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Old 02-11-2013, 03:41 PM   #1 
TopHatViolet
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Algae and 0ppm readings

Sad news is my betta died a few days ago. I suspect the cause of this to be from an injury he got from getting stuck in one of the decorations. (a decoration mind you he's had for over a year and never had a problem with before, although i recently had to get rid of one decoration that started peeling everywhere, that one was shelved as soon as I saw the problem with it)

So i was cleaning out his tank today to get ready for a new friend. I suspected that the nitrates might be a tad high since i had not tested them in a while (i have been stuck in bed with the flu for the last two weeks). So before i did anything I tested the water. To my surprise everything came out 0ppm. (Edit: the tank itself had been cycled for close to a year now)

I'm..not sure how the water tested like this or if it was accurate. I hadn't done a water change since i had gotten sick so I was expecting things a little higher. Not to mention the nitrate bottle #1 in my test kit seemed to be leaking a bit maybe that had something to do with it? Previously i had had a bit of trouble with the nitrates being a bit high so I had cut back on feeding a lot for my Betta.

Also my tank has had a bit of an algae problem recently too. I had bought some of those tank nibbler algae disks for a bit of a treat and i regret the day i did because I suspect that is were the algae came from seeing as the tank was free of anything like it before hand. Ive taken and scrubbed decorations and glass and it grows back just as fast as I can scrub. It's spotty and green on the glass but sort of is a dark green covering on everything else, it's especially thick growing around the spout of the filter (although as far as i can tell none is actually growing inside the filter anywhere). The water itself though is crystal clear.

I'm curious as maybe the algae has something to do with the water readings so low? Also I'm looking for any help to control the algae problem. Was pondering maybe trying to plant the tank some.

On an extra note I have several ghost shrimp in the same tank that are doing just fine. I just want to try and fix things before I get my new friend.
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:49 PM   #2 
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Plants use nitrates. I never, EVER perform water changes in my cycled planted tanks (except to the extent of vacuuming debris), because my numbers are always at 0ppm. If you had a serious algae problem, it's probably because you had an excess of nutrients (including nitrates).

If you plant the tank, especially some fast-growing stem plants or prolific mosses, your algae problem will go away on its own. The plants will use up the nutrients before the algae has a chance (if there are enough of them).
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:58 PM   #3 
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Plants use nitrates. I never, EVER perform water changes in my cycled planted tanks (except to the extent of vacuuming debris), because my numbers are always at 0ppm. If you had a serious algae problem, it's probably because you had an excess of nutrients (including nitrates).

If you plant the tank, especially some fast-growing stem plants or prolific mosses, your algae problem will go away on its own. The plants will use up the nutrients before the algae has a chance (if there are enough of them).
even if you don't do a water change watch for the TDS and rising GH + KH....
I've gone 4 months without a WC before. but NYC water is fairly low in TDS and very soft.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:53 PM   #4 
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even if you don't do a water change watch for the TDS and rising GH + KH....
I've gone 4 months without a WC before. but NYC water is fairly low in TDS and very soft.
Of course. I have Eco-Complete and petrified wood in the tank, so I watch that anyway. Taken care of when I vacuum. :)
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:09 PM   #5 
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Of course. I have Eco-Complete and petrified wood in the tank, so I watch that anyway. Taken care of when I vacuum. :)
lol, isn't vacuuming technically a water change?
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:24 PM   #6 
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lol, isn't vacuuming technically a water change?
Yes... my original post said:

Quote:
Plants use nitrates. I never, EVER perform water changes in my cycled planted tanks (except to the extent of vacuuming debris)
But I don't just let a certain percentage of the tank drain - I vacuum what I need to, and I'm done. It's usually about 10 - 15%.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:38 PM   #7 
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Originally Posted by tekkguy View Post
Plants use nitrates. I never, EVER perform water changes in my cycled planted tanks (except to the extent of vacuuming debris), because my numbers are always at 0ppm. If you had a serious algae problem, it's probably because you had an excess of nutrients (including nitrates).

If you plant the tank, especially some fast-growing stem plants or prolific mosses, your algae problem will go away on its own. The plants will use up the nutrients before the algae has a chance (if there are enough of them).
Ah Thank you. That does make sense. In a way I suppose I'm grateful to the algae then.
I think I'll redecorate the tank some and work my way into learning about and adding some live plants.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:26 PM   #8 
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Yes... my original post said:



But I don't just let a certain percentage of the tank drain - I vacuum what I need to, and I'm done. It's usually about 10 - 15%.
I see :) I never vacuum my tanks XD I leave the mulmy goodness for the plants ;3
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