I started my heavily planted, dirted tank about 2 weeks ago. I added some otos and some RCS which I got from petco (which is the only store within 2.5 hours), but they nearly all died. The otos developed red underneath their gills, which is characteristic of ammonia toxicity, but it has never gone above 0.25 ppm. I didn't have this problem at all with my two previous tanks, but that was in Chicago, where the water is fairly different from Flagstaff, where I currently live. In my previous tanks, I waited a week after start, added the same fauna and they all flourished. Additionally, there is this really weird wavy white stuff all over the tank glass, which I thought was snail eggs, but the white specks seem much smaller than I remember. Does anyone know what this stuff is growing on my planted tank glass?
My tank is a 29 gallon, heavily planted, dirted tank with 1 inch of MGOPS and about 3/4 inch of Black Diamond Blasting sand. I also have some local manzanita and lava rock, both of which I had boiled before putting in. I tested the parameters yesterday and they were: pH 7.4, Amm 0.25, nitrite 0, nitrate 0, GH 6, and KH 5.
Any ideas what I might be doing wrong? I feel terrible about my animals.
Thanks for any help!