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Water change or leave it?


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I do my chemistry (the long painful way) once a week (because I am a paranoid fish rookie). My 40 Gallon has been doing great cycling wise, and I have had to REALLY work on DON'T TOUCH IT.. LEAVE IT... and I have. However, the manual algae removal and Diatom algae was getting to be a bit much because I just HATE how it looks. My plants have gone nuts in there, and I have already had to trim them and re plant the trimmings. 

Saturday I caved in and added 2 Oto's (they only had 2) and 1 Clown pleco (who I say for 5 hrs. and is hiding now). I fed them an algae wafer yesterday.

My chemistry has not changed since I did it on April 15th (I know less than a week, but wanted to check because I added fish).

Do I leave it? or should I do a water change?

PH 7.4, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0 and Nitrates 20 ppm ( I think) the colors are sometimes tough to read. 

40 Gallon breeder Chemistry April 19 2021.jpg

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Yay for waiting and letting the cycle go!! At this point, I think you could go either way. Your cycle looks like it’s doing great, especially if the parameters haven’t changed since you added fish. So I don’t think there’s a benefit to letting the water sit anymore. That said, these parameters aren’t begging for a water change either. Some people may worry that the nitrates are kind of high (I would call that 40 ppm from the picture), but other people say only ridiculously high levels of nitrates are toxic. So really, you could water change or not. Lower nitrates might help curb algae growth, so that could be an argument for a water change. But basically, do whatever you want! 😊

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@SheWhoConquers At least my PH is consistent with all my tanks "except" my 5G puffer tank which seems to be and stay at 6.8 and very little KH.. Really weird. I purchased some crushed coral from ACO in hopes I can bring it up a bit.. the KH anyway. I have a wonder shell in there but its only helps a bit. My puffer seems to be fine in those parameters, so I am leaving them alone. 

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I'm in the leave it camp as well. You are cycled and you didn't add many fish. Let the plants munch on the nitrates, test again in like 3 days and see where you are at. If they are higher, I'd do about a 25 percent water change.

Remember with plants, you want some nitrates, you just don't really want them to get higher than 40ppm. If they stay right around that range, I'd leave it alone.

The longer you let your tank go without making changes, the more stable and established your eco-system will become. It's always ok to top off the tank with water to adjust for evaporation. 

 

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Yeah, your stocking is extremely light, I doubt you will see much change in your parameters as long as you are not feeding heavy. I'd leave it alone, let the plants munch the nitrates some, and let the others eat what's in there in regards to the food you have put in already and the algae. Remember otos/snails will eat algae very well provided they are hungry. Test again like in 3 days and see where you are, if you no change, go a little longer. 40PPM nitrate is the magic number. You want to there or lower in a planted tank, if you are higher, then its water change time.  

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12 hours ago, Sandra the fish rookie said:

@SheWhoConquers At least my PH is consistent with all my tanks "except" my 5G puffer tank which seems to be and stay at 6.8 and very little KH.. Really weird. I purchased some crushed coral from ACO in hopes I can bring it up a bit.. the KH anyway. I have a wonder shell in there but its only helps a bit. My puffer seems to be fine in those parameters, so I am leaving them alone. 

That's weird that you just brought up low KH with a basically stable ph in a nano. I just recently found that I too had pretty low KH in a 10 gallon tank that's about a year old. The fish in my tank seem fine too, so I'm airing on the side of letting it go unless I see some weird PH changes.

 

Just out of curiosity, what kind of substrate are you using? My tank has ecocomplete and being located in PA, I have pretty hard water, so I knew GH wasn't going to be a problem, but KH never crossed my mind to pay attention to.

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@SheWhoConquers I have sand substrate with a ton of anubia's and Java fern attached to drift wood. Its really weird, because initially it was fine, then gradually started to drop once I started to add more plants, and the wood, it dropped. Its steady at 6.8 but I ordered coral from ACO "just in case".

Its the ONLY tank that has a low PH/KH. My KH in all the other tanks is 5 and GH is 12 right out of the tap, but stays round 4-5 in all my tanks except the 5g, GH =13 (sometimes higher) and KH =3. At one point I could not even get the KH to read at all.. as if I had NONE.. it was really strange.  I have a wonder shell, which has helped a bit.. I watch it closely. 

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