New tank - Paramaters @ day 4. Is it ok? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-26-2008, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
 
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New tank - Paramaters @ day 4. Is it ok?

I'm VERY new to aquariums, this is my first aquarium ever, and its also my first planted tank. Here are the parameters at day 4. I have no idea how to interpret values, but have a vague idea criteria represents. I bought a test kit and these are the results; are they ok? recommendations? helpful websites?

ph 8.0
KH 100
GH 140
Ca2 60
PO4 0
NO2 0.3
NO3 10
NH3/NH4 1.2
Fe2 0 (free and chelated)
MG2 10


* 10 gallon tank, current 4 zebra danios, 5 rummy nose tetras, hairgrass, dwarf hairgrass, hc, micro sword, anubias nana. micro sword yellowing a bit, others are ok.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-26-2008, 04:30 PM
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Sounds like you have a bit of reading to do about the cycling process. This is a great website to get a good idea about this hobby. http://www.rexgrigg.com/

Basically, it looks like the cycle is taking place in your tank right now. What you'll see is an increase in ammonia from fish waste. This is then converted to nitrItes by bacteria. This is then converted to nitrAtes by other bacteria. NitrItes and ammonia are harmful to fish, but nitrAtes are safe, when kept in a reasonable range, which shouldn't be a problem in a planted tank, as plants need them to grow. So, the ammonia builds, which leads to an increase in the good bacteria, which leads to nitrItes, which leads to more good bacteria. Once these bacterial colonies build to a sufficient level for your bioload, you should never see any ammonia or nitrItes, as the bacteria convert them immediately.

Also, read about the silent cycle method on Rex's website. It's a great way to cycle a planted tank. HTH Good luck!

Mike


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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-26-2008, 04:44 PM
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x2 on you have a cycle going on in this tank. Ammonia and nitrIte levels over 0.25 put fish in jeapordy- especially your rummynosed tetras. (IMO 10gal is really too small for rummynoses- they need much more room to swim)

NitrAte levels between 10-20ppm are a happy medium between enough to support plant growth but not toxic to most fish, so your nitrAtes are fine right now, but actually should continue to go up as the N-bacteria start to colonize your tank.

You fish are really at risk right now, and you need to do several things to try and help your fish through this toxic cycling process;

1-First you need to do a few PWC as soon as possible; enough to get those 2 levels down to 0.25. Try changing 25% twice, and see where that gets you? (multiple smaller PWC will be safer for your fish in this case)

2-Add more plants, especially some fast-growing floating plants would help(hygrophila/water wisteria, water sprite, hornwort, pellia- something along those lines)

3-If you know someone with a healthy established tank, see if they have some used filter media they could give you, and/or some mulm from the bottom of their tank. This will be full of the bacteria you need to break down the fish waste and keep the levels safe in your tank.

Good luck and keep us posted!





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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-26-2008, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpodolan View Post
Sounds like you have a bit of reading to do about the cycling process. This is a great website to get a good idea about this hobby. http://www.rexgrigg.com/

Basically, it looks like the cycle is taking place in your tank right now. What you'll see is an increase in ammonia from fish waste. This is then converted to nitrItes by bacteria. This is then converted to nitrAtes by other bacteria. NitrItes and ammonia are harmful to fish, but nitrAtes are safe, when kept in a reasonable range, which shouldn't be a problem in a planted tank, as plants need them to grow. So, the ammonia builds, which leads to an increase in the good bacteria, which leads to nitrItes, which leads to more good bacteria. Once these bacterial colonies build to a sufficient level for your bioload, you should never see any ammonia or nitrItes, as the bacteria convert them immediately.

Also, read about the silent cycle method on Rex's website. It's a great way to cycle a planted tank. HTH Good luck!
I tend to ever so slightly disagree with what is said here. Ammonia is harmful in any quantity while nitrites are more harmfull as the part per million(ppm) increases say above 5-10ppm. In my experience 5-10ppm of nitrite will not harm most fish from medium hardy through hardy. Unfortunatley with that being said your rummynose tetras are at risk of stress which could be fatal while your zebra danios which might be considered one of the most hardy fish are probably stressed but in good shap.

What I would do to eliminate stress and soak up some of those nutrients is to toss in some fast growinf stem plants that you can get at most to any store. These would be Ludwigia, Limnophilia, hornwort, and rotalas. For a 10g You would want 1-2 stems per gallon.

When listing your parameters in the future please include your type of lighting, how many watts the lighting is, how long you keep the lights on during the day, your co2ppm, and your substrate. Mainly we like specifics here, and most people are very happy to help you when specifis are given.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-26-2008, 05:01 PM
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While it's true that nitrites may not be fatal until they reach the higher levels, it is still a stressor for fish, which I personally consider harmful. Just my $0.02

Mike


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-26-2008, 05:06 PM
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I agree, nitrItes should be kept at 0 in a fish tank if at all possible.

I think the point that Ryzilla was making is that some fish (danios being a good example) are a little less sensitive than others.

IME, fish can be sort of "acclimatized" over time to higher nitrIte levels; all that really means is that they don't die as quickly- it's still a stressful, toxic condition, and will definitely lead to health problems over time.





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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
 
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Yes I believe the tank to be cycling too. But I was wondering if these values seem abnormal for a cycling tank.

I've been doing 25% water changes every other day, and will keep this up until i think the tank is cycled. Maybe reduce pwc to 15%.

Here's more details about the tank.

i used soil with peat, about a 50/50 mixture at about 2 inches deep. topped off with about an inch of 2-3 mm gravel.

lighting is 30 Watts 6700k flourescent type.

I have a co2 regulator and tank with pH meter at home that is not current hooked up. I will probably put it in when i get home today after work. Is pH of 7.0 good for both fish and plants? I remember seeing a chart for pH and GH or KH, but I can't find it now.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 10:07 PM
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Nope, they're normal. You should expect the ammonia, nitrIte and nitrAte levels to spike, drop, overall they'll fluctuate quite a bit as the N-bacteria colonies bloom then settle back down.

That's a whole lot of peat! You may end up having trouble stabilizing your pH with that much peat... even without the addition of CO2. I'm planning on using only a few handfuls in my 90gal tank, underneath the rest of the substrate.

A pH of 7.0 is neutral, and should be fine given the fish in question. Are the rummynosed tetras' noses bright red or do they appear pale and washed out? IMO you need to do more PWC more frequently- in the intrests of hopefully saving your fish you need to keep those ammonia and nitrIte levels below 0.25.

If there's an established tank you can move the fish to until the cycle is over, that would be my strongest recommendation.





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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-30-2008, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
 
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surprisingly the rummy nose are bright red, but their respiration rate seems slightly increased (or maybe its a placebo effect from me).

also, i did a ammonia test today and it shows 0-0.1 ppm and nitrites are about 0.3 ppm. i'm out of nitrate test, so nothing to report there. I think this is somewhat fast because i took some filter media from my friend's aquarium and put in it my aquarium.

i've been reading and found that after the ammonia spike comes the nitrite come spike then a steady increase in nitrates.

So i have few questions.

Which compound is more toxic per mol/gram/etc?
Which spike is more stressful to fish considering the nitrite spike produces 2X as much nitrite as does the ammonia produced in the ammonia spike.
Can i assume my fish are less likely to die because they've lived through the ammonia spike?
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-30-2008, 09:41 PM
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It's common for multiple spikes during cycling, as the bacteria population blooms, then dies off, then slowly settles into a more stable population based on the biomass currently in the tanks; so you're not out of the woods yet.

Ammonia is the most toxic, followed by nitrItes then nitrAtes.

The stress the fish are going through could end up being cumulative. You may not actually see the effects of the ongoing stress on the fish for some time. In fact, the stress could just end up shortening their lifespan; it's really hard to say. You'll need to keep an eye on them as it is very common for stressed Rummies to start developing fungus, ich, and succumbing to parasites that were not evident before.

The closer an eye on and lower you can keep those parameters, though, the better chance your fish have of fighting off any 2ndary infections/infestations.





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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-30-2008, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
 
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ok good to know. i'll keep an close eye on it. by the way thank you so much lauraleellbp for answering my questions.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-30-2008, 11:09 PM
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No problem- GL and keep us posted!





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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-30-2008, 11:58 PM
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...but their respiration rate seems slightly increased...
Definite sign of toxicity.


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...... i took some filter media from my friend's aquarium and put in it my aquarium....
Very Smart thing to do.

The reason typical cycling takes to long is that you have to wait for nitrifying bacteria spores to land in your water. Then, starting with just a few organisms, you have to wait for the colony to grow.

Adding bacteria directly introduces millions of bacteria at once, and you can cycle a tank in a few days -- or less -- depending on how much bacteria you introduce.

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