Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 08-17-2013, 05:49 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
iforged's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 51
Question Cleaning out tank

Sooo, I have had some trouble getting my tank cycled even after having it running for 3 months, my Ammonia was above 2.0-4.0ppm daily before PWC and pH gradually dropping from 7.2 all the way down to 6.0.

Today I decided to do a bigger water change and take out my FAKE ornaments, some what large, fake rocks and a fake driftwood. As i picked up the ornaments, i noticed a TON.. i mean A TON of gooey particles, almost like snot, and soooo much uneaten food that was trapped underneath that driftwood a rock. So i took them both out, did a 60% water change and tried to syphone as much of that stuff as possible. I did not put the stuff back in.

So my question is, could this be the cause of my extremely high ammonia levels? also can a FULLY CYCLED tank show signs of ammonia but NO Nitrite and Nitrate levels? (in which case this is what im dealing with) All this time i was waiting for my Ammonia to convert to Nitrite and then to Nitrate.

Also thinking about adding some live plants, do i need special substrate for them to grow? or is there certain type of plants that will grow just fine in my regular gravel?

Thank you guys
__________________

__________________
iforged is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2013, 06:00 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
iforged's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 51
Been around 1 hour since the whole mess, checked the water levels using API master test kit... readings:

pH: 7.0
Ammonia: .25ppm
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
__________________

__________________
iforged is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2013, 08:44 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,270
Many plants will grow in the gravel. You don't need anything special for the easy ones.. and they will use up nitrates. Hygro difformis is a nice on, Vals, crypts.. though they might need some fert tabs near the roots to do really well. Anacharis is really easy too. There are many low light plants that are easy to manage. Anubias, java ferns, java moss are others you might think of.

All that organic debris does add ammonia and other toxins as it decomposes. You need to vacuum the substrate now and then to remove excess poop, left over food, dead leaves, etc. If the tank has so many plants you can't vacuum, well, that's not so bad then.

I would stir up all that stuff and let the filter get it out. To make it easier, just fill the filter with floss, and rinse it out each time it gets clogged up until all the larger particles are gone when you stir it up. Do it several times if need be.

I would also poke around in the gravel and make sure there is no gas underneath it. If you get gas bubbles coming up from under the gravel you also have anaerobic decomp going on down there. Stir it all up and get the crud out that the bacteria are feeding on, and the swamp gas they create. It smells like rotten eggs. Won't hurt the fish if there isn't too much of it, but it can kill shrimp if they are on top of a bubble coming up. Might want to put carbon in the filter afterward for a day or two, if the water gets a bit stinky from the gas coming up, but don't leave it in there too long. No need for it once any odour is gone.

Then cut down the amount you feed. I'm guessing you feed too much or the buildup would not be this bad. Only what the fish can eat in two minutes, not more than twice a day. No more.

Bottom feeders do take longer to eat their dinners, but if there is left over the next day, reduce the amount next time. Try real rocks and wood next time. I think they look nicer, if nothing else.
__________________
Fishfur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2013, 09:11 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Rivercats's Avatar



POTM Champion
Tank of the Month Award
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Missouri
Posts: 13,146
Quote:
Originally Posted by iforged View Post
Sooo, I have had some trouble getting my tank cycled even after having it running for 3 months, my Ammonia was above 2.0-4.0ppm daily before PWC and pH gradually dropping from 7.2 all the way down to 6.0.

Today I decided to do a bigger water change and take out my FAKE ornaments, some what large, fake rocks and a fake driftwood. As i picked up the ornaments, i noticed a TON.. i mean A TON of gooey particles, almost like snot, and soooo much uneaten food that was trapped underneath that driftwood a rock. So i took them both out, did a 60% water change and tried to syphone as much of that stuff as possible. I did not put the stuff back in.

So my question is, could this be the cause of my extremely high ammonia levels? also can a FULLY CYCLED tank show signs of ammonia but NO Nitrite and Nitrate levels? (in which case this is what im dealing with) All this time i was waiting for my Ammonia to convert to Nitrite and then to Nitrate.

Also thinking about adding some live plants, do i need special substrate for them to grow? or is there certain type of plants that will grow just fine in my regular gravel?

Thank you guys
You don't need to change out your gravel unless you want to run a higher tech tank with a lot of stem or carpeting plants. A list of plants you can use and attach to DW or Rocks would be Anubia's (Nana and Nana Petite are exceptional for this), Java Ferns (there are many different types such as Trident, Wendilov, Narrowleaf and all work great), Bolbitus (my favorite but does best in softer water), and many types of mosses, Java moss being the most common. For substrate plants that are easy and don't require any thing other than stock or low light would be Crypts (they need root tabs as they are heavy root feeders and there are tons of different varities to choose from), Tiger Lotus (also needs root tabs), most species of Vals but Jungle Val does well in lower light, and Water Sprite just to name a few that will do fine in low light and gravel.

If you had that much detris buildup in your substrate then it most certainly was a source of ammonia but that has already been covered. I fed my tanks once a day a very small amount. Many people even feed every other day or fast their fish once a week. It's just a matter of finding what method works best for you and your tank. Also adding some fish or shrimp depending on your stock that feed off the bottom can be helpful in cleaning up excess food.
__________________
Rivercats 220g planted tank
Rivercats is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
clean, cleaning, tan, tank

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off








» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:16 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.