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Old 02-07-2013, 04:02 PM   #101 
5150wicd4fish
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Sorry for jumping this thread but I wanted to ask OFL, since you have several tanks...Today I am stumped, I did a routine check of both my 20g. tank, planted with 1 betta and 1 albino pleco, all params were good, tested PH, and was shocked it was 6.6.
I also have a 60 gal. community tank, sparsely planted but soon to change, and tested all params are good, with PH of 7.6.

The water source is well water, I do have RO water, but modified due to tankless system and can switch levers. THis is the same water...I do treat my 60 gal. for chloramines, but really dont need to, since have record of testing well water... I also put in my 20 gal. treat with Beta plus, so basically same.
How can my water params change so drastically? I realize plants for my 20 can and do help with phosphates and nitrates, but can it be so drastic that I need to buffer the 20 ga each time I change water? I do 8+ gallons each time.
This freaks me out, because my betta seems very content with all params in tank, plants are doing very well, lighting, ferts, normal... This system has been in place for approx. 1 year.. I do water changes for 20g, nitrates are always 5.0 ppm prior to change, ammo, 0, nitrite 0.
Thank you for any advise :D
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:14 PM   #102 
Oldfishlady
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To understand-the 20gal that is heavy planted-pH drop to 6.6-You use a mix of well water and R/O water...correct....

What are the water changes-how much and how often, type of substrate in the 20gal-do you have a lot of organics that are decomp'ing in the tank.

What is the base line pH, KH/GH on both the well water and R/O water and tank KH/GH. Are you injecting CO2....also, what kind of testing kit are you using

Its not uncommon to see the pH drop as the tank matures-especially with organic that are decomp'ing-that decomp naturally creates CO2 that can drive the pH down.
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:19 PM   #103 
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What is the base line test results on the source water-ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH...with and without additives. What are the additives, what is the source water, what kind of testing products used.

In 5gal filtered-weekly with vacuum for a single Betta-provided that you don't overfeed and uneaten food is removed within a reasonable time.
Hi,
back to an old question you had for me when Fred was still alive.

Without additives: 0 for Ammonia, Nitrite, 10 for Nitrate

With additives (Prime, Plant Fert., Excel) : 0 for Ammonia, Nitrite, 20 for Nitrate

So should I age my water before putting them into the tank?

Added Stress Zyme on Sunday, and today is Day 25 of my cycling with 4 Amano (outlasted my betta), and 1 golden apple snail in a 5g tank, filtered and planted:

Day 24 reading after 2g WC AND replaced the carbon bag (which was a very bad idea): 0-0.25 Ammonia, 0.25 Nitrite, 20-30 Nitrate.
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:34 PM   #104 
5150wicd4fish
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Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
To understand-the 20gal that is heavy planted-pH drop to 6.6-You use a mix of well water and R/O water...correct....

What are the water changes-how much and how often, type of substrate in the 20gal-do you have a lot of organics that are decomp'ing in the tank.

What is the base line pH, KH/GH on both the well water and R/O water and tank KH/GH. Are you injecting CO2....also, what kind of testing kit are you using

Its not uncommon to see the pH drop as the tank matures-especially with organic that are decomp'ing-that decomp naturally creates CO2 that can drive the pH down.
Thanks for quick reply OFL :D
I don't use a mix of RO and well, just use well water..
Do water change every 5 to 6 days, remove 8 plus gallons, vacuume mid to moderate due to pleco, it is sand substrate with a spattering of clay I forgot name gravel at bases of some plants.
Use API liquid test kit, use Seachem Flourish excel every other water change...and yes sometimes I let some plant leaves in to decomp.

I must admit I have not done a KH/GH test, since I had trouble with this when dealing with my cichlids last year..(though forum peeps said I was fine)
I'm leary of adding anything too quickly..like I never tried baking soda..or chemical PH increase on 20g,.... I have however on 60gal. in the past.
Thanks again for your help :D
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:41 PM   #105 
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Hi,
back to an old question you had for me when Fred was still alive.

Without additives: 0 for Ammonia, Nitrite, 10 for Nitrate

With additives (Prime, Plant Fert., Excel) : 0 for Ammonia, Nitrite, 20 for Nitrate

So should I age my water before putting them into the tank?

Added Stress Zyme on Sunday, and today is Day 25 of my cycling with 4 Amano (outlasted my betta), and 1 golden apple snail in a 5g tank, filtered and planted:

Day 24 reading after 2g WC AND replaced the carbon bag (which was a very bad idea): 0-0.25 Ammonia, 0.25 Nitrite, 20-30 Nitrate.
Since you have nitrate in the source water to start-then the additives that are causing skewed results-aging the water will not do much and not needed. Then ammonia/nitrite spike that may or may not have been due to the filter media change out-

Question-how are the plants doing, how many and what species of plants and this is a soil based-correct??? You are using one of the API brand test kit-correct....what is the pH...How often are you making water changes.
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:53 PM   #106 
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Originally Posted by 5150wicd4fish View Post
Thanks for quick reply OFL :D
I don't use a mix of RO and well, just use well water..
Do water change every 5 to 6 days, remove 8 plus gallons, vacuume mid to moderate due to pleco, it is sand substrate with a spattering of clay I forgot name gravel at bases of some plants.
Use API liquid test kit, use Seachem Flourish excel every other water change...and yes sometimes I let some plant leaves in to decomp.

I must admit I have not done a KH/GH test, since I had trouble with this when dealing with my cichlids last year..(though forum peeps said I was fine)
I'm leary of adding anything too quickly..like I never tried baking soda..or chemical PH increase on 20g,.... I have however on 60gal. in the past.
Thanks again for your help :D
I don't generally recommend changing the pH unless it is extreme or the livestock are having problems. It best to leave it alone-especially since you don't have KH/GH. Do you know if you have hard or soft water???
IMO-if your well water doesn't have chemical additives-like chlorine/chloramins-I wouldn't use dechlorinators-it won't hurt to use it-but generally not needed-with that said, sometimes heavy metals can be a problem-but fish generally will adapt or it won't cause problems to start-just one less thing to buy and use...lol....I have never used dechlorinator with my well water and haven't had issue.

Nothing wrong with allowing some decomp to go on IMO/E-especially in heavy planted tanks or allowing some mulm to buildup and break down-As long as you have enough of the right species of plants in active growth they will use it for food.

How deep is the sand-any smell-like rotten eggs.
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:13 PM   #107 
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Thanks OFL...I know the well water is hard water.. LOL, on the chlorine/ yup I don't know why I use it, but I'm just "conditioned" haha, to use it since like I said with other tanks I wanted to be sure, had some expensive fish in bigger tank..
But I think I will try not using in 20g.
I've never smelled rotten eggs, but sometimes I let a slice of squash or zuccs for a day and take out next morning since pleco really enjoys this..(this is only done like once every two weeks)
The sand is about 1 1/2 inches, I do sometimes have to replace a little because I vaccumme up some...( I know I like a clean tank) haha, thats my downfall...and my albino "bud" sure likes to leave his deposits...heehee
plants are: altermanthera reineckii roseafolia, cabomba,anubias,water wisteria,dwarf hairgrass,amazon sword,two types of moss, don't remember name. :D
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:11 PM   #108 
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Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
Since you have nitrate in the source water to start-then the additives that are causing skewed results-aging the water will not do much and not needed. Then ammonia/nitrite spike that may or may not have been due to the filter media change out-

Question-how are the plants doing,
They are thriving because of the liquid Aqueon Plant Food fert. & Seachem Excel every other day 5cc/5g.

I got a GE $8 Plant bulb from Orchards, plug it into my regular desk lamp and turn it on for about 30 mins each morning after I add the ferts. this is in addition to the 7500K LED frmo the AQ kit which the Petco guy said was not really a plant LED even though it is more than 6500K.

how many and what species of plants
1 Cholla, driftwood covered in Marimo Ball, 6" long x 1" wide (meh, nothing much happening, but the amanos were hiding in it because it was hollow when Fred was around, now they eat off its algae.


1 Marimo Moss ball grew about 1/4" in a month.



1 Pigmy Chain Sword, Echinodorus tenellus, Narrow Leaf (have 4-5 runners and growing since 1/16/13 planted) 4" patch extending to about 6" if we are counting the runners coverage.



1 CRYPTOCORYNE WENDTII 'RED' (melted when planted and only 2 or 3 leaves left)


1 HYGROPHILA CORYMBOSA STRICTA, (started growing when I applied a Plant Light for 30 mins each morning, separated the stems and started having more new leaves)


6-8 stems of HYGROPHILA CORYMBOSA ANGUSTIFOLIA, planted into substrate (started growing when I applied a Plant Light for 30 mins each morning, replanted some stems)


2 stems of Wisteria planted and growing, 2 floating plantlets that I spilt from the planted ones.


and this is a soil based-correct??? Using Floramax about 1.25" deep undulating terrain


You are using one of the API brand test kit-correct. Yes

...what is the pH...7.4

How often are you making water changes. about 2g every other day, noticed that Amonnia has been kept around 0.25 or lower, it's the nitrites and nitrates that trigger me to do water changes.
Tank: 5g
Temp 78F
Livestock: 4 Amano, 1 golden apple snail, molting and growing.

Last edited by Otterfun; 02-07-2013 at 06:14 PM.
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Old 02-08-2013, 01:13 PM   #109 
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Otterfun-so the plant are doing good..correct....Honestly, I don't know much about LED lights-never had any and can't afford the ones rated for plants...lol....But if the plants are doing okay, growing, sending out runners and you need to trim and replant at least every 7-14 days-then the lights most likely are the color temp needed for photosynthesis. Your spikes might be due to the additives and not really ammonia per se-but the nitrogen ferts that are causing skewed results-especially if the plants are thriving-You might be over cleaning....with live plants the mulm/debris needs to be allowed to break down-otherwise the plants can't use the nutrients. If not already, I would stay on at least 10h photoperiod and if you can turn the other light on later for at least 4 hours

5150-what time of day are you testing the pH...it is not uncommon to have low pH in the AM and a higher pH in the PM. Personally, I don't worry about pH-especially in planted tanks-A lot of pH issues are related to plants and decomp and these are gradual-normal changes and don't generally cause problems for livestock, however, the more sensitive fish it can be. And since you have hard water-it should be buffered enough anyway and the pH changes shouldn't be problematic.
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Old 02-08-2013, 03:21 PM   #110 
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Otterfun-so the plant are doing good..correct....
They were not as good before the GE plant bulb was introduced mid-week this week...Now it will be "The go-to light" for my plants = D


Honestly, I don't know much about LED lights-never had any and can't afford the ones rated for plants...lol....But if the plants are doing okay, growing, sending out runners and you need to trim and replant at least every 7-14 days-then the lights most likely are the color temp needed for photosynthesis.

so do I "disconnect" the runner as replanting?

Your spikes might be due to the additives and not really ammonia per se-but the nitrogen ferts that are causing skewed results-especially if the plants are thriving-


You might be over cleaning....
I have a feeling I might have...hahaha

with live plants the mulm/debris needs to be allowed to break down-otherwise the plants can't use the nutrients.

Ok, I think I am OCD cos I sucked them up with a turkey baster as soon as I see some from the snail or amanos. I will try to "ignore them". May I know how long I need to ignore them e.g. until they disintegrate or disappear?

If not already, I would stay on at least 10h photoperiod and if you can turn the other light on later for at least 4 hours

Thanks so much, it will be a better tank when the next betta calls it home.
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