Re: [RML] Re: P signifer male paling & losing appetite

Julie Zeppieri (bowluvr at
Thu, 21 Apr 2005 08:24:13 -0700

Just a word of caution about Amquel and soft water/low pH water...

Since moving here to Portland, OR, with it's RO water from the tap, I have
had to stop using Amquel by and large. Amquel when used in water without
buffers, can crash the pH to dangerously low levels and wipe out your tank.
If you use Amquel also use a buffer, or only use it in water that has
buffers already in it... say if you live in San Jose, CA as opposed to SF.
The water in San Jose is liquid rock. No chance of a pH crash there. SF has
soft water with few buffers. If one is not careful, Amquel can send the pH
through the floor.

If this guy is already lax on his water changes, and the pH is acidic,
Amquel may hurt more than it helps.

Julie <'><

>From: Gary Lange <rainbowfish4u2 at>
>Reply-To: r_m_l at
>To: r_m_l at
>Subject: Re: [RML] Re: P signifer male paling & losing appetite
>Date: Thu, 21 Apr 2005 07:11:03 -0700 (PDT)
>When you don't keep up with your water changes bad things happen. Fish
>become succeptible to things in the tank that normally wouldn't bother
>them. The females have already gotten used to living in a toilet! The
>other fish in the tank may also be a bit more resistant. This is the
>complaint of newbies into the hobby. The fish in my tank, which I haven't
>changed in 2 years are fine. When I add new fish they die, WHY? Same
>argument. I really don't buy the phosphate argument though. Just stop
>whining and get him to start doing his water changes ;-)
>Soft water fishes in the wild and in our fish room. In the wild, most of
>the time they are getting 100% water changes every second. It's not really
>the low pH that causes the problems in our aquariums but the stuff that
>causes the pH to go low, fish waste etc. He may have screwed around too
>long already so it may be too late for that male. I'm not sure if it was
>mentioned but Pseudomugils in general need a little bit more care than the
>average aquarium fish. Hopefully they're getting something besides just
>flake food in his tank. Live baby brine shrimp. Cyclops-eze, chopped
>bloodworms are all helpful. Live daphnia will bring out the best breeding
>performance in any Pseudomugil, ditto for mosquito larvae. But I think
>that's probably a secondary problem and not the primary one. Have him
>perform a 2-3 50% water changes a couple of days apart and then at least
>once every week and see what happens. I wish I could tell you that I
>always do 50% weekly water changes on each of my
> 80 some odd tanks but I don't. At least I "get that" and when I see a
>tank isn't looking particularly perky I do a quick check on the tank
>parameters, pH being the easiest and with my low KH the most reliable one
>that tells me to get off my arse and do some water changes. When I mess up
>I'll also go back and do a second 50% change a few days later. I guess
>that is the difference between a good aquarist and the "wantabees". Not
>knocking your friend but this is the way it's been for the last 30 odd
>years I've been in the hobby. People don't want to take the time to change
>their water, they want to buy the snakeoil stuff from Tetra, they'll buy
>$40 worth of medicine as their fish are now sick from the nasty water, but
>they still won't do the proper water changes. The meds only make the
>situation worse. They'll claim their water is too hard, too soft, too
>high, too low, too hot/cold, too much phosphate... Nitrates, nitrites and
>ammonia definitely are a problem but in most
> instances (not all, especially from wells in the farm belts) not in the
>water that you're adding to the tank. If he had even a little bit of
>ammonia in his tank then he definitely had a water quality issue. BTW I
>think I would recommend that he uses a San Fran produced product called
>Amquel (Kordon) when he does those water changes. If his tank has ammonia
>and is acidic it's not healthy. But if he does a 50% water change and the
>ammonia that is left is still above normal levels increasing the pH (via
>the water change) could be toxic w/o something to help tie up the ammonia.
>BTW make sure you DO NOT use an ammonia test kit that uses Nessler reagents
>as they test false positives for any ammonia treatment. Tetra makes a fine
>reagent for testing for ammonia as well as others that don't rely on that
>reagent. If you can get him to do his big water changes let us know in a
>few weeks. If not try and convince him that fish "screen savers" are much
>easier to care for!
>gary lange
>Tom Ray <t_a_ray_cissp at> wrote:
>I find these responses interesting. I too believe water /
>environmentals are critical. That's why I previously got him to
>change his water. That's why I am also a bit "A.R." about things like
>1) As for me... I don't currently test for phosphates. So do you
>think phosphate testing my water before I make my weekly water changes
>might add value?
>2) If phosphates are high, what remedy do I then take?