Monthly Update – 6/27/16

By: Kevin | June 27, 2016

I’ve essentially let the tank go the past 3 months and have only added top off water as needed. Surprisingly thing are going great.

  1. 5 gallon water change.
  2. Plant has been growing nicely.
  3. 4 Cardinal Tetras are all healthy
  4. Phosphates are through the roof however everything else is normal.

"IMG_4084 IMG_4083

Monthly Update – 3/10/16

By: Kevin | March 10, 2016

Depressing changes since last update:

  1. Tank die off, 17 Cardinals down to 4. Pelco died.
  2. pH has been creeping >7.5 so I’ve added some chemicals to bring it down. I also added a piece of drift wood. The day after adding the wood my pelco was dead so I took it back out.
  3. 15% water change, used tap water conditioner and Proper pH 6.5
  4. New filter
  5. New carbon
  6. Got a new Pelco.

Everything is near zero except Phosphates, which are through the roof! Which explains why the tank has had an algae bloom.


Got new lighting! 🙂

Weekly Update – 2/5/2016

By: Kevin | February 5, 2016

Since last post:

  1. 15% water change
  2. Vacuumed gravel
  3. New carbon
  4. New filter
  5. 17 more Cardinal Tetras, yes 17

Everything is around 0.


Weekly Update – 1/24/2016

By: Kevin | January 24, 2016

Since last update:

  1. Water top offs to account for evaporation.

Measurements have really stabilized. ph ~7.6, Ammonia ~0, Nitrite ~0, Nitrate ~0, and new for this post Phosphates which appear to be off the charts.


The water looks crystal clear. But if you look closely algae is on the rocks and all over my fake plant and the back wall.


Weekly Update – 1/4/2016 – Fluval BioMax

By: Kevin | January 4, 2016

Since last update I’ve done very little by design. I have been trying to do lots of little water changes however I don’t think that has allowed my biological filtration to find its groove. I decided to hold back on the water changes to allow my biological filtration to do its thing.

Since last update:

  1. Added 2 boxes of Fluval BioMax to my 2nd chamber in my Biocube. This brings my total biological filration to stock bioballs and 3 boxes of Fluval BioMax in chamber 2. I believe this is working. My Ammonia has remained the same if not down slightly, Nitrites have jump noticeably, Nitrates have increase slightly.


Added two boxes to increase my biological filtration.
Fluval BioMax
pH ~6.8, Ammonia ~1.0-2.0, Nitrite ~1.0-2.0, Nitrate ~10.0-20.0
The tank has cleared up considerably since last post.

Weekly Update – 12/28/2015 – Tank PH Keeps Dropping

By: Kevin | December 28, 2015

Since the last update:

  1. 20% water change – 50/50 Tap and RO water
  2. Vacuumed gravel
  3. Removed 3 large cups of tank water and replaced with RO. RO pH read > 7.5. Hoping this will bump up the pH naturally a little.



pH has dropped significantly ~6.0, Ammonia ~ 1.0-2.0, Nitrite ~0, Nitrate ~5.0-10.0
pH has dropped significantly ~6.0, Ammonia ~ 1.0-2.0, Nitrite ~0, Nitrate ~5.0-10.0



The darker blue the higher pH. A few weeks I ago I did a little pH test and the results were quit different. Tap water pH has always been much higher pH however my RO pH has jumped quit a bit.
pH difference from tank



This picture was taken 12/17/15, RO pH level is much lower (left). Tank water was also much lower than I’d like to see it.



Still not as clear as I’d like.
Still not as clear as I'd like.

Water Test – 12/23/2015

By: Kevin | December 23, 2015

Tested the water again:

  1. PH: steady ~6.5-7.0, Ammonia ~1.0, Nitrite ~0.25-0.50, Nitrate 5.0-10.0





Weekly Update – 12/21/2015

By: Kevin | December 21, 2015

Since last time:

  1. 10% water change RO/Tap split to help keep PH up some
  2. Water clouding again and looking a little slimy on water surface
  3. Ammonia still showing readings and Nitrates show readings for the first time
  4. Added Fluval biological ceramic filtration to my Bioballs and carbon.

IMG_2637A little cloudy

IMG_2638PH ~7.0, Ammonia ~0.50-1.0, Nitrate 0, Nitrate ~5-10

IMG_2640Water looks a little slimy at the top.

Weekly Update – 12/17/2015

By: Kevin | December 17, 2015

Since last post:

  1. 5 of my 6 Cardinal Tetras died!
  2. Tested water and found my PH was way too low! ~ 6.0
  3. 10% water change with tap water to try increase PH naturally
  4. I moved the remaining Goldfish to the a different tank and add 3 White Cloud Tetra’s I had.

PH Test: To compare RO water on left, tank water on right. PH is way to low!


Ammonia Test: RO on left, Ammonia showing on right. (Darker the green, higher the ammonia)

Weekly Update – 12/11/2015

By: Kevin | December 11, 2015

Changes since last post:

  1. 10% water change with RO
  2. Change carbon media
  3. Bought 6 Cardinal Tetras


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