08-22-2013, 09:18 AM
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Advice for two aquariums - Nitrates, pH, food
I've got a couple of fish tanks that I could use some advice regarding. The fish in Tank 1 used to be in Tank 2 until they started breeding and needed some extra room. I used gravel and water from Tank 2 to start Tank 1 a few weeks ago. I'll give the relevant statistics up front. Tank 1 55 gal bowfront 2 Whisper 40i filters Community 1 Orange Cichlid 5 Kenyi Cichlids (a few are juvenile) 1 Synodontis Catfish (6") 1 Rhino Pleco (7"; if he gets much larger I will give him back to the pet store I got him from. They said I could switch him out for a juvenile) Feed New Life Spectrum Cichlid Formula 1mm pellets API Floating Cichlid pellets Tetra Veggie Algae Wafers Xtreme Turnip greens (I used to give cucumbers but they barely ate any of it. They hammer the turnip greens like you wouldn't believe) Stats Temp: 78 F pH: 7.8 Ammo: 0 Nitrites: 0 Nitrates: 40 ppm (Iím desperately trying to get it down but I need help) KH: 160 ppm GH: 215 ppm Tank 2 36 gal bowfront Marineland Penguin 200 filter Community 4 Dalmatian Mollies (plus three tiny fry I managed to save and put in a breeder) 6 Red Minor Tetras 1 Clown Pleco (1") 3 Kenyi Cichlids (juveniles who were too small to catch; I'll take them out when they're larger) Feed Omega One Super Color flakes I used to put vegetables in there but they never ate them, except for what may have been the occasional nibble from the pleco. I'm looking for another good feed for them since I like to feed multiple types of food for variety and health. I also tried the Algae Wafers from above, but they were not eaten.
Stats Temp: 77 PH: 7.8 Ammo: 0 Nitrites: 0 Nitrates: 40 ppm KH: 125 ppm GH: 215 ppm Questions/Summary: 1. How do I get the pH of Tank 2 down, and how low should it be? I've used an entire bottle of pH Down to no effect. Also, I've heard cichlids should be at 8.2 pH. Is 7.8 close enough or do I need to spend more money on chemicals getting it up there? 2. My nitrates seem to be out of control. Iíve done several 50+% water changes in the last two weeks with almost no effect. I've got live plants in Tank 2 and I've heard they can help. Every time I've tried live plants with the cichlids they constantly dig them up and/or eat them. 3. I need a recommendation for some other type of food to feed Tank 2. Perhaps a 1mm pellet of some kind? I tried some goldfish pellets (probably 2mm) I had lying around and the fish attacked them but they wouldn't fit into their mouths. 4. Is there an easy way to catch fish in an aquarium? I spent an hour getting the cichlids out of that tank, and I still ended up leaving some in there. 4. Other than that, any comments or suggestions in general would be welcome.