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Old 04-16-2014, 06:42 AM   #1
mitchellcole5
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I'm not trying to bore anyone with repeated questions but I'm just starting out and only have petco and petsmart's around where I live. I did a lot of searching and still am not sure about my readings. So I testing everything in my tank today and found.

PH-7.0
Ammonia-0/low
Nitrite-0/low
Nitrate-0/low
KH-9
Gh-13

I think I have a moderately high light 50 gallon tank with 44 3w 6500K leds (greenelement evo 36" and 30")and a 5m roll of 5050 rgb leds I put in a hood for accent lighting. I dose co2 at about 2 bps to achieve 40 ppm (2 drop checkers in the tank). I have tannins (drift wood in the water and do weekly 30-40% water changes and dose excel, flourish, and trace elements to bottle specs. I have 1 oscar, 7 otos, a clown loach, 1 sae, and 2 tiger barbs(I know its a circus lol). The tank has been established for a while now. Based on the nitrogen readings Im going to also start dosing nitrogen (stump remover) and possibly iron, phosphorous, and potassium.

So far most of my plants seem to be thriving such as some ludwigs, combomba aquatica, and jungle vallisneria. By thriving I mean these plants have gone from cuttings to ludwig has put out many new leaves and tons of root shoots, Combomba has grown from 6 to 12 inches, and vallisneria is nice and green. These plants have been growing for about a month now. I recently picked up some cupped (In gel) dwarf baby tears (I know they are hard to grow) about half of the dwarf baby tears has melted but the other half of each group that I tied to rocks looks green and is sending out roots.

Basically I wanted to show everyone my current set up with parameters and results. I want to help everything thrive and have read so many conflicting points. Does my current set up seem ok. And are my high gh and kh values bad? Any input or reflection is amazing since I just got into the hobby a month ago lol (I bought the basic tank and filter already established but not with plants if your wondering about cycling)

Not a super good pic more to come. The anubias petites and other plants not listed havn't been in there long enough to comment on. Im also getting ready to build a moss tree out of christmas and peacock moss so I need to get water situation so I can grow those too.
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Old 04-16-2014, 05:12 PM   #2
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Seems like most is taken care of except for macro nutrients - you will need to dose NPK to keep your plants going. Zero nitrates in a high light tank is a recipe for disaster (algae).
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:15 PM   #3
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Should I be concerned about a KH of 9 and a GH of 13. I am looking for slightly soft water for the wide variety of plants and fish.
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Old 04-16-2014, 10:19 PM   #4
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When you say you "bought the basic tank and filter already established," what do you mean? How were the tank/filter handled during the move to your home? And how long have you had the tank up and running? I ask because zero readings of ammonia, nitrite and nitrates are generally indicative of a tank that is not cycled.

FYI, most benefical bacteria are aerobic and do not survive long if the filtration/water flow is shut off or the media is allowed to dry out; same thing for BB on substrate and other items in the tank. There are many types of bacteria and anaerobic forms can survive and even multiply out of control if oxygen levels are depleted during a tank move.
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Old 04-16-2014, 10:37 PM   #5
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The tank and filter combo had been rrunning for many months with 5 fish. I bought the tank and filter and transported them with water still in the filter and about 30% water in the tank. I only transported it 10 miles to my house. I used the API master test kit to do my tests so it's hard to read such small amounts. I know test strips are fairly inaccurate but I can see faint pink colors on the test strips so I know they're there. I've also been running this tank for about a month with fish. That's why I put 0/low they are there but hard to tell in what amounts I'm gonna start dosing seachem nitrogen tomorrow.

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Old 04-16-2014, 11:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitchellcole5 View Post
Should I be concerned about a KH of 9 and a GH of 13. I am looking for slightly soft water for the wide variety of plants and fish.
Quote:
1 oscar, 7 otos, a clown loach, 1 sae, and 2 tiger barbs
Your water is a little on the hard side, but all those fish are already adapted to your water and you haven't reported any issues, so your parameters are probably fine.

You have a Plan B for homes for the oscar and clown loach? (especially the oscar... soon... LOL)

What other livestock are you considering?
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:05 AM   #7
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[QUOTE=lauraleellbp;5786074]You have a Plan B for homes for the oscar and clown loach? (especially the oscar... soon... LOL)

I got them with the tank so im probably just gonna sell them. I was thinking about getting a neon tetra school but really have no idea lol. I like my oto's though they're staying. The sae is a flying fox. I was worried about the sae eating my plants but he hasn't touched anything. I also have a fish that I still don't know what it is. I assume some breed of chiclid. can anyone id it?
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitchellcole5 View Post
The tank and filter combo had been rrunning for many months with 5 fish. I bought the tank and filter and transported them with water still in the filter and about 30% water in the tank. I only transported it 10 miles to my house. I used the API master test kit to do my tests so it's hard to read such small amounts. I know test strips are fairly inaccurate but I can see faint pink colors on the test strips so I know they're there. I've also been running this tank for about a month with fish. That's why I put 0/low they are there but hard to tell in what amounts I'm gonna start dosing seachem nitrogen tomorrow.
The move doesn't sound too bad ... but keep a close eye on the ammonia and nitrates.

Schools of tetras would go well with the otos!
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Old 04-17-2014, 02:28 AM   #9
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I also have a fish that I still don't know what it is. I assume some breed of chiclid. can anyone id it?
That's an Apistogramma, probably A. cacatuoides. NOT suited for hard water.

How close are you to Portland? There's a really active aquarium club there- would be a great place to meet up with other hobbyists and swap plants and fish.
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Old 04-17-2014, 04:37 AM   #10
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I'm like 3 hours from portland. I think im gonna get rid of all the fish except for tiger barbs and the otos. I do want to get a school of tetras though, will the tiger barbs pick on the tetras?
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Old 04-17-2014, 02:21 PM   #11
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To answer your earlier question, your hardness is fine for 80% of fish and aquatic plants (I made that up on the fly, but you'll get my drift). Really, most plants and fish can adapt well to harder water, as long as the parameters are stable and you don't try to mess with it via acids and such.

I don't know what size tank this is, but I agree that getting rid of the Oscar and Clown would be a good start. Tiger barbs are pretty aggressive, with only 2 there is usually one chasing the other till death does them apart. Perhaps you have a lucky exception. As for adding some tetras, shouldn't be a big problem if you add enough of them to spread the Tiger's aggression. The Apisto is a beautiful fish, I would leave it in there if it seems healthy. Many "softwater" fish are doing fine in hard water, they just won't breed. I have pretty much the same hardness and successfully keep cardinal, glowlight, and black neon tetras, Harlequins, and others that are traditionally recommended for soft water.

For those starting out in the hobby, I'd recommend to buy a liquid NO3 and PO4 kit to get a good grasp of the nutrient dynamics in a planted tank. Test first using a 5 gal bucket to get some base lines (adding specific amounts of nutrients and noting the results). High stocking levels, overfeeding, plant density and health, and existing nutrients in your water supply all play into this so it is hard to make exact recommendations.
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