Quantcast

Fish Aquarium water problems

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Jesse17

Yep....I tell you what...
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 7, 2007
Messages
556
Reaction score
7
Location
Miles City, MT.
I have a 30 gal. aquarium with fresh water tropical fish. I use well water in it, because I'm too cheap to by bottled water for fish (heck I don't buy it for SWMBO, the fish are definitely not getting it). I've had this set up for the last 2 or 3 years, and have had no problems with it, except about 6 months ago, some of the fish developed split fins, and a red tail shark developed a large hole in his side.

We tried several medicines, and finally fixed the problem (hopefully) with some Tank Buddies tablets to kill bacteria and fungus. I think the fungus must have come from new fish we bought at Wally World, but I do know that our well water will grow red algae (or maybe it's just red stains, I'm not sure) in our shower, or when left in a water tank for much time.

So I'm wondering, I know you're not suppose to use distilled water in an aquarium because it will accept ions (or something) from the air, and turn acidic, but could you boil water to kill any algae, let it cool than use it in an aquarium? Would you have to aerate it before using it?

Anyone have similar problems?
Thanks,
Jesse
 

DRAGGER

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
98
Reaction score
0
Location
Vandenberg AFB, California
Yes you can boil water and use it in the tank once cooled. If I were you I would clean the entire tank while housing the fish in the current water inside some sort of container. You will need to have the water boild and ready when you attemp this process. Stop by a pet store and buy some benificial bacteria comes in a yellow one ounce container. Add that to the water you boiled and wait a while and add fish only not the water they are swimming in to the tank..... I use to work at a pet store in Germany and I once had over 1000 gallons of water in my house to include a rather large salt water reef.....

DRAGGER.....
 
OP
Jesse17

Jesse17

Yep....I tell you what...
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 7, 2007
Messages
556
Reaction score
7
Location
Miles City, MT.
Silviakitty said:
What kind of water conditioner are you using in your tank? I've used Prime for quite a while now and it's excellent.
Water conditioner???

I siphon/vacuum 1/3 - 1/2 of the water out per month, and refill from the well water. There's no chlorine, so I just dump it straight in. Then sometimes SWMBO thoughts in some Stresszime while I do this, but usually not. I use a 50 gal. filter that has two foam filters, a charcoal bag, and a (white cotton or poly like) filter.

I replace the white filter every month, and the charcoal every other month. I also clean it with a 300gph diatomic filter when I have to, but hate it because it's a PITA.

What's water conditioner do?
 

Silviakitty

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
457
Reaction score
9
Location
Beautiful Downtown Wilmywood, NC
It removes chlorine and chloramine. It also detoxifies other chemicals, converts ammonia (which is what fish waste creates) into a form that can be handled and removed by the filter, and makes your fish happy and healthy in other ways as well. :) It's easy to use and reasonable. Use it during your water changes, and just add a drop per gallon. For the best results, add it to the water before the change, agitate the container, and let it sit for a few minutes.

Something I picked up a couple of years ago: for easy water additions, get a (new! obviously) five gallon plastic gas can. Makes it smooth and easy and doesn't disturb things as much as just dumping. :)

Fishkeeping is like homebrewing. :) It's another hobby of mine.
 

malkore

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2007
Messages
6,924
Reaction score
50
Location
Nebraska
Stresszyme is crap. Prime is the best water conditioner in my opinion.

activated carbon/charcoal only works for about 7-10 days, and only removes odors from the water. generally speaking, its an unnecessary component for a healthy aquarium.

do you ever test for nitrates? (not nitrite, but nitrAte). Nitrate is much less toxic to fish than nitrite or ammonia (which is deadly).

well water can be high in nitrates, and over time if nitrates build up in a tank they will start hitting levels that pose health problems.

lastly, if you really want a healthy environment, you should be changing the water more often, as this removes dissolved organic and inorganic compounds from the water. If you could do 50% water changes every two weeks, you might see an improvement.

I've had up to 7 aquariums at a time before, though I got tired of it and now only keep a 75 gallon freshwater cichlid setup with plants, 220watts of high output lighting, and CO2 injection.
 

Hopleaf

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2007
Messages
491
Reaction score
6
Location
Plano, TX
I had the same problem with the hole in the side of my plecostamus (sp?). I changed a good amount of water out and added the water conditioning enzymes and all is well now.
 
OP
Jesse17

Jesse17

Yep....I tell you what...
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 7, 2007
Messages
556
Reaction score
7
Location
Miles City, MT.
malkore said:
Stresszyme is crap. Prime is the best water conditioner in my opinion.

activated carbon/charcoal only works for about 7-10 days,

do you ever test for nitrates? well water can be high in nitrates,

lastly, if you really want a healthy environment, you should be changing the water more often, as this removes dissolved organic and inorganic compounds from the water. If you could do 50% water changes every two weeks, you might see an improvement.
The instructions on my filter says to change the filter monthly, and the carbon every 3 months.

I use test strips on the water, and the nitrates and ammonia are usually pretty good, the PH however is very alkaline.

The instructions with my aquarium said to change 25% of the water weekly, but my sister (who has had aquariums and worked on and off in pet shops for 12 years) said to change more water less often. I guess she probably meant 50 % twice a month rather than 25 % 4 times a month.

Silviakitty, What water conditioner do you use?
 

Silviakitty

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
457
Reaction score
9
Location
Beautiful Downtown Wilmywood, NC
I use Prime exclusively. As for carbon, it really isn't all that. The main thing about the filter is to build up the beneficial bacteria. To be perfectly honest with ya, I don't change my filter cartridge anywhere near that often. When I siphon for a water change, I swish the filter around in the bucket of tank water to remove the solid matter and pop that puppy back in there. Keeps the happy bacteria intact. ;)

Think of the bacteria like the yeast. ;)
 

Silviakitty

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
457
Reaction score
9
Location
Beautiful Downtown Wilmywood, NC
Either way you feel like doing it. The only problem is (and this may or may not be true, but it's what I've been told) if you leave carbon in there too long the materials it had absorbed will start to leach back into the water. But, you've already said you change the carbon regularly; just make sure to change it frequently and it'll keep the water a little more pleasant smelling. :)
 
OP
Jesse17

Jesse17

Yep....I tell you what...
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 7, 2007
Messages
556
Reaction score
7
Location
Miles City, MT.
Thanks for all you help. The fish look good right now (after using the Tank Buddies treatment), and I'm going to begin a new regiment of: changing 1/2 the water 2x/month, and adding Prime water conditioner per directions.

I'll stick with the 2 month changing of the carbon, as I don't think it would leave enough room in the filter canister to use enough polishing material to make a difference.

Thanks again for all your help (especially you Silviakitty). I'm sure I'll have more questions for y'all later. :)
 

malkore

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2007
Messages
6,924
Reaction score
50
Location
Nebraska
Jesse17 said:
I use test strips on the water, and the nitrates and ammonia are usually pretty good, the PH however is very alkaline.
are the test strips testing Nitrites or nitrates...they are two different things.

Ammonia and nitrite should always be zero. Anything above that is not healthy for the fish, with ammonia being slightly more lethal between the two.

nitrates should be under 100ppm, though I personally don't let mine get above 20ppm to avoid algae in my high light aquarium.
 
OP
Jesse17

Jesse17

Yep....I tell you what...
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 7, 2007
Messages
556
Reaction score
7
Location
Miles City, MT.
malkore said:
are the test strips testing Nitrites or nitrates...they are two different things.

Ammonia and nitrite should always be zero. Anything above that is not healthy for the fish, with ammonia being slightly more lethal between the two.

nitrates should be under 100ppm, though I personally don't let mine get above 20ppm to avoid algae in my high light aquarium.
It tests both. I just did a test, here's what it said:

Nitrate = slightly less than 20ppm
Nitrite = 0 ppm
Total Hardness (GH) = 0 ppm
Total Alkalinity (KH) = 300+ ppm (off the scale, when we tested our well water, it was something like 550 ppm :mad: )
PH = 8.4 (or slightly higher)

So, you can see that I'm good on nitrate and nitrite, it's the PH of my water that is off the scale. (I may buy bottled water for beer, but I really don't want to buy bottled water for fish.)
 
Top