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Found 4 results

  1. Hi all, I've recently upgraded a few things in my 2ft (20 US gal) planted tank to get it towards the "high tech" end of the spectrum. It's running 2x24W T5HO bulbs at 6500K and 10000K along with pressurized CO2 on a solenoid running at about 1.5bps (for the moment) and is filtered by an Eheim 2215 with an inline CO2 reactor. Prior to adding the CO2 I was adding API CO2 booster (excel equivalent) and micro-nutrients, then gave Seachem's NPK a go, though dosing fairly conservatively and dealing with a lot of thread algae during that time. It currently houses 13 rummy-nose tetras, 2 black phantom tetras and 2 juvenile SAEs (smaller than the tetras) as well as 2 riffle shrimp and 15-25 Neocaridina shrimp at a guess. Moderately planted with Blyxa, dwarf hairgrass, a few crypts (wendtii, balanase, parva), Hygrophila difformis, stargrass, pygmy chain swords, and another stem plant species that I can't recall the name of. Since adding the CO2, growth has increased dramatically in the stem plants, but I am still battling with the algae. So much so that I had to severely cut back most of plants to remove the majority of the algae-infested leaves. Ideally I would like to use the Estimated Index for dosing but with Seachem's NPK that will become a money pit unto itself... and sourcing the dry ferts seems rather difficult here, especially KNO3. Regardless, my questions are more about the nutrient balance in a planted aquarium. Quite a few products that are sold as "complete" plant fertilisers specifically state that they are nitrogen and phosphate free, containing mostly potassium, magnesium, sulfur and calcium, and claim that sufficient N and P produced through feeding and fish waste. Is this likely to actually be the case in a high light system? My understanding is that ammonia is the primary driver for most algaes, at least in the spore stage and that plants are more likely to utilise N and P than algae, provided that other parameters are reasonably good for plant growth. Given the relatively high bioload, is it likely that the algae is benefiting from the immediate form of fish waste (ammonia) and then the plants will be struggling to find enough available N and P, hence I would need to supplement them directly with nitrogen? I haven't seen many obvious signs of deficiencies in the plants themselves, just an excess of algae on some leaves and an increase in green spot algae on the glass. Is that also a sign of there not being enough P in the system? If I dose according to Seachem's calculations and ideal nutrient levels I'll be using 100mL of each in under 2 months... but would providing less NPK than recommended contribute more available nutrients to the algae than the plants? Thanks for your feedback - I'm also interested in anyone else's experience with nutrient dosing and higher tech tanks... problems, solutions, stories, etc. Cheers, Piet
  2. Is there any secrets to getting my nitrogen level down in a marine tank ? I Have done many water changes the last was 2 days ago 3/4 water change.It is Still sky high , I have live rock,crushed coral in a 3 ft tank sump system,feed is very minimal no waste, no decomposing fish this thing has me beat. Any advice is gonna be apreciated.
  3. Filled my new tank on Friday. Placed a stocking with gravel from my cycled tank in the new tank. Swapped a media tray and filter pad from my mature system canister filter to the new tanks canister filter. I have been feeding the tank daily with flake food to provide a food source for the bacteria. Will what I have done shorten the Nitrogen Cycle process? How long should it take to cycle the tank? Tank is 700 x 700 x 600 Cheers Grant
  4. Every aquarium hobbyist should understand the fundamentals of the nitrogen cycle (sometimes called “new tank syndrome”) before entering into the exciting hobby of aquarium keeping. Knowing this cycle will enable both the beginner and the long-term hobbyist to better understand what is going on inside the artificial environment he/she has created and, in turn, provide a successful and more positive experience. Important note: When setting up an aquarium for the first time, it is advisable to stock very few fish---only one or two danios, minnows, sm. Goldfish or damsels per 10-20 gallons. Feed lightly, and use a biological boosting product to help build up beneficial bacteria. Keeping a low level of fish stock for the first 4-6 weeks will decrease fish loss and increase your level of success. Test kits are an invaluable tool so don’t be afraid to use them. Nitrification: Nitrification is the process by which toxic ammonia (NH3) and non-toxic ammonium (NH4+) are converted into nitrites (NO2-/toxic) and then nitrates (NO3-/non-toxic in low levels). Ammonia & Ammonium: The first stage of the nitrogen cycle, in aquarium water, begins when proteins break down into ammonia. Proteins are found in fish wastes, uneaten food, and other decaying organic matter (detritus from plants or dead fish). The conversion or decomposition of these materials begins the necessary and natural cycle of the home aquarium. However, if left unchecked, this cycle can be one of the most detrimental. Ammonia is easily and rapidly dissolved in water and can quickly cause a variety of problems. Ammonia is readily found in a pH level over 7.0 (neutral) and increases as the water’s pH and temperature increases. Ammonia produces low levels of ammonium, a relatively non-toxic chemical. Ammonium is predominantly present in lower pH environments (6.9 or less) and doesn’t carry the multitude of problems associated with the more toxic, ammonia. However, it should still be kept in check. Due to high salinity levels, ammonia is 30% less toxic in salt water. Ammonia contributes to a large number of physiological problems in fish and invertebrates. Some of these are: 1) The reduction of hemoglobin’s ability to carry oxygen to the blood. 2)An increase in respiration activity contributing to more ammonia buildup. 3) The irritation of gills caused by the deterioration of the mucus layer. This leads to swelling and in some cases the formation of new cells on the lamellae (known as hyperplasia). This further impairs the up take of oxygen. High levels of ammonia can also lead to the sloughing off of the mucus membrane on both the skin and the intestines creating lesions or external bleeding and internal bleeding of the organs. The brain and central nervous system can also be permanently damaged. Stress related illnesses accompany high levels of ammonia and poor water quality. If left unchecked, such conditions can prove fatal to your fish population. Nitrites The second stage of the nitrogen cycle is the conversion of ammonia to nitrites through the aerobic activity (oxygen dependant) of the Nitrosomonas bacteria. Nitrites are less toxic than ammonia but should never be over looked. Fish and invertebrates can experience several devastating side effects from nitrite exposure. High nitrite conditions impede the blood’s ability to carry oxygen by oxidizing the iron into methaemoglobin. Methaemoglobin can’t carry oxygen in the blood and this in turn may cause the blood and gills to turn brown and/or lead to eventual death. This process also breaks down red blood cells and very high levels may cause nitrite poisoning, an almost always fatal condition. The conversion of nitrites into nitrates is the third and last step in the nitrogen cycle. This is accomplished by the oxidization of nitrites by Nitrobatcer bacteria and the conversion of more dangerous nitrites into less harmful nitrates. While nitrates are less harmful than nitrites (most fish seem to be able to withstand much higher levels of nitrates), they are still of concern especially for marine aquarium hobbyists. This fact is important if you have invertebrate species in your tank, i.e. Discus, Geophagus sp., some dwarf and African cichlid varieties found in the Great Lakes. These species seem to be particularly sensitive to high levels of nitrates and can thus suffer from stress induced illnesses. High nitrate levels can also have damaging effects on the fry and eggs of most species. In addition, the presence of nitrates can lead to stunted growth and stress related illness. Almost all aquarium problems stem from poor water quality and by performing water changes the trouble can be reduced significantly. Problem solver To be successful with your home aquarium, it is important to regularly test both the tank and replacement water for ammonia, nitrites & nitrates. As stated in the introduction, new tanks need to move through the nitrogen cycle for about 4-6 weeks, after which time the appropriate balance can be maintained by a regular water changing regimen. As often as possible (every other week or at least once a month) 10-30% of the water should be changed. Along with changing the water, clean and/or replace filter cartridges, and vacuum substrates to remove accumulated detritus (organic waste buildup). Remember, if your incoming tap water is high in any of the above compounds then it will be necessary to use RO (reverse osmosis), deionized, or other clean water sources. You can also use various types of removing agents along with skimmers and denitrators. However, nothing beats regular maintenance and close monitoring of your aquatic environment
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