Getting started, any advice/pointers? Natural ways to lower pH/soften H2O - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 12-29-2013, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
Getting started, any advice/pointers? Natural ways to lower pH/soften H2O

Sup folks! So I just snagged a 20g long at petsmart for 30$. I can get a simple latched glass lid for $18 for it, but I found a stand on craigslist that had a built in light and they sold it all to me for 60$ (hand made out of 2x4s, stained black) So I feel I made out good. Probably not as good as some deals, but it's pretty good for me.

Got all the basics to get me started for under 130$ (minus the substrate and plants and obviously the fish)

Got a Topfin 40 spraybar internal filter with bio ceramic things and carbon sponge filters. This should be high enough for the 20g long right? Haha, I don't want to over filter TOO much, but it has an adjustable flow rate so it shouldn't be strong. Pumps... 171g/hr i believe.

I'll be getting the.. fourite plant stuff and white sand for substrate. Haven't decided on plants or fish yet BUT I'm hoping you guys could answer some things for me, or at least just give me some tips/advice.

Though I got regular sponge filters without carbon in them because I wasn't sure if the carbon would stall my cycle (I'm using Seachem's Stability bottle because believe it or not I couldn't find any pure ammonia in any stores... weird right?) or effect other things. If this is just my paranoi and it's safe to leave in my filter, let me know :)

2ndly, I'm curioius about if there is anything I could do to naturally soften the water and lower the pH a bit. I know there is wood and... aquarium salt... uhm... peat moss, there was something else but I can't remember. I don't want to use chemicals or anything that I have to physically add because I want the ecosystem to just naturally do it itself so I won't have to worry about wonky spikes or anything. Or should I just leave it be? A lot of the fish I'm looking at like softer water and not quite as high of a pH as I have.

My pH out of the tap is 7.8.... yeah.... it's not as bad as it could have been but yeah... haha

Don't know my water softness/hardness, but I KNOW it's hard because I get serious hard water stains on the glass of my gecko tanks before which is why I switched to distilled water for spraying. (though I use spring water for their food and water) So anyone know where I could find a test kit for that? Or is it no big deal? I didn't really look for one at petsmart, would they have one?

Thanks :D
mechanical8dragon is offline  
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post #2 of 5 Old 12-30-2013, 12:27 AM
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you could go the peat moss route. but your ph is fine for most fish.acclimation is the important part. most captive bred fish including tetras will adjust.and many of them have been already kept in a higher ph.if you are planning on breeding or are looking at delicate wild caught fish,well that is a different bearers will do well in a higher is more important to have a stable ph than an ideal ph. what species are you looking at?

bettas-goldfish-shrimp-snails-planted tanks
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post #3 of 5 Old 12-30-2013, 12:38 AM Thread Starter
not over sure what species yet. I'm limited by what petsmart has. Was looking into getting some Bloodfin Tetras. Not sure about what other fish.
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post #4 of 5 Old 12-30-2013, 01:15 PM
Look into dwarf cichlids..kribensis, golden dwarves, A. Borelli
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post #5 of 5 Old 01-04-2014, 11:11 AM
chances are your pH & water hardness are strongly related to calcium

i love snails more and more, as they grow they'll use calcium to build their shells, then remove the larger snails

this is all guess-work mind you

i could also guess this will do more to prevent the water from being controlled by calcium and less actually adjusting the pH
-as the calcium is removed, the pH will fall, as the pH drops the shells will dissolve, as the shells dissolve the calcium will raise, as the calcium raises, the pH will climb

i don't mean to sound like this will get no where
the net result you're still removing shells which are loaded with calcium.

Last edited by Flear; 01-04-2014 at 11:16 AM.
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