[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

mbinkley at earthling_net (Mark Binkley): NANFA-- Metals in Aquaria

Robert Rice

" All I am saying is give Peas a Chance !"
--------- Begin forwarded message ----------
From: mbinkley at earthling_net (Mark Binkley)
To: nanfa at aquaria_net
Subject: NANFA-- Metals in Aquaria
Date: Thu, 17 Jul 1997 13:18:55 -0600
Message-ID: <aff41e130502100459f4@[]>

Here is some interesting info on the subject of metals used in fresh
aquaria.  It reminded me of the discussion about using aluminum mesh in a
tank.  This was copied from the killies e-mail list at
killies at mejac_palo-alto.ca.us.  The lead poisoning was one suggested
Others were mentioned.  Apparently the "disease" noted has been
encountered by other killi keepers too.  The first message is someone's
reply to the original message from Nevin Aspinwall- hence the breaks and
comments inserted in the narrative:

From: mek at sco_com
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 1997 23:09 EDT
Subject: Re: Puzzler of the Day (A Massive fish kill)

        From: Nevin Aspinwall <aspinwalln at slu_edu>
        Subject: Puzzler of the Day (A Massive fish kill)

        This is Nevin Aspinwall in St. Louis, MO (SLAKA). I would like to
        a new thread concerning a massive fish kill which I experienced
over the
        last 2 months. I keep about 25 species of Aphyosemion and
        (sorry about no Nothobranchius, Brian). It all started when I
went down
        to our field station in the Ozarks for three weeks in May to
teach some
        field courses to college students. During that three weeks I lost
        100 adult killies from a mysterious "disease" that affected many,
        not all of my tanks. The greatest mortality was seen in tanks
        relatively large numbers of fish.
        The symptoms of the fish (symptoms which I have never seen
before) were
        that the fish were very skittish when you approached the tank.
The fish
        would dask madly about the tank in apparent convulsions,
        all over the place, then going into a seizure and resting on the
        Eventually, most recovered from this initial bout of hysteria but
        died later. The fish showed absolutely no disease syymptoms, had
        filled-out bellies, and ate reasonably well. It affected fry and
        equally well (or equally badly). I have been trying to solve this
        problem and am coming to the killies  email list for your
        However, let me give you some more info. I maintain my fish in
50/50 RO
        water at in initial pH of about 7.5 and a TDS of about 150-190.
        Louis water has reasonably hard water (lots of bicarbonate from
        limestone and dolomite which is the bedrock in St. Louis) which
        230 TDS. The pH is 10.1 from the tap and I adjust it with HCl to
7.5. I

230 TDS is hard? 700 TDS is hard, 100 TDS is discus-spawning water. I'm
spawning Neville's fish from the convention in 400-500 TDS water now.

The pH is high, that's the bad thing. I have well water which is loaded
with limestone, but the pH is a convenient 7.2 which I never mess with. I
would bubble your water over peat to see what the effect on the pH is,
but use HCl.

        use amquel to remove chlorine and chloramines. I have used this
        system for 2 years with no problems. The only thing that I have
        differently is 2 things: I placed a fritz sponge filter (with
        weight inside) in the corner of each tank (instead of just an air
        and I replaced my RO system with a Kent Marine Maxxima system
which has
        a particle filter, a charcoal filter, and a resin bed. I change
        50% of my water each week.

Are you sure about the TDS of your mixed water now that you have the new
unit? It might be more efficient than you think and the resulting TDS
                After the initial mass mortality I have lost only an
occasional fish
        with the above symptoms. In trying to solve this problem I have
        making lots of observations. First of all, I "believe" that the
        is likely due to water quality since there are no other obvious
        symptons and because erratic behavior is often associated of some
        of poisoning. My recent observations has revealed that whenever I
see a
        fish with this erratic behavior the pH of the water is around 4.4
        4.7. When I observe this pH I immediately change 1/2 of the water
        bring the pH to above at least 6.0. With this treatment, the
        subside and the fish don't die usually. What has me baffled is
how the
        water in the tanks can drop from 7.5 to 4.4-4.7 in a matter of
one week.
        This is baffling because the hardness of St. Louis should buffer
        such a drastic pH change. So, this is the "Puzzler for the Day".
        Specificaly, I would appreciate comments on the following

        1. Have you ever observed this behavior in your killies?

Rarely, only in overcrowded fry containers where the pH has dropped low
from mismanagement of the uneaten brine shrimp by yours truly. Basically,
got to keep the snail stock going in the fry containers otherwise I get
        2. Is this behavior associated with a low pH in your tanks?

I think so; I've taken to raising my fry in straight, unsoftened (I have
RO as well) tap water and this has made it much easier for me.
        3. Have you ever observed the behavior of your killies when the
pH is in
        the neighborhood of 4.4-4.7?

Not exactly

        4. Have you had success in raising and breeding killies in water
with a
        hardness of 230 TDS. (In St. Louis water "TDS" is pretty much
        to calcium\magnesium hardness because that's all there is in the
        No organics nor high levels of any other inorganics which would
        contribute to TDS).

Yes, I'm raising *your* killies in my water now, as long as I feed those
horses (A. oeseri) I get fair numbers of eggs and lots of fry. They like
eat though.

             Thanks a lot for your help. Sincerely, Nevin Aspinwall

Good luck. Try acclimating the fish to straight tapwater and see what

+ TO QUIT, SEND unsubscribe killies youremail at isp_com TO
killies-l at killi_net
+ For further information, see http://www.killi.net/lists/


From: huntley at ix_netcom.com (Wright Huntley )
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 1997 22:44:08 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Puzzler of the Day (A Massive fish kill)

Nevin mentioned a sponge filter with a lead weight in it.

I used to think lead was inert in the aquarium until I killed a bunch
of fish with almost identical symptoms. It turns out that acid water
can dissolve the lead, and they die quickly of lead poisoning, with the
bizarre neurological symptoms Nevin described.

I'd sure vote for lead poisoning, after my experiences with it.


Who now uses plastic balls to weight his mops. ;-)

- --

Wright Huntley (408) 248-5905 Santa Clara, CA USA huntley at ix_netcom.com


/ This is the discussion list of the North American Native Fishes
/ nanfa at aquaria_net. To subscribe, unsubscribe, or get help, send the
/ subscribe, unsubscribe, or help in the body (not subject) of an email
/ nanfa-request at aquaria_net.
/ For more information about NANFA, visit our web page,

--------- End forwarded message ----------