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Water Condition

This is a discussion on Water Condition within the Freshwater and Tropical Fish forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by MetalArm3 I do question the accuracy of the tests too. I'm going to be purchasing a new test kit, any recommendations. ...

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Old 06-23-2011, 02:47 PM   #11
 
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Originally Posted by MetalArm3 View Post
I do question the accuracy of the tests too. I'm going to be purchasing a new test kit, any recommendations. Would like it to test ammonia and ph if possible, but nothing outragously expensive. In the mean time I will do 25% water changes, but should I leave the gravel alone? I heard a lot of beneficial bacteria growth is in the gravel.
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This is something of a catch 22. Organic buildup in the gravel obviously produces ammonia. But bacteria colonize the substrate and need ammonia. If you have live plants, I would definitely not vacuum the substrate. I'd like to track down this ammonia to have a better idea of what's occurring before going further.

The API liquid test kit is reliable; most of us here use it. The Master Combo includes ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH, and these are all you really need.

On those test results, if you are using an ammonia detoxifier, it works by changing toxic ammonia into basically harmless ammonium. Test kits read ammonia/ammonium as "ammonia" so it will still appear even though it will (presumably) be ammonium. And ammonia at 4 if it is real ammonia would kill the fish very fast and you would see signs of ammonia poisoning (red gills, very fast respiration, at the surface hanging or gulping air).

Are there live plants? These help considerably by assimilating a lot of ammonia/ammonium.

Byron.
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Old 06-23-2011, 03:13 PM   #12
 
No I dont have live plants, all fake. I was afraid that live plants would make the tank more cloudy, the fish would eat them, and require more care. Is live plants a strong recommendation? If so what kind, are they difficult to grow, how long to they last..... answers to such questions would help considerably.

You've been great help, thanks a lot!
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Old 06-23-2011, 03:24 PM   #13
 
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No I dont have live plants, all fake. I was afraid that live plants would make the tank more cloudy, the fish would eat them, and require more care. Is live plants a strong recommendation? If so what kind, are they difficult to grow, how long to they last..... answers to such questions would help considerably.

You've been great help, thanks a lot!
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I am less then a full year into live plants myself and thought they would be difficult but they are not at all. I have Eco-Complete substrate but you can use just normal gravel as well. I have mostly hardy plants in my tanks right now. Amazon Swords, Java Moss, Java Fern, Wisteria, Pennywort, Ludwigia etc... They are all doing wonderfullly and do not need a whole lot of care. I do dip out the leaves that break off with my net and I do add an aquarium plant fertilaizer called Flourish Comprehensive Supplement 2 times a week. Once when I forget. They grow beautifully, the fish seem to really enjoy swimming about In and around them. T hey didn't so much around the plastic plants.
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Old 06-23-2011, 03:37 PM   #14
 
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Originally Posted by MetalArm3 View Post
No I dont have live plants, all fake. I was afraid that live plants would make the tank more cloudy, the fish would eat them, and require more care. Is live plants a strong recommendation? If so what kind, are they difficult to grow, how long to they last..... answers to such questions would help considerably.

You've been great help, thanks a lot!
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I have no fish that eat plants (there are a few that will), so all my tanks always are full of live plants. The benefits cannot be understated, but I won't get into all that now. Most aquarium plants are relatively easy; but they do need good light, and then nutrients. Many of the latter occur naturally in the aquarium and from water changes. Many plants will do fine in regular gravel or sand, with 8-10 hours of overhead light daily; assuming your tank has an overhead light fixture, just replacing the tube or bulb with a suitable spectrum one will be it. I have large swords that are now in their 13 or 14th year, my pygmy chain swords are descended from a single plant acquired in 1997, as are my floating Water Sprite plants.
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Old 06-23-2011, 05:19 PM   #15
 
Byron and Inga

Good Advice. I had no idea the plants could live that long. I will have to do more research but you guys have lead me on the right path. I have the marineland day/night led light, would that be sufficient to grow plants in?
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Old 06-23-2011, 07:10 PM   #16
 
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Good Advice. I had no idea the plants could live that long. I will have to do more research but you guys have lead me on the right path. I have the marineland day/night led light, would that be sufficient to grow plants in?
I am not personally familiar with any of the LED lights now available, but other members here are as they have commented on them in other threads. Youomight want to start a new thread under Aquarium Plants on LED lights to get more of feedback.
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Old 06-23-2011, 08:16 PM   #17
 
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I am not personally familiar with any of the LED lights now available, but other members here are as they have commented on them in other threads. Youomight want to start a new thread under Aquarium Plants on LED lights to get more of feedback.
Will do. You have been of great help, very much appreciated. If I give you the dimensions of my tank would you be willing to suggest plants for it (small, medium, and large)? Like most members I find this subject to be quite overwhelming.

BTW I read your 4 part series on lives plants, very well done.
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:18 PM   #18
 
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Will do. You have been of great help, very much appreciated. If I give you the dimensions of my tank would you be willing to suggest plants for it (small, medium, and large)? Like most members I find this subject to be quite overwhelming.

BTW I read your 4 part series on lives plants, very well done.
Thank you. Give me the tank size (20g long, 30g, etc).
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Old 06-23-2011, 10:46 PM   #19
 
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Thank you. Give me the tank size (20g long, 30g, etc).
I have a Marineland(r) 27gallon Cube Complete Aquarium Ensemble. The dimensions are 20"W X 18"D X 20"H. I have a large hollow arch shape piece of driftwood that runs diagonally across the middle of the tank with a 5" disc bubbler that I would like to keep. The rest I would like to see live plants in. Please refer to my aquarium bio for info of what I have right now.

Big thanks in advanced for doing this, you are truly a great asset to the community.
-MetalArm3
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Old 06-24-2011, 01:27 PM   #20
 
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I have a Marineland(r) 27gallon Cube Complete Aquarium Ensemble. The dimensions are 20"W X 18"D X 20"H. I have a large hollow arch shape piece of driftwood that runs diagonally across the middle of the tank with a 5" disc bubbler that I would like to keep. The rest I would like to see live plants in. Please refer to my aquarium bio for info of what I have right now.

Big thanks in advanced for doing this, you are truly a great asset to the community.
-MetalArm3
Thank you indeed for the kind words.

I checked your photos; once the live plants are available, I would remove the fake, they tend to look even more "fake" with real plants. And then shift that lovely chunk of wood to either left or right [centered makes the tank appear smaller and contrived, always best to offset wood or rock, and never have anything dead centre] and turn it just a tad so the back side is sort of directed towards the left or right rear corner of the tank, depending which way you shift it. That will open up the space.

Plants for behind the wood and the other rear corner: Corkscrew Vallisneria, Amazon Sword, or a stem plant like Brazilian Pennywort. For closer to the front, the pygmy chain sword. These are all in our plant profiles with photos, click on the shaded names.

I would suggest removing the "bubbler." With live plants, carbon from CO2 is a vital nutrient, and bubbling devices remove the CO2 from the water faster, meaning the plants get less.

Byron.
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