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New Rocks And Ph Spike...


Graham

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Hi - I was wondering if there is another way (I know about the bag/pantyhose hanging method) to avoid a pH spike when changing to new rocks.

For example, could I soak the new rocks in water for a week before adding them - or is the point of it that they have to be in cycled water?

I have no gravel in there now (but reserved some for hanging if necessary) - however, I have some very large lave rocks that have been in the tank forever - are they enough rock to go ahead and put in the new river rocks? THANKS! :)

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I think the spike your thinking of is actually a spike in ammonia and nitrIte levels. This is why its recommended to let them hang in a bag for a while when you are switching over. It allows the beneficial bacteria that was in your original gravel to transfer, or grow, colonies in the new gravel before removing the old. ;)

You should never have any change in pH if your rocks are the corrects kind for use in a freshwater aquarium.

Paul

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Good point - I am positive the rocks are water safe.

Thanks for the correction - an ammonia or nitrite spike is what I would wish to avoid...(BOth levels at 0 now, so would it be safe to add new rocks and keep testing?)

The previous gravel is already gone! This is not gravel I wish to add but a few of those larger river rocks... less surface area, so would it be ok?

Does the lava rock in there, already colonized, count as if I still had gravel in there?

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The lava rock, although porous and good for colonization, isn't really considered to be doing anything for your bio-filtration. But, if the same rock were crushed into pea-sized chunks and sitting in the filter, then it would be considered part of the bio-filter. The key i surface area exposed to oxygen, deep within the lava rock, there is no, or very little, oxygen. so, very little colonization goes on inside of it.

Since you've already removed the gravel, I think it is safe to go ahead and place your river stones into the tank.

The thing with gravel is that while it DOES hold a certain amount of beneficial bacteria, it isn't the primary source of it. The filter takes care of that. You don't have to baby or coddle the gravel as much as you do the filter. Unless, of course, the tank utilized a gravel filter. So, removing gravel slowly is just an added precaution. For instance:

I have a 55 gallon with two penguin 330's. The bio-wheels are as colonized as they can be and the media baskets have well established colonies as well. When I decided to go barebottomed, I took a calculated risk and removed it all at once. I removed 3 full gallons of gravel. Nothing happened. Not a peep out of nitrItes OR ammonia. So, asyou can see, removing gravel slowly is just a failsafe method.

BUT, It is best to make drastic changes to tanks slowly. Adding/removing filters, removing gravel and running parasite treatments all need to be done over time, not all at once or in the same week. Of course, adding new stones to an already barebottomed tank cannot hurt anything.

All in all, daily testing will reveal anything going wrong. ;)

Paul

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Thank you SO much!!!

I guess I am basically cycling - so I might as well get rid of the lava rock and add the new stones...

Poor Graham, it's amazing he's doing ok with me mucking about all the time - one day, I will get it right for him - I hope soon! :thanks

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Ummmm, the wrong way, unfortunately. But, what's done is done. I'll have to fix it form here...

The Eheim was backordered so I did not know when to expect it - but Graham got sick from lack of adequate filtration -and the powerhead in the tank was WAY too strong and was tossing poor Grahamling all over the place, it was stressing him! The rocks were too big for his mouth before he grew - they becasme the exact size of his mouth and kept getting stuck in there... then he got sick -

So, last Sunday, I took it all out! I know I prolly should not have! But, I got impatient! His lava rocks, ornaments, and (fake and live) plants, as well as the sides of the tank all have a nice coating of good algae so I was hoping that would be enough to help cycle the tank after the requsite 90% water change to remove the UGF.

There was no filter at all for two days and then I got the Eheim in the mail Tues. Hopefully, the cycle will be hastened by the algae that was around... :idont

I might see if I can get some BioSpira tomorrow - what do you think?

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Well, yes. Biospira would help you greatly.

As for right now, Are you testin every day? What have the levels been at?

FYI: flashing can sometimes be attributed to rises in nitrItes and ammonia. As you probably know, these toxins burn and sting when it breaches the slime coat and touches their skin. This could very well be why he is flashing. This could also be evident because of the salinity helping.

So, keep the salt level at 0.3% and work on keeping ammonia below 1ppm and the nitrItes below 2ppm. Hopefully he was indeed flashing because of the params. Time will tell. ;)

Paul

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So far, ammonia 0 Nitrates 0 Nitrites 0 (well, not really 0 but in that range on the card - Master kit drops) - all week. I have to do today's water test now - i will keep checkeing everyday.

I added the river rocks and removed the lava rocks and boy! is Graham HAPPY! :D Those lava rocks were way too big for the tank and you are right, I did start to worry about his eyes with that rough rock in there.

I will add the Eco-Complete until I get my hands on some Bio-Spira.

Still salting. He is stable and does not appear to be flashing anymore... (fingers crossed) - I will update later with water params and a report on Graham Norton.

Thanks for your vigilence and all your help!

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