Few fish in Cycle questions

AilyNC

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I find it tricky to read the API Master Kit but is it ok that my nitrates are so high but nitrite & Ammonia low? Is that normal for the fish in Cycle?

Why is my CO2 zero with plants?

Why is my fresh tap water showing lower PH than tank water?

I'm doing daily 75% water changes and have Anubis, Salvinia & moss ball by way of plants.

Fish in Cycle - 3 Platy adults, 9 platy fry, 2 bristlenose Plecos, 4 neon tetra, 1 Molly (I know stocking is a mess but I'm addressing ICH/cycle issue first and blame everything on LFS)

Tank is 16 US Gallon/58 litres 24in/60cm long
Temp 30.5
Ammonia looked about 0.3
Nitrate was close to 0
Nitrate was about 30
PH 8
GH 15
KH 23
(Below is from tetra strip)
Chlorine 0.3
CO2 0
 

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essjay

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With nitrate you need to test your tap water as well. UK legislation allows up to 50 ppm in tap water and it is probably similar in Ireland. You need to subtract the tap nitrate from the tank nitrate to see how much is being made in the tank.

The bacteria that have already grown will be converting ammonia and nitrite into nitrate, though with lots of water changes needed during fish-in cycling that will keep nitrate at close to the tap water level.



Where tap water originates in a river or reservoir in an agricultural area, run off from fertiliser can cause quite high nitrate.
 

essjay

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Why is my CO2 zero with plants?
Plants use CO2 for photosynthesis during daylight and especially when the tank lights are on. During the night they don't and you may well have a reading above zero at night.

Why is my fresh tap water showing lower PH than tank water?
This is common. When comparing tap pH with tank pH, we should leave a glass of tap water to stand overnight and test that rather than freshly run tap water.
CO2 is often dissolved in tap water which lowers the pH. When it stands, this CO2 gasses out and the pH goes up a bit. Since the water in the tank has been standing, the CO2 has gassed out - or is removed by the plants.

In areas with very soft water, freshly run tap water can be higher than water that's allowed to stand because water companies add soemthing to raise the pH to prevent corosion in the pipeline. This too gasses out on standing so the pH falls.
 

seangee

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With nitrate you need to test your tap water as well. UK legislation allows up to 50 ppm in tap water and it is probably similar in Ireland. You need to subtract the tap nitrate from the tank nitrate to see how much is being made in the tank.
The 50ppm limit is set by the EU - so almost certainly the same in Ireland.
 
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AilyNC

AilyNC

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With nitrate you need to test your tap water as well. UK legislation allows up to 50 ppm in tap water and it is probably similar in Ireland. You need to subtract the tap nitrate from the tank nitrate to see how much is being made in the tank.

The bacteria that have already grown will be converting ammonia and nitrite into nitrate, though with lots of water changes needed during fish-in cycling that will keep nitrate at close to the tap water level.



Where tap water originates in a river or reservoir in an agricultural area, run off from fertiliser can cause quite high nitrate.
Cool, I'll check the tap water. My water is from mains not a well so wouldn't have Agri run off. Though my neighbours are a field of cows haha.

I noticed my pH oh higher in tank than from the tap which I reckon is from adding water from kettle to raise the temp. Fresh tap water is 7.8 where as the tank water is 8/8.1.

I feel like a chemist with all my kits :rofl:
 
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AilyNC

AilyNC

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The nitrate in the water was quite dark probably close to 30 and only a little darker than tank water.

I got new plants today. Can I leave the ceramic ring in the tank cause the plant just keeps floating?

Also yay plants!!
 

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AdoraBelle Dearheart

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They look awesome! Nice and healthy :D They really make a fishtank don't they?

Ceramic rings won't do any harm if you leave them in there.
Did you get any root tabs or liquid ferts? That can help encourage strong root growth so they anchor themselves better. You can get lead plant weights which are fine for the tank too, but I have a personal theory that they restrict plant growth, so I don't use them anymore myself.

Planting tweezers can make it easier to plant them deeply enough to hold them down, but you can do it with your hands too with enough persistence. The alternanthernia seems the most reluctant to stay down I see! Plant those as individual stems a few cms apart - they don't like to be bunched together and the bottom of the stems would rot - dig a deep hole in the gravel, hold stem in hole with one hand, fill in gravel to hold it in place with the other. Or rope someone in to help fill in the hole.

If any floats up, don't panic, it will likely grow roots while floating on the surface, but alternanthernia prefers to be planted. Dotting root tabs around first helps, otherwise you send it all floating again when you try to add root tabs and you want to swear a lot.

The elodea, the one you have in the back left corner, will be just as happy left floating as it will planted, so don't worry about that one. It's also the one that will probably grow the fastest and help suck up ammonia and nitrates for you. Moss looks good! Take another photo of that in a month or so and you'll see the difference in growth.

Edit: the alternanthernia is the pink one :)
 
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AilyNC

AilyNC

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I reckon during water changes they will probably move about a bit. I have Seachem Flourish Comp as a fertiliser liquid. Would you use that with root tabs or instead of them?

It'll be nicer with the pink one separated out. It's nice to break up the colour a bit. The plants really do change the look of the tank but also the fish seem more active now and are hiding and exploring the new plants.

I'll give it a good go tomorrow with planting. Those lot of plants came with no instructions (the Salvinia did) so I was a bit off guard.
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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I reckon during water changes they will probably move about a bit. I have Seachem Flourish Comp as a fertiliser liquid. Would you use that with root tabs or instead of them?

It'll be nicer with the pink one separated out. It's nice to break up the colour a bit. The plants really do change the look of the tank but also the fish seem more active now and are hiding and exploring the new plants.

I'll give it a good go tomorrow with planting. Those lot of plants came with no instructions (the Salvinia did) so I was a bit off guard.
That's a great liquid fertiliser, and I use a liquid fertiliser along with root tabs, but I have a fair amount of root feeding plants. Looking at your plant list again, all the ones you have so far take their nutrition directly from the water, so the liquid fert is perfect.

If you get any plants that feed more from the roots than the water column, like amazon swords or water lilies, then you'd need to add root tabs, but you're good for now, sorry to confuse you! You can find plenty of care guides for the different plants online, you have good low-tech beginner plants, so apart from dosing ferts, you don't need to do much else. The elodea (egeria) will probably need trimming back now and then since it's a fast grower, and the alternanthera needs trimming before it grows above the waterline so it doesn't shed it's underwater leaves, but that one doesn't grow super fast in most tanks, so no need to panic. :)

I only warn you about planting them individually because when I first got some as cuttings, I planted them together in the bunch, not knowing what they were, and rotted the base of the stems. But found out about it and trimmed those off and replanted individually, and it did fine after that.

It's lovely to see fish swimming about and interacting with real plants. Once you've seen how much they enjoy real plants, and how real plants help keep your water cleaner, you never go back to fake ones again!
 

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