including vac of accumulated solids. 200 micron filter sock washed out. 1/3 of sponges cleaned in tank water, or sump media cleaned in tank water, each week (alternating each week, as there's 3 banks of sponges and 1 sump IE one task each week).
Wateris (as of 2 weeks ago) now aged 1 week in an IBC with Seachem safe, Malawi buffer and an established Sponge filter. Temp matched and fed into the sump pump to refill tanks.
Species- Lombardoi, electric yellow, electric blue, johanni, red empress, venustus, afra, red zeb, BN, synodontis also some guppies.
Food- local "fish keepers choice" Malawi pellet and flake (which was working fine when things were good). In 2020 when things were bad I trialed NLS thera A+ for a few months with no change. Occasional shelled peas.

One change I made in the last 12 or so months was introducing a bank of 10 24x12x12s, which obviously has reduced the flow across all the other tanks. My colonies were around 3 years old, and 6 months ago in desperation I thought they may have been ready to retire, so sold them all on and started again, how ever their replacements are also not growing or breeding.

I am beginning to suspect something nasty in my tap water, but am putting my faith in the brains trust to help me brainstorm and stop me from having to close down my beloved fish room! SOS please send help!
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