Need help with numbers and stuff! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-18-2015, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
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Need help with numbers and stuff!

I am very new to this and I am unsure if I am on the right track, or if I am completely screwed...

My tank has been cycling since 28 February (36 Gallon). I think I got impatient and thought it was done, even though I only had a cheep strip style test kit and the guy at Petsmart (I know, but it's so close to my house....) said my water was fine when I brought a sample. I started out with a few plants and just in the last week added a few more. I have a few tetras and some cory cats as well in the tank. I bought a decent test kit today and tested my water. The results are as follows and are very close estimates as I am no chemist... PH 6.4, Ammonia between .5 and 1.0 ppm, Nitrite 0 ppm, nitrate between 20 and 40 ppm.

I also have what I think is a bacterial bloom which seems to be going away. This makes me think my tank wasn't done cycling when I added plants and fish although I read that if I am adding plants it doesn't matter... is this true?

Lastly, I noticed today that the tips of my Vals that are near the light have bright green hairs fluttering around on them. I am guessing this is algae. I cut it out and I plan on doing a water change tonight. Anything else I should do to prevent an outbreak?

I know these types of questions are probably asked and answered a lot so I appreciate any responses. I just want to know if these are normal things that will pass or am I doing this all wrong?

-Chris

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-18-2015, 10:39 AM
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I assume the new test kit you purchased was a liquid test kit? If the instructions were followed, then it is likely that you are experiencing a cycle/bacterial bloom, as you are already aware. This is indicated by the increase in ammonia that you have. As a confirmation, you can also test a sample of distilled or RO water to ensure that the test results read zero.

I would do some partial water changes to lower the ammonia in the meantime.

While adding plants and fish can result in a "silent" cycle (as some plants will preferentially take up ammonia over nitrates), this is really only feasible if you have a large plant mass, which does not seem to the case for you.

For the bright green hairs that are on your plants, it sounds like algae. It could be several varieties, so a photo would help in diagnosing it.

In general, to prevent algae, you must have a balance between light, fertilizers and CO2. Too much/too little of one will lead to algae problems. Since this is a new aquarium, you probably are not dosing fertilizers nor CO2 yet (but let us know if you are), so the kind of lighting you have would be helpful information to have.

Anthony


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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-18-2015, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thank for the reply. My lighting is the Solarmax HE 24" T5s (14W X 2).

I am using some ferts. I put in some root tabs, and I have been dosing flourish Nitrogen, trace elements and I just bought flourish excel but I have not used it yet. Should I be adding Carbon yet?

-Chris

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