irmuddled's fish journal

very very fishy…

Water testing!

So I realized my order from arrived since Monday when I got an e-mail asking me if it arrived yet, so I go to my mailbox and there it is. I get to test the waters to see if that’s caused the water problems. Result = I dunno…

GH: 10

So my GH is really high but apparently you’re safe if you have it at around 3-12! KH seems normal and phosphates… are high to some. Supposedly you’re supposed to have less than 1ppm, but people with planted tanks have recommended to have them higher. It’s a debate. Phosphates pretty much tell you the purity of the water. Rex-grigg says you’re supposed to have them at 1-2ppm… so I’m almost there.

Assuming the phosphates is the problem, then I’d just need to try not to overfeed the fish. Also, I remembered that I haven’t changed the activated carbon in my tank for over a month! I’m thinking that’s probably it! So I took extra time this morning and completely switched it before I went to work. After I get from work I’m going to do another water change.

In better news… I’m feeling pretty confident in my water so I did place an order with Florida Guppies Plus for 25 cardinals and a pair of Wild German Blue Rams. 🙂 Luis is shipping out on Monday and I should get my fish on Wednesday. Yay!

German Blue Ram

Cardinal Tetras

Cardinal Tetras


Filed under: 55G Tank Log, , , ,

Nitrates are sky high…

Well, here’s the first update with any real issues. For the last two weeks my fish started to die, and I wasn’t sure why because I was very understocked and I’ve been pretty anal about what I do with the tank. Up till this week it ocurred to me to check the nitrates since I’ve been fertilizing with KN03 (potassium nitrate)… I didn’t bother before because I dosed exactly what chuck’s aquarium calculator said using a mini scale so I thought it would be safe. 10.75 grams three times a week.

My surprise… the nitrates were at 60ppm! BAH. They’re supposed to be at 20ppm. It was tuesday – water change day – so I took out and replaced 50% of the water, and yesterday before dosing dry ferts I check the nitrates again. Still pretty high at 40ppm. I did some browsing and apparently those nitrates are harmless to fish… but so far I’ve lost 2 red platies and 4 sterbai cories. 😦

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Filed under: 55G Tank Log, , , , , ,

About the Author

My name's Maria, and I live at San Diego, CA. Hablo español! When I'm not writing 100 paragraphs about my fish's swimming patterns, I work at a popular chain pet store's corporate offices being a robot. I also go to college, studying web design but I'm reconsidering my major into marine biology. I wonder why?

Tank Specs

Capacity: 55 US gallons (48", 12", 21")
Lighting: Coralife Aqualight @ 2.4 wpg
CO2: GLA Primo Pressurized CO2 System
Filtration: Marineland Emperor 400b HOB
Substrate: Caribsea Eco-Complete
Dry Ferts: CSM+B, KN03, KH2P04, K2S04