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Please help me turn this around!!!

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by remy56, Dec 13, 2008.

  1. remy56

    remy56 Junior Poster

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    We had a storm the night before last here in the Northeast. I noticed at 5:10 AM yesterday that my power was off, possibly for 1-2 hours from what neighbors estimate. Electricity did not come back until about noon.

    At 5:30 I had removed the filter media (eheim 2213, 55 gal, 2 T12s, no CO2) and placed it in plastic bags. At about 12:30 I replaced 3/4 of the white fiber with fresh and just ran aquarium water through the rest of the media. I now have little confidence that much of the bacteria survived. I was hoping what was in the tank would be ok.

    Although the tank was clear when I last saw it at noon today, by the time I got home tonight at 5:30 it was cloudy. I turned off the lights and tested the pH, which read 6.8, it usually runs 7.2 - 7.4. It's 7.4 out of the tap. The ammonia
    showed an almost imperceptable yellow tinge. I did not feed the fish today but did last night.

    Usually I lurk more than participate on this forum so as not to be redundant. I find I can learn a lot from others' threads. This time I need direct advice as soon as possible to help me through this. I know some of it is my fault and some is circumstance - which probably just exacerbated what I've been doing wrong.

    Would adding a bacteria suspension help or are they usless?

    What about WCs given the present pH and the tap water pH?

    Thanks for any help!
     
  2. aquabillpers

    aquabillpers Lifetime Charter Member
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    I'm sorry for your weather problems. From what I've read, it must be awful up there.

    I think you are moving in the right direction. Keep the tank as clean as possible and keep doing partial water changes until the bacteria grow back.

    I don't think you need to buy a starter culture of bacteria. You already have it.

    Longer term, think about adding more growing plants and let them take care of the ammonia. You might have to upgrade your lighting some.

    Good luck! Spring is on the way.

    Bill
     
  3. remy56

    remy56 Junior Poster

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    Thanks for answering, Bill.
    I did a small WC yesterday and the day before. The cloudiness has gone away but my pH continues to go down. It is lower than I can measure now and continues to be 7.4 out of the tap.
    My crypts are melting . The fish are showing no signs of distress. I guess I'll do another small WC tonight before the lights go out. I know enough not to change the pH too quickly. My water has no buffering capacity - the kh is practically nonexistent. Should I do something to remedy this at this point? I'm nore concerned now about the pH bottoming out than I was about the cloudy water!
    Thanks for any suggestions.
    Also, It's 8:12 EST. I have to figure out how to correct my listed time.
     
  4. aquabillpers

    aquabillpers Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi,

    Crypts often "melt" when they encounter significant environmental changes. They usually recover. Just remove the dead leaves.

    The pH is dropping because of the rotting dead stuff in the aquarium. Increasing the KH will stop that. Add some baking powder. Do it in stages. (Some say that low pH is not a problem.)

    Keep at it!

    Bill
     
  5. remy56

    remy56 Junior Poster

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    Hi,

    I have been told not to worry about low KH but I was concerned about low PH - especially since it's gone down so far so fast. The consolation at this point is that the fish seem much less concerned about the situation than I am.

    I have been removing as much dead debris as possible.

    Can you give me more precise advice on how much baking soda ( soda, not powder, right?) to use and how often? I'm concerned about adding too much too quickly or erring on the side of caution.

    Thanks! - especially for being encouraging!
     
  6. remy56

    remy56 Junior Poster

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    Hi, I've got a way to calculate the baking soda amount and timing. I'll let you know how things go!
     
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