thought i would put a warning up for people using tap water.
I use tap water for my breeding opperation. I do this because the fish need to be adapted for adelaide tap water as thats what they will be moving into once sold. Only issue for those who have never been to adelaide is our tap water is among the worst in the world...seriosuly, international ships dont refil the water here as it tastes bad and is so hard it scales up the pipes.
But with a bit of a buffer here and a solid dose of prime there it is normally ok for most fish.
Only issue is that the water company doesnt have to inform users of changes to the water. Which they did the other day to deal with some issues they had. unknowingly, i went about my normal water changes and promplty noticed a problem, the fry were all going mental and looking poorly. I had a check of the tank parameters and found the pH up at 7.4-7.6 in the breeding tanks!!!!!!! thats up from 6.8-7.0! the reason being that the tap water was coming out at a whopping 8.3!
Unfortuantly, I lost quite a few fry
they couln't deal with the spike, then the high pH. and even after nearly 2 weeks of battling, the pH in the tanks is only just starting to come round as what ever they put in the tap water is one hell of a buffer!!
So just remember to check your tap water every now and again.
On the slightly positive side, it has given me an insight into bristlenose behaviour induced by swings into high pH. I have called it 'Spirals'. I have seen this once or twice before too and now know what it is. I have done some checking with other local breeders and they have confirmed it.
So Spirals is a condition that affects young fry up to 3cms in length. It is caused by swings upwards in pH of about 0.3 or greater, generally from about 7 to upwards of 7.3 which the fish are not used to. I.e. if the fish normally live in 7.3 then they are used to it, but a sudden swing to 7.7 will have the same effect. The condition is characterised by extremely eratic swimming initially, followed by swimming in a spiral pattern until crashing onto the bottom. In the early stages the fry will regain a hold on the bottom with its mouth, however, as the condition gets worse the fish will simply bob about until another spiral swim. Once a fish is in the spiral stages it is normally fatal. symptoms will apear in some fish within several minutes of being exposed to the pH swing while other fish, generally larger fry, can take up to 48hrs to begin to show symptoms. in terms of treatment, prevention is the best cure, check water differences and make sure to when moving fry to acclimatise them like all other fish. If it is resulting from a water change using high pH water then try and rebuffer water to correct pH or add water from a lower pH tank.
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