However, there was one weak point. I was/am terrible at chemistry, which is kinda important when you have a fishtank. Truthfully, I failed both halves of chemistry in high school. I failed high school chemistry again in college. When I took it a second time I would have failed it, but the professor took pity on me, and gave me a "C."
I worked at many pet stores. They hired me due to my strengths in knowing how the big world of fish and fishtanks work. Once I was there, I was the "go to" guy on all things fish.
So when I started having problems with my own fishtank lately I was a little more than upset. I was switching my tank over from tetras, which I have had for almost 20 years to gouramis. At first, I was suspect of the place I was getting them from. Independent stores can either be really hit or miss. It was when I brought home two beautiful gouramis that died within 24 hours that I started to suspect the problem was on my end.
Long story short, I got my acidity and alkaline mixed up on the PH scale. I got them completely backwards. Since I am pulling my water straight out of the well, it was really alkaline due to the limestone we have in the Florida aquifer. My water was coming in at a 7.8 PH. Now gouramis can live at that PH water, but when they come from the pet store with water at 6.6 PH, it tends to kill them.
When I realized my mistake I started testing everything. The well water, the water out of the sink, the fishtank, and most importantly, the water out of the rain barrel. Yes, my sister has a rain collection barrel for certain plants in her garden. When I tested it, it came in at a perfect 7.0 PH, completely neutral. So I changed my tank water over 70%. When I tested it, it came in at 7.0 PH.
So I went to the store and bought 6 new gouramis. 2 blue, 2 gold, 2 pearl. A few days later I went to another pet store and bought 4 opaline gouramis. So those ten, along with the original 3, plus the pleco are doing fine. I haven't lost one yet. They are getting along, and so far I haven't detected any problems.
Honestly, I am mad at myself. I know everyone makes mistakes. But I hold myself to a higher level in that I was supposed to be a sort of "fish specialist." But I'm glad I got it right now.
So to end this story, here are the pictures and some video.