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Hello! Looking for new tank setup critique, plus a couple of questions

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Hello! Looking for new tank setup critique, plus a couple of questions
Old 03-05-2010, 06:21 PM   #121
 
Just got home and checked the kH. It's at 4. pH is ~7.5, and Ammonia seems to be ~4. NO2 & NO3 both are solid a 0 at this point.

kH has been averaging about 2 for the last month or so. I forgot I didn't have the Hardness kit the first week the tank was up, so I can't say what I started with, though... 4 doesn't surprise me, as the couple of 3's that I have in my log are usually the day after water changes, so it seems to go up with a WC, then drop back down to ~2. With the big water change last night, the 4 seems 'normal'.
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Old 03-05-2010, 08:17 PM   #122
 
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Ok good. We are still on track. Glad to see the first water change helped. Lets do another 40% tonight!

(If it makes you feel better, I am changing 10 gallons per day for 6 consecutive days on my 180 salt tank. Fun stuff!)
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Old 03-06-2010, 04:58 AM   #123
 
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Are you currently using activated carbon on the tank? If so I wouldn't waste the Flourish as it'll just get sucked up by the carbon. I also think it would be counterproductive to dose it while doing these big water changes. I'd just wait until the tank is in the "settling" stage.
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Old 03-06-2010, 08:54 AM   #124
 
I haven't added the carbon to the filter yet, so was actually wondering if it would be better to fert the plants or use the carbon for awhile. The plan was to do the water changes on Thu, Fri, and Sat (today), and continue with my weekly fert schedule with the Flourish dose on Sunday.

Also, I was wondering, since I saw some Nitrite and Nitrate last week, does that mean that my bacteria colonies are present in the tank (considering both are now '0')? Or did I do something to totally crash the bio-filter?
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Old 03-06-2010, 05:36 PM   #125
 
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I agree on the water change and fert schedule. Plants will be fine. Don't waste the Flourish until after the daily water changes are ended.

No real comment on the other issue, just leave it and wait it out. We agree that all the chemical stuff previously did real damage to the water parameters, biological equilibrium and bacteria. I won't try to guess to what degree. We feel you are doing the best corrective action now, please stick with it and keep us posted. So far everything is looking positive.

Byron.
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:05 PM   #126
 
Well, did the 3rd WC a couple of hours ago. As of a few minutes ago, pH is still holding at 7.4, but ammonia is only down to about 2ppm. The water changes seem to be decreasing the ammonia slowly (and clearing the water with each change), but I don't think the plants or bacteria is processing the ammonia (though most of the plants seem to be doing pretty well). Either that, or the ammonia is still being introduced into the tank faster than it's removed, but I can't figure out from where.... After each WC, I tried to clean out any junk that stirred up with the vac or net, and remove any leaves that seemed to be dead or rotting from the plants. The fish still seem OK.

BTW, this morning, I replaced the 2 Ammonia Remover pillows I added last week to the filter w/ 2 combo Ammonia Remover / Carbon pillows that I had. Out of curiosity, I tested the water for ammonia before the swap, about 2 hours after, and about 8 hours later (before the WC) and didn't see any difference in ammonia levels. Do these things actually remove ammonia, or do they just convert ammonia to ammonium like the AmmoLock stuff?
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Old 03-07-2010, 05:08 AM   #127
 
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Probably the latter. I'm not aware of any "ammonia removing" products that do anything other than convert ammonia to ammonium.
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Old 03-08-2010, 07:12 PM   #128
 
Update: ~48 hrs since the last WC. Ammonia is still at 2, but holding steady. pH seems to be up a bit, though, at 7.8. Is this expected? No Nitrites/Nitrates (well, Nitrates may be ~1ppm). Water is still a bit hazy, fish seem OK. If ammonia creeps up, should I consider another water change? Just a reminder - got the ammonia pillows in the filter, and I'm assuming they'll reach 'saturation' sooner or later. Sitting tight for now....
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Old 03-09-2010, 11:27 AM   #129
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LMychajluk View Post
Update: ~48 hrs since the last WC. Ammonia is still at 2, but holding steady. pH seems to be up a bit, though, at 7.8. Is this expected? No Nitrites/Nitrates (well, Nitrates may be ~1ppm). Water is still a bit hazy, fish seem OK. If ammonia creeps up, should I consider another water change? Just a reminder - got the ammonia pillows in the filter, and I'm assuming they'll reach 'saturation' sooner or later. Sitting tight for now....
We (by which I mean the three of us who went into the issues so thoroughly) agreed that a pwc would be the action for ammonia rising; but give us the numbers first in case this changes. And if the plants are growing I still say there should be no issue with ammonia, so no need to rush into this, and no nitrites hsuold appear so that is good esp if nitrates are showing however slight. The aim again is getting this tank settled to a state of biological balance. The slight increase in pH may be due to residue from those products, it can attach to anything solid. Not an issue yet. B.
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Old 03-09-2010, 12:26 PM   #130
 
Ok, thanks, Byron. I'm just worried a bit about the ammonia being present w/ the pH being >7 and possibly climbing. My thinking is whatever is keeping that 2ppm of ammonia from being toxic to the fish (residual chemicals, ammonia remover pillows, etc...) will eventually wear out, and if it happens before the bio-filter is up and running normally and processing any ammonia the plants aren't using to nitrite and on to nitrates, I may be in trouble agian.

BTW, I emailed Fluval/Hagen re: the Ammonia Pillows. They claim that the pillows will actually remove ammonia from the water (not just convert it to ammonium), and that test kits would show this decrease providing there's no additional ammonia being introduced. Not sure of the chemistry, but just thought I'd mention it as an FYI...
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