New 8g and 5g- cycling and stocking questions
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New 8g and 5g- cycling and stocking questions

This is a discussion on New 8g and 5g- cycling and stocking questions within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I am currently cycling an 8g aqueon evolve and a 5g with cocktail shrimp. I believe I am nearing the end of the cycling ...

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New 8g and 5g- cycling and stocking questions
Old 12-11-2012, 03:25 PM   #1
 
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Talking New 8g and 5g- cycling and stocking questions

I am currently cycling an 8g aqueon evolve and a 5g with cocktail shrimp. I believe I am nearing the end of the cycling process(been at it for just over a month). I have been doing lots of research on potential inhabitants for my tanks, I would like a small variety of guppies, a honey gourami, snail and I would very much like some crystal red shrimp but I dont know if they would do well in my water.

My first question is about cycling- I have read over and over that your ammonia should spike and drop and then nitrite spike and drop and then you have nitrate but I have had two nitrite spikes. I am using an API master freshwater kit and when tested yesterday I had 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and 10 nitrate. Today I have >.25 ammonia, very high nitrite(off the chart) and 5 nitrate. Is it normal and okay to have two nitrite spikes?

My second question- I have very hard water and a home water softener, when bypassing my softener or it runs out of salt the water comes out orange so just going without it isnt really an option. When testing my water from the tap the parameters are:

PH 8.4
GH 0
KH 300+
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0

I dont really understand why with as hard as my water is the GH is reading 0 and are these parameters okay for the fish I would like to have- Guppies, honey gourami, mystery snail? as I stated above I would really like a few crystal red shrimp but have read some conflicting things on these as far as the type of water they can live happily in.

Lastly I would like some Java moss, a couple other easy to care for floating and rooted/potted plants. If anyone has any suggestions on some that would do well with my water I'd be grateful.

Thanks! :)
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:59 PM   #2
 
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Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum, if I haven't already...but then, a second welcome certainly won't do any harm.

I can't offer much on the cycling question because I never do this, I have planted tanks and live plants avoid "cycles" as such, so I will leave that for those with experience where I have none.

But I can help a bit with your water hardness issue. First, I wold not use water from a softener in an aquarium. Most of these work by replacing the "hard" mineral salts (calcium, magnesium) with other salts, especially sodium. The water tests low for GH, because our GH test kits measure the hard minerals and these are gone. But true water hardness involves much more than hard minerals, and this is where the problem comes in.

This is explained in this article:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...uarium-122027/
and better than I can in the short limits of this post, so please have a read. You will note there is a passage on water softeners from Dr. Neale Monks. That should explain things, but feel free to ask any questions in this thread.

My advice would be to use some tap water pre-softener (I assume from your post that this is possible) and dilute it with "pure" water. You can read more on this here:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-73276/

And again, rather than bog this post down at this stage, I'll leave it at that until you return with questions.

Byron.
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:29 PM   #3
 
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Talking Byron

Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum, if I haven't already...but then, a second welcome certainly won't do any harm.

I can't offer much on the cycling question because I never do this, I have planted tanks and live plants avoid "cycles" as such, so I will leave that for those with experience where I have none.

But I can help a bit with your water hardness issue. First, I wold not use water from a softener in an aquarium. Most of these work by replacing the "hard" mineral salts (calcium, magnesium) with other salts, especially sodium. The water tests low for GH, because our GH test kits measure the hard minerals and these are gone. But true water hardness involves much more than hard minerals, and this is where the problem comes in.

This is explained in this article:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...uarium-122027/
and better than I can in the short limits of this post, so please have a read. You will note there is a passage on water softeners from Dr. Neale Monks. That should explain things, but feel free to ask any questions in this thread.

My advice would be to use some tap water pre-softener (I assume from your post that this is possible) and dilute it with "pure" water. You can read more on this here:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-73276/

And again, rather than bog this post down at this stage, I'll leave it at that until you return with questions.

Byron.
Thank you for the welcome. :) I read the articles you linked and originally I thought it wouldnt be possible for me to bypass my softener because of the rust and orange color to the water, I went ahead and tested it anyway just to see what the parameters were;

PH 7.4-7.6
GH 300
KH 300+

so the ph is much better than the very high 8.4 I have with the softener. Now, will water conditioner remove or do something with the rusty orange color of the water if I just go that route? I would prefer to just use my straight unsoftened well water if the parameters are okay and I can take care of the orange tint and the rust.

Thank you
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:56 AM   #4
 
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Originally Posted by loveguppies View Post
Thank you for the welcome. :) I read the articles you linked and originally I thought it wouldnt be possible for me to bypass my softener because of the rust and orange color to the water, I went ahead and tested it anyway just to see what the parameters were;

PH 7.4-7.6
GH 300
KH 300+

so the ph is much better than the very high 8.4 I have with the softener. Now, will water conditioner remove or do something with the rusty orange color of the water if I just go that route? I would prefer to just use my straight unsoftened well water if the parameters are okay and I can take care of the orange tint and the rust.

Thank you
First on those numbers. GH at 300 equates to 17 dGH which puts it in the "fairly hard" range. Combined with the pH, this would be ideal water for livebearers, rift lake cichlids, and similar basic water fish. The shrimp and fish you mentioned will be fine in this "as is." So that gets us around problem 1.

Which brings us to the rust/orange. Is this private well water, or municipal water? If the latter, the water supply folks can tell you what this is from. If private well water, you might want to have it tested, you may already have done this. I could suggest causes, but they would be guesses. It may be harmless, and perhaps a simple filter like a Britta or something would deal with this. Other members may have ideas too.

Byron.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:07 PM   #5
 
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well water

Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
First on those numbers. GH at 300 equates to 17 dGH which puts it in the "fairly hard" range. Combined with the pH, this would be ideal water for livebearers, rift lake cichlids, and similar basic water fish. The shrimp and fish you mentioned will be fine in this "as is." So that gets us around problem 1.

Which brings us to the rust/orange. Is this private well water, or municipal water? If the latter, the water supply folks can tell you what this is from. If private well water, you might want to have it tested, you may already have done this. I could suggest causes, but they would be guesses. It may be harmless, and perhaps a simple filter like a Britta or something would deal with this. Other members may have ideas too.

Byron.
It is private well water and its the norm around here to have rusty water, we all have it, lucky us! I use a PUR water filter for our drinking water but that gets run through the softener as well so I wouldnt know if it would work to take the rust itself out. We do have a filter in the basement that all the water gets run through after it passes through the softener so maybe my husband could fix it so I can run straight well water through it each time I need water for a water change, I'll have to ask. That may get a bit expensive though since the filters for that system are not cheap and the straight well water would gunk them up really fast...why couldnt I just have good water to begin with?
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:12 PM   #6
 
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Water testing

We did have it tested when we bought our house nearly 10 years ago, I cant remember what the results were but there wasnt anything wrong that I remember.

If I can work out filtration for the rust and I change the water in my tanks while they're nearing the end of their cycle will it harm my progress?

Last edited by loveguppies; 12-13-2012 at 12:14 PM..
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:08 PM   #7
 
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Originally Posted by loveguppies View Post
We did have it tested when we bought our house nearly 10 years ago, I cant remember what the results were but there wasnt anything wrong that I remember.

If I can work out filtration for the rust and I change the water in my tanks while they're nearing the end of their cycle will it harm my progress?
No. And one method of filtration that may work here is carbon. Activated carbon will adsorb [adsorb, not absorb] discolouration and other stuff, and that is safe for aquaria, as many filters have carbon normally. However, as it adsorbs it weakens in effectiveness so it has to be replaced.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:52 PM   #8
 
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Carbon filter

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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
No. And one method of filtration that may work here is carbon. Activated carbon will adsorb [adsorb, not absorb] discolouration and other stuff, and that is safe for aquaria, as many filters have carbon normally. However, as it adsorbs it weakens in effectiveness so it has to be replaced.
Sounds like a good idea. How would I setup or go about doing something like that? Thank you so much for all your help btw :)
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:03 PM   #9
 
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Originally Posted by loveguppies View Post
Sounds like a good idea. How would I setup or go about doing something like that? Thank you so much for all your help btw :)
You're most welcome.

Well, you'd want to run the water through the carbon before putting it in the tank, to keep the tank clear--and in case whatever this is turns out to be harmful as it might be to fish even if safe to drink. So perhaps have a look online for water filters that use carbon?
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:19 PM   #10
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
You're most welcome.

Well, you'd want to run the water through the carbon before putting it in the tank, to keep the tank clear--and in case whatever this is turns out to be harmful as it might be to fish even if safe to drink. So perhaps have a look online for water filters that use carbon?
I did a seach online for carbon filters and I found information saying that a carbon filter itself will get clogged very quickly and a main filtration system should be used before running it through the carbon, main filtration being chlorine, greensand or salt if I remember right. I also researched well water, rust coloring etc and it appears to be an excess of iron and when I called to ask my husband thats what he said too. I've read conflicting things on whether or not the iron is harmful to fish but the extra filter would help there I believe. If not there's an option mentioned over and over when referring to softened water and aquariums- Potassium Chloride, which as of right now I know nothing about other than it can be used instead of salt.
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