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My tank is a disaster

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My tank is a disaster
Old 10-22-2011, 08:50 AM   #11
 
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Thanks for the reply!

OK, I just did another 20% water change, second one in about 16 hours. I got cuious so after I let the tank set for a few minutes to "mix everything up", I retested, no apparent change in the ammonia.

Being even more curious I retested my tap water and indeed it was reading 1.0 - ish kinda hard to tell really between the colors on the card but definately higer than the 0.5ppm on the card and lower than the 2.0ppm. So it seems like I'm getting "crud" out of my gravel bed and water colum but I'm putting the same amount of ammonia right back in.

Is there a product to add to the tap water to neutralize the ammonia I'm seeing?

I do use the liquid API Freshwater Master Test Kit

I can afford a Python, I was worried about the water not setting for 24 hrs so I never really gave it much consideration but sounds like you more experianced guys aren't worried about it as long as you treat while adding the new water.

PS: I replaced the filter cartridge I had cut open and poured out the carbon (because I was treating for Ich) with a new one WITH carbon early this morning.

Last edited by n2fish; 10-22-2011 at 08:56 AM..
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Old 10-22-2011, 08:58 AM   #12
 
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From this morning:

36 gallon tank - (started exactly 4 weeks ago)
Temp 80
pH 7.0
Ammonia 1.0-1.5
Nitrite 0
Nitrate - didn't test

Lots of live plants

current residents:
4 Cardinal Tetras
1 Black Veal Angel (small)
1 Zebra Danio

I "had" 12 Cardinal's but been loosing one per day

No more fish until I get this ironed out

Last edited by n2fish; 10-22-2011 at 09:02 AM..
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Old 10-22-2011, 09:09 AM   #13
 
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PRIME, PRIME, PRIME. Instant water conditioner! Slightly more expensive, but use small quantities, but all you need. THE BEST. I vaguely remember Byron saying you cannot overdose if you have to use extra. I think I saw somewhere that you can use up to 5 x the amount in an emergency.
But Prime neutralizes the chlorine and chloramine which is also in tap water and so do your plants!! Not all other brands remove the Chloramine. Instantly. I just mix the dose into one jug and pour it into the tank and start my Python.
(Oh and yes it does smell bad and that is normal.)
Ammonia test.... are you waiting the 5 minutes, inverting the bottles to drip upside down? Can you post a pic of the tube next to the chart? I know colour is all subject to lighting...
Next bit of advise.... Relax. You are doing lots right! Trust the product, it has a reputation and has been used I know by Byron for 15 years, I've just started using it on his advice and reading his posts.
Search his name, and read everything he writes!!!! lol (he's almost at 13,000 posts! I consider that a super-duper expert!)
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Old 10-22-2011, 09:14 AM   #14
 
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Test your NitrAtes... you may have some but the Ammonia readings are there because it's high in your new water, and it never really goes away, and you might also be reading Chloramine... it reads the same.
you are looking for about 10-20 to know when you are thru the cycle... but you also have live plants....
Did you ever see a rinse and fall in the NitrItes?
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Old 10-22-2011, 09:16 AM   #15
 
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Thanks Jakie - yea, I switched to Prime about two weeks ago reading Byrons posts.

Never saw a rise in the Nitrites...

I think I jumped the gun a bit with the fish.

I figured I had lots of plants and hadn't seen any ammonia after having 6 Zebra Danios in the tank for two weeks so I got the LFS to adopt the Danios (all the ones I could catch) and got the Cardinals, then a week later bought the 2 black Veils.

Now the ammonia rears it's ugly head lol. I think it's more a matter of me not being patient enought to let the biological thing run it's course.
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:28 PM   #16
 
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Couldn't find a Python so I bought a Boa , a <cough> "PROFESSIONAL" water changing system made by Deep Blue. They had a couple by Aquaeon but I read the reviews on those before I left the condo...mixed positives and negatives. The biggest complaint was that you should buy a brass piece for inbetween the house faucet and the plastic "manifold" for lack of a better term. This one from Deep Blue had brass bits with it.

Only had a 50ft but that's OK because I would have been pushing it with a 25 footer. So, I cut the hose way back. If anybody needs 15 or so feet of hose, I'll give it to them for the cost of shipping.

Not a lot of suction to this thing even with my water faucet on full blast. So anyway, I had filled up the 8 gallons of jugs after this mornings change and treated with Prime and PH Down so I did a small change using the Boa for the vacuum portion of the change and used up the 8 gallons.

So that's (2) 20% ish changes in the last 4 hours, along with the other 20% I did yesterday evening. I'll do a 50% tomorrow after I do some calcs on how much prime and PH Down I want to have ready to dump as I'm refilling from my tap.

I'll retest water here in an hour or so after things settle down.

Last edited by n2fish; 10-22-2011 at 12:30 PM..
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:41 PM   #17
 
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I've read through this thread, and will respond by backing up a bit. It is dangerous to jump in with too many "cures" at once. So this will go from step one, no offense to anyone.

Ich: Raise the temp to 85F, or even higher if fish can tolerate it. Angels and cardinals can, so close to 90F for at least a week [the Danio would not manage however]. No medications are needed if you get it to 90F. I have fish that can't handle this, so I go to 85F and use Coppersafe (made by Mardel). One treatment. Do a good water change (50%) first, add the CS and raise the temp by adjusting the heater so it will be gradual [you can warm it by 4-5 F degrees with the water change first]. Discontinue plant ferts if any are normally used. Leave it for a full week. Turn the heat down to normal after 7 days and let the tank temp naturally lower. Do a partial water change 3-4 days after that. End of ich. If you need to do water changes during this period, it will dilute the CS. Adding half the amount only for replacement water works. I have some very sensitive wild-caught fish, and this treatment has never harmed them.

Ammonia: Remember that using Prime will detoxify the ammonia by changing it to ammonium which is harmless, but tests will still show ammonium as "ammonia." Prime is effective for 36 hours, maybe 48 max. Normally, if ammonia is in the tap water, using Prime (or another conditioner that detoxifies ammonia) with a water change will deal with the initial influx of ammonia, and by the end of its effectiveness the live plants and/or bacteria will catch up. This is the only safe way to deal with ammonia in the source water.

Cardinal Tetra: This is a highly sensitive species; the Coppersafe is the only medication I have ever used and not lost cardinals. Also, they are not a fish for "new" tanks. Whenever I have added cardinals to a tank that is less than 5-6 weeks established [and I don't mean cycled, I mean fully cycled and then established which with sufficient live plants will be in 5-6 weeks] I have either lost them outright or they came down with ich.

This also makes them highly sensitive to pH and chemicals. Cardinals occur in water so soft the hardness is practically unmeasurable, and the pH is less than 5, often around 4. Hard water causes severe stress, and calcium blockage of the kidneys among other things. In post 1 it was mentioned that pH is very high, with no number, but as you get it down to 7 with chemicals I will assume it is maybe 8 or more? This will kill cardinals within months, maybe a year or two at best. And the pH adjusting stuff will add stress and weaken them. Very probably a major contributor to the ich.

pH in general: Adjusting pH should never be attempted until you know the hardness and deal with that. Rather than repeat, I'll refer you to my article that covers this relationship and mentions how to lower hardness/pH safely if that is needed:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-73276/

Byron.

Last edited by Byron; 10-22-2011 at 12:44 PM..
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:48 PM   #18
 
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Good stuff Byron. Thank you for your reply and suggestions.
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:51 PM   #19
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
In post 1 it was mentioned that pH is very high, with no number, but as you get it down to 7 with chemicals I will assume it is maybe 8 or more?

Byron.
The pH in my tank I try to keep between 6.8 - 7.0 but I have to treat often with PH Down to get it and keep it there.

The water coming out of my tap is over 8.8 using the High PH test in the liquid test kit. The color chart dosen't go any higer so I'm not sure how high it really is.
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Old 10-22-2011, 01:01 PM   #20
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n2fish View Post
The pH in my tank I try to keep between 6.8 - 7.0 but I have to treat often with PH Down to get it and keep it there.

The water coming out of my tap is over 8.8 using the High PH test in the liquid test kit. The color chart dosen't go any higer so I'm not sure how high it really is.
This is highly stressful. The pH is related to the hardness, and I would suspect you have high KH along with the high GH [it is usually high with such a high pH, but not always]. The KH buffers the pH to keep it where it is out of the tap. Now, other things can impact this too, like the CO2 in the tap water. But chances are that lowering the pH with such products will not blast, and you have indicated as much. These chemicals will work with soft water, I have used them. But the hardness is a significant factor.

If yo can give me the GH and KH of your tap water, i can suggest methods to deal with this. But the continual use of the pH Down will stress all the fish, and eventually kill them. Fluctuating pH is very dangerous as the fish is constantly working overtime to maintain a pH internal to the pH of the water it swims in, and this takes its toll quickly.

And please read the article I linked previously, it details this better.
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