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Old 03-01-2014, 01:01 PM   #1
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New and looking for help

Hello everyone
I am new to this site and new to fish tanks. I have had little bowls and stuff through the years but now I am ready for a real tank. I just set up a 60 gal tank in my kid’s room and need some advice on how to proceed. At the moment the tank has been up for about one and a half weeks. First I filled it with water and added tetra Aqua Safe Plus and let it run for 3 days. Then I put 4 community fish and 1 algae fish. They seem to be fine but I don’t know about the algae fish hides in a plastic log all day. So the other day I deiced to start testing the water to make sure it is ok. I used a 5 in 1 strip test kit. According to the test the nitrite and nitrate read at the lowest level. The hardness of the water read all the way at the highest level and the ph read at highest alkaline. I don’t know what to do I have not done a water change yet, I don’t know if I should do that first and put distill water in or add some ph balance. Any advice on what to do or check. Thanks
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Old 03-01-2014, 01:11 PM   #2
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Buy an API master kit, those strips are notoriously inaccurate. Once we know exactly what your parameters are we can get started! Have you been doing water changes? The ammonia builds up quick in a new, in cycled tank.
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Old 03-01-2014, 01:49 PM   #3
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I haven't done a water change yet I didn't know if I should do it yet and with what water. I will pick a new kit up to day and post the readings.
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Old 03-01-2014, 05:53 PM   #4
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I'd treat the water before you put it in the tank when you do a change. Ideally your looking for 25% change a week while cycling. (2 x 15% works well). The media in your filter needs to buildup the friendly bacteria which will clean the gubins from the water. The problem with tap water is it can contain substances which strip these friendly bacteria out. I try to use RO water and add the filter media bacteria when I do a change and have had no problem. Granted when I had a bigger tank carrying two 25litre bottles each week from the shop was a pain, but worth it I think
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Old 03-01-2014, 06:11 PM   #5
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I'd treat the water before you put it in the tank when you do a change. Ideally your looking for 25% change a week while cycling. (2 x 15% works well). The media in your filter needs to buildup the friendly bacteria which will clean the gubins from the water. The problem with tap water is it can contain substances which strip these friendly bacteria out. I try to use RO water and add the filter media bacteria when I do a change and have had no problem. Granted when I had a bigger tank carrying two 25litre bottles each week from the shop was a pain, but worth it I think
fishyswarz, I suggest getting a bottle of prime. Tap water contains chlorine and chloramines and prime removes these as do most water conditioners.


Op, definetly pick up master test kit to monitor your levels. You can treat the tap water with a water conditioner before adding it to the tank. Tap water will be just fine. Just pick up a bottle of Seachem Prime. Don't ever change filter pads out as well. Your levels will start rising very very soon since you have fish (ammonia source). The ammonia (toxic after .50ppm) feeds bacteria that is converted into nitrites (very toxic) and then converted into nitrates (non toxic unless out of control) you must cycle the tank in order to keep the fish alive. I will show a few links. Wc are your best friend during a fish in cycle. You can do as many as you would like but fish in cycles normally take a bit longer unless you habe seeded media. We cannot tell you the minimum amount of water to change because we do not know your water parameters.


http://www.aquariumadvice.com/i-just...fish-what-now/
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Old 03-01-2014, 06:22 PM   #6
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Cheers for the link. I've cut my filter pad in half so one week one side gets the muck washed off (in dirty tank water) then the next week the other side does. As for testing, after initial cycle I do it bi weekly using a kit. The tap safe stuff I just don't use unless its for a new tank which I leave for a week, I'm just superstitious I guess 😊
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Old 03-01-2014, 06:26 PM   #7
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Cheers for the link. I've cut my filter pad in half so one week one side gets the muck washed off (in dirty tank water) then the next week the other side does. As for testing, after initial cycle I do it bi weekly using a kit. The tap safe stuff I just don't use unless its for a new tank which I leave for a week, I'm just superstitious I guess ?de0a
Ro water will lower your ph quite a bit. It also lacks some vital minerals needed in a Fw tank.
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Old 03-01-2014, 06:32 PM   #8
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Do u mean the minerals for plants or fish? I think the rock I have increases the ph, it hovers around 6.8/7
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Old 03-01-2014, 06:34 PM   #9
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Do u mean the minerals for plants or fish? I think the rock I have increases the ph, it hovers around 6.8/7
The fish need the minerals. I'm not 100% sure about the plants so I won't answer that one. If your using half RO and half dechlorinated tap water then your safe.
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Old 03-01-2014, 06:36 PM   #10
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I feed the plants weekly, haven't committed to co2, something else I need to look into deeper and I wasn't aware of the RO mineral problem. Something else to fill my time
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Old 03-01-2014, 06:37 PM   #11
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I feed the plants weekly, haven't committed to co2, something else I need to look into deeper and I wasn't aware of the RO mineral problem. Something else to fill my time
Just read up about it because I'm for sure not an expert!!!
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Old 03-01-2014, 06:39 PM   #12
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I will, hope we haven't confuse lukerom
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Old 03-01-2014, 07:43 PM   #13
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I will, hope we haven't confuse lukerom
im sure he must be a bit confused haha, you're a unique aquarist...
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Old 03-01-2014, 08:21 PM   #14
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Ok so I purchased the API master test kit. This is the readings PH-7.6, PH high- 8.2, Ammonia- .25ppm, Nitrite- 0ppm, Nitrate- 0ppm. So what do I do from here? I guess it sounds like I should do a water change but how much and why is my nitrite and nitrate so low, guess its not a bad thing. Do I use distilled water or do I treat my tap water?

Thanks for all the feed back.
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Old 03-01-2014, 08:59 PM   #15
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Ok so I purchased the API master test kit. This is the readings PH-7.6, PH high- 8.2, Ammonia- .25ppm, Nitrite- 0ppm, Nitrate- 0ppm. So what do I do from here? I guess it sounds like I should do a water change but how much and why is my nitrite and nitrate so low, guess its not a bad thing. Do I use distilled water or do I treat my tap water?

Thanks for all the feed back.
Don't do a water change unless the ammonia reaches .50ppm. Yes whenever you change water just do a partial change of no more than 50% for now. Yes treat your tap water with water conditioner. Your tank is still cycling and has a way to go. Ammo (toxic at high levels) converts to nitrites (very toxic) and then converts to nitrates (non toxic unless its very very high)
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:27 PM   #16
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Do I do anything about the PH levels being so high? Do I just let the tank keep going until the ammonia and nitrite go up then do a water change or should I do one soon anyway? Also is there anything I can do to help while I wait, like temp of water or additives and how often should I test the water during the cycle?
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Old 03-02-2014, 04:52 PM   #17
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Do I do anything about the PH levels being so high? Do I just let the tank keep going until the ammonia and nitrite go up then do a water change or should I do one soon anyway? Also is there anything I can do to help while I wait, like temp of water or additives and how often should I test the water during the cycle?
testing the water daily should do, your ph is ok, most community fish will adapt just fine, you should do a water change anytime your am or trites hit .5ppm, a 50% wc will lower them to .25 which is ok for the cycle. Only additives should be water conditioner during changes, temp match new water.
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Old 03-02-2014, 06:29 PM   #18
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+1 to brooksters advice. Most fish adapt to pH that isn't as ideal as we'd like it to be but fish do better in a not ideal pH than a swinging pH. Make sure to keep on top of water changes to keep your fish healthy. As to your algae eater, what kind is he? Plecos (I have found out) are notorious for hiding all the time. All I ever see of mine is the tip of his tail and his whiskers (he's a bristlenose).
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