Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Millsly 08-28-2012 07:51 PM

LF water suggestions
After some disasterous results with a fish in cycle, I've started over with a fishless cycle using pure ammonia and so far the results seem promising. I've read many articles and been given much advise about cycling, water chemistry, and plant use in FW aquariums.
Based on my research, I have some specific questions regarding some of my specific results. I've read while plants use ammonia, too much can be dangerous. I'm curious about the use of plants in a fishless cycle with the presence of ammonia and nitrites and how much is still considered safe. Also what pH/Gh/Kh level is safe for plants?
Since I'm already seeing nitrates, my tank cycle is nearly complete so I'm seeking suggestions for an appropriate water mixture for plants and some tetras or barbs. I have not settled on fish type but I was thinking a few tetras, a bushynose pleco, and a couple panda garras.
Our tap water indicates:
KH-286.4 ppm
GH-358 ppm
I also tested distilled water at
A .5/.5 mixture came out

The tank is 29g with a bio wheel filter, water pump (I've read this can be bad for plants, suggestion?), heater, aquatic led lighting fixture with 3 live plants, a few fake plants, drift wood, and a castle for hiding.

Chesh 08-28-2012 10:00 PM

If your testing positive for nitrates, then your cycling period is almost over, so the first question is kind of moot - the amount of ammonia you've been using is seemingly okay, as long as the plants are still alive! It's tricky, because it does vary based on the specific plants you keep.

The same holds true with Ph/Gh/Kh - different plants prefer different parameters, just as fish do. It depends on where they came from, and what water conditions they've adapted to living in. You can find a lot of this information in our tropical fish profiles - many of the common aquatic plants are listed in there, too. Most of the time, the range in plants is much broader than in fish, so even though a specific plant may prefer harder water, it can very possibly do well enough in soft - it really depends on the plant in question! :-)

With aquariums - especially when you're new - it's best to match the fish to the water, as opposed to trying to change the water hardness to suit the fish. Your water is on the hard side, so you'll do best to look into fish that prefer it that way. When you start messing with the Gh and Kh, you have to be very careful. Any swings in these parameters while there are fish in the tank can be very dangerous - even deadly - and it's usually recommended to stick with those fish that will be comfortable with the water that you get right out of your tap. It's safer and much easier to maintain things that way. . .

hope this helps?

wake49 08-29-2012 06:37 AM

Maybe this thread should be moved to the Freshwater section?

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