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Water changes, and dying fish?


Today I woke up to a batch of dead fish.  I did a water change last night,
and it seems like every time I do a water change and general cleanup, it's
like a roll of the dice.  Sometimes I have healthy, happy fish, and
sometimes it kills half of them by morning.  I am using Aquarium
Pharmaceuticals tap water conditioner, and adjusting the PH with PH Up and
down.  My water comes out of the tap extremely hard, but I don't have the
thousands of dollars it seems to take to take care of that problem.  It
seems that if there is going to be a problem with the water, it usually
happens around thirty minutes after I do a water change.  The fish start
stressing, pumping their gills and sometimes dart around and lose
coordination.  It seems like the bigger fish have no problem with it, but
all the smaller ones do.  If anyone would be so kind as to tell me what the
problem is here, and why it only happens half the time, I would be grateful.
Oh, and if you could spell out the chemical names, as I'm not a chem major.

It only happens sometimes, so I think the idiots at the water company are
adding something to the water intermittently.  What, if anything is it?

Thanks in advance!!