My Southern California Water (56k warning) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-05-2005, 06:33 AM Thread Starter
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My Southern California Water (56k warning)

Just decided to do some testing with my water at my home tank.

Tests were done with Aquarium Pharmaceutical's test kits.

Tank: 10 Gallon set up for over 1 year.
Filtration: Emperor 280
Substrate: none
Accessories: air stones, driftwood (I assume it's malaysian)
Plants: Java Moss and Anacharis (added Anacharis same time as the Amanos and the Otos)
Temp: 80-82
Inhabitants: 8 Corydoras Aeneus (2 of them are 3 month old babies), 2 amano shrimp, 1 Otocinclus (had 2 more that died recently)

Water Parameters:

Large image here:

Water change done on Saturday at 50% (nitrates still same even after doing the change. Tested on Saturday, and then on Tuesday) and changed the carbon and filter.

I've had the corys for a LONG time. Had 3 otos and 2 died. (LFS said Nitrate was too high, antoher shop said the temp was too high and a combo of both might have stressed it out). Amano Shirmp were gotten last Wednesday.

Type of food served: spinach, Hikari Algae wafers, Marineland Bio-Blend

Are the Nitrates still too high? Nitrates in my tap and after conditioning are at 0ppm.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-05-2005, 12:27 PM
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First thing I will tell you is that when the AP nitrate kit goes bad it fails high. Second thing is do a 90% water change and then test the nitrates.

I had an AP nitrate kit at one time. If there were 0 nitrates it would work. But anything over about 5 ppm would produce that same dark red color.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-05-2005, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, it seems like all of those colors blends in and it took me several shots to see which was best to show other the color. Is this the "best" test? I could have gotten the Tetra test but the LFS said the AP products were better. Should I try 90% or just do 20% every other day? i have tested the Ammonia, Nitrate, and pH and all those parameters would be the same. 90% change would definitely shoot the Nitrate down but was worried if i'd shock the fish
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-05-2005, 05:58 PM
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I just did a 200% water change on my 55 gallon tank due to my wife unplugging the canister filter.

Fish are fine.

If you want the best nitrate test kit get a LaMotte. But you will be spending a lot of lunch money.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-05-2005, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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How did you do a 200% water change? just pour in the tap water and then treat the tank? I always was afraid of burning their gills Did you use a python or something?
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-06-2005, 01:42 AM
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Of course I use a Python.

I did a 50%, refilled, another 50%, refilled, 50%, refilled, 50%, refilled.

I use Prime to treat the water and just pour in the Prime while filling. Treating for total tank volume of course.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-06-2005, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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So the water won't burn the gills of the fish while it's being filled because 50% of the water is already treated right? My method is to fill the 5 gallon containers (for my 10,20,40) or the 1 gallon on at work. Then I put in the chemicals and wait 1 day until I pour in the water. I do this because the temp I fill at is cold. Do you match the temp to your 55 gallon prior to filling?

I did a 50% change yesterday but did not get a chance to test. I thought I should wait after dinner. However, I didn't finish dinner till after 9:30 and became super sleepy
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-06-2005, 04:18 PM
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I'm not sure what part of southern california you live in, but in mine we get 20ppm nitrates out of the tap. This is generally the higher end of the acceptable level, but nitrates up to 40 aren't unheard of. You water looks very similiar to mine. High PH which indicate extremely hard water. Take a sample of your water to an LFS and get them to do a nitrate test on your water. Make sure they tell you exactly what it is so you can compare to your nitrate kit. Chances are it's bad.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-06-2005, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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I am actually from the South Bay (not San Francisco but the other South Bay (Gardena, Torrance, Redondo Beach, etc).


As for my tap water, I tested this out Tuesday night. Here are the results:

Larger image here:

Here is a pic of my tap water that has been treated with Amquel+ and NovAqua. The water had been sitting open for several days.
Is that Prime stuff good? I use it for my Betta tank under the "Betta Basics" brand (I think Prime is just the same thing so I might get that instead since it is a larger bottle).

Larger image here:

Hopefully that will give you a better idea of my water conditions.

Last edited by AoiGSR; 10-07-2005 at 07:15 AM.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-07-2005, 06:46 AM
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Hey AoiGSR,

I'm not exactly sure what problems you are encountering but from what it sounds like- you had some fish that died and you are wondering if its the nitrates in the water and or high temps?

Generally we keep nitrates in your planted tanks at about 10ppm. So nitrates will not cause your fish to die

Ive kept cories and amanos and ottos in about 80 degree tank. They did okay. But generally coriesand amanos like cooler water.

Ive had ottos die because sometimes I forget they don't get enough to eat in my tank. Especially if there is nothing for them to eat in there, like certain types of algae.


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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-07-2005, 07:25 AM Thread Starter
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My LFS said the reason my ottos died was because my pH was too low (6.2 or something at the time). Also, my Nitrates were "off the charts". In addition, my temp might have been too high and all this might have given the fish "shock".

I've stabilized my pH now since i did 50% water changes 2 times this week. In addition, i've gotten the nitrates to swing back more into the orange. I will do another test tommorrow morning after the water has had time to settle in.

Is there an ideal temp to keep the cories, ottos, amanos, and the neons (or cardinals), which I don't have yet... Just want to get a temp everyone is comfy at as they will live together.

I thought my one amano shrimp died too but it turned out it was just the molted shell. I was suprised and was going to be disappointed if it did die.

I hope the results look better tomorrow.
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-07-2005, 10:57 PM
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75-80 degrees is okay.


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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-09-2005, 01:59 AM Thread Starter
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since I did the water changes, the Nitrates are now as follows:


Larger Image here:

In addition, I have a bunch of Cory eggs again so it's back to raising more corys (neverending).

Last edited by AoiGSR; 10-11-2005 at 05:52 AM.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-09-2005, 02:10 AM
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what kind of cories?


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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-09-2005, 07:29 AM Thread Starter
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Corydoras Aeneus. I'll be picking the eggs out hopefully tomorrow evening (been in the tank for 2 days or so already).
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