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Oreganoodle's Achievements


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  1. Yes. 10 drops of #1 in, flip the tube once or twice; shake bottle #2 for 30 seconds; 10 drops of #2 in; shake tube for 1 min - wait 5 minutes then read ... every time.
  2. 3 days ago or so I was about a week out from my last water change but also had a lot going on that night so decided just to test the nitrates to decide if the water change could wait. Got a reading between 10-20 on API freshwater master, and decided I could wait a few days. Fast forward to last night - I open a new testing kit b/c my last one was running low and I wasn't sure if it had 10 drops left in each bottle. 5 ppm. I hadn't touched the water in between (not even a top-off). I thought I must be tired/doing it wrong so I tested again -- same thing. So I went to bed and then tested again today. I used both tests this time (low-and-behold I did have 10 drops in the older kit). Sure enough - the kit I've been using for awhile says between 10-20 and the new kit says 5 ppm. The are both unexpired, and both the same exact brand. I've run the 5 ppm one three times total and it always is a very clear 5 ppm. Which would you trust?
  3. The tank is 4-5 months old. Recently algae did grow on the side for the first time, but it was pretty gradual - I don't really think it would count as a bloom. I did add more carbon to the tank filter b/c I was worried about some weatherization work being done in the house and the chemicals getting in the tank. That work wrapped up about a week ago and I was planning to leave it in til this weekend even though I don't think that the chemicals from the weatherization work ended up being that bad. The only other thing that has changed is that 4 new baby fish were born - but I don't think the tank is overloaded. I have 5 full grown platys, 4 plattys that are about 2 months old, and 4 1 week old plattys. I intend to find a home for the 4 2 month old plattys shortly. Other than that I am at a loss for what has changed. Around 4 months ago is when I switched to RO water, and I keep the nitrates/ammonia down that way - generally I don't let the nitrate go about 20 ppm. However it is at 20 ppm now and I am hesitant to do a water change b/c my kh is now down to 1. When I first started with the RO water, I was waiting for crushed coral to get here in the mail (my nearest lfs is 45 min away); and I used small amounts of baking soda instead -- but ended up losing a fish to ph swings so I am very hesitant to go that route. Any other suggestions?
  4. I guess that depends what you mean by aeration. I let it sit in a large container with the lid off - occasionally kicking it as I walked by so that the air bubbles on the side bubbled up 🙂 I am thinking of that alkaline buffer as well - just hesitating b/c it isn't mentioned in that article you linked.
  5. .5 ppm ammonia 10 ppm nitrates 2 pounds of it is in a very large filter bag just below the filter in a high flow area. 4 tbsp of it is in a filter bag in the filter.
  6. The ammonia and nitrates in my tap water lead to water changes needing to be more frequent than I'd like, so I've started using RO and adding Seachem's equillibrium for gh + crushed coral for kh/ph. The KH was right around 3 and ph 7.4 - 7.6 ish. I was hoping to get the KH just a little higher - so I also doubled the amount of crushed coral in the tank (roughly 2 pounds in the tank + 4 tbsp or so in the filter). It is a 34 gallon tank - so I know I am using less crushed coral than is recommended - but I wanted to move slowly. Doubling the crushed coral had the effect of raising the ph to 8, but has not impacted the kh -- in fact the kh is now 2 (After about 3 weeks and average 10% water change/week). I'm afraid that adding more crushed coral will bring my ph above 8 -- which I don't think my platty's will love. Previous to double the crushed coral, I tried a wonder shell - but that primarily raised my GH or so it was seeming. Does anyone have any experience with Seachem's Alkaline buffer? Other thoughts on raising kh?
  7. Just an update on how it went for anyone who might be googling what to do in the future. I did a water change the night before they came, put fresh carbon in the filter, and put the carbon that had been in the filter into a higher flow area of the tank. I couldn't add extra carbon to the filter b/c all my extra room is already taken up by crushed coral and I didn't want to futz with that. I then built a structure (my kids have this tubelox building toy that was perfect) to hold a sheet over the top of the tank without it being right on top. It was probably overkill, but better safe the sorry. All the fishes were fine - they even multiplied while we were out...
  8. There is a floor in between. The fish tank is on the first floor. The attic is pretty well sealed off from the second floor, but the second floor and first floor are pretty open to each other as the whole house is heated by a wood stove on the first floor so there are openings from the first floor to the second to allow the heat to get up.
  9. It's a 34 gallon tank. The attic is pretty sealed off from the house - but they still want us out of here; which is what makes me wonder if the fish tank will be ok. I do have a room in the house that shares no air with the rest of the house, and I could move the tank in there. I'm just trying to gage if it is necessary or not. I will ask them, but the weatherization company probably won't know I am guessing.
  10. In about a month, a crew is coming to weatherize the attic, which will involve installing spray foam. We've been informed that we will have to leave the house for 72 hours while it cures. Do you think the off gassing of the spray foam in the attic will affect the fish tank on the first floor? What would you do if you had to evacuate your fish tank for 3 days?
  11. I've started using distilled water after learning that my local water had .5 ppm of ammonia in it - which even though my tank is cycled my fish did not seem to like. I've added crushed coral to the tank, but my KH is still a little low (3 drops), I've used Equillibrum to get the GH to 9 drops. What I am not sure of is if I should also be adding aquarium salt? The tank is has only platties in it. Thanks!
  12. The tank is only about a week into having fish in it, but I cycled before introduction and the tank can process 2 ppm of ammonia in 24 hours, I did a gravel clean/water change and then the fish were acting funny, so I retested and that is when I found the ammonia. The tank itself was at .25ppm at that point. The tank did take care of it pretty quickly - but the fish were definitely glass surfing and swimming funny. They seem to be ok today.
  13. so you keep crushed coral in the tank, and then add equilibrium as neccesary to supplement the crushed coral?
  14. what exactly is meant by re-mineralize, is it just gh and kh - or more than that?
  15. I didn't think it would get rid of it entirely, I did understand it to be a temporary neutralizer - but even temporarily it didn't reduce the ammonia. what are peoples thoughts on buying distilled water?
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