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making water harder

This is a discussion on making water harder within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by hotshotdevil32 Well here are the numbers. I won't be able to get to the lfs this weekend though so I can't ...

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Old 05-12-2012, 07:32 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotshotdevil32 View Post
Well here are the numbers. I won't be able to get to the lfs this weekend though so I can't give you an alk measurment till next week.
Gh- 30
Kh- 40
Ph- 7
So what is gonna be the best course of action for adjusting the water parameters?
Is there a reason you need to adjust the chemistry of the water?

These numbers presumably are in ppm, so this is very soft water. The pH will tend to acidify (move below 7) naturally as the tank becomes established. Select soft water fish and you are home free. Most aquarium fish fall into this criteria so you have a lot to select from.

If you want to have medium hard or hard water fish (livebearers, and a few others) the safest way is with a calcareous substrate. Something like aragonite/crushed coral sand. This will raise the GH, KH and thus pH. It will be quite high in the end, but hard water fish don't usually find that problematic.

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Old 05-13-2012, 08:33 AM   #12
 
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Yes actually I am doing a central american tank with endlers livebearers so I need to make the water hard. Sounds like I will have to get some argonite sand. What grain size do you reccomed? also can I add flourite underneath the sand so the plants still get that extra fertilization?

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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Is there a reason you need to adjust the chemistry of the water?

These numbers presumably are in ppm, so this is very soft water. The pH will tend to acidify (move below 7) naturally as the tank becomes established. Select soft water fish and you are home free. Most aquarium fish fall into this criteria so you have a lot to select from.

If you want to have medium hard or hard water fish (livebearers, and a few others) the safest way is with a calcareous substrate. Something like aragonite/crushed coral sand. This will raise the GH, KH and thus pH. It will be quite high in the end, but hard water fish don't usually find that problematic.

Byron.
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Old 05-13-2012, 10:02 AM   #13
 
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Originally Posted by hotshotdevil32 View Post
Yes actually I am doing a central american tank with endlers livebearers so I need to make the water hard. Sounds like I will have to get some argonite sand. What grain size do you reccomed? also can I add flourite underneath the sand so the plants still get that extra fertilization?
I would use sand here. A fine gravel would also work, but this may be difficult to find in an aragonite blend. Endlers Livebearer occurs in coastal lagoons and freshwater lakes in Venezuela [see the profile] so the substrate would be sand. CarribSea make one from crushed coral and aragonite, and there may be others. Some fish stores have this sand in bulk as it is often used in marine tanks where harder water is necessary. Just make sure it has no salt; the CarribSea does not, but a local marine sand product might.

I would not add Flourite. I have this substrate in my 70g, for more than a year now, and I am very disappointed with the results. It has not helped the plants. Don't waste your money.

If you want some plant suggestions, Corkscrew Vallisneria is perfect in this aquascape. Some stem plants like Green Cabomba, Brazilian Pennywort (this can be allowed to float, which will improve the fish colours). A few chunks of wood. A lovely aquascape. All the names that shaded can be clicked for the profiles with photos.

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Old 05-13-2012, 10:27 AM   #14
 
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CaribSea Dry Aragonite Sugar Sized Sand Aquarium Gravel & Substrates
How would this be?

I think I might do brazillian pennywort in place of the corckscrew Vallisneria. you see the tank already has a piece of driftwood in there. it is a very nice size and it forms an arc with the bottom that the fish love to swim through. I was going to use it to kind of seperate the fore and back ground so maybe I was going to plant a lawn of dwarf sagittairia in front of it and than some shoots of brazillian penny wort behing it. I would leave it thick there so the fry would have a place to hide. how does that sounds.

Btw if I have plants do they naturally clean the substrate because I don't know how I would use a gravel cleaner in a planted tank lol
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
I would use sand here. A fine gravel would also work, but this may be difficult to find in an aragonite blend. Endlers Livebearer occurs in coastal lagoons and freshwater lakes in Venezuela [see the profile] so the substrate would be sand. CarribSea make one from crushed coral and aragonite, and there may be others. Some fish stores have this sand in bulk as it is often used in marine tanks where harder water is necessary. Just make sure it has no salt; the CarribSea does not, but a local marine sand product might.

I would not add Flourite. I have this substrate in my 70g, for more than a year now, and I am very disappointed with the results. It has not helped the plants. Don't waste your money.

If you want some plant suggestions, Corkscrew Vallisneria is perfect in this aquascape. Some stem plants like Green Cabomba, Brazilian Pennywort (this can be allowed to float, which will improve the fish colours). A few chunks of wood. A lovely aquascape. All the names that shaded can be clicked for the profiles with photos.

Byron.
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Old 05-13-2012, 11:14 AM   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotshotdevil32 View Post
CaribSea Dry Aragonite Sugar Sized Sand Aquarium Gravel & Substrates
How would this be?

I think I might do brazillian pennywort in place of the corckscrew Vallisneria. you see the tank already has a piece of driftwood in there. it is a very nice size and it forms an arc with the bottom that the fish love to swim through. I was going to use it to kind of seperate the fore and back ground so maybe I was going to plant a lawn of dwarf sagittairia in front of it and than some shoots of brazillian penny wort behing it. I would leave it thick there so the fry would have a place to hide. how does that sounds.

Btw if I have plants do they naturally clean the substrate because I don't know how I would use a gravel cleaner in a planted tank lol
My only concern with the linked sand is the pH of 8.2 which may be a bit high, but i think still workable. CarribSea alsomake a dark sand intended for rift lake cichlids which might be even better as the dark would bring out the Endler's colours.
African Cichlid Mix Sahara Sand - 50 lb
This link is from the Canadian Big Al's site, but the product is surely avaiable in the US and probably for less.

I always mention Vallisneria for hard water tanks, it thrives like nothing else. Keep it in mind.

I don't vacuum the substrate in planted tanks. Don't have the sand more than 2 inches deep overall.
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Old 05-13-2012, 12:11 PM   #16
 
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Alright so no DSB gotcha! ;) they are several local stores that sell the sahara sand I can buy it there. Hopefully I don't have to buy a 50 pound bag though. If the cork screw does so well in hard water tanks maybe I will put a small patch of in one of the front corners. Sounds like I'm about ready to put a final equipment. List together and start buying stuff! :)
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