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Need some ideas for low light plants in an African Cichlid tank.

This is a discussion on Need some ideas for low light plants in an African Cichlid tank. within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by RedRaider15 My tap water is hard and has a ph of 8.0, I also have African Cichlid sand in my aquarium ...

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Need some ideas for low light plants in an African Cichlid tank.
Old 08-16-2012, 02:29 PM   #21
 
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Originally Posted by RedRaider15 View Post
My tap water is hard and has a ph of 8.0, I also have African Cichlid sand in my aquarium in order to get the right ph for the fish that I have. I would like to have some driftwood in with the fish, but it lowers the ph to some extent. Do I have enough buffer material in the aquarium to ensure that the driftwood will not lower the ph very much?
I would say yes. I am assuming you have tested the KH (carbonate hardness) level. This is what buffers ph not GH (general hardness) though GH does have an effect it can be precipitated out of the water as the ph drops. It might be wise to have some ph buffer stuff on hand though. Driftwoods releases tannins over time so you should be able to keep up with it via water changes done on your normal schedule this is assuming your KH level is high enough, like 8 or better. Just make sure you keep an eye on the ph and levels afterwards to make sure, also different woods release at different rates and the time span according to most people here is measured in years. This will give you an idea as how much an effect it will have with possible future wood additions.
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Old 08-16-2012, 03:11 PM   #22
 
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If I pick up local driftwood what would I need to do to make it safe for my aquarium? I have the time and I live on near an ocean beach with family near the Hudson river and the great lakes who I could ask to grab floaters for me.
Does anyone know the effects of cement in an aquarium. I used to work at a concrete block manufacturing plant and when we cleaned the machines some surprising formations came out. They looked like the walls of a limestone cave that formed stalactites and stalagmites.
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Old 08-16-2012, 03:17 PM   #23
 
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From the research that I've done towards driftwood, I'd say boil it for 8hrs., then wait for it to sink to the bottom of the container, that way you won't have to anchor it down because it is waterlogged.
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Old 08-16-2012, 08:14 PM   #24
 
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If I pick up local driftwood what would I need to do to make it safe for my aquarium? I have the time and I live on near an ocean beach with family near the Hudson river and the great lakes who I could ask to grab floaters for me.
Does anyone know the effects of cement in an aquarium. I used to work at a concrete block manufacturing plant and when we cleaned the machines some surprising formations came out. They looked like the walls of a limestone cave that formed stalactites and stalagmites.
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On the cement first, it is calcareous, but generally designed not to dissolve but last in structures even in water.

Wood collected locally is always risky. Obviously avoid any ocean beach wood, it will have salt. Wood that is a hardwood, and that is old enough to have completely dried out, will work. Oak and beech are hardwoods. But then there are toxins it may have been exposed to over time and absorbed, and no amount of soaking or boiling can guarantee removal of these. The pathogens might be handled with boiling.
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:08 AM   #25
 
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Really?, avoid the salt? I would have thought the salt would help to keep toxins from penetrating too far, also I am thinking of this for my brackish tank so salt is of no issue. So where do the suppliers of the store bought stuff get theirs and how it is "purified"?
Thanks on the cement thing there are a couple plants near me that I can talk to. The only downside is it is all gray
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Old 08-17-2012, 01:26 PM   #26
 
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Really?, avoid the salt? I would have thought the salt would help to keep toxins from penetrating too far, also I am thinking of this for my brackish tank so salt is of no issue. So where do the suppliers of the store bought stuff get theirs and how it is "purified"?
Thanks on the cement thing there are a couple plants near me that I can talk to. The only downside is it is all gray
In a brackish setup, salt is obviously not a concern. The best wood for this would be mangrove root, since it occurs in brackish estuaries in SE Asia and obviously is not affected as much by salt as some woods might be (salt is corrosive). This used to be available but I have not seen it locally for years; might be online somewhere.

Salt would have no effect on toxins like pesticides, fertilizers, oil, gas, chemicals... etc. I've no idea how commercial wood is treated or prepared. But I will say that I did once have an issue with one chunk. But that was partly my fault, it was soft and I now know that one should never put softwoods into the aquarium. First, they rot much faster. But being soft, they also tend to absorb toxins more. No idea what was in mine, but fish were lethargic and slowly died over weeks and i could not discern the cause, until a professional aquarist suggested it might be the wood. It was; obviously some toxin was in the wood and after it had been in my tank for nearly a year it began to leech out.

I now use Malaysian Driftwood which has so far not been a problem in any way. I had one piece of the lighter wood, it may have been Mopani, grapewood or manzanita, and white fungus appeared which killed some fish. This is not all that uncommon, several members here have had this problem, so I avoid these woods.
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Old 08-17-2012, 11:07 PM   #27
 
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Thanks for the explanation there most driftwoods I can get in all these areas are soft woods so it is a no go there. I can make it fairly easily, though it takes a long time to get it right.
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