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awgraham's Achievements


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  1. I followed Cory’s advice of adding an air stone inside my hang on back filter, so I assume I should be good. Thanks for the confirm.
  2. I don't have any chlorine tests. I'm going to chalk this up to my not adding Water Conditioner and will go back to doing so in the future, regardless of what type of water I'm using. I'm assuming there is no harm in using it, even if I don't need it.
  3. Yes, I have this (which is the values in the second column of my measurements table).
  4. @gjcarew Thanks. Not beating myself up, just wanting to figure out and learn from my mistake if I made one. Dumb Q - how do I test for chlorine? My screenshot above shows what I can test for - pH, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, GH, KH. Oh, I guess I bought a phosphate test too, when I started this thread. Do I need to buy a specific test for chlorine?
  5. @gjcarew @Mmiller2001 OK, maybe I figured it out and maybe it was a dumb mistake on my part. I started using RO water maybe 4 weeks ago or so. I have not been adding API water conditioner to the RO water, because I thought that putting the water through the RO process would remove anything harmful. Is that my mistake? Screenshot of recent measurements below:
  6. @gjcarew Was not aware. Thanks. @Mmiller2001 It's possible that losing about a quarter of my lifestock in one night is just random, but seems likely there was a cause. All my measurements are the same as the past. We did lose power about a week ago and my hang on back filter needed to be re-started. I cleaned it for the first time in many months (used tap water to clean the plastic elements, only used tank water to clean the sponge and media). That's the only thing unusual lately that I can think of. Maybe just random, but trying to learn if I made a mistake that caused this. Your guess is it was just random...bad luck?
  7. @nabokovfan87 Thanks for the replies. Did a 50% water change yesterday (about 7.5 gallons for my 15-16 gallon tank, whereas I usually do 5 gallons for close to 33% change). Only thing different about yesterday's change that I can think of: 1) Bigger - 50% change instead of 33% 2) Been cold here lately and when I put the new water in the tank, my tank temp was about 71-72, under my recent ave of 76. Today it's back to 76 because of the heater. Woke up this morning to see that I lost 3 fish overnight: my honey gourami, my Molly (which I hoped to give to someone else, but didn't find anyone to take) and one of my furcata rainbows. Now I'm trying to figure out if it was the water temp or the bigger than usual water change. My nitrates before the change were around 10-20ppm. I added 8 pumps of Easy Green after the change. Today the nitrates look like 40+ (which is what it has looked like each week after I change water and add Easy Green). Thoughts/theories? Thanks!
  8. Updates - things seems to be going well. Since the last post.... Parameter are steady Have added some new plants: Red jungle val and micro-sword (as suggested by @nabokovfan87) Bacoba (not sure which variety) Want to add the hygrophile polysperma suggested by @Mmiller2001 but trying to keep costs down while I'm between jobs and trying not to spend too much money on this hobby. Haven't added yet. Posting pics of tank and new growth I'm seeing below. Overall, seems to be going well. One question - I've been adding 8 pumps of Easy Green after weekly water changes (I've been doing changing about 5 gallons out, which is about 33% of the tank). After adding the 8 pumps, I'm at about 40 ppm of nitrate. And when I check throughout the week, it doesn't seem to be dropping. But my plants are growing and I'm not seeing any algae... Q1 - Should I cut down on my Easy Green dosing? Q2 - If I stay at 8 pumps and my nitrates are at 40 ppm, am I risking harming my fish? Q3 - I'm just now using only RO water. @Pepere had suggested using Seachem Equilibrium to add calcium and magnesium. If I start doing this, how much do I use and does this impact how much Easy Green I dose? If I start doing this, what changes do I expect to see? Any changes in measurements I'm taking? Q4 - I added java moss (tied to the shrimp cave in front left) a few weeks ago. It has been brown since, but seems to be coming around with tips starting to turn green. Think I just need to watch it patiently, but let me know if any other recs or concerns. Thanks, all.
  9. @Mmiller2001 when I Google search for Hygrophila Polysperma I see an Etsy link. I’m not finding this in the places I have bought plants. Should I be looking for a different name? Or can you link to a suggested source?
  10. Hello again, fish people. Providing some updates and asking more Qs. Since I last posted, I have (in accordance with suggestions provided in this thread): Bought and started using a Reverse Osmosis filter for all my water Removed my most impacted plants and gave them the Jurjis treatment (several days in bucket with Flourish Excel) and then returned them to the tank Removed one of large rocks to reduce hardscape in the middle of the tank where most of the light is focused Removed a lot of the hornwort that was browning Dropped the temperature to ~76 and started using point and shoot forehead thermometer for measurements Bought liquid tests for GH and KH Will post an updated pic and latest measurements below. BBA seems mostly gone as far as I can see (fingers crossed). Now it seems mostly I just wait and watch the tank closely, hoping to see new plant growth and no new algae. Some questions: Would it be a good idea to add some more plants now? If so, watched Cory's video on top 10 plants for beginners and was thinking to buy two of those recs (Bacopa caroliniana and Dwarf sagataria "Easiest carpet plant"). Are there any of my measurements that are concerning? For KH and GH, are my current measurements good? It seems in general, that if things are working well, after I dose Easy Green in my tank, if I check 2-3 days later, my nitrates should have dropped, right? Any way to estimate how much they should have dropped? If they haven't dropped, does this mean my plants are not processing the Easy Green as intended? As always, thanks for all the feedback!
  11. @nabokovfan87 Yes, I do indeed have that dial on top. Checked and it appears to be set to about 79, although as noted I'm about about 81 right now. Should I adjust down 2-3 degrees to get to around 78?
  12. Heater doesn't tell temp. It's the "twist until the light comes on" type (Aquatop HTG Glass Heater with Guard - 50 watt).
  13. Again, thanks for all the responses, encouragement and suggestions. More temperature data... I used my ThermoPop2 instant read thermometer, which I use and trust for cooking, which gave me a reading of 81. Side by side with my TDS & EC meter at the same time, it reads 76.4. I also used a point and shoot thermometer and it's reading was very close to the thermopop - 81.1 Meanwhile, my sticker thermometer on the outside of the tank reads 79. Did not expect such a wide range. I believe that the key here is consistency over time, but if my true current temp is currently 81, seems like I am likely too high. If so, how do I decide the right temp for my tank. By the way, very very happy and appreciative of all the answers people are providing, but if there are any trusted resources I should be reading, rather than just lazily asking all of you, please point me to those, so I can research there first before asking. Today I'm going to start the Jurijs method as recommended by @nabokovfan87. Fingers crossed. Also, thanks for pointing me to the Mark's Shrimp Tank YouTube channel. Watched one vid. Plenty more I need to watch and learn from.
  14. Update and more Qs.... I have done several more water changes. Also, I bought a small RO system from my local aquarium shop (Aquatic Life RO Buddie for 100 GPD). Also, re-checked my tank volume math and turns out my tank is closer to 16 gallons, not 18. So a 50% water change for me should about 7.5 gallons or less, considering hardscape, substrate, etc. Today I removed some of the browning hornwort, I did a ~50% water change, replacing with only RO water. After that my PPM was 116 and my nitrates were around 10, so I added 10 pumps of Easy Green. I have bought some java moss that I wrapped around my shrimp cave in preparation for adding some amano shrimp at some point. More questions: 1) As I am going these changes and observing my plants, what am I looking for? New growth? I will continue to prune away leaves that are covered with algae. What else am I looking for? What are good signs? 2) I know shrimp need consistent parameters. What specifically should I be looking for before I feel ready to add them to the tank? Other than hiding places and moss, anything else I should do to prep for them? What number of shrimp would you recommend adding? 3) Should 50% weekly water change be my new normal? I assume from this point forward I should just use RO water when refiling the tank. Is there anything I need to be adding to the RO water? 4) Editing to add one more Q. My thermometer sticker on the outside of my tank reads 76. But just for the first time noticed my TDS meter reads temp and it says just a but under 73. Are the sticker thermometers known for being untrustworthy? Is there is inexpensive solution that is more reliable? Thanks again to all for taking the time to read my posts and offer advice.
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