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Old 10-15-2013, 06:28 PM   #1
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Water testing

I recently had a batch of dwarf hair grass die and of course upon testing tonight, my nitrites were at 5 and my ammonia was at .25! Up from 0 and 0. One of guppies died (unsure if it was nitrites or because they were new). Anyway, did a 25% wc and skimmed out as much of the dead grass as possible. How long should I wait to retest? Is there a recommendation on wait time?
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Old 10-15-2013, 06:33 PM   #2
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With nitrites that high you need to be doing more than 25%. Go ahead and retest, you need to get your ammonia and nitrites back to zero. Also check your tap water to make sure there are no ammonia or nitrites in your tap water.
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Old 10-15-2013, 06:36 PM   #3
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Ok. So test and probably do like 25% more? I have not tested my tap water. That's a good idea.
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Old 10-15-2013, 07:25 PM   #4
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To cycle with fish you need to keep your ammonia and nitrite below .25, so I would start with 50%. Test it again after a couple hours, then another water change if you're still high.

Test your tap water first. All the water changes in the world are useless if the nitrites are coming from your tap.

Another thing to consider, what types of media do you have in your filter and are you changing them or cleaning them?
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Old 10-15-2013, 08:43 PM   #5
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Well actually my tank has been up for years and I even recycled it after I got rid of my goldfish. It's been 0 and 0 for almost that entire year. I did test my tap, it's not that. I have a fluval 405 canister with bio max media, ammonia remover media, prefilter sponges, and carbon. My usual stuff. Just changed the media and washed the sponges in tank water last month. Like I said, I did have dwarf grass hair in there that died, maybe that caused a spike?
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Old 10-15-2013, 08:49 PM   #6
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I've never known a dead plant, especially if its cleaned out quickly cause that drastic of a spike.
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Old 10-15-2013, 08:57 PM   #7
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Hmmm, ya, me neither. I'm just trying to make sense of it all. This is my first go at live plants so that's really the only thing that's changed.
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Old 10-16-2013, 12:51 AM   #8
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If you just cleaned your entire filter, you have your answer!
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Old 10-16-2013, 01:23 AM   #9
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Being washed in tank water though I can't see it causing that big of an issue. He did say he replaced something though. How much grass are we talking about? Was it a carpet to your whole tank or still in the pot?
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Old 10-16-2013, 01:24 AM   #10
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Changed the media? Thats where all your bacteria grows! Dis your store say to replace after a year?
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Old 10-16-2013, 06:55 AM   #11
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I did not change the entire filter. The ammonia remover bag and the carbon bag goes bad after 1 month, so I staggered their replacement. 1 one week and the other 2 weeks later. The sponges I lightly rinsed in tank water just to remove excess debris and I didn't even touch the biomax which is the holder of all bacteria in this type of canister. The grass was a newly planted plant, a small patch. My snails destroyed the root system so it slowly died and I didn't notice it died until it floated to the top. I have been doing my replacements and light rinsing a on my filter since I got it last year and haven't had a problem with it, that's what the instructions say to do. I never totally clean or replace everything at once.
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Old 10-16-2013, 08:39 AM   #12
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Thanks for all the input. I guess I did something to promote a cycling again. Ugh...that's the only thing I can think of. Guess it's back to large daily water changes. I thought I was done with this crap.
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Old 10-16-2013, 02:39 PM   #13
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I see all your media holds bb not just your ceramics. And carbon is pointless unless trying to remove meds from your tank. And an ammonia bag isn't needed because there is no ammonia present in an established tank anyways.
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Old 10-16-2013, 02:51 PM   #14
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Ohhhh....well, I guess I can remove the carbon then...that's what the seller recommended as a constant. I mostly did the ammonia remover because I'm dong a total restock and I thought it might b helpful. What do u recommend for media?
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Old 10-16-2013, 05:13 PM   #15
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I think I located a source...maybe? I opened my filter today to just to take a look and all my media and sponges were filled with pieces of the hairgrass. So I rinsed everything off in tank water during my 50% change (ammonia .25 and nitrites 2). I never completely empty the canister of water because if it's empty it won't prime and then I have to siphon by mouth to get it started. Anyway, once turned back on, a bunch of the hairgrass shot out the output again. Could it be decaying in the filter and the ammonia and nitrites it's making just be shot back out of the output nozzle? I
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Old 10-17-2013, 09:53 AM   #16
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Im a little bit confused what do you mean the nitrites be shot out? If it's present its in the water. The filter doesn't hold your ammonia and nitrites... Your filter is still part of your aquarium ans the water always passes through it. Depending on how much grass there is decaying in there its possible.
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