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rrutter81
02-14-2010, 08:04 PM
Decided to get back in to the aquarium game after discarding the hobby for 10 years.

Dec 24 bought the tank and foolishly over-stocked it. Over the course of a week I lost 1 hatchet fish, and 1 amazon puffer.
Total Fish started:
6 glow fish (1 got sucked up by the filter)
2 loaches
2 clown plecos
2 gouramis (returned 1 due to misbehavior)
2 black mollys (returned 1 due to misbehavior)
2 hatchet fish (1 died)
2 glass fish
3 amazon puffers (newb to puffers they are to be transferred to a 100+ gall before march)
2 mickey platties (1 died getting caught in the plants)
4 guppies (3 returned)

Of all the fish I only wanted the puffers. The others were stocked by my wife while i was at work. I had to make a stand on returning some and dealing with the rest until I get my new tank.

January 15-25 I hit ich/ick and turned the temp to 90, added aquarium salt, and put a towel over it. Ich hit my puffers only due to them being scaleless. After 15 days I turned the temp back to 84 and all was fine until yesterday.
One was flashing against the heater and showing signs of stress. Tank still isnt cycled. Ammonia rises 2 ppm a day, no nitrites. A week ago I placed 2 decorations from a friend's cycled tank and threw my biobag in their filter for 5 days. Still nothing after putting it all in....

Yesterday (feb 13) bombed the whole tank with chlorox. Removed all greenish residue from my filter and replaced everything (including the bio pellets) to start from scratch. Returning the fish showed signs of stress but they calmed down after an hour. My larger puffer laid down for a few minutes and cupped it's fins before exploring again. They looked like they had never seen the tank before (which is understandable since everything was cleaned)

Used
Aqueon water conditioner
Stress Zyme
API Aquarium Salt (6 tablespoons)

4 hours later I added
Microbe-Lift Special Blend
Microbe-Lift Nite-out 2

Water was Tested at .25-.5 ppm Ammonia during the addition

Today:
Woke up and bacterial bloom started. (yay).
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
PH: 6.8

Added 1/2 a cap of PH Increase

Larger Puffer is now flashing. Heat goes up to 90 again and towel is on it. Im guessing that the puffers either got it from the hospital tank that my wife used for her beta (that died of ich) although I cant see that happening since it was emptied and substrate dried for 48 hours or they were dormant and the new tank stressed them out enough to become infected again. Fortunately the tank is on constant-supervision.

rrutter81
02-14-2010, 11:59 PM
6:30 pm feb-14

Retested the tank
temp: 89-90 F
Nitrate 2 ppm
Ammonia 0 ppm
PH 6.4

Added 20 ML PH increase and changed 5 gallons of water 30 minutes later.

rrutter81
02-15-2010, 03:15 AM
10:15 pm

0 nitrites
90 F temp
.1 ppm ammonia
7.2 PH

puffers stopped flashing. wife observed the mickey platty scratch against the substrate though. Only visible signs of ich/ick is still on the smaller puffer behind the gills.
Water is much more clouded since this morning.

smaug
02-15-2010, 03:18 AM
Im just scratching the surface with this.Stop with the ph up,you are doing nothing beneficial for the water,fish or environment of the tank.Ill get back with more as absorb your numbers.
Im rading and posting as I go.Next,stop the salt,that isnt helping either.bleaching the tank was the worse thing possible.
The puffers,they gotta go back unless your keeping just one of them and no other fish.They did not contract the ich first because they are scaless,they got it because they are the least hardy fish in there for being in an uncycled tank.
Microbe lift:It works a little but not if your adding salt,ph up ,and doing stuff like bleaching the tank.
Honestly:Im a bit speachless but your here now so maybewe can help.
My biggest recomendation:If the fish shop you bought the fish from will take the fish back,do that.Lets start this tank up the right way,let us help you with that by helping you research the proper way.Are you willing to do that?

rrutter81
02-15-2010, 02:15 PM
Im just scratching the surface with this.Stop with the ph up,you are doing nothing beneficial for the water,fish or environment of the tank.Ill get back with more as absorb your numbers.
Im rading and posting as I go.Next,stop the salt,that isnt helping either.bleaching the tank was the worse thing possible.
The puffers,they gotta go back unless your keeping just one of them and no other fish.They did not contract the ich first because they are scaless,they got it because they are the least hardy fish in there for being in an uncycled tank.
Microbe lift:It works a little but not if your adding salt,ph up ,and doing stuff like bleaching the tank.
Honestly:Im a bit speachless but your here now so maybewe can help.
My biggest recomendation:If the fish shop you bought the fish from will take the fish back,do that.Lets start this tank up the right way,let us help you with that by helping you research the proper way.Are you willing to do that?


nitrifying bacteria wont survive below 6.2 ph.

Salt disallows the tomite to spawn and will only impede the cycle slowly.

I disagree that puffers contracted it first because they are the least hardy. Its proven scaleless fish contract it easier because the ich can burrow easier. There is only one cyst Ive seen so im acting accordingly.

I've lost 2 fish with the tank since ive gotten it due to water conditions and that was within the last week of december.

The tank would NOT cycle at all even with 100% water changes and rinsing with tap.

This morning:
ammonia: .5 ppm
nitrite: .25 ppm
nitrate: unchanged
ph: 6.8

The nitrite showing up is better than what i was working with before. No nitrite would show up at all before bleaching.

The puffers can not be returned btw. Its an exotic fish store. Not the typical figure 8s or spotten ones at petco or walmart.

rrutter81
02-15-2010, 10:18 PM
The one visible cyst fell off the smaller puffer.

Bacterial Bloom is completely clear now. However I doubt it cycled. (and id like to know why).

Ammonia 1 ppm
Nitrite 0 ppm
Nitrate 3 ppm
PH 7.0

None of the fish are flashing and they all look like they are at home again. I did not feed them at all today.

I'm considering dropping the temperature if the nitrifying bacteria cant sustain 89 degrees F. I have never seen a clouded tank clear so quickly, but the temp could have hastened it(in a bad way)

Please don't state the obvious(overstocked) but rather work with me on this dilemma. I know the fish wont die as I monitor them closely.

rrutter81
02-15-2010, 11:33 PM
Come to the conclusion the bioload is just too much for the tank and thats why ammonia is still rising. despite the clearing of the bacterial bloom.

Spoke with the wife and put my foot down on this futile attempt to keep all the fish in this aquarium.

Keeping the glow fish and the puffers but the rest all go in her 10 gallon.

Returning the 2 glass fish and the hatchet.
All others are on her shoulders as Im tired of dealing with it.

gm72
02-15-2010, 11:53 PM
Wow. Not really sure what to say here there is so much wrong. Temp is too high, pH is fine, stocking is too high, you are willing to significantly overstock yet another tank, and you have some knowledge that just isn't accurate. It doesn't seem like you are completely willing to take the advice that is given. As such there isn't really much we can do to help you.

smaug
02-15-2010, 11:54 PM
Well there buddy,you sound like you know it all,so Ill just step back and let you have fun.
Nitrifying bacteria not surviving below 6.5 ? wow,how did I keep my tank below that for years with zero on all bad params?Your a pro,I look forward to learning from you.thumbs2:

rrutter81
02-16-2010, 12:21 AM
Wow. Not really sure what to say here there is so much wrong. Temp is too high, pH is fine, stocking is too high, you are willing to significantly overstock yet another tank, and you have some knowledge that just isn't accurate. It doesn't seem like you are completely willing to take the advice that is given. As such there isn't really much we can do to help you.

I wanted to return the others but the wife wont let them go and is putting them in her 10 gal. How would you deal with it?

Also this isnt describing the problem. Tell me the error or what is going on scientifically. Temp is a little high due to prevent ich from reproducing so im in a catch 22.

In other words, id like to know the error...not the fix.

rrutter81
02-16-2010, 12:21 AM
Well there buddy,you sound like you know it all,so Ill just step back and let you have fun.
Nitrifying bacteria not surviving below 6.5 ? wow,how did I keep my tank below that for years with zero on all bad params?Your a pro,I look forward to learning from you.thumbs2:

http://www.bioconlabs.com/nitribactfacts.html

Obviously your pro ways are working for you but not for me.

smaug
02-16-2010, 12:22 AM
I would wait till she wasnt home and take them back for her.Simple really.

rrutter81
02-16-2010, 12:25 AM
I would wait till she wasnt home and take them back for her.Simple really.

That may be, however I work 9-5 and she is at home. Im at a disadvantage on how to pull that one off.

btw i edited the post to get some better concrete understanding. Not dogma fixes.

(Hatchet fish and 2 glass fish are returned)

I know her 2 plecos are going to be too much on the bio-load of that tank. I could possibly smuggle those away without her noticing.

smaug
02-16-2010, 12:32 AM
You gotta do whats right.Btw ,Im no pro,and dont claim to be,I do know what has worked for me many times and my methods are proved out time an time again by many members of this site.

rrutter81
02-16-2010, 12:34 AM
You gotta do whats right.Btw ,Im no pro,and dont claim to be,I do know what has worked for me many times and my methods are proved out time an time again by many members of this site.

Im not denying that.

Im wondering what is preventing it from cycling on a scientific basis. Without answers im forced to trial-and-error until I find out.

btw i love that movie lol

smaug
02-16-2010, 12:39 AM
The fact that it is overloaded is keeping it from cycling.
Come to the conclusion the bioload is just too much for the tank and thats why ammonia is still rising. despite the clearing of the bacterial bloom.

Spoke with the wife and put my foot down on this futile attempt to keep all the fish in this aquarium.

Keeping the glow fish and the puffers but the rest all go in her 10 gallon.

Returning the 2 glass fish and the hatchet.
All others are on her shoulders as Im tired of dealing with it.
you yourself know this.The puffers and there messy eating and the plecs are the biggest issues in your tank at the moment.

rrutter81
02-16-2010, 12:44 AM
The fact that it is overloaded is keeping it from cycling.
Come to the conclusion the bioload is just too much for the tank and thats why ammonia is still rising. despite the clearing of the bacterial bloom.

Spoke with the wife and put my foot down on this futile attempt to keep all the fish in this aquarium.

Keeping the glow fish and the puffers but the rest all go in her 10 gallon.

Returning the 2 glass fish and the hatchet.
All others are on her shoulders as Im tired of dealing with it.
you yourself know this.The puffers and there messy eating and the plecs are the biggest issues in your tank at the moment.

Im curious why the bacteria dont colonize if i keep the ammonia below 3 ppm though. I mean SOME nitrite has to show up at some point. The bioload is indeed too much as i knew before, but i would think that bacteria could colonize regardless. Not like the bacteria are taking an inventory of my fish and the tank size.

Not to pat my own back for this bad situation but i only lost 2 fish in the first week of purchasing the tank due to my own ignorance. (which i still have much of) This isnt to say anything is good or bad, however I'd like to know the ins and outs of this.

Rhaethe
02-16-2010, 01:30 AM
http://www.bioconlabs.com/nitribactfacts.html

Obviously your pro ways are working for you but not for me.


I just read that site, and I think you are referring to this paragraph:


pH

The optimum pH range for Nitrosomonas is between 7.8-8.0.

The optimum pH range for Nitrobacter is between 7.3-7.5

Nitrobacter will grow more slowly at the high pH levels typical of marine aquaria and preferred by African Rift Lake Cichlids. Initial high nitrite concentrations may exist. At pH levels below 7.0, Nitrosomonas will grow more slowly and increases in ammonia may become evident. Nitrosomonas growth is inhibited at a pH of 6.5. All nitrification is inhibited if the pH drops to 6.0 or less. Care must be taken to monitor ammonia if the pH begins to drop close to 6.5. At this pH almost all of the ammonia present in the water will be in the mildly toxic, ionized NH3+ state.



Now, even assuming that is 100% accurate, the statement is that growth of the bacteria is inhibited and nitrification is inhibited at 6.0 or less. Not that "they die" as you state.

A fair number of discus keepers have pH of 5.5 or so. Am curious as to how they keep their tanks cycled?

As a counter to the information you provide, I present this:


Some sources regard Nitrobacteraceae to be the family of the genus Nitrobacter. The Nitrobacter species include Nitrobacter winogradskyi, Nirobacter hamburgensis, Nitrobacter vulgaris and Nitrobacter alkalicus (Holt, 1993). According to Grundmann, Nitrobacter seem to grow optimally at 38C and at a pH of 7.9, but Holt states that Nitrobacter grow optimally at 28C and grows within a pH range of 5.8 -8.5 and has an pH optima between 7.6 and 7.8

Sources: 2. Grunditz, C. and G. Dalhammar. (2001). Development of nirification inhibition assays using pure cultures of Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter. Water Research 35:2. pp. 433-440.

Holt, J.G. (1993). Bergeys Manual of determinative Bacteriology. 9th Edition

This was also found on the wikipedia entry of which the url you provided is also mentioned.

/ ends thread de-rail

Rhaethe
02-16-2010, 01:41 AM
Since the tank was completely cleaned out on the 13th, the beneficial bacteria still haven't had a chance to colonize. Bascially, you are starting the cycle all over again.

I think the first thing to do is cut down that temp. In my personal opinion, 90 degrees F is way too high. Most fish prefer temps of 12 degrees lower. Certainly, one would think you could speed up the bacterial growth process by jacking up the heat ... but not when fish are actually in the tank. Any bad bacteria / fungus etc they have on them will get a growth spurt too ... Not good.

In addition, fish are cold blooded creatures. By keeping the temp that high, you're racing their metabolisms. All sorts of wierd behaviour is going to result.

As far as the wife situation goes, that's really more of an interpersonal relationship sort of issue. If you wish to save the fish and you are able to return them, I would be honest and say "Honey, you bought way too many fish. They will die if we don't return them. I'm returning them."

I'm a woman. And I'd far prefer my husband tell me that and do the right thing than do something wrong in "fear of" me. :hmm3grin2orange:

My suggestion is to take as many fish as you can back ... then start the tank up in a proper fishless cycle.

rrutter81
02-16-2010, 01:51 AM
I just read that site, and I think you are referring to this paragraph:

Now, even assuming that is 100% accurate, the statement is that growth of the bacteria is inhibited and nitrification is inhibited at 6.0 or less. Not that "they die" as you state.


Didnt state that they would "die". Stated that the process is at a standstill or hibernation (if you will)




A fair number of discus keepers have pH of 5.5 or so. Am curious as to how they keep their tanks cycled?



Most ich/ick die at 87 F however there are stronger strains that survive in florida above 90. Much like penecillin was the cure of all bacterial infections... they do adapt. While that may show proof in "some" tanks... this isnt the norm imho.



As a counter to the information you provide, I present this:



This was also found on the wikipedia entry of which the url you provided is also mentioned.

/ ends thread de-rail

Thanks for the info as i think science needs 2 sides of things however......

http://www.americanaquariumproducts.com/Nitrogen_Cycle.html

Low pH and Nitrification Important;
It is also noteworthy that the primary nitrifying bacteria are affected by pH.
PH levels of 7.5 to 8.5 are considered optimal for healthy nitrification of ammonia, and nitrites, as nitrification rates are rapidly depressed as the pH is reduced below 7.0.

http://cobweb.ecn.purdue.edu/~alleman/w3-articles/nitrifier-physiology/nitrifier-behavior.html


pH

The pH level should be routinely monitored. Slightly alkaline values are preferable, within a desired range of ~ 7.5 to 8.2. pH levels above 9.0 to 9.5, or below 6, must be avoided since either extreme may harm the nitrifiers.


http://science.jrank.org/pages/714/Bacteria.html

Like temperature, pH also plays a role in determining the ability of bacteria to grow or thrive in particular environments. Most commonly, bacteria grow optimally within a narrow range of pH between 6.7 and 7.5.


Any website will tell you this... it is fairly common knowledge of bacteria and the ph needed to thrive. I have yet to find your "5s" ph and any bacteria thriving in those conditions.

Now.... AFTER ALL THIS hub-bub....

What is wrong bringing the ph up from 6.4 to the low 7s?

rrutter81
02-16-2010, 01:59 AM
Since the tank was completely cleaned out on the 13th, the beneficial bacteria still haven't had a chance to colonize. Bascially, you are starting the cycle all over again.

I think the first thing to do is cut down that temp. In my personal opinion, 90 degrees F is way too high. Most fish prefer temps of 12 degrees lower. Certainly, one would think you could speed up the bacterial growth process by jacking up the heat ... but not when fish are actually in the tank. Any bad bacteria / fungus etc they have on them will get a growth spurt too ... Not good.

In addition, fish are cold blooded creatures. By keeping the temp that high, you're racing their metabolisms. All sorts of wierd behaviour is going to result.

As far as the wife situation goes, that's really more of an interpersonal relationship sort of issue. If you wish to save the fish and you are able to return them, I would be honest and say "Honey, you bought way too many fish. They will die if we don't return them. I'm returning them."

I'm a woman. And I'd far prefer my husband tell me that and do the right thing than do something wrong in "fear of" me. :hmm3grin2orange:

My suggestion is to take as many fish as you can back ... then start the tank up in a proper fishless cycle.

puffers cant go back at all. Those were the only ones i purchased and were from an exotic pet store. The rest were bought at a pet smart(not by me)

I wash my hands of them as they are in the 10 gallon. I will return the plecos tommorow morning and try to siphon out the others as i can while she doesnt notice.

Rhaethe
02-16-2010, 02:14 AM
Didnt state that they would "die". Stated that the process is at a standstill or hibernation (if you will)


nitrifying bacteria wont survive below 6.2 ph.


I interpreted it as "won't survive" = "die". I apologize for misunderstanding your intent.



Any website will tell you this... it is fairly common knowledge of bacteria and the ph needed to thrive. I have yet to find your "5s" ph and any bacteria thriving in those conditions.

Well, I never said "5". I said many discus keepers keep their tank at 5.5. Many also keep them at 6.0 The range for discus, specifically, is between 5.5 and 6.5. This is fairly common knowledge concerning discus and their need for low pH / soft water.



What is wrong bringing the ph up from 6.4 to the low 7s?

It's one less stress inducer. Cycling a tank is stressful enough for a fish, allowing sickness to creep in. A constant, non-changing pH is far better than one that bounces around. My own tank's pH is at 6.0 I have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 5-10 nitrates. When I have monkeyed with the pH, the fish were far less happy and active.

Certainly, your mileage will vary, of course.

Ultimately, the one thing I have learned that the two major key points of fishkeeping isn't necessarily exact and perfect knowledge ... but, rather, patience and time.

Again, your mileage will vary.

rrutter81
02-16-2010, 02:20 AM
I interpreted it as "won't survive" = "die". I apologize for misunderstanding your intent.


I can understand the confusion... i can see your point as well





It's one less stress inducer. Cycling a tank is stressful enough for a fish, allowing sickness to creep in. A constant, non-changing pH is far better than one that bounces around. My own tank's pH is at 6.0 I have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 5-10 nitrates. When I have monkeyed with the pH, the fish were far less happy and active.

Certainly, your mileage will vary, of course.

Ultimately, the one thing I have learned that the two major key points of fishkeeping isn't necessarily exact and perfect knowledge ... but, rather, patience and time.

Again, your mileage will vary.

I agree with this, however Im inclined to understand the "why". Not just that "it works".

Forgive me if im curious but im a software programmer and only understand why's and how's. I feel like im a mathematician in an intuitive hobby where i cant grasp the concept.

I do understand the fact that PH swings can stress fish, however a 1 PH increase over 24 hours seems to not affect them as much and im very observant of my larger puffer worry-wart.

My 1 puffer died because i didnt have an aquarium heater.
my 1 hatchet fish died because of some sort of bladder thing. (was alive and well but kept rising to the surface on it's side)

I learned from those mistakes, however i dont want to stay in crisis-mode with my tank.

Rhaethe
02-16-2010, 02:48 AM
Well, I can understand the mindset to an extent, as I am in IT as well, and deal with the exacts and constants of 1's and 0's. My major in college (oh so long ago) was astrophysics :ssuprised: Knowing theoretical equations and quarks doesn't help me a WHOLE lot here, lol.

That being said, let's start at the beginning.

This is my current interpretation of the situation: You have puffers in a 20g that is just starting to cycle. You would like to get the cycle started as quickly as possible to minimize fish stress (and your stress).

First, look at the water that is the source of all things (TM). Test your tap water. Is it 6.4 as well? If so, then you're going to need to use the ph upper every time you do a water change, even after the tank is cycled. Many ph uppers utilize phosphates to do what they do ... over time, excess phosphates cause other issues ... one of them being explosive algae growth.

If the tap water is at 7.0 or above, then something in the tank is driving the pH down. And you again get into the whole having to constantly use uppers thing.

If there is nothing in the tank (such as driftwood) doing that, then I'm going to hazard a guess that your tap water (or the water you are using to fill the tank) is really soft (lacking in mineral dissolved minerals). Its the dissolved minerals that buffer the water and make it resistant to ph fluctuation.

One way to remedy the whole thing is to find a nice piece of limestone for the tank or get some crushed coral to put in a bag in the filter. This allows minerals to leech into the water slowly over time, buffering the water, and allows it to raise pH to a nice equilibrium ... so that when you do your water changes, ph doesn't fluctuate. And its a nice natural solution ... as opposed to adding an additive for a quick fix.

Here are two quick links:

http://www.firsttankguide.net/ph.php
http://www.aquahobby.com/articles/e_adjusting_pH.php

Once we can get the ph stable, drop the temperature to 78, which is healthy for both nitrifying bacteria *and* fish. Do regular water changes (to minimize stress to fish from the varying spikes that occur during the beginning of the cycle), and nature will take its course.

If you do want to speed things up, see if you can nab some gravel or filter media from a healthy and established tank. Seed yours with it.

rrutter81
02-16-2010, 03:03 AM
Well, I can understand the mindset to an extent, as I am in IT as well, and deal with the exacts and constants of 1's and 0's. My major in college (oh so long ago) was astrophysics :ssuprised: Knowing theoretical equations and quarks doesn't help me a WHOLE lot here, lol.

That being said, let's start at the beginning.

This is my current interpretation of the situation: You have puffers in a 20g that is just starting to cycle. You would like to get the cycle started as quickly as possible to minimize fish stress (and your stress).

First, look at the water that is the source of all things (TM). Test your tap water. Is it 6.4 as well? If so, then you're going to need to use the ph upper every time you do a water change, even after the tank is cycled. Many ph uppers utilize phosphates to do what they do ... over time, excess phosphates cause other issues ... one of them being explosive algae growth.

If the tap water is at 7.0 or above, then something in the tank is driving the pH down. And you again get into the whole having to constantly use uppers thing.

If there is nothing in the tank (such as driftwood) doing that, then I'm going to hazard a guess that your tap water (or the water you are using to fill the tank) is really soft (lacking in mineral dissolved minerals). Its the dissolved minerals that buffer the water and make it resistant to ph fluctuation.

One way to remedy the whole thing is to find a nice piece of limestone for the tank or get some crushed coral to put in a bag in the filter. This allows minerals to leech into the water slowly over time, buffering the water, and allows it to raise pH to a nice equilibrium ... so that when you do your water changes, ph doesn't fluctuate. And its a nice natural solution ... as opposed to adding an additive for a quick fix.

Here are two quick links:

http://www.firsttankguide.net/ph.php
http://www.aquahobby.com/articles/e_adjusting_pH.php

Once we can get the ph stable, drop the temperature to 78, which is healthy for both nitrifying bacteria *and* fish. Do regular water changes (to minimize stress to fish from the varying spikes that occur during the beginning of the cycle), and nature will take its course.

If you do want to speed things up, see if you can nab some gravel or filter media from a healthy and established tank. Seed yours with it.

w00t!

Thats exactly what i was looking for!

My GH/KH is so low that it doesnt even register. Incredibly soft water here in Georgia.

I tried using my friend's decor and threw my biobag in their aquarium for a week and it still didnt cycle properly which is why im hesitant. I know that my meddling in the tank is preventing it from taking it's course but the puffers are hard to keep stress-free (like they are now).

Ill go to the exotic fish store for the coral/limestone as petco/petsmart doesnt have those kind of things and hope for the best. I remember reading something about ph dropping or rising alot due to crushed coral though. I cant put my finger on it but i do remember a ph shift using it.

perhaps you can fill in the gaps?

btw PH is 7.2 from the tap. However any additive i use is incredibly sensitive and shifts my ph down usually.

(n/m i see that it raises it) Ill make sure to grab some this weekend.

brianyu
02-16-2010, 03:17 AM
:hmm3grin2orange: i have so much fun to read that thread. the hole think is look so hard to cycle a tank . i think smaug had gave you all the advice you need to cycle the tank.
ps stop play with the ph lol ...

Rhaethe
02-16-2010, 03:33 AM
w00t!

Thats exactly what i was looking for!

My GH/KH is so low that it doesnt even register. Incredibly soft water here in Georgia.

I tried using my friend's decor and threw my biobag in their aquarium for a week and it still didnt cycle properly which is why im hesitant. I know that my meddling in the tank is preventing it from taking it's course but the puffers are hard to keep stress-free (like they are now).

Ill go to the exotic fish store for the coral/limestone as petco/petsmart doesnt have those kind of things and hope for the best. I remember reading something about ph dropping or rising alot due to crushed coral though. I cant put my finger on it but i do remember a ph shift using it.

perhaps you can fill in the gaps?

btw PH is 7.2 from the tap. However any additive i use is incredibly sensitive and shifts my ph down usually.

(n/m i see that it raises it) Ill make sure to grab some this weekend.


I'm on metro Atlanta water.

I hates it. Hates. No measurable hardness whatsoever. Like, none. And while it's great to wash and cook with ... I really dislike the taste.

It is a perfect 7.0 from the tap, but if it sits for 12-24 hours in a cup, it drops to 6 - 6.5. Let it sit for another 24-36 hours, and it bottoms out to 5 - 6. It does this because it is so soft. Without the dissolved minerals, it cannot maintain it's pH.

I'm actually in the market right now for a 1lb piece of limestone I can decorate my tank with. While my fish don't mind the 6.0 ph of the tank, the inverts I try to put in there die within around 1-2 weeks because they need harder water. And I'm fairly tired of walking the tightrope of "Will this new plant or decoration crash the ph?" that the super-soft water engenders, and I don't want to get into the vicious additive cycle.

Depending on your county, your water may have trace amounts of copper and lead as well, but you can find out if it does from the water report your county is required to publish.

Once your water is buffered from the limestone / crushed coral, you won't need to use additives for the ph ... and the water changes you do during the cycle will be a lot less stressful for the puffer.

As far as an amount, I was advised to use around 1lb of limestone for a 5.5g tank. You will want to pop the limestone into a bucket overnight and then test in the morning to see how it does before you put it in the tank. I believe there's a formula in one of the links I gave above for how much crshed coral to use.

rrutter81
02-16-2010, 03:52 AM
:hmm3grin2orange: i have so much fun to read that thread. the hole think is look so hard to cycle a tank . i think smaug had gave you all the advice you need to cycle the tank.
ps stop play with the ph lol ...

6.4 - 7.2 "playing with ph" is doubtful to be the armageddon you project.

Then again, i see nothing useful from this post. bye

rrutter81
02-16-2010, 03:53 AM
I'm on metro Atlanta water.

I hates it. Hates. No measurable hardness whatsoever. Like, none. And while it's great to wash and cook with ... I really dislike the taste.

It is a perfect 7.0 from the tap, but if it sits for 12-24 hours in a cup, it drops to 6 - 6.5. Let it sit for another 24-36 hours, and it bottoms out to 5 - 6. It does this because it is so soft. Without the dissolved minerals, it cannot maintain it's pH.

I'm actually in the market right now for a 1lb piece of limestone I can decorate my tank with. While my fish don't mind the 6.0 ph of the tank, the inverts I try to put in there die within around 1-2 weeks because they need harder water. And I'm fairly tired of walking the tightrope of "Will this new plant or decoration crash the ph?" that the super-soft water engenders, and I don't want to get into the vicious additive cycle.

Depending on your county, your water may have trace amounts of copper and lead as well, but you can find out if it does from the water report your county is required to publish.


Gwinnett here. Thank you for the information, it has been most helpful!!

gm72
02-16-2010, 11:41 AM
6.4 - 7.2 "playing with ph" is doubtful to be the armageddon you project.

Then again, i see nothing useful from this post. bye

There is a lot that is helpful. By playing with the pH via chemicals you are risking a system crash. You are however on the right track in looking to buffer the water with the addition of material, not chemical.

smaug
02-16-2010, 10:38 PM
Well,I just had to go to bed early last night didnt I:ssuprised: Id say the horse has been beaten black and blue here.There has been a wealth of info given,this should all help the op.Let us know how it goes.

rrutter81
02-19-2010, 10:15 PM
There is a lot that is helpful. By playing with the pH via chemicals you are risking a system crash. You are however on the right track in looking to buffer the water with the addition of material, not chemical.
Sorry everyone, ive been busy with work and closing of my new home so I havent been on as much. The KH I believe was the problem. I didnt mean to say I used seachem's ph up which is a phosphate. I used PH Increase from topfin to help it. (Which didnt matter because my water kept crashing)

I buffered it with Tetra Easy Balance after much research and a paranoia toward baking soda.

Nitrites .25 ppm (down from 1 ppm)
Ammonia .1 ppm
Nitrates 30 ppm (ill change it tommorow morning)
PH increased for some odd reason after i added the Tetra Easy Balance. (7.4)

Indeed I think the 0 KH/GH and sub 6 PH never let it cycle. I still stand by the bleaching btw since my tank went up to 8 ppm with 0 nitrite increase.

A question i have though is...

Calcium or magnesium or both carbonate? I have to keep my GH low due to the fact my amazon puffers need it so it makes a bit dicey.

thanks again you guys for the hit in the "right" direction

rrutter81
02-20-2010, 11:28 PM
Changed 5 out of the 20 gallons.

BTW: I left the temp at 90 F (32 C) dung my cycle.

About 3 hours after my water change though I got another bacterial bloom. Im considering putting my UV light in once my nitrospira take a better foot hold.

(6 hours after water change)

0 ammonia.
1 ppm nitrites (ew went up again)
10 ppm nitrates
7.2 PH (stable)