Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Xeek 09-29-2012 06:10 PM

Starting a new tank, 5 gallons...
First off I ordered a 16 gallon tank, and stuff to prepare it for live plants, but in the meantime I purchased a simple 5 gallon tank and got it setup today. (Freshwater)

I'm new to this, but I put in a test strip to see how my water is going to be (ppm):
0 - Nitrate (NO3) mg/L :-)
0 - Nitrate (NO2) mg/L :-)
0 - Total Hardness (GH) :shock:
300 - Total Alkalinity (KH) :evil:
8.4 - pH (Maxed out on chart) :cry:

This looks horrible. This is just my tap water. What can I do to get this tank ready? I want fresh water tropical fish and maybe some shrimp.

Xeek 09-30-2012 11:19 AM

After lots of discussion around this in chat, I think I know what my plan is. I'm headed to PetSmart to get a better test kit and maybe some peat. Really I want this more accurate test to give me slightly better numbers, though not hoping for much difference. With the way the water is I think I can keep shrimp and betas without an issue. I'll just need to find a way to adjust the minerals a little bit. If I do anything with the peat it'l just be experimental in the 5 gallon without any fish in it.

Even if I find a way to make my pH lower I'll have to keep doing it every water change and that just adds to risk for the fish. I'll experiment more today.

Thanks everyone for the help and knowledge!

Oh yeah and I honestly think my alkalinity is lower than 300. The test strip is kind of blueish for that part and it doesn't match much to any of the colors on the chart. Then I started to realize the colors on the chart were off a bit and made comparing to the test strip inaccurate to the point that it could all be worthless.

Freshcatch 09-30-2012 01:04 PM


Xeek 09-30-2012 04:53 PM

With my API Master Test Kit, the numbers look better. I also have some Neutral Regulator that helped it a bit. Purchased Tom the Dragon Scale Crown Tail Betta, we'll see how he does.

Xeek 10-02-2012 07:48 AM

My single male betta is doing great on day 3. He's a very active little guy! I haven't had to do any water changes, all the #s look good and stable. After reading some about fish-in cycle I thought I would see ammonia increasing quickly, when really it's remained at 0ppm. Tom must not have pooped much yet :-)

Today I setup a 16 gallon tank, which is going to have a week by itself, then hopefully some plants by the weekend and fish in a month.

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