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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; --> There are many options when it comes to substrate... Pool filter sand is about the size of course sea salt or exfoliating scrub. Because ...

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New 8g and 5g- cycling and stocking questions
Old 12-14-2012, 12:57 PM   #21
 
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There are many options when it comes to substrate...

Pool filter sand is about the size of course sea salt or exfoliating scrub. Because of the size, you get the benifits of sand without the problems with compacting! Takes a good bit of rinsing, but not as much as play sand and will cost only about $10 for 50lb! It can be found at pool supply stores or most hardware stores.

Playsand is another option. Again, much less expensive, but requires A LOT of cleaning. Comes in a variety of colors. It is fine and not corse at all. It is after all made for children to play in

If you go with gravel, make sure it is innert and free of any sharp edges. If you have any doubts, do what I do and after cleaning it wel, place it in a bucket with water (covered of corse) for a week and check the water for discoloration, pH changes, and other perimeter changes.

To keep the substrate clean but not spend a lot on a gravel cleaner, google diy gravel cleaners. The one with the coke bottle works good

Last edited by Bluewind; 12-14-2012 at 01:03 PM..
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:59 PM   #22
 
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Quote:
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There are many options when it comes to substrate...

Pool filter sand is about the size of course sea salt or exfoliating scrub. Because of the size, you get the benifits of sand without the problems with compacting! Takes a good bit of rinsing, but not as much as play sand and will cost only about $10 for 50lb! It can be found at pool supply stores or most hardware stores.

Playsand is another option. Again, much less expensive, but requires A LOT of cleaning. Comes in a variety of colors. It is fine and not corse at all.
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Hmm I didnt think of pool sand, that might be something to look into, I dont mind the cleaning as long as the end result is good. Thank you :)
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Old 12-14-2012, 01:35 PM   #23
 
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Lol! My goodness you are fast! You replied before I finished editing my last post! XD
(I have a limited time to type on my phone, so I edit a lot )

Pfs works well if you wont be having any fish with barbles. It give you the benfits of sand without the compacting and plants make good root systems with it. Just make sure to clean it crazy well or it will make your filter NASTY and force you to change it early. Also, don't forget to look up that diy gravel vac

Also, what plants are you thinking about? Anubias, Water Sprites, and Marimo Balls are all good for beginners AND the fish can munch on them! Those Harty Hybrid Apendegeon (spelling?) Bulbs you can get from just about any store are good beginner plants too. Just be ready for only a few to sprout (I only got 2 out of 5). The ones that do really do grow tall and lovely with little care
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Last edited by Bluewind; 12-14-2012 at 01:39 PM..
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:36 PM   #24
 
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Quote:
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Lol! My goodness you are fast! You replied before I finished editing my last post! XD
(I have a limited time to type on my phone, so I edit a lot )

Pfs works well if you wont be having any fish with barbles. It give you the benfits of sand without the compacting and plants make good root systems with it. Just make sure to clean it crazy well or it will make your filter NASTY and force you to change it early. Also, don't forget to look up that diy gravel vac

Also, what plants are you thinking about? Anubias, Water Sprites, and Marimo Balls are all good for beginners AND the fish can munch on them! Those Harty Hybrid Apendegeon (spelling?) Bulbs you can get from just about any store are good beginner plants too. Just be ready for only a few to sprout (I only got 2 out of 5). The ones that do really do grow tall and lovely with little care
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Ha.

I have an Anubias and 3 marimo balls(1 in one tank and 2 in the other), planning on some Water sprites and I really like the Lloydiella plants so maybe one of those . The bulbs sound kinda fun so I may look into those too.

Right now I need to get my water under control, I went to the store and looked for Potassium Chloride so I could use that instead of salt in my softener and yikes that stuff is expensive! At first my husband was like no way but I think he'll warm up to the idea, eventually lol.
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:19 PM   #25
 
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Would it be cheeper to buy water for a while?
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:37 PM   #26
 
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Would it be cheeper to buy water for a while?
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I'm not sure, I have two small tanks and the salt is about $28 per bag, we go through about a bag a month. Our salt we use now is about $8 so its really only $20 more a month but my husband thinks thats crazy for a water softener and I must admit I was a little surprised at the price too! Right now I'm still in the cycling process so I dont have any fish in my tanks, I'd rather switch my water to whatever I will be using with the fish before I get them and stick with it so I dont stress them later on. Too bad I dont know anyone local that has awesome water I can just borrow every week or so! lol
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:54 PM   #27
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Although I have no prior experience with fish, just starting out, I feel that using the water that you will have the easiest access to with the most constant conditions would be best. I am just getting my water tested professionally (I should get a nice print out of EVERYTHING that is there and all the stats) and am selecting my fish accordingly. I'm on well water that I think will be in the medium hardness area, don't know yet.

Even using softened water, I think, may be unpredictable. My parents used soft water and I can recall many times running out of salt, changing the salt supply and just having various troubles with the systems. Straight from the well and dealing with the issues consistently would, in my estimation, give you the best results.

I used to drag all our drinking water from my parents well, ahead of the softener. Even that can be a pain as you do have less control over the access of someone else's water.

Good luck.

Jeff.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:07 PM   #28
 
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Although I have no prior experience with fish, just starting out, I feel that using the water that you will have the easiest access to with the most constant conditions would be best. I am just getting my water tested professionally (I should get a nice print out of EVERYTHING that is there and all the stats) and am selecting my fish accordingly. I'm on well water that I think will be in the medium hardness area, don't know yet.

Even using softened water, I think, may be unpredictable. My parents used soft water and I can recall many times running out of salt, changing the salt supply and just having various troubles with the systems. Straight from the well and dealing with the issues consistently would, in my estimation, give you the best results.

I used to drag all our drinking water from my parents well, ahead of the softener. Even that can be a pain as you do have less control over the access of someone else's water.

Good luck.

Jeff.
Drinking our water straight from the well would be pretty gross, we have alot of rust, it comes out orange and smells like eggs(too much iron) so not using a softener isnt really an option for us. I have cycled my aquariums thus far with my softened(with salt) water and my parameters are very steady but with the salt my GH is steadily non-existant and my PH steadily very high. When switching to Potassium Chloride as I understand it my GH and PH will remain at the same levels as my well water reads(which is a good thing, GH is fairly hard and PH of 7.4-7.6 which is perfect for the fish I'd like to keep.

I agree using the water I have easist access to is best, which for me I believe is changing my salt to potassium chloride or I'm atleast willing to try it since I dont have many other options.

It would be really nice if in this area we just had normal well water, certainly would have saved me alot of research time trying to find an alternative to salt!

Thank you for taking the time to comment on my post Jeff, I appreciate hearing others opinions on this stuff
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:45 PM   #29
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No problem.

Have you considered reverse osmosis filtration? I hear it is a good alternative to regular filtration. I don't think that it will replace softening but it might, on a small aquarium only scale, be a good alternative for you. You would need to do your own research on that as I only know a very little about it.... basically how the process works, not how much it may cost.

Jeff.
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:10 AM   #30
 
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Rotten eggs? That's usually a sign of sulfer in the water. Are you sure it's just iron?

We have a well at my house too. The bottom of our well is full of sand, so although we get a bit of grit in our water, it is clear and tastes great! (drinking water is just put in a pitcher to settle and then drink all but t the last glass). Guess we got lucky
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