Test kit shows perfect results with no water change - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-20-2017, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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Test kit shows perfect results with no water change

Hey everyone, new user here. I recently set up a 5.5g tank stocked with 2 swordtails, a panda cory, 3 red cherry shrimp and a ghost shrimp. There are two plants, a java fern and a short unknown plant. I recently broke my ankle and havent been able to do a water change for about 3 weeks. I just checked the ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, and ph expecting the worst but I found that everything is perfect. 0ppm ammonia, 0ppm nitrites, and 5-10ppm nitrates. How is this possible? Isnt my tank overcrowded? Did I accidentally build a well-functioning tank?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-22-2017, 07:32 AM
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Kind of depends on how much you feed. If you eat very little, you poop very little - same for fish and shrimp.

Overfeeding is a double whammy because leftover food becomes ammonia and everything else probably over ate and will produce excess waste.

Java ferns won't consume much nutrients unless they are huge, but maybe your other plant does a better job?

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-22-2017, 11:04 PM
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I think what you described is reasonable. Depending on how big your shrimp are, I would argue they contribute little to the bio load compared to the cory and two swords.

But yeah I agree definitely depends how much you feed.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-23-2017, 02:06 AM
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The 3 fish plus the shrimp is not an issue for a 5.5. Also it will always depend on how good your filtration is. I used to keep about a dozen platys in a 5.5 but I use a 30g filtration to ensure that I can keep my water clean.


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-23-2017, 05:55 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone, I went to my LFS and had them test it just to be sure that I didnt make a mistake. They simply told me "looks like nothings gone wrong yet". The filter I'm using is a Tetra Whisper 10i filled with purigen and Seachem Matrix along with the provided sponge. I added three more cherrys today and two of them seem to be pregnant, so I'm in for an exciting future. Thanks again!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-23-2017, 08:09 AM
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Your plants are consuming the nitrogen which is good. However without water changes the water will gradually get hard (GH increases). Also some nutrients may get depleted, such as phosphorous, potassium, sulfur or any one of the nine micronutrients. If these nutrients get depleted plant growth will slow and algae can take over. If calcium and magnesium get depleted shrimp won't be able to molt and will die. If you are adding fertilizer to the water, excess nutrients could build up and the water might get toxic to fish and shrimp due to this buildup.

No one can test for all of these at home. So, as soon as you can do a water change.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-23-2017, 06:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surf View Post
Your plants are consuming the nitrogen which is good. However without water changes the water will gradually get hard (GH increases). Also some nutrients may get depleted, such as phosphorous, potassium, sulfur or any one of the nine micronutrients. If these nutrients get depleted plant growth will slow and algae can take over. If calcium and magnesium get depleted shrimp won't be able to molt and will die. If you are adding fertilizer to the water, excess nutrients could build up and the water might get toxic to fish and shrimp due to this buildup.

No one can test for all of these at home. So, as soon as you can do a water change.
You do realize you contradicted yourself twice there, right?

GH won't increase unless you are not replacing evaporated water with RO. Don't replace or replace with tap, and then, yes, GH will climb.

Small amounts of calcium and magnesium are consumed by plant growth, but not enough to lower GH enough to have livestock.

And actually, you can test almost all of the necessary parameters from home, and for our purposes, the somewhat crappy tests available to us are good enough.

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