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Old 08-17-2013, 02:21 PM   #41
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Hi there

Love your fish names lol
If your fish like how u feed them don't stop.
You can also get a little shrimp feeder that looks like a cone and has small holes in it.. U attach to the tank and they come and pull on the food through the holes. There's no waste as the holes are very small

Here's another quick pic of my fish

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Will post a few pics of my wife's tank soon

Great work keeping your ammonia spikes down. Keep it up
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Old 08-17-2013, 09:16 PM   #42
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Curious question mastermamo ? What trace things do you think go away when you age the water ? The only things I know about that disappear from tap water with age are chlorine and eventually chloramines, though the latter can take up to a week to gas out.

Back in my high school days, nitrogen cycles were not known. Chlorine was the only treatment used in water, and you aged your water at least 24 hours to allow it to gas off into the air. Now they add ammonia in many places, with the chlorine, which gives us chlormines. They are used that way because they last longer and thus kill more bacteria. But they will gas off with enough time. But many have neither the time nor the space to age a lot of water.

I do not argue with your method. It works for you and that's great. But unless there are a lot of other volatile chemicals in the tap water that will also gas off in a few days, it seems like a lot of extra work for little gain to me.

Wishing the OP success with the cycle and no more deceased fish. I wish fish stores would not tell people they can do fish in cycling. It is not necessary when pure ammonia or even some shrimp bits will do the same thing without hurting any fish.
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Old 08-18-2013, 04:45 PM   #43
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Curious question mastermamo ? What trace things do you think go away when you age the water ? The only things I know about that disappear from tap water with age are chlorine and eventually chloramines, though the latter can take up to a week to gas out. Back in my high school days, nitrogen cycles were not known. Chlorine was the only treatment used in water, and you aged your water at least 24 hours to allow it to gas off into the air. Now they add ammonia in many places, with the chlorine, which gives us chlormines. They are used that way because they last longer and thus kill more bacteria. But they will gas off with enough time. But many have neither the time nor the space to age a lot of water. I do not argue with your method. It works for you and that's great. But unless there are a lot of other volatile chemicals in the tap water that will also gas off in a few days, it seems like a lot of extra work for little gain to me. Wishing the OP success with the cycle and no more deceased fish. I wish fish stores would not tell people they can do fish in cycling. It is not necessary when pure ammonia or even some shrimp bits will do the same thing without hurting any fish.
Thanks for the wish of good luck, so far things are staying about the same, ammonia rising to 1.0ppm and me doing a PWC'S to get it back down to .25 ppm every day. The boys are still swimming around as happy as ever and eating well. So hopefully things will start moving to the next stage of the cycle soon.

I just have a question for you. I noticed you had posted on another members post who was also having trouble with their cycle (fish in) you had recommended to him that he take the carbon out of his filter. I have an aquaclear 20 that has the foam insert, then a layer of activated carbon in a bag and them the bag of the bio-max on top. Do you think. Should just keep the carbon in, or should I remove it? And if I do remove it, while that change how the filter works at all?
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Old 08-18-2013, 05:45 PM   #44
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Hi. I am also a new member. I have 1 question regarding this app and a few About my fish tank. About the app, how do I START a new thread or conversation? Ok so, I used to have a fish tank when I was about 15. It was about 40 something at a guess is around 10 UK gallons.

I'm 29 now and realise that there is so much more to fish keeping than I originally thought. I made just about every mistake possible. Over stocked, Stocked too quickly, mixed the wrong fish, didn't even know about the nitrogen cycle, tannins! Anyway I think i had the tank that long that it naturally balanced out and settled.

I have now bout a 64 litre (14 or so gallon) tank. Which I now know is puny compared to veteran keepers tanks! Lol. I planted the tank heavily and have some mini bog wood with plants attached. I had it set and running for a few days and saw the bacteria bloom which settled after about 4-5 days. I then added fish flakes every other days for about a week. After another week I added 4 harlequin rasbora as I know they are a hardier fish. After another week or so I added 4 more. All the this time the API test kits has been saying roughy 0.25 ammonia. But it's so difficult to read its more like a yellowy green although more green. I've not had a single recording of nitrites or nitrates since i set up. I did have an early pest snail problem but I put 2 assassin snails in which have almost rid them completely. All my rasboras and both my snails seem fine, are hungry, playful. The first 4 rasboras have lovely colour but the second 4 I got from another shop are slightly duller. I've been doing 25% water changes twice a week and a gravel clean every other week. It's been another 2 weeks and I've added 3 swordtails 1 male to female. I recently bought a seachem ammonia alert which is looking in the safe zone.

My question is why have i never recorded any nitrite or nitrate and why is my ammonia locked at the same colour on the API test kit. Has my cycle even got going yet? And why are both testers contradicting? Are my plants helping to keep Ammonia and nitrates down?

I know I rushed by putting fish in so soon and I'm mad at myself for the impatience but it's been a month now and nothing has changed.

Hope you can help.
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Old 08-18-2013, 07:57 PM   #45
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I prefer not to use carbon unless it's necessary for two main reasons. One, there is some research I have read that indicates long term use of carbon might actually be bad for fish, though it was certainly used for years because it kept the water clearer, and it is still useful for removing colour and odours if they exist.

Manufacturers have not caught up with this, and continue to put carbon in many filter inserts, leaving you no choice about whether to use it if you use the inserts, which is why I never use them. I put my own media in filters, even tiny ones can be fitted with some amount of bio media, like sponge, or even floss.

Much has changed over the past decades, as the latest poster has said. Carbon is useful for removing medication, bad odours and colour, like tannins, though the tannins are only bothersome to us, not the fish. Second reason I don't use it is that it isn't very good at growing bacteria, so I think you are better off in the long run replacing it with more bio media that can grow bacteria, which will assist in the nitrogen cycle.

Carbon can always be added if needed, then removed again.

As for the question about a test never showing ammonia, I would suspect a defective or expired test, or possibly contaminated reference solutions in the test, because fish waste is primarily ammonia. So it's there, in some amount, as soon as you add fish, or even snails. But a week or two, or even four, is nowhere near long enough for a filter to grow bacterial colonies unless it's been seeded with mature media to speed things up, so there must be ammonia, certainly after adding so many fish to a new tank.

If the test IS accurate, then the tank is not cycled, the fish are living in a low level ammonia soup all the time and though some fish are actually are able to adapt to such conditions, in some cases I have seen, the sad reality is that such exposure to ammonia always leads to shortened lifespans and greater susceptibility to opportunistic infections. Fish are like anything animal, they have a survival instinct and won't always show symptoms until they feel really terrible, because they know instinctively that looking sick means being preyed upon.

It can take several weeks to obtain enough bacterial growth to cycle a tank. It takes patience. Actually you are cycling the filter, really, not the tank itself. But tanks do grow biofilm, which is something many fish seem to need to do well. It is the reason you are told not to add certain fish species to new tanks.. the lack of biofilm seems to make a big difference, even if they do not actually consume it as food. Most shrimp don't do well at all without biofilm, and it grows at its own pace. You can't hurry it up. Trying to hasten filter cycling is best done with seed media from a mature filter, not by adding more fish.

When reading tests, always do it under the best light available. Daylight is best, light from 65 or 6700 K bulbs is next best. Always read them under the same light, so that you see the same colours each time. Different light makes colours look different, and many people have some trouble matching the test solution result to the colour charts, but good light helps a bit.

Also, take the test water from deep in the tank, rather than the surface, which might, possibly, be a bit more diluted than deeper water. I don't know if that last is actually true, but it cannot hurt to take samples from deeper down. I have a friend who swears the results are different doing it this way. I have not noticed much if any difference, but I keep different fish and use different filters so perhaps it is condition of his tank.

What brand is the test, and does it have an expiry date on it ? They do go bad over time, and then must be replaced. Do you have a test for nitrite & nitrate ? If you don't you need those too, you can't tell how a cycle is progressing without them.

Btw, once those swords grow they are going to be too big for that tank with those other fish in there. They can get to four inches or more. Old rule of thumb is one inch of fish body length, [not fins] per gallon of water in a tank. You have to factor in the adult size of the fish. And you have to deduct some volume for the substrate and decor that takes up space as well. Some say you can leave bottom feeders out of the equation, I don't think you should, especially if they are catfish or plecs, which contribute plenty of waste to any tank they're in.
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Old 08-19-2013, 02:21 AM   #46
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I fishfur.

Thanks for your reply. I am using an API master test kit. I test shows a greenish colour on the ammonia test but very hard to distinguish. I would says it is approaching .25ppm and I am taking samples from the water surface. I will try a deeper sample.

I have tested distilled water with the API test kit and it does look more yellow than the results from my water. I am also using a seachem ammonia alert which is placed inside the rank and turns colour depending on ammonia concentration. It is a colour somewhere between safe and alert I think alert is 0.02ppm the next colour is warning which is 0.2 ppm it's is definitely not that colour. Taking both test results in to account I would say that there are small amounts of ammonia in the water but I have been doing regular water changes.

In my filter I have a black sponge and a white pads which feels like it has 'crystals' inside. Is this carbon? I read a lot about carbon and didn't want to use it so I will be a bit gutted if this is carbon. Is one black sponge enough to filter the water? I set the filter up as instructed in the manual.

It is the nitrite and nitrate readings I have never recorded. Would a heavily planted tank contribute to keeping these down or is it more likely that my cycle hasn't got going yet? My tap water has minuscule amounts of nitrate in it also.

Thanks for the advice on the swordtails. I might have to remove one or remove a couple of rasboras.
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Old 08-19-2013, 03:12 PM   #47
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Update :

Things are still going well, still doing my daily water changes. I bought some API ammo lock (just because I was worried about the ammonia hurting my boys if it spiked during the night) they are still swimming around all over, chasing eachother playfully and the 3 snails are doing really well too. One of them laid a clutch of eggs, lol. I removed them because the last thing I need is a snail population explosion to throw off the cycle, lol.
I also added some blue paper to the back of my tank Until I can get an actual background and I really like the look

Here are a few pics
Asmodeus is the one with the orange tail and Leviathan is the black and white one
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:58 PM   #48
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Plants do help use up ammonia and nitrates,for sure.

Most of the refills for filters have carbon in them, usually stuffed inside some white felty material. It is often combined with some ceramic media as well. One reason I never use the refills. You can slit the material and remove the carbon if you want to. It won't stop the white material from filtering, which it does. It is just floss compressed and stuck together a bit.

I use sponge and loose floss mainly, some crushed lava rock as bio media too, in a mesh bag. I often keep a second sponge in the filter to use in case I need to start a new tank, and I never clean both of them at the same time. Sponge is an excellent bio media, just be sure to squeeze it out well in tank water to clean it, weekly or bimonthly, before it gets clogged. One sponge is likely enough, but you can add another if there is space, and some floss too if there is room for it, also gets squeezed out in tank water to clean. Lasts a good long time before it falls apart.

The only way to know for sure if your cycle is complete is to test for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Ideal readings are ammonia zero, nitrite zero, nitrate 20-30 ppm. You need the tests for these.

Pretty hefty fish names ! My sister used to have two goldfish, in a bowl, in university. Didn't know then we shouldn't have done that. Agamemnon was one, Ulysses the other I think.
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:25 PM   #49
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Yeah plants help a lot I have a heavy planted tank and every weeks test comes back ammonia 0 nitrite 0 and nitrates 0 and I am pretty much 100% stocked, and my filters have no carbon in it, I use Seachem Matrix and Seachem Purigen I still do weekly 50% water changes just bc my giant driftwood is slowly turning water still yellow the carbon would fix that but my water change does too and its better for fish
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:42 PM   #50
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Plants do help use up ammonia and nitrates,for sure.

Most of the refills for filters have carbon in them, usually stuffed inside some white felty material. It is often combined with some ceramic media as well. One reason I never use the refills. You can slit the material and remove the carbon if you want to. It won't stop the white material from filtering, which it does. It is just floss compressed and stuck together a bit.

I use sponge and loose floss mainly, some crushed lava rock as bio media too, in a mesh bag. I often keep a second sponge in the filter to use in case I need to start a new tank, and I never clean both of them at the same time. Sponge is an excellent bio media, just be sure to squeeze it out well in tank water to clean it, weekly or bimonthly, before it gets clogged. One sponge is likely enough, but you can add another if there is space, and some floss too if there is room for it, also gets squeezed out in tank water to clean. Lasts a good long time before it falls apart.

The only way to know for sure if your cycle is complete is to test for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Ideal readings are ammonia zero, nitrite zero, nitrate 20-30 ppm. You need the tests for these.

Pretty hefty fish names ! My sister used to have two goldfish, in a bowl, in university. Didn't know then we shouldn't have done that. Agamemnon was one, Ulysses the other I think.
We call them Deuce and Levi for short
I'm a big fan of strange names for pets, lol
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Old 08-20-2013, 02:07 AM   #51
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Thanks fishfur

Some really useful tips there. Especially the double sponge for starting a new tank and cutting the carbon out of my floss. I'll probably just buy new floss and a new sponge. I really want to own a large tank but I need to learn more on this one first.

Yeh, I know about the nitrogen cycle and nitrite and nitrate are zero. Ammonia has always been slightly less than .25. The plants must be keeping the nitrates down before I can catch them on the test. Would still expect to see some nitrite if I know there are small amounts of ammonia but I'm not complaining.

Another question: do you have an air pump and do you recommend them. My fish seem quiet happy with o2 levels and I'm sure my plants are contributing heavily. Are air pumps noisy and would they stress the fish if there was no need to add o2?

Thanks
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Old 08-20-2013, 04:04 PM   #52
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Me too. I've named a bunch after fave characters in fantasy or scifi novels. I had a cat named Wart at one time.. from The Once and Future King.
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