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Axolotl tank set-ups, filters, substrate Discussions on tanks, temperature, filters, gravel, lights etc.


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Old 3rd January 2015   #21
Ange
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Default Re: Frustrated With Tank Parameters

I had many tanks over 20 years ago but the water from the tap was different then, only chlorine, an unstable gas that dissolves in air, now there are chloramines & other nasties that bond to the molecules & do not dissipate, so do assume that you have these in your tap water & de-chlorinate to remove appropriately. They (the infamous they) find it good practice to keep water soft in the taps so that there is not a scale build up in the pipes so it may be a good idea to check your water hardness. A good pet shop should be able to check this for you, at least then it is something you can work on or rule out. While you are having trouble it can be useful to get those 5 in 1 test strips, they are not totally accurate but a handy quick guide while you deal with the water issues you currently have. You understand the nitrate cycle so you already have the basics which is great. If the test comes back with a water hardness issue, the next step would be to read up on the Gh - general or permanent hardness which includes salts & minerals & the Kh - carbonate or temporary hardness. Kh can directly affect the Ph so if it's swinging this could be the cause. I know the problems with a tank that will not stabilize seem frustrating but once you resolve the issues you will be so much more knowledgeable about the systems & how they interact that keeping your impressive axolotl (he is a handsome boy) will again become an enormous pleasure. Hope this helps



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Old 3rd January 2015   #22
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Default Re: Frustrated With Tank Parameters

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Originally Posted by LSuzuki View Post
Why pay for a test kit when any fish store on the same water supply can tell you for free. If it is just that you have very soft water, the buffer they sold you may be the right product for the job. What product did they sell you?
Looks like Proper pH 7.5 by API



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Old 3rd January 2015   #23
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Default Re: Frustrated With Tank Parameters

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Originally Posted by Cole Grover View Post
What types of filter media do you have in there? That's actually more important than the brand. Some filter brands (Tetra's "Whisper" is notoriously one of them) are basically useless in establishing biological filtration, because the lack any suitable medium (a plastic grid, ceramic rings, etc.). Not being terribly familiar with the current t models offered as Petsmart' s in-house brand, you'll have to check it out. I know that in the past, they essentially had a floss/carbon cartridge and that's about it. Some models then added some sort of sponge thing, that may have been useful in providing your nitrifying bacteria with a home, but the directions always said to wash it regularly (and people like to follow directions), negating any such benefit. I'd say, yes, unless you remember what's inside your filter, you should certainly check. It may not be doing the job you bought it for, and thus your current suite of problems.

Hope that helps,
Cole
I just checked. It looks like a cotton mesh/sack with some carbon in it as well as a more plastic like sponge that's black. I've never rinsed them as I read that while cycling, you're not supposed to. But when I do it needs to be in their discarded water, not the tap.



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Old 3rd January 2015   #24
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Default Re: Frustrated With Tank Parameters

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Originally Posted by Ange View Post
I had many tanks over 20 years ago but the water from the tap was different then, only chlorine, an unstable gas that dissolves in air, now there are chloramines & other nasties that bond to the molecules & do not dissipate, so do assume that you have these in your tap water & de-chlorinate to remove appropriately. They (the infamous they) find it good practice to keep water soft in the taps so that there is not a scale build up in the pipes so it may be a good idea to check your water hardness. A good pet shop should be able to check this for you, at least then it is something you can work on or rule out. While you are having trouble it can be useful to get those 5 in 1 test strips, they are not totally accurate but a handy quick guide while you deal with the water issues you currently have. You understand the nitrate cycle so you already have the basics which is great. If the test comes back with a water hardness issue, the next step would be to read up on the Gh - general or permanent hardness which includes salts & minerals & the Kh - carbonate or temporary hardness. Kh can directly affect the Ph so if it's swinging this could be the cause. I know the problems with a tank that will not stabilize seem frustrating but once you resolve the issues you will be so much more knowledgeable about the systems & how they interact that keeping your impressive axolotl (he is a handsome boy) will again become an enormous pleasure. Hope this helps
Thank you so much! I will ask the local pet store about the hardness and see if they can test for me. I remember using those test strips when I first started! I will see about finding some depending on what the pet store says.



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Old 3rd January 2015   #25
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Default Re: Frustrated With Tank Parameters

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Okay, so I tested the water overnight in a cup. Out of the tap was 7.2 and more than 12 hours later, it's still 7.2. We've removed the chemi-pure and all of the rock. Maybe the pH will rise again. I also removed as much of the debris in one cleaning as I could. Should be able to remove the rest when I change his water today.

That's really interesting about the pH slowing the cycle! The only thing left that could be messing with the pH now would be the dechlorinator. I think? So maybe I'll pour a bit of it into the cup and test the pH again tonight. But maybe the rock or the chemi-pure were the cause and it will rise back up to allow the cycle to continue normally. *crosses fingers*

Okay, so I poured in dechlorinator and 24 hours later, the pH hasn't dropped in the cup. So it's not that! Also, it's been 2 days since we pulled all of the rock and chemi-pure. His pH is back up to 6.4! Yay! Maybe in the next day or two it will be back to 6.8. I'd be a lot happier with that. It's still lower than what's coming out of the tap (7.2) but I can definitely live with 6.8 if it gets to that point again.



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