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Old 06-13-2012, 04:19 PM   #21
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Lainey: Since you're using co2 and not seeing a pH drop I would recommend removing your wheels. BUT.. It's best to still use biological filter media. You should be able to fit a bio-sponge or some other type of suitable surface to keep bacteria inside your filter. It's best to add the new media first and then remove one bio-wheel to let the new media develop a good culture for a week or two then remove the second wheel. I'm sure there are other methods but I've had success doing it this way for two 55 gallon planted tanks in the past.

Regarding your pH, it could always be something in the tank like a limestone rock or calcium rich gravel that's buffering your water. Something else to look out for.
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:22 PM   #22
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Lainey: Since you're using co2 and not seeing a pH drop I would recommend removing your wheels. BUT.. It's best to still use biological filter media. You should be able to fit a bio-sponge or some other type of suitable surface to keep bacteria inside your filter. It's best to add the new media first and then remove one bio-wheel to let the new media develop a good culture for a week or two then remove the second wheel. I'm sure there are other methods but I've had success doing it this way for two 55 gallon planted tanks in the past.

Regarding your pH, it could always be something in the tank like a limestone rock or calcium rich gravel that's buffering your water. Something else to look out for.
I removed my wheels a few hours ago when I did my water change. I will let you know if I see any change when I test my water in the morning. I do have filters in there, so I am thinking the cycling should be fine.

Do you have any thoughts on the carbon?

I dont have any limestone, and my gravel is just basic petsmart gravel... nothing fancy there.

Also, I had been using flourish been stopped because my fish seemed to be showing signs very similar to ammonia poisoning, but when I ran the test kit his ammonia was fine and his Nitrates were on the high end of when I would water change, but nothing crazy!

I have naturally high nitrates in my tap, around 10ppm, which is why I really want to get the plants going.

(Sorry, I am not trying to hijack your thread!!)
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Old 06-14-2012, 01:52 PM   #23
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I have never tested the tap water to see where nitrates come in at, so I will have to do that tonight. I'm not sure I would worry about 10 PPM though unless your tank is going to compound that level. I'm no expert though...

The changes I made were implementing 50% water changes, pulling out my biowheel, cutting back lighting, cutting back food (my wife thinks I'm starving the fish), and stopping the added nutrients other than Excel. Since making those changes two weeks ago things are looking hopeful, but I will need another few weeks to know for sure. Once things seem under control I'll then start carefully experimenting with the formula of everything.
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Old 06-14-2012, 02:02 PM   #24
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The beneficial bacteria grows on the biowheels..I don't understand the point of removing them? As long as no antibacterial substances are being used..why remove them? Just curious
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Old 06-14-2012, 03:04 PM   #25
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I have never tested the tap water to see where nitrates come in at, so I will have to do that tonight. I'm not sure I would worry about 10 PPM though unless your tank is going to compound that level. I'm no expert though...

The changes I made were implementing 50% water changes, pulling out my biowheel, cutting back lighting, cutting back food (my wife thinks I'm starving the fish), and stopping the added nutrients other than Excel. Since making those changes two weeks ago things are looking hopeful, but I will need another few weeks to know for sure. Once things seem under control I'll then start carefully experimenting with the formula of everything.
I am not sure why, but I have had constant issues with nitrates. I have one fancy gold fish, in a 30 gallon. But I have had nitrates spike to 40ppm in a week.... At this point I have been doing weekly 50% pwc to try to keep the nitrates down. Its a crazy thing and I am not sure what is going on. Generally I only vaccume about 60% of rocks per water change because I have the 4 snails and I have had concerns about them having food because somehow I managed to completely rid my tank of algae.

Anyway, I tested this morning and I have had no drop in PH. I am going to try to figure out what kind of lighting I have today and create a thread to see if its the right kind.

I also may drop the lights from 10hrs to 8hrs.

Thanks Everyone!
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Old 06-14-2012, 06:36 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smcoyle87
The beneficial bacteria grows on the biowheels..I don't understand the point of removing them? As long as no antibacterial substances are being used..why remove them? Just curious
Because they off gas the CO2 that we are injecting. Bio wheels are completely counter intuitive to keeping high CO2 in your aquarium.

Yes, bacteria grow on them. As well as everywhere else in the aquarium. Besides that, the plants love to consume ammonia and also are covered in bacteria. Further more, biological filtration is not even needed in a higher light CO2 tank due to the plants.
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:18 PM   #27
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Because they off gas the CO2 that we are injecting. Bio wheels are completely counter intuitive to keeping high CO2 in your aquarium.

Yes, bacteria grow on them. As well as everywhere else in the aquarium. Besides that, the plants love to consume ammonia and also are covered in bacteria. Further more, biological filtration is not even needed in a higher light CO2 tank due to the plants.
All that... plus they're nitrate factories. They are so efficient at converting ammonia to nitrate that they outcompete the plants at ammonia consumption. (I know you said that in your post rkilling but it's so relevant I had to repeat it) Granted, they're great in a fish tank. They're just not good for your plants and make co2 injection a loosing battle.
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:33 PM   #28
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Hello Aquarium enthusiasts! I am posting an update to the thread that I started to let anyone know that I am finding success after three weeks of adjustment. Thank you!!

Tonight I tested my Nitrates and for the first time since getting my tank set up with live plants the Nitrates are at 20 PPM. For those of you saying "that's too high"...well...I was between 40 and 80 PPM and couldn't figure out what the problem was. I haven't seen it this low.

My plants are sprouting new leaves and even those that have been out for 2 weeks have zero algae spots on them like the old leaves do. I'm seeing the green film slowly fade away from the filter intake, heater, and other elements. The glass has stayed clean since the last time I scrubbed it. And my fish seem to be more perky...as much as a fish can be I guess.

I am still keeping the lights on at 7.5 hours, only adding Excel, and doing big water changes 2x weekly until things are under control. Also doctored up my CO2 and I'm getting about 35 BPM's out of it versus a rate about half that (still too low??).

This tank still has some progress to make, but I'm feeling confident it is heading in the right direction. Thanks again for the advice!
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:40 PM   #29
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Almost forgot one last detail -- I also had a snail problem in that those little suckers were everywhere. Well as I quickly learned when you do BIG water changes they come out of their hiding places for some reason. Perhaps because the lights are out and they must think it is chow time. Anyhow, I have taken advantage of that and cleaned them out when I see them. They aren't gone by any means, but I sure don't find them very often any more.
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Old 06-21-2012, 11:46 PM   #30
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I am so happy to hear its going well!!
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