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New 8g and 5g- cycling and stocking questions

This is a discussion on New 8g and 5g- cycling and stocking questions within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by loveguppies I did a seach online for carbon filters and I found information saying that a carbon filter itself will get ...

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New 8g and 5g- cycling and stocking questions
Old 12-13-2012, 01:30 PM   #11
 
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I did a seach online for carbon filters and I found information saying that a carbon filter itself will get clogged very quickly and a main filtration system should be used before running it through the carbon, main filtration being chlorine, greensand or salt if I remember right. I also researched well water, rust coloring etc and it appears to be an excess of iron and when I called to ask my husband thats what he said too. I've read conflicting things on whether or not the iron is harmful to fish but the extra filter would help there I believe. If not there's an option mentioned over and over when referring to softened water and aquariums- Potassium Chloride, which as of right now I know nothing about other than it can be used instead of salt.
I was thinking either iron or organics with the rust/orange colour, but didn't want to guess. So iron it is. And yes, iron is a heavy metal and heavy metals are toxic to all life forms at specific levels; up to then, they are in this case nutrients required by plants, and animals for that matter. This is one of those substances where the acceptable level for human consumption is above what fish can tolerate; copper is another.

Most water conditioners detoxify heavy metals such as iron, copper, zinc, manganese, nickel. These work for 24-48 hours. But they are intended for trace amounts, such as would normally occur in municipal water where the approved limits must be met at least in North America. Your well water test would ascertain the level of iron. Plants can also take up some excess heavy metals, but this is finite. Carbon will adsorb these, but again there is a limit.

Potassium chloride is a mineral salt composed of potassium and chlorine. I know that chloride is detrimental to planted aquaria at high levels, but I've no idea how "high" this is. Chlorine of course is highly toxic to all fish, bacteria and invertebrates; it is a plant nutrient in small quantity. Water conditioners do handle chlorine, permanently too. So this is worth considering.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:43 PM   #12
 
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I was thinking either iron or organics with the rust/orange colour, but didn't want to guess. So iron it is. And yes, iron is a heavy metal and heavy metals are toxic to all life forms at specific levels; up to then, they are in this case nutrients required by plants, and animals for that matter. This is one of those substances where the acceptable level for human consumption is above what fish can tolerate; copper is another.

Most water conditioners detoxify heavy metals such as iron, copper, zinc, manganese, nickel. These work for 24-48 hours. But they are intended for trace amounts, such as would normally occur in municipal water where the approved limits must be met at least in North America. Your well water test would ascertain the level of iron. Plants can also take up some excess heavy metals, but this is finite. Carbon will adsorb these, but again there is a limit.

Potassium chloride is a mineral salt composed of potassium and chlorine. I know that chloride is detrimental to planted aquaria at high levels, but I've no idea how "high" this is. Chlorine of course is highly toxic to all fish, bacteria and invertebrates; it is a plant nutrient in small quantity. Water conditioners do handle chlorine, permanently too. So this is worth considering.
Now if I were to switch from salt to potassium chloride would that change my GH reading and still be okay for guppies, plants, shrimp etc? My original GH when testing the softened water was non-existant but it was much better with just straight well water, wondering if the GH would be at 0 again with the potassium chloride...
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:29 PM   #13
 
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Now if I were to switch from salt to potassium chloride would that change my GH reading and still be okay for guppies, plants, shrimp etc? My original GH when testing the softened water was non-existant but it was much better with just straight well water, wondering if the GH would be at 0 again with the potassium chloride...
I wouldn't think so, but this is just a surmise. It is someimtes used as a crop fertilizer to provide potassium to plants. As plants must have calcium for cell building, I wouldn't expect PC to somehow negate calcium and magnesium which are the two "hard" minerals.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:14 AM   #14
 
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I wouldn't think so, but this is just a surmise. It is someimtes used as a crop fertilizer to provide potassium to plants. As plants must have calcium for cell building, I wouldn't expect PC to somehow negate calcium and magnesium which are the two "hard" minerals.
Well our softener is in need of new salt so I think I'm going to give that a try. I remember reading somewhere on here that using some kind of black gravel from a tractor supply store worked good as substrate for a planted aquarium but now I cant find it, hopefully I'm remembering the post correctly. Do you happen to know what I'm talking about?
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:21 AM   #15
 
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It was the coal slag from Tractor Supply. This is used as a sandblasting material, and I personally would not use it in an aquarium because of the hard angular design of the material that is used for removing matter during sandblasting. I would be more concerned with the degrading of the barbel over time if using this for a substrate.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:27 AM   #16
 
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It was the coal slag from Tractor Supply. This is used as a sandblasting material, and I personally would not use it in an aquarium because of the hard angular design of the material that is used for removing matter during sandblasting. I would be more concerned with the degrading of the barbel over time if using this for a substrate.
Ahh okay thank you :). One of my tanks is acrylic so I dont want sand or anything that may cause scratching, what I found that I like the looks of is CaribSea fine aquarium gravel in Tahitian Moon but the petco closest to me(1.5 hrs away) doesnt have it in stock and its not in stock online either. Do you know of anything like it to recommend that I might be able to find nearby? There's tons of the big gravel everywhere but the fine stuff is proving more difficult to find.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:42 AM   #17
 
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Ahh okay thank you :). One of my tanks is acrylic so I dont want sand or anything that may cause scratching, what I found that I like the looks of is CaribSea fine aquarium gravel in Tahitian Moon but the petco closest to me(1.5 hrs away) doesnt have it in stock and its not in stock online either. Do you know of anything like it to recommend that I might be able to find nearby? There's tons of the big gravel everywhere but the fine stuff is proving more difficult to find.
Are you wanting pure black, or does it matter? I would go with sand over gravel, esp if substrate fish like corys, loaches, etc or cichlids (most of which eat from the substrate) are involved.

If black is important, there is black pool filter sand available from some landscape or quarry sup[pliers, though I've not seen it locally. If the black is not important, I suggest common play sand. I have this in five tanks now, and after two years it has worked very well for plants and fish. Play Sand from Home Depot or Lowe's is cheap, and all things considered about the best you can use.

Byron.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:58 AM   #18
 
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Are you wanting pure black, or does it matter? I would go with sand over gravel, esp if substrate fish like corys, loaches, etc or cichlids (most of which eat from the substrate) are involved.

If black is important, there is black pool filter sand available from some landscape or quarry sup[pliers, though I've not seen it locally. If the black is not important, I suggest common play sand. I have this in five tanks now, and after two years it has worked very well for plants and fish. Play Sand from Home Depot or Lowe's is cheap, and all things considered about the best you can use.

Byron.
Well I was trying to stay away from sand because it would likely scratch my acrylic aquarium, I dont plan on having cichlids, corys or loaches in this tank, just guppies, a mystery snail and possibly shrimp(not sure on that part yet). I'm looking for a fine gravel preferably in black, I do have some plants and would like to add a few more. I see posts where people just use all eco-complete which is another option I'm open to.
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:08 PM   #19
 
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Well I was trying to stay away from sand because it would likely scratch my acrylic aquarium, I dont plan on having cichlids, corys or loaches in this tank, just guppies, a mystery snail and possibly shrimp(not sure on that part yet). I'm looking for a fine gravel preferably in black, I do have some plants and would like to add a few more. I see posts where people just use all eco-complete which is another option I'm open to.
Gravel will scratch as much as sand, and Eco-complete is perhaps even worse. But this is if you get it up on the sides, which you shouldn't.

But regardless of that, for livebearers, I would set up a basic natural geographic tank, with fine gravel in a dark shade (black if you like it, I having one tank with black and I am not keen on it, as it shows every minute spec that none of my other tanks do). Some rounded pebbles representing river rock, in various sizes but similar in appearance, and a chunk of driftwood. Plants. A nice Central American stream.
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:21 PM   #20
 
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Gravel will scratch as much as sand, and Eco-complete is perhaps even worse. But this is if you get it up on the sides, which you shouldn't.

But regardless of that, for livebearers, I would set up a basic natural geographic tank, with fine gravel in a dark shade (black if you like it, I having one tank with black and I am not keen on it, as it shows every minute spec that none of my other tanks do). Some rounded pebbles representing river rock, in various sizes but similar in appearance, and a chunk of driftwood. Plants. A nice Central American stream.
Sounds good, thank you Byron :)
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