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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    498

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    Blog Entries
    1
    【ツ】 - korith first fish for your community tank! - Cyberra a friend for your other neon ;) - Cyberra tetra #3 ;) - Cyberra looks like you like neons.... i hope - genocidex 
    because sometimes they school - genocidex a good school of neons is 6 minimal !!!!! - genocidex for playing along, gift of my choice!!!! - genocidex These seem to be quite popular... - ~firefly~ ...so here's another one... - ~firefly~ 
    ...and for luck, one more. - ~firefly~ 
    Arthritis - Child Abuse - Colon Cancer - Colorectal Cancer - Dystonia - Education - Free Speech - Interstitial Cystitis - ME/CFIDS - Reye's Syndrome - Save the Music - Teens Against Smoking - Victim's Rights - Water Quality - Flyby Stardancer 

    Default Getting frustrated with my tank.


    0 Not allowed!
    Okay, so this is part rant, part plea for help. I'm getting really frustrated with my 5 gallon tank. I just replaced the old filter with a new DIY sump filter because the filter that came with the tank just wasn't able to keep up with the ammonia and it was very hard to have baffled enough for the fish. The history of water tests for this tank is here, on the second page.

    Now, this is a planted tank, and I just rescaped it. I pared down on the slow-growers (anubias, crypt wendtii, java fern), and bulked up more on the stems/floaters. I have what I'm starting to think are wisteria both planted and floating, one small confirmed piece of wisteria (all that survived the mailing ordeal), rotala, salvinia, a bunch of what was described to me as "green hygro" both planted and floating, a small piece of cabomba, a hygrophila angustofolia, dwarf sag, and some small antler ferns. The lighting is 13 watt 6500K. This is what the tank currently looks like:


    When I transferred to the sump, I kept the sponge I had been using as media wet, and it's currently in the sump. In fact, the place where the water comes out of the overflow flows right onto it. It did have to sit a couple days while I tried to get the overflow working, but the water in the sump had ammonia from the chloramines in my tap.

    I'm also struggling with the water from my tap. It has chloramines, and 40ppm nitrates. I'm pre-filtering the water using nitra-zorb, but that doesn't seem to be doing a lot of good. Today when I tested the water from the tank, it showed both ammonia and nitrites! It hasn't shown nitrites since I first fishlessly cycled the tank. :/ And the nitrates matched that of the tap.

    I want to be able to provide my fish a good home, but nothing of what I'm doing seems to be helping! And having both ammonia (from chloramines) and nitrates in my tap really feels like I'm being set up for failure. And yes, I've talked to the water company. All of their tests/readings say that nitrogen levels are below what's mandated by law, thus they don't give fish poop.
    1. 2. (No Picture)
    1: Planted Betta Tank 1, Grimsby (male betta)
    2: Planted Betta Tank 2
    3: Eclipse QT Tank

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,752

    Awards Showcase

    Thanks for the birthday wishes - mommy1 and gift - mommy1 Thanks for the rep - Cliff Thanks for the rep, have a cool one on me, Cheers - Cliff Thanks and a new fish for the tank - glarior 
    Thanks for the gorgeous slide show! - fishmommie Thanks for the rep the other day - Cliff It's a Sudbury Saturday Night, Cheers - Cliff Hockey finals can not be watched without a hockey pop or two - Cliff Thanks for the rep :) - Greentoads41 
    Thanks for the Rep!! - steeler1 Merry Christmas! - steeler1 Merry Christmas - Cliff May you be living as high as the holiday hog this coming year! - Trillianne Happy New Year - mommy1 
    Thank you for the birthday wishes. - mommy1 Thanks for the Rep!! - steeler1 Have a Birthday fish!! - steeler1 Here you go sir, I just wish it had been a good game. - steeler1 Here's to one crummy Superbowl, lol! - Slaphppy7 
    Troop and Military Support - Amber Alert - Bladder Cancer - Endometriosis - Equality - Liver Cancer - Liver Disease - Missing Children - POW/MIA - Spina Bifida - Suicide - Strider199 

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    What are you using for a water conditioner? I found when I switched to Prime alot of those city water issues went away. I'm not affiliated with the company that makes Prime just a hobbyist who worked it out with help from this site.
    When ever your switching a filter you can expect a small spike in ammonia and nitrites. I usually just add the second filter to an existing system without removing the original one. I keep both going for a month before splitting them up.
    Warning; Bulldog Pleco guarding my Sons tank now..

    Please remember; every keystroke has a consequence.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    498

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    Blog Entries
    1
    【ツ】 - korith first fish for your community tank! - Cyberra a friend for your other neon ;) - Cyberra tetra #3 ;) - Cyberra looks like you like neons.... i hope - genocidex 
    because sometimes they school - genocidex a good school of neons is 6 minimal !!!!! - genocidex for playing along, gift of my choice!!!! - genocidex These seem to be quite popular... - ~firefly~ ...so here's another one... - ~firefly~ 
    ...and for luck, one more. - ~firefly~ 
    Arthritis - Child Abuse - Colon Cancer - Colorectal Cancer - Dystonia - Education - Free Speech - Interstitial Cystitis - ME/CFIDS - Reye's Syndrome - Save the Music - Teens Against Smoking - Victim's Rights - Water Quality - Flyby Stardancer 

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I'm already using Prime as a water conditioner. It's the only one I've ever used. It temporarily detoxifies ammonia/nitrite/nitrate, but it doesn't remove them.

    Unfortunately, the old filter was just bad for my set-up, and I needed it to filter the water for water changes using the nitra-zorb. That's why I placed the old media in the new filter.
    1. 2. (No Picture)
    1: Planted Betta Tank 1, Grimsby (male betta)
    2: Planted Betta Tank 2
    3: Eclipse QT Tank

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,752

    Awards Showcase

    Thanks for the birthday wishes - mommy1 and gift - mommy1 Thanks for the rep - Cliff Thanks for the rep, have a cool one on me, Cheers - Cliff Thanks and a new fish for the tank - glarior 
    Thanks for the gorgeous slide show! - fishmommie Thanks for the rep the other day - Cliff It's a Sudbury Saturday Night, Cheers - Cliff Hockey finals can not be watched without a hockey pop or two - Cliff Thanks for the rep :) - Greentoads41 
    Thanks for the Rep!! - steeler1 Merry Christmas! - steeler1 Merry Christmas - Cliff May you be living as high as the holiday hog this coming year! - Trillianne Happy New Year - mommy1 
    Thank you for the birthday wishes. - mommy1 Thanks for the Rep!! - steeler1 Have a Birthday fish!! - steeler1 Here you go sir, I just wish it had been a good game. - steeler1 Here's to one crummy Superbowl, lol! - Slaphppy7 
    Troop and Military Support - Amber Alert - Bladder Cancer - Endometriosis - Equality - Liver Cancer - Liver Disease - Missing Children - POW/MIA - Spina Bifida - Suicide - Strider199 

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I think your kind of stuck with having to cycle that tank again (NOT FROM SCRATCH AS IT IS ALREADY PARTIALLY CYCLED), until your new filter(even with the old sponge), catches up to your tank. Keep up the partial water changes. Sorry.
    Warning; Bulldog Pleco guarding my Sons tank now..

    Please remember; every keystroke has a consequence.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    498

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    Blog Entries
    1
    【ツ】 - korith first fish for your community tank! - Cyberra a friend for your other neon ;) - Cyberra tetra #3 ;) - Cyberra looks like you like neons.... i hope - genocidex 
    because sometimes they school - genocidex a good school of neons is 6 minimal !!!!! - genocidex for playing along, gift of my choice!!!! - genocidex These seem to be quite popular... - ~firefly~ ...so here's another one... - ~firefly~ 
    ...and for luck, one more. - ~firefly~ 
    Arthritis - Child Abuse - Colon Cancer - Colorectal Cancer - Dystonia - Education - Free Speech - Interstitial Cystitis - ME/CFIDS - Reye's Syndrome - Save the Music - Teens Against Smoking - Victim's Rights - Water Quality - Flyby Stardancer 

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    The cycling is only part of the issue, as frustrating as it is. There's also the fact that it looks like even once it's cycled, nitrates will be going crazy out-of-hand, which is ridiculous for a tank with such few livestock.
    1. 2. (No Picture)
    1: Planted Betta Tank 1, Grimsby (male betta)
    2: Planted Betta Tank 2
    3: Eclipse QT Tank

  6. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I went through a couple stages where I was pretty frustrated with my tank too....it came a couple months after I joined the forum. But be patient, and it's worth it. :) I hate going through fish-life crises. I have no advice to give, just sympathy. We on the forum feel your pain!
    Tanks: 30 gal community and 10 gal shrimp/community
    Journals Here

  7. #7

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    The tank doesn't look bad and the plants seems to do ok. At 40ppm all it takes is a dash of a general fertilizer and it will grow fast!

    If your water's so bad and you're only running a 5g, isn't there anyone selling RO water? Or have you considered buying a small RO unit?

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    498

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    Blog Entries
    1
    【ツ】 - korith first fish for your community tank! - Cyberra a friend for your other neon ;) - Cyberra tetra #3 ;) - Cyberra looks like you like neons.... i hope - genocidex 
    because sometimes they school - genocidex a good school of neons is 6 minimal !!!!! - genocidex for playing along, gift of my choice!!!! - genocidex These seem to be quite popular... - ~firefly~ ...so here's another one... - ~firefly~ 
    ...and for luck, one more. - ~firefly~ 
    Arthritis - Child Abuse - Colon Cancer - Colorectal Cancer - Dystonia - Education - Free Speech - Interstitial Cystitis - ME/CFIDS - Reye's Syndrome - Save the Music - Teens Against Smoking - Victim's Rights - Water Quality - Flyby Stardancer 

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Greentoads41 View Post
    I went through a couple stages where I was pretty frustrated with my tank too....it came a couple months after I joined the forum. But be patient, and it's worth it. :) I hate going through fish-life crises. I have no advice to give, just sympathy. We on the forum feel your pain!
    Thank you. I hate feeling like I tried to do everything right and it's still falling apart. Especially when others make it seem so easy!

    Quote Originally Posted by talldutchie View Post
    The tank doesn't look bad and the plants seems to do ok. At 40ppm all it takes is a dash of a general fertilizer and it will grow fast!

    If your water's so bad and you're only running a 5g, isn't there anyone selling RO water? Or have you considered buying a small RO unit?
    I've been adding ferts, and that didn't seem to make a difference at all. And having to do water changes makes the problem of ferts even more questionable because I don't know how much is left!

    And I'm on a tight budget that's getting ever-tighter right now. I've already spent probably 3-4x as much as I intended (and really had the budget for) on my tanks. I can really only afford the amount of distilled water (easier to get) that it takes to wash out my test tubes. an RO unit (even a cheap one) is right out of the picture.
    1. 2. (No Picture)
    1: Planted Betta Tank 1, Grimsby (male betta)
    2: Planted Betta Tank 2
    3: Eclipse QT Tank

  9. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I feel for you, it seems the official solution to everything is "spend more money"
    At least the community is being supportive... Several years ago I was on a limited budget and certain AC member(s) basically told me I was a bad person and to stop keeping fish.

    But in my experience nobody wants to post a nonstandard solution.

    Are you open to suggestions for possibly nonstandard solutions that may or may not work in your situation? If so, post a list of everything you have on-hand that can be used for aquarium purposes. e.g. plastic mesh materials, containers, lamps, etc.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    498

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    Blog Entries
    1
    【ツ】 - korith first fish for your community tank! - Cyberra a friend for your other neon ;) - Cyberra tetra #3 ;) - Cyberra looks like you like neons.... i hope - genocidex 
    because sometimes they school - genocidex a good school of neons is 6 minimal !!!!! - genocidex for playing along, gift of my choice!!!! - genocidex These seem to be quite popular... - ~firefly~ ...so here's another one... - ~firefly~ 
    ...and for luck, one more. - ~firefly~ 
    Arthritis - Child Abuse - Colon Cancer - Colorectal Cancer - Dystonia - Education - Free Speech - Interstitial Cystitis - ME/CFIDS - Reye's Syndrome - Save the Music - Teens Against Smoking - Victim's Rights - Water Quality - Flyby Stardancer 

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I'm definitely open to nonstandard solutions. :) Building a sump for a 5 gallon tank is certainly nonstandard.

    I have plastic mesh, I have a bunch of soda bottles that can be cannibalized, I have PVC on hand (though only a couple of street elbows, I'd have to purchase other fittings), I have a some plastic food containers that are square and in the 1.5 cup size... I'm currently using all of the lamps I can for aquariums, though I can bump the light in my 5 gallon up to 23 watts. I have fishing line, I have those clear plastic hairbands to secure things...
    1. 2. (No Picture)
    1: Planted Betta Tank 1, Grimsby (male betta)
    2: Planted Betta Tank 2
    3: Eclipse QT Tank

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