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Picked up some beginner plants today

This is a discussion on Picked up some beginner plants today within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Originally Posted by GwenInNM I put rocks in a mess bag from my neighbors established tank, in my filter. I did use Prime this ...

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Picked up some beginner plants today
Old 02-03-2011, 04:12 PM   #11
 
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Originally Posted by GwenInNM View Post
I put rocks in a mess bag from my neighbors established tank, in my filter. I did use Prime this morning too, to bring down ammonia. I'm almost at 4 weeks of starting this tank.

Took water to LFS, my ammonia is a 0, which is what I got when I tested after using Prime and my Nitrates were 5.0. I can't remember what he said my nitrites were, but they were "fine".

So, hours later I just repeated the Nitrate test, and sure enough my level is 5.0 (it's a bit of a darkish orange, could be a bit higher).

My question is, what is a safe level for Nitrates? Is it possible that taking the rocks from another tank boosted the process that fast?

Thanks for the help!!!
Well, the combination of things certainly helped. Adding live bacteria would help, plus you obviously had some going in the tank. You've probably had nitrite peak and didn't notice it since you didn't test for it.

On nitrates, most of us suggest keeping them below 20 ppm; although there are many fish that can manage above this, the fact remains that in their natural habitats fish are not normally exposed to levels of nitrate so keeping it low is a wise step. There are some ways of doing this. First, plants. Those of us with planted tanks have very low nitrate levels, often zero (using the API test kit), due to the plants assimilating ammonia (ammonium) so it never gets to nitrite or nitrate, or does so minimally.

Second method is weekly water changes to simply remove nitrates. This is essential in non-planted tanks, somewhat optional in heavily-planted tanks, but I still change 50% of all my tanks weekly.

Third, don't overfeed, and keep the fish load reasonable so it is in balance for the plants, water volume, bacteria. Organic buildup from any of these will cause nitrate levels to rise, because the increased ammonia gets converted to nitrite then nitrate and nitrate stays there until either of the afore-mentioned methods removes it.

Byron.
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Old 02-03-2011, 04:57 PM   #12
 
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cycling tank

Thanks Byron,

That's all very helpful. I will keep a regime of doing a 50% tank change each week. And make the effort to keep nitrates as low as possible. Can I safely remove my friends tanks' rocks sitting in my filter in a week? Less? When should I take those out?

I did lightly rinse the 1/2 cup of rocks I used, in my tank water, because I know this person rarely does water changes, but just adds water, due to evaporation (this is a dry climate), so I figured she'd have high nitrate levels. I think that is how I got nitrates so immediately in my tank. Her fish seem to do fine, though she only has a 3 small fish in 30 gal.

Thanks

Gwen
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Old 02-03-2011, 06:28 PM   #13
 
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Originally Posted by GwenInNM View Post
Thanks Byron,

That's all very helpful. I will keep a regime of doing a 50% tank change each week. And make the effort to keep nitrates as low as possible. Can I safely remove my friends tanks' rocks sitting in my filter in a week? Less? When should I take those out?

I did lightly rinse the 1/2 cup of rocks I used, in my tank water, because I know this person rarely does water changes, but just adds water, due to evaporation (this is a dry climate), so I figured she'd have high nitrate levels. I think that is how I got nitrates so immediately in my tank. Her fish seem to do fine, though she only has a 3 small fish in 30 gal.

Thanks

Gwen
Nitrogen, whether in the form ammonia, nitrite or nitrate, is in the water, not on surfaces. Bacteria colonize su4rfaces, so the rock/gravel from an existing tank contained bacteria that supplemented what you already had.

I would take them out once you are certain the tank is fully cycled. And that means consecutive days with ammonia and nitrite at zero.
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Old 02-05-2011, 09:38 AM   #14
 
So in recent events, my fish destroyed 2 of my anacharis bunches. Do you guys have any suggestions on how to keep those things together and what I should try to attach them to?
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Old 02-08-2011, 04:21 PM   #15
 
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I plant them seperately. Please tell me you took the tie off of the bunches, right?

I've read that anarchis requires high light to root properly, so you might have to tie it to a rock.
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Old 02-08-2011, 05:00 PM   #16
 
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Welcome to the wonderful world of plants.... it's as addictive as the darn fish.... LOL.
I am also a newb... but learnin like crazy. I credit Byron with getting me my first sucesses with plants. I am still trying to learn the correct balance for my tank, and have had the occasional algae problem, but the rewards are amazing.
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Old 02-09-2011, 12:17 PM   #17
 
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Also, it looked like you planted the java fern... It should not be buried, tie it to a rock instead.
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