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Fish Dying, High GH.

Author Topic: Fish dying, high GH.  (Read 1633 times)

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Offline Cinders

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Fish dying, high GH.
« on: June 23, 2018, 11:53:22 AM »
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Hi, I have had three guppies die overnight, and one Cory two days ago.  Have just tested the water and everything is ok except the GH, which has gone off the scale !  What can have caused this do you think, and how can I treat it.  I have done a  three quarter water change this morning.    I have only one Cory now, two ottos, five guppies and   a few red cherry shrimps.  Advice please.

Offline TopCookie

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Re: Fish dying, high GH.
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2018, 12:02:54 PM »
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How far "off the scale" Cinders...?  What are you using to measure your GH...?  Also, what are your other parameters...? 

Sounds like your water is much too hard for Cories btw... 

Offline Cinders

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Re: Fish dying, high GH.
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2018, 12:24:25 PM »
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Well I am using the measuring strips that you dip in, and the Gh is equal to the last colour or even more, which is 180.  The other measurements are low, nitrite and nitrates are both on  0,  ph 7.0, kh 8.0.    Iíve never had this before, canít understand why.
 

Offline TopCookie

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Re: Fish dying, high GH.
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2018, 01:14:11 PM »
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That equates to >10dGH   :yikes: 

I'm still very much a newbie myself, but I'm sure one of the more experienced members will come and offer some advice... 

In the meantime Cinders, it would be worth investing in a liquid test kit as the dipping strips are notoriously inaccurate...  This is the one most folks in the hobby use, but shop around as you may get a better price...

https://www.amazon.co.uk/API-Aquarium-Freshwater-Master-800-Piece/dp/B000255NCI

Offline fcmf

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Re: Fish dying, high GH.
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2018, 01:27:58 PM »
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I find the test strips give my GH and KH much higher readings and give my PH lower readings than I'd expect (from liquid-based test kits or my water company results).

Check your water/utility company website and let us know what your expected water hardness would be - not just 'moderately soft' or 'hard' but the actual figures and units of measurement eg CaCO3 mg/l and degrees Clark/French/German. There ought to be a place where you type in your postcode and it will lead to providing those results.

Have you added a different gravel/sand or decor such as rock to your tank or put any new chemical products in recently, and, if so, what?

Offline Cinders

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Re: Fish dying, high GH.
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2018, 02:52:47 PM »
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Thanks TopCookie, I will get a liquid tester as soon as I can, and will look on eBay as suggested.   
Thanks for your help F.C. first,  I will get on to water company website, as they may have done something to water this week.  I havenít added any thing apart from a small clump of java moss for shrimps and low growing plant for them

Offline Cinders

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Re: Fish dying, high GH.
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2018, 03:59:53 PM »
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In the meantime, is there anything I can do to counteract or help reduce it.  I have just tested tap water and it is the same hardness.  I feel they have done something to the water, or could the new tap safe I bought a few weeks ago be no good.  No luck on the water company website at the moment, will have another try

Offline Helen

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Re: Fish dying, high GH.
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2018, 10:20:06 PM »
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Who is your water company? Different companies update information with different frequencies. And some make it easier to find than others.

Offline TopCookie

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Re: Fish dying, high GH.
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2018, 10:54:53 PM »
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I don't think these suggestions will make a huge difference, but bogwood and Catappa (Capatta...?) leaves should reduce the hardness a little...  they'll do so in a more natural and measured way, too... 

Offline daveyng

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Re: Fish dying, high GH.
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2018, 12:12:04 AM »
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My GH was originally 19 with a KH of 14 as I live in a very hard water area. I decided in the end to use a 50 / 50 tap/RO water mix which halves the GH / KH value. Depending on the size of your tank is this something you might consider ? I donít think you would need as much as 50% RO as this may drop your KH value too much. I donít understand the chemistry bit too much but my fish benefit from the reduction in hardness.
Other more learned members of the forum may be able to enlighten you a bit more on this idea.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Fish dying, high GH.
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2018, 09:29:48 AM »
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My tap water is 17dh, and I use 20% RO in my river tank. My remaining tanks are all just treated tap water.
If you want to use RO in a tank you would have to introduce it very gradually so that you don't shock your fish with a sudden change in water parameters.
Check on your water suppliers website to see what your water hardness is. I have had experience with trying to reduce the hardness and pH of tank water using products designed for this purpose from a fish store (things like pH Down). Do not do this. Luckily I did it whilst cycling a tank. The minerals precipitated out of the water, leaving it very cloudy, and the tank had to be stripped down and the cycling started again. Do not try this in a tank containing fish when you have very hard water.
If the watr suppliers say that your water is hard I would suggest you might want to consider changing to fish that are more suitable for your water parameters.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwhardness.htm
https://forums.thinkfish.co.uk/new-fishkeepers/list-of-fish-suitable-for-high-ph-and-hard-water/

Offline fcmf

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Re: Fish dying, high GH.
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2018, 11:54:47 AM »
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@Cinders, I've just clicked on your profile and see that you're in Salisbury in Wiltshire. Therefore, it looks as though you should be able to establish what your water quality ought to be from http://www.wessexwater.co.uk/waterquality/ where it shows you can input your postcode to find out your water quality and hardness. Let us know from that what it ought to be, then we can work out whether it has suddenly risen (which would be of concern) or actually is hard (but somehow you'd mistakenly thought it was soft or had been using something which softened it and led you to believe it was soft).

If your water hardness does turn out to be hard, then Littlefish's suggestions will help point you in the right direction of potentially suitable fish from now on, which you can cross-check with the Fish Profiles on here and the more specific ones at www.seriouslyfish.com which will help determine the fish whose requirements match those of your tap water.

Edited to add:

As an example postcode for Salisbury, I typed in the High St's Post Office's postcode and it brings up these results http://www.wessexwater.co.uk/postcoderesult/?postcode=SP1%202PF - the water is hard there at 15.22 dH (degrees German) or 272 ppm (calcium carbonate). Therefore, cross-checking this with the fish profiles for your fish on Seriously Fish, your expected water hardness oughtn't to be a problem for your guppies but would be too high for otos and a bit higher than the range for many cories.

Following on from this, I'm actually wondering if something else might account for the fish deaths such as an ammonia spike - it would be really worthwhile getting a liquid-based ammonia testing kit so that you can keep an eye on those levels. It may be that they rose for whatever reason eg a fatality in the tank, a missed water change or too vigorously cleaning the filter media and thus losing some beneficial bacteria. This may also account for the unusual 0 nitrate reading ie possibly a mini-cycle is underway.

Hope that helps.

Offline TopCookie

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Re: Fish dying, high GH.
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2018, 12:15:08 PM »
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  What fcmf said   :D

Offline daveyng

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Re: Fish dying, high GH.
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2018, 01:11:12 PM »
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Itís been very hot lately. Is the tank temperature higher than usual. This may be an issue as the Guppies / Corys prefer fairly cool temperatures. High temperatures will also deplete oxygen levels in the tank.

Offline Cinders

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Re: Fish dying, high GH.
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2018, 03:50:57 PM »
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Hello all, Iím sorry I havenít been logged on for a few days, too many other things to attend to.  Thank you so much for all your helpful suggestions.  I went in to Wessex Water website and the quality for my area is hard,  14 German dH,  250 calcium carbonate (mg/1).  All this I canít get my head around Iím afraid, but took samples into my local M A, and they said it was hard, but should be ok for the fish I have now, which is guppies and shrimp.  In total I have now lost 4 guppies, 2 Coreyís, 2 ottos.  Everything seems ok at the moment, I am doing part water changes most days,   Havenít put anything else in such as rocks.  I have bogwood, which may be a little old now, but have a new piece soaking ready to change it.  Itís a mystery to me.    Itís a waiting game now

Offline Sue

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Re: Fish dying, high GH.
« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2018, 06:31:45 PM »
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Your water is a bit on the hard side for otos and cories but fine for guppies.

How long ago did you get the guppies? I ask because guppies can be somewhat 'iffy' these days and if you only bought them recently it could have been a bad batch at the shop.

Offline Cinders

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Re: Fish dying, high GH.
« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2018, 08:49:30 PM »
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Hi Sue.   I have had the guppies quite a few months now.  I know they can be iffy, but it was the fact that they all died in the same week that alerted me.  Anyhow I wonít replace anything for a while in case the others go too.  If they do I will strip it down and start again. I have another tank for the shrimp in the meantime.  Thanks sue.

Offline Cinders

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Re: Fish dying, high GH.
« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2018, 08:53:30 PM »
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Hi Sue.   I have had the guppies quite a few months now.  I know they can be iffy, but it was the fact that they all died in the same week that alerted me.  Anyhow I wonít replace anything for a while in case the others go too.  If they do I will strip it down and start again. I have another tank for the shrimp in the meantime.  Thanks sue.

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