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Not a solution but some thoughts.
Posted By: BB <firstname.lastname@example.org> In Response To: dying clown loaches (Deb)
Date: Sunday, 7 February 1999, at 2:50 p.m.
In Response To: dying clown loaches (Deb)
Hello Deb, Sorry to hear of your losses. I read your post several times and gave it much thought. Here is what I came up with. You mentioned the ph increased to 7.8. What was it before? I'm sure you know that any concentration of chemical buildup increases in toxicity as the ph increases. Was this a big jump in ph? I can think of several reasons why your ph would increase but none without adding chemicals, or meterials that leached something into the water that would have the same affect. It is natural for aquarium water to acidify not the reverse. Are you using tap water? Let me tell you where I am going with all this. If you are using tap water and the ph has increased in ph right out of the tap then there is also a good chance that the water company has added ammonia, chlorine, or chlormine to the water as well. Do you test for chlorine, and chlormine. A call to the local water company might be in order. Both chemicals could irritate the gills. What you describe does sould like an irritation or maybe a parasitic infection specific to the gills. If it were oxygen levels alone one would think that the loaches (being able to gulp atmospheric air) would make frequent trips to the surface of the aquarium. I would however test for chlorine and retest for ammonia(making sure the regents were not outdated) before I medicated as you have done. It may just add more stress and not be necessary. If it does turn out to be chlorine or ammonia you could pretreat tapwater with something like ammolock. I'm not a big fan of adding chemicals to a tank as a rule but if you have to stabalize these quick then you have little choice.
If the water company has not added additional chemicals and your water checks out fine again. I would buy another ammonia test kit and try again. If you are looking to blame the change in filtration there should be an increase in ammonia. I am not sure what a Willinger filter is, and don't know if it's primarily mechanical, chemical, or biologocal. I am however very fimiliar with marineland products and know that the hot magnum when first setup is mechanical and chemical (the biological comes after the biowheel is fully cultured if you opted to install one, and to some extent from the sleeve over the media canister). If you have removed your old filtration and it was biological in nature then you diminised your tanks carrying capicity and the ability to break down the toxins. Chemical buildup would cause the irritation you described. To validate any of this your water should again have ammonia present. If that is the case water changes are in order, just like you are doing.
I can't think of any other reason why this would happen. I sit and scratch my head. I almost hope it is ammonia because that is easily corrected. I hope it helps and best of luck. BB
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