Monthly Archives: October 2009

More measurements

Hey, I’ve been working more overtime this week, so that’s my excuse. On the other hand, not much has happened in the fish tank world. I have two sets of measurements:

Saturday, October 24:
Display Tank Ammonia: 0 ppm
Quarantine Tank Nitrite: 0.1 ppm
Quarantine Tank Nitrate: 10 ppm

Friday, October 30:
Display Tank Ammonia: 0 ppm
Quarantine Tank Nitrite: 0.1 ppm
Quarantine Tank Nitrate: 15 ppm

I still haven’t seen a reading on the Ammonia, and it’s been almost two weeks, so I may need to put some more shrimp in there to kickstart things.

I’ve ordered a switch that will act as a safety for the pump, it will automatically shut off the pump if the water level gets too low. Hopefully I can get that installed by next weekend and get some pictures. I’ll also be looking into stocking the tank once I see that ammonia spike — that will include some invertibrates and maybe some macroalgae for the refugium.

The plants in the freshwater tank have made some improvement, not enough to be seen on the camera, but I can tell there’s some new growth. The fish actually seem more active too, even though they get kind of stressed out when the lights change. Hopefully I’ll see some good long-term results from the lighting schedule. Time will tell though…

Measurements from Tuesday

Sorry I haven’t updated. I’ve been working a lot of overtime this week and haven’t had much time for anything. Hopefully this weekend I’ll catch up on life, and stop by the fish store for a few things. I’ll probably update at that point too. Here’s what I have:

First, I’ve decided to put a timer on the lights in the freshwater tank. I had been leaving them on all day and even though the advice I got from the fish store said that was OK, it turns out that it will be better for the plants, and also the nocturnal stuff in the tank to have 12 hours of darkness each day. It turns out I have a lot of nocturnal stuff in there too: the neon tetras, Herbert, and (sort of) the snails.

The quarantine has had a zero ammonia rating for a while, and on Tuesday, I measured:
Nitrite: 0.2 ppm
Nitrate: 10 ppm
…which looks promising.

I measured the display tank also for ammonia:
Ammonia: 0.25 ppm
…I don’t expect to see a significant reading for a while but I’ll keep measuring it anyways, and I’ll be tracking it with the same spreadsheet I tried last time. After a couple of weeks I should be able to track the cycle pretty accurately, which is important since it’s fishless.

First Post!

This will be the first post in my new FLog format. I’ve decided to move the FLog to Blogger because editing it is easier here and I already have a Google account. I’ll also be posting everything that goes here at in order to get some questions answered quicker and because I’m sure they would like to see pictures and such. I’ll update here whenever I feel like it, which should be at least every time I take measurements of any tank. Here’s where all of my tanks stand so far:

20G Freshwater Planted Tank:
This tank is doing the best by far. I have an orange GloFish (Torpedo), 3 other zebra danios, a Paraguay tetra, 6 black neon tetras, 6 blue neon tetras, 8 ghost shrimp, an albino “bushy-nose” pleco (Herbert), at least two large (1″) Malaysian Trumpet Snails (MTS) and possibly more that are still growing, and a fry that I accidentally got with the three latest ghost shrimp. I thought it would just be lunch for someone else in the tank, but it’s starting to grow pretty large, large enough that I think it will survive. I think it’s a female guppy, but it’s kind of early to tell at this point. There is a piece of driftwood in the tank and I’m trying to get a java fern to root onto it. It’s doing pretty well but it still needs some more time. There are also some anachris, ludwigia, and wisteria plants in the tank. The fact that all of these invertibrates and this fry are doing so well speaks of the stability of the tank — it’s been going almost two years now. Here’s a picture of the setup:

Puffer Tank (10G):
The puffer tank is currently empty. I’m waiting on a figure-8 puffer to put in there, and I’m keeping the filter alive with some raw shrimp. I don’t know how long it will be until I can get a hold of a figure-8 puffer, but hopefully it will be soon.

150G Saltwater Tank:
The last run of this tank didn’t go so well. All of the fish suddenly started dying and I still don’t know exactly why. I’ve spent the last month or so starting over, and last night I finally turned on the plumbing and put some raw shrimp into the tank to start a fishless cycle! The five damsels that made it from the last setup are in a 20G quarantine tank, which has almost finished cycling itself. They are doing very well. Here are some pictures:

The display tank now has 250 lbs of rock in it. The rock is completely dead, since I had to be sure to kill whatever it was that was causing the last problem, but once that rock becomes live, it will be the filtration for this new tank. The wet-dry system is still there, but I removed the bio-balls and replaced it with rock rubble and filled the sump/refugium with more rock (it wouldn’t all fit in the display tank). The refugium is now a 20G high tank, which along with the old sump/filter system gives about 30G total volume, which is where I wanted it to begin with. Hopefully in 6 weeks I’ll have a stable enough tank, and I can put the damsels back in there along with a bunch of new fish. I’m not exactly sure what kind of fish I want but I have a pretty good idea. More pictures:

A picture of the first water put in the tank — I’m using a Reverse Osmosis/De-Ionization (RO/DI) unit to purify the water, so it took a week to fill the tank up, but there is nothing but hydrogen and oxygen in this water, 0 ppm total dissolved solids, so I thought that was worth a picture.

That’s all I got for now.