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 Welcome ddavis1979

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Ron
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PostSubject: Welcome ddavis1979   Sat Oct 20, 2012 1:11 pm

Welcome ddavis1979. I hope you enjoy the Forum. Look forward to hearing from you about your tanks, fish, and such. Great members here that love to help, discuss, and learn about our hobby. Hope you find us helpful, fun, and receptive.
We also have meetings which we encourage all members to participate, which are great places for swaps, auctions, chance to win door prizes, and money. We try to keep the meetings in a social type atmosphere, as well as provide good information/speakers and so on. The next meeting is Nov 11 and hope you can join us.
By the way, how did you learn about CVAS?
Ron

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ddavis1979
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PostSubject: Re: Welcome ddavis1979   Sat Oct 20, 2012 3:18 pm

Thanks for the welcome Ron. I am in Hanover County, and I look forward to participating. Sorry it took so long for me to introduce myself but I have two young kids and got pulled away for a few hours.

About 3 weeks ago I got my first "real" fish tank. a 55 gallon. I had done some reading and research and tried to get off to a good start, but did make a few mistakes. I was looking to converse with some local successful aquarium owners since you all may share some similar experiences.

I found CVAS by googling Aquarium clubs in my area.

Right now the biggest question I have.....the tap water around here has 2ppm ammonia reading due to being treated with chloramines. How do you cope with this on a routine basis?

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55 Gallon Freshwater Community Tank (semi-planted) 48"x21"x13"
20 Gallon Long Freshwater Community Tank (semi-planted) 30"x12"x13"


Watch my updated aquarium video!
http://youtu.be/5SlIkYyPTWg
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Leanback
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PostSubject: Re: Welcome ddavis1979   Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:16 pm

Welcome to the forum ddavis1979,

Nice video looks like you are off to a good start. You are going to love watching those tiger barbs mature and with a large group of ten they should stay somewhat docile well as docile as a tiger barb can get Razz

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Right now the biggest question I have.....the tap water around here has 2ppm ammonia reading due to being treated with chloramines. How do you cope with this on a routine basis?

How are you testing for ammonia?



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ddavis1979
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PostSubject: Re: Welcome ddavis1979   Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:45 pm

I have the API liquid test kit, 5ml water, 8 drops solution #1, 8 drops solution #2, wait a few minutes and compare to color chart.

I also have some test strips but i have been told they are less accurate.

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55 Gallon Freshwater Community Tank (semi-planted) 48"x21"x13"
20 Gallon Long Freshwater Community Tank (semi-planted) 30"x12"x13"


Watch my updated aquarium video!
http://youtu.be/5SlIkYyPTWg
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PostSubject: Re: Welcome ddavis1979   Sat Oct 20, 2012 5:40 pm

I too have a certain amount of ammonia in the tap water. I have not found it to alter an acclimated (cycled) tank though. Had your tank cycled before you added fish?
Great video and nice job aquascaping. I really like the stream effect.

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PostSubject: Re: Welcome ddavis1979   Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:59 pm

Thanks so much, I felt inspired. I will do a new and better video in the next few weeks.

The tank is not fully cycled, here is the ugly history.

The owner of Azalea Aquariums recommended the StartSmart Complete Product to me and to do a cycle with starter fish. So thats what I did. I was doing testing daily for 9 days and it showed 0-.25ppm ammonia for 9 days. Then I realized that I was not letting the test sit long enough, and on day 10 I had a big spike of ammonia anyway. So on day 10 I did a 25% water change, and tested the water a few hours later and it seemed the same if now worse. Day 11 I did a 50% water change and day 12 a 75% water change. The water changes seemed to be stressing the fish out worse, test results were holding steady, and I lost a few fish. I then tested the tap water and some distilled water as a control. Fresh out the tap, I was testing 2 ppm ammonia and the distilled water returned a zero value. I asked around and it turns out our water is treated with Chloramines which is a compound of ammonia and chlorine. Prime will release the bond between the two and de-chlorinate, but the ammonia still needs to be eaten by the bacteria. I also discovered a huge brain fart on my part, I had only put in 20% of the recommended dose of start smart complete. So on Day 11 I put in the full recommended amount, and now its day 14 and I am playing the waiting game.

Stupid mistake #1 - Not doign the test right.

Stupid Mistake #2 - Not adding the right amount of StartSmart.

Solution - After my last water change I tripled the amount of PRIME being used, and I will not do any more water changes until the tank is cycled.

Long term - Once the tank is cycled, I will need to make smaller water changes, more often, and double dose the prime.

Thats about it!

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55 Gallon Freshwater Community Tank (semi-planted) 48"x21"x13"
20 Gallon Long Freshwater Community Tank (semi-planted) 30"x12"x13"


Watch my updated aquarium video!
http://youtu.be/5SlIkYyPTWg
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PostSubject: Re: Welcome ddavis1979   Sat Oct 20, 2012 10:20 pm

Do you know anyone with an established tank?

If so ask to borrow some of their well established fliter media and just squeeze it right into your tank, it will cloud you up for 24 hours or so but it will start a instant cycle for you.
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PostSubject: Re: Welcome ddavis1979   Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:20 am

I second leanback's advice. ive used start right in the past 5 times, never with any measurable effect. in starting up my newest tank, it may have even had a detrimental effect.

I had done a lot of reading about the nitrogen cycle and nitrobacters, and was talking in a forum with a couple people who also had good knowledge about them and had tanks with similarities to mine (planted, soil in substrate, no filter, tank setting in window) and we asked ourselves these questions: nitrobacters are aerobic bacteria that need a constant food supply to remain alive, right? so, how long do you suppose they can live in anaerobic conditions with a limited food supply? after having answered that question, now you need to ask, how long did the bottle sit at the manufacturer before it went to the distributor? and how long did it set at the distributor before it went to the store? and how long did it sit on the shelf until you bought it? from what ive seen, theres no attempt to refrigerate the culture to slow down its biological processes (eating, breeding, producing waste, etc) and there's not even a sell by date on the bottle, i dont think. all live cultures are perishable at some point.

everyone may draw their own conclusions when presented the evidence, but we three decided that Start Right was a bit of a farce. the best case scenario that i can think of is that they put a very small culture in the bottle to begin with and hope that it hasnt outbred its container or fouled it up and died off by the time you purchase it. or worse, they havent bred enough by the time you bought it and when you pour the bottle in, you introduce more of the bacteria's food (the stuff you are trying to get rid of) than the bacteria itself. i suppose it could work if you put the nitrobacters in stasis, but to completely suspend the animation of a living organism (especially bacteria), you have to go wayyyyy below freezing.
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PostSubject: Re: Welcome ddavis1979   Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:57 am

Welcome, ddavis1979. I'm pretty new here too, I built a 55 gal freshwater planted tank 3 months ago, and not without some issues, certainly. I can tell you there's a lot of experience and expertise to draw upon here. Did my share of brain farts as well, so don't feel alone. Here's one thing I learned- if you're going to add Mopani driftwood, boil it AND soak it for a month or so first, or you'll have 55 gallons of iced tea, like I did. Also- I used the Start Smart complete as well, with some starter fish to get my tank cycled and going. I did lose some fish, and it still took a month for my tank to cycle. YMMV. Good Luck!
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PostSubject: Re: Welcome ddavis1979   Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:04 am

I dont not know anyone local that has an established aquarium.....any volunteers?

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55 Gallon Freshwater Community Tank (semi-planted) 48"x21"x13"
20 Gallon Long Freshwater Community Tank (semi-planted) 30"x12"x13"


Watch my updated aquarium video!
http://youtu.be/5SlIkYyPTWg
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PostSubject: Re: Welcome ddavis1979   Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:26 am

with no old media, no water flow, and no filters, it took my tank about a month to cycle as well. but cycling shouldnt be looked at as a completely static thing. once your tank completes its main cycle, it will need to re-balance the nitrobacters every time you add more fish or make changes to the tank. so even after the tank cycles, dont add all your new fish at once.

while the tank cycles for the first time, my favorite things to have in the tank are 4 mystery snails. they can handle the negative conditions fairly well, and as many times as ive done it, ive never seen a snail die. when the water gets bad, you will see all 4 snails at the waters surface, and they will stay there until the water gets better. the mystery snails are surface breathers, so it is natural for them to visit the top of the tank periodically, which is why i get 4. if all 4 are at the top, it is time to do a water change. the snails will go back to the bottom of the tank, often before the water change is even over Smile snails make great canaries!
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PostSubject: Re: Welcome ddavis1979   Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:22 am

Welcome aboard

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PostSubject: Re: Welcome ddavis1979   Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:21 pm

ddavis1979 - Welcome to CVAS!!!......

If I had extra media I would gladly offer it to you, but I just had to pull my extra sponge for some unexpected African Fry.... so I don't have any extra seeded filters at the moment.

Angels Plus sells seeded filters, they call them active filters. If you are interested click here.

Stay with it, you're not alone we have all experienced cycle issues, especially the first time around.

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PostSubject: Re: Welcome ddavis1979   Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:07 am

Thats a pretty sweet link for the Active Cycled filters, thanks!


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55 Gallon Freshwater Community Tank (semi-planted) 48"x21"x13"
20 Gallon Long Freshwater Community Tank (semi-planted) 30"x12"x13"


Watch my updated aquarium video!
http://youtu.be/5SlIkYyPTWg
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