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Newbie with a few questions

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Newbie with a few questions
Old 09-11-2010, 05:28 PM   #11
 
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Until we know the hardness of your tap water, it is next to impossible to suggest how you can safely lower the pH. The two are connected.

Do not use that pH adjuster stuff with fish in the tank. It may do no harm on its own, depending upon the hardness. I won't waste time explaining all that until I know the numbers for GH and KH, and these you should be able to get from the water board's website if they have one, or contact them directly.

Redchigh is correct on suitable fish, but once again, without knowing the hardness we can't just write off soft water fish. Lowering the pH is very easy if the hardness is minimal.

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Old 09-11-2010, 07:24 PM   #12
 
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the water is pretty hard, i do know that. I went to the water dist and talked to them and they looked at me like I had two heads when I asked them about pH and hardness. There were two people scrambling to figure it out and then one just said its about 8.5-9. I had no idea what she meant by that but she said thats pretty hard water. Does that mean anything to anyone? I took a trifold from then that they said should have everything I need listed, but it didnt really have much of anything on it that was useful.

Of everything, the one fish that I really, really want is the angels, thats the majority of the reason Im setting it up. But I want other fish with it. The guarami's came next because the lfs has a 175g tank with angels and a pair of male guarami's. they seem to be doing fine, they just face off in the middle of the tank from time to time and then go back to their respective sides. They have all the above listed fish in there, and more, thats how I came up with those particular fish. I was thinking more like a m/f pair of guaramis if they have them stocked. Im not really 100% set on anything but I sure would love to have the Angels and work around them if I can. Not quite a must have but I'll sure be dissapointed if they dont work out.

Just stumbled on a post that said something about 4 steps to freshwater plants, gonna try to hunt that down and give it a good read
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Old 09-11-2010, 07:35 PM   #13
 
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Originally Posted by Peanut72 View Post
the water is pretty hard, i do know that. I went to the water dist and talked to them and they looked at me like I had two heads when I asked them about pH and hardness. There were two people scrambling to figure it out and then one just said its about 8.5-9. I had no idea what she meant by that but she said thats pretty hard water. Does that mean anything to anyone? I took a trifold from then that they said should have everything I need listed, but it didnt really have much of anything on it that was useful.

Of everything, the one fish that I really, really want is the angels, thats the majority of the reason Im setting it up. But I want other fish with it. The guarami's came next because the lfs has a 175g tank with angels and a pair of male guarami's. they seem to be doing fine, they just face off in the middle of the tank from time to time and then go back to their respective sides. They have all the above listed fish in there, and more, thats how I came up with those particular fish. I was thinking more like a m/f pair of guaramis if they have them stocked. Im not really 100% set on anything but I sure would love to have the Angels and work around them if I can. Not quite a must have but I'll sure be dissapointed if they dont work out.

Just stumbled on a post that said something about 4 steps to freshwater plants, gonna try to hunt that down and give it a good read
That series will explain low-tech planted tanks [I wrote it]. Also have a look at our profiles of the fish you are thinking of; there are some issues as they will explain.

I can go into detailon the water issue tomorrow; can you find anything in what they gave you about minerals, GH, KH, carbonates... ?
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Old 09-11-2010, 10:59 PM   #14
 
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Tested water tonight when I got home. PH still at 7.6 and everything else was at 0. Water is still quite cloudy. I looked online and found the water quality report, didnt really have much on there. It was pretty much the same printout that I had from them locally. Our water actually comes from quite far away, which was a little surprising to me. We have a local water supply, but only serves part of the county, the rest gets piped in. Anyhow, that report didnt have anything that looked like the info you were looking for. Had things like nitrites, nitrates, chlorine/chloramine, barium, flouride and so on.

I did take a look at the profiles and read some on the incompatabilities of some fish. I might be better off just doing a species tank as opposed to a community tank. Not what I really want, but...

Heres a pic of the tank as it sits tonight.

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Old 09-12-2010, 12:18 PM   #15
 
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Tested water tonight when I got home. PH still at 7.6 and everything else was at 0. Water is still quite cloudy. I looked online and found the water quality report, didnt really have much on there. It was pretty much the same printout that I had from them locally. Our water actually comes from quite far away, which was a little surprising to me. We have a local water supply, but only serves part of the county, the rest gets piped in. Anyhow, that report didnt have anything that looked like the info you were looking for. Had things like nitrites, nitrates, chlorine/chloramine, barium, flouride and so on.

I did take a look at the profiles and read some on the incompatabilities of some fish. I might be better off just doing a species tank as opposed to a community tank. Not what I really want, but...

Heres a pic of the tank as it sits tonight.

The cloudiness is normal and will clear. If you could give me the link to their website, I will take a look; I might find something of use to make a better determination.
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Old 09-12-2010, 03:15 PM   #16
 
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Heres the link to the quality report. I emailed them earlier today and asked about the things you had mentioned in a previous post. Prob wont hear anything back for a few days tho. I figured the cloudiness was just part of it and it looks like it is already starting to clear up some. We picked up some tetras this afternoon to help get it cycled. Hopefully those little guys make it out alright. We only put three in there.
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Old 09-12-2010, 04:05 PM   #17
 
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Heres the link to the quality report. I emailed them earlier today and asked about the things you had mentioned in a previous post. Prob wont hear anything back for a few days tho. I figured the cloudiness was just part of it and it looks like it is already starting to clear up some. We picked up some tetras this afternoon to help get it cycled. Hopefully those little guys make it out alright. We only put three in there.
That's better. The pH and hardness are listed at the bottom of the chart in the quality report. Hardness as CaCO3 (which is calcium carbonate) is 159 mg/l [= 159 ppm]. They also list calcium as 46 mg/l and magnesium at 11 mg/l; calcium and magnesium are the two minerals that generally determine hardness. This all means medium hard water, roughly equivalent to 9 dGH. In our fish profiles I use dGH for water hardness so it is easy for you to match fish. The pH they list as 8.1 which is a bit high. The KH (carbonate hardness) is sufficient that the pH should not lower much, though wood in the tank will help a bit. And of course diluting tap water with pure water (rainwater, RO water, or similar) if you really want to go down that road.

Your pH result was 7.6; I've no idea when the 8.1 on the website was measured, and water supply pH can vary from time to time. One thought though, when testing pH of tap water let a glass of water sit overnight to dissipate the CO2 out. The pH reading will then be closer to the mark, and in this case may be higher (closer to 8).

Don't know what tetra species you added, but some will manage in basic water. Pristella maxillaris comes to mind. I would certainly not attempt soft water fish like cardinals, rummynose, pencilfish in water this hard, unless lowering the hardness and pH is done via RO or something. Some of the danio and barbs (but not Tiger if you want the tank peaceful) will work, and the fish redchigh mentioned previously. As I said, the GH and pH ranges are given for each species in our profiles, so looking through those will provide some guidance on suitable fish. Check the compatibility comments also to ensure they are compatible.

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Old 09-12-2010, 05:45 PM   #18
 
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ok, thanks for figuring all that our for me. That will point me in the right direction. I do believe it was cardinals that she wanted and we put in there, I dont really remember. I am in the middle of putting together a spreadsheet with all of the fish that I am thinking about and what their happy ranges are. Kind of a quick reference guide. Although very informative, its time consuming going back and forth checking to see who all plays well together. trying to put basic info on one page.
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Old 09-12-2010, 06:25 PM   #19
 
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One thing I forgot to mention previously: I noticed in that chart some other substances in the water, namely nitrite and nitrate; these occur (as they mention) from ground water runoff in agricultural areas. Not really a problem, as the numbers seem fairly low; but you might want to test the tap water for nitrite and nitrate (the API test kit is good, or take a sample to a reliable fish store--once you find out the number, that's all you need as you can deal with it). If nitrate is around 10ppm, not a problem if you have live plants in the tank and do not overstock. Plants are excellent for keeping nitrates down. Nitrite is another issue, and if it is present above .25 I would recommend Prime as your water conditioner; Prime is the only one known to me that detoxifies nitrite (and nitrate too for that matter).

But the numbers may be very low; to be honest, I didn't thoroughly study the chart to see just what they were saying, there were so many scenarios, but the mention of nitrite and nitrate caught my attention. Which is why I suggest a test yourself or at the store; if the API test shows little or no nitrate and zero nitrite, that is all you need to know and it is not worth fussing over.
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Old 09-15-2010, 05:42 PM   #20
 
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Ok, so its been almost a week now since the tank was filled. The water is still pretty cloudy. Thought it looked like it was clearing up day before yesterday, but looks worse today. The fish that are in it seem to be acting alright with the exception of the Tiger Barbs. Their color looks to be faded some and one just hangs out by the filter when the light is on. Even points nose down at times. Turn the light off and he zips around with the other one. The Cardinal Tetras have found each other. For a while there was one all off by himself. I feed them only once a day and very little, so I dont think that is contributing to the cloudiness. I have tested the water several times. I never saw an ammonia spike, but nitrAtes are testing at between 5 and 10ppm as of last night. Ammonia and NitrItes have all remained at 0. I thought aglea bloom maybe, but then read a post earlier that if Ammonia and nitrites are 0 and nitrates are showing, then its probably not algea bloom. The filter does have a brownish looking substance in it, so something is coming out of the water. There is also a foamy film on top of the water. Not much, but enough to leave a ring around the tank. I washed all the decorations with nothing but pure tap water as well as the tank, gravel and filter. The gravel I washed several times in a bucket with holes drilled in it to flush out all the junk. Then put it all in a cooler with the spout open and filled it several times letting the water run out while turning the gravel as the water ran over it. I cleaned it to what I thought was relly well. I have tried to find something on cloudy water, but have been unable to turn up much. As I understand it, this is relatively normal for it to get cloudy, but how long should it stay this way. I have yet to do a water change, but plan on doing at least 25% tomorrow. Any thoughts on this?

As as luck would have it, I bought this set up off Craigslist. Had to have a 75 gal, but really wanted a 72 gal bowfront. I searched for some time and finally setteled on this tank. Wouldnt you know it, on good ole Craigslist there is a 72 gal bowfront with black stand and all the goodies to go with it right here in town and for $150. What a deal. Too bad I already have this one, the wife would probably kick me and the fish out if I cam home with the bowfront.
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