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Old 11-16-2011, 03:02 AM  
Silock Silock is offline
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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 01-13-2012, 03:02 PM   #286
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Originally Posted by htismaqe View Post
Corrent, the bacteria adheres to surfaces. However, by doing such massive water changes you're depriving those bacteria of ammonia (I know, it's a catch-22. That's why they call it a "cycle") and potentially changing water parameters like dissolved organic compounds, gH, kH, and other things that are important to allowing the cycle to finish.
Right. I was just assuming (perhaps incorrectly?) that since my chloramine-laden tap water reads 5 ppm on the scale after dosing with Prime, that that was enough to maintain ammonia in the tank for the bacteria to eat. Is that incorrect? I was under the impression that Prime separates the chloramine into chlorine and ammonia.

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Actually, cycles work that way. They run and run and all of the sudden - bam - finished. It's possible that the Start Right worked but there's also volumes of anecdotal and scientific evidence that it doesn't.
Oh, I'm not doubting that it's entirely possible it did nothing. I just figured it couldn't really hurt with the levels being so astronomically high.

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Prime detoxifies nitrite. I'd add your Prime and otherwise leave it be. It sounds like you're nearing the end which is good news.
Sweet.

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Hmmm...I've not experienced fish being stressed from "too much" air, especially Tetras, which generally love as much current as you can give them. My guess would be that their discoloration and lethargy is due to the tank cycling but I guess anything is possible.
They were stressed with the bubbles on, but as soon as the bubbles turned off, they regained their color and began to school again. I've been reading that bubble bars can give a bit too much air for some fish, but I, like you, was under the impression that they liked currents...

Thanks again, everyone, for all your help.
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Old 01-13-2012, 03:08 PM   #287
htismaqe htismaqe is offline
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Hang in there. Once you get through this, I promise your experience will improve.

I went through this at the beginning and again about 14 months in - I was so frustrated I was ready to quit.

That was a few years ago now and I've learned a lot. I learn more every day. It's one of the most satisfying hobbies I've ever undertaken.
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Old 01-13-2012, 07:35 PM   #288
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FYI, I was at the store tonight and noticed a bottle of Jungle Start RIGHT. It's a chorine and ammonia neutralizer. If you're using Prime, it's completely useless.

The bacterial supplement is called Start ZYME and since it's not refrigerated and just sitting on the shelf, I'm pretty sure it won't be effective at all.
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Old 01-14-2012, 01:48 AM   #289
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Yeah, it's neither of those. I'll have to look at it again to see what it is exactly.
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Old 01-14-2012, 02:45 AM   #290
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Silock --

I know a lot about water chemistry and treatment, but I don't know fish.

I'm pretty sure that Olathe disinfects their water with chloramines. Most utilities just use chlorine. Chloramines are a combination of chlorine and ammonia.

A little water chemistry:

Free chlorine is: HOCl plus OCl-. The relative abundance of these will depend on the pH of the water, with more OCl- at higher values of pH.

Ammonia: NH_3 this is toxic to fish and is present at low pH

Ammonium: NH_4^+ this is less/not toxic to fish and predominates at higher values of pH.

Chloramines, sometimes called combined chlorine, made by reacting chlorine and ammonia <-- Olathe uses these
Monochloramine: NH_2Cl
Dichloramine: NHCl_2

So you will need a product that treats both chlorine and ammonia, like htis mentioned.
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Old 01-14-2012, 04:03 AM   #291
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Yeah, I have that. Prime treats chlorine, chloramine and ammonia. What is perplexing is that over the past week, my tap water tested at 5-8ppm for ammonia. Today, it is back down to .5 ppm. I think that had a lot to do with my problems with water chemistry. And on a brighter note, I haven't lost any more fish, so that's good.
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:39 AM   #292
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Been a few more days. All ammonia is gone, but my nitrites are still out of this world high. Doing a 50% water change daily, and that gets the nitrites down to about 2 ppm, but they are back up to 5 ppm in just a few hours. PH is still around 7.8, so that should help the nitrites not be quite so toxic. But, relying on Prime at this point.

Fish seem to be acting fine. Cardinals are full of color, betta isn't looking like he is going to die any more.

Plants aren't doing so hot with my 20w 6500k fluorescent. So, I ordered a dual incandescent fixture, and put two 20w CFL 6500ks in there. Looks to be getting a lot more light than my single tube.

I also fixed up a DIY CO2 generator with a Glass bell diffuser on the way. I'm hoping that will help get rid of this crazy brown algae bloom I have right now. Seachem Excel just wasn't cutting it for carbon, I don't think.

If anyone is interested in pics, I'll put some up.
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Old 01-19-2012, 06:51 AM   #293
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silock View Post
Been a few more days. All ammonia is gone, but my nitrites are still out of this world high. Doing a 50% water change daily, and that gets the nitrites down to about 2 ppm, but they are back up to 5 ppm in just a few hours. PH is still around 7.8, so that should help the nitrites not be quite so toxic. But, relying on Prime at this point.
Prime detoxifies nitrites so stay the course. You're almost there, IMO!

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Originally Posted by Silock View Post
Plants aren't doing so hot with my 20w 6500k fluorescent. So, I ordered a dual incandescent fixture, and put two 20w CFL 6500ks in there. Looks to be getting a lot more light than my single tube.
I have two 26W 6500K CFL in the 14G and those plants grow even better than my 55G. Even though the 20W should have been enough, you only helped yourself here.

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Originally Posted by Silock View Post
I also fixed up a DIY CO2 generator with a Glass bell diffuser on the way.
The glass bell diffusor should work pretty good in a small tank. Not so well in a bigger one. Make sure to put it near your filter outflow - you'll get better dissolution and dispersion. Also, the benefit of a bell diffusor is that you don't HAVE to use a continuous CO2 supply. Since the CO2 sits in the bell and can't escape, you CAN just fill it rapidly and walk away. I would suggest you take a look at the Jungle Fizz Factory - you add a tablet and it fills your diffusor in about 30 seconds. It's pretty handy.

EDIT: The other HUGE benefit of using a quick reactor for CO2 over DIY yeast is that you can dose at almost exact levels. You can fill the bell and then fill it again the next day. With DIY you CANNOT shut it off, meaning it will feed CO2 into your tank 24x7. Plants actually only absorb CO2 during the day. It is possible that without proper aeration you will kill your fish.

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Originally Posted by Silock View Post
I'm hoping that will help get rid of this crazy brown algae bloom I have right now.
With your current water chemistry, I'd be surprised if you have algae, especially with your plants. Is the brown stuff slimy and tinted towards pink? If so, it's not algae, it's a bacteria. It will go away over time.

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Originally Posted by Silock View Post
Seachem Excel just wasn't cutting it for carbon, I don't think.
Keep in mind, Excel is an organic carbon supplement, it is NOT CO2. I use Excel for algae control (high doses kill almost any algae, just be careful not to kill your fish).

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If anyone is interested in pics, I'll put some up.
Absolutely interested!
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:18 PM   #294
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htismaqe View Post

EDIT: The other HUGE benefit of using a quick reactor for CO2 over DIY yeast is that you can dose at almost exact levels. You can fill the bell and then fill it again the next day. With DIY you CANNOT shut it off, meaning it will feed CO2 into your tank 24x7. Plants actually only absorb CO2 during the day. It is possible that without proper aeration you will kill your fish.
I was just planning on taking it out of the tank at night and turning on the air curtain.

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With your current water chemistry, I'd be surprised if you have algae, especially with your plants. Is the brown stuff slimy and tinted towards pink? If so, it's not algae, it's a bacteria. It will go away over time.
No, it's definitely brown. Looks like little balls in some places, and it covers the substrate like dirt in others.

Quote:
Keep in mind, Excel is an organic carbon supplement, it is NOT CO2. I use Excel for algae control (high doses kill almost any algae, just be careful not to kill your fish).
Yes, but Seachem says the plants will use it in the CO2 reactions. Will look into the Fizz Factory, though. It's been 13 hours and no CO2 yet. There aren't any leaks, so maybe I killed the yeast when I put it in there.
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:25 PM   #295
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Quote:
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I was just planning on taking it out of the tank at night and turning on the air curtain.
While that will work, I'm pretty sure you'll find it to be a hassle after a while.

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No, it's definitely brown. Looks like little balls in some places, and it covers the substrate like dirt in others.
Hmmm...does it move around when you disturb it? It might just be organic waste/mulm. Otherwise, it could be brown diatoms I guess.

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Yes, but Seachem says the plants will use it in the CO2 reactions.
Yes, they will. It also helps with their absorption of iron, which is especially important for "red" plants.

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Will look into the Fizz Factory, though.
I would suggest just picking up the Fizz tabs themselves. All the kit is a diffusor (you already have one), air hose, and a "reaction chamber" which you could make with a medicine bottle.

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It's been 13 hours and no CO2 yet. There aren't any leaks, so maybe I killed the yeast when I put it in there.
That's probably what happened.
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Old 01-20-2012, 02:32 AM   #296
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I vacuumed out a lot of the "algae", but you can still kinda see it on the right side, near the back under the plants on the substrate.

Plants are still alive, but not really growing.
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Old 01-20-2012, 08:43 AM   #297
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Not sure if it's already been said but get a tank that is designed for saltwater. Meaing with holes in the back glass so your filter can run underneath the tank. If you use filters that hang off the back you will get salt creep like you wouldn't believe. I made the mistake of trying to convert a 55 gal freshwater to salt.

Then as everyone said, there is the expense. And I have not ever seen a place that gives you a guarantee on saltwater fish like they do fresh. So in other words when that $100 fish you just bought dies a day later you're ****ed.
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Old 01-20-2012, 09:47 AM   #298
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I vacuumed out a lot of the "algae", but you can still kinda see it on the right side, near the back under the plants on the substrate.

Plants are still alive, but not really growing.
OK, let's see...from left to right:

1. Water Sprite - fast grower, easy to propagate, thrives pretty much anywhere
2. Some kind of Fern, Windelov's maybe? Not sure on this one.
3. Anubias (behind the ornament) - appears to be too tall to be dwarf or nana, maybe Coffeefolia? Anubias of all types are VERY hardy and easy to grow, they just grow REALLY slow
4. Small sword, micro or rose? swords can be finicky but I've had good luck with Rose and Amazon in both my tanks
5. The two stalk plants with long slender leaves I'm not familiar with
6. Crypt wendtii - great beginner plant, impossible to screw up, will eventually shoot out feelers and engulf the bottom of your tank
7. The white and green striped plant (can't remember the name right now) is a bog plant and likely won't survive completely submerged
8. Can't tell for sure but it sure looks like a single leaf from a Java Fern in the back right corner. Another easy plant that is easy to propagate. Grows new, complete plants at the end of its leaves that can be planted elsewhere.

By the way, I like the layout and LOVE the black substrate - that's what I have.
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Old 01-20-2012, 06:08 PM   #299
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I need a new water testing kit. Any recommendations? I'd like to get a decent one this time.
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Old 01-20-2012, 10:03 PM   #300
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7. The white and green striped plant (can't remember the name right now) is a bog plant and likely won't survive completely submerged
I can't recall the name of that plant either, but yes, definitely not fully aquatic. It will eventually rot and pollute the water. Don't feel bad though, Silock, when I first started out w/ plants, I bought the "Aquatic Combo" from Petco, (I believe it had 4 plants, 1 of which looks like the plant in your tank). Dirty rat-bastards had them in the same tank as the other plants, and I didn't know any better. Lesson learned.

Beautiful tank btw!! I really like that driftwood ornament!

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I need a new water testing kit. Any recommendations? I'd like to get a decent one this time.
Which one are you currently using? I have the API Freshwater Master Testing Kit and it has been working out pretty well. It's kind of a pain in the ass to do the Nitrates test though. If you don't shake the bottles/vile long enough, it could give you a false reading.
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