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10g sand tank cycling issues

This is a discussion on 10g sand tank cycling issues within the Catfish forums, part of the Freshwater and Tropical Fish category; --> What is the tap filter you mentioned?...

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10g sand tank cycling issues
Old 08-13-2011, 04:32 PM   #11
 
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What is the tap filter you mentioned?
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Old 08-13-2011, 05:25 PM   #12
 
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What is the tap filter you mentioned?
Instapure Brands, Inc. - Instapure F2 ESSENTIALS Tap Water Filter System


Is there a favorite brand of tap conditioner on this site? Since i ran out of the aquaPLus last night i am using the ammonia one i mentioned earlier, as it says "tap conditioner removes chlorine and chloramines"

I am going to go to the LFS tomorrow to purchase whatever i need to help with this tank.

Current stats: Ammonia <0.2 (the three of us couldn't really see any green in the liquid, but it wasn't pure yellow, either.)
Nitrite pre water change: really high. definitely over 2, not sure if over 5ppm.
Nitrite POST water change 0.5PPM (5 gallons out, 5 gallons in)
nitrates holding at ~40ppm

The youngest fish are very active, hungry, and playful. the oldest cory is perking up a bit, but doesn't have the "zoomies" like he normally does.

Edit: should i get a GH/KH test kit tomorrow as well? that way i can determine if i need a water softener pillow or something...

Last edited by genewitch; 08-13-2011 at 05:29 PM..
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Old 08-13-2011, 07:30 PM   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genewitch View Post
Instapure Brands, Inc. - Instapure F2 ESSENTIALS Tap Water Filter System


Is there a favorite brand of tap conditioner on this site? Since i ran out of the aquaPLus last night i am using the ammonia one i mentioned earlier, as it says "tap conditioner removes chlorine and chloramines"

I am going to go to the LFS tomorrow to purchase whatever i need to help with this tank.

Current stats: Ammonia <0.2 (the three of us couldn't really see any green in the liquid, but it wasn't pure yellow, either.)
Nitrite pre water change: really high. definitely over 2, not sure if over 5ppm.
Nitrite POST water change 0.5PPM (5 gallons out, 5 gallons in)
nitrates holding at ~40ppm

The youngest fish are very active, hungry, and playful. the oldest cory is perking up a bit, but doesn't have the "zoomies" like he normally does.

Edit: should i get a GH/KH test kit tomorrow as well? that way i can determine if i need a water softener pillow or something...
According to the linked site, the faucet purifier has a carbon-based filter, so that is all right. It doesn't seem to add anything to the water.

If there are fish in this tank, the nitrites should be kept below .25, and ammonia same. Nitrates are high, but that is a later issue. I would get a bottle of Prime (Seachem) or Ultimate (Aquarium Solutions) as these handle nitrite. Prime also handles nitrate.

You will only need a hardness test if you intend altering the hardness in the tanks. Once you know the hardness of your tap water, which you can get from the water supply folks, it will tell us what we need to know and it won't change unless you do something; at this stage that isn't needed.
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Old 08-13-2011, 07:58 PM   #14
 
I'll get the nitrites under control with observation and water changes as necessary. I'll also monitor pH to make sure it's not going up.

Regarding the filter, the 7.4pH reading was post filter, pre tank, the tap water itself was almost the exact same, 7.3-7.4ish.

if the pH goes up any more i'll put some of the bagged sand in a bucket of pH tested water and see if the pH changes, and if it doesn't, then i'll take the filter back to the LFS and ask for one without rocks. The part that has the rocks is sealed. The filter itself works great, it has sand bits and particles on it from the tank, so it is doing its intended job.
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Old 08-13-2011, 08:35 PM   #15
 
Nitrite PPM doubled since water change. I also tested the tap, just to be sure, and that's clear. So i might have to take a trip today instead of putting it off until tomorrow.

Thanks for your help, both of you! I'll update this thread as necessary with questions and pictures.
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Old 08-13-2011, 11:07 PM   #16
 
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I am wondering if it's possible to get some more filter material from an esatblished tank for this ten gallon tank that appears to me,, to still be in need of more time to establish a bacterial colony.
Nitrite reading's don't make sense with just three cory's unless fish are being overfed by one or more person's.
If this tank is less than six weeks old,I might look for water conditioner such as PRIME which has already been suggested.It will address not only chlorine and chloramines,but also ammonia and subsequent nitrites.
If test kit is API ,I might wonder if test result's for pH are from low range test, or high range test.
Testing a bucket of water from tap (pH) after it has set for 12 hours, and then testing the pH from same bucket after adding sand that is being used for substrate is a good idea. This will tell you if sand substrate is influencing the GH(hardness) and pH.
I might also add some more plant's like water sprite,vallisneria,pennywort,anacharis. These are fairly fast grower's and will help with nitrate and ammonia.
One or two plant's may not be as helpful as six or more, Can alway's remove portion's as they grow out.
Just my Two Cent's.
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Old 08-14-2011, 03:40 AM   #17
 
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I am wondering if it's possible to get some more filter material from an esatblished tank for this ten gallon tank that appears to me,, to still be in need of more time to establish a bacterial colony. Nitrite reading's don't make sense with just three cory's unless fish are being overfed by one or more person's.
there's only the four of us here, and the kids know that the readings are dire, so they wouldn't just put food in. they don't willy nilly feed my cat or turtle, so i doubt they're throwing algae chips into my second tank!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1077 View Post
If this tank is less than six weeks old,I might look for water conditioner such as PRIME which has already been suggested. It will address not only chlorine and chloramines,but also ammonia and subsequent nitrites.
If test kit is API ,I might wonder if test result's for pH are from low range test, or high range test.
high range, low range just shows blue for tap, established, and new, so i did high range for the three and got 7.4, 7.6, and 8.2 (tap, established, and sand bottom respectively)

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1077 View Post
Testing a bucket of water from tap (pH) after it has set for 12 hours, and then testing the pH from same bucket after adding sand that is being used for substrate is a good idea. This will tell you if sand substrate is influencing the GH(hardness) and pH.
I might also add some more plant's like water sprite,vallisneria,pennywort,anacharis. These are fairly fast grower's and will help with nitrate and ammonia.
One or two plant's may not be as helpful as six or more, Can alway's remove portion's as they grow out.
Just my Two Cent's.
going to do that test you mentioned. Although the prime should help with input nitrates. I got the Nitrites down to <0.2 tonight with a 79.5 degree water change, 25% then another 25%, it's nearly blue. the tank is just cycling and i feel terrible for putting my corydoras through the cycle, luckily i only put 2 established corys in instead of the 5 i had intended to. as soon as the api master test kit registers everything is good i am moving the rest, because when i do water changes they bury their faces in the sand and gallivant around and wiggle around and have a grand time - they're having a blast when the water is not killing them, in other words.

Which is why i did a sand bottom in the first place.

I wish i would have done a pure ammonia cycle, but i hadn't found the sticky about how to do that on this site prior to starting the sand tank.

Thanks to everyone here, my corydoras will live. They, and I, thank you all.

edit: A lot of tanks here have a ton of plants, i NEVER see the types of plants you guys have, for sale. I will buy more wisteria and look for the ones that ten seventy seven mentioned at LFS around here via yelp tomorrow and monday. I like plants, and i have enough that every LFS tries to sell me CO2 kits.

Last edited by genewitch; 08-14-2011 at 03:42 AM.. Reason: plant mentions
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Old 08-14-2011, 06:40 PM   #18
 
I bought Prime, and have put 3ml in so far with one 2.5 gallon water change (the instructions said for emergency nitrites that up to 5x as much could be used - so i'm right about there) this morning first reading was over 4ppm, possibly off the chart (>5ppm) so i did a 4 gallon change with the ammonia stuff i mentioned before. The measurement right after was .5ppm, and i went to the LFS to buy Prime and exchange my test kit for a new one. At 1:30PM i put in 2ml Prime straight in the tank and waited 10 minutes and took another nitrite reading, this time it was a little over .25ppm. Again at 3PM nitrite test showed .5ppm, so i did another 2.5 gallon change and added another 1ml Prime.
How long until i see 0PPM nitrites?
Should i keep doing changes and adding a bit more Prime (i think it's going to be .2ml per 2.5 gallons or so, i have to get an eyedropper for medicine)

Also regarding pH, LFS says they have no idea what could possibly cause my pH to be spiking, that they've never heard of a chemical that interferes with the test liquid, even. That it's not their filter that's doing it (they use the same one in every freshwater tank in their store.) They said i might try a CO2 system (i told you LFS always try to get me to buy one of those) to lower the pH a bit (carbonic acid) and negate the effects of running bubbles constantly (the bubble filter) - which evidently can cause the CO2 to leave the water quicker or something.

I did buy anacharis and vallisneria (the twisty kind, not the amazon straight kind) but i haven't planted them yet, they're above the sand until i can figure out where they'll fit in relation to the type of light i have in the tank.
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Old 08-14-2011, 08:53 PM   #19
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genewitch View Post
I bought Prime, and have put 3ml in so far with one 2.5 gallon water change (the instructions said for emergency nitrites that up to 5x as much could be used - so i'm right about there) this morning first reading was over 4ppm, possibly off the chart (>5ppm) so i did a 4 gallon change with the ammonia stuff i mentioned before. The measurement right after was .5ppm, and i went to the LFS to buy Prime and exchange my test kit for a new one. At 1:30PM i put in 2ml Prime straight in the tank and waited 10 minutes and took another nitrite reading, this time it was a little over .25ppm. Again at 3PM nitrite test showed .5ppm, so i did another 2.5 gallon change and added another 1ml Prime.
How long until i see 0PPM nitrites?
Should i keep doing changes and adding a bit more Prime (i think it's going to be .2ml per 2.5 gallons or so, i have to get an eyedropper for medicine)

Also regarding pH, LFS says they have no idea what could possibly cause my pH to be spiking, that they've never heard of a chemical that interferes with the test liquid, even. That it's not their filter that's doing it (they use the same one in every freshwater tank in their store.) They said i might try a CO2 system (i told you LFS always try to get me to buy one of those) to lower the pH a bit (carbonic acid) and negate the effects of running bubbles constantly (the bubble filter) - which evidently can cause the CO2 to leave the water quicker or something.

I did buy anacharis and vallisneria (the twisty kind, not the amazon straight kind) but i haven't planted them yet, they're above the sand until i can figure out where they'll fit in relation to the type of light i have in the tank.
Prime is effective for about 24-36 hours. I have a question in to Seachem about tests after Prime has detoxified nitrite, no response yet.

If something in the tank is raising hardness/pH, the solution is to find that and deal with it. Lowering the pH by any other method is only masking the problem. It is true that any surface disturbance, airstones/bubble devices etc will increase the exchange of gas (oxygen in, CO2 out) faster, which is one reason I recommend slow filter flows and no bubbling devices. But the answer again is not adding CO2 diffusion, it is to eliminate or reduce the bubbling stuff.

And whether they have or haven't heard of it, mixing chemical substances can cause all sorts of issues. Not saying it is here, but when there is a problem one has to explore all avenues. An aquarium is a rather complex biological system.
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