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Old 09-29-2017, 01:16 AM   #1
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Exclamation First Tank: Ideal Parameters? SUPER High Phosphates

Hi yall!

I honestly feel stupid for even asking this, but Ive researched these questions forEVER only to receive super conflicted/varying advice. So what should my ideal water parameters be? And what is within an acceptable range? Like, yes, I do know that my ammonia should be ~0, but at what point is it too high? Or at what point are is my kH too low? The same goes for all the other parameters that I check.

Background info: I just finished cycling my 20 gallon last week. Two days ago I added 10 cardinal tetras and 1 black molly. It is lightly planted right now: 2x anubias afzelli, 1 anubias lanceolata, 1 bacopa caroliniana, and 1 unidentified guy (picture attached). Yesterday I dosed Seachem Neutral Regulator to keep my pH at 7.0.

What should my acceptable ranges be for the following:
- temperature
- pH
- ammonia
- nitrite
- nitrate
- phosphate
- kH
- gH

Today was the first day in over a month where my phosphate wasnt 0.25ppm it was 10+! Ive read that uneaten fish food and buffers can cause the numbers to soar, but this is my first tank, so m not really sure how to handle it.

Thanks so much!
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Old 10-01-2017, 10:26 AM   #2
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Yes, read up on the buffer - they can contain phosphates. I wouldn't use a buffer unless really needed as it could be hiding something (eg ph maintained but kh is consumed).

I'd test tap water so that gives a base line and then it depends on what fish you are keeping and parameter range for them. Buy fish that roughly suit that and than maintain tank to be not too far away from the tap water. It doesn't have to be exact for them. My tap ph is ~8.2, 24hrs later it is 7.8 as it de-gasses and tank is about 7.4 (down to 6.7 with CO2 --> so fish adapt pretty well).

For a planted tank, I would say phosphates around 1ppm and nitrates around 20 to 40ppm (more than 40ppm not needed and less than 10ppm may be short).

Ammonia and nitrite at 0 as you know.
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