I'm EXHAUSTED! Will someone please help me out?!!!!
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I'm EXHAUSTED! Will someone please help me out?!!!!

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I'm EXHAUSTED! Will someone please help me out?!!!!
Old 12-24-2011, 10:27 PM   #1
 
I'm EXHAUSTED! Will someone please help me out?!!!!

Hello to all....and Merry Christmas!

Cooked all day, entertained family members....just about everyone is gone......


I am very new to this whole "aquarium thing", I have a bazillion questions . I've had my 20GL set up going on 33 days. My initial fish stock was 2-Platys and 1-Black Sailfin Molly. All 3 fish are still alive and well. I have added an Amazon Sword plant....I have added an additional filter today (I started out with an Aqua Clear 20 an added today an Aqua Clear 30) I have kept my old filter in place. I have done frequent water changes with distilled water.....50%...no change.


WOW! I was doing water testing in the beginning of this post.......my nitrites are testing somewhere between 0-.25!!!!!! I am beyond excited as I have been getting Nitrites in the 1.0 range for about a week!!!!

Could this be the result of adding a new filter this morning....or the addition of the Amazon Sword plant?....or just the course of cycling?

I just tested my ammonia....it is still .25? I recently removed my ammonia bag out of my original filter...I did this because I had read on this forum that Ammonia bags PREVENT the cycling process?????? Shoudl I put them back in?

My nitrates are 0...is that good or bad? I am trying to learn as much as I can! I just want to thank you all for letting me "pick your brains"....God Bless and wishing all a Merry Christmas! Kathy :)
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Old 12-24-2011, 11:59 PM   #2
zof
 
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Welcome and seasons greetings to you,

First I'm going to assuming you read the thread on the top of this forum about cycling, seeing as you are starting to get into live plants, if you haven't head over to the planted part of the forum and read byrons 4 posts about live plant care, its a good primmer.

First lets find out why you are using distilled water, only reason to use distilled water is if you are trying to avoid something in your tap water, dechlorination can be handled much cheaper and easier by just adding a simple dechlorinator.

Next the filters, the only reason you would need to run multiple filters is if you plan on over stocking your tank, adding another filter in would not help the cycle as its the bacteria that must multiply to meet the ammonia being produced by the fish, and their are very few ways to speed up this process, one is by using seed material from an already established tank, the other is a bacteria in a bottle solution but results vary on this based on brand and shelf life.

You are correct in assuming the plant can help in reducing the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels, but I'm afraid one plant probably will not drop the levels to what you are seeing. Most cycles last 4-8 weeks so plenty of patience is still needed, and leave the ammonia stuff out, as you mentioned this will only hinder the cycling process, with out the ammonia around for the beneficial bacteria to feed on they will not multiply as fast and once the material can no longer absorb anymore ammonia, you will see a dramatic spike and will have started a mini cycle.

Hopefully you will start seeing some nitrates pretty soon and the others dropping down to 0, good luck and let us know if you have any more questions.
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Old 12-25-2011, 09:50 AM   #3
 
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I agree with zof on the using tap water and a conditioner, Prime is a good one if you can get some.
Also I think removing the new filter until later and getting more plants would be a good idea :)
Congrats on your survival rate so far!
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Old 12-25-2011, 10:00 AM   #4
 
I am using distilled water because I tested my tap water and it showed .25 of ammonia! I bought Seachem Prime and have been using that. I plan on purchasing some Water Sprite tomorrow , any other suggestions for plants? Thanx, Kathy
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Old 12-25-2011, 12:27 PM   #5
zof
 
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If your looking for plants that will absorb alot of nutrients then look towards the stem plants, such as anarchris and hornswort (although this one can be a bit messy), another good one is duckweed but it can be somewhat of a pest because it grows so quickly.

Prime is a good choice for you as a water conditioner because it will neutralize the ammonia in the water to ammonium until your biological filter can handle it, I would just stick to water changes less than 50% to stay safe but .25 ammonia is not too bad.
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