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Everything posted by EvilVegan

  1. Ammonia is still dropping and Nitrites are dropping now! I'm down to about .25 - .5 ppm ammonia, and about 1 ppm nitrite. KH is steady at 8. pH is 8 also. Do I add/do anything?
  2. The coral I was looking at wasn't crushed, it was a 'coral skeleton'. I ended up buying a $12 jar of Seachem Alakalinity Buffer because it wasn't phosphate based and was plant safe. It has (so far) worked as intended, but thats only for the last 3 days. I once saw a reference of the most expensive pets versus least expensive. Lifetime total of a fish is about $1400 with about $1000 being first year setup and the other $400 being 10 years worth of food/medicine. A cat was like $15k - $20k Fish only seem expensive at first. I think my total cost so far is around $700... and I don't even have fish. I'm on week 14 of cycling. I'm pretty sure if I had properly understood buffering I would've been done about 10 weeks ago. Get the Johnson and Hess book if you have spare cash (my wife bought it for me for my birthday). It's wonderful! So is everyone here! http://www.amazon.com/Fancy-Goldfish-Complete-Guide-Collecting/dp/0834804484
  3. I have a whole thing of nitrobacter and nitrosomonas supplement...
  4. Ammonia down to 1-2 ppm Nitrites up to 2-3 ppm pH 7.6 KH 7.5ish Considering that there seems to be decaying plant matter (and copapods I think) under my substrate and live plants producing ammonia, should I be adding more ammonia to this system, or would it be safe to add fish after the water change (and substrate cleaning) following my nitrites reaching 0?
  5. How important is it to measue GH if KH is good? Specifically for getting it cycled, but also just in general. I feel like a mad scientist with all these tubes and tests goin.
  6. Ammonia down to 1-2 ppm Nitrites up to 2-3 ppm pH 7.6 KH 7.5ish Considering that there seems to be decaying plant matter (and copapods I think) under my substrate and live plants producing ammonia, should I be adding more ammonia to this system, or would it be safe to add fish after the water change (and substrate cleaning) following my nitrites reaching 0?
  7. Well, the stuff I added seemed to give it the wiggle room to start back up. I had minor nitrite readings (slight purple tinge) this morning and my KH was around 9 and PH was still around 8. The Nitrates I listed may have been inaccurate, I'm not sure I'm reading the colors correctly. Obviously the color changes depending on where I hold it (against white background, in front of white background, in front of a light). It's high, but may not be all the way up to the 100s, it could in the 60s... I'm still going to do a 100% WC on my next day off. I don't have a python (the wife has a thing about fish poop in our sink) and don't feel like lugging buckets after work... But at least now I know what I did to kill my last fishies... looking through the Johnson and Hess book they had all of the symptoms of a standard pH crash; but that was before I had that book or found this site or knew anything (I'm still mad at the pet store for letting me buy two expensive fish when they knew I didn't know what I was doing and then not letting me return them when they were dying). The people I got assistance from never suggested anything about pH/KH. Just ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and oxygenation and constant water changes...
  8. K! Then I'll try to stabilize it for practice and then do a 100% water change.
  9. Yeah, I've been reading my Johnson and Hess book more thoroughly, and I think the cycle just stalled (as you said). I added the seachem alkalinity buffer just to see how well it affects pH/KH. I want to try stabilizing it without starting completely over just to see if I can manage doing it. Like a test run in case I have a crash after I put fishies in there. If I can't get it normalized by this weekend I'll just start the whole thing over. I think I have some good bacteria in there, since the nitrates are so flippin high. There's no real hurry, nobody is in danger, so I'm going to play with it a bit. At least I have something I can actively do other than watching it rot and it will help me know what to do if this happens with fish in there (not that I would let nitrates get this high if fish were in there)... I'll check back with you in a couple days.
  10. Ok, I bought a decorative texas holey rock, which can slightly buffer things (allegedly) I couldn't find any freshwater-friendly coral. I bought some Seachem plant-safe buffer stuff (because the holey rock isn't that much of a buffer). I bought a KH/GH test kit. They also sold me some stuff they swear by (they're good people and the place has great reviews, http://www.aquariumconnection.com/) for getting a tank cycled called Activate by AquaLife Since my last post, I haven't done anyt​hing except add back in a secondary pond pump to increase oxygenation and try to get pH to raise. Not even a water change. Not yet. I was waiting to have my other tests done and get a more tested solution. Tank pH: 6.4 (ish). Tank GH: 14 drops, the chart ends at 12 drops, but I think that puts it at 250.6 ppm Tank KH: 1 drop, 17.9 ppm maybe even less. Tank Ammonia: 2-4ppm Tank nitrites: 0. Tank Nitrates: 100+ Tap pH: 8 +/- 0.2 Tap GH: 7 drops. 125.3 ppm Tap KH: 6 drops. 107.4 ppm So, water change and wait another 3 months or buffer and bacterial additive and wait another 3 months? My tank is starting to make me hate life. The fish store has had numerous fish that I've wanted... You guys sure this method is supposed to work?
  11. Yeah, apparently the city water fluctuates... I remember testing it before and it was almost exactly 7.
  12. Tap: 0 ammonia 8.2 Ph ! My city still uses chlorine and not chloramines. Tank: 4 ppm Ammonia (This is after I did a series of 95% water changes to get it down to 0 and did not add any ammonia afterwards) 0 ppm Nitrites 80-90 ppm Nitrates 6.6 pH Front of tank Anubias and captain america Top of tank A sword (oldest plant in here) Sump
  13. I am using ace hardware janitorial ammonia 9% (maybe 10%). I used a calculator to tell me how much to get to 4 PPM, but it was back in June. It wasn't much, but it measured consistently at 4 for a few days. I have not added any more since then. Ph at last test was 7.2 or so, maybe 7.6. I do not have a hardness test. I put in some tetra safestart after it sat for 1.5 months without changing. http://www.amazon.com/Tetra-77961-SafeStart-30-Gallon-3-38-Ounce/dp/B002DZG1BW 40 gallon tank, counting the three gallons in the sump. My problem is that the ammonia keeps rising because of plant wastes and I had some anacharis that I put in that couldn't handle the already high ammonia. I got that cleaned out, got the parameters back down to 3-4 ppm. Then a few weeks later it was back up to 8+. I know there is something in there, because I have nitrites. I think it just keeps dying off, then rotting and turning into more ammonia.
  14. I started cycling my tank on 6/4/2012. It is now 8/24. What the junk do I need to do? I have plants and some things that hitchhiked in with them (planaria and some sort of miniscule crustacean). The ammonia level will not stop rising. Tank is at 84-86 degrees. I have a wet/dry sump AND a HOB aquaclear. I don't have any charcoal or carbon; just a bag of something that looks like rocks in the HOB and the bio balls. I have lights for the plants, but everything I've read says that they aren't powerful enough to damage the cycling process. I'm about to just give up and get a snake or something. http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/topic/99729-thinking-of-starting-a-new-tank-after-failing-badly/
  15. Well if they aren't dangerous, I'll just vacuum the gravel and let the fish eat em.
  16. I'm cycling with plants in, one of the plants died...
  17. OK, so my power was off. I shined my light into the tank. I noticed that it had a huge number of suspended "bubbles". Upon closer inspection... my tank is FULL of white worms. They're less a millimeter long, but there are literally thousands. It looked like it was snowing in my tank. If snow were much smaller and moved on its own. I'm still in a fishless cycle, and I think these are nematodes. I have a UV filter that isn't running while I'm cycling, so I'm pretty sure it will clean these bad boys out. . . but ew. Ew.
  18. I think he's a ninja. I saw him again, went to get a net, and he's gone again...
  19. Yeah... He looked like a caterpillar really. But super-duper small.
  20. Well if he's a leech he gonna die cuz I gots no fish. But I put some pre-filters on my sump return to stop him from getting back into the tank, so I think I'm good.
  21. Um, my camera is broken so no pics, but as best as I can tell I just saw what looks like a tiny, blue-black inchworm-thingy. He was swimmin a bit in the current, latched on to a root, I tried to net him out, but lost him. I don't have any fish, just one sword plant. I'm working on a fishless cycle. Any suggestions? He looked like he had feet (at this size it could be cilia), was less than half an inch long, and probably less than 1/32nd of an inch 1/2 a millimeter wide.
  22. So... the pet store has the fish I want in stock (chocolate orandas), but my tank isn't ready because I over-dosed it with ammonia... I've got it back down to 4 ppm (down from 8-12 ppm, oops!). I think the anacharis that died amped it up too much. How do people feel about Tetra Safe Start for kickstarting this process? I've been researching and most sites say that the other bacterial supplements people get are from land-based cultures instead of water-based cultures, so they drown after a few weeks (which is why they crash and you have to keep buying the product); but Tetra Safe Start is a one-time dose of water-based nitrifiers.... I've seen sites that say "don't use supplemental bacteria... get seed gravel/filters with bacteria on it from friends/family or pet store" and as a pseudoscientist I can't see why that's better, faster, safer, or more stable than a store bought supplement (assuming it is fresh)? I can wait, just not sure they'll still be in stock when this thing is finally done.
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