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Old 08-24-2007, 01:08 AM   #1
Capital P
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New Tank Paramaters


Well Im new here and this is my first freshwater planted tank. I've done just about every type of tank except this.

Here we go -

20g High
130w PC hood setup from Aqua Traders
DIY yeast reactor
Aqua Clear 200

This tank is about 2 weeks old and has a few rasbora and a few red zebra danio

I have a few swords and hairgrass in there.

Readings are:

9kh
3gh
0 No2
0 Nh3/4
7ph
10 No3 - How I dont know.

Anyone wanna throw out something here since I monitored all my nitrate/nitrite ect and I know the tank cycled.

I did the test twice and somehow got ammonia readings.

Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 08-25-2007, 12:20 PM   #2
Homer_Simpson
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How healthy does your hairgrass and swords look? From personal experience, I discovered that starting off with unhealthy plants can wreak havoc with ammonia readings?

Are all your fish accounted for or did you miss one that may have died? Again, from personal experience, I have found that if a fish dies on you and you miss it, you will get an ammonia spike regardless of whether your tank is cycled or not.

How accurate is your ammonia test kit? Inaccurate test kits may give inaccurate results. Take your water sample to a local fish store that tests water for free for a second opinion and to be sure.

How many fish do you have and how much are you feeding them? Too many fish and too much poop equals ammonia spikes even in a cycled tank.

Possible solutions. These have always worked for me.

Increase your plant load 40% of your tank should contain plants. This will help prevent/minimize algae in the long term and quickly neutralize any ammonia from any future spikes.

We all know the real danger of ammonia to fish. Even if your fish are doing well if you have an ammonia problem and don't address it right away, some of your fish could suffer permanent gill damage. Also, keep in mind that ammonia is the main fuel for algae growth and being opportunistic, algae will take advantage of any sustained elevated ammonia levels and begin growing like weeds. To quickly reduce ammonia if your ammonia levels are high, I suggest that you do water changes every three days and consider adding septo-bac. This is a concentrated benefical bacteria powder that you can get from wal-mart(septic supplies section - it comes in envelopes, is super cheap and will last you forever). You open an envelope, take a tablespoon and mix it in 1 cup dechlorinated water. Now strain that water into another cup using a coffee filter. Discard the contents in the coffee filter and add the water to your aquarium. You only need to do this once, then I suggest you pack your aquarium with plants to prevent the problem in the future. The septo-bac is only to address the problem short term. I have never suffered fish deaths doing this, it is the same stuff as biospira but for a fraction of the cost, and I have used it many times to quickly deal with dangerous ammonia and nitrite spikes.

Best Regards and Good Luck
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Old 08-28-2007, 06:18 PM   #3
Capital P
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Thanks for all your info!

I trimmed some of the dead looking leaves off the swords and the hairgrass is doing very well. I did add more plants with more to come and the 8 that I did add dropped that ammonia in 3 days

thanks again!
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Old 08-28-2007, 08:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capital P View Post
Thanks for all your info!

I trimmed some of the dead looking leaves off the swords and the hairgrass is doing very well. I did add more plants with more to come and the 8 that I did add dropped that ammonia in 3 days

thanks again!
Good stuff! And, you're welcome.
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Old 08-28-2007, 10:33 PM   #5
zergling
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130W of PC lights is quite strong, and DIY co2 might not be enough to prevent algae issues. I'm guessing this is a 2x65W fixture? If so, is it possible to power just one bulb, so you only have 65W of lighting? Unless of course one bulb is actinic, which has piss poor PAR and PUR ratings anyway or if you have no/poor reflectors

Heck, with that lighting I'd personally go with pressurized CO2 and EI dosing for ferts just to get everything balanced out....

Also, you're correct your tank is cycled -- which is 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and some nitrates. Unless you have enough plant bioload or do multiple daily water changes, nitrates won't go down to 0, and is never really an issue in freshwater. It's not like marine tanks where anaerobic zones in live rocks can turn nitrates to N2 gas...but as I said, some nitrates won't harm anything in the tank.
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