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Old 02-03-2015, 12:47 PM   #1
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Brand new here, seeking help and advice on a small planted tank with issues.

Just wanted to say hi and introduce myself. My fish endeavor started (like many i'm sure) when my kids went to a small local fair and came home with 3 goldfish...sigh.

My kids have since lost interest in fish keeping after watching many fish die while I educated myself on the matter and pet store employees misinformed me about...well...everything.

But here I am, and I hope to be able to figure out why my fairly heavily planted 10 gallon tank quit thriving and I started getting small ammonia readings and nitrate spikes. I will read around the forums and hopefully post about my problems in the right subforum.

But hey
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Old 02-03-2015, 01:00 PM   #2
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Have you been using root tabs? What type of plants do you have?(just curious)
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Old 02-03-2015, 04:05 PM   #3
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Hi, I use osmocote plus diy caps, seachem flourish. I also use seachem flourish excel for carbon.

I have no idea what plants I have to be honest. I know there are two sword plants, hornwort, couple banana plants, java fern and a couple others that I don't know.
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Old 02-03-2015, 08:18 PM   #4
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Hi, I use osmocote plus diy caps, seachem flourish. I also use seachem flourish excel for carbon.



I have no idea what plants I have to be honest. I know there are two sword plants, hornwort, couple banana plants, java fern and a couple others that I don't know.

It's alright that you don't know the plants. Maybe it was the caps cause I heard they can cause ammonia spikes especially in a 10G. What kind of lighting do you have? I'm just curious cause I have a 10G that I wanna start planting in.
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Old 02-03-2015, 08:20 PM   #5
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It's alright that you don't know the plants. Maybe it was the caps cause I heard they can cause ammonia spikes especially in a 10G. What kind of lighting do you have? I'm just curious cause I have a 10G that I wanna start planting in.
I had 2 13 watt 6,500k CFL bulbs. I've since switched the hood back to a single T8 15 watt fluorescent tube.

I've read that it could cause a spike like that with ammonia, maybe I overdosed, but from my reading the nitrates shouldn't have gotten out of control the way they are.
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Old 02-03-2015, 08:45 PM   #6
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My advice to you is to do maybe 40-60% water changes daily until it gets under control
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Old 02-03-2015, 10:36 PM   #7
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My vote is on the caps. I've heard and read they can cause an ammonia spike if not planted deep enough.

Good luck!!


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Old 02-03-2015, 10:46 PM   #8
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So, out of curiousity I tested the ammonia straight out of the tap and it gives the exact same reading as the tanks water.

If it is in fact .25 out of the tap, how can I expect the tank to below this level when that is the water source?
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Old 02-03-2015, 10:58 PM   #9
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The bacteria will break it down into nitrItes, essentially. That is why the beneficial bacteria is super important to the tank.


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Old 02-03-2015, 11:00 PM   #10
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For now you can do daily dose of Prime to detoxify ammonia.

Can you gradually switch to RO water and add remineralizing product ?

I use Root tabs in mine. I push them all the way to the bottom of the sand. No issues.

Weekly 50% PWCs

Add in API LeafZone with your Flourish comprehensive to cover macros and micros.

Pic of the tank ?

What fish ?


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Old 02-03-2015, 11:03 PM   #11
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What is your water change schedule ?


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Old 02-04-2015, 01:21 AM   #12
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For now you can do daily dose of Prime to detoxify ammonia.

Can you gradually switch to RO water and add remineralizing product ?

I use Root tabs in mine. I push them all the way to the bottom of the sand. No issues.

Weekly 50% PWCs

Add in API LeafZone with your Flourish comprehensive to cover macros and micros.

Pic of the tank ?

What fish ?


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I have a pretty deep, sand substrate, and I pushed the caps all the way to the bottom of the tank.

I will try and get a picture of the tank tomorrow and post it, but it's just a single male betta in the tank, and an assassin snail. Water changes have always been 20% every 2 or 3 days.

Right now I have the betta in a 1 gallon container after trying to add some rasboras to the tank, the betta started showing signs of illness shortly a day after the rasboras were added to the tank. He's improved in his hospital type tank, all the rasboras (5) died within 5 days.

Between losing all those fish, the plants not doing well, and my water parameters being out of whack I'm hesitant to add him back to the tank.
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Old 02-04-2015, 01:58 AM   #13
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Yeah, overstocking is bad.

Keep his water clean.

Buy a larger tank when you can. 5-10g are much more stable for Bettas.

Ammonia spike was from overcrowding your tank.

My last boy in his 10g
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Old 02-04-2015, 02:11 AM   #14
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Yeah, overstocking is bad.

Keep his water clean.

Buy a larger tank when you can. 5-10g are much more stable for Bettas.

Ammonia spike was from overcrowding your tank.

My last boy in his 10g



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The tank is a 10 gallon. He's just being housed in a 1 gallon temporarily since he was pretty ill, and I was having fish die in the 10 gallon he's usually housed in.

The 10 gallon tank is the one I am having issues with.
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Old 02-04-2015, 02:20 AM   #15
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So are any fish in the 10g now ?
What is water testing at ?


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Old 02-04-2015, 02:26 AM   #16
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So are any fish in the 10g now ?
What is water testing at ?


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No fish, just an assassin snail, the last rasbora died yesterday. I want to add the betta back to the tank, but not until I'm confident that the rasboras didn't bring a disease of sorts to the tank, and not until I can get the parameters stabilized again.

Water test today:
Ammonia: .25 (straight out the tap reads the same color on the API master test kit)
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates: 20
pH: 7.6
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Old 02-07-2015, 04:58 PM   #17
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Can anyone tell me what is happening to my cycle, is it crashing....or?

As of 3 days ago, you could see where my water parameters are at. Today I tested and they are starting to go haywire again.

Ammonia: 1.0 (spiked for whatever reason)
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates: 0

So I went from everything looking like it was going to stabilize to, a high ammonia spike, and losing ALL my nitrates.

Please help me figure out what happened.
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