New Aquarium - Daily testing help! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 09-01-2011, 09:24 AM Thread Starter
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Question New Aquarium - Daily testing help!

Hi Everyone!
I'm new on this forum (obviously ).

I recently bought my mum a new aquarium (160Litres).
Its now day 3 and still on the cycle period. We've had a few hiccups with the thermostat, its either too hot or not warm enough. Hopefully through trial and error we've hit the correct positioning and that will no longer be an issue.

We've been doing daily tests, (PH, No2, NO3, Ammonia) but its been a bit pointless, because to be completely honest, I'm not entirely sure what the tests should read to ensure our future fish stay healthy.

- What level should NO2 be?
- What level should NO3 be?
- What level should Ammonia be?

Our PH reading is always up 8.2 / 8.4 but I've been told that the plants should fix that once the whole aquarium settles down (True or False?).

Also, how do I know the aquarium is ready for habitants?

Anyway, I'm rambling on now.

Any and all help is welcome
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post #2 of 7 Old 09-01-2011, 10:14 AM
All your readings should be beow 0. But, you can put fish in there with Trates under 40. Do not add any fish to the tank until that time, then only add fish slowly. This lets the bio load catch up to the inhabitants.
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Alekinha (09-01-2011)
post #3 of 7 Old 09-01-2011, 01:14 PM
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When you are cycling your tank you are waiting for the "good" bacteria to start living in your tank. If you are cycling without fish (and it sounds like you are), you want to make sure you ADD ammonia (the kind you buy at the grocery store is fine as long as there are NO additives, just ammonia and water) to about 5ppm. Continue testing the water and keeping ammonia levels around there, after a few weeks you should see a spike in nitrites, then it will go back down to 0. This means your tank is ready for fish. When nitrites go to 0, you should have a reading for nitrates. From then on, you want ammonia and nitrites to stay at 0ppm, and nitrates to stay below 40ppm.

With your pH in the 8.- range, double check the fish you add before adding them. Some fish only do well in a slightly acidic tank. The plants will help some, but your water will likely still be slightly basic. The fish profiles at the top of this forum are a great place to start.

* I've not done fishless cycling in a looooooooong time, so if i'm mistaken about something please chime in, expert members*
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Alekinha (09-01-2011)
post #4 of 7 Old 09-01-2011, 02:01 PM
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Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum. Nice to have you with us.

First, if live plants are intended, that will make a big difference. Plant them now; you will then have no "cycling" issues. But before adding any fish...

For your several questions, I am going to refer you to articles on the forum. A lot of reading, but at least it will give you the complete picture rather than isolated snipits that can mislead.

On the hardness and pH:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-73276/

On bacteria and cycling:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-74891/

On natural planted tanks:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...um-part-34861/

Each of these has more than one part, you can easily find them. And we have fish profiles, second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page. Each profile contains information on water, tank size, compatibility, number of fish needed in the group, etc.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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Alekinha (09-02-2011)
post #5 of 7 Old 09-02-2011, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply you guys!

My NH3/NH4 has increased to 0.25ppm as has my NO2. Nitrate is slowly climing up to 10pm!

Also, I've noticed that i have a snail in the tank, must have come attached to one of the plants (there finally something to stare at )

Also, this has been attached to one of my plants for 2 days now...

Can anyone identify? I know the picture quality sucks but its so tiny my phone couldnt handle the zoom... Im very curious....
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post #6 of 7 Old 09-02-2011, 01:27 PM
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Likely snail egg mass. Rather like gelatin? Snails are fine, one of your "friends" in a planted aquarium. They get into places and eat stuff. The normal small ones, like pond or bladder snails, are frequently introduced with plants and are egg laying. The Malaysian Livebearing snail is a real worker and harder to find but worth having.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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Alekinha (09-02-2011)
post #7 of 7 Old 09-02-2011, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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If they are snail eggs... how long till they hatch?
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