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Help – Fish died after first fertilizers added

Discussion in 'Aquatic Plant Fertilization' started by coleop, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. coleop

    coleop Junior Poster

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    Hi, After adding first fertilizers mixed by myself, my fish died… I’m newbie and I red many post on this site and others and I thought that it had no danger for my fish to add these fertilizers.

    I used the Chuck’s Planted Aquarium Calculator to help for my mixed solutions… I bought my fertilizers from http://www.aquariumfertilizer.com...

    My tank specs :
    45 gal ( up from about 3 months)
    Ph 6.8 (PH controller)
    Adding co2
    KH : 4
    GH : 5.6
    0 ammoniac
    0 nitrites
    Nitrates was about 0 before adding…
    Light 2 X bulb T5 HO 39w
    Filter Filstar XP3, with a circulation pump and another for the co2 reactor
    I have many plants some with fast grow…

    My died fish :
    1 ancistrus sp, the other is not dead (my last fish) but is as white as an albinos for now… Not a good shape !
    10 cardinalis ( all died same day, second day after adding all these fertilizers in the same time.
    1 octocintus

    Fertilizer Water (ml) Each ml added to your tank (ppm) Adding tank (ml) This add to my tank (ppm
    KNO3 4 tbs 250 ml Nitrates (NO3) 0,97 10 9,7 each week
    Potassium 0,61 10 6,1 each week

    K2SO4 2,25 tbs 500 ml Potassium 0,21 50 10,5 each week

    KH2PO4 1 tbs 250 ml Phosphates 0,24 4 0,96 each week
    Potassium low

    CSM + 125 ml 500 ml Micro Nutrient 5 ml each day

    I’m suspecting the KNO3 because it passed from 0 to 10 ppm and maybe fish doesn’t appreciate.
    I thought that lower than 40 ppm it wasn’t a problem but maybe adding 10 ppm in one dose can cause damages.
    What do you think is the source of the problem for my fish ?
    Thanks to help, I was really frustrated when I saw 10 cardinalis on my water pump input !! I don’t want this again !!!
     
  2. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    I Need Your Help, I Am A Little "Slow"


    Hi,

    I doubt it was 10-ppm Nitrates.:)



    I need help understanding your dosing.:confused:


    How many milliliters of the 250-ml KNO[SUB]3[/SUB] solution do you dose? How many times a week?


    • If I read it correctly as a 250-ml solution of 4 tablespoons of KNO[SUB]3[/SUB] and (distilled?) water.
    • That would be a 159,080-ppm NO[SUB]3[/SUB] and 96,520-ppm K[SUP]++[/SUP] solution.

    How many milliliters of the 500-ml K[SUB]2[/SUB]SO[SUB]4[/SUB] solution do you dose? How many times a week?


    • If I read this correctly as a 500-ml solution of 2.25 tablespoons of K[SUB]2[/SUB]SO[SUB]4[/SUB] and (distilled?) water.
    • That would be a 38,770-ppm K[SUP]++[/SUP] solution.

    How many milliliters of the 250-ml KH[SUB]2[/SUB]PO[SUB]4[/SUB] solution do you dose? How many times a week?


    • If I read this correctly as a 250-ml solution of 1 tablespoon of KH[SUB]2[/SUB]PO[SUB]4[/SUB] and (distilled?) water.
    • That would be 46,900-ppm PO[SUB]4 [/SUB]and 19,319-ppm K[SUP]++[/SUP].

    I understand you dose 5-ml a day of a 500-ml solution of CSM+(B?), I simply have no way of calculating the dose.

    Best guess at this point the K[SUP]++[/SUP] is the high thing.


    Perhaps we could consider some other information as you would care to share it.:)



    Biollante

     
  3. coleop

    coleop Junior Poster

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    Thanks for the reply and sorry for the confusion... I will try to be clearer, the table I copy paste haven't a good form on the forum...

    So...

    For the KNO3, here is the mix :
    250 ml of water + 4 tablespoon of KNO3
    With the Chuck's calculator give me 0,97 ppm of nitrates per ml for 45 galons... So I add 10 ml of this solution a week to have about 10 ppm of nitrates added...
    The solution give me 0,61 ppm of K so 6,1 ppm added a week ( Chuck's calcul...)

    For the K2SO4, here is the mix:
    500 ml of water + 2,25 tablespoon of K2SO4
    With the Chuck's calculator give me 0,21 ppm of potassium per ml for 45 galons... So I add 50 ml of this solution a week to have about 10,5 ppm of potassium added...

    For the KH2PO4, here is the mix:
    250 ml of water + 1 tablespoon of KH2PO4
    With the Chuck's calculator give me 0,24 ppm of phosphate per ml for 45 galons... So I add 4 ml of this solution a week to have about 0,96 ppm of phosphate added...
    This solution added low of K…

    For the Micro Nutrient, I use the dosing from the web site http://www.aquariumfertilizer.com
    Here is the mix :
    500 ml of water + 125 ml of CMS + B
    And I add 5 ml each day of that solution…

    For the KNO3 dosing, I tested NO3 two days after added the dosing of KNO3 and it was about 8 ppm on my tank so I thought that the calcul was exact !

    Does my calculs are ok ?

    Thanks for your help !! Really appreciate
     
  4. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Not The Fertz Fault... Gas?


    Hi,

    I am still unclear on the CSM+B, but I do not see any problem with your dosing. The Planted Aquarium Fertilizer,http://www.aquariumfertilizer.com is an excellent source for fertz.


    So no problem with dosing, your lighting seems to be in order.


    I think my prime suspect would be CO[SUB]2[/SUB]. How sure are you of your pH controller?


    A young tank like this can be subject to ammonia spikes, but to kill all those fish are usually gas or some toxin. Do you have kids around? Any new objects, brass or copper for instance? Any new rocks?


    Something is going on, or went on. You need to understand it before risking any more livestock.

    Biollante

     
  5. coleop

    coleop Junior Poster

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    Is it possible that adding 10 ppm nitrates on a day can cause problem ? It was 0 ppm before the first adding !
    Did someone add KNO3 one day a week ? Is there a problem for 10 ppm ? Do I need to do this each day ?

    For the gas, my ph controller seems to be ok, I don't see any change on the flow of co2 added a day (I can see gas on reactor and it is not exceed normal use).
    I will calibrate it tomorrow to be sure !

    The ammoniac is ok, I tested it when I saw cardinalis dead and it was zero ppm.

    If you think about something else for my problem, I'm interested !

    Thanks
     
  6. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Correlation Is Not Causation As “They” Do Say


    Hi,

    I am pretty sure you have to be in the 900 or 1000-ppm range before NO[SUB]3[/SUB] is going to kill fish quickly, though, I suppose, it may be a bit lower for Ottos and Cardinal Tetras.

    I cannot see any possible way adding 10-ppm NO[SUB]3[/SUB] is going to affect any critter I can think of, vertebrate or invertebrate. I will categorically state that given the situation as you described with KNO[SUB]3[/SUB] from a reliable source, NO[SUB]3 [/SUB]was not the cause of the destruction of your fish.
    :gw

    I think you need to look elsewhere for your answers.
    :)

    Honestly for that large a die-off that quickly you are looking at CO[SUB]2 [/SUB]or toxins. The only thing you have mentioned having the ability to cause that catastrophic event is CO[SUB]2[/SUB].

    If it is not CO2 then it is something other than the items you have mentioned.

    I would have expected 10 dead cardinals to give your ammonia readings a bump of some sort, followed by a rise in Nitrites. That is a lot of decomposing matter in a small tank.

    What are you using in your filters?

    If you want help identifying the cause you need to share information about all aspects of your tank. It is not safe, wise or ethical to introduce more livestock until you understand the cause of this die-off.
    :)

    Biollante

     
  7. coleop

    coleop Junior Poster

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    OK, Here is all the informations about what happened last weeks…
    Sorry if I do not give all these informations first but I would like to focus on the fertilizers and here is the reason…
    First new things I made was to add a coconut cave for my ancistrus…

    I think that it had 2 times that the problem was exposed because the first ancistrus died one week before the other one. But i’m not pretty sure that the first ancistrus died after adding fertilizers. When it died I thaught that it was an attack from the other ancistrus that cause stress and began to feel bad… I was out of the house days after adding the coconut cave and just before I go, I saw that they had a little fight for the coconut…

    The only one thing I made 2 times is to add fertilizer so I thought about it first.

    When I add the second time fertilizers, 2 days after 10 cardinalis died and my last ancistrus feel really bad…

    OK, here is another things that move …
    The filter change, I had an old fluval 204 and I change for Filstar XP3 before the last episode when cardinalis died…
    The fluval contained only bacteriological… I transfert all the ceramics to the new canister but I add the zorb bio-chem …
    Here is why… I had a big bloom on my thank… and I thought it could help… It is there now.
    After 2 days the bloom seem to be the same so I made a blackout for 3 days. After that, it is almost clear but I always have a little bloom… I start my air pump during the bloom (not all the time) to not make suffer my fish… So after the blackout, I change 25% of water and put fertilizers and 2 days after 10 cardinals…

    After the bloom I remove one T5 HO 39w. Before I had 3 and now 2 T5 HO 39w… I red many post here and it seem that 2 can be best and the extra light can cause my bloom (algue).

    Another new thing is that I fed ancistrus with Nutrafin Max Pleco Logs, but the ancistrus doesn’t appreciate…

    I really thought that my problem was ammoniac, nitrites, nitrates but I tested it really often…Normal

    For the co2, my controller is a Milwaukee SMS122 and it put ph from 6.7 to 6.9… I do not have electric power failure… The controller seem to be good … What can I verify else ? I calibrate it each 3 weeks lasts time to be sure.

    The water change seem to be another element that I made twice and maybe 2 times just before the problem… My water is put on a 5 gallons for 3-4 days for the chlorine expulse before the water change…

    So what do you think about it ? I tried to expose all information I got !

    You thought about toxin, what kind of toxin ?You thought about co2 and the others are ?

    Thank you for you help ! I do not understand and I really want to ! :confused:
     
  8. nipat

    nipat Guru Class Expert

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    10 PPM 3x a week of nitrate is OK for fish.

    I notice you measure DRY CSM+B by ml.
    You better use it by spoon like other nutrients
    so that we (or at least me) can gauge it.

    FYI, the ml unit for trace element in EI instruction is for
    commercial branded LIQUID like Seachem Flourish or Tropica TPN.

    I'm not sure how much 125 ml is for CSM+B compared to spoons.
     
    #8 nipat, Sep 4, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2011
  9. nipat

    nipat Guru Class Expert

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    OK, 125 ml equals 25.360517 teaspoons.
    So you add 25.360517 tsps to make a 500 ml solution.
    Then you dose 5 ml of it every day.

    From wet's calculator: http://calc.petalphile.com/
    You are dosing CSM+B higher than standard EI (2 tbps per 500 ml) by 3.2x.
    And 6.4x higher than what Tom has been using these days
    (he mixes 1 tbp with 500 ml water).

    But still, that shouldn't make a fish die.
    Anyway, I would try reducing CSM+B dosing.
     
    #9 nipat, Sep 4, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2011
  10. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    I would look to these other causes first:

    1. You swapped out/replaced a filter just PRIOR to the mass die off, correct?

    2. You did some water changes just prior as well, correct?

    3. The fish were relatively new, correct? Many fish simply do not make it past quarantine and cardinals are notorious for this. I have lost many batches for no obvious reason, half batches, and lost none of 150. So, keep this in mind.

    4. You were unable to observe much of their behaviour as you had to be away, correct? You have large gaps of knowledge in the time frame.

    5. It is possible the ancistrus was bullied and that contributed. Could you not have added MORE hiding spots so they wouldn't fight over the same one?

    I see many more things to focus on then some fertilizers. Not trying to give you a hard time, but to get you to think more than ferts.

    Test kits MUST be measured against a calibrated and KNOWN solution, or you have no idea of the ACCURACY of the test results. Have your kits been so calibrated? What kind/type are they? Are they new or old?

    I would not be making any plans/changes based on most hobbyist test kits.

    The other thing is you seem to totally dismiss c02 as being a possible issue. C02 poisoning can occur over time and does not have to be immediate to do harm. How do you KNOW what your c02 level is at any given time? A ph controller does not tell you this.

    I will guarantee that more fish have been killed with c02 than by an overdose of ferts...

    A 45gal is not that large and many factors could be at play here....

    What kind of filtration and flow do you have? What type of substrate?

    Many, many unknowns here for me to guess as to root cause.
     
  11. coleop

    coleop Junior Poster

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    Thanks, many questions here...

    For my tests kit of ammonia, nitrites it is an older test kit... Fresh Water Master test kit from aquarium pharmaceutical but I bought it 15 years ago ... Doh, I presumed that it was good for a long long time ... Is it a problem ? It can explain my problem !!! I never see ammonia and nitrite since I started my aquarium... But I put many plants to prevent ammonia and nitrites for fish !

    For the nitrate it's a new one test kit ...

    For the co2, I don't know how to verify other than by calculate it with kh and ph...
    My tank does'nt have a cover so I guest that the exchange with air si good...


    1. For the filter exchange, the mass is ok, I transfert it to the new canister with care...
    2. Yes water changed before they died...

    3. Fish relatively new... Cardinalis was there for 1,5 months and the ancistrus for about 1 month...

    4. I was away for a time and the big bloom block me to see what happened !!

    5. I will next time add more cave, I'm learning it hard !

    Thanks !!
     
  12. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Bloom YOU Say?


    Hi,

    By definition when cycling an aquarium you should (must) see elevated ammonia then nitrites and finally nitrates, that is the Nitrogen cycle.:)


    The plants themselves do act as “filters” and do consume a lot of the bad stuff.;)


    This still does not explain the death of your fish.

    Did you make sudden large adjustments in CO[SUB]2[/SUB]?


    Is it possible someone else was “adjusting” your CO[SUB]2[/SUB]? Or dosing something different?


    I do not understand #4, “and the big bloom block me to see what happened !!”

    Was there a “bloom” of some sort? If so describe the bloom, please?


    Adding caves will not help.

    Biollante

     
  13. coleop

    coleop Junior Poster

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    OK, I explain...
    The water turn cloudiness... White cloudiness water where I can't see anything on the tank... So if my fish was in a bad shape, I can't see at this moment. The color was white on start and turn green...

    Now the water seem little cloudy but I can see clearly all the tank !

    Before the blackout, I had cyano but not very much and now they are dead... Maybe it can cause ammonia and nitrites too. If my tests of ammonia and nitrite was wrong...
     
  14. coleop

    coleop Junior Poster

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    For the co2, I changed anything since about 2 months !
     
  15. pepetj

    pepetj Lifetime Members
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    You seemed to had a bacterial bloom. That tells me it is possible opportunistic pathogens may have reached a peak in population and killed most of your fish.

    On the other hand, I recently made a huge mistake in using tablespoon instead of teaspoon for Miller's Microplex 1,000ml solution which ended in me decimating inverts population in some tanks (those I dosed with that "micros overdose" solution). I lost a few fish in them, likely weak specimens.

    I have killed critters with CO2 more than anything else (probably 4 or 5 times). I'm guilty of that stupid, preventable mistake. In second place comes contaminated food (twice) and only this one time I suspect a gross micros overdose as culprit.

    A 15 years old test kit is likely useless; maybe some pH reagents will work after such long time: others I doubt will read anything.

    Without reference solutions for calibration we have no idea of our error of measurement. CO2 can go up and not be noticed: single stage regulators are known to be susceptible for "end of cylinder dump" when about to be empty. Are you running a two stage regulator? By the time the pH controllers shuts down the solenoid there will be CO2 gas flowing out for some time. It doesn't stop it instantaneously.

    Pepetj
    Santo Domingo
     
  16. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Bloom Indeed A Cup or 2 of Sugar In The Tank Can Cause A "Bloom"


    Hi,

    Pepetj is right, it was a bacterial bloom, had it been green it would have been an algal bloom, commonly called, well, “green water.”:gw



    I do not know where you live, but in all likelihood the bacterial bloom was not harmful in the disease sense. In other words it is not likely that it was a pathogen, opportunistic or otherwise.:)


    The blooms are a response to an imbalance of some sort, best guess in a young tank it was in response to elevated ammonia and/or nitrites. It is unlikely the bacteria directly killed the fish, but the added oxygen consumption, possibly combined with elevated levels of NH[SUB]3[/SUB], NH[SUB]4[/SUB] and NO[SUB]2 [/SUB]essentially suffocated the fish. Ammonia damages the gills making respiration more difficult, nitrites replace the oxygen in the blood, a condition commonly called “Brown Blood Disease.”:(


    My guess is if this went on for days that it really was a cascade effect, a bad situation was made worse with the death of each fish and since for whatever reasons they were being sucked into the filters the decomposing fish added to the organic material that had already overwhelmed the capacity of your filters and plants. The bacteria are oxygen consumers, so more organic material more bacteria more oxygen consumed and of course at night the plants are oxygen consumers as well.


    I don’t suppose you took a close look at the gills of the dead fish, or if you cut them open anything struck you about the color of the organs or blood?

    The best response to a bacterial bloom is to add air stones; clean up and remove any dead critters any organic materials, large water changes and add activated charcoal to the filters, the bacteria themselves are usually helpful and looking for a home. :cool:


    Biollante

     
  17. coleop

    coleop Junior Poster

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    OK, so I will make a good cleanup to eliminated all dead organics material... Make water change as soon as possible and buy a new test kit for ammonia and nitrites... I have a new one for nitrates but I saw ppm only after addind kno3.
    I will add water pump too ... Do I must remove it after water bloom disapear ?

    For the activated charcoal, I have bio-chem zorb on the canister, is it enough ?

    I will made water change too... For this, do you recommand using a water conditionner ? I'm only using water that wait 3-4 days on a 5 gallons container to eliminate chlorine... It is not effective !!

    Big thanks !
     
  18. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Patience

    Hi,
    Yes all of this is good. :)


    Really you do not need test kits, but if you want them purchase the best you can afford and calibrate them.:gw


    No.

    Yes.

    Anything over 24-hours in open or aerated containers should be sufficient for ridding the water of chlorine, if they are using chloramines to treat the water you should use a commercial water dechlorinators or sodium thiosulfate or sodium bisulfate or lemon juice.


    Then give your tank 2 or three weeks to recover and add fish a few every 2 weeks or so.


    You will do fine!:cool:



    Biollante
     
  19. coleop

    coleop Junior Poster

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    For the "I will add water pump too" sentence, I meant air stones my mistake ... Do I must remove it after water bloom disapear ?

    I already have good water moves ! With 3 water pump !
     
  20. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi,

    Yes after the bloom is finished in a week or 2, the air stones can be removed.

    Good luck,
    Biollante
     
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