I have a new 150 gallon tank, with a 30 gallon wet/dry sump underneath which is fed by two corner weirs within the tank (the tank is drilled). My tank pH is 6.7-6.8, my KH is 2 degrees, the gH is 4 degrees, and the phosphate levels are 0.2 . The nitrites are 0 and the ammonia is 0. My nitrates are 15-20 mg/L since I dosed them. I also dosed Mg, K, as recommended at chucks planted aquarium and I dose Flourish according to the bottle. I have 300 watts of PC lighting from AHSupply. And my substrate is 100% flourite, 150 lbs worth. I added a slight amount of peat to the bottom inch of the flourite to start the cation exhange and break in my "virgin" substrate. Right now I am experiencing a hair algea attack. the stuff is everywhere! I need to do my weeekly water change today...there's lots of debris from the plants. I'm going to try to remove what I can when I clean the tank. Right now the occupants of the tank are (by common name); 7 marble hatchets, 12 cardinals, 12 rasboras, 3 gold rams, 4 zebra loaches, and 2 farlowellas. My fish load used to be double this but They have been dying regularly. Side note- I used Bio-Spira when I added the fish and have monitored nitrite and ammonia 2X a day and the levels have remained at 0.
The conditions out of the tap are pretty strange. The immediate pH is 8.4, but this goes down to about 7.2-7.4 if it sits out for a day or two. The kH is 1-1.5 and the gH and phosphates are the same as what's in my tank. I expected the phosphate levels to be higher out of the tap due to the stuff the water co adds. maybe they just don't register on my test kit or the water co doesn't use a lot of it. As posted above I called the water co. and got a list of everything they add to the water. EDIT as far as the pH goes - I just retested it and now out of the tap it is reading 7.2-7.4 right off the bat....screwy.
I inject CO2 through a pressurized system. I have a 10 lb bottle, regulator, solenoid, needle valve, bubble counter, pH controller (milwaulkie s122), and CO2 reactor (the reactor 200 from FL Driftwood.com)I stopped adding baking soda to the tank because I wanted to keep the pH around 6.8 for the fish (cardinals, angels, rasboras, hatchets). With just 2 degrees kH my CO2 is almost constantly on at a flow of about 4 bubbles per second. I was wondering if I increased my kH if I could dissolve more CO2 at the same bubble/sec rate that I have now because there will be more carbonate buffer for the carbonic acid to react with? Or will the pH just rise and my CO2 concentrations stay the same? Hmmm. I have tried everything from slowing down water flow, having no surface agitation, and creating 0 fall of water into my corner overflow boxes. Still, according to the kH/pH charts, my CO2 remains at around 10 ppm.
As far as symptoms before the fish die...I don't know...they all seem ok...I mean just a minute ago I got up to answer the phone and found another cardinal tetra stuck to the filter. Looking at all of the other fish - they appear to be fine, good coloration, not breathing fast, they're just loligaggin around.
Rex....I am American by birth, Coastguardsman by the grace of God.