First timer water questions - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 01:19 AM Thread Starter
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First timer water questions

Ok so apologies for the noob questions
Water test today results
Nitrate- 0
Phosphate- .25 - .5
Ammonia - .5
Ph- 7.5-8.0

75 gal tank ... Been running about 1 1/2 months.... Fluvall 406 canister.. Two marineland led lights
10 tetras and 3 Cory cats

Plant package in two weeks

Large Amazon Swords, Echinodorus amazonicus
Red Amazon Sword, Echinodorus
Amazon Swords, Echinodorus argentinensis
Jungle Vallisneria
Elodea (Anacharis, Egeria) najas
Water Wisteria Hygrophila difformis
Ammania senegalensis
Bacopa monnieri
Narrow Leaf Hygrophila, Hygrophila salicifolia
Green Crypts Cryptocoryne wendtii
Bronze Crypts Cryptocoryne wendtii

Are parameters good?? Sounds like ph is high according to what I've read here. I got some light brown algae developing on my sand substrate... Water is crystal clear ...plants not doing great starting to develop spots...not sure what I'm doing...going to do 50% water change Saturday...any thought helpful
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 01:37 AM
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What are the test results for the tap water (or whatever water source you have used to fill the tank?)
GH, KH, pH, ammonia, NO2, NO3, and any other tests you have.
You can look up some of these if you have a water company (not a private well) by looking up their water quality report.

.5ppm ammonia is terrible. I would do an immediate 50% water change, and use a dechlor that locks up ammonia.
ANY ammonia suggests the nitrogen cycle bacteria are not fully grown. It is highly toxic to the fish.

Then, run, do not walk, to the nearest store that carries a product including Nitrospira species of bacteria. Dr. Tim's One and Only is one, Tetra Safe Start is another. Read the label and do not waste money on anything that is not labeled Nitrospira. These are the species that the tank needs to be able to handle the ammonia and nitrite.

Can you research the PAR level of the lights? This is the photosynthetically active radiation, and needs to be high enough at the level where the leaves are to make sure the plants are growing well. Several of your plants are fast enough growing that if they are thriving they ought to be able to remove the ammonia produced by a small number of fish.

pH is not a stand alone value. Minerals and other things in the water control the pH.
Carbonates (measured with the KH test) are one of the more important buffers that control the pH. When the KH is high, the pH tends to be high, and is difficult to change.
If the KH is low then the pH may be controlled by something else. It might be high or low. It is probably going to be easier to change.
Certain rocks and gravel can add carbonates and other minerals to the water, and raise the pH.

To control the pH you need to control the carbonates. First step to controlling them is knowing what levels you are dealing with.

It is often easier to keep fish that like your water rather than trying to change the pH.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 01:41 AM
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Ph is fine for those plants. I grow them with similar ph. What is your fertilizing routine? Do you use Excel or co2?

Also, I am wondering about your lighting. Describe what kind of led's they are?
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 01:59 AM
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@Diana shouldnt he wait 24 hours after adding prime/other dechlor before adding the bacteria culture?

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 02:43 AM Thread Starter
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I looked up par rating for light..... It is a marineland aquatic plant led ....par is 172 at 12 inches.... I have 2 of them
I'm using charcoal, ceramic rings, filter media, perigen in and use flourish once a week...

Bump: I also just added big round rock to my aquarium as well, it seems like I have developed some light brown alge( very thin layer on sand)... I haven't done a filter clean yet either because I was trying to cycle. Like I said I'm new to plants, sand and a canister filter. I'm running lights about 10 hours ... Is that too much light?..

Plants are in for two weeks is what original post is suppose to say

Last edited by Darkblade48; 02-12-2016 at 08:47 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 03:44 AM
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Well, it sounds like a lot of light.

Plants need over a dozen elements. I think the set up so far is probably very low in the major nutrients that plants need: N, P, K. Don't add any nitrogen- you want the plants to help by removing the ammonia.

Seachem Flourish Comprehensive (if that is the Flourish product you are using) contains so little of the macros that it pretty much just counts as trace minerals.

Yes, I believe the instructions say to wait 24 hours after adding dechlor before adding Tetra Safe Start. Follow the label directions in this.

I am trying to emphasize that .5ppm NH3 is toxic to the fish and this is of major importance at this point. With high pH most of the ammonia in there is in the toxic NH3 form, too.
Do not wait until Saturday to do a 50% water change. Do it NOW.
By the time you get back with the Nitrospira (probably late tomorrow) it will have been about 24 hours, and will be fine to add it then.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 03:51 AM
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If NH3 is @ .5ppm you will need a NO2 test kit.
I don't recall an NO2 (Nitrite) value.
You will need to monitor Nitrites before bacteria change them to NO3.

Seachem "Prime" @ a 5x dose for 48 hours will help hold up NH3 toxicity.

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Growing is not that difficult.
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