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Another Question

6 years 3 months ago #33787 by mikeg2929
Replied by mikeg2929 on topic Another Question
Your rift cichlids will or are acclimated to the water. Trying to keep the parameters set to a certain hardness is a pain, will cause wide fluctuations and is expensive.

Your ammonia and nitrites are on the way to being fine, maybe even stable. What I would do is a 50% water change every day until your nitrates are at a normal level. THEN you can meaningfully monitor the changes. As far as your fish not being stressed - maybe not visibly but high nitrates do challenge the immune system. Eventually you'll have a visible problem and then you'll need to start with a regimen of meds, salts,etc. Better to get in front of it now.

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6 years 3 months ago - 6 years 3 months ago #33785 by PhilandLeeAnn
Replied by PhilandLeeAnn on topic Another Question
I wouldn't worry short-term. A lot of rift lake stuff - more on the Malawi side even than L. Tanganjika but I have good growth and spawning of a Tanganyika cichlid on this water - is pretty good with Lake MI water for survival if not breeding. There are salts for this purpose - rather expensive and constantly in need of adding with water changes and there are substrates like crushed coral. I'd get to know and talk it over with some rift heads. No rush indicated.
Last edit: 6 years 3 months ago by PhilandLeeAnn.

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6 years 3 months ago #33784 by GeriR
Replied by GeriR on topic Another Question
So now that my undergravel and Magnum filters seem to be catching up to my fish load. I'm wondering how I get ALL of the parameters correct.
Right now the Ammonia is .25ppm , down from 4+, Nitrites are 0, Nitrates are 160+ (color is off the chart) PH is 7.8, GH is 200 and KH is 100. My fish have never been stressed since I got them almost 2 weeks ago. I did lose 3 in the 1st couple of days but the rest seem healthy and happy and constantly hungry. Anyway, what's the best way to increase the GH and KH slowly so I don't cause stress? My guess is they've become used to not having a higher GH and KH over the past 20 yrs they were kept in my friend's office. Do I even need to worry over it or am I stressing out for nothing? Since I have 5-6 different sizes of fish it looks like they have bred successfully before I got them.

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6 years 3 months ago #33783 by GeriR
Replied by GeriR on topic Another Question
UPDATE: I just tested the water again. Ammonia is now .25ppm and Nitrite is still 0 I'm debating doing another water change anyway to maybe try and lower the Nitrates which I didn't test today. Looks like my system is catching up to the fish load :) I'm going to try and get some decent fish pictures today to maybe entice some members into wanting a few of the bigger fish. I am thrilled that things seem to be balancing out.

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6 years 3 months ago #33781 by GeriR
Replied by GeriR on topic Another Question
:) I actually also ordered this to go in my magnum, www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_disp...0+14727&pcatid=14727 I get delivery on Thursday and if the Ammonia level is still good I will send the bacteria back. Haven't checked it yet today. I'm not sure what you mean by lace rock but I do have some porous rock left from a order I made years ago. Some of the whiter rocks in the tank are pieces of it. Tho someone told me when it dries out, which it has, it gets crumbly. I did look at the classifieds doesn't seem to be much activity either there or on the forums. I will bring some of the rock on Sunday and see what people think before I add more to the tank. Off to test my tank and see if it needs another water change :)

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6 years 3 months ago #33780 by PhilandLeeAnn
Replied by PhilandLeeAnn on topic Another Question
Return policy: www.drsfostersmith.com/general.cfm?gid=316

One of many options: You could exchange / apply funds to filter media (not the bacteria, the stuff it would grow on) to put in your Magnum. They have both foam and ceramic rings. I generally prefer not to use foam (except the sleeve) in my magnums so cleaning is a little quicker. So how's the magnum keeping up with keeping the water clear / mechanical filtration? Adding mechanical capacity would be a compelling reason to add to or get something more than your magnum. Your videos seemed to show pretty clear water, though.

To confuse you with even more options, you could also add some (more?) lace rock to your tank - sold at stores, our swap vendors and probably in our classifieds (you might find used canister filters in our classifieds - the community seems pretty trustworthy). Various types of porous rock double as decoration and as a porous surface area for a biological medium. You may already have some in there?

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6 years 3 months ago #33779 by GeriR
Replied by GeriR on topic Another Question
Maybe you're right; I certainly have enough running my underground filter. It's been in the tank 10 years. I'm going to see what the readings are the rest of this week before I decide if I need another filter. Right now I am running my Magnum empty except for a filter sleeve because I was going to use Dr. Tims bacteria to help seed the filters. It should be here tomorrow or the next day and now I don't know if I should use it :( I'm not sure I can send it back to Dr Foster and Smith.
Isn't this too soon to move them yet again, I haven't even had them 2 weeks yet, on the off chance someone might want them? I'm not sure if they are all hybrids by now tho the bigger ones are fairly nice looking so if anyone is looking to start an African tank they'd maybe have instant breeders. They have to have been breeding in their original tank since I have probably 4-5 different sizes of fish. The biggest ones have to be 5" or a bit bigger down to 1/2 inch or smaller size. I wish I could get some good pics of them to bring to the meeting Sunday. Then if anyone was interested they could come over and get some.
I'm not rural this is Lake Michigan water in Gurnee. I think the nitrates are there because of the lack of cleaning and water changes in the last 6 months. What I am surprised at is IF my tank is cycling Ammonia, which it looks like it is, why are my Nitrites at 0? Maybe my tank is cycling better than I think. Funny thing is I have lost a total of 3 fish out of probably 100. Maybe I am worrying too much but I have their little lives in my hands and I want to try and do the best for them.

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6 years 3 months ago #33777 by mikeg2929
Replied by mikeg2929 on topic Another Question
You have one of the best filters available - an undergravel filter is highly efficient and requires little maintenance as far as bending and kneeling - and your filtration seems to have caught up to your bio load. You are probably nearly out of the woods - spending a few hundred (or more) on a filter might not be the best use of your $. Why spend a bunch of dough when the real problem is too many fish? Bag a few, or a bunch up, and bring them to a meeting. Someone will take them, and that continue you on the road to making your tank more stable.

One other thing to check is your inbound water supply. if you are in a rural / agricultural area on a well, you can have high levels of nitrates in your water supply. That's a lot harder to fix than a few water changes.

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6 years 3 months ago #33774 by GeriR
Replied by GeriR on topic Another Question
Yes had to clean it good because I knew it would be difficult later with all the rocks and wood. It's going to be a challenge vacuuming the gravel now because I have small fish as well as large ones in there. I know about the, get another tank solution, been there done that many times. I'm not even really sure a sump would fit under my tank and I don't really want to start my membership off by annoying people. Since I have lousy knees I'm beginning to think a canister filter would make more sense. But I'll wait until the meeting and get a consensus.
I'm keeping track of the water changes and the test values. I'm also wondering if the reason these fish don't seem stressed is because of where they lived before I got them. I'm wondering if I don't have fish but rather "pigs" with fins :) I should take a video of what they do as soon as they see me. They act like they haven't had a decent meal in weeks and that's 5 min after they've been fed.
I wish I had pictures of the tank a month ago; the difference is astounding. I'm not much of a writer but I may consider writing all this down once the dust settles.
Anyway, for now, I will continue to test the Ammonia and Nitrite levels daily and I'll do at least weekly water changes until I set up another filter system.

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6 years 3 months ago - 6 years 3 months ago #33771 by PhilandLeeAnn
Replied by PhilandLeeAnn on topic Another Question
Really good to hear about the break in ammonia. Did you vacuum the gravel for debris when you were reviving the tank?

Sorry for not mentioning one of our standard solutions to this kind of a problem: Get more tanks. (Somebody mentioned it, but not as the answer to the problem. But if you have too many fish, some of us would tell you it's really a problem of too few tanks.) Seriously, if you go with a sump and need help with the plumbing, add a reply to an existing thread so that those of us who have responded already will get an E-Mail notification. Most or all of us don't check for new threads every day.

Keep track of your measurements and activities. Maybe you could write an article for Cichlid Chatter on how you became a member and went from a neglected tank to a tank full of mbuna tracking progress through a potential tank crash.
Last edit: 6 years 3 months ago by PhilandLeeAnn.

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