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Trouble with cycling

This is a discussion on Trouble with cycling within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by Millsly Hard water is 300 alkalinity is 300 ph is around 8. We have very hard water in our area. Our ...

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Old 08-21-2012, 07:12 PM   #11
 
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Hard water is 300 alkalinity is 300 ph is around 8. We have very hard water in our area. Our tank has led lighting with no tube. There is a day light effect and a night effect. Looking at aquatic plants at petsmart the girl here says their java ferns and anubias plants are semi aquatic and not for use submersed in a tank. Any suggestions?
Where do these store people come from? Java Fern and Anubias are aquarium plants, they are in our profiles, click the shaded names for the profile. It is true that both are amphibious bog plants in their respective habitats, as the profile indicates, but they grow fine permanently submersed. This applies to many of our comon aquarium plants--swords, crypts, some stem plants.

To the water, 300 is likely ppm so that equates to roughly 16 or 17 dGH and KH, which certainly is hard water with high pH buffering capacity.

Half tap water and half distilled will reduce the GH by half, which is still perhaps a tad high for soft water fish, so I would aim for 1/3 tap with 2/3 distilled.
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:00 AM   #12
 
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It's actually more like 22 KH and 380 ppm. They used a paper kit and 300 was as high as it went. I bought a liquid test to be sure. I still need to buy a liquid test for dGH as I imagine the results will be similar. So I think I'm now back to a predominantly distilled mix. The mixture in my tank now has only about 2 gallons of tap water and the ph is still a little high for the fish I want.it looks like I'll be experimenting with water for the next few days. Our water does not have much chlorine in it from what I understand so would a mix of flora pride/waters/prime be sufficient or is there another additive I should conside? I also bought proper pH to try and get that level down to a 7.0 from 7.6 unless there is a better way to do that as well.
Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are still reading at 0 and my tetra was out of hiding this morning until I tried to feed him again :(
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:44 AM   #13
 
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It's actually more like 22 KH and 380 ppm. They used a paper kit and 300 was as high as it went. I bought a liquid test to be sure. I still need to buy a liquid test for dGH as I imagine the results will be similar. So I think I'm now back to a predominantly distilled mix. The mixture in my tank now has only about 2 gallons of tap water and the ph is still a little high for the fish I want.it looks like I'll be experimenting with water for the next few days. Our water does not have much chlorine in it from what I understand so would a mix of flora pride/waters/prime be sufficient or is there another additive I should conside? I also bought proper pH to try and get that level down to a 7.0 from 7.6 unless there is a better way to do that as well.
Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are still reading at 0 and my tetra was out of hiding this morning until I tried to feed him again :(
First on the pH adjuster, don't. These products generally do not work long-term because the buffering capability in the water will keep the pH stable until the point where the buffering capacity is exhausted, then the pH could suddenly drop. It is better to let the pH fall on its own, due to biological processes in the tank once fish and plants are in it. It will be slower. Also, once the GH is down, pH is less of an issue i have found.

Flora pride is a plant fertilizer but incomplete. You can use it until it is gone, but I would then switch to a complete liquid like Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement or Brightwell Aquatics' FlorinMulti. This is also important in your case since you are largely using distilled water.

Prime is a water conditioner but one that also deals with ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, which is not necessary in your situation, so here again I would switch. Any conditioner that dechlorinates will work for you. If you have chloramine in the tap water, as well as chlorine, make sure the conditioner handles both. Most do, but there are a couple that only deal with chlorine. I don't like dumping chemicals in the tank that are not necessary, as these add to the TDS and this affects fish [another issue with the pH chemical].

Not sure what "waters" refers to... ?

Byron.
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:52 AM   #14
 
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Ok sounds good. I feel much more confident about this process now that I know more about what to look for. I can just exchange the fertilizer and get the one you're suggesting. Also my tank came with a dechlorinator that deals with both so I'll just switch to that.
I was told prime was a water conditioner so I need to just stop listening to store clerks. Waters was referring to the mix of tap and distilled.
I'm also happy to report my tetra has been out and about more in the last 12 hours so I hope that's a good sign. Thanks again for everything and I'll keep posting as questions arise as well as when things progress.
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Old 08-22-2012, 01:31 PM   #15
 
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Ok sounds good. I feel much more confident about this process now that I know more about what to look for. I can just exchange the fertilizer and get the one you're suggesting. Also my tank came with a dechlorinator that deals with both so I'll just switch to that.
I was told prime was a water conditioner so I need to just stop listening to store clerks. Waters was referring to the mix of tap and distilled.
I'm also happy to report my tetra has been out and about more in the last 12 hours so I hope that's a good sign. Thanks again for everything and I'll keep posting as questions arise as well as when things progress.
Sounding better and better. Just to clarify on Prime, it is a water conditioner, but it does more than what you need. If you had ammonia, nitrite or nitrate in the tap water, or when cycling (without plants) a new tank, then this is an excellent conditioner. But for those of us with nothing to worry about except chlorine/chloramine, all this additional stuff isn't necessary.

I've used Big Al's and it worked fine as it deals only with chlorine/chloramine but it does leave the tank cloudy for a day or sometimes two, which annoyed me. I've also used Kordon's with no problems for more than a decade. I'm now using Nutrafin's because it is the least expensive I can get online in Canada.

Most of these will also detoxify heavy metals, and while this is not usually necessary with planted tanks, it is not an issue. But if yours does this, then dose the liquid fertilizer the day following a water change. Some trace minerals are "heavy metals" and these conditioners may nullify them, but only while effective which is generally no more than 24 hours.
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Old 08-22-2012, 07:07 PM   #16
 
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I may have spoken too soon. I got home and the ammonia level was somewhere between 0-.25 ppm.
Also my tetra is hanging out at the top of the tank now. I changed about 10% of the water this morning to introduce a little tap water (.25% of the mixture) and the ph seems to have increased as well. I'm thinking a 60% water change again with mostly distilled water will be necessary at this point.
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:31 AM   #17
 
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Update: I did a 33% water change last night. By the time I got home with the water, my tetra was lying on the floor of the tank. He perked up after the change but he's back to hanging out at the top. There are still trace signs of ammonia in the water test (between 0-.25ppm). I used 8 gallons of distilled water and .5 gallon of tap with prime since there is ammonia. My plant is already turning brown so I'm going to a specialized aquatic store tonight that's about an hour from where I live to get more plants and the right type of fertilizer. All other levels at 0 and ph is 7.6. Was my percentage for the water change just too low? Does a browning plant cause issues in a tank? Why would it be turning brown?
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:38 AM   #18
 
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13 days ago I started a freshwater tank with 5 diamond tetras. On days 3 and 4 I noticed visible readings in ammonia and nitrite at .25 for both. Since then, all levels have dropped to 0. On day 5, I lost 2 of the fish. On the 8th day I noticed darking on the fins of the remaining 3. And 2 of those developed what looked like swollen, red mouths. On day 9 I did a 20% water change and added fungal and bacteria treatment. On day 10, I lost the 2 with mouth problems. I now have 1 remaining tetra and I'm not sure what to do. He looks healthy but he's been in hiding for 2 days. He was out 2 days ago long enough for me to feed him but now he won't show his little fishy face. I was advised not to add any other fish for at least another week but I dont want him to be lonely. I also don't want to risk killing more fish since I have no idea what killed the first 4. Water readings have remained consistant since day 5
ph-7.4
ammonia-0
nitritre-0
nitrate-0

Any advice would be much appreciated. Here is some info about the tank if it helps

29 gallon freshwater tank with silk plants, a small piece of driftwood, and a castle for hiding
distilled water with prime/bacteria supplement/a little salt (why is salt necessary?)
bio-wheel filter/power head water pump/heater
78 degrees


Did you wait to put the fish in the tank. or did you throw them in when you finneshed setting up the tank. if you wait like a week. the nitrates and ammonia will settle. and use water clearifiers. they hel;p alot.
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Old 08-23-2012, 10:29 AM   #19
 
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Update: I did a 33% water change last night. By the time I got home with the water, my tetra was lying on the floor of the tank. He perked up after the change but he's back to hanging out at the top. There are still trace signs of ammonia in the water test (between 0-.25ppm). I used 8 gallons of distilled water and .5 gallon of tap with prime since there is ammonia. My plant is already turning brown so I'm going to a specialized aquatic store tonight that's about an hour from where I live to get more plants and the right type of fertilizer. All other levels at 0 and ph is 7.6. Was my percentage for the water change just too low? Does a browning plant cause issues in a tank? Why would it be turning brown?
Such a quick change from normal to hanging would suggest something is in the tank water. Of course, the fish may have been weakened earlier and just managed to hang on. Internal damage from high ammonia or nitrite is n ot reversible, so fish affected that do survive frequently die not long after.

I would use a mix of tap and distilled, the 1/3 tap to 2/3 distilled I mentioned earlier. Continue using Prime as the conditioner until ammonia/nitrite no longer show in tests.

Plant browning is likely nutrient-related.
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