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Discussion Starter #1
Tap Water
PH 7.6
Hr PH 7.8
Ammo .50 ppm
Nitrites 0 ppm
Nitrates 0 ppm

10 Gallon overstocked, planted tank 2-3 50% water changes per week
Currently 83 degrees
PH 7.6
Hr PH 8.0
Ammo .25 ppm
Nitrites 5 ppm
Nitrates 10 ppm

55 Gallon cycling, lightly planted, no fish
Currently 79 Degrees
PH 7.6
hr PH 7.4
Ammo 0 ppm
Nitrites 0 ppm
Nitrates 0 ppm

The 55 has been cycling for a couple weeks now, with media, plants and gravel from a cycled tank. Is it okay to transfer my 10 Gallon community over to that one? I'm debating on drift wood, how much could I expect my PH to fall? <2 lbs wood for 55 gallons. Do I even want it to fall? Help?

Also do you have stocking suggestions for the 55 gallon? I am not a fan of cichlids or aggressive fish.
 

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I think you should begin moving a few fish to the larger aquarium. It will help it to cycle, and will remove some of your biolad from the smaller tank. If I was getting 5.0 ppm nitrite readings, I'd be doing 50% changes repetitively until I could get a reading of less than 1.0. I'm hoping you might have missed a decimal there, like that it's actually 0.5?

As to stocking that 55-gallon goes, the sky's the limit for you! If I were you, I might look at some of the bigger gouramis (Kissing gouramis and Blue Gouramis are two species that jump to mind as being very tolerant of water with a relatively high pH), a school of clown loaches, and maybe a couple trios of Bleher's rainbowfish. 2-3 SAEs might come in handy, as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If I was getting 5.0 ppm nitrite readings, I'd be doing 50% changes repetitively until I could get a reading of less than 1.0. I'm hoping you might have missed a decimal there, like that it's actually 0.5? .
Big changes are the plan of the day for Saturday. THe rock is out of the tank and I've got my buckets lined up lol.

2-3 SAEs might come in handy, as well.
SAEs? What does that stand for? I'm going to do some research on The Guarmis, rainbows, and loaches you suggested. Thank you:)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Discovered the issue with the ten gallon!

Turns out, not only did I have a batch of dead fry, my kids have been feeding the fish at five in the morning.:evil:

I just finished a huge water change and could not believe how much refuse and fish flakes were floating about. As I siphened off the bottom, kicking the gravel around, I kicked up about ten dead fry. They were way early. The mama probably had those early because of the conditions.

SO, I did about 70% water change. After watching the existing filter miss all the stuff floating, I decided to go big. I have my 350 biowheel on the front of the tank. The five Platy and em. cats are moved to the big tank and left 5 molly/guppies. That should ease the bio load and distribute the pending fry more evenly. I'm going to run my huge filter with redundant filters for another couple of hours then do another test and possible another water change. Oh and I pulled the big rock out of there.

After water change & before big filter, and fish removal:
PH 7.4 down
Ammonia .25 ppm same
Nitrite 5.0 ppm same
Nitrate 80 ppm (It was up 70 ppm from yesterday's 10 AFTER the water change according to my math, the test kit doesn't even go as high as it probably was.:oops:)

Will test again this evening. Wish me luck:-(
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Second question: Fertilizer for the plants. What should I use? Should I use it? Will affect my levels?
 

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Second question: Fertilizer for the plants. What should I use? Should I use it? Will affect my levels?

Do you know what kind of plants you plan on keeping?? Based on what you decide, we can recommend different kinds of ferts.

Stem plants and rooted plants depend on two different kinds of ferts. Stem plants rely on the water column for their nutrients, which means you'll need a liquid fertilizer. Seachem's "Flourish Comprehensive" is widely recommened by all the members on here.

Rooted plants, such as crypts and swords rely on a gravel based fert. Seachem also makes "root tabs" that you imbed in your gravel and replace every 3 months or so.

So if you end up going with say, sword plants and vals, you'll need both the comrehensive liquid fert and the root tabs.

Those are the two I use. I dose my tank weekly with the liquid fert. Both have worked great in my tank without affecting the parameters
 

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I would try to change some of your filter media. If you are still getting the same readings AFTER a 70% water change, I suspect there's a major constant contributor. I also worry that the existing biofilter may have crashed.

One other question for you: have you tested your tap water for nitrite?
 

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good point,

what does your tap water test at?? I never thought it coud be an issue and one day i was bored and tested mine, my tap water a natural reading of 10ppm....
 

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Discussion Starter #11
good point,

what does your tap water test at?? I never thought it coud be an issue and one day i was bored and tested mine, my tap water a natural reading of 10ppm....
cold - 7.6 PH, 0.5 ppm Ammonia, 0 ppm Nitrate/trite Hot has a little more ammonia and nitrites.

I would try to change some of your filter media. If you are still getting the same readings AFTER a 70% water change, I suspect there's a major constant contributor. I also worry that the existing biofilter may have crashed.
One other question for you: have you tested your tap water for nitrite?
The filter that goes to that tank is a Aqueon Whisper 10. I'm purchasing a bio-wheel for it tomorrow. See below.... it got worse with another change...

And yes, it is part of why I do not use hot water from my tap. Yucky hot water heater.

Do you know what kind of plants you plan on keeping?? Based on what you decide, we can recommend different kinds of ferts.

Stem plants and rooted plants depend on two different kinds of ferts. Stem plants rely on the water column for their nutrients, which means you'll need a liquid fertilizer. Seachem's "Flourish Comprehensive" is widely recommened by all the members on here.

Rooted plants, such as crypts and swords rely on a gravel based fert. Seachem also makes "root tabs" that you imbed in your gravel and replace every 3 months or so.

So if you end up going with say, sword plants and vals, you'll need both the comrehensive liquid fert and the root tabs.

Those are the two I use. I dose my tank weekly with the liquid fert. Both have worked great in my tank without affecting the parameters
Right now I have Hornwort, Foxtail, Anacharis and a couple unidentifiables that straggled with the chosen plants and latched on.

:lol: Based on those nitrate readings, there should be no need for fertilizer at this time!
Aint that the truth... I have a feeling that if my tests could read higher, it would be much higher.... the shade of purple my test is making isn't on the card.



After the 70% water change I set up my big biowheel 350 on the little tank, took out eight fish, and left it alone for about four to five hours.

When I got home I tested again.
PH 7.6 up
Ammo .5 up
trite 5.0 ppm same
trate 80 ppm same

I did a 50% water change using my gravel vac thingy. The water I put in tested at 7.4, 0ppm, 0ppm, 0ppm.

I waited an hour and tested it yet again...
PH - 7.6
Ammo - 1.0 ppm
trite - I dunno, it was hot pink, not a shade of purple... I guess it's close to 5.0 ppm (repeated twice, slowly.. reading and counting carefully... no amount of lighting changed how that looked)
trate - depends on the lighting..... could be 10ppm(LED lighting) or 80 ppm (incandescent)....

I'm beginning to wish I got test strips.... Do they have digital tests like those new fancy pregnancy tests that have the smiley faces down to frowny faces? or a number readout? I mean that's all we really need here.

And yes, I've tested the nitrite test on other water sources including bottled water, other tanks and tap. All gave reasonable and recognizable readings.

Okay, so I clearly need a better filter. Based on my frigged up testing here... Do I have too many plants? Am I gonna have to dump the tank and re start? I'm ready to at this point. If the tests are coming back that high so soon after a water change then it defies all my math skills. pffff:roll:
 

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Do they have digital tests like those new fancy pregnancy tests that have the smiley faces down to frowny faces? or a number readout? I mean that's all we really need here.

And yes, I've tested the nitrite test on other water sources including bottled water, other tanks and tap. All gave reasonable and recognizable readings.

Okay, so I clearly need a better filter. Based on my frigged up testing here... Do I have too many plants? Am I gonna have to dump the tank and re start? I'm ready to at this point. If the tests are coming back that high so soon after a water change then it defies all my math skills. pffff:roll:
OK...first of all...I was only JUST THINKING about trying to come up with a test system that does EXACTLY what you just described. If you invent it, I expect a cut! :lol:

I would keep doing 50% changes until you start to get a reading that makes you feel better (change it, test it, change it again). Just by the simple dynamic of dilution, you are bound to cut into that nitrite reading. Nitrite poisoning can be really bad...it's worth the work. Believe me. I can remember having issues like yours. Don't give up. There's a light at the end of the tunnel, as long as your tap water isn't the source.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
OK...first of all...I was only JUST THINKING about trying to come up with a test system that does EXACTLY what you just described. If you invent it, I expect a cut! :lol:

Dibs... period. ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The midnight test 10 Gallon

Ph - 7.6 same
Ammo - 1.0 ppm ammo carb added to filter, will retest in 24 hours
Nitrite - Still hot pink ? ~5.0 same
Nitrate - 0ppm down

I'm at a loss! I think I've changed the water six times now. The Nitrites are not going down AT ALL!!! I'm going to take the water in and get an independent test done and see what they say. Maybe the nitrite test solution is not compatible with my tank lol.

To be safe, I'm gonna skip a feeding (and lock the food in the gun cabinet....grrrr kids) retest tomorrow at LFS and probably do another water change. Also picking up a bio wheel filter for the tank. The booklet with the test reads like an advertisement for their products. One was Nitrazorb. Supposedly it will absorb my nitrites and nitrates. I have had the tank set up for a solid three months and it should have cycled completely by now, but should have isn't fool proof. I worry about circumventing the natural filter but my fish need a break. Would it be okay to use this product?

The Platy and emerald cats like the big tank. Now I gotta get it all the way together. So much for taking my time. The good news is my kid's tanks will be up by Friday and they can use our current platy/molly/guppy population to cycle their tanks.:lol:


Super big thanks to everyone that's been walking me through this;-). This tank spiked a month and a half ago but went back to normal a couple days later with ONE water change. This is insane. I gotta go lock up the fish food and play tooth fairy (FYI, don't let your kids watch The Toothfairy movie if they're still losing teeth. both mine yanked out teeth tonight:roll:)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Does that mean change filters? Or does that mean change brand? I added ammo carb to the filter chamber. It is worth pointing out that the crap that came with the tank SUCKS!!!. with a basic filter the water couldn't get through so it flows right over a little lip and back out. No wonder the water was uber nasty.
 

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What kind of filter are we talking about? If you have a hang-on-the-back external power filter, they almost always come with cartridges...these should be changed approximately every month or so. I change mine @ about 3 weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yes, it is a hang on the back kind. I changed the filter three days ago, I'll do that again now. I'm fixin to scuttle the whole tank and start over. there is no reason for this nitrite to be soooooo damned high.
 

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I would get a second reading. What test kit are you using? Are you sure the test kit hasn't expired? Getting a permanent 5.0 ppm nitrite reading even after doing water changes with 0 ppm water makes no sense at all to me.

How are you cycling the 55g? If you've got zeroes across the board it seems like the tank isn't cycling yet.

I can't say I agree with some of Mr. Sparkle's stocking suggestions for the 55g. Three spot gouramis would work (blue, gold) but I'd only get one as they can be territorial/aggressive with one another. Kissing gouramis can grow up to a foot long so should really be in a bigger tank than a 55g. Clown loaches also grow to well over a foot and are active schoolers so should be in a much larger tank than a 55g.
 
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