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set up my 55 gal - criticism wanted!

This is a discussion on set up my 55 gal - criticism wanted! within the Freshwater and Tropical Fish forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Yea, no way that test is wrong. That should have remained light blue. Your tank is at it's nitrite spike... Water changes is the ...

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set up my 55 gal - criticism wanted!
Old 05-04-2012, 10:17 PM   #51
 
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Yea, no way that test is wrong. That should have remained light blue. Your tank is at it's nitrite spike... Water changes is the only way to go right now.
Do any of the fish look like their gills are moving faster than usual?
Maybe those GM tetra are some sort of super survivors. xD

Edit; the prime is neutralizing the nitrite, but it'll still show up on the tests.
I'm not sure if neutralized nitrite can be used for the cycling process? But if so, maybe just dose it every other day until the cycle completes...
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:17 PM   #52
 
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That colour is correct. I would do an immediate water change, half the tank, using Prime if you have it. Then test tomorrow and let us know the results.

Nitrite affects the transport of oxygen in the blood and the fish will first respirate (breathe) much faster (faster gill movements than normal), then begin to hang at the surface gulping air to obtain oxygen. Similar symptoms occur from ammonia poisoning, chlorine poisoning, etc.

There is always the possibility that the test is not accurate...make sure you add exactly the number of drops to the volume of water as specified i the instructions. And if memory serves me, the nitrite test has to sit for 5 minutes before comparing the colour to the chart. Any idea how old this kit is? Has nitrite tested this high previously?

[I'm going offline to have supper now, but there isn't much else i could say at this point, so I'll see developments tomorrow morning.]

Byron.

Last edited by Byron; 05-04-2012 at 10:20 PM..
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:23 PM   #53
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
That colour is correct. I would do an immediate water change, half the tank, using Prime if you have it. Then test tomorrow and let us know the results.

Nitrite affects the transport of oxygen in the blood and the fish will first respirate (breathe) much faster (faster gill movements than normal), then begin to hang at the surface gulping air to obtain oxygen. Similar symptoms occur from ammonia poisoning, chlorine poisoning, etc.

There is always the possibility that the test is not accurate...make sure you add exactly the number of drops to the volume of water as specified i the instructions. And if memory serves me, the nitrite test has to sit for 5 minutes before comparing the colour to the chart. Any idea how old this kit is? Has nitrite tested this high previously?
i just did a 20% change today should i do 30% or 50%? the gills aren't moving at all really , all of the fish but the zebra danios hang at the middle / bottom of the tank.

i bought the test 2 days ago and they expire in 2017. here are all of my tests

Wednesday 5/2

PH - 7.4 7.8

AMMONIA .50ppm - 1.0 ppm

NITRITE 0ppm - .25 ppm

NITRATE 5.0ppm

Friday 5/4

PH 7.4 - 7.6

AMMONIA .50 ppm - 1.0 ppm

NITRITE 2.0ppm - 5.0 ppm

NITRATE 20 ppm
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:38 PM   #54
 
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Regarding the substrate.

I think what you have is this:
Play Sand from Kolorscape | The Home Depot - Model#:40105130

I can't find a MSDS for this product, so I don't know what it is exactly. What appears to be going on is that some companies are marketing alternatives to this:
50 lb. Play Sand-40100301 at The Home Depot (the photo shows 'natural sand' rather than 'play sand', but it is the same thing, see: http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/pdf...713e29d6ba.pdf)

The Sakrete Play Sand (and most sand in general) is basically 100% crystalline silica (quartz), as such it will (at least in the US) have the inhalation hazard warning on the label (though this applies more to occupational, long-term, high level exposure - but always follow manufacturers recommendations). Parents were probably hesitant to put this in sand boxes because of the warnings so 'silica free' sand was made available. These appear to be calcium carbonate based, as there seems to be reports of it fizzing with vinegar.

If this is the case, and you want to keep your fish, the substrate will need to be changed. You can get the API GH/KH test kit for about $10, which will give some definitive answers.
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Old 05-05-2012, 09:25 AM   #55
 
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On the cycling/nitrification issue, recognize that Prime will detoxify ammonia and nitrite but they will still show on tests. As long as you are getting numbers for either, do alternate day (every other day) water changes with Prime.

Another factor is the tank size, more water volume means less concentration of ammonia and nitrite, so that is good. And live plants...the more the better, especially floating plants...will help a lot.

Byron.
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Old 05-05-2012, 11:49 AM   #56
 
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On the cycling/nitrification issue, recognize that Prime will detoxify ammonia and nitrite but they will still show on tests. As long as you are getting numbers for either, do alternate day (every other day) water changes with Prime.

Another factor is the tank size, more water volume means less concentration of ammonia and nitrite, so that is good. And live plants...the more the better, especially floating plants...will help a lot.

Byron.
PH 7.4

AMMONIA .25

nitrite 2.0

so my nitrate is still high, maybe my tank is still cycling? to get through the cycle i should add prime every other day until the the nitrite gets to 0? my live plants should arrive monday or teusday but should i do the gravel switch before or after putting the plants in?
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Old 05-05-2012, 12:05 PM   #57
 
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Originally Posted by slojko View Post
PH 7.4

AMMONIA .25

nitrite 2.0

so my nitrate is still high, maybe my tank is still cycling? to get through the cycle i should add prime every other day until the the nitrite gets to 0? my live plants should arrive monday or teusday but should i do the gravel switch before or after putting the plants in?
Yes to the first point, you should do a 50% water change every other day using Prime as long as you are reading above zero for ammonia and/or nitrite.

When the plants arrive, i would change the substrate. Not doing this only means getting the tank established, then tearing it down again and re-stressing the fish more. Better to do it all at one go.

You should have a temporary holding tank or tub for the fish and any plants and wood now in the tank. I keep an empty 20g on hand for this. Fill it with water from the tank, move the wood and plants (they can be left floating, no need to plant them) and then net over the fish. The filter and heater can be placed in the holding tank, just sitting on the frame, to keep the filter running. Then drain the main tank, remove the substrate, wash the sand and put it in. Fill about half way with fresh tap water, use a dechlorinator (Prime or any other), move the wood over, plant the new plants, then the existing plants. Sometimes all this makes a cloudy tank, so I sometimes drain it nearly completely and refill, always squirting in the dechlorinator at the very start to avoid killing any good bacteria on the wood and plants. Fill the tank and move over the fish.

If you have sufficient plants, and some fast growing ones like stem plants and particularly floating plants, you will have no ammonia and no nitrite with so few fish. I have sometimes used a bacterial supplement as a "precaution" but this really is not necessary; but you mentioned it previously (Bio-Spira) so if you have it it will certainly not hurt. I have used Seachem's Stability and Tetra's SafeStart for this.

Byron.
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Old 05-05-2012, 12:25 PM   #58
 
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Yes to the first point, you should do a 50% water change every other day using Prime as long as you are reading above zero for ammonia and/or nitrite.

When the plants arrive, i would change the substrate. Not doing this only means getting the tank established, then tearing it down again and re-stressing the fish more. Better to do it all at one go.

You should have a temporary holding tank or tub for the fish and any plants and wood now in the tank. I keep an empty 20g on hand for this. Fill it with water from the tank, move the wood and plants (they can be left floating, no need to plant them) and then net over the fish. The filter and heater can be placed in the holding tank, just sitting on the frame, to keep the filter running. Then drain the main tank, remove the substrate, wash the sand and put it in. Fill about half way with fresh tap water, use a dechlorinator (Prime or any other), move the wood over, plant the new plants, then the existing plants. Sometimes all this makes a cloudy tank, so I sometimes drain it nearly completely and refill, always squirting in the dechlorinator at the very start to avoid killing any good bacteria on the wood and plants. Fill the tank and move over the fish.

If you have sufficient plants, and some fast growing ones like stem plants and particularly floating plants, you will have no ammonia and no nitrite with so few fish. I have sometimes used a bacterial supplement as a "precaution" but this really is not necessary; but you mentioned it previously (Bio-Spira) so if you have it it will certainly not hurt. I have used Seachem's Stability and Tetra's SafeStart for this.

Byron.
thank you very much for the tutorial, would you recommend any kind of substrate? or just the cheapest stuff i can get in petco?

i have a 10g tank, would that be enough to hold all the fish? then i can put all my plants/wood/decorations in a metal tank?

when refilling the tank i should only add fresh water? none of the existing water i put the fish/plants in?

thanks,
steve
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Old 05-05-2012, 12:38 PM   #59
 
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Quote:
thank you very much for the tutorial, would you recommend any kind of substrate? or just the cheapest stuff i can get in petco?
I thought you had something in mind. Do you want fine gravel or sand?

Quote:
i have a 10g tank, would that be enough to hold all the fish? then i can put all my plants/wood/decorations in a metal tank?
Yes on the 10g for the few fish, I would just float the plants in there too; for one thing, this will keep the fish calmer. Keep the wood in the old tank water to preserve the bacteria.

Quote:
when refilling the tank i should only add fresh water? none of the existing water i put the fish/plants in?
Correct. What I usually do is a water change on (in your case) the 10g, replacing half with fresh dechlorinated water, once you have the fish in it. Then do the 55g tank. Another 50% water change in the 10g after the main tank is done is advisable. By this pint, the water should be close to fresh, relatively speaking. Obviously make sure there is no significant difference in GH, pH or temperature. And on the temp, I usually have the main tank just a tad warmer, one degree is fine, than the 10g. Fish are less stressed by a temp variation up, but cooler can shock them in this situation.
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Old 05-06-2012, 06:26 PM   #60
 
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I thought you had something in mind. Do you want fine gravel or sand?



Yes on the 10g for the few fish, I would just float the plants in there too; for one thing, this will keep the fish calmer. Keep the wood in the old tank water to preserve the bacteria.



Correct. What I usually do is a water change on (in your case) the 10g, replacing half with fresh dechlorinated water, once you have the fish in it. Then do the 55g tank. Another 50% water change in the 10g after the main tank is done is advisable. By this pint, the water should be close to fresh, relatively speaking. Obviously make sure there is no significant difference in GH, pH or temperature. And on the temp, I usually have the main tank just a tad warmer, one degree is fine, than the 10g. Fish are less stressed by a temp variation up, but cooler can shock them in this situation.
i really like the look of sand but i feel gravel would be easier/cheaper at this point.

so you are saying empty my 10g and fill it with half fresh water half 55g water? then do a 50% water change after im almost ready to add them back to my 55 g?
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