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Go Back   Tropical Fish Forum . Net > General Aquarium Care > Water Quality and Algae

Water Quality and Algae Questions and comments about water quality.

 
 
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  #1  
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moparmutt moparmutt is offline
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Default Need a little help

About three weeks ago my fake plants and gravel were green. So I removed the decor and cleaned them and vacuumed the gravel really good. I think the main cause was not maintaining the tank like I should, because it had been a few weeks since I did anything to it. So after cleaning I thought all would be good.
So I have been vacuuming the gravel and changing the water once a week. About 10 gallons in a 55 gal. tank. I also adjusted the lights from 13hrs. to 10 hrs. the tank is in the basement and gets no direct sunlight. If I remember right it has 2 18" 20 watt bulbs. So that would be 40 watts for 55 gal. Right?
Well, now the algae is coming back. And the ammonia has been staying high. The ph is also low. Now I'm wondering if it could be the undergravel filter. I glanced under the tank with a flashlight and it looks nasty. I don't think the tank is overstocked. And we have also cut back on feeding from twice a day to once a day.
I have a notepad around somewhere that I have some readings in. I just have to find it. I do remember the nitite is been staying at 0. nitrate 40. Amonia high. Ph 6.
I'm open to any ideas. And please don't hurt me. I'm trying harder. To many things going on at one time.
  #2  
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D.Gray D.Gray is offline
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Default Re: Need a little help

To drop your ammonia you can cut back how much you feed (don't feed for two days or three days), do a 10% water change every other or every third day. Put in real plants for low light (java moss, wisteria, and others). Once your amonia levels are under control I would recommend doing 10% water changes once a week (or at least every other week).

Get a big powerhead and put it on one of your risers at full power to suck out the gunk under your filter plate and blow it back into the tank where it can be vacuumed (however some of this 'gunk' is your beneficial bacteria). once blown out you can resume using air power on your riser tube.

Or you can get a Power head with a reverse flow assembly which will aeriate under the filter plate and help feed the beneficial bacteria under the plates (these have a big foam filter that goes on the intake to keep fish and big particles out, shrimp love to clean these foam filters).

You can also put a container of live black worms in the tank, what don't get eaten will get under the filter plates and eat that 'gunk' (my local fish store sells black worms for $5.00 for a container).

you also need to test your water for ph, amonia, nitrite and nitrate to get definate readings. If your readings are withing tollerances for freshwater shrimp you can add some if the fish you have won't eat them (they are great algae eaters as well as being good at eating excess food). You could also add some snails to help eat algae and excess food.

hope this helps,
Dave

p.s. you can also check out a library book on aquariums that will give you information you desire (even if the book is 50 years old there will still be good information that is still valid)

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Default Re: Need a little help

Ammonia is less toxic to fish when the ph is low.(for now don't mess with the ph)......The 10 to 15% water changes every other day that Dave suggests will do the most good......Vacuum only the debris on the surface of the gravel.....If you feel the need to deep vacuum the gravel, then only do 25% of the area at each normal water change...(deep vacuuming disturbs the bacteria colonies) Note: adding new bacteria from another source will help things also.

Make sure the tank temp is steady between 75 to 80*f.....Too low or too high and sudden changes will damage or kill the bacteria colonies.

Getting control of the ammonia is your first priority. We will work on your algae and ph later.........Google "old tank syndrome" You may find some insight into what may be happening to your tank.
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Default Re: Need a little help

Quote:
Originally Posted by D.Gray View Post
p.s. you can also check out a library book on aquariums that will give you information you desire (even if the book is 50 years old there will still be good information that is still valid)

I've got a book. I just need to read more of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dano View Post
Make sure the tank temp is steady between 75 to 80*f.....Too low or too high and sudden changes will damage or kill the bacteria colonies.

Getting control of the ammonia is your first priority. We will work on your algae and ph later.........Google "old tank syndrome" You may find some insight into what may be happening to your tank.

I just did a light vacuum and water change.
Now, I think my heater is going out. This morning I noticed it was 87*f. I don't think it has ever been that warm. I unplugged it. I'm going to plug it back it and watch it carefully. It's a visatherm stealth heater only a few months old.
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Default Re: Need a little help

Turn the setting knob all the way down and up several times and set it to the temp you want.....They are supposed to have an "over heat protector".......................That period of heat at 87* may be the cause of the bacterial failure.
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Default Re: Need a little help

Here is the readings and what I have done this week. I did manage to drop a test tube and break it.

Mon. the 19
ph 6
ammonia 8
nitrite 0
nitrate 40 (rough guess with card printed from here on photo paper)
water change about 10%

Tues. the 20
same readings
water change 10%

Wends. the 21
ph 6
ammonia between 4 and 8 was not as dark as 8
nitrite 0
nitrate still looked like 40
water change 10%

Dano, I tried that with the heater. I don't think it worked. The temp gauge was slowing going back up. So I adjusted all the way down to 67* I believe and watching it again. The tank has been staying at good temps. But it has been getting cold around here (in N.C.) at night so I don't want them to get cold.

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  #7  
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Default Re: Need a little help

Don't allow the water temps to vary up and down in short periods of time....Set the thing at 76*f and let it run for a while....If the room temp is in a nominal range 60* to 70*f the heater shouldn't be taxed trying to keep the tank warm by running continuously.....Then again, the heater may be defective.

Keep up the water changes and don't worry about nitrate until the ammonia and nitrite drop to low levels.............Let me know how the fish appear to be doing..............When things stabilize, we will talk about under gravel filters.
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Default Re: Need a little help

Today I only checked ammonia. It's still slightly darker than 4 but not as bad as 8. So, I did another pwc.
Fish appear good. Looks like they are breathing good. I also want to say the water even looks a bit clearer, but that might just be me.

The heater is bad. After many test I called the manufacture and they told me to send it in and they will send me a new one.

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  #9  
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Default Re: Need a little help

Yesterday, I wasn't able to check the tank. I was checking on a job, currently unemployed because the company went under.

So today I was up early. Checked the ammonia only. It was 4. I was glad to see that. Before I wasn't sure to call it 8 or 4. But this time it was an honest 4. So, I did another pwc.
  #10  
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Default Re: Need a little help

Did another pwc today.

I have read some in my book. But I got on here and did some searching and found some threads that made alot of sense to me, more so than the book. I'm finally understanding how the system works converting ammonia. I have always been a hands on guy. So I have to read it a few times for it to set in.
 


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