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New 55 Gallon Freshwater Tank / First Timer

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New 55 Gallon Freshwater Tank / First Timer
Old 07-03-2008, 12:53 PM   #61
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Uh-oh. How so?
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Old 07-05-2008, 07:23 PM   #62
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A significant pH swing proved to be too much for my platy and the cories. I'm down to a single indestructible neon tetra.
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Old 07-10-2008, 01:10 PM   #63
Originally Posted by 1077
In regards to sand I would simply add that it might be wise to shut off filter while doing maint. the first few times. That way if you stir up the sand with vaccum more than you intended, The sand won"t wind up in your filter gears, motor, bearings etc. I recently went with sand in 29 gal. And found it better to hover a little higher with gravel vac than you would with pebbles.
dont shoot me for saying this cos it WILL work.

if u want something else a reccamend angels.

yes ppl say they eat tetra's but if you by 'em small and let them grow with the tetras its less likely.

trust me i had 3 tanks wit a setup like tht.
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Old 07-14-2008, 08:41 AM   #64
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Right now my tank contains plastic and silk plants. I like the silk better. They're not as uniform in color and just look more realistic, but they aren't cheap. Has anyone used silk plants from a craft store in an aquarium? An 8" good quality silk plant can run me $5 to 8 bucks and the big ones, that I really need, are even more. Craft store silk plants are cheaper but I'm not sure if they're aquarium safe.

Opinions, experiences?
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Old 07-21-2008, 12:38 PM   #65
Stick them in a bucket of dechlorinated water, test the water in a week?
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Old 07-21-2008, 05:32 PM   #66
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Testing the water probably wouldn't work, as most people don't have test kits that test for chemicals and pollutants, not to mention it would be very difficult to test for *everything*.

I think the main problem with silk plants is that they often contain metal wire- which can rust and pollute the tank. The dye may also not be aquarium safe and leach into the water. However, you may be able to find some at your craft store that are labeled "aquarium safe".

There are some really good deals on ebay and such- it's probably worth looking around there. Also, oftentimes random decorations like that will make it into clearance bins at your LFS (or more likely Petco) which make them dirt cheap.
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Old 07-31-2008, 07:22 AM   #67
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I've been keeping an eye out for bargins but everything that comes up seems to be things like 6" hairgrass. Craft stores are a bust so far, no one has anything labeled aquarium safe and the plants that lack metal wires aren't what I'm looking for, much less concerns about the dye in the leaves.

I would really love to have some fake cambomba but can't find it higher than about 8".

A new question. My pH out of the tap is wicked, a solid 8.0. As best I can tell its why I lost my first group of neons. Within 48 hours all but one died in spite of being acclimated slowly for almost two hours. Currently I'm monkeying with the water chemistry using acid buffering salts. I know what a lot of people are thinking, don't do it, bad idea, etc. Thanks but I'm doing it anyways. I've been careful with them and took the time to figure out how much salt to use per bucket of water during my water changes to keep things at a stable 7.5 pH. I've kept an eye on the pH through testing buckets of water going in and in testing the pH on a regular basis and things are staying at a steady 7.5

I don't like using the buffering salts though.

I do like driftwood however. Since almost all my fish that I'm planning on getting are amazon river basin or similar conditions I think it might be interesting to have a blackwater set up. So I'm looking for any information people might have about using driftwood to lower pH through leeching or by usign peat in their filter. How low can they drive the pH? Will carbon remove the water discoloration? How fast will the pH drop after I introduce the driftwood or peat? How long will driftwood leech tanins and lower the pH before the pH will start to rise again? Would the 8.0 water I'd be adding with a water change cause a dangerous pH spike before the driftwood could return the pH to whatever lower value it might take my tank too? How low could the pH go with driftwood added? Any kind of driftwood I should look for in particular?
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Old 07-31-2008, 08:14 AM   #68
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You have a 55gal.tank right? Were it me I would get a 15 gal rubbermaid tub and expierment with the peat in it. place some in some nylon and check the PH at different intervals to see what effect the amount of peat you are using has. You could then use that water for water changes .Temp . will need to be same as water in the tank. Many people do this with mixture of ro or distilled water mixed with tap water to achieve ph levels desired for some of the more delicate species or to prepare a tank for spawning of same. Was ph from your tap still at eight after sitting out for 24 hours? As I understand it the water from tap is under pressure and gasses are also present. By letting the water set for 24 hours a more accurate reading is possible. As for driftwood , it can lower the ph I believe to a degree and it happens slowly. Not sure how much. Haven't seen enough change to comment on in my tanks. Carbon will remove the tannins or tea stain. Hope some of this proves helpful. :)
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Old 07-31-2008, 08:41 AM   #69
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Yeah, I've tested it out of the tap, after 24 hours, and in the tank. It all comes out 8.0 if I do nothing to it but dechlorinate.
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Old 07-31-2008, 09:05 AM   #70
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What test kit are you using? I recently replaced my RED SEA test kit with API test kit and one day just for kicks I tested the water in one tank with both tests. ammonia, nitrites, were same but API test showed PH at 7.6 where as REDSEA test indicated ph of 7.4. Then tested two other tanks in the house with same results. Was not too concerned for the fish are doing well and parameters are stable. Just something to consider.
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