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Old 01-26-2017, 07:42 PM   #1
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Newbie that needs help

Hey so far this site has been amazing with all the help I've gotten. I had been struggling with ammonia levels in my new tank. Now for the past two days my nitrites have shot up to 5ppm and my ammonia dropped to 0. Yesterday I did a 25% water change that only helped for a couple of hours. I added prime into the tank at midnight and seed to help. I think this is the second half of the cycle stage but not sure. I have live plants that have been getting brown spots all over them. No dieing leaves yet and I checked it's not algee. I use flourish root tabs and dose flourish liquid once a week. I've included a picture of my equipment and stock as well as a picture of one of my Anubis Nana. From the research I've done my tank is not overstocked. The only change is I had a guy from the aquarium tech store come out and set my tank up with CO2 this morning. I just check my nitrites and now there 0ppm. Is this normal or did prime alter my test? Should I expect another rise in nitrites? Any tips would be great.
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Old 01-26-2017, 10:08 PM   #2
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What size is this tank?

Prime won't hide the nitrogens.
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Old 01-26-2017, 10:10 PM   #3
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75 gallon
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Old 01-27-2017, 09:07 AM   #4
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Okay. Other people will have some insights on your stocking, I'm sure.

Are both dwarf gourami male?
You've got a few schooling / shoaling fish that need to be in groups of five or more- tetras, kuhlis.
Your kuhlis, sharks, and plecos all share the same territory, and sharks can get pretty aggressive.

You probably don't want an air pump with CO2. It's counterproductive. One less thing to worry about!

I am curious to hear what other people have to say, in large part because I'm not very experienced with tetras.

How have your tests been?
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Old 01-27-2017, 10:37 AM   #5
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My test have been weird. I was having a issue with ammonia levels due to new tank cycle then they dropped to 0 and my nitrites spiked for a couple of days. I did another test last night along with a 25% water change. I tested before the water change, ammonia 0ppm, nitrites 0ppm, nitrates 0ppm. I use only the liquid test as I've heard the strips are unreliable. Do you think I should add more fish to get the suggested FIS school sizes you mentioned? As far as the dwarf gouramis I'm not sure on male or female. I can google to see if there is a way to tell.
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Old 01-27-2017, 11:08 AM   #6
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I'm surprised your nitrates are 0. Are you shaking the bottles until your arms fall off? The liquid tests are definitely better than strips, but you really have to shake nitrates.

It's great when your nitrites drop. It means that you are getting through the cycle, but nitrates shouldn't be 0.

If this were my tank, I would drop the gourami to one. I would increase the schooling fish to at least five, but I don't know how many a 75 gallon could take. Run it through aqadvisor.com. It's not perfect, but it's a good starting point.

And, honestly, were this my tank, I would drop the sharks. I had a shark take a bite out of another fish, and so it makes me very nervous to have them sharing territory with others. I know they look cool. They really do. Either do sharks or kuhlis and pleco, but not both.
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Old 01-27-2017, 02:23 PM   #7
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Okay so I just picked up a new liquid test kit for nitrites just to make sure and I'm still reading 0ppm. I'm still not sure why. I will get rid of the sharks though and keep my loches. Thanks for the heads up on that. Still unsure why my plants have brown spots and my water test are reading zero.
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Old 01-27-2017, 05:06 PM   #8
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Maybe your plants are using all of the nitrates.
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Old 01-27-2017, 05:08 PM   #9
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It is rare but possible to have zero
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Old 01-27-2017, 06:17 PM   #10
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As above on nitrates. I'm surprised though as usually it is very heavily planted or fish are still very small and your nitrites at 5ppm say you should be getting some nitrate readings (assuming completely cycled). I'd drop into the fish shop and get water tested for everything to double-check.

1 ppm ammonia --> 2.7 ppm nitrite --> 3.6 ppm nitrate

How is your tank ph (CO2 off) to your tap water used for changes? Ph will generally drop. For testing tap water, leave it in an open glass overnight so it can degas, ect and you can get a true ph reading.

The serpae tetras are nippy and I would double that school. The angelfish will chase any new tetras you add when it gets bigger down the track ime.
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