Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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marshallsea 05-31-2012 01:21 PM

water/stocking question
 
i have a 20g w 3 platys.(newbie checklist item 1). i had been testing with strips and determined my tap water was 0 hardness. i started driving to the next town for hard tap water and mixing it with r/o water 50/50. im not sure why i mixed , i think it was high ammonia in the tap. now i have a tetra laborett kit and have retested my tap water. it is gh-3, kh-3, nitrite-0, ph-8.0, ammonia 1.5 mg/l. the ammonia sounds high but i know a well cycled tank with goldfish using this water that always tests 0 ammonia.(my 20g is only 5 weeks so i still make the drive). question 1 is once my 20g is established, can i use my tap for the platys safely? question 2 is, even if i cant use it for platys, im soon getting a 50g and want to use my tap. what fish will live comfortably in my tap water?

Byron 06-01-2012 10:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by marshallsea (Post 1101642)
i have a 20g w 3 platys.(newbie checklist item 1). i had been testing with strips and determined my tap water was 0 hardness. i started driving to the next town for hard tap water and mixing it with r/o water 50/50. im not sure why i mixed , i think it was high ammonia in the tap. now i have a tetra laborett kit and have retested my tap water. it is gh-3, kh-3, nitrite-0, ph-8.0, ammonia 1.5 mg/l. the ammonia sounds high but i know a well cycled tank with goldfish using this water that always tests 0 ammonia.(my 20g is only 5 weeks so i still make the drive). question 1 is once my 20g is established, can i use my tap for the platys safely? question 2 is, even if i cant use it for platys, im soon getting a 50g and want to use my tap. what fish will live comfortably in my tap water?

If the tap water really is very soft (zero hardness you say) then no, you cannot keep livebearers (platy, and others) in it. These fish must have some mineral in the water or they will be highly stressed and succumb to various health issues.

I would confirm the tap water hardness with the water supply folks to be certain. And if it is, there are fairly easy ways to deal with this. Using a substrate of crushed coral and aragonite sand is the cheapest.

Alternatively, if the tap water again is very soft, consider soft water fish. The pH will easily lower in very soft water with so little buffering (the KH), and that opens up all the tetra, rasbora, etc. as suitable fish.

marshallsea 06-01-2012 07:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Byron (Post 1102679)
If the tap water really is very soft (zero hardness you say) then no, you cannot keep livebearers (platy, and others) in it. These fish must have some mineral in the water or they will be highly stressed and succumb to various health issues.

I would confirm the tap water hardness with the water supply folks to be certain. And if it is, there are fairly easy ways to deal with this. Using a substrate of crushed coral and aragonite sand is the cheapest.

Alternatively, if the tap water again is very soft, consider soft water fish. The pH will easily lower in very soft water with so little buffering (the KH), and that opens up all the tetra, rasbora, etc. as suitable fish.

in my above post the water params are my actual tap water params with the good test kit. i just dont really know what it means and what fish are ideal for it. is the ammonia as bad as it sounds? thanks byron ps ive been driving to next town for harder platy water

Byron 06-01-2012 07:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by marshallsea (Post 1103112)
in my above post the water params are my actual tap water params with the good test kit. i just dont really know what it means and what fish are ideal for it. is the ammonia as bad as it sounds? thanks byron ps ive been driving to next town for harder platy water

On the ammonia, if this is in the tap water, it can be handled by having lots of live plants, and using a water conditioner that detoxifies ammonia. These usually work by converting ammonia to ammonium, and the plants will easily deal with this after a couple days. This is not a problem once you know it and deal with it.

The GH I would confirm, either with a reliable fish store, or the water supply people. If it really is soft, then you have two options. Soft water fish will be fine; tetra, rasbora, many catfish, anabantids, dwarf cichlids, cyprinids...the list is limitless. Just avoid livebearers; but if you decide on these, a bag of crushed coral/aragonite sand for the substrate will raise the GH and corresponding pH for livebearers. I have used CarribSea's, but there are several products.

marshallsea 06-01-2012 07:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Byron (Post 1103140)
On the ammonia, if this is in the tap water, it can be handled by having lots of live plants, and using a water conditioner that detoxifies ammonia. These usually work by converting ammonia to ammonium, and the plants will easily deal with this after a couple days. This is not a problem once you know it and deal with it.

The GH I would confirm, either with a reliable fish store, or the water supply people. If it really is soft, then you have two options. Soft water fish will be fine; tetra, rasbora, many catfish, anabantids, dwarf cichlids, cyprinids...the list is limitless. Just avoid livebearers; but if you decide on these, a bag of crushed coral/aragonite sand for the substrate will raise the GH and corresponding pH for livebearers. I have used CarribSea's, but there are several products.

thank you


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