- Thread Starter
I do, and have been testing daily as you recommended. For the past week there has been zero fluctuation in ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. All readings are zero. Zero nitrates in a planted tank makes sense as the plants should be soaking them up. PH has been consistent. If it was fluctuation within my water parameters, the other fish would be feeling the effects as well, especially the more fragile otos. The otos are doing fine, so are the shrimp.Do you have an API Master test kit? Liquid test kit for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH? You should be testing daily at this point given what's going on in the tank. My guess is the tank is releasing massive amounts of ammonia/nitrite or you pH is all over the place ,etc. May need more details on the type of topsoil you used (brand name etc) to make sure we didn't miss anything there.
The organic potting soil used is . Organic potting soil, so no chemicals/fertilizer are released into the water.
Honestly, I think this is my biggest issue aside from making the substrate too deep. Countless people have used the BDBS stuff with no issues, but I think this stuff is way too compact. It is definitely choking my substrate. I have been poking my substrate for several weeks now, everyday. I actually gassed my shrimp and killed 3 out of 17 or so. (in previous entry) Everything seems under control now regarding the H2S, but my goodness is it a pain.You used that black sand stuff. I used ecocomplete. It's a pain to plant in but it's really good in letting water circulate in the substrate. I am concerned you sand may be too compact and not let water circulate below.
I thought about Malaysian trumpet snails, as they will burrow into the substrate; however, through research I also found that they are known to attach and harm the other inhabitants. I hoping that the roots of the swords and sag sub. will spread throughout the soil and oxygenate the substrate through root oxygenation.
It has been such a rough start that I debated just starting all over again. I started this journey on some very bad advice and some miscalculated inferences; and would change a lot of things regarding the tank. If it wasn't for all the shrimp that I would have to move I think I would. The thought of corralling the plants, wood, otos, shrimp and danios and moving them to another tank seems daunting. The next couple of days I will decide if "starting over" is the best course of action. I would purchase another tank, make the necessary modifications from the original endeavor and cycle the tank. After cycling, I could transfer the inhabitants over from the old tank.
I really think that the danios had something wrong with them. If it was an issue with the water the other inhabitants would be feeling the effects.
Things I would definitely change:
- Change the depth of the substrate to the recommended depth. I tried to overthink this and it caused problems
- Definitely would not use Black Diamond Blasting Sand. The stuff is way too compact. I actually think some small areas of the soil were dry before I poked the substrate