Added fish to the cycling with plants - How's this look? - Page 4 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #31 of 45 Old 07-29-2011, 07:59 AM Thread Starter
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I did a 50% water change last night, then this morning checked the N compounds....The results are as follows:
Ammonia 0 ppm
Nitrates ~ 7 ppm The color was between the 5 and 10 on the card.
Nitrites 0 ppm! There's a huge color difference between 0 and .25 ppm....so there's no doubt it's 0.
So moving forward, can you recommend water chemistry ranges for the various tests? Should these be done weekly? When would it be safe to start fertilizing?

Thanks again for your followup

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post #32 of 45 Old 07-29-2011, 11:07 AM
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Ammonia and Nitrites should be 0ppm.

Nitrates should be less than 40ppm, most say under 20ppm is better.

If the tank is new and likely to be still cycling daily, or every other day. If it's new but not cycling weekly. As time goes on and you get to know the tank you might cut back on the weekly.

I check with every water change.
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post #33 of 45 Old 07-29-2011, 01:21 PM
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I did a 50% water change last night, then this morning checked the N compounds....The results are as follows:
Ammonia 0 ppm
Nitrates ~ 7 ppm The color was between the 5 and 10 on the card.
Nitrites 0 ppm! There's a huge color difference between 0 and .25 ppm....so there's no doubt it's 0.
So moving forward, can you recommend water chemistry ranges for the various tests? Should these be done weekly? When would it be safe to start fertilizing?

Thanks again for your followup

Never Quit
As there are plants, you should not see ammonia or nitrite again. And nitrate will remain low naturally. As you have the test kits, test away; they will be expired after a year or two. I never test for ammonia or nitrite, haven't for years, as I never have it with all my plants. I do spot check nitrate, it is always less than 5ppm. I monitor pH more often, but not weekly.

The Flourish Comp can be used on the day following the last water change using Prime. The only reason here is that Prime (and many other conditioners) detoxify heavy metals, which are nutrients, and they negate those minerals in Flourish. But waiting a day gets around that, as Prime is only effective for 24 hours or thereabouts, according to Seachem. I asked them specifically on this issue of Prime/Flourish.

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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post #34 of 45 Old 07-29-2011, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, that kind of makes sense too...To check at every water change. What I'd like to know is what carbonate hardness (KH) would I need to stabilize the pH. Any ideas?

Thanks for the suggestions.

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post #35 of 45 Old 07-29-2011, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Bryon: Thanks a lot for your help with this problem...I Hope the nitrite issue is history.

Thanks again, you're a wealth of knowledge!

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post #36 of 45 Old 07-30-2011, 08:44 AM
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Thanks, that kind of makes sense too...To check at every water change. What I'd like to know is what carbonate hardness (KH) would I need to stabilize the pH. Any ideas?

Thanks for the suggestions.

Never Quit
I don't know of any "formula" for KH/pH relationship, other than the higher the KH the less the pH will change. Might be better to ask what pH you "want" in the tank. And what is the KH of the tap water?

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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post #37 of 45 Old 07-30-2011, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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I don't know of any "formula" for KH/pH relationship, other than the higher the KH the less the pH will change. Might be better to ask what pH you "want" in the tank. And what is the KH of the tap water?
I tested the city water and tank water for hardness. The KH is 60 PPM for both and the GH is 80 PPM for both. I'm using the Hagen test kit and one drop of the GH test reagent increases the test result by 20 PPM. Then you have to match the end color to the chart. So, I question the accuracy of the test. However, it may suit the needs of the fish keeper.

On the test directions sheet there's a coefficient to convert PPM to degrees of general hardness. So the question is, when talking about hardness, is it more common to say PPM or degrees of hardness?

I would think keeping the Ph at 7.0 would be prudent. However, if the "total environment", that is the fish, plants, lighting, size of tank, scheduled water changes would dictate a different Ph, then that's fine. I just want a Ph that will keep the tank healthy.

Thanks again for all your help

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post #38 of 45 Old 07-30-2011, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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I have another question: I'm in the process of setting up a 70 gallon tank (this thread was dealing with a 55). I'll use the same procedure for setting it up. The difference is the hood has two lights. They're both 48" 32 watt "daylight" wavelength as you recommeneded....My question is what type of plants should I get OR NOT get for this tank? On my 55 I bought an assortment with no regard for the light level...They seem to be doing well too. But with two lights, do I need to exclude "low light" or other plants?

Thanks

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post #39 of 45 Old 07-30-2011, 12:58 PM
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I tested the city water and tank water for hardness. The KH is 60 PPM for both and the GH is 80 PPM for both. I'm using the Hagen test kit and one drop of the GH test reagent increases the test result by 20 PPM. Then you have to match the end color to the chart. So, I question the accuracy of the test. However, it may suit the needs of the fish keeper.

On the test directions sheet there's a coefficient to convert PPM to degrees of general hardness. So the question is, when talking about hardness, is it more common to say PPM or degrees of hardness?

I would think keeping the Ph at 7.0 would be prudent. However, if the "total environment", that is the fish, plants, lighting, size of tank, scheduled water changes would dictate a different Ph, then that's fine. I just want a Ph that will keep the tank healthy.

Thanks again for all your help

Never Quit
I'll take your posts individually, as they are un-related questions.

Hardness is expressed many ways, the most common for the aquarium hobby is either ppm or dH (or dGH). You can convert either way with 17.9, multiply dGH by 17.9 to get the equivalent (roughly) ppm, and divide ppm by 17.9 to get dGH.

If the KH is around 60ppm, that's about 3 dKH, so it will buffer pH minimally. The tank pH will naturally lower as it matures. I don't know how long, but probably a few weeks. If you have soft water/acidic water fish, this will be ideal.

A pH of 7 is un-natural, though one is unlikely to be able to keep it exactly at 7 (neutral), but there is no reason too. Hard basic water fish need the pH above 7, soft/acidic water fish prefer it below though many can manage in low- to mid-7's (provided not wild caught species).

I have mostly wild-caught soft water fish. My tap water has <1 dGH and KH, so the pH naturally falls fast. Each tank has its own biological equilibrium, some run around pH 5, some 6 to 6.2, and one is 7.2 (calcareous substrate to achieve this, for basic water fish). I don't fuss with the 5-6 tanks. The fish are fine. Lots of plants, weekly 50% water changes, and not overstocking help to maintain stability.

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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post #40 of 45 Old 07-30-2011, 01:05 PM
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I have another question: I'm in the process of setting up a 70 gallon tank (this thread was dealing with a 55). I'll use the same procedure for setting it up. The difference is the hood has two lights. They're both 48" 32 watt "daylight" wavelength as you recommeneded....My question is what type of plants should I get OR NOT get for this tank? On my 55 I bought an assortment with no regard for the light level...They seem to be doing well too. But with two lights, do I need to exclude "low light" or other plants?

Thanks

Never Quit
Most aquarium plants will manage in moderate light. There are a few that tend to require higher light, and usually more nutrients and CO2. Low light plants like Anubias will be fine in a "shady" spot, such as overshadowed by large swords, floating plants, etc. Anubias is useful in rear corners for this reason. Crypts tend to adjust, but do not like changes once settled, or they tend to melt. Java Fern I have found similar.

In a 70g, swords are ideal, several of the Echinodorus species, some are in our profiles. Pygmy chain sword for mid- to front. Aponogeton should work, and Vallisneria [Corkscrew Vallisneria is nice], Sagittaria. Stem plants will be easier, but I find they still do not do well without more light. Brazilian Pennywort is an exception. But my Wisteria and Hygrophila corymbosa do not do well, I suspect due to the light. Once I find plants that will grow in my conditions, I stick with them. The fish are prime, not the plants, so the latter have to be suitable to the former.

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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