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setting up an amazon biotope/habitat aquarium

This is a discussion on setting up an amazon biotope/habitat aquarium within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> yeah i read that the ich life cycle accelerates past a certain temperature, which meant that all of a sudden, there would be like ...

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setting up an amazon biotope/habitat aquarium
Old 06-21-2012, 12:25 AM   #141
 
yeah i read that the ich life cycle accelerates past a certain temperature, which meant that all of a sudden, there would be like a "spike" in ich symptoms, which would mean that the heat treatment was working. im not too concerned about that. i am keeping a close eye on initial hatchets (present before the ich) and my woodcats, which i read are highly susceptible. i lost one, which may have been the ich vector but the other two as of now are still doing ok. they have color and are not skinny. the rams are eating and coming to the surface for food. maybe a single hatchet is an ok dither fish. ill have friends for him soon.
and i agree with the cycling products. i use them to seed the tank. i have frogbit and pennywort now which apparently are both good plants to absorb ammonium and such so i feel thats ok.
about the two plants though. i am fertilizing once a week. the frogbit roots seem to have gotten shorter. and there are still some dying leaves. on the pennywort some of the roots off the stem are brown? is that ok? and the leaves are covered with a brown substance too, like brown algae kind of. im scared to brush it for a reason i will explain later.
my java moss has been releasing some kinda of filament. its a brighter green than the moss itself and looks more like a plant than anything. is this normal? should i tie it down or let it float/sway in the current? here is a picture. the filament is going across the driftwood from upper left branch to lower right branch. it is attached to the upper left clump and is free floating.

finally last issue. the reason i am scared is because i lost a hatchet today due to i think tank violence? but i was removing his body and all of a sudden, 1 more hatchet just died. out of the blue. i was adjusting my nozzle and before he had been swimming on the surface. i didnt touch him or anything. but it just dropped dead and floated around and died. is this a common hatchet occureence?
and thats good to hear that the hatchets i bought were silver hatchets. i ordered them. maybe they are just young. i hope they can grow up :)
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:15 AM   #142
 
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Odd about the hatchet, may have been injured or something. Java Moss is fine, sounds like new growth. The brown is likely diatoms, if it easily wipes off with your fingers; common in new setups (2-3 months), will stop as things settle.
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Old 06-22-2012, 04:02 AM   #143
 
ok sounds good. i will leave the java moss strands floating then. another hatchet died today. i think it might be ram aggression? my two rams that spawned last time, they were both females, i found them in some sand pits they dug in the back of the tank? perhaps they are going to lay eggs again? even though they wont be fertile as i have no mature males?
on another note i received my test kit today and did all the tests to finally have a legitimate set of numbers.
ammonia: 0ppm
nitrite: 0ppm
nitrate: 5ppm
pH: 7.4-7.6 (will test again with high range pH tomorrow)
KH: 3-4 dKH
GH: 6 dGH (could this be higher due to the copper meds in the water?)

i'd still like to keep the nannostomus mortenthaleri. as the numbers stand, my water is soft but still has a higher pH than is optimal. if i use RO/DI water from those machines at walmart/safeway/grocery store that filter to DI water, will that help lower my pH?
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Old 06-22-2012, 10:43 AM   #144
 
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Originally Posted by pandamonium View Post
ok sounds good. i will leave the java moss strands floating then. another hatchet died today. i think it might be ram aggression? my two rams that spawned last time, they were both females, i found them in some sand pits they dug in the back of the tank? perhaps they are going to lay eggs again? even though they wont be fertile as i have no mature males?
on another note i received my test kit today and did all the tests to finally have a legitimate set of numbers.
ammonia: 0ppm
nitrite: 0ppm
nitrate: 5ppm
pH: 7.4-7.6 (will test again with high range pH tomorrow)
KH: 3-4 dKH
GH: 6 dGH (could this be higher due to the copper meds in the water?)

i'd still like to keep the nannostomus mortenthaleri. as the numbers stand, my water is soft but still has a higher pH than is optimal. if i use RO/DI water from those machines at walmart/safeway/grocery store that filter to DI water, will that help lower my pH?
I don't know the machines you are mentioning. One has to be careful. "Softeners" and "filters" for tap water may add salts to the water and make it even worse than it now is. Besides this, with the GH and KH as low as you indicate, there are better and safer ways to deal with lowering the pH. But before starting that, get the present tank settled biologically so fish are surviving and not dying.

And on that, I can't suggest what may be killing the hatchets, diagnosing issues like this is not easy even if I were there to see everything. If the rams are managing and even spawning, this would suggest the hatchet issue may be with the fish, not the tank. Assuming they are recent acquisitions, will the store credit you for the losses (replace them later)? I wouldn't add any more fish now until everything is settled, but this is worth checking with the store.
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Old 06-22-2012, 06:56 PM   #145
 
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I don't know the machines you are mentioning. One has to be careful. "Softeners" and "filters" for tap water may add salts to the water and make it even worse than it now is. Besides this, with the GH and KH as low as you indicate, there are better and safer ways to deal with lowering the pH. But before starting that, get the present tank settled biologically so fish are surviving and not dying.

And on that, I can't suggest what may be killing the hatchets, diagnosing issues like this is not easy even if I were there to see everything. If the rams are managing and even spawning, this would suggest the hatchet issue may be with the fish, not the tank. Assuming they are recent acquisitions, will the store credit you for the losses (replace them later)? I wouldn't add any more fish now until everything is settled, but this is worth checking with the store.
they are like these machines. i know they put out RO/DI water and the TDS is very low. my friend used them at school for a shrimp tank he set up.


i am holding off on fish for now. ich treatment is at the day 6 mark. i still see some on my woodcat's tails. my rams seem to be fairly free from it and my lone hatchet has not been affected yet at all (visible signs). another 4 days and i will let the temperature go down back to 81 and then do a 50% water change as you suggested in your other post.

unfortunately the store will not refund any live merchandise once i step out of the store. they have very low prices, almost wholesale but they have a clause on their receipt that says no guarantees on live purchases. i usually ask them to bag the fish and i will take it straight home (the fish never stops in their tanks) because their water quality is not the greatest. i did this with the honeycombs and they were fine until one got ich in my tank almost 3 weeks later. but when the fish are in the tanks, the mortality seems to increase. ill hold off on other fish for now, at least until my diatom issue goes away. it doesnt affect my water i dont think but its still quite annoying to look at. what i am planning on doing is buying a PVC pipe or something similar and attaching a credit card or plastic card to the end as a scraper. i would buy one but i dont know if the magfloat or the toms scraper is better. figured i would save money if i just DIY the scraper.
also just rechecked my water parameters. its about 7.4. would pH raisers eventually wear off so that the water drops to 7 or lower? or would addition of RO/DI water lower it to 7 or lower?
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Old 06-22-2012, 07:04 PM   #146
 
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Quote:
also just rechecked my water parameters. its about 7.4. would pH raisers eventually wear off so that the water drops to 7 or lower? or would addition of RO/DI water lower it to 7 or lower?
What pH raisers is this?

To the second question, if the source water is not targeted somehow, the GH, KH and pH will be stable. The biological processes at work in an aquarium will tend to lower the pH, but this will be resisted by the KH depending what it is.

As soon as you start targeting the pH with any chemicals, this can affect the above. Again it depends upon the KH, and also how you are doing the targeting.

Assuming the tap water remains stable, then yes, diluting it with "pure" water would reduce the GH and KH accordingly. The pH might lower depending upon the pH of the "pure" water and the level of KH after the dilution.
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Old 06-22-2012, 11:06 PM   #147
 
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What pH raisers is this?

To the second question, if the source water is not targeted somehow, the GH, KH and pH will be stable. The biological processes at work in an aquarium will tend to lower the pH, but this will be resisted by the KH depending what it is.

As soon as you start targeting the pH with any chemicals, this can affect the above. Again it depends upon the KH, and also how you are doing the targeting.

Assuming the tap water remains stable, then yes, diluting it with "pure" water would reduce the GH and KH accordingly. The pH might lower depending upon the pH of the "pure" water and the level of KH after the dilution.
in one of your posts above when i gave you my water parameters, you suggested that they may have done something to raise the pH of the water. i dont actually know what we would call that but i just picked pH raiser. not really sure what they would use, but i assumed thats the function it performed.
im not sure what you mean by source water being targeted. do you mean that it has a set point that the water company is trying to achieve with water parameters?
i understand how pH and KH play together i think. basically KH is a buffering capacity to prevent the pH from decreasing. so if i reduce the KH, then the buffering capacity drops, therefore leading to a lower pH from natural biological processes.
i may give this a try though it may be expensive for me. the one issue i came across when researching this was that if the pH fluctuates too much, fish will be stressed. the reason i want to change the pH to be lower is because you said that the red coral pencilfish thrives in soft acidic conditions. being that my pH is about 7.4 and my water is soft, do you think that keeping the pH stable (as opposed to adjusting it) would work with the pencilfish?
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Old 06-23-2012, 01:16 PM   #148
 
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in one of your posts above when i gave you my water parameters, you suggested that they may have done something to raise the pH of the water. i dont actually know what we would call that but i just picked pH raiser. not really sure what they would use, but i assumed thats the function it performed.
This is usually not a concern; my water board adds ash to raise the pH, but it does not affect the GH or KH, so in the tank, the pH naturally lowers quickly.

Quote:
im not sure what you mean by source water being targeted. do you mean that it has a set point that the water company is trying to achieve with water parameters?
Here i was meaning you targeting the GH, KH otr pH in the tank somehow. For instance, if you add calcareous substances (sand, gravel, rock made of calcium-based material like limestone, marble, etc) it will affect the GH, KH and pH and raise all three, depending how much there is. This is targetting. With inert sand/gravel and rocks, the GH, KH and pH will remain what it is in the tap water. The pH may naturally lower if there is no buffering KH.

Quote:
i understand how pH and KH play together i think. basically KH is a buffering capacity to prevent the pH from decreasing. so if i reduce the KH, then the buffering capacity drops, therefore leading to a lower pH from natural biological processes.
Yes. The lower the KH, the less buffering so the quicker and lower the pH will naturally fall.

Quote:
i may give this a try though it may be expensive for me. the one issue i came across when researching this was that if the pH fluctuates too much, fish will be stressed. the reason i want to change the pH to be lower is because you said that the red coral pencilfish thrives in soft acidic conditions. being that my pH is about 7.4 and my water is soft, do you think that keeping the pH stable (as opposed to adjusting it) would work with the pencilfish?
As this fish species will be wild caught, and it occurs in ver soft and acidic waters (the Rio Nanay in Peru is the only confitrmed habitat of this beautiful species), blackwater streams and flooded forest to be specific. Your GH is fine, but I would target the pH to lower it. [You now know what target means.] Once the pH is below 7, because of the low KH it will likely stay there. The tank's biological system will maintain it.
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Old 06-23-2012, 04:36 PM   #149
 
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This is usually not a concern; my water board adds ash to raise the pH, but it does not affect the GH or KH, so in the tank, the pH naturally lowers quickly.

Here i was meaning you targeting the GH, KH otr pH in the tank somehow. For instance, if you add calcareous substances (sand, gravel, rock made of calcium-based material like limestone, marble, etc) it will affect the GH, KH and pH and raise all three, depending how much there is. This is targetting. With inert sand/gravel and rocks, the GH, KH and pH will remain what it is in the tap water. The pH may naturally lower if there is no buffering KH.

Yes. The lower the KH, the less buffering so the quicker and lower the pH will naturally fall.

As this fish species will be wild caught, and it occurs in ver soft and acidic waters (the Rio Nanay in Peru is the only confitrmed habitat of this beautiful species), blackwater streams and flooded forest to be specific. Your GH is fine, but I would target the pH to lower it. [You now know what target means.] Once the pH is below 7, because of the low KH it will likely stay there. The tank's biological system will maintain it.
ok so i will not be too concerned. my water comes out of the tap at 8.2 or something. the fact that is lowered to 7.2 in my tank is good in terms of how far i am from the ideal conditions. this is starting to all make sense now at least the interplay between different water parameters.
supposing i use RO/DI water to lower my KH which would hopefully lower my GH, how much would i add? is there a specific way to add this in? or is it just throw it in and pray? (which i would hope its not haha)
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Old 06-23-2012, 06:13 PM   #150
 
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Originally Posted by pandamonium View Post
ok so i will not be too concerned. my water comes out of the tap at 8.2 or something. the fact that is lowered to 7.2 in my tank is good in terms of how far i am from the ideal conditions. this is starting to all make sense now at least the interplay between different water parameters.
supposing i use RO/DI water to lower my KH which would hopefully lower my GH, how much would i add? is there a specific way to add this in? or is it just throw it in and pray? (which i would hope its not haha)
Using "pure" water will dilute the tap proportionally to the amount. As an example, half pure water with half tap will reduce the GH/KH by half. The pH is a bit different, because the "pure" water will have a pH of its own and this will mix. It will be lower, and then lower more in time.

If this were me, i would tend to use rainwater. It is zero GH/KH and has an acidic pH. And it is inexpensive. Provided you live where you get enough rainfall. Which you do in SF.
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