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Fish keep dying

Discussion in 'Livebearers' started by mattkat1414, Aug 23, 2017.

  1. mattkat1414

    mattkat1414 New Member

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    I have had a tank for about a year now and I can't get my livebearers to stay alive. They keep getting sick even though ammonia, nitriate, and nitrite levels are 0. Temperature is 81 F and ph is 7.7, right where the mollies need it. The tank is 20 gal, I usually buy 4 or 5 fish at first. I have no idea why they keep getting various illnesses and dying. I'm getting tired of them dying frequently at random times with no apparent cause. Other people seem to be able to keep them alive for a lot longer but I have no idea why I can't. I do a 25% water change each week and dechlorinate the water, add in Kh, and keep the ph regulated. I have an aqua clear filter with all 3 components running perfectly I change the carbon every four weeks. I'm always a responsible person. I'm getting sick of my fish dying does anybody know what else I can do or if I should try another type of fish that is more hardy?

     
  2. hobby5

    hobby5 Member

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    Sorry to hear your troubles. For a better diagnosis we need more information.

    Which species are you talking about?
    What is your tap water hardness (GH & KH)?
    How do you regulate pH and add KH?
    Which dechlorinator do you use? Could there be an error in dosing?
    Can we see a pic of the whole tank?

    Is there any other fish or inhabitant in your tank?
     
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  3. mattkat1414

    mattkat1414 New Member

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    I regulate ph and oh through API ph up and API ph down. I use API tap water conditioner to dechlorinate the water, I know I'm using the right dose. I regulate kh with microbe lift kh bioactive booster. I don't have a way to test the gh and kh. The thing in the top left of the photo is a tank that I have inside of the bigger one for the baby fish a molly just had. That way the temperature can diffuse to that also, just wanted to do something for the babies other than let them die.
     

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  4. hobby5

    hobby5 Member

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    What happens when you don't regulate the pH?

    If I see that correctly and there is no live plant. Yet you claim nitrates are 0?

    Mollies are hard water fish and need high KH and GH. Those are more important than pH. If those are right pH will automatically move to an acceptable level. Also stable water conditions are important.

    Without all the information, we can only guess.
    I suspect, that during water changes there is quite a swing in parameters which will stress your fish.
    Your water could also be too soft for you fish.

    I would do away with the carbon in your filter. There is no need for it. It is only used to filter out medications.
     
  5. Byron

    Byron Member

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    I concur with hobby5. I will expand a bit on the pH chemicals.

    These rarely work, resulting in fluctuating pH which is worse for fish than a stable pH that is within a reasonable range for the species. The GH and KH are more important, and the pH is related to these. The GH tells us if the "hard" minerals (calcium and magnesium) will be sufficient for livebearers, and the KH (alkalinity) is a form of buffer for the pH. The higher the KH, the stronger the buffering, which means that the system will resist the effect of attempts to adjust pH with the chemicals. These will adjust the pH but the buffering capacity will then return it to where it was. Very bad on fish.

    At the same time, every substance added to the tank water gets inside the fish, naturally, via osmosis through the cells and via the gills, entering the bloodstream and internal organs. At the very least, this is stressful on fish, and may be much worse. There is no doubt at all that the pH adjusting products will negatively affect the fish, and while this might not kill them (or it could), it will weaken them, and some other factor could then have more impact. A shorter lifespan always results from all this, so the fish do eventually die from the individual or cumulative factors.

    You need to ascertain the GH and KH of your source water. Check with the municipal water authority if you are on city water; water data may be posted on their website, or you can ask them directly. The GH and KH usually remain the same, generally, in an aquarium, unless they are specifically targeted by calcareous rock items or are very low to start with and the natural organic processes lower them further. But the source water parameters will start us off.

    Byron.
     
  6. XxFishSoulxX

    XxFishSoulxX New Member

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    I Have an 50 gallon tank my ammonia is gone up to deadly but one of my fish have died from it and i dont see them go up for air i have 1 baby sailfin molly 2 mini mollys 4 zebra fish PH is also very bad at acidic but same no fish seem to be effected maybe do a 95% water change and dont buy any more fish till the water has gone normal and you might want to let your nirite go up a bit so you know your filter is killing ammonia id recommend to get a more powerfull filter and filters aleast 50 - 300 gallons of water a hour or so if faster the better i have a aqua one canister filter its very good and eficent hope i could help ya :D
     

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