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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-01-2017, 01:15 AM Thread Starter
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Parameter Help

My hardscape has been set up for a few months now and I added plants almost 2 weeks ago. I'm starting to turn my mind to livestock and wanted to get some pointers on my water parameters and whether I'm on track to reach a good balance between fish and plants.

A little about my set-up:
  • 65 gallon tank (36" long x 18" wide x 24" tall)
  • 36" Current USA Satellite + Pro (currently on for 6 hours per day)
  • Eheim Classic Canister Filter 2217 (holds the Eheim MECH and Substrat Pro along with Seachem Purigen - no carbon media)
  • Jager TruTemp Submersible 150W
  • GLA GRO CO2 System with Milwaukee pH controller
  • Atomic Inline CO2 Diffuser

Hardscape:
  • CaribSea Super Naturals Sand
  • Two large pieces of bogwood
  • "Aquascaping rocks" (they look like Seiryu stones, but weren't labelled at the store)

Plants:
  • Vallisneria
  • Anubias barteri
  • Anubias 'Petite'
  • Cryptocoryne x willisii
  • Microsorum pteropus
  • Microsorum pteropus 'Trident'
  • Alternanthera reineckii
  • Cerqatopteris thalictroides
  • Hemianthus callitrichoides 'Cuba'
  • Micranthemum umbrosum

Still to come:
  • Staurogyne repens
  • Alternanthera reineckii 'Mini'
  • Nymphoides hydrophylla 'Taiwan'

Parameters:
  • pH - 6.5
  • kH - 3.5 dkh
  • gH - 6 dgh
  • Ammonia - 0.3 ppm (I left some plant matter in the tank to build a little bit of a biological filter, not sure how effective it is)
  • Nitrite - 0 ppm
  • Nitrate - 0 ppm
  • Iron (non chelated) - 0 ppm
  • Iron (chelated) - 0.25 ppm
  • Phospate - 0 ppm
  • Calcium - 60 ppm
  • Temperature - 79 F

Drop checker is a nice shade of green and the plants are growing great (O2 was streaming out of a damaged Val the other day).

Dosing:
  • Seachem Alkaline Buffer - at water change
  • Seachem Equilibrium - at water change
  • Seachem Prime - at water change
  • Seachem Stability - at water change
  • Seachem Pristine - when needed
  • Seachem Clarity - when needed
  • Seachem Flourish Root Tabs

Proposed Stock:
  • 2 Angelfish
  • 15 Cardinal Tetras
  • 7 Sterbai Cories
  • 7 Otocinculus

I would also love to have Amano Shrimp, would the tank be heavily planted enough for them to escape the Angelfish or is that wishful thinking?

What order would be best to put them in the aquarium? I won't be getting the first fish for another two months as I will be going away for two weeks and don't want to worry about them. All I know at this point is I want the Angelfish to go in last, which will probably be in 4+ months time.

So what are your thoughts on this set up? I notice from the front my tank looks clear, but when I look from the side it seems to have a cloudy white colour to it. I have never put much thought into TDS, could this be why? It has been cloudy since the first day it had water in it, which is why I don't think it is a bacterial bloom.

I'm mostly interested in thoughts on the parameters as that is what I have been playing with this week. I want to reach a nice balance for plants and fish.

I have been following the Tropica App guidelines. I am on Day 12 and have had no sign of algae this far (we'll see how it goes when I up the light and start adding ferts).

My apologies for the long thread and any spelling mistakes (my laptop has spell check and wasn't a fan of a lot of the plant names!).

Last edited by Trinny; 09-01-2017 at 01:32 AM. Reason: Edited for clarity.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-01-2017, 01:47 AM
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I would be concerned about your tank most likely not being cycled. You should be showing some nitrates and no ammonia. You need to add some more ammonia possibly with fish food or dosing of ammonia. Especially you will have a heavier bio load with the angel fish. I would not add any livestock till you can add 3ppm of ammonia and it and nitrites drop to 0 within 12 hours.


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-01-2017, 01:50 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clownplanted View Post
I would be concerned about your tank most likely not being cycled. You should be showing some nitrates and no ammonia. You need to add some more ammonia possibly with fish food or dosing of ammonia. Especially you will have a heavier bio load with the angel fish. I would not add any livestock till you can add 3ppm of ammonia and it and nitrites drop to 0 within 12 hours.


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It certainly isn't cycled as I'm only on Day 12. I've read a lot about fishes cycling with plants in. There are so many mixed reviews as to whether it is effective or not. I have 2 months before I'd like to get fish, so I have time to do a fishes cycle if that is what you would recommend.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-01-2017, 02:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trinny View Post
It certainly isn't cycled as I'm only on Day 12. I've read a lot about fishes cycling with plants in. There are so many mixed reviews as to whether it is effective or not. I have 2 months before I'd like to get fish, so I have time to do a fishes cycle if that is what you would recommend.
There is no way that decaying plant matter will produce enough ammonia to give enough bb to handle the bio load you plan on having. You should be able to add 3ppm of ammonia and it and nitrites should read 0 in about 12 hours or less. That is when you know you are clcyed and can handle the load you will have. I recommend using ammonia (not all are created equal and will work) and recomend the stuff from ace hardware. A lot of the others have stuff that will not help the cause. The link that I recommend you check out is this https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfis...s-cycle.19627/

Basically add 3-5ppm ammonia. Once ammonia goes to 0 add 3-5ppm again. Keep this going till your ammonia and nitrites drop to 0 within 12 hours. But remember you need to keep the ammonia going till you add livestock as the BB need to feed or they will die off. Here is the stuff you want. Ace 1qt Ammonia (10183A) - Industrial Cleaners - Ace Hardware

Bump: The good thing about this method is you can add your livestock almost instantly as your BB will be able to handle the load. Doing just a tiny amount of ammonia that the plants may or may not produce will not be near enough to add maybe two fish lol.


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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-01-2017, 03:01 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by clownplanted View Post
There is no way that decaying plant matter will produce enough ammonia to give enough bb to handle the bio load you plan on having. You should be able to add 3ppm of ammonia and it and nitrites should read 0 in about 12 hours or less. That is when you know you are clcyed and can handle the load you will have. I recommend using ammonia (not all are created equal and will work) and recomend the stuff from ace hardware. A lot of the others have stuff that will not help the cause. The link that I recommend you check out is this https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfis...s-cycle.19627/

Basically add 3-5ppm ammonia. Once ammonia goes to 0 add 3-5ppm again. Keep this going till your ammonia and nitrites drop to 0 within 12 hours. But remember you need to keep the ammonia going till you add livestock as the BB need to feed or they will die off. Here is the stuff you want. Ace 1qt Ammonia (10183A) - Industrial Cleaners - Ace Hardware

Bump: The good thing about this method is you can add your livestock almost instantly as your BB will be able to handle the load. Doing just a tiny amount of ammonia that the plants may or may not produce will not be near enough to add maybe two fish lol.
Great info! Thank you!
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