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kelz0429

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  1. After thinking about it for a while, I realize that I DO have live plants (or at least plant-like organims) in my tank--I have Green Hair Algae! I had allowed the algae to cover pretty much every sufrace of my tank (including the viewing surface) but recently scraped all but a portion of the back wall of the tank. Of course, the fake plants, and decorations still have green hair algae covering them, and the gravel has it in patches. I guess that could explain the 0 Nitrate reading? I tested again tonight and found that it is still a definite 0. What do you guys think?
  2. The tank is a 20 gallon tall, I have one 1-2" Fantail and one 2-3" Ryukin (I know I am close to being overstocked...I was given the Ryukin as a gift approximately 2 weeks ago--I am plannig to move my guys to at least a 29 gallon as soon as financially possible). There are no live plants in the tank. The tank is filtered by the Aquaclear 50 with sponge, Biomax and activated carbon. I am currently medicating with a 0.3% salt solution and Melafix and have added crushed coral to the tank within the last week. I have not yet purchased a liquid GH or KH testing kit, but my testing stips (which I DO NOT trust anymore) are telling me that both levels are around 30-40. I am guessing that the levels are getting to be pretty good by now. I have not tested the pH yet b/c all of the test tubes are dirty and I need to let them dry to avoid contaminating the results with tap water. The temp of the water is about 72 degrees (I have been raising it for over a week b/c I am medicating and my tank experience a huge drop in tempurature--approximately 5 degrees in 48 hours) b/c of the unusally cold weather in my area. I performed my last water change on Friday evening.
  3. Hello All! I just tested my water, and these were the results: Ammonia: 0ppm Nitrite: 0ppm Nitrate: 0ppm (Have not yet tested the pH) So, the nitrate test indicated 0. I don't think I have ever seen my tank lower than 5ppm, nor have I seen it over 10. I only perform 15% water changes at one time, so my nitrate levels stay fairly stable. Is this normal? Should these results worry me? Could there be something strange going on?
  4. Thanks, Mads--I appreciate your advice. I do, however, think that my posts have been misinterpreted. My first tests were done using my API test strips, which are registering my pH at 6.6. When I began using the liquid tests, the pH in my tank has registered at a constant reading of somewhere between 7.2 and 7.4 (even after water changes). I am not so sure that I can trust the test strips, as the pH is STILL measuring at 6.6 on the strips, while the liquid tests are measuring 7.2-7.4. I am sorry that I was not as clear as I could have been about the discrepancy between the tests. I do understand that I need to buffer the water in the tank, as the tap is definitely more basic than the tank--so I have hung a bag of crushed coral in the tank(forgot to mention on my last post). I do not believe, however, based on the test results and the constant readings of 7.4ish, that my tank is in a pH crisis. Even after my routine 15% water changes, which I have been doing twice a day since I added SuperBad, the pH (according to the liquid tests) has remained stable, as have all other readings (nitrates have fluctuated, as can be expected, between 5 and 10ppm). As a result of these stable readings (and the fact that I only do 15% water changes), I really do not believe that Oscar has been under constant stress due to pH fluctuations. At this point, I do believe that Oscar is exhibiting symptoms of some kind of illness. I have mentioned Flukes because I know that split fins are a common early symptom of the illness. I have had quite a bit of experience with fin issues, as I have kept Bettas for years. In my experience, fin-rot is almost always a result of a bacterial infection of one kind or another. At this point, Oscars fins are definitely NOT in their usual form, and I think I can even see a hint of red/pint at the very tip of one of his tail fins. As Oscar is completely white, it is difficult to see a whitish edge. I have, however noticed a ragged look (not drastically ragged but ragged nonetheless) at the edge of his fins and a general thinning (if that makes sense). Neither one of the fish are exhibiting any unusual behavior. They have a voracious appetite and seem to be getting along very well. I am slowly raising the temp of the tank tonight, bringing it up to 71 from 69 over the course of a little more than 4 hours. The salt concentration is 0.3% and I have continued to dose with Melafix (although I have not removed the activated carbon from the filter--perhaps I should). Since I am seeing strange fin symptoms in Oscar, is there anything I can do that is gentle that might prevent a continued decline? Again, I am sorry that I was not clear when I explained the inaccuracy of the test strips (I have always used the strips b/c I am not keen on working th corrosive chemicals used in the liquid tests). According to the API Master Test Kit readings, my water is in very good condition and, in case of a true hardness issue (and to deal with the pH of the tap water), I have added the coral. Any other ideas/advice?
  5. I believe this may qualify for a new topic, but do not want to confuse anyone. I am concerned that Oscar may have Skin Flukes or something worse--see last post, above. What should I do outside of what I am already doing? Thanks!
  6. Thanks, guys-I was hoping for good news! I thought he was quite the find when a friend of mine brought him to me as a gift--she got him at a Brand XX superstore. Of course, I am already in love with him, so my opinion is biased.
  7. As I am not a trained or experienced judge of breed standards, I am hoping someone here can help me judge my new addition, SuperBad: I apologize for the poor image quality--I am STILL trying to figure out how to photograph fish. I can't wait to hear your opinions!
  8. Hello all! As everyone has advised, I have been keeping a close eye on Oscar over the past few days. I went out of town for the night last night and, when I arrived home this evening, I had a scary surprise waiting for me: Oscar's tail fins seem to be showing signs of fin-rot. Both of the upper lobes of his tail are split down the center and the tail seems to be generally thinner. He also seems to be clamping his fins just a bit. The water params have stayed stable and are currently: Nitrite: 0ppm Nitrate: 10ppm (before my 15% water change--haven't tested since) Ammonia: 0ppm pH: somewhere between 7.2 and 7.4 I have reached 0.3% salt concentration and am dosing with Melafix (I swear by the stuff when my Bettas' fins are looking ragged). The only thing that has changed dramatically is the temp of the water--I was just able to find and install my heater (will a 25 watt heater sufficiently heat a 20 gallon tank?) and the air temp of my house dropped to around 64 degrees while I was gone (I didn't remember to bump up the heat before I left). The water temp, which is usually pretty stable between 70 and 72, is now just under 65 degrees. There are no signs that SuperBad is nipping Oscar's fins. I am so worried that Oscar is now stricken with a bacterial infection. Could the lower temp of the water contribute to this fin problem? Any ideas/advice?
  9. Thanks, Lolafish! d_golem, I can't believe I had not even considered taking the photos from a distance and Photoshopping them--brilliant!
  10. Well, I tested the water this morning and found that the pH is right at between 7.2 and 7.4 (probably closer to 7.2). The color of the test didn't really seem to change much from last night. I am going to head to my LFS and hope to find a teeny bag of crucshed coral (wish me luck ). I hope the salt will take care of any nasties brought in by SuperBad. Now, I need to be thinking about getting a 30+ gallon tank--I am starting to feel guilty giving them only 20 gallons
  11. Tonight, I was using my Canon A720. I tried Shutter Priority mode first with manual focus and STILL was unable to get a good shot. I think the problem is the swimming back and forth from the front to the back of the tank. Because of this, I can't seem to hold the focus. I also played around a bit with a few of the Scene modes, namely Kids and Pets and Aquarium. I haven't had luck with Macro, as my camera likes to focus on the spots and blemishes on the tank I LOVE macro mode though--I use it constantly! Does anyone have a magic combo of settings? I can go full manual, so please share!
  12. Sorry guys--I totally should have posted this on the Photos board.
  13. Okay...I got a picture in which you can actually see the red veiny streaks in SuperBad's tail fins: Any ideas? Please refer to my previous reply (directly above).
  14. I have NEVER been able to get a good picture of a fish, and it is beginning to drive me MAD! I tried to take some pics of my new arrival, SuperBad, and THIS is what I ended up with: What camera settings do those of you who get such great pics use? I need to learn your tricks! Thanks!
  15. Well, I bought a new API Master Test Kit tonight and began re-tested my water. While I knew my API strips were not as accurate as liquid tests, I had no idea HOW far off they could be. The pH was readings tonight were VERY DIFFERENT. My new results: Ammonia Level: The color was a bit difficult to read--I thought I read 0.25ppm, while my partner said she saw 0ppm Nitrite Level: 0 Nitrate level: 10ppm Ph Level, (If possible,KH and GH and chloramines): pH=it is a toss up between 7.2 and 7.4, KH=strips read between 0 and 40mg/L, GH=strips read between 0 and 30mg/L Ph Level out of the Tap: a definite 8.2 Given my new readings, does anyone have any additional advice--should I suspect the worst with SuperBad...Septicemia??? It seems that my pH could be a BIT higher (7.5 is just about perfect, right?). I know I could add a bit of crushed coral in the filter and on top of the gravel. Other than that, everything seems pretty good, right? I think I am going to raise the temp of the tank. Oscar has never seen temps over 72, so it will be a change for him. Again, any advice is appreciated! Thanks again!
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