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Changed substrate, dealing with ammonia/nitrite

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Benealing, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. Benealing

    Benealing Junior Poster

    Joined:
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    Local Time:
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    Hi everyone,


    I have a 20H. I changed from aquarium gravel to blasting sand. I hated the look of the gravel and wanted something easier to root in for my plants.


    My tank has:


    4 Danio


    4 Platy


    20 cherry shrimp


    10 amano shrimp


    3 nerite snails


    It is heavily planted. It has 2 HOB filters (a whisper 20 and an AC70). I dose EI and inject CO2.


    My kH is 7, my gH is 9, temp 75, TDS 330. pH before CO2 turns on is 7.6, after CO2 is on it runs around 6.4. Nitrates are at 20ppm.


    I changed the substrate on Wednesday night. I added back about 5 gallons of the old tank water, the rest was TDS matched new water. All hardscape was put back into the tank as well as all the plants. I added 1 small bottle of tetra safe start 24 hours later. On Thursday evening I had 0.25ppm ammonia and neg nitrite. On Friday morning my ammonia was up to 0.5ppm and nitrite neg. I added another medium bottle of TSS just to be sure if the first one failed. This morning, I have 0.5ppm (possibly approaching 1ppm) of ammonia and a slight change in nitrIte. Not quite purple yet, but not the normal negative color.


    My fauna doesn't seem to care right now. I have not used any ammonia detoxifiers or ammonia binders per the TSS instructions. I do have Purigen both my filters.


    My questions are:


    1) Is there anything I can/need to do about this?


    2) How long can I expect this to last?


    3) What level of ammonia and nitrite should I intervene?


    Thanks,


    Ben
     
  2. Benealing

    Benealing Junior Poster

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    Anyone have any advice? I have now added 3 bottles of TSS+ over the past 5 days and my ammonia looks like it is now approaching 2ppm.
     
  3. DaculaWeather

    Local Time:
    8:36 AM
    The tank is going to have to cycle. Did you put all of the fish back in?
     
  4. DaculaWeather

    Local Time:
    8:36 AM
    The Purigen should help to keep the levels from getting too high, I use Purigen as well and I rarely even check my ammonia/nitrates/nitrites any more.
     
  5. BraveBuc

    BraveBuc Junior Poster

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    Did you let the filter media in the hobs dry out or something? Or, was your previous and now new substrate capping something else like dirt?


    Something seems off so I'm thinking either the bacteria in your hobs died or a big mess was left in the water column after the change. Since you went from inert to inert, doesn't seem like it should have been real messy? There should be more BB in the hobs than on your old substrate. I've started several tanks with old filter media with no need for a new cycle.
     
  6. Benealing

    Benealing Junior Poster

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    All the livestock was placed back in the tank after the change.


    The filters were kept running in the rubbermaid bin, so no drying out. There was a lot of debris that got stirred up in the change so maybe the mess caused it? I have decided to do 1-2 25% water changes daily until the ammonia goes away. I am matching the TDS so as not to shock the livestock. We will see how it goes. Definitely not a fan of TSS now though.
     
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