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New here - cycling a 55 - duh

This is a discussion on New here - cycling a 55 - duh within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I would be surprised if one inch Discus thrive, for at this size,,they are barely weaned from parent's slime coat. If they do indeed ...

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New here - cycling a 55 - duh
Old 12-29-2012, 08:18 AM   #31
 
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I would be surprised if one inch Discus thrive, for at this size,,they are barely weaned from parent's slime coat.
If they do indeed feed from prepared food's,then to achieve good development,,they will need several small feeding's each day.
This is the reason most who raise these fish perform the frequent water changes,to keep organic waste from polluting the tank.
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:58 AM   #32
 
They are still hanging in. One of them is remaining very dark and another darkish which is apparently a bad sign. They seem to be moody fidh, if indeed one can give fish such attributes. Sometimes they are eager to feed, while other times they seem disinterested and just pick slowly at the food.

I have a feeling that fluctuations in temperature would be ideal for these fish and perhaps all tropical fish but I have not figured out how to pull this off yet.

The water parameters of the aquarium remain good. I used the funny little Hagen test kit combined with the TDS, pH and O2 meters I use for my work.

Using the reagent kit, I checked for calcium, phosphates (phosphorus) and iron. It showed very neglegable calcium, zero phosphorus and zero iron (chelated & non-chelated). I'm a little concerned at the lack of iron, however I suspect it will increase gradually as my microbial hierarchy establishes.

I think I've got to get busy working on a plant based refugium. I've got a bunch of water at room temperature on hand in case. I'm fortunate in that my city adds no chemicals at all to the water.

I'm not sure at all if the discus will thrive. Time will tell.
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:38 PM   #33
 
8 of my 10 original discus miraculously remain living. As stated, I have been doing small water changes to try keeping ahead of the nitrates, an average of 8% per day done every second day.

I'm feeding them only the Tetra Color particles, as that seems what they like best. About 5 times a day.

To my chagrin I continue to get nitrate readings of at least 10 ppm, with the exception of this morning after shutting down the emperor biowheel filter yesterday evening for a few hours.

I was first able to reduce the nitrates when they seemed almost 40 ppm (stupid objective reagant test kit) and one of my discus died, by removing the slide in mesh dealies filled with filter wool and filling up the filter with lava rock. There were already some ceramic rings. My idea was that this may encourage some anaerobes to gas off the nitrates.

Prior to this I had added lots of hornwort and I was surprised to still have nitrates after that.

My idea with shutting down the hob filter was to stop aerating it and give it a chance to develop anaerobic bacteria/archaea. I do not know if this was what had the limited effect but I shut it down again for a while today.

Any ideas, observations?
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:58 AM   #34
 
My nitrates are now remaining around 5 PPM and half of my remaining discus are growing nicely. I don't think I'll ever know whether the ones that are not growing as much were runts from the beginning.

I have been continuing with periodic water changes, averaging at least twice per week and 14%. I always expected my pH to lower over time because I used a mix of cleaned sand and screened sphagnum peatmoss under my gravel (pea gravel) as a rooting medium for my plants and have low KH. However, the pH has gone as low as 5.7 but when I do a water change (with 7.2 water) of 14% it swings it right up to 6.4. [6.4 is where I expected it to stabalize]

I'm thinking this yoyo action cannot be that good. I'm wondering if I should try to buffer this somehow like with coral in the filter (or somewhere) or should I just let her drop to where she stabalizes. I read in the guide that discus are good to as low as 4.2. My bristlenose are growing like gangbusters and the Julii Cories are mating so they must like the water. (Yes they have spots not patterns)

I'd really appreciate some input on this.
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:41 PM   #35
 
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My nitrates are now remaining around 5 PPM and half of my remaining discus are growing nicely. I don't think I'll ever know whether the ones that are not growing as much were runts from the beginning.

I have been continuing with periodic water changes, averaging at least twice per week and 14%. I always expected my pH to lower over time because I used a mix of cleaned sand and screened sphagnum peatmoss under my gravel (pea gravel) as a rooting medium for my plants and have low KH. However, the pH has gone as low as 5.7 but when I do a water change (with 7.2 water) of 14% it swings it right up to 6.4. [6.4 is where I expected it to stabalize]

I'm thinking this yoyo action cannot be that good. I'm wondering if I should try to buffer this somehow like with coral in the filter (or somewhere) or should I just let her drop to where she stabalizes. I read in the guide that discus are good to as low as 4.2. My bristlenose are growing like gangbusters and the Julii Cories are mating so they must like the water. (Yes they have spots not patterns)

I'd really appreciate some input on this.
I would not mess with KH. For one thing, the pH is likely to rise too high; I experimented with crushed coral, aragonite and dolomite to achieve this, and the dolomite was the most successful if you can get it [there is none locally, where we live]. The other two sent the pH soaring, up to 7.6 within a couple days, yet the KH and GH barely rose, so that is not a viable option.

I never had that much of a pH change with water changes, even when I had tanks at pH 5 or lower and using 7.0 tap water. But various factors can affect this. You could do smaller but more frequent changes. As long as the pH change is not around 1 degree (such as from 5.8 to 6.8) I wouldn't worry.
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Old 02-17-2013, 02:41 PM   #36
 
Thank you Byron. What I have been doing is the small water changes and have yet to bounce a full 10 increments. Do you think it is problematic to let the pH drift as low as 4.2? I am curious about what it is doing.

My plants are quite healthy in appearance but not making huge growth spurts. Have you noticed whether fish react to plant micronutrients added?

I just added some and I'm trying to figure out the new burst of energy displayed by the fish.

In natural growing, IME, even if using sphagnum peatmoss even at at 30% the pH will stabilize at around 6.4 provided lots of compost is used.

There was a dolomite mine in my old neighborhood of Rock Creek. Mighty White Dolomite but according to this;

http://www.homegoldresourcesltd.com/...Assessment.pdf

they may not be operating anymore.
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Old 02-17-2013, 04:02 PM   #37
 
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Do you think it is problematic to let the pH drift as low as 4.2? I am curious about what it is doing.
Yes and no. Depends upon the fish.

Vancouver water has changed in the last decade [unlike Chilliwack's, I saw a TV report on it the other night]. Prior to 2001 they did nothing to alter the pH and the water out of the tap was near-zero GH and KH with a pH at or below 5. I let my tanks do what they wanted, and with soft water fish I had no issues. I put about 3 tablespoons of dolomite in the canister filters, and the pH in those tanks remained around the low to mid 6 range. GH and KH still basically zero. Fish thrived, plants thrived.

Now soda ash is being added to raise the pH to 7.0, and GH and KH are close to zero. My tanks remained much the same until just the last couple years, when for some reason the pH has risen to mid-6's and stays there. I no longer have the dolomite, it gave out after several years. As I said, I tried coral and argonite (separately) but the pH skyrocketed. I leave it alone.

Quote:
My plants are quite healthy in appearance but not making huge growth spurts. Have you noticed whether fish react to plant micronutrients added?

I just added some and I'm trying to figure out the new burst of energy displayed by the fish.
I've no data on this.

Quote:
In natural growing, IME, even if using sphagnum peatmoss even at at 30% the pH will stabilize at around 6.4 provided lots of compost is used.
This can be very risky in an aquatic environment like an aquarium. Peat will soften the water and lower the pH. But at some point it gives out. Other factors will play into this, and the problem here is that the fish are exposed to all of this. I don't see how it could "stabilize" unless the peat is regularly replaced.
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:22 PM   #38
 
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I don't see how it could "stabilize" unless the peat is regularly replaced.

I do not know how it works 'sub water' but in natural gardening the sphagnum peatmoss becomes part of the living soil - ecosystem and that is why it stabilizes. The reason I used it under the gravel is because I read that Diana (?) uses it in some of her mixes. [and because I've found it to be microbially active.]
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:09 PM   #39
 
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I do not know how it works 'sub water' but in natural gardening the sphagnum peatmoss becomes part of the living soil - ecosystem and that is why it stabilizes. The reason I used it under the gravel is because I read that Diana (?) uses it in some of her mixes. [and because I've found it to be microbially active.]
Some sources do suggest adding peat to the substrate, but it is not Diana Walstad, she says not to because the acidity of peat moss may bring heavy metals into the substrate.
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:37 PM   #40
 
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Some sources do suggest adding peat to the substrate, but it is not Diana Walstad, she says not to because the acidity of peat moss may bring heavy metals into the substrate.

I guess if this were true we might find heavy metal readings in peat bogs but I do not believe this to be the case. As stated, I'm on unsure ground regarding water plants but on terra firma I can state that many people get confused thinking that peat mixed into soil makes for an acidic environ. This only applies to gardeners applying chemical fertilizers. In natural growing, pH is controlled by microbial groups and root excretions. (very generally; bacteria > basic; fungi > acidic)
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