Fish Death

Today I lost another fish. I couldn’t believe it. I seem to have pretty good luck with fish. That is why I started with aquaponics.

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It all started a little over a week ago. I was getting some pretty stinky smells from the tank and took a look….a floater. So I pulled it out and did a water change.  I continued to monitor the water (it still smelled), and feed the fish. None of them rushed to the surface to each. This is something they always do.

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Then I lost another fish a few days later.  So I decided to get out my trusty testing kit to see what was going on.  This is what I found:

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pH < 6.0      Nitrate 0.0 ppm       Nitrite 0 ppm       Ammonia > 8 ppm

Yowza!  That wasn’t good!  The nitrate and nitrite levels showed that I wasn’t overfeeding, but that Ammonia level was waaay too high.  Tilapia in general can handle high levels of ammonia, but I think that the high levels combined with the low pH was just too much for them (which can affect oxygen adsorbtion in the gills).  So I did a little research and found that I can put a product in the water which would trap the ammonia and make it unavailable to harm the fish.  So that’s what I did.  The next day I came back and it was clear!

Over the next few days it seemed like everything was back to normal.  Fish were jumping and feeding, the tank smelled good.  Then today, my daughter was outside and told me I had another floater.  And I just fed them!  So, I did another water change (approx 1/3 of the tank) and added another dose of the ammonia treatment.

So lets hope this helps….I want to harvest these bad boys soon, and taste the fruits of my labors!  Any suggestions of what I should do?

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