New 8g and 5g- cycling and stocking questions
I am currently cycling an 8g aqueon evolve and a 5g with cocktail shrimp. I believe I am nearing the end of the cycling process(been at it for just over a month). I have been doing lots of research on potential inhabitants for my tanks, I would like a small variety of guppies, a honey gourami, snail and I would very much like some crystal red shrimp but I dont know if they would do well in my water.
My first question is about cycling- I have read over and over that your ammonia should spike and drop and then nitrite spike and drop and then you have nitrate but I have had two nitrite spikes. I am using an API master freshwater kit and when tested yesterday I had 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and 10 nitrate. Today I have >.25 ammonia, very high nitrite(off the chart) and 5 nitrate. Is it normal and okay to have two nitrite spikes?
My second question- I have very hard water and a home water softener, when bypassing my softener or it runs out of salt the water comes out orange so just going without it isnt really an option. When testing my water from the tap the parameters are:
I dont really understand why with as hard as my water is the GH is reading 0 and are these parameters okay for the fish I would like to have- Guppies, honey gourami, mystery snail? as I stated above I would really like a few crystal red shrimp but have read some conflicting things on these as far as the type of water they can live happily in.
Lastly I would like some Java moss, a couple other easy to care for floating and rooted/potted plants. If anyone has any suggestions on some that would do well with my water I'd be grateful.
Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum, if I haven't already...but then, a second welcome certainly won't do any harm.:-D
I can't offer much on the cycling question because I never do this, I have planted tanks and live plants avoid "cycles" as such, so I will leave that for those with experience where I have none.
But I can help a bit with your water hardness issue. First, I wold not use water from a softener in an aquarium. Most of these work by replacing the "hard" mineral salts (calcium, magnesium) with other salts, especially sodium. The water tests low for GH, because our GH test kits measure the hard minerals and these are gone. But true water hardness involves much more than hard minerals, and this is where the problem comes in.
This is explained in this article:
and better than I can in the short limits of this post, so please have a read. You will note there is a passage on water softeners from Dr. Neale Monks. That should explain things, but feel free to ask any questions in this thread.
My advice would be to use some tap water pre-softener (I assume from your post that this is possible) and dilute it with "pure" water. You can read more on this here:
And again, rather than bog this post down at this stage, I'll leave it at that until you return with questions.;-)
so the ph is much better than the very high 8.4 I have with the softener. Now, will water conditioner remove or do something with the rusty orange color of the water if I just go that route? I would prefer to just use my straight unsoftened well water if the parameters are okay and I can take care of the orange tint and the rust.
Which brings us to the rust/orange. Is this private well water, or municipal water? If the latter, the water supply folks can tell you what this is from. If private well water, you might want to have it tested, you may already have done this. I could suggest causes, but they would be guesses. It may be harmless, and perhaps a simple filter like a Britta or something would deal with this. Other members may have ideas too.
We did have it tested when we bought our house nearly 10 years ago, I cant remember what the results were but there wasnt anything wrong that I remember.
If I can work out filtration for the rust and I change the water in my tanks while they're nearing the end of their cycle will it harm my progress?
Well, you'd want to run the water through the carbon before putting it in the tank, to keep the tank clear--and in case whatever this is turns out to be harmful as it might be to fish even if safe to drink. So perhaps have a look online for water filters that use carbon?
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