Water parameters - ready for fish? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-12-2014, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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Water parameters - ready for fish?

Hello all,

I have had a 20 gallon long set up for almost 3 weeks on a fishless cycle and I think (hope!) I'm ready for fish now. Only I notice my pH fluctuating and I think that it could be because my KH seems low and is decreasing over time. Could anybody comment on my parameters and whether this fluctuation could be a problem over time? Other info on my tank - Black Beauty blasting sand; Finnex Fugeray light, 81oC. Plant stocking: vals, melon sword, a crypt wendtii and Bacopa). Currently I just have root tabs but I'm reading up on dry dosing the water column. Hoping to stock with a school of Rasboras, eventually a pair of GBRs and possibly a couple otos.

(Sorry, couldn't figure out how to enter a table):
Date --------pH-------Ammonia------Nitrite------Nitrate-----GH-----KH
5/24---------7.5---------0.5-----------0-----------0---------5------3
5/26---------7.2---------0.5-----------0-----------0---------
5/27----------------------1------------0
5/28---------6.8---------1.5-----------0-----------5---------7------2
5/29----------------------3------------0
5/30---------7.2----------2------------0---------~2.5--------7------2
5/31---------6.8----------2------------0-----------5----------7------2
6/1---------------------~0.75----------0-----------5
6/4----------7.4--------~0.75----------0-----------10
6/12---------6.8-----------0-----------0----------~30--------8-------1

Blank = not done that day; I got tired of testing each day after 6/4 :-)

Thanks for any comments!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-12-2014, 11:56 PM
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Looks like your ready for fish, the way to check is dose about 1 ppm ammonia and if its gone and converted to nitrates in 24 hours then your cycled. . PH doesn't matter as much as long as your kh and gh are stable. I like to keep my kh at least 3, but that's me. The lower your kh is, the easier it is for your ph to swing. From my understanding live plants can lower your kh over time. Baking soda is what I use when I want to raise my ph and kh. Your gh is raising probably because something in the tank is leeching, or your topping off with tap water. When you add fish just keep an eye on your parameters and if you see a spike do a water change.


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-12-2014, 11:58 PM
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Isn't is still safe practice to not add ALL of your fish at once and to just put a few in at a time over some days so you don't get a mini-cycle?
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-13-2014, 12:03 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by greaser84 View Post
Your gh is raising probably because something in the tank is leeching, or your topping off with tap water. When you add fish just keep an eye on your parameters and if you see a spike do a water change.
Thanks - you're a good detective - currently I have no lid (hopefully being delivered tomorrow) so I've been topping off with tap water. Do you have any tips on baking soda dosage to raise the KH?

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Originally Posted by scrapironfish View Post
Isn't is still safe practice to not add ALL of your fish at once and to just put a few in at a time over some days so you don't get a mini-cycle?
Yes, I was planning on adding maybe 4 rasboras this weekend and then another 4 the following weekend if everything looks good. I won't get the GBRs for a while.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-13-2014, 12:04 AM
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Isn't is still safe practice to not add ALL of your fish at once and to just put a few in at a time over some days so you don't get a mini-cycle?
If you do a fishless cycle you have way more bacteria due to the large amount of ammonia you've added during the cycle, so you can add a full load of fish and not see a ammonia or nitrite spike.


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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-13-2014, 12:18 AM
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Thanks - you're a good detective - currently I have no lid (hopefully being delivered tomorrow) so I've been topping off with tap water. Do you have any tips on baking soda dosage to raise the KH?
Around 1/2 a teaspoon of baking soda will raise your 20 gallon 1 degree, it will also raise your ph. My suggestion is to do it very slooooowly, so your fish can get use to it.


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-13-2014, 01:08 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by greaser84 View Post
Around 1/2 a teaspoon of baking soda will raise your 20 gallon 1 degree, it will also raise your ph. My suggestion is to do it very slooooowly, so your fish can get use to it.
Thanks, I'll try it out.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-13-2014, 02:33 AM
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1 tsp baking soda/30 gallons = 2 degrees KH.

I am suspicious that the NO2 never showed up.
Were you dosing the ammonia enough? I would dose it to 1 ppm twice (AM & PM) daily for several days to test and be sure you have enough bacteria. Also, bring the KH up to at least 3 degrees. The nitrifying bacteria get their carbon from carbonates.
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