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Help: ppm vs. dGH/KH

This is a discussion on Help: ppm vs. dGH/KH within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Just looking at your tanks Byron - AWESOME! What I mentioned knowing as "dollar weed" you have as well, please help me ID it. ...

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Old 11-02-2009, 07:31 AM   #11
 
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Just looking at your tanks Byron - AWESOME!
What I mentioned knowing as "dollar weed" you have as well, please help me ID it. Its in most all your tanks, but best seen in the 'former 90g south America' there it is located in the rear corners, it has stems that from my exp grow endlessly unless clipped, round leaves that grow to about 2" diameter '???

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Old 11-02-2009, 07:36 AM   #12
 
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Oh lovly in your Amazonian tank the plants used in the front, like a short grass version, exactly what are they (can't ID picture is too small for my vision lol). Those look extremely similar to what I once used in the Killi tank, however it wasn't thriving for me (too hard water back then)?
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Old 11-02-2009, 01:47 PM   #13
 
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Thanks Byron!!!

Once they're established I hadn't tested in the past neither unless something appeared "strange" as far as behavior or plants looks etc.

API really, cause that's the brand I been looking at BUT I was unable to find hardness tests in the greater TN area or even online and the known pet stores. Where to you find yours????

I really wouldn't use these current results as "set" because there's no telling with the tanks set up, cycling etc what exactly the readings will be after all that.
For instance I love using the Eheim Substrat Pro as part of the filter media, have made very good experiences with it. It does not give me specific details what it actually is on the box, however they appear some sort of "rock" which is great for the bacteria growth, but I wouldn't know how far this will influence the hardness.

I hadn't actually found a good place to order plants online from (stores around here offer zero). Previously I enjoyed Swords, Vallisneria and a plant that I only know under the name dollar weed and then some moss on the roots I intend to add in there.

As for the fish I think I need to completely rethink now from what I'm used to. Tetra's came to mind first with these readings. I used to LOVE my Killi (A. Australe) however I have not been able to located them here anywhere so far, not even online.
I had seen Tetra's in the past that appeared similar to Neon's, but larger and blue eyes, again I do not recall the name here sorry.
Apart from Tetra's I do not know/ have not read up yet what fish options I have now that will like my water and the habitat of 55 gallon tank, like the blue rams. But as I said I'm so stuck with the fish and their behavior I previously had in the tanks. Now I need to see who likes my water and will get along with one another, considered 2-3 different kind of fish (Ie. Tetra, Ram, Cory...something like that maybe).
I'll respond to your three posts separately for ease of keeping questions and answers together.

Re API kits, I live in Vancouver, BC and these are available in several fish stores. They can be ordered online, but don't ask me from whom because I never order things like this online so I wouldn't know.

The Eheim filter media (I used to use it, now I use Fluval because it is much the same thing at 1/3 the cost here) will not alter water chemistry. I had the Eheim for 12 years, now Fluval as I say. The only way to influence hardness is to add specific media like peat (softens) or calcareous rock (dolomite, marble, coral, limestone) to harden. The pH in your tanks will gradually lower due to the biological processes and because there is no significant KH to buffer. Which is fine, as long as you recognize it, as I do; my dolomite thing keeps it steady.

There have been online plant dealers mentioned in other threads, here's one recent one http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...5g-tank-29254/
if you check the posts near the end I think Andrew has a link to a site. And there was an earlier one, memory escapes me at the moment. Other members may see this thread and comment.

Re fish, any of the SA fish will love your water as they do mine. Characins (tetras, pencils, hatchets), catfish (corydoras, farlowella, plecos, oddballs like the Tatia in my avatar...), dwarf cichlids--almost anything from the continent. Then there's SE Asia--gouramis, rasbora, loaches, bettas... You'll never run out of fish for soft, acidic water. Look at the list of fish in my three aquaria, and that's just a beginning.

Byron.
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Old 11-02-2009, 01:53 PM   #14
 
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Just looking at your tanks Byron - AWESOME!
What I mentioned knowing as "dollar weed" you have as well, please help me ID it. Its in most all your tanks, but best seen in the 'former 90g south America' there it is located in the rear corners, it has stems that from my exp grow endlessly unless clipped, round leaves that grow to about 2" diameter '???

Thank you indeed.

The plant is Brazilian Pennywort, Hydrocotyle leucocephala. A stem plant, but one that tolerates moderate light better than many, and I do not have any problems with lower leaves falling off due to shade, and they are certainly shaded by the surrounding swords. Grows like a weed, I have to pull it completely out and cut it in half, and plant the top half about every 2-3 weeks or it would be covering the surface. Needs liquid fertilization since the substrate roots are anchors mainly and little else, the roots all along the stems collect nutrients.

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Old 11-02-2009, 01:56 PM   #15
 
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Oh lovly in your Amazonian tank the plants used in the front, like a short grass version, exactly what are they (can't ID picture is too small for my vision lol). Those look extremely similar to what I once used in the Killi tank, however it wasn't thriving for me (too hard water back then)?
In both the 90g and 115g, the small plants are pygmy chain swords. In the 90g it is Echinodorus tenellus, and in the 115g it is Echinodorus quadricostatus. The latter has slightly wider and longer leaves. Both send out copius runners with daughter plants, and every week I am pulling them out to keep some open areas for the corydoras to feed so I can see them. The lighter green colouration contrasts nicely with the larger swords that are medium green, and the little rough-leaf swords (Echinodorus parviflorus) that are dark green; these latter are in the 115g, but there are a couple mainly hidden in the 90g.

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Old 11-02-2009, 03:04 PM   #16
 
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Also I recall from past forums, there's some type of "hardener salt" it is not just simple salt but something very special that also adds nutrition for the plants.
Has anyone heard of this or has a name I could search online for?

@Byron You must be one lucky guy finding such things "just like that" at the next pet store

My main concern really is stocking the tank, if the fish I wind up buying (whatever they may be) are raised in harder water and then placed here, I'd assume they die of shock wouldn't they?

Pennywort YES that was it! Grows worst then weed does. It actually grew so terrible from just 1 plant in one of my previous tanks; when we were gone for 10 days on vacation and came back it lifted the top open on my 55 gallon (which actually was fairly tall with its 20") crazy stuff if not maintained regular.

I am currently playing around with planting ideas, will post a list when I'm done and see what the feedback is.
Thanks also for the hint with the other thread, will see where best to order.

Echinodorus Family are just generally VERY nice plants IMO.

I'm REALLY starting to get very excited to FINALLY have tanks back around me, I missed them since we moved.
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Old 11-02-2009, 03:46 PM   #17
 
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Originally Posted by Angel079 View Post
Also I recall from past forums, there's some type of "hardener salt" it is not just simple salt but something very special that also adds nutrition for the plants.
Has anyone heard of this or has a name I could search online for?

@Byron You must be one lucky guy finding such things "just like that" at the next pet store

My main concern really is stocking the tank, if the fish I wind up buying (whatever they may be) are raised in harder water and then placed here, I'd assume they die of shock wouldn't they?

Pennywort YES that was it! Grows worst then weed does. It actually grew so terrible from just 1 plant in one of my previous tanks; when we were gone for 10 days on vacation and came back it lifted the top open on my 55 gallon (which actually was fairly tall with its 20") crazy stuff if not maintained regular.

I am currently playing around with planting ideas, will post a list when I'm done and see what the feedback is.
Thanks also for the hint with the other thread, will see where best to order.

Echinodorus Family are just generally VERY nice plants IMO.

I'm REALLY starting to get very excited to FINALLY have tanks back around me, I missed them since we moved.
Don't know what the "salt hardner" is, maybe someone else does. I would caution, you do not want salt in a freshwater aquarium, for fish or plants. And chemicals that supposedly do this or that are generally more harm than benefit. The natural dolomite/coral is the only safe way to slightly add hardness.

If you buy fish locally, presumably the water is the same in the store as your house, unless you have well water and not municipal water. You can't worry about what water the fish was raised in, but you can be careful acclimating fish from the store. If the fish is native to soft, acidic water, it will usually settle in to such an environment easily. I've had no problems that I'm aware of with mine over 15 years.

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Old 11-02-2009, 04:02 PM   #18
 
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From what I seen so far, I may be able to get SOME of the once I like at the store that's like 2hrs from here.
However I may wind up having to order others I like online and THAT is my worry (never done that before had excellent fish store around the corner before the move).
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Old 11-03-2009, 07:46 AM   #19
 
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Byron, this is that 'special salt' I was talking about to harden the water some. Have you ever heard of it?
sera mineral salt -Aquaristic shop
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Old 11-03-2009, 11:21 AM   #20
 
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Byron, this is that 'special salt' I was talking about to harden the water some. Have you ever heard of it?
sera mineral salt -Aquaristic shop
This seems to be similar to Seachem's product called "Equilibrium." It adds minerals to soft water. However, I couldn't see a list of ingredients so I'd be concerned about the "salt" part. I do not advocate salt in normal freshwater aquaria. There are Malawi Lake salts for rift lake cichlid tanks, also add hardness, but those fish need it.

The only safe and sensible way to add hardness to an aquarium is via nature, a calcareous rock/gravel or crushed coral, in the filter as I previously explained. It is safe, and cheap. Buying bottles of these products cost money and adds up. And it is not necessary.

Choose fish that will suit your water and you'll have fewer problems. I have identical water to you, and the only fish I wouldn't put in it are livebearers or rift lake cichlids; for these (which I have had in the past) I used a dolomite gravel substrate.

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