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


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Old 5th February 2006   #1
sin
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The past week i've had a recent disaster with my partner changing the water in my tank and not putting water conditioner in it which has caused my good bacteria to die, so sadly my cycled tank has become uncycled, and i've lost one axie and the rest are now living in the fridge again.

I've added some sand from a cycled tank to hopefully speed up the process but have a few questions.

1. I've got a bag of ammo chips sitting in my canister filter, is this going to affect or hinder the manner the tank is able to cycle? I've got two rotting pieces of fish in the tank and my ammonia is reading at around 0 - 0.25 (when i previously cycled with the same method i had considerably higher ammonia levels) and i was wondering whether the ammo chips are reducing the the ability for the ammonia to be converted into nitrites (i've had a couple of readings of 0 - 0.5 nitrites) but no readings of any nitrates.

2. From what i can understand, my water is very soft and my pH is rather low at 6.4, i've just added 1/2 a kilogram of crushed shells in order to hopefully raise the pH level naturally, is this the way to go about it.

3. I have some driftwood in the tank which i say has brought the pH down a little, i've been getting very little stain out of it so i don't think it's leeching badly, but once again, will the shells counteract this?

4. What effect does salt in the tank have on the ammo chips?

any help would be appreciated, i've been quite devastated at this all happening.



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Old 5th February 2006   #2
sharn
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the ammolock stuff hinders cycling, if it absorbs ammonia how are nitrite and then nitrate supposed to form? take it out

crushed shells are good, work slowly and last a long time. should get it up a bit but if that doesnt work crushed coral may be the way to go?

driftwood brings it down a bit, but normally not insanely significantly ive read, id say it might be counteracting it a bit, but probably not all that much.

not sure if salt has any effect on ammo chips, whats it in there for?

im really not sure how adding unconditioned water would kill all your bacteria completely unless you did a major water change. do you have alot of chlorine in your water? alot of people do water changes with no conditioner added, including myself a few times when i ran out of it and the shops werent open- it had no effect on my tank at all... however i could be wrong on that one!!



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Old 5th February 2006   #3
sin
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yup, it was a major water change, sadly, our water is pretty chlorinated, you can smell it when you turn on a tap, i can't bring myself to even drink it without running it through a filter first.

i'm going to rip the ammo chips out of the filter, i actually put them in there to help a little with the waste of the axies since i noticed at the time there was a rise in ammonia, and no rise in nitrites or nitrates, i thought it was just from the axies and i couldn't work out why they were all acting weird since the tank was properly cycled, until it dawned on me, chlorine kills bacteria, big enough water change and it must have wiped most of them out.

This is so frustrating.



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Old 5th February 2006   #4
sharn
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ewww! i have a ageing bucket i use and when i open the lid i can smell it but not from a tap! bummer bout the tank but it'll all be go again soon! dont stress Click the image to open in full size.



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Old 5th February 2006   #5
jarred
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sin sister, where abouts do you live in Brissie? I have never noticed a smell of chlorine in the water.



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Old 5th February 2006   #6
sin
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i wish Sharn! i lost my oldest axie which i'd gotten very sentimental about, and all the others don't look particularly well, i wish i'd pulled them out earlier when i noticed they weren't their usual selves.

I just hope that the tank can sort it's self out quickly, my partner said he'd replace the one i lost, but you know how it is.. not the same. :/



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Old 5th February 2006   #7
sin
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over in the Redlands area Jarred. I come from the country and lived mostly on tank water so chlorine is very noticable to me. Even with filtration for drinking i find it difficult to stomach.

My partner is down at the gold coast and with his tank he normally lets his water sit in a bucket overnight so that the chlorine will evaporate but unfortunately for my tank he just poured it in straight out of the tap. Where as i've always treated it and haven't had any problems.



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Old 5th February 2006   #8
jarred
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Oh wow, I didn't realise you lost an axie. Sorry for your loss.



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Old 5th February 2006   #9
edward
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The ammolock chips will not interefere with the cycling to any real degree. This product is a form of zeolite (usually a mordenite)and the pore volumes of the crystal can trap ammonia. However this typically does not last real long as the bacterial biofilm overgrows the chips and prevents them from absorbing any more ammonia (and ammonia is not the preferred binding substrate. If I remember correctly it comes after much more common ions like iron). If you rip it out of the filter, then you are removing some of the biofilm which will convert the ammonia to nitrite.

Ed



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Old 5th February 2006   #10
sin
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thanks for the info Ed, i read somewhere that salt is supposed to recharge the chips, would that be because it kills off the biofilm and allows them to absorb more ammonia?



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Old 5th February 2006   #11
edward
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The biofilm can be reduced my heavy rinsing and if the salt level is high enough it will kill the biofilm. However the salt competes for the spaces with the ammonia (this is not a irrevsiable binding) so the Na+ ions displace the NH3 and NH4+ ions allowing for the recharging.

Ed



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Old 6th February 2006   #12
sin
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ok little confused here. i've got two large rotting pieces of fish in the tank, they've been there for roughly 6 days now, i haven't had any ammonia readings since friday when it was at 0.25 and with a very minor reading of nitrite. my nitrate is at 0 but i've also got a very heavily planted tank. would i be correct in assuming that the bacteria has caught up to compensate for what was lost in the water change? I have been able to stabilise my pH at 6.6 and it's been holding. The tank stinks from the fish that's in there decaying, any suggestions on what's happening? last thing i want to do it start adding axies and have it crash again.



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Old 6th February 2006   #13
sharn
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maybe just take them out and add a pinch of flakes each day? sorry i cant help you more on the cycling part, it seems like its cycled but with that teeny bit of nitrite left id give it a couple more days to see if that drops also.. ive read that at lower ph's bacteria doesnt thrive as well so maybe upping the ph to 7-7.5 would be beneficial?



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Old 6th February 2006   #14
sin
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i haven't gotten any nitrite readings in the past few days. i think i'm just gonna keep things as they are and see if anything rises first.

question with the pH, if i up that with a pH up product, how do i keep it at that level, is it a matter of just monitering it and continuing to add more of it to the tank to keep it at the same level or is this going to upset the axies?

sorry about all the questions, i want to get this right so that they're not put in the same position again, i think i'm finding it as stressful as they are.

(Message edited by sinsister on February 06, 2006)



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Old 6th February 2006   #15
jarred
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I wouldn't bother about the pH up product Sin Sister. A pH of 6.6 may not be ideal but is still pretty good and far better than the fluctuation that would be caused by adding the pH up. Its only when it gets less than 6 do you really need to start worrying.



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Old 6th February 2006   #16
edward
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If the tank is heavily planted, this maybe skewing your results as plants will preferentially absorb and sequester ammonia as a food source over nitrate. This could be the reasonm that you are seeing little nitrite and no nitrate.

Ed



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Old 7th February 2006   #17
sin
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hmmm, maybe Ed, though while i was cycling using the same method, my ammonia was sky high even with the plants, once again, i guess it's just a matter of being patient and seeing what happens.



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Old 7th February 2006   #18
edward
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The ability of plants to sequester the ammonia may also be linked to whether the plant is actively growing. If you did this before when you first planted the tanks, the plants would have been in transplant shock and not in a actively growing state....

The other major possibility is that your test kit has become contaminated.

Ed



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Old 8th February 2006   #19
sin
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i've been starting to wonder about the test kit Ed, i'm just about at the end of a bottle and have to buy a new one any way, though the expiry on the one i do have is 2008, i guess there's only one way to find out. tell you what, things are always different in theory than in practice. Thanks for all your help Ed, you're worth your weight in gold Click the image to open in full size.



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Old 8th February 2006   #20
edward
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When you get towards the end of the bottle, there can be changes in the reagent as there is more exposure to air which depending on the reagent can oxidize the reagent giving false readings.

Ed



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