from bad to worse... 7 fish down, one day - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 36 Old 01-11-2012, 11:18 AM
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What are you using to dechlorinate your water? I tend to use Prime, but I used to use AquaSafe, they're all good, just be sure to use something. I'm a fan of Tetra Safe Start to get a cycle rolling. Just buy the right size bottle and dump it in the tank pouring it where the filter can suck it up. It's always been an instant cycle for me. Just make sure that it has been at least 24 hours since you put any dechlorinators in that claim to "lock up" ammonia and nitrites to make them safe. This will starve the bacteria in the TSS. I use Prime, used to use Tetra Aqua Safe, but Prime is more concentrated and I do allot of water changing. I always let water age for 24 hours before using it. I always use salt in my water. Controversial as it all is, it works for me.
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post #12 of 36 Old 01-11-2012, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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so this morning i woke up to more dead fish. so few up i took a water sample and went to waterbury aquarium. kinda far from me whih is why i dont normally go there. but i was tired of this. did a test. 8.0 FREAKING PH how the hell did it get so high i wondered to myself. i go home, my lil bro comes home, i tell him, oops john, sorry i read the ph and it said it was low so i put some ph upper in. little freaking basterd murdered my fish -.- but, he made it better by buying me a penguin 350 filter for my 55 :) which, i just set up half way today, making sure i cycle it the right way this time haha. only problem is, i only had about 15 lbs of substrate... is it possible for me to cycle, and then add more substrate when i get the money back up? i understand its not the proper nor the best way, but am i wrong to try?
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post #13 of 36 Old 01-12-2012, 12:10 AM
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your ph was proubally higher then 8, that should not have killed a pleco.
but im glad you have found the issue and hope everything works out for you.
if you dont mind totally emptying the tank to add new substrate then yes that is no proublem.
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post #14 of 36 Old 01-12-2012, 12:55 AM
Sorry to say but I would wait until you can get the rest of the substrate. Also if you want to get into plants you need to really plan it out and think about what will happen with them. You need the right kelvin of light, the right intensity, and the right amount of nutrients.

Plants do act as a natural filter but only if they can photosynthesis which is linked to the lights and nutrients. Plants use many nutrients and Co2 also has to be present for photosynthesis. For a good substrate flourite is good but my personal favorite is ADA Aquasoil Amazonia. If you want I can go into more detail.

Changing with the pH with chemicals iss generally a bad idea because it doesn't change the KH or dGHwhich is nessacary to keep the pH stable. Good ways of changing the pH effectively is using peat moss, which tends to tint the water a tea color, Co2 injection, or using RO/DI water and a mixture of tap water to get the desired pH.

Be careful about plecos, some can get a monstrous size although some don't, be sure to have the right one.

38 gallon :
Pelvicachromis Taeniatus Nigerian Red not yet breeding pair
4 Pangio Kuhli
12 Hemmigrammus Bleheri
2 Botia Lohachata
1 Botia Straita
1 Ancistrus Sp.
6 Poecilia Reticulata




The Wet Spot Portland Oregon!!!!!!

ADA: Do!aqua Iwagumi 10 gallon size!
7 Clown Killies
7 Ghost shrimp
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post #15 of 36 Old 01-12-2012, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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Actually I would like to hear more if it's not toouch trouble. I was thinking about gering some red clay, I don't have the actual brand name with me at the moment though. I am going to have to do a full water change for the substrate as I already atarted the cycle. Can someone give me a heads up on just about how much I will need for the 55?
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post #16 of 36 Old 01-12-2012, 07:23 PM
For a 55 gallon to have a even layer of two inches I would get 110 pounds, if you want to shape the substrate then more. For brand as I said I love ADA Aqua Soil Amazonia, this is kind of spendy and leeches ammonia for the first couple of weeks, which would help you cycle,and it also lowers your pH to about 6. Carib Sea has a few plant substrates like Eco Complete. Eco tends to be a bit rough so bottom fish don't like it as much. Then there is flourite. It is like ADA but doesn't affect the pH, but I believe is the close or if not the same price.

Main nutrients for plants are copper,iron,phosphate,phosphorus,and Nitrate... Off the top of my head. Plants use red and blue light to photosynthesis... Byron should talk about this as he is more knowledgable on the subject. A kelvin rating of around 6700 is great. No need to buy expensive bulbs from pet stores, for a few bucks you can get them at hardware stores. If there are any other questions go ahead and ask. Also I would get the substrate before you cycle.

38 gallon :
Pelvicachromis Taeniatus Nigerian Red not yet breeding pair
4 Pangio Kuhli
12 Hemmigrammus Bleheri
2 Botia Lohachata
1 Botia Straita
1 Ancistrus Sp.
6 Poecilia Reticulata




The Wet Spot Portland Oregon!!!!!!

ADA: Do!aqua Iwagumi 10 gallon size!
7 Clown Killies
7 Ghost shrimp
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post #17 of 36 Old 01-12-2012, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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I'm kinda doing a budget build on this thing. I'm pretty sure it was flourite that I was going to get. My tank came with two lights, one is a normal colored light, the other one is bluish to purplish, I'd look at what exactly they are but I'm in new yok at the moment sonic any really check. I was reading somewhere you can use normal planting soil? I dot really like the idea of that but as I had its more of a budget build. My tanks actually filled with water and starting the cycle at the moment :/ I also read you can buy red clay and break it up yourself? As far as this kind of doings, my father doesn't even know about the plant bit which is funny because he's a Ginny and normally Italians are good with plants haha. Any and all information about this is absolutely more then appreciated though I'll glady read all of what you'd like to teach me haha
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post #18 of 36 Old 01-12-2012, 08:51 PM
So if your are going ahead with the cycle, then when you get the substrate take as much water out, add it [make sure it is rinsed and clean] and fill it back up. The only benefit of clay I see is high iron. It will cloud the water tremendously,if it is fine enough, will be course if not, and doesn't have very many nutrients other than iron. You could do a base layer of clay and then like sand on top. But instead of clay I would use lateryte. It is like clay but has more than iron in it. I would stay away from clay like things. They get real cloudy. Ask all the questions you have. Better to get it right the first time.

38 gallon :
Pelvicachromis Taeniatus Nigerian Red not yet breeding pair
4 Pangio Kuhli
12 Hemmigrammus Bleheri
2 Botia Lohachata
1 Botia Straita
1 Ancistrus Sp.
6 Poecilia Reticulata




The Wet Spot Portland Oregon!!!!!!

ADA: Do!aqua Iwagumi 10 gallon size!
7 Clown Killies
7 Ghost shrimp
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post #19 of 36 Old 01-12-2012, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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Now I'm his throwing this one up the flag pole here, but what if I just got a bunch of natural stones? Like a whole bunch out of a stream or something, and boiled them or something, would this be reasonable since it has minerals and such from the running water? Or would cleaning them ruin all hopes of that? Also would the roots not be good wih that?
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post #20 of 36 Old 01-12-2012, 09:52 PM
do not boil stones :) just pour boiling water over then its enough
and i would go with sand :)
i got playsand and rinsed it very well by filling half of a 5 gallon bucket and stirring it up with the hose
then when everything is spinning wildly just take a smaller bucket and scoop the top out
do this for about 30 min then just dump the hose in the bottom come back one hour later then 30 min of stirring and so on untill its clear! it took me like 5 hours but its worth it since the bag only costs like 6$ for 30 killo i think or so
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