New 4 foot fish tank!! (introduction post)

Bristlenoselover
Bristlenoselover Member Posts: 30
edited March 2011 in Beginner's Forum
Hey guys this is my first post here, I have just recently set up a new aquarium and was looking for some good hints and tips =)
I was looking on e-bay the other day at fish tanks dreaming of having an aquarium like I did as a kid, sure enough I stumbled upon an extremely cheap tank (1200 x 390 x 460) on e-bay direct from an aquarium manufacturer with only $40 and a few hours left on it I quickly placed a bet of $41 and won it! I was extremely stoked so before I even picked the tank up I knocked up a sturdy stand from left over pine house framing and hardwood flooring.

Once I had the tank back at home I washed out my 10kg of fine aquarium pebbles put them in and filled the tank up. I used a chlorine/tap conditioner and immediatly started adjusting PH levels and threw in sufficeint aquarium salt and an established Maxi 103F Internal filter from another aquarium I had and replaced the old aquarium with a new filter <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> and I also installed a undergravel filter which covers an area of 900 x 300 and I place in against the backwall and directly in the centre leaving deep area's of gravel to bury plants in around the outside of the tank. Now I know im probably going to be harped on for what I did next.
After 2 days of the water being adjusted and all Ph and amonia/nitrate levels so I through some mollys and neon tetra's from my other established tank into the new one. Meanwhile at the aquarium store I bought some driftwood/plants/shipwreck, T8 Aqua one duel bulb 4foot fluro with growlux and sunlight tubes.
I took a 3 foot bubble wall and a few ornament features from my other aquarium (3 foot wall tank) in the hope that the algea and bacteria would help harden up the water?The tank looked great and the molly and tetra's were getting around good and my girlfriend and I couldnt wait so we went down and bought two angel fish and put those in the new tank along with two 5cm bristlenose catfish from the wall tank.
Now having put these fish in and the aquarium only being roughly 4 days established do you think they are hardy enough fish to survive? Total inventory of fish is 4 x neon tetra's, 1 x fully grown spotted molly, 2 x 3cm angel fish and 2 x 5cm bristlenose catfish.
Ill give you an update and some photos tomorrow let me know your opinions if I need some ammolock or somthing?

Comments

  • Bob
    Bob Member, Classifieds Posts: 708
    Hey guys this is my first post here, I have just recently set up a new aquarium and was looking for some good hints and tips =)

    Hi and Welcome,

    I was looking on e-bay the other day at fish tanks dreaming of having an aquarium like I did as a kid, sure enough I stumbled upon an extremely cheap tank (1200 x 390 x 460) on e-bay direct from an aquarium manufacturer with only $40 and a few hours left on it I quickly placed a bet of $41 and won it! I was extremely stoked so before I even picked the tank up I knocked up a sturdy stand from left over pine house framing and hardwood flooring.

    Be good to see some pictures of your new stand. I think a lot of people would look at building their own if they had some ideas on how to go about it.

    Once I had the tank back at home I washed out my 10kg of fine aquarium pebbles put them in and filled the tank up. I used a chlorine/tap conditioner and immediatly started adjusting PH levels and threw in sufficeint aquarium salt and an established Maxi 103F Internal filter from another aquarium I had and replaced the old aquarium with a new filter

    This is not a bad idea for the new tank, is the old filter up to the capacity required by the new tank?

    and I also installed a undergravel filter which covers an area of 900 x 300 and I place in against the backwall and directly in the centre leaving deep area's of gravel to bury plants in around the outside of the tank.

    When I have used UG filters I have followed a similar process. I find that they work quite well in that configuration.

    Now I know im probably going to be harped on for what I did next.
    After 2 days of the water being adjusted and all Ph and amonia/nitrate levels so I through some mollys and neon tetra's from my other established tank into the new one.

    Because you used new/untreated water to fill your tank I think you will find that you have probably killed of the bacteria colonies required to complete the ammonia – nitrate (nitrogen) cycle which will probably result in your aquarium going through a “cycle” again. Monitor your ammonia levels and have water prepared to do “changes” on a regular basis. Also, because you took the filter from you old aquarium you are going to find that the old one will also be going through the “cycle” process.

    Meanwhile at the aquarium store I bought some driftwood/plants/shipwreck, T8 Aqua one duel bulb 4foot fluro with growlux and sunlight tubes.

    Sounds good. Did you soak the driftwood, generally DW is pretty harmless but may release tannins which in turn may soften your water. Not a bad thing for the tetras and angels, not so good for the mollies.

    I took a 3 foot bubble wall and a few ornament features from my other aquarium (3 foot wall tank) in the hope that the algea and bacteria would help harden up the water?

    Having some algae in the tank is not a real bad thing especially if you have a few algae eaters in there. Big quantities of it can cause problems as well as making the tank look somewhat unsightly. There will be very few bacteria on your ornaments, etc, certainly not enough to “cycle” your tank and deal with the waste products produced by your fish.

    The tank looked great and the molly and tetra's were getting around good and my girlfriend and I couldnt wait so we went down and bought two angel fish and put those in the new tank along with two 5cm bristlenose catfish from the wall tank.

    With the volume of water you have in the tank the stocking levels you have identified may not be a significant problem. As mentioned earlier though you will need to closely monitor ammonia and nitrIte levels to ensure that they are as close to zero as you can get. Detectable levels of ammonia are a problem, same for nitrIte.

    Now having put these fish in and the aquarium only being roughly 4 days established do you think they are hardy enough fish to survive? Total inventory of fish is 4 x neon tetra's, 1 x fully grown spotted molly, 2 x 3cm angel fish and 2 x 5cm bristlenose catfish.
    Ill give you an update and some photos tomorrow let me know your opinions if I need some ammolock or somthing?

    I am not sure but my understanding is that when you use ammolock the ammonia cannot be used by nitrifying bacteria therefore your filter will not cycle, ie, will not develop the required bacterial colonies.

    Regards,

    Bob
  • Bristlenoselover
    Bristlenoselover Member Posts: 30
    edited February 2011
    -Be good to see some pictures of your new stand. I think a lot of people would look at building their own if they had some ideas on how to go about it.

    -This is not a bad idea for the new tank, is the old filter up to the capacity required by the new tank?

    -Sounds good. Did you soak the driftwood, generally DW is pretty harmless but may release tannins which in turn may soften your water. Not a bad thing for the tetras and angels, not so good for the mollies.

    -I am not sure but my understanding is that when you use ammolock the ammonia cannot be used by nitrifying bacteria therefore your filter will not cycle, ie, will not develop the required bacterial colonies.
    The stand is a littl bit dodgy Im sporting a lacerated achilles tendon at the moment so did it as quick and sturdy but not the prettiest stand in the world, I didnt buy any timber just used stuff I found in my dads garage, It took my dad and I about an hour to knock it up and I really should have paintd it although I was a little impatient <!-- s:roll: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_rolleyes.gif" alt=":roll:" title="Rolling Eyes" /><!-- s:roll: -->
    standb.jpgstandcloseup.jpgaquarium.jpg

    -I didnt think the filter was uptoo the capacity but finally tracked down its box and it is an internal canister jet filter running 1200L/hour which should be enough along side the UG filter? <!-- s:o --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_surprised.gif" alt=":o" title="Surprised" /><!-- s:o -->

    -The nice person at the aquarium (seeing as I had just spent over $200 on light + master test kit) sold me a peice of driftwood that was established in their tank and the albino bristlenose has taken a real likeing too it:D
    albinobristlenose.jpg

    -I did a test on the water today and looked like their could have been the slightest tinge of amonia (pretty precise test kit) maybe 0.1 ppm, nitrite (NO2-) is 0 and nitrate (co3-) looks to be at like 0.2 ppm and thanks for the info on ammolock I have heard that from a few people, my plan is too keep the numbers down. My girlfreind came with me too the aquarium shop to get some air stones and connectors and she was lured to their tanks and almost bought 2 fish worth $50 and I talked her out of it, now being the bad guy had to buy 6 neon tetra's for $12 <!-- s:laugh6: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/ROLFSmiley.gif" alt=":laugh6:" title="laugh6" /><!-- s:laugh6: --> but the fish seem to be loving the new tank.neontetraschool.jpg[/url]Uploaded with ImageShack.us[/img]angelreflection.jpgNot sure about the red spot on that guy?albinocloseup.jpg
    Thanks for reading and informative reply!
  • Bob
    Bob Member, Classifieds Posts: 708
    Hi BNL,

    I would say you have done a good job on the stand. Easy to see how it's constructed, I take it you have a styrofoam pad between the tank and the stand itself?

    In regards to your ammonia reading make sure you keep it as low as you can. The bristlenose in particular are great waste producers and can knock your ammonia levels up pretty quickly.

    If you are talking about the red patch on your white angel, are you talking about the gill material that can be seen under the gill cover (not uncommon in this strain of angel) or is there a small red spot halfway along the body?

    If you are able to get some filter media from a friend that has an established tank that will be the best way for you to control the ammonia levels in your tank. Another option would be to see if you LFS would allow you to drop a media bag full of NEW material into their sump for a few days.

    Regards,

    Bob
  • Bristlenoselover
    Bristlenoselover Member Posts: 30
    edited February 2011
    The 1200L/hour filter was fully established in a much smaller (80 litre) tank for almost a year and once I had the new aquarium filled and Ph and temp levels right, I switched the filter off from the established aquarium pulled it out and quickly transferred it to the new aquarium so im hoping Iv captured all the goodies to keep the tank fighting well?? Also I have another couple of filters in the established tank buiding some more good bacteria in them, how long untill I should put them in the new aquarium? I guess im lucky I already had the established aquarium (it has platties, mollys and the 2 x 5cm bristlenose which are in the new tank).
    The new aquarium now has 10 x Neon Tetra's, 1 x molly, 2 x small angelfish, 2x bristle nose catfish and I changed 20L of water with fresh stuff today to tryed and dilute the small traces of amonia I found. I guess I'll keep the water changes up for the next few days sucking up all the fish poo??

    Im planning on setting up another 2 foot tank on the stand underneith the 4 foot tank as you can see it should quite easily go down once I fix a leveled peice of ply to the wood panels on the stand.
  • Bristlenoselover
    Bristlenoselover Member Posts: 30
    Because you used new/untreated water to fill your tank I think you will find that you have probably killed of the bacteria colonies required to complete the ammonia – nitrate (nitrogen) cycle which will probably result in your aquarium going through a “cycle” again. Monitor your ammonia levels and have water prepared to do “changes” on a regular basis. Also, because you took the filter from you old aquarium you are going to find that the old one will also be going through the “cycle” process.
    My process of filling the new tank was, clean gravel thouroughly and place put it in tank, then filled the tank with tap water and treated the water and checked its PH and also adjusted that. I then waited a couple of hours for the water to obsorb the chlorine and PH adjusting chemicals and after this process I then switched the filter off from the established aquarium and quickly transfered it too the new aquarium trying too disturb it as little as possible. I then ran the filter for a couple of days and placed it in a position of the tank and pointed the jet so it circulated with a nice current <!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D --> following this process do you think the nitrate and amonia killing bacteria's were still killed off?

    Yeah the main frame is made from 35 x 70 mm treated pine framing and used 75mm and 100mm battern screws to fix all framing together, the hardwood timber is just 100mm x 20mm timber flooring and the bottom section is for bracing but also doubles as a shelf for another fish tank <!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D --> the ply backing is 8mm ply is also for bracing the timber flooring is also fixxed to the top of the square framing to conceal the ply + styrofoam + bottom of glass Im thinking of raising my border up another 10mm to hide abit of the gravel which is easily done by unscrewing 8 screws moving up and screwing back in. Also thinking about sanding back all of the flooring and putting a light stain on it.

    As I suspected it is the around the gill area and I thought because of its albino color you can see its gills but it is more dominant on one side so it could be a coloring feature?

    Also I thought by useing LFS gravel or placing some filter material in their tank you can pickup nasty parasites in the process?? I was think about taking some gravel and more filter foam from my established 80L tank? How long do you think untill I can get some new cool fish? Also what fish would you recomend, Im planning on getting some more small angel fish and another breed that will go good with them preferably a cichlid, I realize that Ill have to move the neon tetra's to another tank soon, I want this tank to be for some really cool big fish any advice apreciated <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) -->
    BNL Out lol
  • Mooo
    Mooo Moderator Posts: 7,653
    Welcome
    Thats a great little stand,, Congrats on a good score with that tank too...
    photo mooo_avat.gif "I'm a Doug Addict" photo cow2heartkisses.gif
  • Bob
    Bob Member, Classifieds Posts: 708
    Hi BNL,

    The fact that you are detecting ammonia in such a lightly stocked large volume tank after just a couple of days indicates to me that your bioligical filtering capacity has taken a bit of a flogging and it is certainly not capable of converting your current levels of ammonia production.

    I am not suggesting getting gravel from your LFS. That would certainly contain any nasties that maybe inhabiting their systems. The suggestion was a media bag of media suitable for your filter in their filtration system. There are some risks associated with this process but you are going to get a kickstart for your bacterial colonies and at your stocking levels that may suffice. Many people will recommend the use of products such as Seachem's stability to promote the establishment of bacterial colonies in filters. I have not used this or similar products as I have filter media on hand for the establishment of new tanks.

    In regards to your white angel the redness has the appearance of natural colour variation rather than anything that you need to be concerned about. In regards to stocking you will find that four adult angels will just about fill that tank especially if you have "pairs" which then decide to breed and become somewhat territorial. Angels are also a cichlid. You may be able to fit in a couple of dwarf cichlids such as Rams (very sensitive in regards to water conditions), Bolivian Rams (much hardier) or some of the apistogramma species though you need to understand their aquatic requirements and the fact that they also may be somewhat territorial, particularly in breeding mode.

    The bigger geophagus (eartheaters) are an interesting large cichlid but not good for a planted tank because, as the name suggests, they become heavily involved in "agricultural" work moving around your substrate and disrupting the plants.

    Your school of tetras should be okay with the angels though you may lose the occassional one if the angels are feeling a bit peckish when they are bigger. Some of you other tetra types would be okay, serpae (though can be fin nippers) black phantoms (a personal favourite), and black widows can all happily survive alongside the fish you have in there at the moment. There are a number of other suitable tetra types (avoid the africans in this tank as you already have a distinctly Amazonian feel to it) that you could search here on the live fish "shop" site.

    Regards,

    Bob
  • benjamin
    benjamin Member Posts: 265
    love juvies angels.. so nice and peaceful.. then they grow up and become aggresive bastards!
    good luck with everything
  • Bristlenoselover
    Bristlenoselover Member Posts: 30
    Thanks for the conern reply Bob, I bought some "Nutrafin Cycle" Biological aquarium supplement. I have also bought an additional air power bio-filter and have it in my already established aquarium.
    I would also like some help with a tank move tomorrow, I bought 2 foot tank setup with all components from a person who is moving away, It is about a 40 minute drive back to my house and there are two adult bristlenose in the new tank <!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D -->
    Questions ; What should I do in order to try and not damage the good bacteri in the tank for the move, should I take some of the aquarium water with me?
    Can I put my new bristlenose into my new 4 foot aquarium roughly about 1 week established (tests today showed the same small trace of amonia 0.1ppm, 0 nitrate bad and 1 ppm nitrate good.
    How long should I leave my bio filter in the established tank before moving it too the 4" aquarium.

    Thanks for your help, BNL
  • Bob
    Bob Member, Classifieds Posts: 708
    Hi BNL,

    The bacterial colonies are actually on the filter media. Because you took the filter off your established tank you are unlikely to have an "established" tank. An "established" tank has a mature filter with the nitrifying bacteria in good numbers in the filter media.

    If the water conditions in the "new 2ft" tank are similar to the conditions in your tank you may be able to transport/transplant the colonies successfully by moving the media in a bag/container of the aquarium water and if you are able to keep the water moving across the media during transport that too will probably help. When you get it home slowy change the water over by syphoning into the container from your tank and out of the container using another line (air hose clamped down to a very slow trickle) should work for you. The same process that you would use to drip acclimatise new fish.

    The only way to know that you have an "established/colonised" filter is if you are getting readings of nitrAtes, though this may not happen in a heavily planted tank. Because you are getting ammonia readings you have to accept that you do not have an "established" filter which is capable of dealing with the ammonia production of your current fish stocks.

    Regards,

    Bob
  • Bristlenoselover
    Bristlenoselover Member Posts: 30
    I guess ill keep my water 30% water changes up each day untill the nitrates get up a bit higher and the amonia is completely gone, can small traces as in 0.1ppm - 0.25 ppm be cause by small amounts of left over food and the fish fecies in the tank that hasnt reached the filter yet?
  • Bob
    Bob Member, Classifieds Posts: 708
    Yes mate, you will get ammonia released as a result of food and faeces in your water/gravel, the fish are also releasing ammonia as water passes across their gills and in their urine, same as us. No point in worrying about the % contributions of waste food and faeces to your ammonia readings when your fish are producing it just by living also.

    Make sure that your change water is properly prepared before adding, if possible, heat to the same temperature and aerate for 24 hours before adding, so, as soon as you have done a change start getting the next lot of water ready.

    Regards,

    Bob
  • Bristlenoselover
    Bristlenoselover Member Posts: 30
    Picked up my new tank little tank today, looks like a dwarf underneith the 4 footer lol, the bristlenose dont look like the healthiest fish looks like they have some algea or somthing growing on them, but they 1 is 6 years old the other 2 and I have 2 of my own that I have had for 1.5 years since babies.
    Unfortunately the kind gentlemen I bought the tank off had the tank read for me too pick up, he kindly cleaned all the filter media, gravel and even glass lol.... So I had no choice but too aclimitize the new sucker fish too my 4 footer while I tryed and get the little tank somewhat cycled, Ill try and find some batteries for my camera and get some photo's of the new bristlenose, they are both female and I THINK I have 2 males already.
  • Bristlenoselover
    Bristlenoselover Member Posts: 30
    Alright I just suffered an almost near disaster!!! Due to a massive noobish error on my behalf.... Saved by a little bit of fish telapathy??
    I just installed my new air filters for my 2 tanks and wanted enough pressure for them I disconected my air wall and then forgot about it lying disconnected on the floor. Just after my last post I decided to go downstairs and check do a test on the water, at 9pm at night I dont know why I was doing that but I walked down to discover the tank had siphoned itself about 30L!!! I Initially thought it had a crack at the base or the silicone gave way <!-- s:cry: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_cry.gif" alt=":cry:" title="Crying or Very sad" /><!-- s:cry: --> but about a minute later <!-- s:scratch: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_scratch.gif" alt=":scratch:" title="scratch" /><!-- s:scratch: --> I thought of the disconnected air line and sure enough it was it!!! <!-- s:oops: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_redface.gif" alt=":oops:" title="Embarassed" /><!-- s:oops: --> hope the crappy fake timber laminex click together flooring dries okay... <!-- s:x --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_mad.gif" alt=":x" title="Mad" /><!-- s:x -->
  • Bob
    Bob Member, Classifieds Posts: 708
    Hi BNL,

    Know how you feel. Yesterdays disaster was not as easily fixed as yours.

    I have a small (60 ltr) tank that I bougth to grow out some angels I had bred. I have had it for about two years now. I had to go into town and had a shower after getting things organised (I was supposed to pick up a box of fish at the airport at around 10:30, and that was another near disaster in itself). Anyway, I come back down to the loungeroom after having my shower and I can hear water running, and I mean running, not dripping. I look around and sure enough, the 60 ltr tank has a crack running diagonally down and across the front panel. Water running out at a fairly impressive rate. I had to let it run until nearly empty as I thought picking up a 60 ltr tank full of water might nearly have been beyond me though my biggest concern was that picking up a tank with that much water would probably cause the glass to completely dislodge and then I would have not only water but gravel, plants, fish and all the electronic devices all over the floor.

    Took out the fish that were in it and transferred them to by 4x2x2 which has the same water conditions. Placed towels around the tank to try to contain the water (didn't work) and waited til there was only a small amount of water remaining in the tank before taking it outside to finish draining.

    I am thankful that it was the 60 ltr tank and not the 6x2x2 which is 600 ltrs.

    Bob
  • Bristlenoselover
    Bristlenoselover Member Posts: 30
    Ouch, that sucks mate sorry to hear.. Where is your aquarium kept and what flooring is it on?? Mine was in the livingroom but the design of our house really saved me, the water found its way outside very quickly without any visible damage, being a rental thats a very good thing <!-- s:dance4: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/WoohooSmiley.gif" alt=":dance4:" title="dance4" /><!-- s:dance4: --> I lost about 60L of water aswell I could only imagine the devastation if I didnt come down to check on the tank randomly at 10pm before I went too bed I would have lost the full 200+Litres of water! all the fishies would have been in about 1/2 inch of water or less I swear the fish were sending me mental messages too save them <!-- s:laugh3: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/PMSL.gif" alt=":laugh3:" title="laugh3" /><!-- s:laugh3: -->
  • Bob
    Bob Member, Classifieds Posts: 708
    Hi Mate,

    I have a bar in the loungeroom and had it on there. Most of the water ran directly off the bar and on to the floor either side but under the bar-fridge as well. Thankfully the floor near the bar is slate and most of the lounge is tiles, was carpet when we moved in.

    Got a bit of water on the floor of the lounge itself and under the couch/lounge chairs but all good now.

    Sorry to hear that your filter had been nicely cleaned out just waiting for you to pick up. Just keep a good eye on your ammonia levels and the nitrItes. You are really going to have to work hard to keep everything under control.

    Thanks,

    Bob
  • Bristlenoselover
    Bristlenoselover Member Posts: 30
    Well things arnt looking too bad in the aquarium, water is crystal clear and all the fish seem to be swimming around happily... Although after testing the water today the Ammonia level is showing 0.5ppm which could be potentailly lethal <!-- s:( --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_sad.gif" alt=":(" title="Sad" /><!-- s:( --> Nitrites are still at 0 and Nitrates at about 5ppm. I went down the LFS too get some Ammo lock, although they reccomended "Aqua One" AAA Plus blocks, here is a quick snippet of the details on the back "AAA Plus Blocks are specially formulated to prevent the accumulation of Ammonia and acids within your aquarium whilst stabilising the pH. AAA Plus Block should be kept in the aquarium on a permanent basis." Does anybody else use these? I also bought a battery powered pond pump from bunnings for $45 to help me doing my water changes, Its great pumps a about 20L per minute with a lift of 2 metres (easily).
    I have also done a 50% water change before addings blocks and replenished the "Nutrafin Cycle" Bio Organism's. Let you know how it goes tomorrow...
  • Bob
    Bob Member, Classifieds Posts: 708
    Hi BNL,

    Keep checking your ammonia levels. You won't get nitrIte readings for a couple of weeks and a couple of weeks after that you should get nitrAte readings. Removing all ammonia from your tank will delay the establishment of bacterial colonies. I strongly recommend that you meet someone who has had a tank running for quite some time and asking for some mature media.

    Also check your readings after your water change so that you can see the "effect" your change is having.

    The requirement to keep your AAA blocks in the tank on a permanent basis I feel is an indicator that there is no free ammonia available for the establishement of your bacterial colonies.

    Regards,

    Bob
  • Bristlenoselover
    Bristlenoselover Member Posts: 30
    I understand were you are coming from although my aquarium is already producing nitrates, could this be due to the "Nutrafin Cycle" Nutrafin Cycle is a responsive biological aquarium supplement that ensures that all aquariums are immediately inoculated with a powerful team of beneficial bacteria, providing a safe biological habitat for your fish. These highly effective micro-organisms will create a biological flora that quickly metabolizes lethal ammonia and nitrite.
    The use of nutrafin cycle is strongly recommended for new aquariums as they do not contain the necessary concentrations of beneficial bacteria required to metabolize the waste that fish produce. Nutrafin Cycle has a huge biomass which has been cultured in a state of the art science facilities and is refined and produced to exacting standards to ensure responsive performance in every bottle. <!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D --> lol not a bad right up it reccomends an initail 3-day course of doses followed by weekly doses along with replacing the initial dose of 25ml per 40L when doing water changes.
    Im thinking maybe it was losing the battle because I have too many fish in the tank so these AAA blocks should help stabilize things, but surely they cant remove ALL ammonia from the tank thus starving the good bacteria?>?
  • Bristlenoselover
    Bristlenoselover Member Posts: 30
    Ugh, Another test shows Ammonia is still at 0.5, nitrites 0 and nitrates at 10 ppm! I guess Ill keep the %50 water changes up now might takes a couple of plants that dont look to be thriving as good as the others, none of my friends have filter media so I guess I might head down the LFS.
  • Doug
    Doug Member, Classifieds Posts: 2,371
    well i guess it looks like the suppliments are not working.

    yet another product that fails <!-- s:( --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_sad.gif" alt=":(" title="Sad" /><!-- s:( -->
  • Bristlenoselover
    Bristlenoselover Member Posts: 30
    Yeah the AAA blocks are fail, today the readings were the same with 0.5ppm ammonia 0 nitrites and 5ppm nitrates... Can I be getting a false reading on the nitrates if the tank hasn't cycled yet?? I freaked today because I think I was about to have breakout of Iche in my tank as I noticed a few white spots of the fins of a couple of my molly's and a few of the neon tetra's look as if their fins are starting to rot or possible being bitten off. Luckily I did find a product to remove the Ammonia seachem's "Am Guard" works very efficeintly and rapidly. I also bought so prozapin (sp?) to treat the the fish once the Ammonia was locked up, although I just noticed one of the molly's brushed past the AAA block and small white spec's stirred up around the block (possibly what is on the fish).
    The tested the water tonight and its 0 Ammonia finally, will my cycling process be effected and I am still useing Nutrafin Cycle Bio Organism too boost the good bacteria although could this be affecting my nitrate readings? As I thought these were only positive in established tanks??
  • 321clayt
    321clayt Member Posts: 766
    Just another suggestion have you tested the water coming out of your tap as that could contain nitrate readings.
  • Bristlenoselover
    Bristlenoselover Member Posts: 30
    Thanks for the suggestion, I tested my tap water today and it shows 0.25 ppm ammonia!!! disgusting!! 0 nitrites and 0 nitrates Im thinking the ammonium (ammonia that
    breaks free when the chloromine bond is broken) is what is showing up on my ammonia test??
  • Bob
    Bob Member, Classifieds Posts: 708
    Hi BNL,

    I think it is highly likely that chloramine is the source of your residual ammonia. Chlorine by itself normally evaporates out of the water within 24 hours whereas chloramine is much more persistent. What is your water "preparation regime"?

    Regards,

    Bob
  • Bristlenoselover
    Bristlenoselover Member Posts: 30
    I prepare my water by first treating it with a super strength tap water conditioner (breaks the chloramine bond and removes chlorines), adjust the pH and airate the water for 6-12 hours. After reading up a bit more about the local water supply treatment I am certainly going to be buying a water filtration unit for drinking water!!! Im now going to try and get myself a large water tank (200L+) so I can age the water for much longer, I am now also useing an additional chemical to remove the ammonium from the tap water after the chloramine bond has been broken (Seachem's Am Guard) and is also works great for rapidly removing ammonia from the fish tank and is safe for fish and filters. Once I have useing up all of my current water conditioner Im definately going to be switching to Seachem's Prime water conditioner.
    Town water on the Sunshine Coast is still treated in the conventional way with alum, lime and chloramine, aluminium sulphate and calcium hydroxide are going to make unusual hardness and possibly grow strange algae.
    If the water board is now using chloramine in the water to remove impurities (which is a combination of chlorine and ammonia which makes the chlorine more stable, and thus last longer) and your water ager only removes chlorine, then the ammonia will remain in your tank.

    You need a water ager like Prime from Seachem,which removes chlorine and chloramine
    "Chloramine can be removed from tap water by treatment with superchlorination (10 ppm or more of free chlorine, such as from a dose of sodium hypochlorite bleach or pool sanitizer) while maintaining a pH of about 7 (such as from a dose of hydrochloric acid). Hypochlorous acid from the free chlorine strips the ammonia from the chloramine, and the ammonia outgasses from the surface of the bulk water. This process takes about 24 hours for normal tap water concentrations of a few ppm of chloramine. Residual free chlorine can then be removed by exposure to bright sunlight for about 4 hours."
  • Bob
    Bob Member, Classifieds Posts: 708
    Hi BNL,

    I use an old 200 ltr aquarium to age, heat, treat my water. you should be able to pick up one very cheap, and my water is RO water that "measures" out at about 10ppm hardness. I then add my RO right to adjust Gh to about 2 - 3 dGh and Kh developer to boost Kh to about 1dKh.

    My feelings are (not supported by any research) if you do not have fee ammonia in your aquarium you are not going to develop a mature filter. Consequently, you will need to keep purchasing/adding these chemicals for as long as you want to keep your fish. I am guessing that in the long run it is cheaper to rely on bacteria rather than ongoing "chemical" purchases.

    Regards,

    Bob
  • Bristlenoselover
    Bristlenoselover Member Posts: 30
    Well I hope your wrong lol!! This Seachem Am Guard is really great stuff as the bottle says in fine print on the back "AmGuard safely, rapidly and efficiently removes toxic free ammonia. It is safe to use during tank cycling and is ideal for threatening unexpected emergency situations." Ive only use the bottle once and will only use it again if the ammonia levels go above 0.5ppm again. Also 2 days since my last water change and the ammonia levels are somewere between 0 and 0.25ppm so I am pretty happy with that as I have quite a few plants in the tank, as you said I need atleast a very small percentage of free ammonia in the tank untill it has cycled through nitrites, I do kinda wish I didnt have fish because I know the cycling process would be alot faster and cheaper but I do have fish and some are up too 6 years old. No fish are showing any signs of weakness although I had to split up a couple of molly's as I have 2 males and 1 female (males were fighting too the death for her). Also I have been limiting their food too once a day very small amounts and they certainly are not showing any signs of not eating as they devour the flakes very quickly and my bristlenose often fight each other for the algea wafers.
  • Bob
    Bob Member, Classifieds Posts: 708
    Sounds good BNL,

    Just keep testing for your nitrite spike as I feel that may be your next challenge. I believe there are "pads" you can buy which will help to reduce/control the amount of nitrIte that is in your tank but check with your LFS to ensure that you have some available.

    Hoping all continues to go well for you.

    Regards,

    Bob
  • Bristlenoselover
    Bristlenoselover Member Posts: 30
    Hey still no nitrites on todays test, 4th day since a water changed and ammonia is at 0.5ppm, 0 nitrIte and 20 ppm nitrAte. Im hoping the the ammonia will settle down and I may have skipped the NitrIte cycle by useing the Nutrafin cycle along side with useing the already established filter in the beginning ( I do beleive the I must have saved some of the good bacteria from my already cycled aquarium).
  • Mooo
    Mooo Moderator Posts: 7,653
    You have no NitrItes because they are being converted to NitrAtes, the cycle is continuing along nicely..
    You seem to not understand the process, pop over to the beginners topics and read up on the nitrogen cycle..http://www.livefish.com.au/forums/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1550
    photo mooo_avat.gif "I'm a Doug Addict" photo cow2heartkisses.gif
  • Bristlenoselover
    Bristlenoselover Member Posts: 30
    I have read through that thread and if im understanding it correctly
    Ammonia is created from the breakdown of fish waste & decaying plant or food matter.
    Ammonia levels build up & then ammonia converting bacteria start to grow & consume the ammonia but release nitr-i-te.

    Once the Nitrite levels build up, nitrite converting bacteria starts to grow & consume the nitrite and release nitrate.

    Once the ammonia bacteria & the nitrite bacteria build up to a sustainable level to continuously consume the ammonia & nitrites in the tank the cycling process is complete and your water test readings should be:

    Ammonia = 0
    Nitrite = 0
    Nitrate = something (ie a reading anywhere between 5-40 for example)

    I should be testing posititive for nitrItes but instead I am testing 0 for nitrItes and testing positive for nitrAte which should only be at the end of the cycle once the the tank has gone through a nitrogen cycle.
  • Bristlenoselover
    Bristlenoselover Member Posts: 30
    trust me I have re-tested tests I thought could be dodgy and washed testing tubes thouroughly. my tap water is at about 7.6pH and with about 1 teaspoon of pH down per 20L it brings it too neutral and my driftwood helps to keep the driftwood just below neutral. the past four days my ammonia has built up from 0 ppm too 0.5ppm nitrites have stayed at zero and nitrAtes have built from 5ppm too 20 ppm and if this were nitrItes all my fish would be dead....
  • Bristlenoselover
    Bristlenoselover Member Posts: 30
    after that last post I performed a water changed and have left the tank since then testing each day, to my delight watching the ammonia levels drop without any AmGuard added to the the tank <!-- s:dance6: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/Boogiedancing.gif" alt=":dance6:" title="dance6" /><!-- s:dance6: --> . After 5 days of the tank and filters doing its own thing my test results today show 0 ammonia 0 nitrite and about 20ppm nitrAte <!-- s:dance4: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/WoohooSmiley.gif" alt=":dance4:" title="dance4" /><!-- s:dance4: --> pretty happy today, going to do a 30% water change to dilute nitrates and hopefully should be able to go longer without a water change next time <!-- s:dance1: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/yahoo.gif" alt=":dance1:" title="dance1" /><!-- s:dance1: -->
  • Mooo
    Mooo Moderator Posts: 7,653
    Wooohoooo!!! <!-- s:dance4: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/WoohooSmiley.gif" alt=":dance4:" title="dance4" /><!-- s:dance4: --> <!-- s:dance4: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/WoohooSmiley.gif" alt=":dance4:" title="dance4" /><!-- s:dance4: --> <!-- s:dance4: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/WoohooSmiley.gif" alt=":dance4:" title="dance4" /><!-- s:dance4: -->
    You have finished the cycle.. <!-- s:dance1: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/yahoo.gif" alt=":dance1:" title="dance1" /><!-- s:dance1: -->
    photo mooo_avat.gif "I'm a Doug Addict" photo cow2heartkisses.gif
  • Bristlenoselover
    Bristlenoselover Member Posts: 30
    haha thanks, when I looked at my last test which had over 20 ppm nitrates and 0 ammo 0 nitrite I was like <!-- s:drool1: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/droool.gif" alt=":drool1:" title="drool1" /><!-- s:drool1: --> So i have a little bit of trouble with my 3 juevie angelfish as a couple have paired off and were singling one out smudge the coolest looking angelfish and aggressivly ramming him lol. So I took the most aggressive one out into a smaller tank for 2 days, the other two were peacefull untill I put the agressive one back into the tank and it immediatly singled smudge within 10 seconds of being back in the tank <!-- s:laugh5: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/haha4.gif" alt=":laugh5:" title="laugh5" /><!-- s:laugh5: --> I did a little research into over the two days and apparently odd numbers are bad as this occurs so I went out and bought 3 more angelfish to put some more pressure on the filters <!-- s:laugh6: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/ROLFSmiley.gif" alt=":laugh6:" title="laugh6" /><!-- s:laugh6: -->
  • Bob
    Bob Member, Classifieds Posts: 708
    Hi BNL,

    The behaviour you are describing by your angelfish is fairly typical cichlid behaviour especially when pairing. The particularly aggressive one will be your dominant male and it doesn't matter which of your fish you find most "visually" appealing fish have their own set of "desired" characteristics.

    Adding another three angels will probably reduce the level of aggression towards an "outsider/extra" initially but if you have another pair develop you will then have two pair fighting for space and defending territory against the others. Having three pair of angels in a standard four foot tank is going to make things very crowded. You will probably need to move some on when they are fully grown at anywhere between 5 - 7 inches. When I had angels in a standard four I had a dominant pair that "required" all other fish to stay within the one foot of the tank opposite to "their" end.

    Good to see that your filter is now controlling your ammonia/nitrite levels but with the new numbers and size of your fish you will have to closely monitor your nitrAte levels to ensure that they do not get out of hand especially as your fish are still very much in the growing phase.

    You may also want to update your signature to "6 Angels".

    Regards,

    Bob