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PostPosted: May 13th, '13, 08:07 
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Well there you go, BiF. You're poised for success. Dial the heat in to 25*C or so when the heaters gets in and I would guess that in a week or two you should start leveling out. No more than watching things grow, this is most definitely not an impatient person's sport. By the time you're ready for your 1st harvest, you should be able to start a career on the professional staring contest circuit... :thumbleft:


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PostPosted: May 14th, '13, 06:14 
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No change, so I did a 'bad thing' and I added the juice of half a lemon to bring the ph down to something readable.

it's now showing at 7.8 which makes me a little happier (it's def not a problem now) but it was foolish as I know fiddling just leads to more problems (rapid change in ph can kill bacteria etc).

I'll throw the heater in there tomorrow (it arrived at work today, it's bigger than i expected!) and dial it up a few degrees to make sure.

In other news, the gravel I got from the aquarium store came with it's own supply of snails (malaysian trumpet snails) so at least I have something to watch in the tank...

Plants are doing well considering the lack of food - they either liked the maxicrop with iron or the gunk that came with the gravel.

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PostPosted: May 14th, '13, 18:26 
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The only change this morning was the ph, back up to 8.2.

I'm guessing that's the buffering capacity of the carbonate hardness in my water? I'm suprised about the delay though... does it usually take time to buffer, or was it just a question of waiting for the water to thoroughly mix?

*twiddles thumbs waiting for bacteria to grow*

At least paint only takes days to dry!

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PostPosted: May 14th, '13, 19:49 
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It takes time for the buffer to be consumed. I once experimented with adding HCl to 5 gal of my tap water. 2 mL of HCl from a pool supplier made the pH drop from 8.0 to around 6.0 within a couple of mins. 24 hours later... the pH had settled around 7.0. Also, it does take awhile for the system to mix thoroughly.

Right now a high pH is good for nitrifying bacteria. Within a couple of months, you'll be fighting to keep your pH up. When I add my pH 8.0 tap water to my system (which normally runs in the low 6s) it doesn't take long for my system pH to return to pH ~6.4. Right now I use hydrated lime (CaOH2) to raise my pH to around pH 6.6-6.8. I just ordered some Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) so that I can raise my system pH while supplementing Potassium and Calcium.


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PostPosted: May 14th, '13, 20:13 
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Thanks for the advice! That's exactly the behaviour I'm seeing - an initial drop followed be a more proctracted settling to somewhere in the middle.

I know I shouldn't be messing with my ph; I need to learn to sit on my hands and not fiddle! :oops:

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PostPosted: May 15th, '13, 00:10 
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RupertofOZ wrote:
the nitrospira are inhibited by ammonia....

So they wont begin converting the nitrites... until the ammonia is gone... or you stop adding it..... prolonging the nitrite spike....


Just thought I'd add a bit of info to back this up:

Quote:


That's 0.7ppm Free ammonia, where the percentage of total ammonia making up free amonia varies with temperature and ph.

So with my high ph (I'd say it was at least 8.3), moderate temperatures (19C) and fairly high total ammonia (at least 0.25ppm) I'm running pretty high free ammonia - maybe not 0.7ppm but high enough to be considered toxic by the BYAP ammonia toxicity chart.

Now consider what would have happened each time I dosed the ammonia to 10x that - certainly enough to inhibit NOB, if not outright kill them. :(

Not so sure about heating the tank now... it can help, but only if the total ammonia is low enough!

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PostPosted: May 15th, '13, 00:46 
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Still researching...

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At my levels, the threshold of 0.04-0.08mg Free ammonia per litre would be reached with only 0.4-0.8ppm total ammonia.

Since my ammonia is currently in the 0.25-0.5ppm range it's very likely having a detrimental effect.

All that said though... this article says it's not a problem!

Who to belive? :dontknow:

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PostPosted: May 15th, '13, 01:16 
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You had problems leaving bandages on over cuts as a child didn't you BiF... ;)


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PostPosted: May 15th, '13, 02:40 
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BoredomIsFailure wrote:
I need to learn to sit on my hands and not fiddle! :oops:


Much harder to do when you first get the AP bug. Once you experience what patience can do for your system, you'll be able to "sit on your hands and not fiddle" with much greater ease.


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PostPosted: May 15th, '13, 12:55 
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BoredomIsFailure wrote:
No change, so I did a 'bad thing' and I added the juice of half a lemon to bring the ph down to something readable.

it's now showing at 7.8 which makes me a little happier (it's def not a problem now) but it was foolish as I know fiddling just leads to more problems (rapid change in ph can kill bacteria etc).

...as does Citric acid... it's one of the most effective anti-bacterial agents out there!... that's why it's widely used in hospitals these days.

Plus I'd just about guarantee your pH is now back up to where it was before adding the lemon juice.

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PostPosted: May 15th, '13, 14:37 
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Mr Damage wrote:
Plus I'd just about guarantee your pH is now back up to where it was before adding the lemon juice.


Yup, so it was both potentially damaging and pointless! typical. :(

Smelt nice though! :lol:

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PostPosted: May 16th, '13, 17:02 
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Heater's gone in, seems the max setting is around 23C:
Attachment:
File comment: Upped the temp to 23.
tank_temps2.png
tank_temps2.png [ 122.3 KiB | Viewed 1906 times ]

I've been checking the nitrite but if it is dropping, it's not dropping fast enough to be discernable on the testing kits.

My plan is to not touch it until the weekend then check the nitrites and nitrates and hopefully I'll see them going in the right direction.

PH is back up to very high, but ammonia's showing 0 (or near as damn it) so I'm not concerned.

Wish me luck!

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PostPosted: May 18th, '13, 00:15 
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Fishbits wrote:
Well there you go, BiF. You're poised for success. Dial the heat in to 25*C or so when the heaters gets in and I would guess that in a week or two you should start leveling out. No more than watching things grow, this is most definitely not an impatient person's sport. By the time you're ready for your 1st harvest, you should be able to start a career on the professional staring contest circuit... :thumbleft:


Looks like you were right Fishbits, with the temp up at 23 and no ammonia, it's been just a few days and I'm starting to see lots of nitrates. Things are definitley going in the right direction! Nitrites are still off the chart (at least 20ppm, the picture is of nitrites diluted 10 times), but it's taking much longer to saturate to that colour than it did. I think the tital of the thread should have been nitrites at 50 or 100ppm!
Attachment:
File comment: Going in the right direction!
photo 3 small.jpg
photo 3 small.jpg [ 71.14 KiB | Viewed 1885 times ]

I'll give it a week before adding fish - unless I get home tonight and nitrites read zero ;-)

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PostPosted: May 18th, '13, 04:41 
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I skimmed through the past posts and didn't see anything about how your beds are filled. You could go constant flood if you're not already to help drop your nitrite level a little faster. That and it will help your bacteria colony to grow more.


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PostPosted: May 18th, '13, 05:39 
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Poke too soon - checked again tonight and the nitrates are back down. Yesterday's must have been a dodgy reading :(

Thanks for the tip Zeknix, I was considering constant flood - have made the change :) will wait and see!

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