Having trouble getting started - Page 2
Tropical Fish

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources » Freshwater Fish and Aquariums » Beginner Freshwater Aquarium » Having trouble getting started

Having trouble getting started

This is a discussion on Having trouble getting started within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by mikejp67 Byron, Thank you for the reply. Funny you just replied about the hardness as I just tested the hardness in ...

Check out these freshwater fish profiles
Black Ruby Barb
Black Ruby Barb
Colombian Tetra
Colombian Tetra
Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools vBmenu Seperating Image Search this Thread vBmenu Seperating Image
Having trouble getting started
Old 03-31-2012, 04:21 PM   #11
 
Byron's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikejp67 View Post
Byron, Thank you for the reply.
Funny you just replied about the hardness as I just tested the hardness in the tank. I used an API test kit and GH + KH are so low. The color turned after 3 drops of test solution. Looks like idea for Discus but we aint going there for a few yrs lol. I have a water softener in the house and i live in New England..Mass to be exact so we have naturally soft water to begin with.
I just read to use dolomite to increase hardness, is that correct?

As far as chemicals, I use Prime, API clarifier, API salt for freshwater,and I've used API stress coat as well.
On the last point first, you don't need Prime and StressCoat together, both are water conditioners. In a new tank I would suggest Prime; once it is used up you can switch to the API StressCoat at water changes so it is not wasted. [This assumes there is no ammonia, nitrite or nitrate in your source (tap) water, as Prime detoxifies these but SC does not.]

Don't use the API clarifier or the salt. Both are stressful on fish. Won't get into all that, but it has been covered many times in previous threads.

To the hardness. How does your water softener work? Some replace Ca and Mg ions with Na [sodium] ions and this is even worse because it doubles the TDS (total dissolved solids) not to mention the sodium (salt) issues. Can you get the GH and KH of the tap water pre-softener?

Byron.
Byron is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Byron For This Useful Post:
mikejp67 (04-01-2012)
Old 04-01-2012, 07:07 AM   #12
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by redchigh View Post
I use crushed dolomite limestone (sold for gardening), but there are other ways.

Can you test water from an outside spigot? Curious to see what your water is before it hits the softener.
I tested the water at the spigot, its slightly harder but not by much.

Depending on how you look at it, Im cursed and blessed at the same time with such soft water.
mikejp67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2012, 07:23 AM   #13
 
Update

OK, I went to a aquarium which has been around here for decades. Its a big place and is not your typical pet shop by no means.
I happen to hit the mother load...at least I think so. I asked this older gentleman for a lil assistance and he was the founder of the place. He use to be a cancer reseacher at MIT. He breeds most of his fish he sells. He started asking questions and i was trying to answer them. My wife and I got a complete lesson in chemistry along with freshwater aquariums.
His recomendations:
Sea salt to increase the hardness
PH down to lower the ph as the salt will drive it up.
Send my Rena filter to the curb and get a Eniem (sp?)
The tank has not cycled at all nor has it even started and recomended Easy Start.
No water changes for a month unless the ammo runs high.
Water at 76-78
Recomends a UV sterilized later but not now.

I introduced salt last night and lowered the ph. I havnt taken test readings yet but the fish are swimming and look happy and the water looks great.
I havnt installed the new filter yet or started East start which will be done today.
I will follow up with results on how things are going.
mikejp67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2012, 12:13 PM   #14
 
Byron's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikejp67 View Post
OK, I went to a aquarium which has been around here for decades. Its a big place and is not your typical pet shop by no means.
I happen to hit the mother load...at least I think so. I asked this older gentleman for a lil assistance and he was the founder of the place. He use to be a cancer reseacher at MIT. He breeds most of his fish he sells. He started asking questions and i was trying to answer them. My wife and I got a complete lesson in chemistry along with freshwater aquariums.
His recomendations:
Sea salt to increase the hardness
PH down to lower the ph as the salt will drive it up.
Send my Rena filter to the curb and get a Eniem (sp?)
The tank has not cycled at all nor has it even started and recomended Easy Start.
No water changes for a month unless the ammo runs high.
Water at 76-78
Recomends a UV sterilized later but not now.

I introduced salt last night and lowered the ph. I havnt taken test readings yet but the fish are swimming and look happy and the water looks great.
I havnt installed the new filter yet or started East start which will be done today.
I will follow up with results on how things are going.
I don't believe this. That is some of the worst advice anyone could give.

First, sea salt will niot increase beneficial mineral hardness, this is scientific fact. Why would they use salt in softeners to soften the water if it increased the hardness? It adds sodium and that is all. And sodium is highly stressful to freshwater fish, some much more than others. Then dumping in chemicals to lower pH is only asking for trouble. My mind boggles...

While Eheim is probably the best filter on the market, Rena is no slouch. I have both. There is nothing wrong with the Rena if you have it; it will do a good job filtering. It may or may not have the life of an eheim, this is unknown as Renas is newer in the market. But it is a good filter.

Water changes are vital to a healthy fish tank, and should be done every week at the very least. I will be preparing an article on this tiopic, as it comes up so often and many do not comprehend the real need for water changes.

The Easy Start i can't comment on, I don't recognize the name. Some bacterial supplements are very good, ones like Tetra's SafeStart and Seachem's Stability that are 100% live bacteria and they will seed the tank.

There is no need for a UV Sterilizer in freshwater.
Byron is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Byron For This Useful Post:
mikejp67 (04-01-2012)
Old 04-01-2012, 03:36 PM   #15
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
I don't believe this. That is some of the worst advice anyone could give.

First, sea salt will niot increase beneficial mineral hardness, this is scientific fact. Why would they use salt in softeners to soften the water if it increased the hardness? It adds sodium and that is all. And sodium is highly stressful to freshwater fish, some much more than others. Then dumping in chemicals to lower pH is only asking for trouble. My mind boggles...

While Eheim is probably the best filter on the market, Rena is no slouch. I have both. There is nothing wrong with the Rena if you have it; it will do a good job filtering. It may or may not have the life of an eheim, this is unknown as Renas is newer in the market. But it is a good filter.

Water changes are vital to a healthy fish tank, and should be done every week at the very least. I will be preparing an article on this tiopic, as it comes up so often and many do not comprehend the real need for water changes.

The Easy Start i can't comment on, I don't recognize the name. Some bacterial supplements are very good, ones like Tetra's SafeStart and Seachem's Stability that are 100% live bacteria and they will seed the tank.

There is no need for a UV Sterilizer in freshwater.
You can believe it, as much as I was in somewhat disbelieve.
GH rose from apx 35ppm to apx 125ppm.
KH stayed the same at apx 35ppm
As he stated, the salt will drive up the PH and seeing as thou its high to begin with, it needed to be lowered. I got it at 6.8 right now but he wants to see it at 6.5.
As far as the water changes, perhaps its due to the current fish load on the tank and useing Easy Start.
All I can say is the fish look great, active, eating, and no dead this morning like I've had nearly every morning.

I can see your doubts, but maybe its what needs to be done in this part of the country????
I see your in BC and im in Ma, perhaps this is the reason????
Also, I use to have aquariums yrs ago and it seems like everything has changed....use of charcoal/carbon etc. Maybe this is something new?? maybe something old???
Not sure but I will be more than happy to keep posting my progress.

As for the Easy Start, Im sure its the same as Safe Start.

My Rena filter was too small for my tank, tank is 150gls. It was making some noise anyways which we knew the end was near. As for the technical aspects of filtration, Im no one to make the determination whats better or worse.
mikejp67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2012, 05:21 PM   #16
 
Byron's Avatar
 
GH rose from apx 35ppm to apx 125ppm.
KH stayed the same at apx 35ppm
As he stated, the salt will drive up the PH and seeing as thou its high to begin with, it needed to be lowered. I got it at 6.8 right now but he wants to see it at 6.5.

My apology, I didn't twig to the sea salt aspect, and as sea salt (which is basically the salt remaining when sea water is evaporated) does contain other minerals too, so that explains the rise in GH. It also explains the lack of a rise in KH since this is not bicarbonates.

However, that still does not eliminate the serious issue of sodium salt to freshwater fish. I realize this is a topic of debate, but I have done a ton of research on this and am working on an article which will be posted when completed. The bottom line is that salt should never be used in a freshwater fish tank except as a treatment for a specific issue, and even then there are some fish that should never be exposed to it. Fish exposed to high salt levels will almost certainly have shortened lives as a result of the physiological problems associated with salt.

There are much better methods of raising GH safely if one has to, and some of these will not mess with the pH. Fiddling with pH is another area where more damage can be done that leaving the pH stable.
Byron is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Byron For This Useful Post:
mikejp67 (04-04-2012)
Old 04-04-2012, 07:04 PM   #17
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
GH rose from apx 35ppm to apx 125ppm.
KH stayed the same at apx 35ppm
As he stated, the salt will drive up the PH and seeing as thou its high to begin with, it needed to be lowered. I got it at 6.8 right now but he wants to see it at 6.5.

My apology, I didn't twig to the sea salt aspect, and as sea salt (which is basically the salt remaining when sea water is evaporated) does contain other minerals too, so that explains the rise in GH. It also explains the lack of a rise in KH since this is not bicarbonates.

However, that still does not eliminate the serious issue of sodium salt to freshwater fish. I realize this is a topic of debate, but I have done a ton of research on this and am working on an article which will be posted when completed. The bottom line is that salt should never be used in a freshwater fish tank except as a treatment for a specific issue, and even then there are some fish that should never be exposed to it. Fish exposed to high salt levels will almost certainly have shortened lives as a result of the physiological problems associated with salt.

There are much better methods of raising GH safely if one has to, and some of these will not mess with the pH. Fiddling with pH is another area where more damage can be done that leaving the pH stable.
I hear you on the salt, but on the other hand I hear just the opposite. I guess I'll just have to keep reading more posts and try to determine whats best. Right now, Im not thrilled with the amount of salt in there so as I do water changes, I wont be adding any. I plan on useing dolomite for the hardness.Is there a way to determine how much salt is in the water?

I just did all my tests:
ph 6.5
Ammo-0.0
Nitrate about 7ppm
Nitrite 0
The water is in a full algae bloom.
On the bottle of this "Easy start", it says if any ammo or nitrites are detected, add more product. This may explain why I was told not to do any water changes. Maybe this product is new???
mikejp67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2012, 07:34 PM   #18
 
Byron's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikejp67 View Post
I hear you on the salt, but on the other hand I hear just the opposite. I guess I'll just have to keep reading more posts and try to determine whats best. Right now, Im not thrilled with the amount of salt in there so as I do water changes, I wont be adding any. I plan on useing dolomite for the hardness.Is there a way to determine how much salt is in the water?

I just did all my tests:
ph 6.5
Ammo-0.0
Nitrate about 7ppm
Nitrite 0
The water is in a full algae bloom.
On the bottle of this "Easy start", it says if any ammo or nitrites are detected, add more product. This may explain why I was told not to do any water changes. Maybe this product is new???
On the salt issue, I posted an article yesterday, please read it. I did a lot of research and the views expressed therein have scientific fact as their basis. At the end is a caution on water softeners. Enough said on that. http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-97842/

Dolomite works well for raising GH, the ph will also rise, you'll have to monitor both. Go slow, it doesn't take much. When I was using dolomite I had about 3 tablespoons in a mesh bag in the canister filter of my 115g tank, and the pH remained stable at 6.2-6.4 (whereas around 5 out of the tap) for more than a decade. I can't find dolomite locally, so I'm on to other methods. Raising the GH (and corresponding pH won't matter here) for the livebearers is necessary. But this will affect the angelfish if it goes too far.

I've still no idea what Easy Start is, a Google search found nothing remotely connected. Who makes it, and/or is there a web link you can give us?
Byron is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Byron For This Useful Post:
mikejp67 (04-04-2012)
Old 04-04-2012, 08:02 PM   #19
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
On the salt issue, I posted an article yesterday, please read it. I did a lot of research and the views expressed therein have scientific fact as their basis. At the end is a caution on water softeners. Enough said on that. http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-97842/

Dolomite works well for raising GH, the ph will also rise, you'll have to monitor both. Go slow, it doesn't take much. When I was using dolomite I had about 3 tablespoons in a mesh bag in the canister filter of my 115g tank, and the pH remained stable at 6.2-6.4 (whereas around 5 out of the tap) for more than a decade. I can't find dolomite locally, so I'm on to other methods. Raising the GH (and corresponding pH won't matter here) for the livebearers is necessary. But this will affect the angelfish if it goes too far.

I've still no idea what Easy Start is, a Google search found nothing remotely connected. Who makes it, and/or is there a web link you can give us?
As soon as I reply here, I will be checking out the article on the salt.

Easy start from Easy Life. Looks like a European Co.
mikejp67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2012, 08:35 PM   #20
 
Byron's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikejp67 View Post
As soon as I reply here, I will be checking out the article on the salt.

Easy start from Easy Life. Looks like a European Co.
Found it. This is their blurb on this product:
EASYSTART contains highly active bacteria cultures which will quickly give aquariums and filters a boost. The unique bacteria carrier ensures an accelerated increase in useful bacteria, helping to combat the actions of harmful bacteria as well as cleaning the water of heavy metals and other chemical pollutants. The result is a healthy aquarium with lively and brightly coloured fish.
That bothers me, the bit about "cleaning the water of heavy metals and other chemical pollutants." I never like using what I don't understand. And the bit about combating the actions of harmful bacteria--I don't like messing with bacteria and nature. There is a complex bacteria process occurring in a healthy aquarium, it should be left alone to do its job. At the risk of overwhelming you with reading, here's an article on that:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-74891/

Biological supplements that are 100% live bacteria are useful, and I recomend them in certain cases. Tetra's SafeStart and Seachem's Stability are two I know, there are a couple others now. These have no chemicals, they just seed the tank with bacteria. That's a very different kettle of fish.
Byron is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Byron For This Useful Post:
mikejp67 (04-04-2012)
Reply

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Getting started, know what I want. What do I need? messiah35 Beginner Saltwater Aquariums 2 11-25-2007 02:02 PM
I think it started as ich...maybe still is? T-Bone Saltwater Fish Diseases 6 01-12-2007 02:16 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:56 PM.