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Old 09-20-2021, 08:14 PM   #1
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Tiger Barbs

So here’s a question…. I’m my 75 gal, I have 14 (give or take 1) Tiger barbs (along with some other fish). They seem healthy, they all have an appetite, the come up for food on command, and eat like there’s no tomorrow. No aggression issues in the tank. But they aren’t exactly “active”. By that I mean they will go through periods of being active (when fed obviously and also initially when I turn on and off the light (or turn it to night mode/black light led).

I wondered if the water parameters were off, doesn’t appear to be. The results read as follows:

Ammonia 0 PPM
Nitrite 0 ppm
Nitrate 0 ppm
PH at 6.0

Literally just tested that about 20 minutes ago. The only one that I could think maybe the PH being a 6.0? But I’m pretty sure they’re normally fine between a range of 6-8 on PH. And the fact that everyone else in the tank appears very active, I’m fairly sure it’s not a water parameter thing?

And when I say inactive… they aren’t just sitting in one spot floating there all day. They kinda just seem to hang out where the majority of cover is on each end of the tank. They’ll venture out from time to time, but in no means are they zipping across the tank. Could they somehow be timid of the other fish in the tank? The tigers should be the most aggressive fish I have in there (if you believe that they’re semi aggressive, I personally have not experienced this). Their tank mates are:

5 giant Danios
5 neon rosy barbs
8 neon tetras (who like to hide from the larger fish)
3 Buenos Aires Tetras
2 honey Gourami
5 false rummy nose tetras

Curious as to what you guys think?

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Old 09-21-2021, 01:19 AM   #2
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Not that im saying anything is wrong, but I would question if the water parameters are correct.

If you are cycled you would expect to see nitrate as this is the end result of the nitrogen cycle. If you arent cycled you would expect to see ammonia and/or nitrite depending on how far along the cycling process you are. You arent exactly light on stocking so you should be seeing something.

How old is the tank? Is it the tank you mention in previous threads thats at least a few months old? Are you doing very large, frequent water changes? How are you testing? API nitrate testing kit? Gotta really shake the heck out of bottle #2.
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Old 09-21-2021, 08:06 AM   #3
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Not that im saying anything is wrong, but I would question if the water parameters are correct.

If you are cycled you would expect to see nitrate as this is the end result of the nitrogen cycle. If you arent cycled you would expect to see ammonia and/or nitrite depending on how far along the cycling process you are. You arent exactly light on stocking so you should be seeing something.

How old is the tank? Is it the tank you mention in previous threads thats at least a few months old? Are you doing very large, frequent water changes? How are you testing? API nitrate testing kit? Gotta really shake the heck out of bottle #2.
Now that you mention it, I 100% forgot the shake the Nitrate Test Solution bottle 2 before using it. Just did that and retesting it. Will let you know what that looks like in 5 minutes.

As far as the tank goes, I’ve had it since April. The largest water change I’ve done has been somewhere between 20-30%. Last one was about a week and a half ago. And yeah it’s the API test kit. Can already tell you the Nitrate level is not 0. Lol. It’s looking like it will end up around 40 ppm
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Old 09-21-2021, 08:10 AM   #4
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Now that you mention it, I 100% forgot the shake the Nitrate Test Solution bottle 2 before using it. Just did that and retesting it. Will let you know what that looks like in 5 minutes.

As far as the tank goes, I’ve had it since April. The largest water change I’ve done has been somewhere between 20-30%. Last one was about a week and a half ago. And yeah it’s the API test kit. Can already tell you the Nitrate level is not 0. Lol. It’s looking like it will end up around 40 ppm
I dont keep barbs, so cant really comment on their behaviour. Tiger barbs are likely going into my next biggish tank if i can get round to it.

Just spotted something off with your tests so raised it. Really shake bottle #2 hard. Like bang it on the countertop.
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Old 09-21-2021, 08:34 AM   #5
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I dont keep barbs, so cant really comment on their behaviour. Tiger barbs are likely going into my next biggish tank if i can get round to it.

Just spotted something off with your tests so raised it. Really shake bottle #2 hard. Like bang it on the countertop.
Appreciate that. Yeah definitely forgot to shake the bottle #2 before using it. It ended up at around 40 ppm. Going to do a water change and gravel vac to bring that back down a bit.
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Old 09-21-2021, 05:24 PM   #6
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Update: appears it was the nitrate upsetting the barbs.

Since doing about a 60% water change, and replacing all the filtration media in the fx4 filter (and cleaning it out), the bards are back to exploring around the tank.
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Old 09-21-2021, 05:25 PM   #7
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Why have you replaced the filter media? That's a very bad idea
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Old 09-21-2021, 05:28 PM   #8
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Why have you replaced the filter media? That's a very bad idea
It needed to be. That was the first time it had been since April or may. I didnít replace any of the filter floss or sponging, just the carbon filter and the crushed coral that were in it.
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Old 09-21-2021, 05:31 PM   #9
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Most of your beneficial bacteria lives on the filter media. Replacing it will crash your cycle and cause you to start over. Replacing filter media is one of the worst thing you could do.

A sponge will last a couple of years or more. Biomedia maybe a decade. Only replace filter media if its literally falling apart. Just rinse it in dechlorinated water or water from your tank.
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Old 09-21-2021, 05:33 PM   #10
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What biomedia do you have in the filter?
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Old 09-21-2021, 05:35 PM   #11
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Most of your beneficial bacteria lives on the filter media. Replacing it will crash your cycle and cause you to start over. Replacing filter media is one of the worst thing you could do.

A sponge will last a couple of years or more. Biomedia maybe a decade. Only replace filter media if its literally falling apart. Just rinse it in dechlorinated water or water from your tank.
I was told it should be replaced (meaning the carbon) about every 6 months. The sponging and bio rings are all still the same. The new carbon and crushed coral was rinsed and soaked in the tank water inside the filter for a good while before hand. So it wasnít totally void of that.
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Old 09-21-2021, 05:40 PM   #12
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What biomedia do you have in the filter?
Not counting any sponges, Iíve packed it with The fluval bio rings (the white circular things), fluval carbon, fluval ammonia remover, and a bag of crushed coral. And I have my seachem stability to add each day for the next 7 days
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Old 09-21-2021, 05:40 PM   #13
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Ok. Im panicing less now.

Carbon only lasts about 2 weeks before it gets used up. Is there a reason for the carbon? Carbon removes organic compounds from the water. Typically this means it removes, tannins and medication. My opinion is if you dont need it for a particular reason, dont use it. Just have it there until its done what its intended for, then take it out. Its expensive.

Again, is there a reason for crushed coral? Do you have low pH?

Filter floss i just replace every month when i do filter maintenance. Sponges and biomedia (ceramic rings) get rinsed with monthly filter maintenance.
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Old 09-21-2021, 05:43 PM   #14
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Ok. Im panicing less now.

Carbon only lasts about 2 weeks before it gets used up. Is there a reason for the carbon? Carbon removes organic compounds from the water. Typically this means it removes, tannins and medication. My opinion is if you dont need it for a particular reason, dont use it. Just have it there until its done what its intended for, then take it out. Its expensive.

Again, is there a reason for crushed coral? Do you have low pH?

Filter floss i just replace every month when i do filter maintenance. Sponges and biomedia (ceramic rings) get rinsed with monthly filter maintenance.

The carbon was originally intended to help keep the water crystal clear. It seems to have done well so Iíve just kept using it since I bought a couple boxes. And yeah the crushed coral was because my PH was on the low side. Iím not sure where it actually falls but it is below a 6.0 on the API test kit.
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Old 09-21-2021, 05:48 PM   #15
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Ive heard people say carbon makes water clear, im not sure about that beyond it removing tannins which comes out of driftwood and leaves and makes the water tea like. Tannins clear up after a while.

If your carbon is more than a couple of weeks to a month old, it isnt doing anything. If you have clear water, the carbon isnt responsible.
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Old 09-21-2021, 05:51 PM   #16
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Ive heard people say carbon makes water clear, im not sure about that beyond it removing tannins which comes out of driftwood and leaves and makes the water tea like. Tannins clear up after a while.

If your carbon is more than a couple of weeks to a month old, it isnt doing anything. If you have clear water, the carbon isnt responsible.
Gotcha. Once this bag runs is course I wonít put a new bag in, Iíll probably just add more bio rings in its place then.
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Old 09-21-2021, 05:55 PM   #17
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Its entirely up to you on the carbon. I think its a waste of money that's all. Wont do any harm to have it there if it makes you feel more comfortable, but replace it at least monthly. What i do is leave a basket empty on my filter for carbon when i need it, and i havent used any for over 2 years. If you want to use carbon, get some media bags and a tub of loose activated carbon.
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Old 09-21-2021, 05:57 PM   #18
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Its entirely up to you on the carbon. I think its a waste of money that's all. Wont do any harm to have it there if it makes you feel more comfortable, but replace it at least monthly. What i do is leave a basket empty on my filter for carbon when i need it, and i havent used any for over 2 years. If you want to use carbon, get some media bags and a tub of loose activated carbon.
Sounds good. I think my original thoughts on adding it was it doesnít do any harm having it, and it could benefit it in there, so I figured Iíd have it. Lol.
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