Newbie needs your help! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-25-2019, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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Newbie needs your help!

Hello planted tank people! I am just endeavoring into the world of fish tanks and am cycling my first tank ever. I plan on having Cherry red shrimp. I am 4 weeks into the cycling process and my parameters are all over the place. For reference I have a inert substrate, java moss, java fern, and anubias planted. I have some starry night rocks, and a piece of spider wood. The tank is a 15 gallon fluval flex. I am using RODI water and salty shrimp to reionize. OK, so I thought I was doing everything correctly, adding 15 drops of ammonium chloride every day. But my pH is hanging at 6 (possibly below, the test kit only goes as low as 6), my ammonia is at 2 ppm, nitrite 0, nitrate 0, GH way too high at 13 and KH really low at 1!! Should I add soemthing to bring my pH up so the bacteria can survive?? why is it so low? why is my GH so high and my KH so low (the salty shrimp should be adding them at a 1:2 ratio). I have no idea how this happened and would realllllly appreciate any help you guys have so I can get my tank healthy enough for some shrimps!

P.s. I did a 30% water change yesterday and that did not seem to help

-Scrivlet
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 04:32 PM
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Are you using RO water because you have really hard water? If so, you might want to cut your RO with some conditioned tap water. If your tap has a decent KH it will help buffer your pH. Just a thought. I am new too, but as a more experienced person hasn't spoken up, I thought I would offer that suggestion.
Good Luck!
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 04:40 PM
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what are the parameters of your tap water?



BTW Welcome to the planted tank!!!!(and the hobby in general)

75 gallon planted tank. About to stock.
10 gallon QT

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 04:53 PM
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I'm not a pro but lemme give some analisys about your tank.
1. You used some plant that absorb the nutrient slowly so the amonia broken down at slow pace. Maybe you could turn down the amonia supply by a bit.
2. The wood maybe doing something with the water chem too.
3. About the GH maybe the RODI system went crazy or the mineral dosed is a bit too much.

My newbie head suggest you to put some cheap fast growing stem plant to help you fight the chem. But dont plant it, just let them suck everything from the water body. And be patient since we newbie always tend to rush things and nature doesn't move that fast.

I apologise for butchering the language.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 04:55 PM
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I forgot about that @Rocksy01. Fast growing plants such as salvinia minima, pennywort, duckweed, salvinia natans, vallisneria, etc. would be good.

75 gallon planted tank. About to stock.
10 gallon QT

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 04:56 PM
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And about the dosing. What's written isn't always that accurate, every tank has it's own condition. So find your sweet spot.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquanerd13 View Post
I forgot about that @Rocksy01. Fast growing plants such as salvinia minima, pennywort, duckweed, salvinia natans, vallisneria, etc. would be good.
I prefer the fast stem since they're easy to move to another tank. Duckweed would pain in the butt to remove.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 05:11 PM
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Yes it is. It gets stuck in the holes in fish nets to.

75 gallon planted tank. About to stock.
10 gallon QT

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquanerd13 View Post
Yes it is. It gets stuck in the holes in fish nets to.
I think Hornwort would be quite perfect for this job.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 05:23 PM
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I totally forgot about that!!

75 gallon planted tank. About to stock.
10 gallon QT

"Do not pray for an easy life. Pray for the strength to endure a difficult one” – Bruce Lee

75 gallon tank journal
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your suggestions!! Things seem to be getting worse!! I brought my pH up a little with some baking soda, so my bacteria wouldn't die in the really low pH. That seemed to help for a while and I was having pH around 7.6 and the ammonia was going down. I went out of town and my mom was adding ammonia to the tank and I tested the water today and i have an ammonia level of 8!! and 0 nitrite or nitrate my pH went down to 6.4 which I believe is expected with that much ammonia.

I am using RODI water because I live in Missouri and we have a lot of limestone in our water, I was thinking maybe I was adding too much salty shrimp, so just cutting the water with tap water instead might be a better solution! thank you! I will also try to add some Hornwort.

You guys are so awesome! thank you so much for your brain power!!! Hopefully I can get this baby with some shrimps sometime soon...
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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Forgot to mention my tap water parameters: pH 7.6, KH 4, GH 9... might as well use tap water I guess???
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 04:26 PM
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Stop trying to alter pH while your tank cycles. Leave it alone. Plenty of us cycle shrimp tanks with super-low pH/no kH and it's fine. It just takes a while. Patience is important when keeping shrimp, anyway, and you want a really mature tank before adding them. Like 6-8 weeks of "cycling" before adding them.

The wood you're using is likely impacting kH/pH a bit but it's nothing to worry about.

Your ammonia is probably high because your mom dosed without testing. That's fine. A water change will help that. 4-5PPM is fine while cycling. I usually aim for about 4.

Using SaltyShrimp GH/KH+ is fine. It allows you to know exactly what you're adding to your water. When you use tap? You can't be certain. You can measure the amount of gH and kH you're adding with a TDS meter and liquid test kits.

What is "starry night" rock? Do you have a photo? It's possible that it's increasing hardness but it probably won't matter too much because you're going to keep Neocaridina.

Which specific inert substrate are you using?
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you!

Here is a piture of Starry night rick: The rock on the bottom is starry night. It's a blueish purple rock that has mica throughout it that sparkles. For my stratum I'm using Seachem Flourite.

I've been cycling my tank for around 7 weeks now... which is why I'm a little worried. But I will do a water change and give it more time. Thanks again for your help!!

Bump: let's see if this link for my picture works ... :/
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-23-2019, 12:31 AM
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Photo didn't come through.


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cherry red shrimp, cycle, cycling, low tech, new aquarium

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