First attempt...not so good. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-09-2005, 03:44 AM Thread Starter
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First attempt...not so good.

"Not so good" is putting it mildly. After four days, all the plants turned to mush. I had been adding ammonia and Excel in small amounts. I'm suspicious of a piece of wood that I had put in there...a small bonsai trunk that I had boiled and dried a few times. It had this weird, whispy white slime drifting from it, so I'm wondering if it upset the H2O enough to kill everything. I pulled the plants out, cleaned up the tank, and poured in a half cup of ammonia to shock it. It turned into a white cloud for a few hours, but now is crystal clear.

Here are the specs:

20H, Eheim 2026, 65w Aqualight w/ 6700k bulb, Hydor inline heater (it was at about 82 while in the process of adjusting), Coralife UV.

Tanks contains Eco-complete/Tahitian Moon Sand, slate rock, driftwood (from LFS, soaked for over a week).

pH - 7.2
NO2- .5
NH3- .25
NO3- .0
GH - 6
KH - 9

Would anyone care to speculate?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-09-2005, 04:06 AM
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I will do more than speculate. I will dissect your mistakes in a public and painful manner.

What the 7734 were you thinking when you put ammonia into the tank? Were you attempting to do some sort of mindless idiotic "fishless" cycle? Have you NEVER seen any of my posts on this board? Have you NEVER been curious and read my Guide?

White wispy stuff on fresh wood in a tank is very common. It's called fungus.

Now you have two choices. Read my Guide till you understand what I'm trying to tell you. And feel free to ask questions. Or, keep making the same mistakes and wasting time and money.

Your choice.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-09-2005, 04:20 AM Thread Starter
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ouch! Actually, yes, I was try to do a fishless cycle. I had remembered reading about the ammonia from somewhere. I started with a quarter cup, and then was adding only about a dropperfull a day.

I've done this recently with a 10g and an assortment of potted plants and it worked well.

Rex...the times that I've gone to your site, I was not able to preview because of my browser (explorer), or so you said.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-09-2005, 06:16 AM
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The site should work with all versions of Explorer back to 4.x

Beyond that get Firefox.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-09-2005, 06:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by algae
ouch! Actually, yes, I was try to do a fishless cycle. I had remembered reading about the ammonia from somewhere. I started with a quarter cup, and then was adding only about a dropperfull a day.

I've done this recently with a 10g and an assortment of potted plants and it worked well.

Rex...the times that I've gone to your site, I was not able to preview because of my browser (explorer), or so you said.
Well, at least you weren't pouring urine into the tank like what some people used to do. Planted tanks just don't need the typical cycle IF you do it right. What plants are you using to start with and how many?
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-09-2005, 06:40 AM
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So basically, all that ammonia dissolved your plants, huh?

And, were you using *pure* ammonia? Or a cleanser?

Definately check out Rex's site. He explains technical schtuff in an easy-to-understand way (like the WPG vs LSI rule).
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-09-2005, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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Update:

Rex...actually your site is working now. It didn't for months, so I stopped checking it.

Plants included Bacopa (a couple varieties), Ludwiga, Rotala Indica, Naja Grass, Java Moss, a few crypts. I was using pure ammonia.

Man, the tank looked great for a day. In fact, I'm really encouraged for my next attempt. I can't figure though, why the potted plants in the ten gallon were fine with this approach. In that case, after an initial quarter cup, I put in a few drops every day for a week and a half. (After three days, I also added eight cherry barbs, and they're still doing fine.)

Something else, in defense of what may seem to some a totally senseless approach...in the last six or seven months I have visited dozens upon dozens of sites, and read hundreds of articles about fish, plants, tanks, etc. I have learned a ton, but being so new still have trouble keeping it organized in my head. There is sooo much information out there. It's a wonderful thing, but does get confusing.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-09-2005, 04:01 PM
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Yeah, I know it gets confusing because everyone has their opinion about how to do it "right". Not *everything* you read will be true for you, especially because water and materials vary so much from city to city.

However, being in a forum, especially this one, can help you understand the reasons behind the "rules" and if/when to break them. Some people here have been keeping planted tanks since before I was born. I would trust their experience. Also, you will meet some people from your neck of the woods. I would listen to what they have to say about specific stores and water conditions.

Also, not all tanks that you set up will react the same way. Unless you use substrate/ materials from the same exact store purchased on the same exact day. Even then, you'd still get some variation from one bottle/bag to the next.

Also, light behaves differently in different sized/proportioned tanks. A light that is 5 months old will have a different intensity than a new one or an older one. See? Lots and lots of variables.

Sorry this was more confusing. I meant it to be helpful and reassuring.

Yes, I've read about the fishless cycling, even in some reputable mags and sites. But then again, these are folks who've been studying the aquarium hobby for years.

Do you have any LFS you can go to and pick the brain of a salesperson?
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-09-2005, 04:16 PM
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algae,

I got the business end of a tongue-lashing a couple years ago when I first joined the forum as well. Truth is, it humbled me enough to stop assuming I knew what I was doing, and get down to research. Sounds like you're experiencing the same thing.

I've never heard of adding ammonia to a tank (established or unestablished). All the research I've read says to either wait for your plants to show signs that they need nutrients; then dose. Or, plant the heck out of your tank to start with, and dose normally (nitrate, not ammonia). Either way, I think ammonia is very risky business. Besides, if I'm not mistaken, Tom Barr has quite a bit of evidence linking ammonia to algae breakouts.

Get up, dust your shoulders off, and get your nose in the books .

Ted

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Last edited by unirdna; 09-09-2005 at 06:34 PM.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-09-2005, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all. I appreciate the encouragement. BTW, the LFS doesn't seem to be much help, esp. as far as plants are concerned.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-09-2005, 04:55 PM
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Agreed. Get Mozilla Firefox. It's better. You have the peace of mind that you're not supporting the big, evil, Microsoft monster and Firefox has better protection against pop-up windows and spyware (ie, software firewall). Anyway, just get it ----> search for it on www.cnet.com.

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-09-2005, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ringram
Agreed. Get Mozilla Firefox. It's better. You have the peace of mind that you're not supporting the big, evil, Microsoft monster and Firefox has better protection against pop-up windows and spyware (ie, software firewall). Anyway, just get it ----> search for it on www.cnet.com.


Or better yet. www.getfirefox.com
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-09-2005, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahbobarah
Yes, I've read about the fishless cycling, even in some reputable mags and sites. But then again, these are folks who've been studying the aquarium hobby for years.
Doesn't mean they are right...............

I've been in this hobby a lot longer than the web. Somehow as someone who worked at a LFS as kid, we managed to cycle every tank immediately...........

Without a Toxic chemical, NH4 is very toxic at high concentrations for most everything, like bleach, both are used as house hold cleaners...........

We used dirty sand or the dirt from the filter squeezings from an established tank. I call it mulm.

Add this to a new tank, no cycling is ever needed.
Marine, fish only , you name it.

Time: zero days. Testing: none needed.
Add precisely what is missing from an established tanks.
Cost: free.

Adding plants which have bacteria on their roots already in high density is another way..............plants will remove all the NH4 at the normal low levels, if someone adds NH4, then there is excess NH4 which leads to algae as the poster found out the hard way...............

So do not use NH4, it has no place in the planted hobby ever.
NO3, yes, NH4 no.........

Algae,
There are many paths to the top of a moutain but there is still only one view.
Some paths are rocky and tough, some are easier.

The web offers lots of infomation, but just because it's in a book or on the web, does not imply it's correct.
You mean well and are trying to do the right thing, do not let it get you down.

CO2 use will be the most difficult thing for any new person(and old hand for that matter).

Test kits: do not trust them as factual accurate readings, many times they are way off. So we test the test kits. We use known concentrations of nutrients etc to see if the test kit is accurate or not.

Or you can by pass test kits and do water changes(removes any build up, and frequent dosing prevents anything from running out). This seems to work well for most folks since water changes are fairly simple, easy, and cost less than testing. Water changes are also an existing habit already for most aquarist.

Regards,
Tom Barr

www.BarrReport.com



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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-10-2005, 04:38 AM
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Mr. Barr,

Have you misread my comment? What I meant was that although the articles put forth success with fishless cycling, they were experiments done under controlled conditions and by people who've kept fish and studied fish for years, not your average beginner.

... Which is why I run multiple filters on my tanks. If I need to set up a QT or another tank, I plop in one of the backups and voila! "Instant" cycling.....
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-10-2005, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahbobarah
Mr. Barr,

Have you misread my comment? What I meant was that although the articles put forth success with fishless cycling, they were experiments done under controlled conditions and by people who've kept fish and studied fish for years, not your average beginner.

... Which is why I run multiple filters on my tanks. If I need to set up a QT or another tank, I plop in one of the backups and voila! "Instant" cycling.....

And like Tom said, "doesn't mean they are right"

Perfect practice makes perfect. If you practice something wrong you will never get it right. Just because someone studies "magic" doesn't mean it exists. Just means they need to get stronger meds.
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