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Halibut

Low pH, Low DKH, High Nitrates, can I survive?

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After couple of years break, which is due to unhappy incident of electric shortcurt which caused my critters to die, I've just started my 4g pico tank. 

Here are some details, 

I set the tank up with dry rock of 1,5kgs 1month ago

use RO water

Dropped a dead chiclid in the tank, 

Never seen a ammonia, nitride spike, and then suddenly saw nitrates around 10ppm

4 days ago, with pressure of my kid, went to a LFS and got some zoas and conches. 

 

After introduction of the zoas (I havent acclimated them, but did not before and survived in the past) and critters I did not pick up the dead fish till today. 

my water parameters like

SG : 1,026

pH : 7,9 (hope it's correct)

dKH : 7

Nitrates: 30-50 ppm

no nitrides or ammonia, 

temp : 23,6C or 74,5F

Lid open, trying to agitate some surface oxygen. 

 

So, my Zoas are not opening except the day one. 

Conches are not happy, but alive. 

 

any one have a recommendation?

 

 

WhatsApp Image 2019-01-02 at 23.21.35.jpeg

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If you just took out the dead fish you probably have high ammonia and nitrites.  Also sometimes zoas take a few days to settle in.  Check ammonia and nitrite levels and do a big water change (should always wait till ammonia and nitrites are 0 before adding livestock, and do a large water change to reduce nitrates).

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The picture doesn't look like dry rock, it has coralline on it. 

 

Very odd to have 0 ammonia with a dead fish in the tank. What test kit are you using?

 

The conches aren't happy because it's a new tank and they shouldn't be in there for

 

1. Too small a tank to provide the necessary food they will need

2. Too new of tank with nothing for them to eat

3.  high nitrates.

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@Lula_MaeIt is 0 ammonia and nitride in the tank. And large water change has been done as well

@Clown79

The coralline on the rock is not actually on the rock. I have collected some small fractures of rock with coralline on it from LFS and spread it on the tank. 

You might be right about the test kit, so I ordered another test kit just to confirm if it is really zero. 

 

My pH seems to settle on 7.8 despite my water changes. Whenever I do water change it rises to 7,9 - 8,0 and then falls back to 7.8

 

So do you believe it's not the nitrate nor pH,dkH but possible ammonia? 

 

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13 minutes ago, Halibut said:

@Lula_MaeIt is 0 ammonia and nitride in the tank. And large water change has been done as well

@Clown79

The coralline on the rock is not actually on the rock. I have collected some small fractures of rock with coralline on it from LFS and spread it on the tank. 

You might be right about the test kit, so I ordered another test kit just to confirm if it is really zero. 

 

My pH seems to settle on 7.8 despite my water changes. Whenever I do water change it rises to 7,9 - 8,0 and then falls back to 7.8

 

So do you believe it's not the nitrate nor pH,dkH but possible ammonia? 

 

I don't test ph anymore. If my alk is good, my ph should be too 

 

Ph fluctuates all day long and is effected by photosynthesis. 

 

 

I believe if there is ammonia, definitely a cause and nitrates too.

 

Unfortunately, that size tank and the newness of it isn't appropriate for conches.

 

 

What kit you used for ammonia, definitely will determine its accuracy

 

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Ammonia test kit is from JBL. I hope my new one comes soon... 

 

What would be your recommendation as an action plan?

I have cleaned the filter media, which was filthy enough to cause problems.  I will check nitrates today again. 

 

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20 minutes ago, Halibut said:

Ammonia test kit is from JBL. I hope my new one comes soon... 

 

What would be your recommendation as an action plan?

I have cleaned the filter media, which was filthy enough to cause problems.  I will check nitrates today again. 

 

I didn't know they even had test kits.

 

 

What media are you using?

 

Until you know if there is ammonia or not, I'd test the nitrate and go from there. Feed food sparingly so there is something for the conches.

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I dont have a skimmer, 

I have sponge, ceramic rings, some more rocks...

 

do you have something in your mind which conches might prefer as per food? some omnivore flakes maybe? 

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GUYS,

 

It revealed that my Ammonia test of JBL has expired, therefore not resulting properly. 

The new Tetra ammonia test shows at least 3 ppm Ammonia is present. 

 

I have taken out all creatures in newly prepared water, they are all sitting in a jar. 

I've cleaned up my media, 

 

Any suggestion from now on? @Clown79

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Update; 

 

I removed all the creatures in the tank and transffered in the jar and then to the LFS.  They will be keeping eye on them till my tank stabilizes with the water chemistry. 

Meanwhile added biodigest. 

How long should I wait? Shall I do any WC? 

 

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3 minutes ago, Halibut said:

Update; 

 

I removed all the creatures in the tank and transffered in the jar and then to the LFS.  They will be keeping eye on them till my tank stabilizes with the water chemistry. 

Meanwhile added biodigest. 

How long should I wait? Shall I do any WC? 

 

Let it cycle. No waterchanges during this time if there is no livestock in there.

 

Your ammonia needs to be 0 and stay at 0 before anything is added.

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1 hour ago, Halibut said:

Update; 

 

I removed all the creatures in the tank and transffered in the jar and then to the LFS.  They will be keeping eye on them till my tank stabilizes with the water chemistry. 

Meanwhile added biodigest. 

How long should I wait? Shall I do any WC? 

 

Good on you for doing the right thing for the livestock.  As clown says, just let the tank cycle.  You want ammonia and nitrites at 0 and staying there before adding anything.

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On 1/3/2019 at 12:58 AM, Halibut said:

@Lula_MaeIt is 0 ammonia and nitride in the tank. And large water change has been done as well

@Clown79

The coralline on the rock is not actually on the rock. I have collected some small fractures of rock with coralline on it from LFS and spread it on the tank. 

You might be right about the test kit, so I ordered another test kit just to confirm if it is really zero. 

 

My pH seems to settle on 7.8 despite my water changes. Whenever I do water change it rises to 7,9 - 8,0 and then falls back to 7.8

 

So do you believe it's not the nitrate nor pH,dkH but possible ammonia? 

 

my pH is is 7.73 right now...

 

doesn't matter... effects nothing 😛

 

It bounces around all day

 

image.thumb.png.109798342c73360250100b29b1dcdd79.png

 

 

Glad you figured out the problem... no worries you can test and do it right now.

 

Go slow, your tank is small, conches may not survive long term, perhaps the LFS will let you trade them for a different snail when you finish cycling. A big snail like that dying in a small tank can be a problem too.  

 

Plan for little fish and little snails. I highly recommend green banded gobies when your tank is ready. They are tiny but have HUGE personalities, they will be "in your face" type fish hopping around and begging for food, out and active. 

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Thanks @Clown79,@Lula_Mae, @Tamberav. I am glad that at least there is a diagnosis of the problem. I believe I have not much to do then waiting. I wish there is a method to fasten the cycling, although system waited for a month and a week with dead cichlid inside...

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52 minutes ago, Halibut said:

Thanks @Clown79,@Lula_Mae, @Tamberav. I am glad that at least there is a diagnosis of the problem. I believe I have not much to do then waiting. I wish there is a method to fasten the cycling, although system waited for a month and a week with dead cichlid inside...

You could add biospira to help.

 

For fastest cycle- using liverock is the way to go and if its cured, it usually has no cycle.

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3 hours ago, Halibut said:

Thanks @Clown79,@Lula_Mae, @Tamberav. I am glad that at least there is a diagnosis of the problem. I believe I have not much to do then waiting. I wish there is a method to fasten the cycling, although system waited for a month and a week with dead cichlid inside...

 

My dry rock took took longer than 4 weeks.. I think at least 6? I didn't add any bottled bacteria though. 

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4 hours ago, Tamberav said:

 

My dry rock took took longer than 4 weeks.. I think at least 6? I didn't add any bottled bacteria though. 

Same here. My 10g was cycled with dry rock and 1 small piece of LR, took 6 weeks.

 

My 15g was started with liverock, took 7 days.

 

My 5.5g took 2 weeks, 50/50

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Update : 

I see a diatom blossom despite the ammonia levels are at 5 mg/l. I used to have the diatom after the cycle, it is interesting to see such a thing. 

 

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Gentlemen, 

 

I have seen the ammonia spike down at 0. I do not have nitrite kit, but the nitrates are out of the sky. (test shows over 100mg/l, I would say at least 200mg/l as despite 50% WC the color did a slightly change)

I know that due dead fish I initially left in the tank has been decomposed and when I try to pick it went apart and distributed in the tank. 

So I assume the nitrates are coming out of this leftovers.  

Also I did a biodigest 

 

I plan on doing a 90% WC ,with some siphoning. 

 

Or shall I wait if the anaerobic bacterias to handle it to a certain balance (which might take another month maybe?) 

 

 

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Do 100% waterchange and definitely siphon any left over decomposing fish and even the sand.

 

Nitrates won't reduce on their own, you need to export them

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