Jump to content
Kokos Goldfish Forum
Sign in to follow this  
SusanH

Really Stressful Waterchanges?

Recommended Posts

My goldfish are always feeling fine until I do a waterchange, it seems. I do them often and my params are always 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and 0-5 nitrate, PH and temperature are matched as well. I use Aquaplus conditioner right now, and I've tried Prime and many others but nothing seems to help. I've lately been using AquaTan when changing the water, and this helps some. After I change my water a few of my goldies bottom sit, and occasionally some fins will be a little frayed and one fish will become quite red around her fins and tail. This always takes place immediately following water change and the fish don't seem to recover for a few days.

What could the problem be? Does anyone else have sensitive fish and/or bad water and if so, how do you fix this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Angel

My fish tend to get mad when I do water changes. I do think the act of changing the water will stress fish out somewhat, but I don't know about frayed fins. How much of the water do you change at a time?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I don't think my fish are actually too bothered by me messing around in the tank. They come right up to the siphon and beg for food, completely unphased, and nobody bottom sits or starts to look funny until the tank is refilled. It's the fin damage and redness that worries me so much. At the most I change 25% of my water.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Angel

Well it sounds as if you're treating and changing the right amount of water. You're matching temp and pH, it all sounds right! Let's hear from the experts!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even when you change a large amount of water, the goldies shouldn't be getting red or damaged. I change up to 75% sometimes, with my guys still in the tank, and the only time they get the least bit upset is if I turn off the filter and bubbles - I think they are afraid of the silence :) Something is either not right with your water (something bad in your tap water maybe? have you tested it with your kits lately?) or not right with your method... maybe there's just something wrong with your fish to begin with and the stress exacerbates it? Maybe someone else has more ideas?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I, too, think you need to look further for an explanation. If anything, a water change is an exciting, refreshing thing for the fish. Mine always seem to want to dance and play even more following each one. I feed heavily in many tanks - and do up to 75% changes often - with little or no stress.

YOu say all the parameters from temp to pH are matched...... I can think of only a few other possibilities....

When I draw water from my well (I mix well and RO for my fish), I often get a great deal of various gasses mixed with the water - smelly water. The smell is the gas being released after draw. If I use the "smelly" water, it will clear quickly from all the aeration and such in the tank, but it does bother the fish at first. I always let it degas a few hours to a day before use..... Are you letting your water sit at all? There are things that PRime and other conditioners do not remove or treat....

The last idea is parasites. Do you have gravel? When you do a change, do you stir the gravel up a fair amount - such that the water is hazy with .... whatever is found in your gravel base? It is possible that you have parasites that are living down in the gravel - many forms do so. When you stir it up - you stir up just enough that your fish are bothered by more than their systems can handle - for a bit. Many fish that live in a closed system may have a kind of a built in immunity to something they live with day in and day out. If you add in a new fish - they immediately can have problems, but the resident fish are OK with it. Perhaps, when you stir up the bottom, you change the parasite/fish balance just enough out of wack that the fish need a few days to bring matters back under control.

Can you scope the fish? Can you micron filter the water after a water change and take a scope of it? I never ceased to be amazed at what can be found in a tank's gravel (the main reason my tanks are bare bottom!).

???????????????

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies-

No, I never let my water sit, do you think I should be? I am on city water though.

I am always very careful not to stir my gravel in the slightest- I go in with the siphon and lift straight up when the water runs clear in whatever area I am in.

I might be able to take a sample of my water/gravel/filter material/whatever to this man who works at a fish store up here, if he wouldn't mind. He's taken a scraping of my fish before so I assume he knows what to look for.

If it were parasites though would they be able to get over it within a few days?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest beemo

my goldies act a little off after a water change too

turns out its because my tap water is in worse shape than my tanks water

for expample

my tank..

ammonia 0

nitrite 0

nitrate 0-0.05 ppm

now my tap water is..

ammonia 1 ppm!

nitrite (havent tested that yet)

nitrates 10-20 ppm!!

so as you can see im adding nitrates and ammonia to my tank

i use ammolock with every water change, but the fish still get PO'd

they too have gotten red streaks after a water change

point is, if my tap water has all that crap in it god knows whats in it that i cant test for. i know the water has gotten me sick several times (you know the trots)

there must be times when tap water has bacteria or other ickies in it, it makes me sick so i can only imagine how the fishees must feel :(

btw, i wont drink the water anymore lol

if your tank is a managable size id use RO water only and see if your fish improve.

as for me, my tanks too large to deal with RO water

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beemo, thanks for your input. Wow, the water quality out of the tap sounds terrible! I tested mine about 3 months ago and it was okay... I'll test it tonight and see if anything has changed. I would use RO water but the tank is 180 gallons... there's really no way to do it unless I bought a RO unit and I don't have the scratch for it right now. I guess all I can do is use a good conditioner and try letting the water sit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have always had a problem with water changes creating havoc in my tanks. I do my very best to match temp/pH and everything else that I can, but our water can get so wonky when they flush the system or change our water table. I've had the Water Quality guys out twice to test the water but so far, a cause has never been found.

It's beyond frustrating.

The bottom sitting and redness you described sound 'normal' to me, as I often get those reactions after a water change. The frayed fins, though, doesn't sound good. Is there a fast current when you do the changes? Either from the filter or hose/bucket? Do you have plastic plants that may be shredding the fins as they try to 'hide' from the activity of a WC?

Hope you figure this out! I'm still trying myself.

Lisa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does Ammo-lock say on the label that it detoxifies chloramine? And/or chlorine? You may have both ammonia and ammonia-chlorine (chloramine) in your water supply. If so, you'll need something (like Prime) that can break the chloramine apart and then detoxify both the resulting ammonia and chlorine.

And are you testing nitrate before or after the water change? Because if the water you're adding has 20ppm nitrate, then your tank can't be 5ppm. Even starting with no nitrate in the tank, doing a 25% water change would automatically start your reading at 5ppm and then the fish will add to that so you should have more nitrate than you're reading.

PS. I agree with you. My tapwater is similar and I wonder what monstrous bugs are in there to begin with that they feel the need to add so much ammonia and chloramine in order to kill whatever it is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest beemo

yeah i think the ammolock says detoxifies clorine and chloramine..i will double check. i also just bought a new dechlorinator today (im about to try anything!) that says chlorine, chloramine and heavy metals.

maybe i have heavy metals?? hehe sorry that just sounded funny :D

okee about the nitrates, i test my nitrates about a week after a water change. they are close to zero because of the floating water lettuce. water lettuce soaks up nutrients better than and quicker than any plant out there.

but....i just took it all out a few days ago, i mean all of it gone. i had to get rid of it because i wanted to salt my tank and add some meds.

so im kinda afraid what will happen to my nitrates in the next month, im sure they will get terribly high.

water lettuce is extremely sensative to meds, and even a trace of salt will kill it, so it had to go :(

my only hope now is to grow algae lol...with 385 watts it shouldnt be too hard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Susan and Beemo, any water department is required by law to give you a copy of their annual water report when you request it. They don't send it out to every resident in the city, since that would be too cost effective, considering that most people would just dump it. They however will give it to you if you ask for it - just call them up, and they either mail it, or I picked mine up at city hall when I still lived in FL.

There are just so many things in the water, that even the best water dechlorinator will not take care of. Or for some reason here and there, they'll double on the chemicals for a while to flush the city pipes, and you don't know it, so you only add the usual amount of dechlor, while you should be adding double the amount.

Come to think of it, I think I am do to another visit to my new city department as well.... :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I already KNOW my city water is bad...but short of buying spring water to do my water changes, I have to rely on my additives to make it right. My fish are not stressed, so hopefully I am doing something right. I have high Nitrites that I have to bring down when I add to my tank.

I'd love to find out if my substrate is harboring anything though. That's going to bother me now..... :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i used to let buckets of water sit(age) for a week before using it. i no longer do that. temperature in my tank been shooting up, due to extreme summer temperatures. my goldfish prefer's cold water than warm water. seachem prime is very important.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Doc

I've never observed any stress when I do a water change and I almost always do a 50% change weekly. I use a Python to syphon and refill with. When I refill, I treat the entire tank's capacity with Prime. I also refill very slowly to allow the Prime to work on the incoming tap water. My tap water has chloramine in it. It's city well water, very hard. I almost killed some fish a long time ago, by not adding enough prime and filling too quickly. I also keep my filters running, so the water keeps circulating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest laney374

when you do water changes try siphoning the new water through a airline pipe into your tank to introduce it slowly. This will reduce the stress. Also remember that although you have matched the PH you could still have a PH rebound which is common with new water, especially if the tank water surface is well agitated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Susan, have you tried talking to the owner of the local pet store? Ask them if they're on the same water supply as you --- the city water. Ask them what they do to their water to prep it after water changes. Sometimes they have dealt with bad water and have a protocol they use for water changes. It's worth a try.

As for the gravel. How deep is it in your tank? That could harbor nasties, and you may want to go with a thinner layer if too much gunk is in there.

PRIME is what I use here in Virginia, and its fantastic stuff. I do very large water changes -- 50 to 80 percent on several tanks, especially the goldfish tanks. And the pond gets a 30-50 percent WC as well. All have PRIME as their water conditioner to remove cholorine and chloramines.

Have you tested the pH of your tank water, and then tested the pH of your tap water? I have had problems in the past (when I used Amquel) with pH crashes. It caused all kinds of problems with the water in my fish room and I lost a lot of fish. The Amquel crashed the pH within 36 hours. This is typical with water that is low KH and has been documented all over the web. (Google: Amquel Aquarium pH crash)

Anyway, I hope you find out what the problem is and let us know. Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

Photo of the week winner!


Pic of the week poll #18


×
×
  • Create New...