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Need To Buy A New Tank - Need Recommendations

Author Topic: Need to buy a new tank - need recommendations  (Read 5851 times)

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Online Nan

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Re: Need to buy a new tank - need recommendations
« Reply #50 on: May 11, 2019, 05:45:00 PM »
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Thanks, to Amazon it is! (It's a three mile walk each way to the aquarium shop and my arthritis is killing me, so mail-order it is!)

Curiously, I just retested the water after the  15 litre water change, to try to see how much of a difference it made. I only looked at the ammonia and the nitrites. The ammonia has dropped to between 0 and .25, and the nitrite is still .... purple. Seriously, they all look the same to me. Nice to know that in case of an ammonia spike that a less-than-major water change would make that much difference!

I'm about to take the gunky filter pad out of the Whisper filter and put the Whisper back in the little tank with a new filter as I don't like just having the one Eheim filter in there with so many fish in such a small place. I'll put the gunky pad in the big tank and hopefully if some of the bacteria didn't defect overnight while I had it in the big tank in the filter, they will now.

Thanks for all your help, Sue.

Offline Sue

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Re: Need to buy a new tank - need recommendations
« Reply #51 on: May 11, 2019, 06:36:44 PM »
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The filter bacteria don't move from one medium to another. As they multiply, the new ones creep into the new media. These bacteria multiply very slowly, doubling in something like 24 to 36 hours. It takes weeks for old media to seed new media, and the old must stay in the new filter for at least 6 weeks. And if there is the same or less ammonia to feed the bacteria their numbers will remain the same or decline rather than growing more of them.

Online Nan

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Re: Need to buy a new tank - need recommendations
« Reply #52 on: May 11, 2019, 06:41:57 PM »
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Ah. So I should probably put at least part of it in the filter itself. The Whisper uses a sort of floss pocket that one puts carbon inside. So I should be able to cut the floss off in a square shape and add it to the new BioFlow filter.

I was rather hoping the microbes would just float free and get sucked up into the new filter to establish. The filter pad is pretty gunky. Do you think rinsing it in the new tank would free up some of the microbes to be sucked into the new filter pads and, hopefully, get stuck there? Or is that a lost cause?

Offline Sue

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Re: Need to buy a new tank - need recommendations
« Reply #53 on: May 11, 2019, 06:52:08 PM »
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A lot of people do say that the gunk can seed a new filter but others say it is rubbish. The gunk is mainly fish poo, uneaten food etc so it will contain bacteria and other micro-organisms that break those down, which the tank also needs. The gunk is broken down to ammonia which the filter bacteria then turn into nitrate via nitrite. This is why the gunk is referred to as a nitrate factory and should be washed out of a mature filter on a regular basis.

The best thing to do is put a dirty cartridge pocket into the new filter, first in the direction of water flow so that any loose micro-organisms get washed into the new media. The more beneficial 'bugs' that get into the new tank, the better.

Online Nan

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Re: Need to buy a new tank - need recommendations
« Reply #54 on: May 11, 2019, 09:11:31 PM »
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Sounds like a plan!

Offline jaypeecee

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Re: Need to buy a new tank - need recommendations
« Reply #55 on: May 12, 2019, 10:45:45 AM »
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The water is German 0.94. the CaCo3 is 16.85.

Hi Nan,

Welcome to Old Blighty!

This looks like an interesting thread but I have only had a few minutes to cast my eye over it. However, your statement above jumped out at me. That is very soft water indeed. Normally, a KH/Carbonate Hardness/Alkalinity figure would be a minimum of, say, 4dH. And General Hardness (GH) would be largely determined by the fish being kept. Perhaps Sue has said elsewhere but such soft water is very prone to pH crashes. Basically, the pH would not be stable. And at pH6 or below, nitrifying bacteria struggle to survive.

I'll try to return to this thread later today.

JPC

Online Nan

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Re: Need to buy a new tank - need recommendations
« Reply #56 on: May 12, 2019, 11:25:29 AM »
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Hi JPC.

Thanks for mentioning that, as I don't think we'd discussed it.  I'll be testing the tank later today, and if there's no change I'll try some bicarb to try to bring it up a bit.  I do have aquarium "up" that I bought a year ago for the other tank (and then never used) if that would be better. (?)

Offline Sue

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Re: Need to buy a new tank - need recommendations
« Reply #57 on: May 12, 2019, 11:32:01 AM »
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I have KH 3 deg, which is higher than Nan's. But I have found that weekly water changes of at least 50% keeps my pH stable. Many years ago when I was lazy about water changes, I did have a pH crash!

I have suggested artificially boosting KH with bicarbonate of soda during cycling, and suggested dolomite to raise GH and KH once there are fish in the tank. Chunks of dolomite rock could be used as decor. Crushed dolomite or dolomite sand does not seem to be available (since the tank is untended for cories, these should be used in the filter if any can be sourced). Shells, coral or limestone can be used but these are all calcium carbonate. Dolomite is better because it is calcium magnesium carbonate.
The other alternative would be to use remineralisation salts of the kind added to RO water. But only enough to raise GH and KH slightly. The downside to doing this is that all new water at water changes must be treated with exactly the same amount of remin salts before it goes into the tank.


Chemicals that adjust pH are not usually a good idea. they contain all sorts of chemicals, some of which we don't want. Eg a lot contain phosphate.

Online Nan

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Re: Need to buy a new tank - need recommendations
« Reply #58 on: May 12, 2019, 11:33:55 AM »
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Hmmm. I'll try to source some dolomite then. Is it something they might have at a pet store? Would this do, do you think? In a little bag in the filter?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Aquarium-Tanganyika-Decoration-Substrate-Tropical/dp/B07C8NF85F/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_10?keywords=dolomite+aquarium&qid=1557657379&s=gateway&sr=8-10-fkmrnull

Offline Sue

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Re: Need to buy a new tank - need recommendations
« Reply #59 on: May 12, 2019, 11:47:51 AM »
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They don't say what it is, it could be crushed coral. With cories in the tank you could not use it as the substrate as it is too coarse. It would need to be in a bag in the filter. A couple of 15 ml spoonfuls would be plenty.

Also it is white which is not a good colour as fish have evolved over dark substrates so white is very unnatural for them (Do the Rift Lakes have white floors? I know the water chemistry is unlike any other fresh water so the bottom of the lakes might be unusual as well)

Online Nan

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Re: Need to buy a new tank - need recommendations
« Reply #60 on: May 12, 2019, 02:14:58 PM »
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Yeah, no way I'd put it in the tank in the substrate as we went through hell to FIND a good black substrate. For the purpose of it being black.  ;)

I ordered a little sample bag for a couple of pounds and will see what shows up.

Online Nan

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Re: Need to buy a new tank - need recommendations
« Reply #61 on: May 12, 2019, 02:42:21 PM »
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Woo! Just did the daily test. Twice, to be sure.
Ph at 6.
Ammonia between zero and .25.
Nitrite between 2 and 5 (I think. Again, the colors are so similar....)
Nitrate is most definitely now between 10 and 20.
We are not stalled, hooray!

I'm still going to add a little dolomite anyway, because of the stability issues. When I find it.

Offline Sue

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Re: Need to buy a new tank - need recommendations
« Reply #62 on: May 12, 2019, 02:53:39 PM »
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It would probably be easier to find a lump of dolomite and use that as a rock in the tank. For example dolomite (the examples that are just dolomite, nothing else)


Yes, things do seem to be moving at last.

Online Nan

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Re: Need to buy a new tank - need recommendations
« Reply #63 on: May 12, 2019, 03:01:27 PM »
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Cool. I'll have my daughter get me some off Ebay then, as she has an account there.

I wonder if it was time, adding the nasty fish filter, or the 1/3 water change that kind of nudged things along?

Offline Sue

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Re: Need to buy a new tank - need recommendations
« Reply #64 on: May 12, 2019, 03:24:18 PM »
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Probably all three.
The nasty pad would have contained bacteria
Extra time for those bacteria to multiply (they can double thir numbers in 24 to 36 hours)
The water change would have removed some ammonia & nitrite, but also added some KH. Not much, admittedly but it would have helped. The filter bacteria also need inorganic carbon to grow, and inorganic carbon is just carbonate and bicarbonate.

Online Nan

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Re: Need to buy a new tank - need recommendations
« Reply #65 on: May 12, 2019, 03:37:17 PM »
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Hmmm. I wonder if I should give it another partial water change today?

Also, I checked on that "Up" product on my shelf. It is Sodium Carbonate. (Not BiCarb, like baking soda.) Since I'm going to be pretty much cycling out all the water that's in the tank now by smaller water changes before the corys go in, I wonder if adding one ml of it to the tank might be helpful to the nitrite>nitrate bacteria?

Or I probably should just leave well enough alone, and change out some water, and wait.

I have to say, the plants are growing dramatically, as are the extras I put in the little tank. The corys don't seem to know what to do with the grass-like stuff.  ;D

Offline Sue

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Re: Need to buy a new tank - need recommendations
« Reply #66 on: May 12, 2019, 03:44:06 PM »
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If sodium carbonate is the only ingredient, you can use it during cycling. But the sodium will make it unlike the water your fish come from (cories and any other soft water fish) so I wouldn't use it once you have fish.

The common name for sodium carbonate is washing soda  :o

Online Nan

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Re: Need to buy a new tank - need recommendations
« Reply #67 on: May 12, 2019, 03:47:59 PM »
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Yes, that's the only ingredient listed. (And yep, washing soda. My mom used to have it in the laundry. Along with lye. Which I never quite understood the need for. But, whatever, that was over a half-century ago!)

Yeah, the water that is in there now is not what the babies are going to go into. I just want to get the filtration set up and working well and then go back to conditioned tap water for them. With the dolomite in there for the minerals and stuff. Once the dolomite gets here, which could be a week or two.

Offline Sue

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Re: Need to buy a new tank - need recommendations
« Reply #68 on: May 12, 2019, 03:50:47 PM »
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Washing soda is also good to use on drains  ;D

Offline jaypeecee

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Re: Need to buy a new tank - need recommendations
« Reply #69 on: May 13, 2019, 12:41:05 PM »
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Bicarb cannot be used when there are fish in the tank because of the soda part - sodium. There are no soft water fish which have evolved to cope with a lot of sodium in the water.

I have used sodium bicarbonate on many occasions to increase KH in a tank occupied by German Blue Rams (GBRs) - both juveniles and adults. At one stage, I had no less than 40 healthy GBRs in this tank when I had a pH crash. Adding the correct dose of sodium bicarbonate to nudge the KH to around the 4.0 mark did the job. All the fish were/still are absolutely fine. GBRs are soft water fish.

As an additional observation, I use Tropic Marin Re-Mineral Tropic (RMT) to remineralize RO water, which I use in my tanks. RMT contains sodium and, I suspect, it's the bicarbonate form.

JPC

Online Nan

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Re: Need to buy a new tank - need recommendations
« Reply #70 on: May 13, 2019, 12:49:14 PM »
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Good to know!

Oh, big surprise for me here this morning. Was sitting next to the tank, drinking my coffee, when I noticed something moving in there under its own power. It seems there is an incredibly tiny cory in there - must have been an egg in the filter, or a larvae in the filter, when I added the janky old filter to the tank and then pulled the  filter medium out in the water!  So, something is alive in there besides the plants!  "Rambo" seems to be doing fine, rooting in the fine black sand up under the plants.

I did a 1/3 tank water change, as I'd added enough "Up" yesterday to get the tank to register a change in Ph on the test scale. This morning it was back down to 6.0, the ammonia seems a bit lower (hard to tell) but not yet zero, and there is definitely more nitrate in the tank. The nitrite remains, of course, purple and I can't tell the difference between the three of the purple colors on the card.  ::)  Since Rambo is in there now I'll be changing a bit of the water every day until this weekend, and then will chance a couple more slightly older cory babies in it. (With Amquel in the water to neutralize the ammonia, etc.)

Online Nan

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Re: Need to buy a new tank - need recommendations
« Reply #71 on: May 14, 2019, 11:09:02 AM »
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And I should not have washed out the gunk into the big tank from the Whisper filter, it seems. The little tank has had an ammonia/nitrite spike that killed some of the baby corys. All emergency protocols have been taken, and the remainder of the babies have been moved to the big tank after an 80% big-tank water change and conditioning.

One of them doesn't look good, but could possibly pull through. I thought for sure he was a goner, as he was already turning white, but he wedged in a spot where the water from the filter was running over him well and has perked up. He definitely has gill damage, though, so there's no telling. It could just be a matter of time until he slips away.  One of the other corys is staying near him. (The poor little thing!  :(   ) The others are already rooting in the sand and look like they've lived there forever. Will be testing the water twice a day and doing a partial water change daily, just to keep things fresh, for a while. I have several litres and a five gallon bucket of water aging.

Once the little tank is stable again and I'm sure they are all ok, and when I'm sure the big tank is also stable, I'll switch some of the babies out for their parents - babies back to small tank, parents into the big tank, one at a time, over several days. The last thing I want is another crash on my hands, with dead corys.

That was so sad to find this morning! I have been doing partial water changes in the little tank every day, but I guess the bioload was just too high for the tank given using only the Eheim sponge filter for a while, instead of the Eheim and the Whisper together. (The only thing that has changed is that I put quite a bit of the floating plants from the big tank into the smaller one. Probably not actually associated with the problem, and only a coincidence.  It's probably the filter thing.)

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