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Old 07-26-2013, 01:23 PM   #11 
jaysee
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I think you have to just rule out one thing at a time. I'm very curious what the water leaving the filter reads.

What do you have for a filter?

Have you tried having someone else test the water? I mean with a different test kit, not that you aren't doing it right
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Old 07-26-2013, 01:57 PM   #12 
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I have an Aqueon Minibow 5 gallon, and I'm using the built-in Quietflow filter. Until the separate quietflows, the cartridge for the built-in ones lays horizontal in a tray. I've replaced it with a sponge and some filter floss, then packed more sponge along the side where the outflow is to sit right up against and under the outflow.

This is what the Minibow's filter looks like:


And this is the baffle I have on it:


Unfortunately, I don't know anyone around here in the hobby. :/ The only way to get someone else to test would be to take it to Petco and Petsmart, and I wouldn't trust their tests. Heh.
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Old 07-26-2013, 02:29 PM   #13 
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Do you shake your test kit before using it?
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Old 07-26-2013, 03:37 PM   #14 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naladari View Post
Do you shake your test kit before using it?
Only the nitrate #2 every time, but I shake the others every so often, and the inverting from all the testing I've been doing should be keeping those in solution.
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Old 07-26-2013, 04:17 PM   #15 
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I had the problem with having to shake the ammonia tests, I was getting some pretty odd readings.
Petco/Petsmart use strip testing.
Where are you from. General area?
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Old 07-26-2013, 04:32 PM   #16 
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Yeah, that's why I wouldn't go to Petco or Petsmart for water testing. I don't trust the strips.

I live in California.
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Old 07-26-2013, 06:26 PM   #17 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaysee View Post
Do you have decaying plant matter in the tank?
You know, I was thinking about that question and I remembered the IAL in there, to help with his fins. I had never heard of IAL causing ammonia spikes (pH and harness drops yes, ammonia issues, no), but I decided to check to see when that was added in case there might have been a correlation. There was nothing on the sheet about when I added it, so I did a bit of checking of dates on my email, and I received them the 18th, the second day of the spike. The first half (I broke it in half and added each half at different times) would have gone in the next day with the water change. Since that's three days after the ammonia issue started, that's unlikely to be the cause.

Bah. Another theory gone.
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Old 07-26-2013, 10:46 PM   #18 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaysee View Post
I would test the water leaving the filter to see what it reads.
Tested as soon as I got home. Ammonia still at .25ppm, nitrites at 0ppm, nitrates at 40-80ppm!!! Holy frag! I did an immediate water change. And that was after the lights had been on 4 hours, and it was 10ppm or so this morning.

What the frag is going on here?!

I know I wanted my tank low tech, but I'm thinking it won't be able to stay that way...

And I'm trying to figure out if/how I can do a different filter. I'm on a sump kick at the moment. If I can get a sump next to it, I can do both mechanical and biological filtration, and have the heater in there (though boyfish likely won't like the disappearance of his favorite hiding place).
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Old 07-27-2013, 12:19 AM   #19 
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Honestly, I just want to cry. I went for a planted tank because it's supposed to be easier and healthier to maintain than a non-planted one. Why is it doing this?!?!I can't figure it out!

It looks like the plants are pearling more, after the water change. There's something in the water that's causing them to pearl that's getting depleted... When I did two back-to-back WC before, is when I got massive pearling from them.
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Old 07-27-2013, 12:57 AM   #20 
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Originally Posted by Flyby Stardancer View Post
Honestly, I just want to cry. I went for a planted tank because it's supposed to be easier and healthier to maintain than a non-planted one. Why is it doing this?!?!I can't figure it out!

It looks like the plants are pearling more, after the water change. There's something in the water that's causing them to pearl that's getting depleted... When I did two back-to-back WC before, is when I got massive pearling from them.
I know people with plants say how much easier it is to maintain the tank, but I can't imagine a tank could be any easier to manage than my fish only tanks. Of course some of the plant people feel the same way. There are a limited number of variables to manage in a non planted tank. Adding plants adds to the variables, and just like in math, the more variables there are the more challenging the problems are.

If I were in your position, I would start pulling the plants out one species at a time. Again, all you can do is rule things out. There's a saying - when everything you've done is wrong, what's left is what's right. I think removing variables makes the tank less complicated, and easier to figure out the root of the problem. One of the lessons I learned from applied physics is to break a problem down to its simplest form and work with what you know to find a solution.

Before doing anything though, I would absolutely have the water checked by another test kit - even of its petsmart. Even if they use strips and not a liquid kit, there's only one thing you need to know and that's 0 is 0. Doesn't have to be very precise when all you want to see is nothing. Whether it reads 0.5 ppm or 1 ppm isn't really all that important - you're going to do a water change and then dose with water conditioner in either case.


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