Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Good and Evil, Right and Wrong, Acidity and Alakaline

I have always loved fish.  Let me clarify, I have loved having fish as pets.  From about the time I was 12 I really studied up on them to learn how a fishtank worked.  During that time a lot of the equipment changed.  The good news is it changed for the better.  So I learned how to use a lot of the new equipment to make a better tank.

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. 

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