Surely Not Cycled Already?! - Page 3 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #31 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-26-2018, 03:57 PM
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This whole thread is a fantastic case study for tank parameter balancing and prioritizing, and recovery. As I have a 1 year old tank with lots of lava rock, I’m concerned about an eventual pH crash when the mulm, poop, detritus buildup decides to do something fun. I’ve got my notes taken down for when I see something changing, so I don’t have the wrong reaction in a panic.
Good stuff, here.
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I can only grow plants when they're completely under water. Everything else is doomed.
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post #32 of 46 (permalink) Old 10-02-2018, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Proteus01 View Post
This whole thread is a fantastic case study for tank parameter balancing and prioritizing, and recovery. As I have a 1 year old tank with lots of lava rock, Iím concerned about an eventual pH crash when the mulm, poop, detritus buildup decides to do something fun. Iíve got my notes taken down for when I see something changing, so I donít have the wrong reaction in a panic.
Good stuff, here.
------
Once the decomposition process is complete, the resulting mulm is relatively inert. It may appear unsightly, but it no longer pollutes the water. So if your partial water changes are keeping newly generated pollution in check, there will be no downrange surprises.

Tank On, Mike-
60g Marineland Community, Finnex Planted+ 24/7, Silica (pool filter) sand.
5g quarantine / hospital / grow out, 10g fry tank, 37g fry grow out tank, 110g stock tank (was outdoor, now basement)

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post #33 of 46 (permalink) Old 10-04-2018, 10:09 PM
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@AbbeysDad I hope that my tank can fully process the mulm, as you said. I’d like to be able to say in a year that I’ve not had any issues. Water changes are happening and all creatures are happy today. That tank is lightly stocked and has lots of plants, so I don’t worry too much - just want to be ready.


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I can only grow plants when they're completely under water. Everything else is doomed.
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post #34 of 46 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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Well it's been a bit up and down, checked water 6days after last post (yup couldn't leave it the full 7!) and ph was 6 again. Grr.

Did water changes, inspected and worried. Crept up again and during w/c a few days ago realised the holder thingy (must have a name but my brain not working!) for pump/filter/heater was coming away from the glass at the back, glue pretty old now so giving up!
So a lot of nasty old cack has obv been collecting for a while. Can't really feel it until you get at it a bit!

Guessing that's what caused the issue, it's at the bottom, I've got gravel and it's all built up under the actual holder thing. It's at the back right obv on pic.
That's just after planting my last plants, there are more fish in there and snails, pic looks a bit bare!!

And my gorgeous Goby popping his head out of his croc. I hate the thing and would prefer plants but he claimed it as soon as he moved in many years ago so he's allowed to keep it

Seems ok last few days with tests so hopefully will be ok if I carry on with water changes and get cack out but think may need to try and fix stuff
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post #35 of 46 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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And forgot to say that the 20g is doing brilliantly! As that was the point of the thread in the first place!!
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post #36 of 46 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 03:36 PM
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That built up mulm and detritus you found (if I understand you correctly) may be related to your ph change, but I wouldn't obsess over it. Ph changes don't seem to bother fish all that much so long as the shift isn't pretty substantial and relatively sudden. Even in the wild ponds often have very different pH levels throughout a 24 hour day. So far as I can see, you're being a good tank keeper, things look pretty healthy, and I'd say you're doing great. Don't let the pH concern you so long as you're doing your other duties pretty regularly (water changes, cleaning out any excess mulm/detritus/other fancy names for fish poo, cleaning filters as needed, etc.)
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post #37 of 46 (permalink) Old 10-10-2018, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, mean nasty stuff! The first bucket of water I cleaned out was filthy, loads of crap!
Unless I pull the entire thing off the glass and get other filter/pump/heaters to replace these I'll just have to make sure it's all cleaned out every wc (have to stick gravel cleaner down at the back at an angle and clears out pretty well). But as no problems with this tank for years I'm thinking best to leave it where it is! And just up my maintenance!!

Really think this is the root of the issue, tank's gone well for so long and fish all seem happy. It's almost 9 years old so guess done pretty well so far!

When my Goby's out and about it's normally a good sign 'stuff's' ok, he's quite a sensitive chap and not appearing to bother him at all. Or anyone else.
So definitely won't stress about it now discovered what's prob caused ph issues.

Thanks a lot @Blacktetra , you've been so brilliant
Tank's not the prettiest, bit of a mess, but tend to plant 'around' the fish! Had cories so long that trashed the place, now snails, so easier to leave areas clear so everyone can get around causing the least damage!

Got my lone Blue Rainbow fry to go in and join his parents and the gang, almost 2months old now and obv grown rather slowly being a Bow but as long as I know no major issues can get in there to cause trouble soon
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post #38 of 46 (permalink) Old 10-10-2018, 01:23 PM
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Thank you @GobyWan "brilliant" is quite generous of you. Likely the first time that term has been aimed in my direction.

Any credit you give me is really a compliment to this community. The things I've learned I've mostly learned from being here and listening to those wiser than myself. Thank you none the less. I hope your fish continue to be happy and healthy.
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post #39 of 46 (permalink) Old 10-10-2018, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Haha you've definitely put my mind at ease, as I'm a big old worrier (when it comes to tanks and the beasts within it!).

This forum is great, wish I'd come across it many years ago

But many thanks to you specifically
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post #40 of 46 (permalink) Old 10-16-2018, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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Yup another post!

Put the lights on yest and 29g tank was really cloudy, was fine the day before. Did my good old water tests and other than 10-20 (usually 10) nitrate and ph at 6 (grr) no ammonia or nitrite.
Had only done 35%ish w/c three days before.

Did wc and cleaned filter (well, fine one and changed my grubby filter wool). Thought I'd get my largish bit of driftwood out and give it a good clean, this was done a couple of months ago but this time I could feel and see it's breaking down with a bit of rubbing about. Water was v brown and def not like usual feel to it. It's not mopani, just sold as driftwood, a chunky thing.

So guessing this 6-7yr old bit of driftwood not doing anything for the tank and it's out! And may have been an issue in my ph problems.
Going to do a slight experiment and leave it out for a few days/a week and see if changes to ph. Don't think will cause any problems to fish(?) but have a few other bits in tanks so could pop those in if I need to.

At the point of trying anything just to figure out this annoying issue!!
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post #41 of 46 (permalink) Old 10-16-2018, 03:34 PM
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I suppose the wood leaking tannic acid could be part of it.
You have a kh over 3, and a tap water that comes to a ph above 7, yet this tank is below 7. So strange.
Is it possible that your tap water has a higher ph when it's fresh from the tap, but it sinks after it's left to age for a day? I can't recall now if you had checked that. Some tap water has a bit of gas in it causing the ph to change over time.

I wouldn't change too much more. You've done a pretty thorough cleaning, of both the gravel and the filter, and removed the wood from the tank. You may have really set your beneficial bacteria colony back. Keep an eye on your ammonia over the next day or two if you can, just in case.

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post #42 of 46 (permalink) Old 10-17-2018, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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Yes definitely very strange which is why I've been so confused! Tried everything and nothing seems to have helped!!

I tested the tap water (and 24hr 'aged' as well) as soon as started having issues and nothing different to usual.
We'd had a lot of problems in my area since March when we had snow and again in the heatwave over the summer, burst pipes and people having no tap water etc so thought might have missed something but nope, all ok.

I tested the tank yest am and ph at 6.4ish. I've just tested again (10am here so 48hrs since removed the wood) and it's showing 6.8!! No nitrite or ammonia thankfully.
Quite a big jump in 2 days!

As half the snails are gone and I've done just about everything I could in the tank to reduce any built up waste or hidden stuff that could have been a problem, seems strange it's changed so quickly if the wood wasn't doing something!! But won't get too excited with the way the tank's been going!

Will be leaving everything in there alone for a while now as like you say, lots of BB gone and messed with it a lot recently.
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post #43 of 46 (permalink) Old 10-18-2018, 03:37 AM
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Out of curiosity are you testing your pH at approximately the same time each day? Tanks will go through small pH changes throughout the day (diurnal fluctuations), especially tanks with lots of live plants, as pH is influenced by CO2 and carbonic acids levels, as well as the buffering (KH or Alkalinity) of the water, and the GH (general hardness). Like others have mentioned...pH changes (unless way out of balance) aren't usually harmful to our fishy friends. You can do all the testing in the world but sometimes the best indicator is reading animal behavior. It seems like you know your fish well and its great you're so concerned for their well being...keep it up!
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Water changes, water changes, water changes...
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post #44 of 46 (permalink) Old 10-18-2018, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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Yes I tend to test at the same time (morning) but have done tests at various times in the past and have never had a ph below 6.8-7. Tried evenings recently and no change to the below 6 ph!

I feel like I know the tank just as well as my fish, why this has been a bit of a nightmare to figure out what's going on! Nearly a month of low ph, like @Blacktetra has said, so strange the kh high and ph so low. Always been a really neutral, hard supply of water and tank normally shows that!
Had never crossed my mind my piece of old wood could be causing problems!!

I know ph isn't going to cause huge probs with the fish, would obv be far more alarmed if it was ammonia etc. More me worrying about my old guys that have been in the tank so long, the levels really haven't changed for years and was stressing would be a bit of a shock to their systems.

But everyone seems happy so I'm happy! My largest Blue Rainbow boy and smallest girl were getting their 'love thang' on last night so know they're not bothered in the slightest!!

ph still at 6.8 this morning so def putting this oddity down to rotting wood!
Had noticed my trio of Otos weren't really sucking on it as much as normal but as got new plants thought was just like a new toy they were more interested in! Should have realised!!
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post #45 of 46 (permalink) Old 10-26-2018, 04:24 PM
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Hi GobyWan! I am super new to this forum, as well as fishkeeping, so I hesitate to post. However, in my online searching for information about mystery/apple snails, I read that they can deplete calcium a bit, which is apparently related to PH. When I ended up with tons and tons of baby Apples, I noticed my PH dropping a bit & started searching. I ended up dropping a cuttlebone in each tank, and the fish and snails seem happier. I know you don't have many snails, but it might have been a small contributor. Anyway, just thought I'd mention it!

Your tank is gorgeous, by the way! My first home tank (I "inherited" several at my job when I started last year) just arrived yesterday! I'm completely geeked about getting it set up to keep a nice 5 gallon shrimp colony, along with a couple snails and some nice plants. I'm not telling my husband yet, but I'm already planning for a 20-30 gallon sometime in the next year...I have to find a good place for it in our window filled house first, though!
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