Multiple Issues - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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Angry Multiple Issues

Hey everyone. I'm new to this game and need some help in a big way.

I currently have two 2.5g planted tanks setup - 1 is at work and is doing great and 1 is at home and not doing so great.

Here are the details for the one at home:
Lighting: 14w 5000k CFL Desk Lamp
Subtrate: CaribSea® FloraMax
Plants: cardinal plant x1; anubias x1; sword x2; hair grass x2; java fern x1; crypt x1; El Nino fern x1
Inhabitants: 1 Betta Splendid; 3 Habrosus Cory; 1 Nerite snail and now only 1 Ghost Shrimp
Filter: Jardin sponge filter
Heated to 76F

So here is my issue, I set up the tank and wanted to do a fish-in cycle. Planted the tank and introduced the Betta. All was going good and then I got Crypt Melt :-(. I diligently cleaned the tank making sure there was no left over decaying plant and within a few days noticed small white worms which i have yet to identify as either detritus worms or nematodes. So now I am trying to get rid of those by introducing the cory's and more water changes. I have noticed more worms after I turn the light back on in the morning so I am assuming they are coming out more at night. I added an extra air stone along with the sponge filter thinking that if they are detritus worms the added O2 may help. but every morning there are a ton of them and i have to baste them out and do a water change.

Also I've been testing the water religiously and noticed that the ph of the tank water is SIGNIFICANTLY less than out of tap and I can't figure out why. The ammonia won't spike and I am guessing that is bc I keep changing the water but I'm not sure what is causing the ph to change. I have another tank at work with almost the exact same elements EXCEPT for the El Nino Fern, Crypt and Exo Terra Moss Ball. Could one of these three be causing the ph shift? I keep losing ghost shrimp and I have a feeling that the pH is to blame.

FYI my tank at work is perfect. No creatures and is fully cycled now. Set up at the exact same time using the same substrate.

If anyone has any ideas i really need them. The betta in my home tank I've had for over a year and upgraded him from a nonfiltered nonheated 1gal tank. Now I'm thinking I should have just left him alone with his water changes.

Seriously about to tear the tank down and never look back.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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anyone have any ideas? I'm not 100% what to do.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 04:07 PM
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1. Where did you get the plants?
2. How long has the tank been running? I know it's relatively new, but I'd like to get an idea.
3. You mentioned the ammonia won't spike, but is it showing anything at all when you test it?

Hopefully someone else has better ideas than me, but this is what I can come up with at the moment:

- The worms probably came in on the plants you got, or from the water (?) that the cories came in. You could always put a guppy in there and see if it eats the worms.
- Ghost shrimp are, in my experience, pretty finicky when it comes to ammonia. So, even though you aren't seeing a spike in ammonia, there may still be enough in the tank to kill off the shrimp.

Either way, make sure that the worms are in fact nematodes and not something else. Check out this nice thread:
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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Here is the low down on the plants:

cardinal plant x1 - package from PetsMart
anubias x1 - plant tank at Petco
sword x2 - package from PetsMart
hair grass x2 - package from PetsMart
java fern x1 - tube from PetsMart
crypt x1 - different plant tank at Petco that has since been torn down
El Nino fern x1 - - tube from PetsMart

I'm 95% the worms came from the tank at Petco. The crypt and anubias from there came from two separate tanks. The tank that the cypt was in was broken down and drained out a week after taking the plant home so who knows what happened there.

Ammonia was showing at .25ppm when I checked this am before the water change, Nitrites at 0 and Nitrates at about 5ppm. I thought maybe the tank did cycle and I missed it but I haven't noticed a spike in the nitrites. I really wanted some shrimp in there due to their low bioload but not if i have to keep replacing them, even if they are $.20 at my lfs.

I wanna say that I set the tank up about 3-4 weeks ago and noticed that worms last week. they aren't bad when the light is on but when it turn it out and go back in the am there are a TON free floating in the water column. when the light is on some free float, some go into the sponge filter and some i see on the glass moving in a s-shape. I tried feeding less but I barely feed as it is. And I use a turkey baster to go through the gravel every time i change the water to make sure there is no dead plant matter or poop.

I am having a hard time identifying them bc i don't have anything that can get a look at them closely (they are still really small). I honestly am not sure what they are but they don't seem to be bothering the fish.

I also know that I have overstocked this little 2.5g but i already planned on doing 25% water changes about 2x a week once its cycled. I just really want my tank at home to do just as well as my tank in the office.
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