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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
1) You need transient ammonia / ammonium to feed the nitrosomonas to get nitrites which feed the nitrobacter to get the benign-at low-level nitrates which are consumed by plants or diluted by water changes. Why did you put an ammonia absorber? It sounds like your tank hasn't yet cycled. If you have an emergency ammonia situation you should continue the WC's and the liberal use of Prime. Prime binds up the ammonia, but it is still available to the nitrosomas.

=> BTW, I have live plants which it sounds like might keep my NO3 low. And yes, maybe my tank hasn't fully cycled yet ... I really don't know. I'll continue the WC's with Prime.

2) Also, why did you put charcoal in your filter? It has value only to remove medications, since due to clogging it has a useful life in an aquarium of only a few days.

=> It sounds like I should take the charcoal out soon?

3) Stop cleaning your filter. The biological filtration especially should be left alone until your tank has fully cycled as defined as zero ammonia and zero nitrite. Even when done properly, cycling a tank can take more than 6 weeks. Sorry to say, it seems that some of the actions you've taken have inhibited the process.

=> I'm planning on cleaning my filter every 2 months (with dechlorinated water). Does that sound about right?

Thanks again for all the help !!!
 

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Did you check to see if there's chloramine in your tap water? If so, there's a very simple answer to this.

Also, on Sunday, put in ammonia remover "filter media" (from Fluval), new charcoal, and cleaned the filter at the same time.
Too much tinkering with the filter. Leave it alone for a while. Once you get past this, remove the ammonia remover and charcoal. No need for either.

It's easy enough to check your ammonia kit with a bottle of spring water or similar.

Regarding filter cleaning schedule, depends on the filter(s), fish load, feeding etc. There's no one-size-fits-all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
prov356 said:
Did you check to see if there's chloramine in your tap water? If so, there's a very simple answer to this.

Also, on Sunday, put in ammonia remover "filter media" (from Fluval), new charcoal, and cleaned the filter at the same time.
Too much tinkering with the filter. Leave it alone for a while. Once you get past this, remove the ammonia remover and charcoal. No need for either.

It's easy enough to check your ammonia kit with a bottle of spring water or similar.

Regarding filter cleaning schedule, depends on the filter(s), fish load, feeding etc. There's no one-size-fits-all.
=> No, I don't know if there's any chloramine in the water. Can you recommend a test kit I could buy for this? In the meantime, I look to see if I can find one.

Also, I'll take out the ammonia remover and charcoal at the next filter change, right?

Good idea on checking the ammonia kit with the spring water ... I'll do that.

Thanks again for all the help and advice !!! :fish:
 

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Can you recommend a test kit I could buy for this?
It would be in your water quality report. You can alwsys find these online. It appears you don't have chloramine, just chlorine, so can't blame that for the ammonia reading. I'd double check the test kit, and then leave the filter alone for 30 days or so. Then, yes, remove the items mentioned from the filter.

What type and how many filters do you have? If you only have one filter and have been adding, removing, and cleaning things, then that could account for the ammonia reading. More info would be helpful on filters and maintenance schedule up to this point.
 

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If you must have a test kit for chlorine / chloramine:

http://www.customaquatic.com/estore/con ... -RLR440006

I use these strips to test whether chloramine has broken through the carbon cartridges on my RO units.

If you have enough plants, then there would have been no point to cycling your tank. Test your ammonia kit, as suggested above.

After you're cycled and have been changing your water regularly for a few months, you might want to play the scientist again and test all of the variables. But if you get an unexpected number, first question the kit. If its accuracy can then be confirmed using a standard solution, distilled, or even tap water using your water company's analysis, then think through actions to address the possible problem. The kits commonly available to the hobbist are only better than nothing. Even the LaMotte kits should be dealt with in the same way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
prov356 said:
Can you recommend a test kit I could buy for this?
It would be in your water quality report. You can always find these online. It appears you don't have chloramine, just chlorine, so can't blame that for the ammonia reading. I'd double check the test kit, and then leave the filter alone for 30 days or so. Then, yes, remove the items mentioned from the filter.

What type and how many filters do you have? If you only have one filter and have been adding, removing, and cleaning things, then that could account for the ammonia reading. More info would be helpful on filters and maintenance schedule up to this point.
I'll double-check the Ammonia test kit tonight to make sure and my local water quality. Also, I have a Rena Filstar XP3 Canister filter for my 125 gallon tank.

Thanks again !!! :)
 

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Rena seriously over rates their canisters. It's rated at 350gph MAX. That means empty, no media, and probably little or no head height. Kind of deceiving, isn't it? :) When I had an XP4 rated at 450, I measured the actual and it was about 240gph, no more. Your XP3 may not even be getting 200gph. So you could be turning your tank over 1-2 times per hour. It may not be enough to keep the ammonia at 0. That could be your problem. They rate it for up to 175 gallon tank. That's ridiculous. I'd add a powerful HOB and get some turnover in that tank. Biofiltration doesn't need a lot of turnover, true, but I think 1-2 times per hour just may not be enough. Do you have any powerheads, etc or any other current going?
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
I just double-checked the test kit and it read about 0.125ppm for Ammonia (this was using our de-chlorinated/filtered tap water) that looks like it might be a little of the problem. I also ordered a Chlorine test kit. Looks like I need to wait some more for the tank to cycle and keep close tabs on the Ammonia.

Thanks again for all the help !!! :fish:
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
prov356 said:
Rena seriously over rates their canisters. It's rated at 350gph MAX. That means empty, no media, and probably little or no head height. Kind of deceiving, isn't it? :) When I had an XP4 rated at 450, I measured the actual and it was about 240gph, no more. Your XP3 may not even be getting 200gph. So you could be turning your tank over 1-2 times per hour. It may not be enough to keep the ammonia at 0. That could be your problem. They rate it for up to 175 gallon tank. That's ridiculous. I'd add a powerful HOB and get some turnover in that tank. Biofiltration doesn't need a lot of turnover, true, but I think 1-2 times per hour just may not be enough. Do you have any powerheads, etc or any other current going?
I don't have any powerhead, but I do have an air bubble strip/stone that creates a lot of circulation on the other end of the tank from the Rena's output tube. Do you think a Hang on Back filter would be better than buying a different/bigger Canister filter?

Thanks !!! :)
 

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I just suggested a HOB because it's cheaper and the bigger ones tend to have high gph capability. If you can swing an FX5 or similar high end canister, then I'd probably go for that instead. Don't just bump up to an XP4, as it won't help much. If you add the bigger canister, run both simultaneously for a couple of months. And if/when you take the XP3 out of comission, move it's biomedia to the new canister. I'd probably leave it in place and use it for chemical and additional biofiltration. Lots of things you can do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
It looks like I might have to get their biggest one the "EHEIM professionel 3" ... http://www.eheim.com/base/eheim/inhalte ... 27575_ehen ... which is rated for 1700 l per hour (449 gallons per hour). It looks like it runs about the same price of about $240. I sure like the looks of it better than the Fluval, which obviously is not the most important thing. I'll do a lot more research ... such Fun !!!

Thanks !!! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
I'm thinking my Ammonia might have spiked, since I haven't been able to spot a couple of my 8 Brichardi. I'm wondering if the dominant 5 fish have killed 1 or 2 of the fish. If this is indeed the case, and the fish have been killed (which I cannot find/see anymore), wouldn't that increase Ammonia?

Thanks.
 

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wouldn't that increase Ammonia?
Yes, but in a cycled tank, you still shouldn't get a spike. I never have from a dead fish. Of course, it depends on the fish size and filtration, etc. Now, if your filtration was on the edge as far as being adequate, then something like that could push it over. You could be right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
olliesshop said:
I'm thinking my Ammonia might have spiked, since I haven't been able to spot a couple of my 8 Brichardi. I'm wondering if the dominant 5 fish have killed 1 or 2 of the fish. If this is indeed the case, and the fish have been killed (which I cannot find/see anymore), wouldn't that increase Ammonia?

Thanks.
Well ... so much for that theory ... after 3 days of not being able to count all 8 I was able to find them all this morning. So we're back to the same old problem.

Thanks again for all the help/advice !!! :)
 
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