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Discussion Starter #1
I have tried to understand what my what my test kits are telling me. I have spent hours reading about PH, GH, KH, what our Greater Vancouver water supply is like etc etc. After reading all those things I thought I better go out and get a GH/KH test kit to augment my PH/Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrate kit.

I was expecting some very low readings on the GH/KH tests but much to my surprise here are the readings for the last few days:

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: barely measurable in my kit
PH: ranges from 6's in morning to 7's in evening

GH: 10 (179 ppm)
KH: 9 (161.1ppm)

The tank I'm testing is 25g. Heavily planted, using DIY CO2. Substrate is a mix of Florabase and fine grained every day aquarium gravel. I dose 2ml or so of Flourish every second day, I dose 5ml of Metricide every second day for the additional carbon source and as a preventative measure against algae. Water changes are once a week of about 20%. I use the IPU water conditioner in its recommended dosage on every change, and I add one teaspoon of aquarium salt as well. One thing I've noticed as of late, my snail population seems to have disappeared...it went from a plague to nothing.

The residents of the tank are 7 barbs, 8 neons, 2 cories, 6 oto's, and 5 Amano shrimp. Everyone seems fat and happy all the time.

I don't know what to make of my test results, should I be surpised/concerned/unconcerned about the results?

Thanks!
Ryan in Richmond
 

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What do you think caused the disappearance of the snail population ?
I too had a snail infestation for several months, and they have now almost disappeared since I started dosing with excel for algae control about 2 weeks ago. Co-incidental?
 

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Mind I ask the experts if this is overdosing?
You have a 25 gallon tank dosing 5ml every 2 days with metricide. As we all know, metricide is double concentration of excel, so we should actually be dosing half quantity. So if excel's instruction is 5ml/50gallon, on metricide, we should be dosing 2.5ml/50gallon? correct?
So if we're now working on a 25gallon tank, we should only be dosing 1.25ml/25gallon. So isn't dosing 5ml in a 25 gallon tank considered overdosing?

Please correct me if I'm wrong. Because even with what i just said, all his fish and shrimps are still thriving. So pls someone =) inspire me!
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I believe, with no way to prove or disprove, is that the metricide dosing is what eliminated the snail population. I did a 14 day regimen of overdosing over a month ago to fight off an algae problem and that is when I noticed that the snail plague was gone.

I have continued with the metricide doses to augment the DIY CO2 and to ensure that the efforts to deal with the algae weren't in vain. I know that I'm overdosing but all the fish are great, show no signs of distress or ill health.

I'm wondering if my DIY formula has something to do with the higher than expected GH and KH readings, I use a teaspoon of baking soda in the mix...

Ryan in Richmond
 

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Hey Ryan, wish I could help you furthermore with the backsoda! But I'm sure 2wheelsx2 or Neven will speak up real soon as I have no experience with baking soda.

But out of my knowledge, overdosing metricide isn't good, it's doesn't work as CO2 once it's being overdose, but hey, I'm not sure if I'm correct, I follow the books as I've always been told! =) And As long as your fish are doing great, then I'm sure you're not doing anything wrong at all!
Btw, do you dose any type of macros at all?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I had read somewhere that the dosing of Excel/Metricide was dependant on how quickly the plants could take up the compound. In a higher light dense tank it should be safe? After doing my overdose regimen I started off at the recommended dosage and increased it to where I am today...I'm not dosing anything else other than the Flourish. I keep thinking I might get into the EI stuff but so far my plants seem to do fine without and its one less thing to think of.

Here are some shots of the tank, it looks a little messy right now as I've moved plants and things around and had to do a huge trim recently. It should look a lot better when everything fills back in.











And how it looked back in January....

 

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The salt is raising your GH and the Baking Soda in your DIY mix is raising your KH. Planted aquariums also tend to store carbonates in the plants, causing an increase.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
With that in mind I should be able to do away with the teaspoon of salt in my weekly water changes and reduce the baking soda in my diy mix. I can monitor and test my GH and KH daily...should I be shooting for somewhere around 5 or so? Advice?
 

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With that in mind I should be able to do away with the teaspoon of salt in my weekly water changes and reduce the baking soda in my diy mix. I can monitor and test my GH and KH daily...should I be shooting for somewhere around 5 or so? Advice?
IT depends on the levels you are targeting. You could decrease the amount if you are interested in reducing the levels.
 
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