Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Torn 05-16-2008 11:36 AM

Unusual tap water (plus other questions)
Hi, I've been fishless cycling my 30 gallon tank for a little over a month now and it's nearing the end of it's cycle. I've been using API's master test kit and testing the tank water regularly. I've tested the PH and it's 7.6-7.8 (alkaline), the same as my tap water. Strange thing is, I know that I live in a soft water area. I found this and think it applies to me:
So now I have a few questions regarding this. I was planning on adding 10 Cardinal Tetras, a pair of Dwarf Gouramis, 6 Cories and a Bristlenose Catfish and now I'm worried that my water is too weird to safely keep them, especially the tetras. :(
Am I going to have to do some PH changing here or is the softness/hardness more critical to tetras wellbeing?
If I do need to change the PH, what is the safest, most reliable way?
Assuming I can still have the Cardinals, in which order should I add the fish and how many of each?

Any help is greatly appreciated! :thankyou:

Amphitrite 05-16-2008 01:32 PM

Hello there Torn. The pH looks fine to me - I don't see any reason why you would want to change it.

What are your readings for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate at the moment, and what method are you using to cycle your tank. Are you using pure ammonia?

Torn 05-16-2008 01:45 PM

Hello, my readings yesterday were:
PH - 7.6
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 1.0
Nitrate - 40

I'll do another test later this evening. I used Waterlife's Biomature. So you don't think I'll have to alter anything?

Amphitrite 05-16-2008 02:00 PM

Hi there Torn, no I wouldn't say you have to alter a thing. Looks like your tank is a good way on in the cycle, and once you have steady readings of zero for both ammonia and nitrite you should be set to go.

When adding fish to the tank, do it very slowly - otherwise you could end up with a mini-cycle on your hands which will undo the good work.

What sort of filter are you using?

I've never heard of Biomature. Is that similar to Biospira do you know?

Torn 05-16-2008 02:19 PM

Oh thank you, I was worried all my plans were falling apart!!

I replaced the internal filter that came with my tank to a Eheim classic 2213 external filter, I like it much better and seems to be working very well.

Not sure if Biomature is similar to Biospira but I chose it because it was recommended by the fishkeeping magazine I buy and it contains a source of nitrogen that feeds the filter.

Thanks for your help!

Amphitrite 05-16-2008 02:25 PM

No probs :) What make of tank do you have?

Torn 05-16-2008 02:29 PM

Rena Aquarama 80, I don't think it's top end of the market but it'll do for me! :wink:

Amphitrite 05-16-2008 02:30 PM

Hey it's a tank, and that's enough. Have you kept tropical fish before?

Torn 05-16-2008 02:37 PM

Nope, my first time and I've done a TON of research (including loaning every fishy book from my local library!) to make sure I don't kill off my new fish within the first week. Even with all the research I'm sure I'll still end up asking plenty of questions on this forum, you're all very lovely helpful people!

Amphitrite 05-16-2008 02:44 PM

Good on you for doing your research first - and best of luck with your tank. There's loads of people on here who will be able to help you out with each aspect of your fishkeeping experience, and never hesitate to ask any questions. We're only too pleased to help out :D

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