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New 55 Gallon Freshwater Tank / First Timer

This is a discussion on New 55 Gallon Freshwater Tank / First Timer within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> wow...your ph sounds high like mine! i dont use my tap water because I have angels and they don't like high I use ...

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New 55 Gallon Freshwater Tank / First Timer
Old 07-31-2008, 11:17 AM   #71
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wow...your ph sounds high like mine! i dont use my tap water because I have angels and they don't like high I use bottled water. distilled/spring. i do a 25% change about once a month. it keeps the ph neutral. i love it. i dont have to use any OTC ph products. i DO NOT recommend using those ph products, because I have found that more often than not, once you have used them once to balance out things, you have to continue using them to maintain the balance. ph too high? thrown in some drops, ph too low? more drops...

so far as the silk plants go, thats what I have in my tank. i got them from petsmart I believe, and they were a lil more expensive than normal plants. you can see what plants I have in my tank setup (which can be seen here:

i would stay away from anything that does not say "aquarium safe" and it could leech chemicals, dyes, metals, etc into your tank that would harm your fish.

sorry for the novel, hope this helps!

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Old 07-31-2008, 01:02 PM   #72
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I use the API kit.

I don't care for using the salts. I'm really looking for some way to get away from them. I just happen to like driftwood, am learning to like blackwater set ups, and like mostly amazonian basin fish so if I could use driftwood it's kind of a perfect storm for lowering the pH of the water. I know people have said that any pH between 6 ad 8 can work but as someone out there on one of the extremes I have my doubts.

I prefer silk plants, their color isn't as uniform and they look more real. Since I don't have to buy plants all the time I don't mind spending another buck or two on a silk one instead of a plastic plant.
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Old 07-31-2008, 05:49 PM   #73
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Carbon will remove the tannins from your water- peat moss is probably the way to go as it is easy to replace as it looses effectiveness.

I'd recommend getting a good gh/kh test kit as well. Monkeying with ph will inevitably effect hardness, and that's something you should keep tabs on. Acid buffering salts often drop your kh significantly, or else put your gh all the way down to zero.

My pH is 8.6 when it comes out of the tap, so I'm forced to use chemicals from time to time. I'd recommend Seachem's Acid Regulator, it's the brand I trust the most.
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Old 08-01-2008, 06:32 AM   #74
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I can't recall the exact product but I'm pretty sure its SeaChem stuff.
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Old 08-06-2008, 01:15 PM   #75
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All my fish are doing well, all 3 platys and 8 neons. I'm feeding them regularly with tetramin flake food. My wife feeds them a pinch in the morning at light's on and I give them another pinch at night. I only feed them enough so that nothings hitting the bottom of the tank and typically the food is gone in 15 to 20 seconds from when I release it in the water. I've been wondering if this is enough food. I realize they are small and that over feeding is worse than underfeeding but everything I've heard says feed them as much as they can eat in 30 seconds to 3 minutes. Given that the minutes usually are on the side of the food can I take it with a grain of salt. Still, 30 seconds is what I hear from both the LFS and here and my fish food doesn't even last that long. Should I add another feeding?

I also treat my fish with frozen brine shrimp on Saturday nights after weekly tank maintenance and with the... well I think it's emerald dream, the black stuff from the same pack, on wednsday nights.

Also, I'm planning on starting to give them some blanched lettuce from time to time. Should I feed them this as a substitute for flake food one night or in addition to it? Would they eat spinach as well?
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Old 08-06-2008, 03:03 PM   #76
My pH is 7.6 and I had the same concerns about the driftwood. I got mine from lake Massebesic (because it is pollutant free) and boiled it for 30 minutes. It has not changed my pH enough to be recognized by my test kit. On one hand, it is good that my pH will stay stable, but if you are looking for it to lower your pH, it may not work very well. Just my experience. Good luck.
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Old 08-07-2008, 04:26 AM   #77
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pleased your fish are doing well. I will share some observations that I recently shared with another poster on another forum . I observed that fish that are fed more than once per day quickly become aware that only their favorite pieces of flake food or other food for that matter need to be eaten with any sense of urgency.I have watched them select only certain colors of the flake food bits which I assume represents different flavors.Much of the rest is either eaten by other occupants or falls to the bottom where it may or may not be eaten after food at the surface is gone.They know that in a few hours they will once again be fed and the process is repeated.Even corycats and other bottom feeders exhibited similar habits. However, by cutting feed to once per day the fish also became aware of that. Then when food was offered they were not as selective and quickly ate all that was offered. After food on the surface was gone they then went foraging along the bottom and pretty much ate everything.With the exception of my discus I feed once per day and only what they can eat in one minute. Try counting backwards from 60. That is quite a bit of food. Most people feed for much longer. I am certain your fish are getting their share. I also offer my fish frozen brine shrimp once a week, again, only what they can consume in one minute. As for vegetable matter for your PARTICULAR fish I would humbly suggest a flake food with spirulina. It should serve the same purpose. Hope some of this helps. :)
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Old 08-14-2008, 11:55 AM   #78
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It sounds odd but I was actually hoping to get them to eat the vegetables as much for me as them. I'd get a kick out of being able to fix them something like that and letting them graze on it for a while. The flake food I feed them disappears in a hell of a hurry. Its fun to watch them eat then but its a short lived show.

Right now I'm feeding them:

I may start them on these once in a while in addition to the flakes:

Or maybe just alternate my standard flakes with:

My wife is just about desensitized to my fish habit now so she's unlikely to blow a gasket at yet another container of food showing up.

Which brings me to my newest question. I've noticed an oily film on top of my water. I've heard that it's due to biological activity. While I'm not concerned about it for health or even appearance issues I'm always a gadget junky. Does anyone know of a way to set up a surface skimmer for the filter intake or maybe even go all the way with something like a nano-reef protein skimmer?
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Old 08-14-2008, 05:08 PM   #79
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Hmm, with adequate surface agitation, there shouldn't be anything building up on the surface of the tank.
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Old 08-14-2008, 08:58 PM   #80
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It's barely noticable at all, just barely a shimmer. I've got a Penguin 300 and an airstone churning up the surface pretty well.
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