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Never done live plants before

This is a discussion on Never done live plants before within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> I tested the pH of the water I left out overnight and it came to about 8/ Also tested tap water dechlorinated and that ...

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Never done live plants before
Old 02-11-2011, 10:57 AM   #21
 
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I tested the pH of the water I left out overnight and it came to about 8/
Also tested tap water dechlorinated and that came out to be pH ~8.3.
Something about these numbers doesn't make to much sense.
This is making sense, I'll explain it.

First, the reason your tap water was testing 7.4 straight out of the tap and 8 after sitting is because of the dissolved CO2 in the water. Adding CO2 to water tends to lower the pH by producing carbonic acid. As the water sits, the CO2 dissipates out, thus "raising" the pH. Other factors also affect this in an aquarium, which I'll get to now.

When first set up, one can expect the pH of the tank water to be the same or very close to that of the tap water. And now we know both are around 8, that is normal.

In an aquarium, the natural biological processes tend to acidify the water. As this happens, minerals are also used, so the water slightly softens at the same time. The amount of mineral in the water may act as a buffer for a period of time, the length of time depending upon the hardness of the water. This is why we always ask about tap water hardness numbers, as that will give us a clue as to what we can expect in the way of a pH shift.

Adding calcareous substances to the aquarium--limestone, marble, dolomite, coral--in the form of gravel, sand or rocks made from any of these will increase the hardness. Adding wood, leaves, peat and similar organic materials will tend to acidify or lower the pH and hardness. Once again, the initial hardness of the water affects the extent to which this occurs.

Partial water changes will maintain stability because they introduce new water that counters the processes in the aquarium, maintaining a more even level of hardness and corresponding pH. If fish that prefer the hardness and pH range of your tap water are maintained in the aquarium, all should be good. It is possible to adjust the water's hardness and pH to suit specific fish that do better in different water, but this should only be done naturally, never with chemicals because the initial hardness buffering capacity will resist such changes, causing fluctuations which are far more stressful on fish. I won't go into all this now.

Byron.

Last edited by Byron; 02-11-2011 at 11:31 AM..
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Old 02-13-2011, 02:55 PM   #22
 
So my crypts are encountering the typical "melt" that I think naturally occurs when it is adapting to new water parameters. I have been cutting the decaying leafs and there is not much besides 1 leaf and roots left. I have plants ordered that are on the way and I'm not sure if it is alright to move these crypts that are bare roots to where I actually want them or should wait till the leafs are regrown to move them.


Also is it common to have a fishless cycle last only about 1 week with a few live plants in the tank? Currently 5ppm Ammonia is dropping to ~0ppm in about 24 hours now.
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Old 02-13-2011, 03:30 PM   #23
 
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So my crypts are encountering the typical "melt" that I think naturally occurs when it is adapting to new water parameters. I have been cutting the decaying leafs and there is not much besides 1 leaf and roots left. I have plants ordered that are on the way and I'm not sure if it is alright to move these crypts that are bare roots to where I actually want them or should wait till the leafs are regrown to move them.


Also is it common to have a fishless cycle last only about 1 week with a few live plants in the tank? Currently 5ppm Ammonia is dropping to ~0ppm in about 24 hours now.
I would move the crypts now; every time you move them they will most likely "melt" and the less that occurs the better. Also, as they are new, the root systems are probably not yet established, so it will be less of a shock now.

If you have a lot of plants and few fish, ammonia and nitrite will never be detectable. But your few plants will not allow that state. However, plants need nitrogen and they prefer it as ammonium (from ammonia) so you might not see nitrite. But I don't see fish, there are none in the tank yet are there? If so, have you tested you tap water for ammonia? Ypou shold test tap water for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate as any of these may be present and it is good to know this up front.
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Old 02-13-2011, 04:49 PM   #24
 
Yes I don't have fish at the moment. Running fishless cycle with pure ammonia at the moment. Plus wanting to wait till my tank if fully planted so my dwarf puffers will be happy.

Tap Water:

pH: 7.5
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate 5ppm
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Old 02-14-2011, 11:14 AM   #25
 
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Originally Posted by Oompa View Post
Yes I don't have fish at the moment. Running fishless cycle with pure ammonia at the moment. Plus wanting to wait till my tank if fully planted so my dwarf puffers will be happy.

Tap Water:

pH: 7.5
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate 5ppm
If you have sufficient plants, I would not add any ammonia. With live plants, fish can go in on day one. I have never messed with fishless cycling with ammonia, just plant the tank and away you go. Only a few fish at first of course.

Tap water looks OK. Nitrate at 5 is not a problem, as in planted tanks nitrate is usually under 10ppm so water changes with tap water is not going to cause problems here.
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Old 02-14-2011, 01:23 PM   #26
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
If you have sufficient plants, I would not add any ammonia. With live plants, fish can go in on day one. I have never messed with fishless cycling with ammonia, just plant the tank and away you go. Only a few fish at first of course.

Tap water looks OK. Nitrate at 5 is not a problem, as in planted tanks nitrate is usually under 10ppm so water changes with tap water is not going to cause problems here.
Thanks for your amazing help. You really gave me confidence in areas were I was scared. Hopefully my order of plants arrive soon and can take a picture for you and see how it is looking.
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Old 02-14-2011, 09:21 PM   #27
 
Sorry for such a long thread, but I just picked up some Java Moss at another LFS. All this was $2.99. I loosely wrapped the moss around the wood with thin fishing line. How does it look? And is there anything else I can do to improve the looks of it?

There are 2 crypts that have "melted" in the front left corner. Hopefully they will show life in a few weeks?

Also still waiting on a delivery of:
3 x Java Fern (Microsorium Pteropus
3 x Sagittaria Subulata (Dwarf
2 x Lilaeopsis Mauritiana POT
2 x Stargrass (Heteranthera

HopefullyI have room for them


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Old 02-15-2011, 10:41 AM   #28
 
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Leave the crypts, they will probably recover, in a few days or a few weeks, but leave the roots alone.

I would pull that moss apart and just wrap a few strands around the wood. It will take hold and be easier to trim. I have wood that looks like this, the moss grows so much and if I don't trim it soon it is a tangled mass of moss and the inner bits die. Better to keep it trimmed.
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Old 02-15-2011, 10:56 AM   #29
 
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Leave the crypts, they will probably recover, in a few days or a few weeks, but leave the roots alone.

I would pull that moss apart and just wrap a few strands around the wood. It will take hold and be easier to trim. I have wood that looks like this, the moss grows so much and if I don't trim it soon it is a tangled mass of moss and the inner bits die. Better to keep it trimmed.

So I will remove about half/fourth the amount of java moss and wrap it around the wood. I pretty much just ended up putting the whole bunch on there forgetting the fact it will grow even more and probably take over the tank.

I'm leaving the crypts alone praying for the new growth too.

Bryon- Since I have Java Fern coming and they do best on rock/driftwood where would you suggest I put it? Since I already have Java Moss on the large log and soon to be placing the Anubias on the smaller?
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Old 02-15-2011, 11:02 AM   #30
 
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I would get a small piece of some sort of rough-looking rock, something like what they usually call lace rock in fish stores. It is inert, and being "rough" it is ideal for JF and similar plants to root on. Then you can just move the rock where ever you want it. JF is ideal in rear corners and it groes straight up, is fairly stiff, and needs low light.

I find that having only one type of plant on a piece of wood works better, so I wouldn't mix Anubias and JF on the same piece.
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