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Chris C.

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  1. We lost the male guppy that had been looking bloated overnight.
  2. What I don't get is that the pH has been stable in the mid 7s for months. The last time the pH was above 7.anything was 12/16/22 and 1/3/23 (last day of fall semester and 1st day of spring semester), and even then, it was only at an 8.0, then I got it back down to the 7s and it has stayed 7.4 consistently since then. If it being at 8.4 isn't bad for the fish or the plants, I guess it doesn't matter. I just wish I knew why it suddenly spiked with no apparent cause (since it hadn't spiked like this before).
  3. I usually only use the API liquid tests, the test strips are back up. Water straight from the tap is an 8.2pH according to API liquid tests.
  4. I don't remember. My partner and I added it back when the tank was at our home when the school was shut down due to COVID. This is year 2 of us being back at the school.
  5. Substrate is the old substrate from my previous set up (before the tank got soaped last year). There have been no changes to the substrate since I set the tank up fresh again this year (I did THOROUGHLY wash it before setting the tank up with the old substrate). I'd had some crushed coral mixed in with the substrate, but, again, there were no changes to the substrate made. No new anything in the tank, other than the water I'd added, which should've been at a pH of 7.2 (which is what the new water was at when I tested it before adding it to the tank).
  6. I'll try that! What I'm confused about is the pH continuing to spike up in the tank from a 7.4 to an 8.4 overnight when I haven't added any new water from the tap. Anyone know what could be causing that?
  7. I'm adjusting pH because it randomly spiked after the water change. My understanding is that a pH that is too high can mess up fish slime coats and make it so they get sick more easily. I wasn't doing anything to adjust the pH prior to the spike and would VERY much prefer NOT to keep messing with it.
  8. Hey all, I'm a High School, Special Education, Biology teacher. There's a LOT of backstory to my tank, but I'm gonna skip most of it (brief description at the end of these paragraphs), since it's not relevant to the current set up. I started the tank back in EARLY November, 2022. I put the plants in shortly after set up. I put an Amano Shrimp in roughly 2 weeks later, because ammonia/nitrite/nitrate levels were consistent. The shrimp disappeared (never found a body, and there was JUST enough space between the lid and the filter that it could have climbed out). I continued to allow the tank to cycle, then put fish in in EARLY January, after we returned from Winter Break and things were still testing fine. I had to miss 3 weeks of work shortly after putting in the fish because of a family emergency that took me 400+ miles away from my classroom (my Dad was suddenly very sick, then passed away). I came back and things were still fine (I had another teacher do feedings and send me occasional pictures/videos), other than 1 tetra that looked off, but I couldn't identify what was wrong before it passed away. NONE of the other tetra looked to be in a similar state and they're all fine now. Also saw no similar signs on the guppies. I figured I just got 1 older tetra in the bag, and it was their time. Then, about a week and a half after I got back the female fry that had snuck into the bag when I got the guppies disappeared. I figured she was getting bullied by the males. I was out on Friday, 2/24, and had put some towels around the tank in case of a power outage due to expected terrible weather on 2/23, just in case (to provide some extra insulation). When I got back on Monday, 2/27, the 2 males had disappeared. Over time, the water level in the tank had been dropping, so I set up some water to add to the tank to do a small water change (after my extended absence, it hadn't seemed necessary, since there was no sign of disease in the tank). This seems to be where the pH problem started. I treated the water I was planning to add, got it to a 7.2 pH and matching temperature and then ran out of time before having to leave the room for my next class, so I added the water after taking just a bit more out. That was Monday, 2/27. Starting 2/28, the tank pH spiked to 8.2. Every day (except today, & over the weekend when I don't have access to the tank), since then I have had to repeatedly bring the tank pH back down to 7.4, but it keeps spiking back up. I've used extra water from the change the day before to try to lower the pH, then, when I was out of that, I took water out of the tank to treat to bring the pH back down slowly/carefully. Now I have a 3rd dead male guppy (found the body this time). 1 of the 2 remaining males appears bloated, but is swimming fine. The other male looks fine and so do all the tetra. I can't figure out WHY the pH is still spiking. When I had the tank at home during Distance Learning, it NEVER had a pH spike. After an incident last year where a student in another class (same room, different teacher) poured soap into the tank, I stopped and then restarted the tank (with locks on the lid) this year. No one but me and 2 other teachers have the lock codes (gave them the codes when I was out for 3 weeks). All chemicals for tank maintenance are in a LOCKED filing cabinet. I don't know if this is a disease or if this is something I'm doing wrong. Tank Plants: 1 Java Fern 2 Dwarf Saggitaria 1 plant that came from an LFS with a shrimp that I had in there a while ago, but that disappeared over Fall Break. Thought it was elodea, but it's way smaller. Tank Inhabitants: 2 (formerly 3, and before that 5) Male Guppies (previously also had 1 female fry) 9 Neon Tetra (formerly 10) Test Results pH: 8.4 (used to be stable at 7.4, keeps jumping to 8.4 after I get it back down to around 7.4 again). Tetra Test Strip gives consistent reading. Nitrates: 10ppm (stable) Tetra Test Strip gives consistent reading. Hardness: 8 drops/143.2. Tetra Test Strip reads between Hard and Very Hard Nitrite: 0ppm (stable) Tetra Test Strip gives consistent reading. Ammonia: 0ppm (stable) Tetra Test Strip gives consistent reading. KH/Buffer: Off the API test chart. Tetra Test Strip indicates Very High (300+) Water Temperature: 78-79°F (stable)
  9. Hey all, It's been a while since I logged in. I'm a high school teacher for students with Mild/Moderate learning disabilities. I started a school fish tank right before the pandemic shut schools down. I teach Biology and it's great to have a little ecosystem in the classroom and I've ALWAYS wanted to have a class tank (they're just so relaxing to have in the space for the students who need a calming distraction). The trouble is that I share the room with a few other teachers. We all are put in a bunch of different rooms throughout the day because of when the classes we teach can be offered and crazy scheduling nonsense that's out of everyone's control. On 10/20 I FINALLY moved the tank (and it's population) back to school from my apartment. My 2 Biology classes LOVED it, and the kids in the other periods apparently loved it as well (some of them were in my class when the pandemic shut us down and were SO EXCITED to have fish in the room again). Unfortunately, during another teacher's class on 11/3, a student in that class got hold of the dish soap and hand soap for the classroom sink and dumped a bunch into the tank (opening the lid to do so). It killed all 3 Guppies and 11 Green Neon Tetras. Now the tank is just sitting there, empty, with decorations, rocks, and most of the equipment tucked away in covered buckets under the sink. There's a HUGE part of me that wants to trust that I can safely start the tank again, but I just don't know if I should, and seeing the empty tank and all of the stuff for it is hugely depressing. So, should I start the tank up again? If so, what fish would you recommend for a 15 gallon tank? (The photo is of the tank as I was getting it moved and letting the water settle before adding more.
  10. pH: 8.0-ish Nitrates: None (Went down from last change) Hardness: "Very Hard" Nitrite: None Ammonia: None KH/Buffer: Stable, hasn't changed Water Temperature 78-ish We culled this one tonight after noticing that the body seemed bloated and "fuzzy"... Not even sure if that's the right word to describe it. Hopefully the pictures help make this make more sense. We had 11 Neon Green Tetra (now just 10) and 3 Adult Male Guppies. We have Vallisneria, Java Fern, Java Moss, and a Cryptocoyne Parva for plants. We opted to cull after seeing how red the gills had gotten, it seemed clear that this one was not doing well. No other tetras look strange. No big behavior changes were noticed. Only thing we can thing of is that it's been longer between routine water changes than we normally go (things have been crazy and we got complacent). We had our usual amount of algae growth, which I think is why we didn't see anything sooner. We've previously lost a couple of neon greens to dermosporidium/dermocystidium (those terms seemed to be used pretty interchangeably when I was looking that up ages ago). That was back in December. Any ideas about what this was? We can't have a QT set up in our apartment, so we'd be medicating all remaining fish.
  11. Thanks for all the help @Kat_Rigel, @Hobbit, and @MickS77. Happy Holidays!
  12. Well, the second tetra was having a lot of trouble swimming today. The tetra was floating vertically at times and hanging out at the bottom of the tank for a while, but occasionally swimming around fairly normally (usually only when disturbed by us or another fish). We opted to cull it as humanely as possible, given that we didn't want the little one to suffer. Not sure if the blob was causing breathing problems or swim bladder problems (given the vertical floating). As far as we can tell, none of the other fish are showing signs of the blob of doom (as I've decided to call it).
  13. Small update. The second one to get it still has it and seems fine. Not seeing it on any other tetras (or on the guppies).
  14. Unfortunately we can't have a good QT set up in our apartment. It's really confusing that this is coming up at all. The last things we introduced to the tank were the tetras, 2 guppies, a java fern, and a java moss ball in early August after the LFS QT'ed them for us for 2 weeks for an extra fee. We've had no problems with the tetras since then. One problem with one of the guppies we'd had before that in October, and one guppy who over ate a freeze dried food and had swim bladder problems in early November, but nothing like this. Seems like a long time for something to lay dormant. I'm honestly not sure if we're just doing something wrong at this point... The water parameters are always fine...
  15. Looks like the original one passed sometime between yesterday and this morning (found that one stuck behind the sponge on the filter nozzle just now). There's one more with it. We're considering euthanizing that one to protect the remaining population. Thoughts? Suggestions? Dermosporidium/Dermocystidium don't really seem to have cures, and they're not supposed to be particularly deadly, but we don't want to lose any more fish.
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