water for cichlids
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water for cichlids

This is a discussion on water for cichlids within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Hi, I am getting a 75g low tech planted, with apistos, angels, tetras, cory, otos. My tap water is 282ppm TDS, dGH8, dKH 5, ...

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Old 08-08-2014, 10:22 AM   #1
 
water for cichlids

Hi, I am getting a 75g low tech planted, with apistos, angels, tetras, cory, otos. My tap water is 282ppm TDS, dGH8, dKH 5, pH 8 (after sitting), 2.5 ppm high chloramines. I read that keeping a stable KH (buffer) is important to help keep pH in control. Can I use just my tap water with alkaline and acid buffers, Prime, Excel, SeaChem matrix in canister? Should I do anything else? Do I need RO? I am used to salt water tanks so this is a learning curve. I was told most fish are captive bred and will adapt with no problem?! Newbie needs help!!!

Last edited by Fish4Me; 08-08-2014 at 10:25 AM..
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Old 08-11-2014, 05:37 PM   #2
 
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What substrate are you going to use?
Are you planning on adding driftwood?
Stay away from chemical buffers. Most of them are phosphate based and will cause algae.
KH is fine in the tap water. Expect it to drop during cycle. Some plants can use bicarbonates (KH) if CO2 is not available. Keep an eye on it and replace it with a water change if it drops too low.
Seachem matrix is extra media for biofiltration. It says it removes nitrogenous waste (ammonia, nitrites and nitrates). This is un-necessary in a planted aquarium since plants needs them to grow.
RO water can be used to replace evaporated water. If used alone, it must be remineralized. Equilibrium is a product made by Seachem, ideal for plants because it has potassium along calcium, magnesium, iron and other minerals.
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Old 08-11-2014, 06:17 PM   #3
 
I am going to use eco-complete and thought I would add some malaysian driftwood as an acid buffer, correct? Are wonder shells a good idea?

Whoa, did not know that about chemical buffers, was reading an article on-line about using them so I thought I needed to. Thought I would use SC Excel for CO2. Should I use RO water for top off to keep GH in control or just large water changes? Are these water parameters ok for my fish mix? (Replenish with RO water) Thank you!
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Old 08-11-2014, 06:25 PM   #4
 
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All i would do is put some peat moss in the filter. The sera brand. It will last you forever. Ro water isnt really needed. Do you want to do like a biotope? With plants, driftwood, peat moss, and leaf litter. The ph will be really low, and you will have happy fish.

Also dont do eco complete it will tear up the cories. Just do flourite black sand.
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Old 08-11-2014, 06:51 PM   #5
 
I thought I would do a sandy foreground and also use flourite sand on top of the eco complete (I know it may settle, but would it still help the cory's)? Does the Sera peat make the water brown? Would I need the peat and the malaysian wood? Semi-biotope, maybe some almond leaves? I don't want it too brown! Probably have to try and test water to see how it reacts, right? I was going to do a dry start to get plant roots going, then add water with a few algae eaters to get everything cycled before adding fish. PS you like Sera over the Fluval peat?
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Old 08-11-2014, 07:06 PM   #6
 
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I would not use wonder shells when you try to soften the water for your fish. It defeats the purpose.
I used Eheim peat pellets and it is coloring the water. Same for Mopani wood. Not much for Malaysian wood.
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Old 08-11-2014, 07:19 PM   #7
 
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The sand will settle. It always does. Just every water change mix it up. Look at my avatar, that is with flourite and black sand. Peat moss will lower the ph endlessly, whilr driftwood will stop after a while. Yes both make the water brown, with tannins. With the peat there is no formula. So you just put some in and if you need more, add more. Or less just take some out and throw it back in the package. Almond leaves are okay. But you will have to replace them quite often. You can make DIY leaf litter with oak leaves. Works great, and is free.

You dont want to add algae eaters before the tank is cycled. They should be one of the last fish added.

I use the sera cuz it is like 10 bucks for a package, that you will never run out of. I have never used the fluval. But with the sera, i added some to my tanks and is still doimg what it is supposed to do, lower the ph. It has been 6 months, yah it slowed done a little. But i dont need my ph wicked low, it is like 6.8 usually.

So you dont want your tank like this-

Do you want something like this-

You can also throw some carbon in your filter to take some of the tannins out.
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Old 08-11-2014, 07:20 PM   #8
 
I am reading up on the peat - don't use with carbon in the filter? If you use carbon to remove tannins, doesn't that also affect pH and defeat the purpose? One post said the Eheim peat does not discolor water as much, any experience with this? What would you put in a canister filter then? The peat and bio media and sponge? I had read another article mentioning to put in the algae team first! I have to quit reading I think!

Last edited by Fish4Me; 08-11-2014 at 07:30 PM..
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Old 08-11-2014, 07:26 PM   #9
 
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I have the fluval 306 and an aqueon quiteflow 10. In the fluval i have filter pads, more filter pads, bio media, more filter pads, than peat. In my hob i just have filter pads. Carbon is not the best For plants. So i would get an hod filter as well and throw it in that. Than when you dose excel, reach back and take it out. Than like 2 hours put it back in. It will take a little whole for the peat to actually discolor you water, like 1.5 weeks. I HIGHLY doubt the eheim peat wont discolor water.
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Old 08-12-2014, 01:09 PM   #10
 
This is a 75g; don't want HOB cause of cat!! Would it work to put the peat in the top off water maybe the night before to soften it a bit? I will be using the Fluval 406 - would I be able to put the peat in and take out easily if the water is getting too brown!? If I use carbon with the peat, won't they counteract the softening effects or will the carbon just help remove the brown? Thank you all - I will get this yet!
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