Words of wisdom...

Fishiemang

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Do not follow my advice.

I am an idiot with giant bowls of water.

Apparently, I have spent a lot of time and money to reverse engineer the wheel. Tried to make it rounder, and it came out....well.....round.

Tinkering lately has shown me some follies in my ways. One aspect of nature I did not take into account is drainage. The natural filtering via layers of.Earth that clean and purify water. Sometimes, I am an.idiot. I miss some of the easiest aspects of.this crazy thing that is keeping of the aquatics.

My water keeping skills have waned over the years. Becoming jaded to constant, never ending work and.tossing.in all the chips in search of a new method has been a rocky road. Age is not being that kind either. Plus, well, I have become lazy I think.

My efforts have cost me some fish. Lemme explain....

What I do is a.sound philosophy, but the extremes I have taken it to have turned out to be an unfortunate education. A new pickle I need to find the path out of, with the least loss of aquatic critters. The downside to the extreme level I have take things to is starting to ring out in the wash, so to speak.

I took.measurements of my tanks a few weeks back. I checked params, and they were all aces. Gold standard as usual. I stumbled on another gadget I had forgotten I had. A TDS meter. I strolled around to my tanks with this little data machine and stuck it in the first tank. Here is what happened:

75 Gallon - 984ppm
30 Gallon - Over 1000ppm
38 Gallon - 847ppm
10 Gallon - 545ppm.

Tap - 137ppm

Now, the other params we test for were spot on. But I was curious about just how "thick" the water was. Dissolved minerals, fish parts, detritus, snail shells ect...

I was curious as to why I lost my entire ghost fish colonies. Then the snails thinned way out, with a handful of MTS remaining. I thought maybe it's the copper plumbing in the house I bought leeching into the water I was using.in these tanks. I strayed away from this idea because they proliferated for 2 years, up until a couple months ago. Not to mention the fish have been.seemingly not.excited about water top offs anymore, cept the mollies. They are crappin out kids like gangbusters. So I tested my tap water, and, it was.fine. Checked into local supply, no changes. It's been a crazy adventure.


Now here is where the "Do Not Follow My Advice" part comes into play....

I decided that there was much too much dissolved into the water column, so I did a single water change on each tank, the first in a planned series. About 20~25% each. All H E double hockey sticks broke loose.

No losses in my 75, but the fish have been acting unusual. Especially my peacock. Ain't seen my Krib in a few days now.come to think....

30 gallon lost 4 black mollies and 3 pea puffers. Not good. Lost them to so small water change I did here.

10 gallon, my EBJD seems to be blind. He eats occasionally, but just today I noticed that my bristlenose is in.dropsy, rapid breathing and fins are.deteriorated. It is quite possible it was simply the bloodworms I fed my EBJD, the extras he missed (again...seemingly blind, but reacts when I walk up). I'm sure that little fella won't survive the night.

38 gallon, lost several black mollies, almost immediately, and one of my tiger barbs (which by the time I noticed it, the other fish had picked the bones clean), and now it appears my last neon tetra is jot doing so well. This is now 3 weeks from that water change. The huge loss of mollies (who have since repopulated) immediately led me to cool it and.reassess. I went and got some Stress Coat for the tanks. It seemed to help a bit, but I don't expect.miracles from a bottle.

There are a few things I think my ideas are missing. It has got me to thinking about different filtration ideas, to better simulate nature. It has also been a slap in the face, really. By myself. The real question in.my head was, by letting the water ride, and.the amounts of TDS in the water, had it created a situation that the fish couldn't cope with even a small.drop that "fast"? I don't know.

All I know is I have recently lost several fish, and 2 are on the way out (the neon is 4 years old...no surprise there). It has me thinking also about quitting this hobby. Maybe I just ain't as into it as much as I was when I started all those years back. Maybe not to the scale I have right now. I don't know. Sooo many questions....with limbo answers....

So, my advice is to not follow my advice. At the very least, pick out the grains and discard the faults as seen fit. My ego has been bruised, and I prolly won't be around on here much, like lately. Failure sometimes, even as an almost old fart, can be disheartening. We'll see. Maybe I will get struck by lighting, and.come up with an.awesome.solution, but for now Ima just go and kick myself around for a bit. The little man in me got a but too rebellious, and now my fishies are paying the price. May have to change my name.from fishiemang to failuremang......it's not as catchy, but, has the right amount of clouds requiring an umbrella.......
 

Naughts

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Am I right in thinking that the 20-25% water change is the first one you have done, and that previously you were just topping up any evaporated water?
 

madmark285

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It has me thinking also about quitting this hobby. Maybe I just ain't as into it as much as I was when I started all those years back. Maybe not to the scale I have right now.

That happen to me long ago when I had a young family and was quite busy in life. For me it was the bucket water change system I grew tired of, my tank crashed and I got out of the hobby.

I made a promise that I would never have another aquarium unless I had a water change system that was easy to use. My new fish room has a water connection with a hose permanently attached to it. I am currently using a 20 gallon tank with a heater and small pump/hose for water changes. Just siphon 20 gallons of water out the window, refill from the 20 gallon tank, refill 20 gallon tank with tap water. It's so easy..

The easier it is to maintain your tanks, the better change you will do the proper maintenance. So maybe you need to rethink your maintenance system.
 
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Fishiemang

Fishiemang

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I think I am just losing interest in having a fish zoo in my home nowadays. Probably going to cut back at some point. I dunno. Still is failure mode. Compounded by life in general in these times, the irritation of what transpired with these tanks is just weighing heavy. We'll see. Cabin fever depression is a PITA sometimes....

As to water changes, here is how I have handled this for many years now.

I let it evaporate. I top it off.

Now, I used to do water changes bi-weekly. It was to the point I could easily do 80% with no issues at all. Then I began trying to mimic nature around us all. Geographic location plays a small.role, but ultimately, nature is nature. This is where the evaporate/fill idea comes from. There is one.aspect to this that I knew of, but didn't really take into account. Well, I did to a certain.extent, but, not into practice.

I'm usually not the type to let stupid setbacks keep me back. Even now, I am formulating inside the cobwebs in my skull a way to adapt a tank to take this very concept of drainage into account. I'm not sure there is an effective way to accomplish this in a standard aquarium (perhaps a web of power heads and tubing combined with a UGF type system to an external device that supercharges the nanometicules and flubberfluids into powerhouse nitrometiculants.....), but the idea will be kicked around. Maybe I will devise some new filtration system that better replicates nature.....maybe not.

The tanks have stabilized. The water change caused the die off. More than likely a pH shift perhaps. I'm sure the water more than likely became slightly more acidic over X amount of time. It had been a few years since I changed the water via any kind of water change event vs evaporation, so, perhaps the chemistry worked against me. Still not sure how much copper can leech from 70+ year old plumbing, as I imagine it should be well tarnished by now. There are things I am kicking around.

For the time being, my words of wisdom here are take what advice I give in most cases as what they are. Fringe and risky. Not everyone can do what I have done and have success as long as I have. Feeding, water changes, chemicals, medications, treatments ect are things I have honed over years of fish keeping. Some are pretty extreme. It's not for everyone, especially the overly large hearted of fish keepers. It was an ego blast. I didn't need to share it here, but in the interest of keeping it real, folks should be able to see the effects, positive and.negative, of the advice I do offer. A risk/reward analysis if you will, for others to determine if the ideas may or may not fit their care arsenal.

Never know. Once I climb up out of the ego bruised rut that this caused (I mean, losing fish sucks, and makes one feel like crap for any possible mistake they maybe have made), I may devise a whole new plan of care for the tanks I have. We'll see. But for now, I may just lay back and provide more mainstream care advice when I do offer any ideas...
 

AbbeysDad

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There are those that seem to believe that they mimic nature by only replacing water in the aquarium as it evaporates...but this is wrong. Although rain water comes from evaporation, fresh water is constantly renewed by rain and snow melt. Just consider all the creeks, streams, and rivers that constantly flow with fresh water. (I have marveled at Niagara Falls the volume of water in the Niagara river that flows between the Great Lakes, and it's said that water exiting the Amazon river is so great that fresh water can be collected 12 miles out at sea!)
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There is no replacement for routine periodic partial water changes (like rain in nature) to replace polluted aquarium water with fresh, clean water. (Partial Water Changes, Regular Partial Water Changes).
Failure to do so can result in Old Tank Syndrome. Old tank syndrome can sneak up as fish slowly adapt to the degrading water chemistry. We often see on forums where 'my old fish are fine, but any new fish I add die in a day or two'.
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You would think that the obvious cure to old tank syndrome is to gradually improve the water chemistry with small, repetitive, partial water changes. This is often the case, but sometimes fish just can't seem to come back from the degraded water chemistry. :-(
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Footnote: I tend to do 50% weekly water changes. On some grow out or heavily populated holding tanks, I do 50% twice a week.
 
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PheonixKingZ

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I have open top tanks and I loose quite a bit of water over the week, but I don't count that as a water change. I still perform my 40% water change every week.
 

Naughts

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I understand. I'm pleased you're still working through the current problems and haven't given up. I don't think there are many people feeling on top of the world right now, and that effects all areas of our lives. Don't beat yourself up, we all do the best we can in current circumstances. IIRC you helped out a member in a similar situation:
so why not get some support too? Even when you know what you're doing it helps to talk it through and clarify the path you are taking.
There's some good advice from @madmark285 and @AbbeysDad here, and links that are food for thought.
Let us know if we can help with anything or if you want to share any ideas.
All the best.
 
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Fishiemang

Fishiemang

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I am aware of 'old tank syndrome'. I can add new fish to all my tanks and they usually thrive. It's inverts that are no longer surviving. This is why I was wondering if the copper was maybe leeching, and my top off practice slowly, over time, maybe built up in the tank. Eventually killing off the inverts. Is possible. The house I was in before had newer plastic tubes in the walls. It may very well be somewhat old tank here, but these tanks are heavily planted. Anything that can build up should be taken up that would be harmful to the critters.

Ima juss kick around a different idea on tank maint again. There are even better ways to handle water than the current setups I am using. I may look into these options, and create my own version of whatever idea I latch on to. This is down the road.
 

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