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Newly setup 22 long planted concerns

Discussion in 'Planted Aquariums' started by Barber Mike, Apr 30, 2018.

  1. Barber Mike

    Barber Mike AC Members

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    Experienced fish keeper, but brand new to the planted scene. I set up a 22 long Mr. Aqua with ADA aquasoil, a piece of driftwood and a number of live plants. Running CO2 with inline diffuser on an Eheim 2215. My concerns lie in the fact that my tap reads 7.8 PH, but after filling the tank and letting sit an hour or so it drops to 6.0. Also, I'm reading 3-4ppm ammonia after filling, and I achieve a reading of 0-0.5 from the tap. What is causing this drop in PH and uptick in ammonia? I spent this morning draining the tank 90% and refilling but to the same effect. My chlorine conditioner is Prime. I'm also experiencing severe cloudiness which prompted the big water change. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Been looking forward to getting this going for a while now!!
     
  2. fishorama

    fishorama AC Members

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    New aqua soil will raise ammonia a lot for a couple months. Don't add fish until it's done, it won't hurt the plants unless they're very sensitive.

    CO2 will lower pH as will off gassing whatever your water co. may add to raise it to protect the pipes. If you let some tap water age for 24 hours & test, it'll likely be lower.
     
  3. Barber Mike

    Barber Mike AC Members

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    Thank you for the info on the ammonia... I've also discovered the ada aquasoil also buffers the water and lowers the ph. What should I do as far as getting from the 6.0 reading up to a healthier level for fish?
     
  4. fishorama

    fishorama AC Members

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    If it's mostly just from the co2 & whatever your water co. adds you don't need to worry a lot. I have only tried "used" aqua soil so I'm very far from expert.

    I "think" if your pH shifts lower after outgassing & testing tap & if the difference is within ~1 pH unit between that & co2 tank water it should be ok & not affect fish. (You do understand pH is logarithmic & not linear right? Look it up if not)

    Good luck...& we like pics, hint, hint
     
  5. Barber Mike

    Barber Mike AC Members

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    Thanks fishorama. I just tested ph and ammonia again. CO2 has been off since 4pm and my current readings are:

    ph: 6.6
    ammonia: 2ppm

    6.6 is a lot better than 6. I've attached a photo per your request. Do mind the cloudiness. I'm going to be quite happy once it finally clears up. Thanks for the insight, returning to work tomorrow but will be sure to be back with updates.

    have a nice nigh IMG_1863.JPG
     
  6. fishorama

    fishorama AC Members

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    Well, it certainly looks purple, lol. Your numbers seem ok to me but like I said, I don't know.

    Do you have fish or other animals in the tank now? If not, 2ppm of ammonia should safe for plants... but any ammonia will harm fish or other critters...wait to add them until 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite & water change until nitrate is 20 or less...fully cycled is what you want before adding fish etc.

    If you have animals in there, you need to be doing large water changes DAILY (50-80%) & testing too. Even 0.25 ammonia & any nitrite is harmful to them as I said before, but I can't emphasize that enough!

    Let your tap water sit out for 24 hours...& then test pH again & post it. Really, plants are much more tolerant of fluctuations than animals. You should be fine!

    What plants do you have? I can't tell...but I want to know...
     
  7. Jennifer G.

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    Ada aquasoil does leech quite a bit of ammonia, so please do not add any fish. The good news is it is helping to get your beneficial bacteria started. You can have your plants in and plant melt is normal as is the case in non ada substrate. Remove any mushy leaves and do 50% daily water changes for the first week. Don't forget to use dechlorinator as to not kill your beneficial bacteria. Week 2, do 50% water changes every other day. Week 3, 50% water change every third day. By week 4 you should be good to start your weekly maintenance. Test your parameters prior to adding fish. As for the ph, aquasoil does buffer to 6.6, and the addition of co2 should be gauged from there. On a side note, if you're using tap water as opposed to RO, your aquasoils buffering lifespan will run out much sooner as eventually it will no longer be able to remove the kh in your tap and your ph will start to climb.
     
  8. FreshyFresh

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    Mike, nice looking setup! What are the specs on the lighting you have? You may need more lighting to see the benefits of the CO2, but that depends on the plants you want to keep and the amount of fiddling you want to do in the tank.

    Do you have other tanks currently running? Can you put a seeded filter on this tank? That would happily gobble up your ammonia if the plants can't use it at this point.
     
  9. Barber Mike

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    Hey all, thank you all for your interest and willingness to help. Sorry for the delayed reply. So the cloudiness has cleared up significantly (updated picture attached). I'm going to try to address everyone's questions first so they can better troubleshoot, and then I'll have a parameter update at the bottom with a few newly researched info and concerns.

    Firstly, all can rest assured, there are zero living things aside from plants and hopefully the start of some beneficial bacteria in the tank currently.

    Plants:
    1 Heteranthera Zosterifolia tissue culture
    2 Christmas Moss golfballs
    2 Rainbow Frost
    1 Ludwigia Natans Super Red
    1 Bacopa Monnieri
    1 Alternanthera Reineckii
    2 Cryptocoryne Wendtii
    2 Micranthemum Umbrosum
    3 Dwarf Hair Grass tissue culture

    Specs:
    22 Long Mr. Aqua low iron aquarium
    36" Finnex Planted +24/7 SE light
    Eheim 2215 filter
    250 watt heater
    hydor wave maker
    5lbs co2 tank with aquatek regulator and GLA inline diffuser

    Co2 turns on at 7am, my particular lights reach a good level for co2 around 9am (according to the internet) and the co2 quits at 4pm.


    The tank is blue because of the automated 24/7 mode on the finnex light and it's night time when I'm taking the pictures and posting.

    Fishorama: I let a cup of tap water sit out for 24 hours and upon testing I still achieved the 7.6 ph. Same as right out of the tap.

    Jennifer G: Thank you for the useful information. I've considered an RO system, but I'm not in a position to take the hobby to that next level. In other words, my wife would kill me. I'm stuck with tap, and my tap is 7.6 ph. Wouldn't I want the aquasoil to quit buffering eventually so my ph can climb back to the 7 range? (I've always known that to be the sweet spot for ph, of course unless keeping a soft water fish like discus, right?)

    Freshy: Thanks for the interest. Unfortunately no tanks running for seeding bb. I started this post with the lighting and co2 schedule for ya.

    Tonights test:

    Ph 6
    ammonia between 4 and 8 ppm water change coming tomorrow
    nitrite and nitrate 0
    kh 2-3

    it's weird my tap water shows the kh test blue until the 6th drop changes the blue to yellow. my tank water remains clear until the 2nd or 3rd drop and goes clear to yellow. I also read on the forums that as long as you have a stable KH a swing in ph isnt as problematic as one may think. The only issue is mine wont be stable if it's 6 out of the tap and 2-3 in the tank right?

    Well i'm sorry for the long post everyone. Also sorry for the double post my laptop stinks and i always inadvertently hit things im not trying to - like post reply. Then i timed out on my edit time lol. Im a big mess tonight. Well heres that picture with the water cleared up. Hope you enjoy and have made it this far ha-ha.

    Goodnight everyone. Talk soon. new.JPG
     
  10. fishorama

    fishorama AC Members

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    Now I can see much better! I like the wood & I know the plants are new & will grow. But it seems kind of like everything is lined up along the walls except the hairgrass. I hope you're ok with well meant critique...something is lacking on the right side to my eye, hardscape? I know it's a work in progress...If you want the hairgrass to spread & fill into a ground cover, it helps to plant almost individual plants ~an inch apart instead of clumps. It's very tedious to do it that way but results will be better. Keep a sharp eye out for hair alga & cyano, it's prone to both IME

    BTW what is Rainbow Frost? Interesting name I don't know.

    You KH is a bit low, like mine. & mine can zero out with a far amount of plants (but I don't use co2 yet), really not good. You can add baking soda, but may need to adjust dosing as the plants grow & Aqua Soil ages, 3 is a minimum, 4 or 5ppm is better for stability. What your GH, did you say? Mine is also low, but it doesn't necessarily follow KH.
     

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