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Old 04-09-2012, 02:23 AM   #1
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3 weeks in!

Hey Everyone!

So about a month ago, went to a parent/teacher conference for my kindergartner. Mom and I got to see a journal the kids have been working on, they write a simple sentence and then draw a pic about it. Well, one day they had to write about their favorite pet. He didn't have one, so the teacher told him to pretend he did and write about it. He drew a small blue fish. So now we have an aquarium!

It's a 10 gallon. Planted with 7 tall yet thin things of grass, 1 anubias, 2 ferns (broad-ish leaves, the name escapes me), 1 amazon sword and some little thing that a friend threw in when he sold me the grasses. Picked up 2 15 watt fluorescent bulbs and switched out the incandescents that came with the Walmart kit and the plants seem to be doing just fine (plenty of new roots on the plants that I've had to move around, the lights are on 12.5 hours a day). Using Flourish and Flourish Excel. There's a pirate ship in it that I just hooked a pump up to yesterday because the kids insisted it should open and close, so I threw in a small airstone next to the "lava rock" with a whole in it (but now it looks kinda busy in there, and the surface seems rather turbulent). Got the big API test kit and tested the water yesterday, and it looks like it's cycled: 0ppm ammonia, 0ppm nitrates and about 40ppm nitrites. pH is a little on the high side, but within the range for the fish.

Oh, right. There are fish in there! 3 platys: a sunset wag, a panda and a blue MM. Started with 2, but one was a red MM that was really aggressive, she chased the sunset endlessly. They were both female, definitely. Bought the panda (female) to see if another tank mate would keep the red MM busy, but no. Kept chasing her. So back to the store she went, exchanged her for the blue MM. The sunset seemed pretty traumatized, hiding in a corner behind the grass for 2 or so days. Did a water change every day at that point just to make sure she wasn't being affected by water quality or something, but after the 2 days she was out socializing with the other two and everything seems to be just great!

Now that I know the tank's cycled, I'm thinking of picking up some ghost shrimp on the way home from work tomorrow. Maybe another platy later in the week. Won't have more than a total of 5 platys in there if we get more. But I'm toying with the idea of getting 4-5 dwarf corys instead. Thoughts?
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:29 PM   #2
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Its not cycles yet at less you just mixed up nitrate and nitrite? I would be doing a water change if my nitrates or nitrites was 40ppm. If it is nitrite its not cycled all the way but almost if you have no ammonia.
ammonia turns to nitrite then to nitrate
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:33 PM   #3
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Almost missed it welcome to AA
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:55 PM   #4
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Yes, sorry. It was late. 40ppm nitrAtes, and I think it was the API kit that stated 40ppm was the expected range for a newer aquarium. I'd added Safestart after about a week (when I'd added the 2 fish). My plan is to do 30% water change 1x per week going forward. Does that sound right?

Thanks for the welcome!
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Old 04-09-2012, 04:09 PM   #5
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You should only have to do 10% every week or maybe even less with all those live plants at less you are over stocked. Imo I would be testing everyday to watch those nitrates they should go down on its own with the plants. If it goes up water changes are needed 40 is high imo I would rather them to be below 25. It won't hurt the fish as bad as ammonia and nitrite but long term effects could happen. Personally I would change 10% to try and get it down
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Old 04-09-2012, 04:22 PM   #6
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So having the live plants will reduce the amount and frequency of water changes? I'll check the nitrates again this evening.

Could I prepare, say, a gallon jug of pretreated water and have that on hand for the water change, or is it best to prepare the water shortly before adding it to the aquarium (having it reach room temp before adding it of course)? And can one have too many plants?
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Old 04-09-2012, 04:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewSith
So having the live plants will reduce the amount and frequency of water changes? I'll check the nitrates again this evening.

Well yes and no some people do and some dont. I say its better to keep testing and keep changing 10% of water every week if it needs it or not. When making a 10% change its so small it won't make to much of a change to throw your fish out of wack. There are always things happening in your tank that you don't test for and even such small little things like ammonia, nitrites, minerals and salt and probably more that we can't see on a test kit or don't know about that they need.

Could I prepare, say, a gallon jug of pretreated water and have that on hand for the water change, or is it best to prepare the water shortly before adding it to the aquarium (having it reach room temp before adding it of course)? And can one have too many plants?
Most people including myself always have a bucket, trash cans or water jugs ready to go the day before a water change. It doesn't matter how many plants just all depends on what you want.
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Old 04-09-2012, 04:40 PM   #8
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All sorry look up in the quote for the other answer. And I always put a small heater to warm the water before adding it to the tank. Adding colder water could shock the fish and also lower the temp. Till the tank heater brings it back up this up and down is not good as I said above could put them in shock or cause illness or diseases.
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Old 04-09-2012, 05:57 PM   #9
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Please don't forget about the toxins in some corals (like zoas and palythoas)
180 gallon reef announcement!:
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Old 04-09-2012, 07:14 PM   #10
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I have another question, if you don't mind.

The tank's filter contains activated carbon, which removes chemicals from the water, right? Am I making a mistake in adding ferts for the plants because the carbon is just removing what I've added? Do folks with planted tanks remove activated carbon from their filtration?
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