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  1. A couple of days ago I got my 55 gallon setup with Fluval Stratum and also got some "Natural Creek Stone" I got from Home Depot, thought it would be a money saver, look neat against the black background and substrate. I did rinse and clean the rocks. However, after 2 days have gone by I am noticing a sulfur smell. I've never used Fluval Stratum before but I also don't think that's where the smell is coming from. I have a feeling it is coming from the rocks. Someone had suggested I boil/bake the rocks but I do have a concern about explosions and not sure that would necessarily fix the problem--but then again I don't know. The tank is not stocked with any fish and won't be until likely after the holidays. Other concerns about the rocks, because hindsight is 20/20, is whether or not the rocks will alter the water chemistry, hardness, etc over time. I plan on doing a large school of neon tetras and possibly other fish that prefer similar water parameters. Haven't completely decided on everything. My gut instinct is to remove the rocks and find a new purpose for them, after all once plants are taking over the tank I probably won't see much of the bottom anyway. I don't know what type of rock these are other than they're natural creek stone and not cement. I guess the first question is to rule out the possibility that the Fluval Stratum would be the cause of the smell? Second is the likelihood of these rocks being an issue. I'm not opposed to removing the rocks but wouldn't mind not having to remove them either. edit: The water parameters after 24 hours after filling were: pH 6.6, GH 72 ppm, KG 36 ppm, Ammonia 1 ppm, Nitrite 0 ppm and Nitrate >0 but less than 5 ppm. I rechecked the water and nothing has changed (that I can measure).
  2. Is it normal for GH to drop by 1 degree each day in a relatively heavily planted tank...? I have Fluval Stratum Shrimp substrate but I thought it only would affect KH. Current stock is only one nerite snail but I’m hoping to get blue velvet shrimp and sparkling gourami (and potentially some pygmy corydoras depending on how stocking the former goes). I did one dose of Salty Shrimp GH/KH+ the day before yesterday and it boosted GH from 2 to 5 (KH dropped by 1). But today my GH is back down to 2... I’m more concerned about my GH since 2 is pretty low for snails/neos... My KH tends to drop slowly but I can keep it at around 6 or 7 with crushed coral. The crushed coral seems to only affect my pH and KH, unfortunately... I just ordered NilocG GH booster but wasn’t sure if needing to add that or Salty Shrimp on such a regular basis would create too much salt build up. My tap water GH is 4 and KH is 2. My tank has been running for a week and a half. It’s 10 gallons. Water parameters other than GH and KH have been stable: ph 7.4, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 5 (I reached 0 ammonia a couple days ago). I add two pinches of ground up fish food twice a day for ammonia. Thanks!
  3. So I have set up two tanks, one 10 gal and another 5gal... I used fluval stratum in both, because the goal was to have crystal shrimp, been using RO water remineralized with salty GH, so the water comes out pretty soft, with a ph of 6.6 - 6.7 and a TDS of 130, KH 0 and no nitrates or nitrites, its RO water of course... The problem comes when I add such water to the tank, its been about a week since I havent done a water change, but the ph keeps going up to 7.8 - 8 instead of dropping to 6.6 - 6.8 like it should, because thats what fluval stratum is supposed to do right?... I have also tried using a PH liquid from seachem that drops ph and it works for like 10 minutes, but then pH goes straight up again... I have no Idea what Im doing wrong and why Ph is not coming down like it should... Again, a little more than 2 months since the tanks were set up so I dont think the substrate is already exhausted, is this normal?? Oh and the water keeps getting cloudy and it just doesnt go away after so long.
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