A tip for new fishkeepers:
You should never clean your filter sponges under tap water.
It will kill all the established bacteria.
Doing water changes with pure raw tap water can cause many problems. That's why I always use RO water in all of my tanks. You can't go wrong with RO water. I'll reccomend it to all fishkeepers.
You know a lot of people have told me that but I continue to do it any way. My understanding is the bio-max contains a lot of the bacteria Iíll need to keep my tank healthy. I never let that near the tap water. Just the sponges that do the filtering (Iím using a fluval 304 BTW) touch the tap water. Thereís also an ample amount of bacteria in the substrate, right?
I was told it would kill the bacteria or cause a mini cycle but I have yet to see this behavior. Am I setting myself up for disaster? Perhaps my bioload is low for the size of the tank / filter?
as far as what tests they do, I am not sure...they do it the chemical way though, and I am sure they wouldn't sell you a fish if you just took in a sample of dechlorinated water. I took in a sample once ( a while ago) and they refused to sell me fish until I got the nitrates(i think that was it) at a good level...
they also charge for the test...just like a dollar I think.
That's interesting about the rinsing with tap water... I have always just done it as that's how my dad used to do it when he had fish. But if Its a bad thing I won't do it. Thanks for the replies everyone
alrigthty... I treated the tank for columnaris after my water cleared with malachite green (some medicine I bought containing that...and it seemed to work well as the symptoms diminished (the tetra looked like it had some on its lip, and one of my barbs had a spot on his nose)
however, the instructions were to do a water change and replace the carbon in the filter as soon as 48 hours were up. I did so, and once again I have cloudy water.
I don't know where the cotton mouth came from...I haven't brought in any new fish, nor is my tank overcrowded, so I am at a bit of a loss, and am wondering where I should go from here...I was hoping to be able to get my water conditions running smoothly so I could add an algae eater, but now I get this? ugh...its kind of driving me up the wall