Question about WC and water parameters - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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Question about WC and water parameters

Hello, I'm new to this forum. I set up a Fluval Spec V about 2 weeks ago and added my Betta after planting for a fish-in cycle. I also added the small filter from his previous 1.2 gal tank which was only in operation for about a week, but I figured it couldn't hurt. The previous tank was purchased on sale at a big box pet store and after reading many forum posts I decided to go back and get him a more properly sized home (I also wanted a larger and more attractive planted aquarium.

So far I have DHG, 3x anubius nana, and 2x java ferns and willow hygro. I need to drain and replant the DHG, but it came free and I haven't had the time yet to separate and plant it properly.

I've been using API CO2 booster daily and Flourish 2x/week. I've also been testing the water daily and dropping 2-3 Betta pellets in the tank when he's not looking so the fall to the bottom and decompose.

On Saturday (14/05/17) I registered the first bit of ammonia (maybe 0.1 ppm, the test was evenly between 0 and 0.25 in color), and back to 0 on Monday. Yesterday and this morning I had similar results for nitrite, with the color being between 0 and 0.5 ppm. So far I have not seen nitrate, but from what I've read I expected that.

My question is should I be doing water changes if the water parameters are this low? So far I figured that the bioload is relatively low, and in order to start the N cycle I should just let it ride if the levels stay low enough that they are barely registering and are in the safe range for the Betta. I have been topping it up and leaving the lights on ~12 h/day. Also, the tank gets quite a bit of indirect sunlight and all of the plants are sending out new growth and have greened and perked up quite a bit since being set up.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 04:42 PM
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If you're testing daily, water changes are not necessary. That being said, a 25% weekly water change won't hurt.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 04:44 PM
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You should just toss in a small bottle of Tetra Safe Start and call it a day. I put it in every new tank I set up, if I don't have some seeded filter media from another established tank on hand. I swear by that stuff


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 04:49 PM
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Aren't any safe level's of ammonia,nitrites so were it me,I would perform 35 to 40% water change at reading's other than zero perhap's daily if needed.
Granted your level's reported are low,but only takes a little to make fish uncomfortable.
Would not bother with bacterial supplement's when water change is faster,easier.
would save money for more plant's.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 05:08 PM
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(I say this only if you're not seeding bacteria from a well established/healthy aquarium) If 5 bucks, one time, for the small bottle of Tetra Safe Start, to guarantee the fish are safe and comfortable, is an extra expense that you'd rather spend on plants. I would say that this is probably a bad hobby to be getting into.


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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I thought about Safe Start or one of the other bottled bacteria products but it seems like for everything I've read promoting them I've read an equal amount saying that they don't do any good or they can even hurt the development of good colonies. Not sure if the Tetra product is any better or worse. Another reason I avoided it was I've read that lots of beneficial bacteria ride in on plants. I figured I'd just try to culture those up gently rather than risk them being outcompeted by bottled bacteria.

I should also mention that I've been using the Nat Geo water maintenance tablets each week. I can't find an ingredients list anywhere for them, online or on the box. The normal order of operations is to test the water, then add the tablets, then dose CO2 and Flourish, all in the morning on Sundays. During the week I test first thing in the morning, then dose CO2 everyday, Flourish on Thurs, give it a few mins then feed the fish. I figure that way the water test are representative of the water and not all the other stuff.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 08:08 PM
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Well, like I said before, I use it in multiple tank setups (Tetra Safe Start) and it's been 100% perfect.


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_Produces View Post
(I say this only if you're not seeding bacteria from a well established/healthy aquarium) If 5 bucks, one time, for the small bottle of Tetra Safe Start, to guarantee the fish are safe and comfortable, is an extra expense that you'd rather spend on plants. I would say that this is probably a bad hobby to be getting into.


Everyone has an opinion,Your's is duly noted.
Fact is,, bacterial supplement's don't work well for everyone across the board so one cannot guarantee much.(some have success ,other's not so much).
More plant's could be of more benefit I think both from aesthetic standpoint as well as their ability to take up ammonia much faster than bacterial colony.
Could never see ammonia and thus nitrites.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I tested again this morning, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, the faintest hint of nitrates. I was looking at the test strip in the sunlight, not the CFL I have on my desk, which could have made the difference. I also added 4x RCS yesterday. I'm trying to slowly increase the bioload so as not to upset the process.

So far I feel like the process is going well. All 3 anubius are sending out new leaves and the javas are a nice bright green. Even the DHG is growing, albeit up rather than out, but I think I will be able to fix this by separating and replanting the clumps. I also set up the 1.2 g this morning. I'm going to let that cycle fishless with some low light java ferns, java moss and an anubius or two. I plan on making it a shrimp tank to try and raise a breeding colony of RCS.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 03:42 PM
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RCS and a betta? You might have just bought a really expensive snack

-120g-
- Praecox Dwarf Rainbowfish, Glowlight Danio, Rummynose Tetra, Leopard Danio, Ember Tetra, Scarlet Badis, Anchor Catfish, Red Cherry Shrimp, Assassin Snail, Neirite Snail
-20G L -
- Celestial Pearl Danio, Dwarf Emerald Rasbora
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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So far he's leaving them alone, but I expect to lose a few. They hide in the fake log or the willow hygro so far. That's why I was setting up the other tank though, hopefully I'll have a steady supply of replacements. They weren't that expensive, worth a dice roll to see how it works out
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spaceheater View Post
So far he's leaving them alone, but I expect to lose a few. They hide in the fake log or the willow hygro so far. That's why I was setting up the other tank though, hopefully I'll have a steady supply of replacements. They weren't that expensive, worth a dice roll to see how it works out

if they're stressed/hiding constantly - they aren't going to breed.

-120g-
- Praecox Dwarf Rainbowfish, Glowlight Danio, Rummynose Tetra, Leopard Danio, Ember Tetra, Scarlet Badis, Anchor Catfish, Red Cherry Shrimp, Assassin Snail, Neirite Snail
-20G L -
- Celestial Pearl Danio, Dwarf Emerald Rasbora
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-24-2014, 05:00 AM Thread Starter
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Long time since I started this, I suppose I should have done a build thread...

Anyway, here's an update. Since I last posted the cherries got moved to a 10 gallon home. This tank also got moved off my desk to an interior wall back to back with my pico reef tank (also a Fluval Spec V). This gets it away from the window and creates a nice display. I've also rescaped, as you might have noticed. I got rid of most of the DHG, and the little bit that's left is slowly melting away. I'm ok with this, I want it to be a lower, warmer light tank to contrast the cool light in the reef tank. Right now I've got 2x wisteria, 2x anubias nana, 1x anubias unknown, 2x java sword and a wall of willow hygro. I've been letting the algae grow on the fake log and plants for the last couple weeks, and just added 2 otos. So far they are loving the algae and cleaning it up FAST.

As far as maintenance I haven't been doing any water changes recently, just topping off. Nitrates are actually dropping. I dose Excel once a week and growth has been very fast. As you may have noticed I also ditched the stock LED and did an upgrade. Right now I'm running Cree LEDs on a LDD-HW driver controlled by an Arduino (it actually controls lights on both tanks, in the process of adding temp control, ATO, autofeeders to both tanks). I'm rocking 2x NW, 1x WW, 2x RB. The RB are on a separate driver for color balance, but they're running at about 2% while the whites are at about 10%. It's all mounted on a heatsink from heatsinksusa.com using the stock hardware. All the params are stable and the fish and plants are incredibly happy.
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