Water in my tank is like soda water - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-02-2005, 02:41 AM Thread Starter
 
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Unhappy Water in my tank is like soda water

Hi all.

I am abeginner here. Please be patient and read through the whole thing. i neeed serious asisstance.

I decided to have a planted tank a while ago and purchased a 10G tank. It had a standart 15W lighting and a non nutritient gravel from PetCo and some plants. I have a Tetra brand standart 10G external water filter.I put in my tap water and added Tetra`s Aqua Safe to neuralize the bad guys. All my plant were doing fine, they were not growing fast but they were okay. My water parameters were all fine (ph 7.2 Kh 120, Gh 25)

Later on I made a big time research how to bilt up a planted tank, and I found out I am on the wrong track. So I bought a 36w kit from AH supply, a yeast CO2 system from Nutrafin and Eco-Complete as my substrate. I mixed a little bit of the gravel form PetCo to maintain the 3" substrate level. Somewhere I read if i put tap water over the eco-complete the chemicals in the water would kill the nitrfying bacteria in the Eco-complete. SO I bought Distilled water from Ralphs. I set up the tank and started watching the plants. First day i realized some of the roots of the plants that is above the substrate is turning black in color. I thought that was a good thing because the substrate is black and apperantly the roots are sucking up the yummy nutritients. Later some bottom leaves started to turn into black as well.Within a week I realized that some of my plants(cobomba like very thin and fine leaves) are turning into yellow and in some parts even white as if they are bleached. And those levaes were falling to bottom and creating a mess. I checked my water parameters and I saw Ph was something around 5.5 Kh was almost 0 and Gh was over 300!!!. I thought it was because distilled water, and I did some more research about that and found out distilled water is a total stupidness.

Anyways I siphonned all the water bought new plants and this time used regular tap water with Aqua Safe. Somewhere I saw I had to plant bunch of fast growing plants in order to build up a fresh water cycle very quickly and prevent algea. I again bought bunch of that cabomba looking plant with some others and planted them. Actually I did not plant the cabomba like plant, i let it float over the water so they could grow faster because theyare close to light. They dont have any roots anyways.

Within 3 or 4 hours it was a total disaster. I couldnt believe what i saw. that camomba like plant literally broken into millions of pieces. Every single tiny leaf was detached from the stem and floating over tha aquarium. Next day they started to fall down on the bottom and there is a leaf blizzard in my tank right now. I checked the paremeters its like hell. Again the Ph is around 5
Kh is almost 0 and Gh is over 300!!!

My Java fern seems doing okay. Only thing is the leaves are turning into black on the edges very very slowly.

And also i I read i am not supposed to play with Ph values by using chemicals, because they have phosphate or something that screws up the other parameters. Now my hands are tied watching my poor plants dying. I dont want to wash the whole eco complete thing because it has some valuable materials in it. What should I do? I dont aerate the tank. Is it really necessary?

So its not because of the distilled water I guess. There is something extremely wrong, please guide me throught his, I dont want to give up that great hobby yet.

Everything seemed okay before the 36W kit, eco complete and the C02 system but now all is screwed up.

Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-02-2005, 02:47 AM
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wow, i feel for you.
is it possible that the plants were originally grown emmersed (out of the water) and are dropping those leaves? also, many of us know the lfs take less than expert care of their plants and the unknowing take them home to watch them die.
there are a lot of people here with experience and more experience. i know that the search function is daunting, but if you start with the FAQ section, you should get a place to start from.
the only other advise i can give to you is to change a portion of your water at a time and not all of the water...
good luck!

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30 gallon tall, pressurized CO2...killer lights
50 gallon long, killer filtration, low tech otherwise
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-02-2005, 02:58 AM
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oops

Ok don't fret I'll give you an easy rundow of what to do.

1) Your ph is very low because your co2 creates carbonic acid from combining with your carbonates in your (KH) This is Normal , the problem is your KH is too low so your ph crashes. You want to have a ph of around 6.8 or so.

2) To get your ph up and KH up you can use everyday normal household baking soda NOT powder. 1 tsp of baking soda in 10 gallons will raise your KH by 1 degree .

3) Check your kh of your tap water , it is probably low ( mine sits around 6.9)
Add a 1/2 tsp baking soda to your tank and then check your ph is an hour. Keep doing that until you get a ph of around 6.6-7.0. Plants need carbonates to live and the ph needs carbonates to stay up.
baking soda is safe ,cheap and contains no phosphates

4) 36 watts of pc light on a 10 gallon is ok you might have to add some fertilizer assuming you have no fish? best and cheapest is PMDD diy style from gregwatson.com ,read ALL his info it there.

Once you get your ph up to 6.8 you are set
Goodluck
Botia
Pss check out rexxgrigg.com for some really good planted tank info

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with pressurized c02 jebo 828 , 9w turbotwist uv. up-aqua co2 atomizer16/22
& small yoyo and striata loaches and praecox rainbows.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-02-2005, 07:37 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanx a lot guys.

I just find out one of my swords turn into something like sponge. Leves looks like severly burned skin. I will add Baking soda ASAP. And yeah lets see what comes out of the FAQ section. You said not the powder one, is there a liquid one that I can find in a supermarket?

And this link did not worked out www.rexxgrigg.com . Maybe misspelling?
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-02-2005, 09:01 AM Thread Starter
 
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And do you think I should start over everything? Wash the substrate and gravel. Because there is a huge mess in the bottom of the tank that I dont know how to get rid off. Does those dead leaves effect the water paremeters in anyway? Or just throw in some shrimps and let them do the cleaning?
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-02-2005, 12:59 PM
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The link should be www.rexgrigg.com

The Baking Soda is not a liquid, look in the supermarket isle with all of the baking products you will find baking soda, 99 times out of 100 it will be the Arm & Hammer brand.

If your tank has a lot of debris on the bottom, you can use a gravel vacuum and lightly go over the surface of the substrate or stir up the water and use a net to get the larger debris.

It sounds like good book might help, you might want to try: Encyclopedia of Aquarium Plants, by Peter Hiscock. The book will put most of the equipment and maintenance in order for you.


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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-02-2005, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
 
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Okay I found the baking soda and treated my tank as suggested. 1/2 tsp at a time, total of 1 teaspoons with 1 hour intervals.

Right now water parameters seems fine, Ph raised to 6.7 and KH is 50ppm and GH is still too high, its 280 ppm.

What is really unpleasant after 4 hours of the treatment that the tank started smell really funny like a mild FART. Besides the color of the water is like a latte and very very cloudy. And there are those tiny very small things very light brown in color over the leaves on the gravel on glass all over the tank . They look like some sort of algea but can they invade the whole tank that fast? I mean literally within 4 hours. Maybe something else?I cannot see the back of my 10G tank.

Now what is happenning?
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-02-2005, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
 
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BTW i did not changed the water before the treatmant.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-02-2005, 11:08 PM
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omermeral:

Welcome to the wonderfull world of planted tanks. The best advice I have gotten here was in someone's sig and read like:

"Nothing good in this hobby happens quickly"

So take a deep breath. Your post does not mention your stocking of fish/plants etc. If you could add that it would help me.

Moved to Tucson.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-02-2005, 11:21 PM
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So you have a lot of dead and rotting material that is producing ammonia and other stuff so I would recommend moving any fish out and not even thinking about shrimp (They run around and die if in too much rotting stuff). If possible, you should just chuck the plants you have now and scoop out/vacuum out what you can.

I would run the tank dark and plant less for a few days while you get the water chemistry right (depends if fish are involved) with say daily cleaning of the filter. When you get a chance, buy a few bunches of fast growing stem plants* (I have never had much luck with cambomba/frill) and toss them in and turn on the light. At this point proceed with the "silent cycle".

* I am thinking rotatili roundifolia <sp>, water sprite, (duckweed???), hydgro, and ...(any suggestions?)

Moved to Tucson.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-03-2005, 08:10 PM
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Hi,

I too crashed my tank pH when I first attempted CO2 supplementation, so I understand what you're going through.

Note that such a low pH as we experienced can kill off not just the plants, but the biofilter! This might account for part of the bad smell, as you now have decomposing bacteria in your tank as well.

Keep an eye on ammonia/nitrite levels. Keep doing water changes and cleaning up plant debris as necessary to keep things under control, but don't go overboard as it will slow tank recovery if you get overzealous.

Be patient. You're on the right track now, but it will take time for the tank to heal.

Good luck,
Chris
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-03-2005, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
 
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Luckily I did not had any fish in the tank yet. And this tank was only 1 week old so I started over. Washed the gravel and everything. Now its crystal clear. BlueRAm I really dont know my plants names yet, but once I find them out I will post it.

I still didn't get what happened after the baking soda. Dark Cobra you think all those brownish stuff all around the blace might be the dead bacteria. If so why did it happened after I fixed the ph levels?

Ph 6.7
KH 80ppm
GH 150 ppm
nitrate 20 ppm
nitrite 0 ppm

I believe those parameters are fine. Do I need algea eaters right away or after couple weeks?
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-04-2005, 07:01 AM
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Good to hear the tank's doing better.

I believe I've seen the brown gunk you describle. It infested two of my friend's tanks. She was overfeeding, 10-20 times as much as I'd ever feed. This left massive amounts of decaying organic matter. Then the brown stuff moved in. And yes, it smelled like sewer gas, or a "fart" The gas that imparts the odor is hydrogen sulphide, if I remember correctly. It's also toxic. It covered plants, gravel, floated in the water making it impossible to see through, etc.

I believe it to be a bacteria. Under normal conditions, the "good" bacteria which compose your biofilter don't let it get a foothold. But in your case, you probably killed most of the "good" bacteria. Once you added baking soda, the "bad" bacteria had perfect conditions to get established - good pH, and lots of decaying plant and bacterial matter to feed on.

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