set up my 55 gal - criticism wanted! - Page 5 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #41 of 82 Old 05-04-2012, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by slojko View Post
so what would you recommend doing with my substrate? i have never had this problem and i dont have a solution. is it worth it, how harmful to the fish can it be?

i dont know how to do this without having to cycle my tank again

people have claimed to be using this exact sand for a couple years in their aquarium so maybe the chemicals come out when washed.
hopefully i can resolve this problem before my new plants come in on Tuesday.

would you say this is a good way to do it?

http://www.ehow.com/how_5856652_chan...-aquarium.html

should take about a day

Last edited by slojko; 05-04-2012 at 04:18 PM.
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post #42 of 82 Old 05-04-2012, 05:16 PM
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Nooo.. Considering that 90% of the bacteria live in the substrate, that would kill the cycle right away.
You could try switching out small amounts of the sand? Maybe 1/4-1/3 every 2 months or so?

taking a break from fish-keeping.
3 lovely male betta still keep me company.
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post #43 of 82 Old 05-04-2012, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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Nooo.. Considering that 90% of the bacteria live in the substrate, that would kill the cycle right away.
You could try switching out small amounts of the sand? Maybe 1/4-1/3 every 2 months or so?
half a year? what about 1/3 a week, i feel it would be difficult adding a substrate and taking away a different kind in the same tank. has anybody tried using bio-spira?

its also debatable where the bacteria lays.

Last edited by slojko; 05-04-2012 at 05:31 PM.
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post #44 of 82 Old 05-04-2012, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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PH 7.4 - 7.6

AMMONIA .50 ppm - 1.0 ppm

NITRITE 2.0ppm - 5.0 ppm

NITRATE 20 ppm
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post #45 of 82 Old 05-04-2012, 08:21 PM
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I'd wait for Byron's opinion on it.
That water is pretty toxic. 0.5ppm ammonia is already toxic, and 0.25ppm nitrite is also extremely toxic. 1ppm nitrite is usually fatal, it has a suffocating effect on fish...
At this point, you'd need a lot of water changes to get nitrites down.. My nitrite maxed out at 5ppm during the cycling process, and after that the cycle was done in 5 days.. but with fish the levels need to be lowered and the cycle may be slowed down.

taking a break from fish-keeping.
3 lovely male betta still keep me company.
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post #46 of 82 Old 05-04-2012, 08:22 PM
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if the substrate sand only contains small amounts of crystalline silica, then it must contain large amounts of something else, if that is calcium carbonate, it will alter the water chemistry to the detriment of soft water fish, which you have


what you want is 100% crystalline silica (quartz) - the warning about the inhalation hazard is, I believe, due primarily to California regs, so it may not appear on labels when sold in Canada

what exact substrate do you have? can you test the GH and KH of the tank water? the pH is a little high

Last edited by Quantum; 05-04-2012 at 08:27 PM.
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post #47 of 82 Old 05-04-2012, 08:43 PM
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I'm a bit confused by the recent posts and would like to sort this out. And, slojko, don't jumpo into this.

First, those numbers in post # 44, are you sure? Olympia is correct, the fish would be showing extreme stress and dying at such high nitrite.

Once the above is resolved, turning to the substrate, this is better changed at once, I have done this myself with 5 of my 5 over the past year. It is much less stressful on fish--and the aquarist--to do it at one go. And I didn't read that link on the process, but a glance over it suggests it is probably the best way, though we can go into this later. This is a task to prepare for, with a tank to house the fish and plants and wood (a 20g is fine for this).

Quantum, it isn't the silica issue so much as the aragonite in that sand, according to the link that slojko posted. But slojko, Q is correct, can you test the GH of the tank water and compare that to the tap water?

Byron.

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 #48 of 82 Old 05-04-2012, 09:01 PM
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I didn't see the exact product in the link so was a bit unsure what was in the tank

yes, crystalline silica sand is no problem at all

if it is aragonite - calcium carbonate - that makes up the rest of the substrate in addition to the 'small amounts of crystalline silica', I agree, it will alter the water chemistry so that it is not suited to the fish currently in the tank
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post #49 of 82 Old 05-04-2012, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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how do fish show stress? they are swimming normally like they have been and eating regularly.
i tested again to make sure
PH 7.4

ammonia .25 ppm

nitrite 1.0 ppm - 2.0 ppm its quite purple

nitrate 1 ppm

i do not have a gh or kh test kit atm but i will go tomorrow and pick one up
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post #50 of 82 Old 05-04-2012, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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glofish have been in this tank for 2 weeks so how long does it take for nitrite, ammonia to kill a fish?

i have also been putting in a capful of prime every other day after i tested the water
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