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Old 11-16-2011, 03:02 AM  
Silock Silock is online now
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Any fishkeepers here? Saltwater or freshwater

I'm looking at starting up a saltwater tank. Is there a good fish store in the KC area without driving out to Lawrence?
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:32 PM   #256
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Beautiful fish, KC! I have the same tree stump ornament in my tank btw.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silock View Post
Tested again after an 80% water change. Reading between 4 and 8. Not quite as bad, but still no bueno. Vacuumed the gravel durng the change as well. I'm stumped. There's nothing in the tank that should be spiking it so hard so quickly.

Test kit not strips.

I was under the impression that zero nitrates was normal for a planted tank.
When you did a water change, (before the spike), did you replace your filter media or rinse it out in dechlorinated water?

Also, no, the plants need Nitrates. They will eat up Nitrates, yes, but if they bottom out, you will need to apply an additive, (i.e. Seachem Nitrogen), to boost them back up.
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:20 PM   #257
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Filter media was not changed or rinsed.

Isn't the fact that the plants need nitrates the reason that many planted tanks don't see nitrate levels at all?
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:58 PM   #258
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silock View Post
Filter media was not changed or rinsed.

Isn't the fact that the plants need nitrates the reason that many planted tanks don't see nitrate levels at all?
Honestly, my Nitrates have always stayed around 40ppm, (before and after adding plants). However, if they are reading 0, the plants will be lacking the essential amount of Nitrogen in order for them to flourish. This is why most heavily planted tanks require Nitrogen replacement.
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:52 PM   #259
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Well, I'll definitely keep that in mind. For now, though, I'm worried about this crazy ammonia spike.
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Old 01-11-2012, 12:35 AM   #260
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Well, I'll definitely keep that in mind. For now, though, I'm worried about this crazy ammonia spike.
Good luck, Silock! I hope your parameters stabilize and you don't lose anymore fishes. Keep us posted on how things are going.
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Old 01-11-2012, 12:42 AM   #261
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Thanks. I just vacuumed the gravel again to make sure there wasn't any decomposing food I might have missed. Ended up doing another small water change because of it. I will test again in the morning to see what the levels are. Hopefully, this was just a mini-cycle and I can replace the two fish soon.
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Old 01-11-2012, 06:58 AM   #262
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silock View Post
Filter media was not changed or rinsed.

Isn't the fact that the plants need nitrates the reason that many planted tanks don't see nitrate levels at all?
My tank is heavily plant and the nitrates are never under 10ppm (I do have to supplement initially after water changes).
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Old 01-11-2012, 06:59 AM   #263
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silock View Post
Thanks. I just vacuumed the gravel again to make sure there wasn't any decomposing food I might have missed. Ended up doing another small water change because of it. I will test again in the morning to see what the levels are. Hopefully, this was just a mini-cycle and I can replace the two fish soon.
I have to believe it was a mini-cycle due to the new fish. You cycled it with a single betta, right?

I'd say that's more likely than decomposing food. Decomposing food wouldn't cause a near-instant big spike like that.
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Old 01-11-2012, 12:04 PM   #264
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Yes, single betta.

Tested again just now. Ammonia went back to "off the charts" at nearly 8 ppm (after a water change less than 12 hours ago). Nitrites are at .5 ppm. Didn't check nitrates. pH is about 7.6 or so.

Should I do another water change (how big) and dose it with a heavy dose of Prime?
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Old 01-11-2012, 12:24 PM   #265
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silock View Post
Yes, single betta.

Tested again just now. Ammonia went back to "off the charts" at nearly 8 ppm (after a water change less than 12 hours ago). Nitrites are at .5 ppm. Didn't check nitrates. pH is about 7.6 or so.

Should I do another water change (how big) and dose it with a heavy dose of Prime?
There's really no need to overdose the Prime. Use the regular dose AFTER the water change.

At this point, you're likely going to have to let it finish cycling and hope you don't lose any more fish. Feed sparingly.

And if you have a quality LFS near you, you might look into some Turbo Start.
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Old 01-12-2012, 03:57 AM   #266
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Did another 20% water change earlier today, dosed with a regular dose of Prime.

Ammonia tests were still sky high. Around 8 ppm (although, my tap water reads between 4 and 8 by itself).

Nitrites close to .5-1 ppm. Nitrates now around 40 ppm. So, I'm guessing this means I'm getting close to the last part of the mini-cycle, but I'm still very concerned that the ammonia is still so high, despite nitrites and nitrates being elevated.
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Old 01-12-2012, 07:59 AM   #267
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silock View Post
Did another 20% water change earlier today, dosed with a regular dose of Prime.

Ammonia tests were still sky high. Around 8 ppm (although, my tap water reads between 4 and 8 by itself).

Nitrites close to .5-1 ppm. Nitrates now around 40 ppm. So, I'm guessing this means I'm getting close to the last part of the mini-cycle, but I'm still very concerned that the ammonia is still so high, despite nitrites and nitrates being elevated.
Yeah, you're just going to have to let it finish.

I would recommend adding fish 1 or 2 at a time in the future, just in case.
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:04 AM   #268
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DOH!

With Prime, if your test reads for both NH3 and NH4, you WILL test positive for ammonia even though your fish are NOT being exposed to poisonous NH3.

I use the API reagent test for Ammonia (it looks like this might be what you are using). If it turns green IMMEDIATELY, you have NH3, which is toxic.

If it doesn't turn green immediately, but turns green after waiting for several minutes, the Prime is working, your fish are (mostly) safe, and you just need to be patient.

I wish I would have told you earlier but it's been so long since my tank cycled I completely forgot. I would recommend you get a Seachem Ammonia Alert:



It only registers toxic ammonia and when you combine it with Prime and your reagent test, should give you a clear picture of what is going on.
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:16 AM   #269
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Well, it does take a few minutes for it to turn green, so it looks like the prime is working.

However, it's too late for the betta. He's got dropsy, probably from the nitrites. I doubt it's from the tetras, but it's possible. I wouldn't think any infection would have gotten to the betta this quickly.
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:18 AM   #270
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silock View Post
Well, it does take a few minutes for it to turn green, so it looks like the prime is working.

However, it's too late for the betta. He's got dropsy, probably from the nitrites. I doubt it's from the tetras, but it's possible. I wouldn't think any infection would have gotten to the betta this quickly.
Dropsy is usually caused by Aeromonas bacteria. It's possible he had it all along and you only noticed it once it got bad enough to show external symptoms.

Nitrites wouldn't cause it but continuous exposure to ammonia and nitrites would certainly leave him VERY susceptible to Aeromonas infection.
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