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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-03-2008, 12:30 AM Thread Starter
 
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help needed on parameter questions

I have a 55 gallon tank that has been setup for about 1 month now. I have been haveing some issues with the water parameters. this tank has been a pain to get the cycling starting from day 1. That issue i hope i got straightened around with some bio stars and a rena filstar instead of my HOB I had with a magnum 350. Aslo finally got a hold of some biospira.

questions/issues i have are as follows

when i did my first water change I did a 30% water change add water treatment to each bucket before pouring the new water in. had no issues the next day parameters were as follows

tank
gh 120
kh 120
ph 7.5
no2 0
no3 0
nh3 0

Tap
was the same as tank useing the test i have (hard with the color veriations so might have been give or take a ppm)

now I changed the tank around on the second water change did a 100% changed gravel to flourite and small layer of fine tank gravel had no cycle going so was best time to change my mind now.

tank before change was
gh 180
kh 120
ph 7.0
no2 0
no3 20 (from plant tabs i got )
nh3 0

tap
gh 120
kh 120
ph 7.5
no2 0
no3 0
nh3 0

tank after WC
gh 120-180 (color was inbetween what chart shows)
kh 120
ph 7.0-7.5
no2 0
no3 0-20
nh3 0

i added 2 pieces of driftwood that soaked for 1 week in the tub removing water every mornig and night and refilled. the last 2 days i added water treatment to the water . all was fine when it was added. The next morning i woke up to a dead angel fish. The rest were on the verge of dying except the pleco and the one catfish. Changed 30% of the water and got the rena xp2 canister to replace the hob put the spray bar facing up to break the water surface and all was fine 30-60 min laters. the rest of the week went fine no issues.

tank that morning
gh 180
kh 80
ph 7.0
no2 0
no3 20
nh3 0

now 3rd water change (part that stumps me )
tank before change
gh 180
kh 0
ph 6.0-6.5
no2 1
n03 20
nh3 .05 (first sign of this in 4 weeks) cycle starting finnaly

tap
gh 120
kh 120
ph 7.5
no2 0
no3 0
nh3 0

tank after WC as of right now
gh 180
kh 0
ph 6.5
no2 .05
no3 20
nh3 .05

now i woke up this morning same thing as last time 1 dead fish and rest on the verge of dying again except for the pleco and catfish again. I know when I tested the water last night forgot to right it down the ph was inbetween 7.0-7.5 and there was some kh.

How or why would all the KH disappear and the ph drop by 1 point just in 12 hours ?

how should i do my WC changes seeing now the tank water differs from the tap so much?

Can I add some baking soda to up the kh or just leave well enough alone?

this a planted tank with no co2 and all the plants seem fine except my anubias as it is turning white again did this last Wc but cleared up in a day or two.

This is my second planted tank I have done and never had things like this happen so this situation is a first for me as my water parameters at my last place were stable and never dropped like this for the 2 years that tank was set up. so any insight would be greatful
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-03-2008, 01:12 AM
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What substrate do you have?

Have you checked the expiration date on your test kits, and have you verified any of these results with another kit or your LFS?

How heavily planted is the tank, and what are the lighting specs? Are you dosing any thing?

Did you boil your driftwood at any point?

Run down an entire list of the livestock, with sizes (and why do you have fish in an uncycled tank?) When did you add them?

Did you add BioSpira, and if so, when?





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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-03-2008, 01:33 AM Thread Starter
 
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substrate is flourite

exp of test kit is 8/2009 its an api 5 in one
nh3 test is in tank and exp on the refills is 4/09 so one in tank should be the same but its almost due to be changed.
had tap and tank water tested at LFS today came out the same results

plants are 2 brazilon swords 7 stems of hornwart 22 stems of lugwig and 1 anubias
lighting 2 @65 watts 6700k bulbs total 130watts doseing flourish comprehesive 2 x a week and plantabbs 10 tabs every 10 days contains
11% total nitrogen
4.9% ammonical nitrogen
6.1% nitrate nitrogen
15% available phosphoric acid
20% soluble potash

driftwood was never boiled to large for any pots i have

6 angelfish 4 3 inches, 2 5 inches, 2 albino red tails 2 inches ,1 pleco 3 inches, 1 silver tip cat fish 3 inches. they were put in 3 weeks ago at the same time biospira was added.

I have done everything the same way as i did my first tank i had. only difference is the water and driftwood and never saw ammonia spikes or nitrite spikes just traces like what i have now. The 2 fish deaths are not from ammonia or nitrites cause there was not much there.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-03-2008, 03:21 AM
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Quote:
tank after WC as of right now
gh 180
kh 0
ph 6.5
no2 .05
no3 20
nh3 .05
These readings are not correct if you're using API tests- the nitrogen compounds are read at either 0ppm, 0.25, 0.5, etc - not 0.05

0.5 is enough to be toxic to fish.

You replaced your substrate and filter within a very short period of time. Which means you removed/disturbed your entire N-bacteria colony. These readings are a reflection of a mini cycle going on in your tank.

I've no idea what's going on with your carbonate readings- they don't make sense to me either. I wouldn't imagine that the tannins coming off of the driftwood would be able to impact kH that dramatically, but that's the only thing from the info given that I can pick out that even MIGHT affect kH??

You can also pour boiling water over driftwood or run it through the dishwasher a few times with no chemicals. I personally would do that just to be on the safe side, to kill any pathogens and remove anything else that may possibly have been on it (pesticides, etc).

I personally wouldn't dose baking soda, I'd do at least daily 20% PWC (partial water changes) to try and get things stable. You need to do them anyways to get the nitrogen compounds at safe levels for the fish till the cycle is over.





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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-03-2008, 03:35 AM Thread Starter
 
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oop my bad your right about the nitrite reading it is 0.5 but the nh3 is 0.05 it is an in tank tester that takes refills ever 30 days and it reads out

0.00
0.02
0.05
0.10
0.40

and it is 28 days old and is reading around the 0.05 but has been that way since the water went below it from the water change i'll change cartrige maybe its used up already.

and thanks on the info for the Dish washer and the driftwood never thought of useing it. but only thing is we have the jet dry aditive in it will that bother the driftwood any
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-03-2008, 09:31 PM
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I wouldn't risk it- my dishwasher is set up so I can't take the RinseAid out, so I'm just doing the old "pour-boiling-water-over-the-driftwood-then-change-the-water-every-day-and-soak-till-the-cows-come-home-after-an-extended-vacation" method (AKA 3 weeks soaking now and still lots of tannins! LOL)





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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-03-2008, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the info I'll pull the 2 pieces out and do the boiling water over them for awhile. Good thing we have 2 full bathrooms or wife would kill me lol.

as i did a 20% water change this morning

tank
gh 180
kh 0
ph 6.0-6.5
no2 0.5
no3 0-20
nh3 .05

after 20% PWC
gh 180
kh 40
ph 6.0-6.5
no2 0 (hard to tell looks like a slight trace but not as dark as .5)
no3 0-20
nh3 0 (put new refill in it)

readings of now
tank
gh 180
kh 0
ph 6.0-6.5 (would to say closer to 6.0)
no2 0
no3 0-20
nh3 0-0.02

so something zapped the kh with in 5 hours. guess i'll start with the driftwood and do some boiling water over it. I'll see what happens tomorrow with the test to see if it is the driftwood. Btw think its time to get better tests i hate these test strips to hard to tell the colors for me lol.

thanks for the help
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