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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, somebody needs to give me some direction here. Since I have moved to bc a few years ago, I decided last year to start up a new tank. I got a 50 gallon hagen with just guppies, corys, and oto cats. Ever since I've had my fish (6 months) they've all been scraping on rocks like they've got ich. No signs of ich visually but I treated them anyways with ich-x. Second round a month later with paraguard. And just recently with prazipro. Well, fish will not stop flashing. I decided to grab a GH/KH nutrafin test kit to check my buffering capacity and see if there's anything going on. Well, I should have realized, but chilliwack has really low GH. After treating my fish and having stunted plant growth this entire time, I'm clueless as to what's going on, I am now wondering if the low GH is causing something in my fish/plants. My plants don't look particularly unhealthy, but my wisteria has lots of tiny brown holes. My tank is dirted.

I'm originally from alberta so I never really looked into GH as the water there is quite rich in minerals and I've never ahd a problem like this. Should I be adding equalibrium or something similar? thanks for any info on the subject. I feel like a noob, I should know this already. :confused:
 

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Never an issue if you have a legit question for the better health of your fish.

Fish scraping against rock
"Ever since I've had my fish (6 months) they've all been scraping on rocks like they've got ich. No signs of ich visually but I treated them anyways with ich-x. Second round a month later with paraguard. And just recently with prazipro. Well, fish will not stop flashing....My tank is dirted."

-Even though you may not see the ich spots, there would still be ich present in the fish's gills. Only when you see the ich spots does it mean that your fish's immune system has weaken and a serious outbreak of ich is occuring. By you seeing signs of the fish scraping against the rocks may mean it is ich or something else. the something else may be excess metal content such as copper, zinc, lead .... or spike in ammonia, nitrate, nitrite.


To eliminate and deduce the cause, I would:
First, test the water for all ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite.
Secondly, I would dose some sort of water conditioner that neutralizes the heavy metals.

In addition, during water changes, To help reduce heavy metal concentrations, ensure to run about a gallon or 2 or 3 of water before introducing any water to an aquarium.

Keep in mind that it has been raining consistently heavy over the past month - so you may want to dose more water conditioner like Seachem Prime/Safe during water changes. I started to dose a bit more water conditioner when i do water changes during this past month due to the heavy rain and potential increase in chlorine or chloramine in the water.

Having said all that. Since your tank is dirted, there may be something that is leaching out into the water column that may be affecting the fish - what is being leached, I can only guess given there is uncertainty as to what type of dirt is in your tank.


More references:
Is Ich Ever-present Or Not?? - 78490
Are your Fish 'scratching' on rocks and decorations? | AquariaCentral.com
http://www.myaquariumclub.com/my-fi...no-signs-of-ich.-what-could-t...-1516164.html
Aquarium Water Conditioners

Low GH and fish respiratory health
"I decided to grab a GH/KH nutrafin test kit to check my buffering capacity and see if there's anything going on. Well, I should have realized, but chilliwack has really low GH....I am now wondering if the low GH is causing something in my fish/plants"

-The water that comes out of the tap in Vancouver is also low on GH (1dGH to zero, benefits of having such clean water coming off the snowcaps) and acidic pH of about 6.8. This is just my own personal opinion and fish keeping experience - I want my fish to have good respiratory health. There's a lot of biological and chemical science involved. Laymen terms, increase GH and mineral content by dosing some equilibrium and some epsom salt (magnesium) into the tank water to improve the fish's respiratory and blood/oxygen exchange - osmoregulation. This will give the fish some electrolytes to maintain good health. How much to dose you ask? It depends how high of a GH you want to achieve. I would dose a bit to slowly increase GH and mineral content so as to not stress/shock your fish. Personally, I maintain my GH at about 10-15 dGH and dose about half cup of epsom salt into my 75g after a 75% water change bi-weekly.

More references:
What is Osmoregulation? | petMD
Water Hardness and Fish Health


Stunted Plant Growth
"After treating my fish and having stunted plant growth this entire time, I'm clueless as to what's going on, . My plants don't look particularly unhealthy, but my wisteria has lots of tiny brown holes. My tank is dirted."

-Wisteria is a nutrient soaking machine. It may be out-competing other aquarium plants for nutrients. I can only guess that the stunted plant growth is caused by lack of nutrients or too much lighting. Dial down lighting or pruning some plants may help. It all depends on what other plants are in your tank. I'll let the planted tank guys chime in since I've already typed a lot.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, but when I said I treated for ich already, I mean I went through all the hoops. I quarantined them ALL, added salt, bumped temps of BOTH tanks, used medicine, still they go back to flashing.

As for my dirt, they also do it in my other tanks, which is why I'm thinking the GH has something to do with it. Also my KH is barely stable at 70ppm-80ppm. However, I have been doing multiple tests and my tap and tank water is all at 0 for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate (tank is at constant 10ppm nitrate though), and the ph is constant still at 7.6, so I'm not getting PH spikes.

so since the 6 months I had this tank, 3 of those months the fish were quarantined and treated properly. While the fish were "sick" the first time is when I dirted it with miracle grow organic. They were flashing previously to that.

Oh btw I have been doing the exact same steps you have already listed. I've been adding extra prime just in case because of it being spring and all with runoff.

I'm just unsure what to do at this point except try altering with equilibrium. Can I use any epsom salt?

Thanks for your help!
 
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