New 55 Gallon Freshwater Tank / First Timer - Page 4 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #31 of 87 Old 06-21-2008, 02:00 PM
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There are ways to lower your pH, as well. Using aquarium peat in your substrate or filter will help. Driftwood will also slowly lower the pH of your water. I would definitely shy away from chemical products like pH Down as these can cause all kinds of problems. Some people say that API's Proper pH is a worthwhile product but it still seems to fall into that "unneeded chemical" category for me.

Using distilled water can bring your pH closer to 7, but distilled water is also devoid of any minerals and other nutrients that can benefit your fish. Also, if you used distilled water, you'd have to use a mix of distilled and tap water every time you did a water change, which could end up costing a lot. The peat and driftwood will be less expensive in the long run.

Then again, unless you plan on keeping really sensitive fish that prefer a lower pH, I think you'll be fine with your relatively high pH.

Look at the bright side: if you ever decide to keep African cichlids, you'll be all set!

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post #32 of 87 Old 06-22-2008, 12:29 AM Thread Starter
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Well I do have the extra HOB. I could use it for peat. Would peat discolor the water?

Probably won't do it, but its something to keep in mind.

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post #33 of 87 Old 06-22-2008, 01:06 AM
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It'll add a golden hue to the water, but it will still be crystal clear. You can also use peat moss in the filter in conjunction with activated carbon. This will lower the pH but keep the water from getting that golden color.

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post #34 of 87 Old 06-22-2008, 10:37 AM
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Re: New 55 Gallon Freshwater Tank / First Timer

Be sure to add the hardier fish first to cycle and add 8 fish each month
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post #35 of 87 Old 06-23-2008, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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I've started adding sand to my tank and so far the results are promising. Unfortunately it looks like I didn't get it as clean as I should have. The water is slightly cloudy. Hopefully some water changes and getting the filter running will clear it up.


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post #36 of 87 Old 06-24-2008, 02:59 AM
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I recently used sand (playground) in 29 gal. And despite washing sand till I was crosseyed, It still clouded the water . This went away after approx twenty four hours. I would let sand settle as much as possible before turning filter on to help prevent sand from finding its way into the motor, bearings, etc on your filter. I let mine set overnight before operating the filter.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #37 of 87 Old 06-24-2008, 06:37 AM Thread Starter
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Yep, it's playground sand. I've spent as long as 45 minutes rinsing a single bucket till the run off was crystal clear and I just couldn't get any more improvement. And it still fogged the water.

Now of course its nothing like it would be if I hadn't rinsed, but after spending more than four hours standing in the Florida summer sun rinsing almost 100 pounds of sand I was hoping for a bit better result.

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post #38 of 87 Old 06-24-2008, 06:53 AM
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I here ya! The things we do for our fish. Gotta admit it looks cool though (er) will look cool. I put four julii corys in this past saturday sadly, two died. there were two dead ones in the tank I got them from at lfs. Should have known better. But the remaining two along with glass bloodfin tetras appear to very much enjoy the sand. And if Iam careful during water changes sand is not disturbed too bad, (add water slowly) I also added about a dozen trumpet snails to help keep sand sifted so as to avoid gas pockets from building in the sand. this along with gently using a fork to help with above mentioned , and I am pleased with it overall. :)

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #39 of 87 Old 06-24-2008, 08:19 AM Thread Starter
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As I do water changes, turn on the filter, start to vacuum, etc. I know that things will improve. I was just hoping it'd look better from the outset.

I will tell you this. The next tank is going to be gravel and if I get the urge for more cories they're going in this tank.

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post #40 of 87 Old 06-24-2008, 01:56 PM
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wish i was standing in the florida sun. :)
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