Ideas for new 3.4 gallon - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 63 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 06:29 PM
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Nutrafin, I don't have tests for ammonia and ph. I need to get the other tests I guess.
Yes, at bare minimum: pH, ammonia, nitrites, nitrates.... (the API test should cover all of this with the test tubes in one kit). KH/GH are big ones as well especially since you are abroad and water can be complicated.
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post #17 of 63 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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Nutrafin, I don't have tests for ammonia and ph. I need to get the other tests I guess.
Yes, at bare minimum: pH, ammonia, nitrites, nitrates.... (the API test should cover all of this with the test tubes in one kit). KH/GH are big ones as well especially since you are abroad and water can be complicated.
I'm going to order the API 5 in 1 test strips.

I'm on Vancouver Island, BC.
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post #18 of 63 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 08:33 PM
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I'm going to order the API 5 in 1 test strips.

I'm on Vancouver Island, BC.
I would order the drop- not the test strips. The strips will put you in the 'ballpark' the drops will be 'on the base' (my baseball terms are terrible.... lol)

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post #19 of 63 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 08:59 PM
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Test strips are only good for spot checking at best. For troubleshooting you'll want the liquid test kit.


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post #20 of 63 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 02:57 AM Thread Starter
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Ph 6.6

Ammonia 4.0 ppm
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post #21 of 63 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 10:52 AM
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Ph 6.6

Ammonia 4.0 ppm
Ammonia NEEDS to be 0... 4ppm will kill your fish
Did you cycle your tank before adding the fish?

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post #22 of 63 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
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I would order the drop- not the test strips. The strips will put you in the 'ballpark' the drops will be 'on the base' (my baseball terms are terrible.... lol)
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Test strips are only good for spot checking at best. For troubleshooting you'll want the liquid test kit.
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Ammonia NEEDS to be 0... 4ppm will kill your fish
Did you cycle your tank before adding the fish?
I put a used filter in the tank for a week and used bio media from the cycled tank and left it for a week along with all the tanks. Used tetra safe start and nutrafin cycle. The was only 3 months old, so maybe it wasn't cycled even though nitrate readings were low.

I rushed it because I was optimistic about the powers of old media(not that old) and bacteria supplements.
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post #23 of 63 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 05:58 PM
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3 months it should be cycled....
but if you used chlorinated water at any time... that could have killed the good bacteria. USually my tanks tanks take 2-4 weeks to cycle. But im diligent with dosing ammonia, etc.
pH: 7.6
Ammonia: 0
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates: 20
....is what you should be testing all the time.
I had a friend who kept having issues : algea blooms, etc. Turns out, they scrubbed the stones/gravel under the tap water.... they also cleaning the filter regularly (every month) with tap water.... which meant they killed all the good bacteria... and in essence were starting the cycle all over again. Fish kept dying, everything was stressed.
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post #24 of 63 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 06:13 PM
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I put a used filter in the tank for a week and used bio media from the cycled tank and left it for a week along with all the tanks. Used tetra safe start and nutrafin cycle. The was only 3 months old, so maybe it wasn't cycled even though nitrate readings were low.

I rushed it because I was optimistic about the powers of old media(not that old) and bacteria supplements.
I wonder if you actually starved the bacteria -- as I understand it, if you use cycled media you should be feeding it immediately. I don't know how long it takes for it to die, but if it was in there for a week with nothing to eat, you aren't really maintaining a cycle, I don't think...hopefully someone more experienced/knowledgeable will chime in on that one. In any case, good luck!
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post #25 of 63 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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I wonder if you actually starved the bacteria -- as I understand it, if you use cycled media you should be feeding it immediately. I don't know how long it takes for it to die, but if it was in there for a week with nothing to eat, you aren't really maintaining a cycle, I don't think...hopefully someone more experienced/knowledgeable will chime in on that one. In any case, good luck!
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3 months it should be cycled....
but if you used chlorinated water at any time... that could have killed the good bacteria. USually my tanks tanks take 2-4 weeks to cycle. But im diligent with dosing ammonia, etc.
pH: 7.6
Ammonia: 0
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates: 20
....is what you should be testing all the time.
I had a friend who kept having issues : algea blooms, etc. Turns out, they scrubbed the stones/gravel under the tap water.... they also cleaning the filter regularly (every month) with tap water.... which meant they killed all the good bacteria... and in essence were starting the cycle all over again. Fish kept dying, everything was stressed.

I never use untreated water. I clean the filters with aquarium water. Isn't 20 nitrate too high?

Maybe I didn't add food for the bacteria and the older tank was never really cycled. Nitrates were never really high for the older tank.
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post #26 of 63 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 09:19 PM
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How often do you 'clean' filters?
By 'untreated' do you mean you do something to the tap water? or do you use a bottled water? (im troubleshooting here... as your ammonia is deathly high- granted you have a high bioload, but that should be rectified quickly if the filter is ideal)

20ppm nitrates is not too high in a planted tank as the plants use it. High is 80ppm....

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post #27 of 63 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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I clean filters every two to three weeks. Maybe I just left it too long with water changes and didn't remove the dead snails. I removed three or four dead snails. I started just cracking the snails open and letting the puffers chew on them for a day.

I treat with seachem prime.

Sadly one of the puffers is going to die. I really wished I had evacuated them earlier.
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post #28 of 63 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 09:43 PM
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I clean filters every two to three weeks. Maybe I just left it too long with water changes and didn't remove the dead snails. I removed three or four dead snails. I started just cracking the snails open and letting the puffers chew on them for a day.

I treat with seachem prime.

Sadly one of the puffers is going to die. I really wished I had evacuated them earlier.
Dead snails is also a sign..
That seems way to often to touch your filters.... I touch mine about every 2-4 months. even then, no 'cleaning' just ensuring there is not too much buildup.

Please do water changes until your ammonia reaches 0... otherwise you will lose all the fish.....
I would do 50%- then 20% every hour till your ammonia is 0. This will be a painful lesson.

Giving back creates a virtuous cycle that makes everyone more successful (as long as they cycle!)
10 gallon midwest bluffs I 10 gallon freshwater coral I 15 gallon custom I 2.5 gallon female tank I Vases I 7 gallon fry I all these critters to feed critters
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post #29 of 63 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 04:58 AM Thread Starter
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Puffers and otto are in the betta tank and the betta is in the snail breeding tank. Ammonia has gone down a bit and I've removed two more rotting snails that the puffers had killed. I'm going to just crush the snails from now on instead having them with the puffers to hunt.
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post #30 of 63 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 07:03 PM
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Very sad to read through the earlier posts.

Larger tanks give more leeway for things going wrong. Imho both your tanks are overstocked and Iíd replace them with larger ones. Either way, I hope things work out for you.
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